The format of a KPOP song has become pretty predictable and standardized throughout the years. There are the verses, chorus, and maybe a catchy dance break if it is an upbeat song. Let’s not forget the random inserted rap in almost every KPOP song. No matter the genre of music, there is guaranteed to be one of the members rapping either near the beginning or end of the song.
Since this has become such a commonality, I have decided to list some of my favourite raps in KPOP songs. The word “some” is underlined for emphasis to imply that this is not my compete list of favourites. This list is also not arranged in any particular order. Also, this list does not contain groups like “Big Bang”, “Bangtan Boys”, “Monsta X”, “B.A.P”, “2NE1” or any groups of the sort whose music contains mostly rapping.
Bang – After School (Bekah)
This is one of my favourite KPOP songs. The rap is entirely in English, which Bekah pulls off flawlessly. The rap is broken up into two parts, before and after the bridge. Bekah’s rap makes this song. I listen to the song with full anticipation for that part. Kahi does an excellent re-creation of this rap in the Japanese version of the song.
In The Night Sky – AS Red (Kahi)
Speaking of Kahi, another one of her raps made it to this list. “In the Night Sky” was a song by After School’s subunit, AS Red (Kahi, Nana, Jungah & UEE). I was not very happy that the group was broken up into units, but I was in love with this song. Kahi is not one of my favourite KPOP “rappers”, but she pulled off this rap pretty well. It is my favourite part of the song, along with Nana’s cute “ee ee” during the chorus.
Shaking Heart – C-Clown (Rome)
I really liked C-Clown. It is a pity that they have disbanded. This is one of my favourite songs from them. Rome’s raps are throughout the song and make a good contrast to the singing parts. I think these raps are the reasons why I love the song so much.
We Were In Love – Davichi & T-ara (Hwayoung)
This song is probably in the top 20 of my all-time favourite KPOP songs. It is a ballad, so you would not expect to hear a rap thrown in there. However, Hwayoung’s slow rap near the end is my favourite part of the song. There is so much emotion put into that short rap. It is a pity that Hwayoung is no longer in the singing industry. Also, kudos to Minkyung for pulling off an awesome rap like that.
You Don’t Love Me – Spica (Juhyun)
SPICA is basically the older version of Mamamoo. Before Mamamoo debuted, SPICA was known for following a retro and jazz concept for their songs. They were also known for their zany behaviour. They are also all very excellent singers. “You Don’t Love Me” is the perfect embodiment of their image. It is a classic retro song with a bit of comedy in it. Juhyun served as a vocalist and rapper for the song. Even though the song is a bit old school, the transition to the rap was smooth and effortless. Not to mention, it is a very catchy verse.
Every Night – EXID (LE)
This is one of my favourite songs from EXID. This was released before they became overly popular. I miss their songs like this. Now all their music seems to copy their famous hit, “Up and Down”. The song catches you from the very beginning with LE’s rap. It is a strong beginning to a resonating song.
Vista – Fiestar (Yezi)
When Fiestar debuted with this song, I fell in love. It was fun, upbeat and it was different from the music that was released at that time. Yezi’s spunky rap is my favourite part of the song. I remember watching the video for the first time when it was released. When the rap picked up speed with the piano, I went crazy. Yezi is probably one of the few KPOP idols that I consider to be a real rapper. She proved herself during last season’s Unpretty Rapstar.
We Don’t Stop – Fiestar (Yezi)
This is another one of my favourite songs from Fiestar. This is a period where they have been releasing a lot party songs. Yezi’s rap brings a whole lot of energy to this song making it even more enjoyable to listen to. Not to mention, the slowed tempo of the bridge right after the rap was a nice transition to Linzy’s high note.
Sunshine – Rainbow (Woori)
There are sure a lot of up-tempo and cutesy songs on this list. I tend to not like raps in cutesy songs. They usually stand out too much and make song uncomfortable to listen to. “Sunshine” is an exception to this. The rap by Woori still had a strong impact, but there was a flirty twist, which matched the cute theme of the song.
Sixth Sense – Brown Eyed Girls (Miryo)
This is one of my favourite raps in this list. The song and its accompanying music video portrayed a powerful message, and what is better than having an equally powerful rap featured in the song? I have always viewed Miryo as one of the best rappers in the KPOP industry. Her notation and adlibs throughout the rap makes for a powerful piece, especially when performed live. This is my favourite part after Narsha’s and Ga-in’s high note.
Demonstrate – Rania (Alex)
I like this song purely because of Alex’s rap. Alex is an American rapper recruited to join Rania. Alex is making history by being the first African-American female in a KPOP group. She was recruited for her rapping skills, which means she has experience in the field. Her rap at the beginning of the song is the only incentive for me to listen to the song. It’s all in English, but it blends well with the Korean song.
So Into U – LU:KUS (Jinwan)
I am not really a fan of LU:KUS, but I really like this song primarily for the rap portion. It comes out of nowhere! The transition was so sudden! This would normally annoy me, but for some reason it worked for this song.
Ahh Oop – Mamamoo (Moonbyul)
When I was speaking about SPICA, I mentioned that Mamamoo had a similar concept. This is another retro-like song with an appropriate rap that fit well in the song. Most of Mamamoo’s songs follow this concept, and the raps never stand out too much. The reason that this particular song made this list is because it is my favourite song from the group.
