Hello hello! We hope your February has gone well, whether you’re covered in the snow or enjoying the sun ray’s. Today we’d like to bring you a chat with a rapper from Korea who’s had a following in the underground for a while, and more recently has had exposure in the mainstream entertainment world. Please welcome Andup!
Andup (born Han Byeol on March 28, 1993 in South Korea) is a hip-hop artist that’s been active in the Korean underground hip-hop scene since 2008, but made his official debut in 2010. Last year, he rose to prominence as a featured contestant and member of Team Zico/Paloalto on the fourth season of Mnet’s hit hip-hop program ‘Show Me The Money’. The Do’main and Buckwilds crew member has been busy writing tracks after the show’s end and is gearing up for another release soon. We had the chance to speak to him on his philosophy of hip-hop, goals and his experience with SMTM4.
For those who aren’t familiar with who you are, please introduce yourself briefly.
What’s up. I’m a Korean rap artist, my name is Andup.
How long have you been doing music for?
I’ve been in this scene for eight years. I had my first stage when I was 15.
What kind of artist do you consider yourself?
I record my life in my music. I write all kinds of emotions on my music like anger, concerns, love, family etc.
As far as music is concerned, who gives you your inspiration?
Everyone in my life. Ex-girlfriends, my friends, companions, competitors, but rarely from other art forms.
You’ve been a member of both Do’main and Buckwilds (hip-hop crews) for a while now. How has that influenced your career?
The members of my crews are very talented. They have inspired me greatly and have been my best advisors.
Are you guys like family almost?
Yeah it feels like we’re cousins. Some feel like my real brothers but some are little far from this.
Last year you were on the fourth season of Mnet’s hit program Show Me The Money, making it to the team rounds as a member of Team Zico/Paloalto. What initially got you to audition for the show?
The influence of SMTM got much bigger in Korea. All the hip-hop shows began to concentrate on collecting SMTM members. I wanted to go about my own way without the show. And yet I felt envy while watching SMTM stages. They did gorgeous and fabulous stages. I thought like, ‘I can make that too, man’.
What was running through your mind during the course of the filming of the show? Did you have any second thoughts about being on it?
I was very nervous. The program wanted to show anger, fights, negative sides of people, so I needed to protect myself. And every stage on the show will be shown to 20 million people right? So I concentrated on that more than ever.
What was it like working with Zico, Paloalto and your fellow Team ZiPal contestants? Any funny behind-the-scenes stories you can share?
Zico is a hard worker. Paloalto is very receptive. We spent very fun times together before our first team stage. However the broadcast deleted fun scenes. They decided to make our team seem more dark than we actually were.
You garnered attention during that show for comments made about idol group rappers. Since the end of the show, would you say your opinion on idol rappers has changed or does it remain the same?
I don’t hate idol rappers. Anybody can rap. However some of the entertainment groups tried to get attention through their business dealings. Managers kept on visiting the producers’ room and speaking with the writers and PDs. Three to five cameras followed the well-known competitors who can’t rap well. I hated these people who stole the attention from the unknown rappers who can rap. I respect idol groups though as they practice hard, and I have several idol group CDs.
You’re known for your very outspoken manner both when you’re behind the mic and when you’re not. Would you say this is the quality that makes you stand out the most as a rapper in Korea?
I don’t think so. I’m aggressive when someone tries to take something that’s not theirs. If it’s not about my business, I never want to make trouble.
What have you been up to since the end of Show Me The Money 4?
I had many shows, released ‘이게 난데’ , and my new single is going to be out soon.
The hip-hop scene in Korea has grown quickly in the last few years compared to its early days with names like Uptown, Drunken Tiger, Seo Taiji & Boys, DEUX and such. What are your thoughts on where the scene has gone since you entered it?
When I got into this scene, Korean people saw those in the hip-hop scene as jerks. So hip-hop musicians couldn’t get enough money to survive. Now everything is different. People know what is rhyme, flow, diss, hip-hop fashion and all that. There are still some wrong stereotypes though but it has gotten better. So much better.
Your thoughts on the popularity of Korean hip-hop with overseas fans?
I haven’t seen that with my own eyes. Just what I check out on my Instagram. Maybe 30% of my followers are foreigners.
Speaking of fans, I have a couple fan-submitted questions to ask. Eileen would like to know – if there is something else besides rapping that you could see yourself doing right now, what would it be?
Maybe acting? I majored in acting when I was in high school.
David wants to know – of all the songs that were released during Show Me The Money 4, which was your favourite and why?
거북선 is the best. Without a doubt.
Any rappers or producers that have caught your ears lately?
Young Lion’s new EP ‘Life changes’ kills.
What sort of advice can you give to your juniors in the music industry?
Enjoy what you do, if you can’t enjoy this you have no reason to do this.
What are your plans for music releases and shows this year? Any plans to perform abroad?
I have three or four songs that are not finished yet. They will be released this year. Some companies asked me to perform abroad but now they disappeared. Contact me, I can discount my fee if I can enjoy the views of where you are haha
What are your five most played songs currently?
Kanye West – Facts , and Anderson Paak‘s new album.
What do you do during your downtime to wind down?
I blow my mind seeing empty places, or drink like hell.
Name one thing that fans may not already know about you.
I’m a very sensitive person. More than most people would think.
Any advice for aspiring artists?
Each artist has their own way, never forget that.
Any final words for the readers?
My new single is about to drop soon, keep on checking out through instagram.com/andupindahouse. Thank you!
Big thanks to Andup for taking the time to answer some of our questions as well as those sent in by the readers! Until next time, this has been a rhythm.connection exclusive!