Widely known as the winner of Show Me The Money Season 5, rapper BewhY has been the talk of the Korean hip hop scene since the show aired. Having released his latest album The Blind Star just over a month ago, BewhY is holding his first concert tour in the U.S. in 6 states during the month of November (Click here to purchase The Blind Star official merchandise). BewhY has been recognized not only for his talent in music but also for his openness about his Christian faith. His title track My Star is written about his personal message from God.
Not only has the Korean and Korean-American community have been on the lookout for BewhY's upcoming show dates, HYPEBEAST also got in on the rapper's plans for his first US concert tour. Check out BewhY's interview with HYPEBEAST below:
When did you first get into hip-hop?
I first fell in love with hip-hop music when I was in middle school — in the 10th grade. I really liked this Korean hip-hop group called Dynamic Duo and was really impressed that they actually wrote their own lyrics. I then became friends with a Korean rapper named C Jamm, and he introduced me to the local hip-hop scene.
Who are some of your biggest hip-hop influences?
Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar.
How would you describe Korea’s rap scene?
I think there are many Korean hip-hop artists who deserve more spotlight. Many people in Korea think that American hip-hop artists are way cooler than Korean hip-hop artists. Of course, hip-hop was born in the States and we’re greatly influenced by those American artists, but I believe that Korean rappers have their own unique sound.
But hip-hop music isn’t that mainstream in Korea, not like how it is in the United States at least. It was really trendy last year, but then sort of faded away. I’m not too sure how long this music will last here, to be honest.
Describe your personal style. What are your favorite brands at the moment?
I like to keep it simple and clean cut. My favorite brands right now are Gucci, Balenciaga, Burberry, The North Face, Kappa, Hummel and Stone Island. I’m not really into mainstream streetwear brands like Supreme and BAPE.
Would you say that Korean fashion is influenced by hip-hop?
Yeah, a bit. Hip-hop style was super fashionable in Korea last year, but I’m not so sure about now. I do think that hip-hop artists can make anything look cool; it’s a culture that can absorb many different styles pretty well.
What has been the biggest moment of your career so far?
Last year was when people were first introduced to me – when hip-hop was “in.” Luckily, people still love my music, but the people who love my music only know three songs – “Forever,” “Day Day” and “The Time Goes On.” But I haven’t done much media since last year, so I suppose right now is the time for me to start.
How does Korean rap culture differ from that of America?
I think that the rappers here have a similar attitude to those in America, but I think the listeners are different. I haven’t lived in the States so I can’t speak too much on how it is over there, but in Korea, people take lyrics very seriously. Even if I post something on IG for fun, or like do something silly, people take it very seriously – it’s like they are trying to judge what is right or wrong. Koreans are very judgmental and personal image in the entertainment industry is everything.
You’re very outspoken about your Christian faith. Have you faced any criticism with this? How do you find a balance between your personal beliefs and the lifestyle commonly associated with hip-hop?
I do get so much criticism about how religious my music is. However, I will not change my style in music nor life, because this is the reason that I started doing music. But you know, haters will always hate. Actually, I think I’m the first person who makes this type of music in Korea.
About three years ago, there was so much Korean rap music about money and hoes, and I’m not judging it, but it’s just not my type of music and I don’t want to rap about those types of things. To be honest, I don’t really want or need to compromise because I just want to rap about what I think; I’m still doing the same thing, but now, I’m just thinking how I could rap about it in new and better ways.
What’s next for you in your career?
The most important thing right now is my United States tour, which kicks off November 1st and will stop in Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta, Chicago, Washington D.C. and New York. Other than that, I just plan on making more music and being able to become more established both in Korea and abroad.
Official concert merchandise for BewhY's The Blind Star tour is now exclusively sold on our website at korelimited.com. Click here
to see more.