Poison – Secret (Hana)
I love Secret’s older music, and this is one of them. Hana, who was known as Zinger at the time, rapped throughout the song. The particular rap that I love is the short one near the end of the song. Standing alone, Hana’s rap is pretty good, but what makes it better is Jieun’s vocalization in the background. That high note and Hana’s strong rapping was like “magick” to my ears.
Gone Not Around Any Longer – Sistar19 (Bora)
Sistar19 is Sistar’s subunit with Hyorin and Bora. This song is mostly Hyorin, so I appreciated Bora’s rap. It was a slow rap with Hyorin adlibbing in the background. I think that I am more attracted to slow-paced raps because they sound more meaningful. I think this is why I like this rap so much, and because it was the only time where Bora got to shine.
Mr. Johnny – Miss A (Jia)
The rap in this song is entirely in English. I do not really care for the song other than this rap portion and the repetitive “Mr. Johnny” parts. The rap does not really suit the song, but sounds really good on its own.
No. 9 – T-ara (Hyomin)
Just like LU:KUS’s “So Into U”, the rap for “No. 9” had an unusual transition. From the chorus Hyomin repeats “I’m addict” (wonderful grammar there) then goes into this fast-paced and low-toned rap. It is very hard to understand what she is saying in this super short rap, and I still do not understand why I like this part so much. I guess it is because of the great build up to the rap part.
I – Taeyeon & Verbal Jint (Verbal Jint)
I remember when this song was released I avoided it for several days. I automatically assumed that any Taeyeon solo song would be a boring ballad that would not appeal to me. When I finally decided to listen to the song I realized how wrong I was. I fell in love with this song, and it quickly found its way to the top of my list. I love everything about this song, including Verbal Jint’s rap. It was inspiring, and uplifting, and it fits right in with the song. Verbal Jint was always a versatile rapper, and this song proves it.
Rocking – Teen Top (C.A.P)
Okay, I will confess. I love C.A.P, but there is not anything special about this rap. Why is it on this list? That is because of that one word at the end of his rap, “eodiya”. The way he says that word sends shivers down my spine. Who can resist that deep voice? I will listen to the rap ten thousand times over just to hear the end of it.
Like the Birds – FT ISLAND (Jaejin & Seunghyun)
Along with “Severely” and “Hello Hello”, this is the song that made me start listening to FT Island. It’s a really inspirational song. The raps are sprinkled out throughout the song, and blends well with Hong Ki’s singing parts. It is a nice build up to the chorus.
Be My Baby – Wonder Girls (Yubin)
Overall, I prefer the English version of this song, but Yubin’s rap is much better in the Korean version. The rapping is a little bit like chanting. The choreography that goes with this rap makes me love it a little more. I have always respected Yubin’s rapping skills, and I gained more respect for her after Unpretty Rapstar.
Melted – Akdong Musician (Chanhyuk)
Chanhyuk is just adorable. Not only is he a great singer, but he is a decent rapper as well. “Melted” is one of my favourite songs ever. It is another slow song, with an accompanying slow rap. The rap does not seem displaced and provides a smooth transition between the verse and chorus. It is an emotional song, and the rap adds even more emotion to the story that they are trying to tell.
Come Back When You Hear This Song – 2PM (Taecyeon)
The random adlibs from Taceyeon throughout the song are very awkward. I cringe every time I hear “give me one more chance”. It seems so out of place in the song. The rap is equally awkward, but is only in this list pretty much for the same reason “Rocking” was on my list. The spoken part at the end of rap raises goosebumps on my skin. I cannot help but to love Taecyeon’s deep voice!
Hate – 4minute (Hyuna & Jiyoon)
This has to be one of the best songs of the year so far. This is a hip-hop/dance track, so it has a fair bit of rapping in it. Jiyoon’s rap in the 2nd part of the song and Hyuna’s rap near the end are my two favourites in the song. Jiyoon’s rapping skills have improved since she was on Unpretty Rapstar. You can hear the improvement in this song. Not to mention the rap is as catchy as hell. Hyuna’s rap near the end simmers down the song a bit before bringing in the chorus for the last time. It is a nice calm before the final BANG!
Crazy – 4minute (Jiyoon)
“Crazy” is quite similar to “Hate”. It is also a hip-hop dance track, and again, there is quite a bit of rapping in it. My favourite part is the rap done by Jiyoon after the first chorus. The way she says “New York, Paris, Milano, Tokyo, London” made her rap a big hit.
Wild – Nine Muses (Eunji)
I was so sad when Eunji left the group. I began to really like her after Nine Muses released “Wild”. Her rap in the song has so much sass and was on point. I began paying more attention to her after this release until the day she left the group. I believe that she was the group’s best rapper.
Tried to Walk – B1A4 (Baro)
I left one of the best for last. This is another ballad-type song from one of my favourite groups. I already love the song as it is, but Baro’s rap made it even better. He starts off slow with some low muttering. He then builds up the tempo as his rapping gets faster. This unique rapping style is gold!
That’s my list for now! I am sure I will be adding more to this list as more songs are released, so expect a part two in the future!