Hip hop icons Dynamic Duo on the Korean rap scene + new album | Yo! MTV Raps exclusive interview

26 August 2019

Interview conducted by Daniel Peters. Photo by All Is Amazing

For sixteen years and counting, the OG Korean hip hop icons have continued to innovate, laying the foundation of hip hop in Korea. Since their very first album 'Taxi Driver', Dynamic Duo have attracted audiences with beats and lyrics that reflect the spirit of the moment, with unrivaled flow.

From directing and producing to performing and collaborating with various artists, the hip hop duo are constantly evolving with the times.

In 2017 they finally accepted an offer to appear on hit TV show 'Show Me The Money 6', using their production skills to mentor up-and-coming junior rappers. Most recently, as the special guests in the fifth and final episode of Yo! MTV Raps, Gaeko and Choiza took over the rooftop of the Alila Bangsar hotel in Kuala Lumpur. We had a quick chat with the guys to discuss the Korean rap scene past, present and future.

MTV Asia: You're undeniable veterans of Korean hip hop. How it has changed and evolved over the past two decades?

Dynamic Duo: At the beginning it was mostly about mimicking the music from [American] hip hop. But over the past two decades, it's been localized – both lyrically and musically – so we've grown to have a unique hip hop scene in Korea. Being loved by hip hop audiences for over 20 years has laid a great foundation that reflects Korean culture and sentiment.

How was your experience as special guests shooting Yo! MTV Raps?

There wasn't much of a difference when it comes to the process, but it was interesting to see various nationalities of crew and artists working together at the shoot.

What do you think modern Korean hip hop is missing, or what would you like to see more of?

We feel that today's hip hop is very fun to watch, and reflects the reality on the ground. However, there are times when too many releases come out all at once, so even though they're brilliant records, they might not get the attention they deserve, which is a bummer. 

What's currently cooking in the studio?

We're working on a new album, and aiming at releasing it within the year.

What's one piece of advice you received as young artists that has still guided you to this day?

You must not expect too much at your first attempt.

What's an overrated piece of advice?

"Better the devil you know."

Knowing that you have a sizeable part of your fanbase who love your music despite not understanding your language, has it tempted you to jump into English hip hop?

It's not that difficult for us to communicate in English, but we're not proficient enough to pull off literary expressions. Even if we spend time studying more we doubt we can make it, so we'd rather focus on Korean.

What do you think has made Amoeba Culture [the record label co-founded by the duo] the driving force that it is today?

We think it was all our artists interacting with their fans while maintaining their own character, and also the right amount of support from the label.

What does the future of hip hop look like to you?

Hip hop culture always seeks out something new, something fresh. Its very nature transcends languages and cultures. So we think it will constantly get developed in newer and fresher ways based on various aspects.

Catch the full episode 5 of Yo! MTV Raps featuring special guest Dynamic Duo, on YouTube

Subscribe to MTV Asia on YouTube for more Yo! MTV Raps

Wanna discover more rappers in Asia? Check out Yo! MTV Raps: Rapper Roundup and our Yo! Rappers series


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