This weekend at Vinyl Underground in KSU, a collection of some of the more well-known expat hip hop artists from across Korea will put on the show called Paid Dues. It pays homage to an indie hip hop festival in America where up-and-coming artists come together and display their skills.
Acts such as the Megook Movement, who are hosting the Paid Dues show, have been touring Korea for a little over two years, have produced two albums and are set to release two upcoming music videos. They will be joined by reggae fusion artist Josh Roy, who is currently looking at signing with Def Jam Records in Jamaica after his success on Uganda’s hip hop and reggae charts. Also in Saturday’s lineup is DA Green, who will be releasing an album and music video as well as performing this year at the wildly popular Mudfest. Sammy Clay is also working on an album after finishing a documentary about his time in Ethiopia, while Flowz Lyrical was the regular host of an open mic night in Seoul.
In many ways, this is a showcase event for these artists to gather at one of Busan’s best live music venues and create a spark that will hopefully continue to grow the expat hip hop scene as well as encourage other potential artists to pick up the mic. Since most of the artists are non-local talents, many Busanites are probably unfamiliar with their music. And while none of the artists playing the show are yet signed by major labels, their stars are on the rise, and each act takes their craft very seriously.
Whether you’re a fan of hip hop or not, stop in to check out what the Korean expat hip hop scene has to offer. You never know, you might see one of these guys on the boob tube someday and turn to your friend and say, “Hey! I saw that guy in a nightclub back in Korea!”
Lead photo by Anita Soper