Day 6 – Rap and Hip-hop

2021 in review

1. Introduction + Best Album Art
2. Song of the Year
3. Album of the Year
4. R&B and soul
5. Rock and alternative music
6. Rap ​​and hip hop
7. Dance and electronics (January 20)
8. Pop and Ballad (January 21)
9. Folk and Country (January 22)
10. Jazz and Blues (January 23)
11. Crossover and World (January 24)
12. Best Collaborative Work (January 25)
13. Rookie Artist of the Year (January 26)
14. Artist of the Year (January 27)
15. Other Recognition (January 28)
16. Concluding Remarks (January 29)

The hip-hop albums category was the hardest to choose of any genre in 2021. There was just an absurd amount of quality throughout the year, with several albums that would have been shoo-ins from other years – Owen’s POEM IIIQM silver breathKhundi Panda MDMVerbal jint Inflection point – getting kicked out of the top 12 and many other great albums that don’t even come close.

The scene also had a dazzling choice for Label of the Year, with Dejavu Group not only releasing a sublime compilation album, but also having each member releasing year-end list-worthy indie work. show me the money had its usual news with Hellokpop’s 2020 Rookie Artist of the Year Gwangil Jo winning the grand prize, and SMTM Sensation Northfacegawd – who made quite an impression on his solo work and Don Mills’ album before that – could turn out to be the best discovery in years if his future work goes well.

Note that ChoiLB – 독립음악 (Indie Music) (the album, not the song) will not be listed below, since it was our second album of the year on day 3. The “Next 10” lists and honorable mentions are sorted alphabetically by artist name.

The 2021 Spotify Rap and Hip-hop playlist is here and also embedded below:

Best rap and hip-hop album 2021

Kid Milli & Dress – Cliché

2021’s most ambitious sonic adventure in hip-hop. The inspirations of Kendrick Lamar and Anderson .Paak and the blistering pace of Kid Milli in the first half make for an effortlessly relaxing package, but the rock and soul tones harnessed by Dress in the second half (and the moxie to bring in some artists like Sunwoojunga and In the Endless Zanhyang That We Are) open Clichecarried even further into a class of its own.

The finalist

Changmo – Underground Rockstar

The arrival of Changmo as a true author. From the lush scale of “Moraesigye” to the drill-infused “Beretta” of Brooklyn and the tortured, fractured soundscape of “Chronic Love,” the album consistently surprises in its polish; Meanwhile, the pervasive themes – from struggling with alcoholism to the self-destructive side of fame – are heightened by Changmo’s roaring delivery, having finally found its outlet.

Next 10 (alphabetical)

30 – Frost on your children

BewhY, ChoiLB, Khundi Panda, Son Simba, Une and Viann as Dejavu Group – Dingo X Dejavu Group: wrote this tomorrow

Don Malik – Paid in Seoul

Don Sign. – Born under a bad sign

Jaedal – Bomb Head

Khundi Panda – The spoiled child: 균

Nafla – Naturally Raised

TakeOne – 상업예술 (Commercial Art) (read our review)

Unofficialboyy & Haifhaif – 그물, 덫, 발사대기, 포획 (Net, Trap, Launcher, Capture)

Viann & Son Simba – 전설 (A Tale About Legend)

Best rap and hip-hop song 2021

BewhY, ChoiLB, Khundi Panda, Son Simba, Une and Viann as Dejavu Music – 지금으로 (Hereby)
Written by Khundi Panda, Son Simba, ChoiLB, BewhY
Composed by BewhY
Arranged by BewhY, Viann

There are some things a crew can only do when every emcee is a top lyricist, like the densely constructed “Hereby” where four rappers exchange barbed verses and coiled ambition as their individual stories intersect. . Atop Viann’s intricate electronics, the melodic chorus that’s become somewhat iconic to all these guys (except maybe Khundi Panda) vibrates ominously and finally takes flight in a glorious symphony of melodies. modulating, dramatic hits and harmonization. Dejavu is here to stay.

The finalist

Tiger JK – 호심술 (Love Peace)
Written by Tiger JK
Composed and arranged by Park Jae-sun

A thunderous anthem of resistance, channeling simmering anger against rising anti-Asian hate crimes. The pacing is frenetic, JK’s delivery pounding, the lyrics ferociously violent; and the visceral experience of all its outlet – and perhaps ours – to center oneself in the midst of chaos. And so Tiger JK shouts love and peace in his own way in the “age of hate”.

Next 10 (alphabetical)

Alive Funk – 없어도돼 (It’s Alright) (Feat. Don Malik, Soovi)

BewhY – Celebration

Changmo – Chronic Love (Feat. Jibin of Y2K92)

ChoiLB – 독립음악 (Indie Music)

Don Malik – Not an ambition

Keith Ape – Orca Walk (feat. Okasian)

Kid Milli & Dress – Bittersweet (Feat. Ron)

Kid Milli & Dress – Face and Mask (Feat. Ron)

Owen X Ouralgoat – 각광 (Footlight) (Feat. Dbo)

TakeOne – 녹색이념 (Green Ideology)


99′ Nasty Kidz – Naughty Cinema
Aite – MOLY
Ash-B – Brat of the Year
Baehyuni ​​– 위위 (Wewe)
BewhY – 032 Funk
DPR Live – Iite Cool
Don Mills – BOA
Epik High – Epik High is here 上
Fyve – New to Fyve
Giriboy – Avante
Jayho – Locals only
Khundi Panda – MODM: Original Saga
Lil Cherry & Goldbuuda – Chef Interview
Loxx Punkman – NEO
Luci Gang – Lucifer’s Therapy
Sweet Beats – Fragment
Nui Monsoon – Nui Monsoon 4
Owen X Ouralgoat – Brotherhood
Q the Trumpet – Yellow Flower
QM – 돈숨 (silver breath)
Seshin & M3chvnic – Badboyz on Streetz
Since – Since 16′
Sokodomo – …—…
Unofficialboyy – 이수린ackermann (Unofficialboyyackermann)
Verbal Jint – 변곡점 (inflection point)


