South Korea’s High School Rapper is back for 4th season
40 high school students battle it out with help from superstars in Korean Hip Hop
High School Rapper, a hugely successful Hip Hop reality show, kicked off its fourth season on February 19. The battle show takes 40 high school students and puts them against each other while being mentored by some of Korea’s biggest names in Hip Hop including The Quiett, Nucksal, Yumdda, Simon Dominic, Loco, Changmo, Way Ched, Jay Park, pH-1, and Woogie.
K-Pop is an increasingly popular genre in the world. Even those with little interest in Korean pop music have no doubt heard of BTS, Blackpink, and Big Bang. It is not only K-Pop that hits the radio; Korean hip-hop is also thriving. A TV show called Show Me the Money helped boost the popularity of Korean Hip Hop, followed by various rap battle TV shows, such as High School Rapper.
This Korean Hip Hop program is part battle and part survival. It is aimed at finding fresh blood and turning them into rappers with great potential. This season, 12,000 teenagers applied for the audition, which is the largest number ever. “The younger and purer contestants’ attempts give me more motivation and courage as a musician.” The Quiett said in a press release.
Former champions include Yang Hong-won in 2017, Haon in 2018, and Lee Young-ji in 2019. Since Lee Young-ji was the first female champion, the producers expected a ton of applications from female MCs. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case and less than two percent of the applicants were female. “We hoped that more female contestants would apply because last year's winner was female," the producer said in a press release. "We thoroughly examined everyone, but we could not choose a [female] contestant to join us. We hope to see more talented and powerful female rappers next year."