IN ADDITION to cheering on the local girls in five-member K-pop girl group SKarf at the Celebrate 2013 concert on Monday, Singaporeans may want to check out hot new Korean hip-hop group M.I.B.
The name stands for Most Incredible Busters and the group will be here to help Singaporeans ring in the new year.
“We are so happy to be back,” said group leader 5Zic (pronounced Ozik) at a press conference yesterday.
The boys were last here in May for Music Matters, an industry event to showcase musicians from all over the world.
Are they just another Korean boy band? Not quite.
Incredible is not an understatement for this quartet - even before their debut in October, they had generated buzz for having the most expensive debut album in K-pop history.
Work on the 11-track album, Most Incredible Busters, started in 2009 and it reportedly cost US$1.7 million (S$2.1million) to make, and was recorded in the US with topengineers. The group also trained in dance in Korea, Japan and the US.
The group - made up of rappers and singers 5Zic, Cream, KangNam and Sims - were formed under hip-hop label Jungle Entertainment, which represents some of Korea’s most popular hip-hop acts, including Drunken Tiger Leessang and Yoon Mi-Rae.
The boys, who are aged between 22 and 26, are entering a K-pop market that, built on the success of more hip-hop boy bands like Big Bang, is now swamped with groups who have members who can rap.
And they think there’s a good chance they’ll do well.
“We think the scene is very varied and more popular than in other places,” said Sims, whose real name is Sim Jong Su.
To that end, they are intent on being as hip-hop as possible.
Asked where his name comes from, Cream, whose real name is Kim Gi Seok, revealed it was a reference to US rap group Wu-Tang Clan’s song of the same name, which stands for “cash rules everything around me”.
When asked about their dream list of collaborators, they threw out hot hip-hop names like Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa and Lil Wayne.
They have also shown a keenness for producing their own music, which is rare amongst K-pop acts, and they bucked another trend by promoting their debut album with four of their solo singles.
“We all have different styles, but as a group, we can be one and put these differences aside,” said Cream.
But they’re no gangsta-type rappers and they joked easily at the press conference yesterday.
KangNam, whose real name is Yasuo Namekawa, laughed at a joke about his name, made by the event’s MC, 987 FM DJ Rosalyn Lee.
“I’m not Gangnam Style,” he said.