30 – 凸 (Yeot)
30 – 골로가 모텔 (Motel Gologa)
99′ Nasty Kidz – Hitman
99′ Nasty Kidz – Slam Dunk
Aite – I will
Ash-B – Part time
B-Free – 멸종 (RIP)
BI – Living
Baehyuni ​​– 알바비 (part-time job)
Balming Tiger – Just fun!
Betta – Aquarium – Intro (Feat. Haki)
BewhY, ChoiLB, Khundi Panda, Son Simba, Une, Viann – Beyond the
BewhY, Khundi Panda, Son Simba, Viann – 아마도 어제 (maybe yesterday)
Shaman & Greenbeige – 할푼리 (Percentage)
Changmo – Beretta (with Ahn Da-young)
ChoiLB – 복수전공 (Double Major) (Feat. JJK)
ChoiLB – 최엘비 유니버스 (ChoiLB universe)
Don Malik – 네비대로 가주세요 (Navi) (Feat. Youra)
Don Malik – 마천루 (Skyscraper) (Feat. Justhis)
Don Malik – 칭칭칭 (Chingchingching) (Feat. DeVita)
Don Mills – 다이나믹 듀오 (Dynamic Duo) (Feat. Nucksal)
Don Mills – 대박인생 (Daebak Life) (Feat. Northfacegawd, Unducated Kid) (Prod. Imeanseoul)
Don Sign. – Holy Water (Feat. pH-1)
Don Sign. – 황혼에서 새벽까지 (Dusk Till Dawn) (Feat. Hangsuk, Nucksal, Kim Oki)
Epik High – End of the World (Feat. G. Soul)
Fyve – 휘잉 (Hwing) (Feat. Kaogaii)
Giriboy – 그리고 돌아섰다 (You turned around)
Greengrim – Walk On By 2 (Feat. Sosa)
Han Yo-han – 이게 나야 (It’s Me) (Feat. Changmo)
Hwaji – See You in the Metaverse
Illson – Last Laugh (Feat. Styliztikjones)
Illson – On & On (with Isa, Cole)
Jaedal – Stop
Jaedal – 너에게 (love letter)
Jnkyrd – Intro (Feat. Omega Sapien)
Justhis – Star
Kebee – Sunroof (Feat. Tamiz, Huckleberry P)
Keebomb – Rap (Feat. Paloalto, Don Mills)
Khundi Panda – 원시의힘 (Ancient Power) (Feat. Fana, Gaeko)
Khundi Panda – 진짜를 보여달라니 (Don’t Cross the Fence)
Khundi Panda, Son Simba, One – No More Chances
Kid Milli & Dress – Bankroll (feat. Okasian)
Kid Milli & Dress – Kitty (Feat. Miyeon ((G)I-dle))
Kid Milli & Dress – Leaving My Studio (Feat. Sunwoojunga)
Kid Milli & Dress – Midnight Blue (Feat. In the Endless Zanhyang We Are)
Leellamarz – Catch Me If You Can
Lil Cherry & Goldbuuda – 하늘천따지 (1000 Words)
Loxx Punkman – Fear (Feat. Deepflow, Mckdaddy)
Luci Gang – Beef
Luci Gang – Rap Care
MC Meta & DJ Tiz – Sub
Sweet Beats – Make Your Own
Soft beats – Signs
Minit – Party (Feat. Skinny Brown)
Mirani-Lambo! (Feat. Unducated Kid)
Nafla – Run! Remix (Feat. Kaeoh626, J-Tong, Huckleberry P, Evening, Dok2)
Owen – Members Only (Prod. Xrface)
Owen – 아침 (Bright Side) (Feat. Chaeree) (Prod. Cribs)
Owen – 흰눈 (Snow White) (Prod. The Quiett)
Owen X Ouralgoat – 쓴웃음 (Bitter Smile)
Reddy & Swervy – Label
Rohann – Dial (Feat. Deepflow, Dsel)
Rohann – 어디에 (Where) (Prod. Fredi Casso)
Skinny Chase – City of Angels (Feat. DJ Vamos, James Keys)
Sokodomo – Pegasus (Feat. Huckleberry P)
Tabber – Adrenaline
TakeOne – 상업예술 (Commercial Art) (Feat. Ha In-ae, Verbal Jint)
Uneducated Child – Uneducated Arirang
Unofficialboyy & Haifhaif – 그물, 덫, 발사대기, 포획 (Net, Trap, Launcher, Capture) (Feat. Yanghongwon)
Untell – Wake Up (Feat. DJ Wegun)
Viann & Son Simba – 그들의 말로 (The End of the Road (in their words))
Woodie Gochild – Jackson (with Changmo)
Wutan & Buggy – LA에서 왔대 (She’s from LA) (Feat. Hwaji)

Translations of the lyrics by the author. Bugs Music album cover images. Dejavu Group header image captured from Dingo FreeStyle YouTube.

Read our past series:

2020 in review

2019 in review

Retrospective 2018

Retrospective 2017

Retrospective 2016

Retrospective 2015

Retrospective 2014

Retrospective 2013

Retrospective 2012

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