Hanguk Hip Hop

Global Rap in South Korea

  • Myoung-Sun Song

Part of the East Asian Popular Culture book series (EAPC)

Table of contents

About this book


How has Hanguk (South Korean) hip hop developed over the last two decades as a musical, cultural, and artistic entity? How is hip hop understood within historical, sociocultural, and economic matrices of Korean society? How is hip hop represented in Korean media and popular culture? This book utilizes ethnographic methods, including fieldwork research and life timeline interviews with fifty-three influential hip hop artists, in order to answer these questions. It explores the nuanced meaning of hip hop in South Korea, outlining the local, global, and (trans)national flows of musical and cultural exchanges.

Throughout the chapters, Korean hip hop is examined through the notion of buran—personal and societal anxiety and uncertainty—and how it manifests in the dimensions of space and place, economy, cultural production, and gender. Ultimately, buran serves as a metaphoric state for Hanguk hip hop in that the genre continuously evolves within the conditions of Korean society.

Myoung-Sun Song is Assistant Professor in the Department of American Culture at Sogang University, South Korea. She received her PhD in Communication from University of Southern California, USA. Her research focuses on the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, class, and (national) identity in Korean media and popular culture.


Global Hip Hop Korean Hip Hop Hanguk Hip Hop Korean Popular Music K-pop cross-cultural exchange hip hop authenticity Korean diaspora

Authors and affiliations

  • Myoung-Sun Song
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of American CultureSogang UniversitySeoulKorea (Republic of)

Bibliographic information