September 21, 2000 [Hankook
Reporter, Yang Eun Kyung
Pimp rock and hardcore are lifted up to
the main stage by Seo Taiji Effects
What is the "Seo Taiji Effects" on Korean
Since his debut album which consists of
rap-dance that stormed the charts with several hits, Seo Taiji has continued to
introduce advanced music genres into Korea, such as alternative rock and
gangster rap, which was unfamiliar to our ears and I can't help but say that
these attempts were the turning point for Korean pop music.
People are paying close attention to his
new music again, pimp rock and hardcore. The American pimp rock band, Limp
Bizkit's 2nd album "Significant Other" sold several tons daily in Korea but
after the release of Seo Taiji's "Ultramania," it surprisingly reaches sales of
several hundreds daily, which is almost at the same level as the record sales of
the most popular rapper of today, Eminem. The albums of other hard core groups
such as Korn and Rage Against the Machine have had similar results from Seo
Taiji Effects. Now days, "The Battle of Los Angeles" by RATM and Korn's "Issues"
sell more than one hundred copies per a day.
This is definitely an exceptional case
considering that the popularity of western music in the Korean market is usually
short-lived to an average of about 6 months.
However, the record company says that 'Seo
Taiji Effects' is not effective on the "expansion of the market". "Only existing
listeners of hardcore or Seo Taiji's fans are purchasing pimp rock and hard-
core albums, I believe," Jae Won Lee at Universal Music (Korea) pointed
Unlike Seo Taiji's previous musical style
of gangster rap, pimp rock and hardcore have already been established in the
underground scene in Korea, so it's hard to expect another "boom" from Seo
Taiji's new album.
The Korean hardcore group Dr. core 911, the
band from which Seo Taiji recruited his guitarist Sung Hoon Ahn, released its
new album "Bi Jung San Jo" this past August. Seo Taiji helped expose Dr. Core
911 somewhat but cannot obtain direct and full credit.
Nonetheless, Seo Taiji's 6th album
"Ultramania" is highly contributing to the introduction of pimp rock and
hardcore as brand-new music to Koreans.
"It's similar to the phenomenon of the
Techno Boom here and nobody knows how long this Boom will last" analyzed
reviewer, Kim Chul Song. "The heavy expectation from Seo Taiji Effects is not
very helpful to Seo Taiji himself and the balanced development of Korean