LAKE KIM of NEON Crew has released his third mixtape ‘BITTERSWEET‘. Our exclusive interview with the rapper was in fact rather sweet than bitter–but find out for yourself!
It has been three years since LAKE KIM last released a mixtape. ‘BITTERSWEET’ consists of nine tracks and features his fellow crew member WooRam, Paiddy of XOX, Yuldia, and producer The Plan8. The songs are about the bittersweet feelings LAKE KIM experienced during the college entrance exam, college life, and during his leave of absence from college.
He has promised ‘BITTERSWEET’ to be the starting point of more steady music activities from now on.
Hello LAKE KIM! Please introduce yourself to the fans who are not familiar with you yet.
Hello, I’m a 20 years old rap/hiphop artist and I go by the name of LAKE KIM. I released three mixtapes. ‘Lake Registration’ (2012), ‘Sophomore’ (2013), and ‘BITTERSWEET’ (2016). I was in a crew ‘Paperblockz‘ for like 5 years since 2010. I had a few performances by the name of Paperblockz and LAKE KIM. However, currently I’m in a crew ‘NEON‘ which includes Damiano, Lil Cham, SQ, WooRam, CaterNine, Lil Vice, Udumo, Keemda, 149cm. I had a little break about 3 years but now I’m trying to do my best on music.
Where does your artist name come from, is there a special meaning behind it?
Well, it’s not that special. The artist name ‘LAKE KIM’ came from a TV drama called ‘Jungle Fish 2‘. I named after the main character of the drama. 2010 when I was 15 years old (Korean age), also when the drama was on TV, I used to have a chat with my best friends about the drama because we enjoyed watching it, put our lives on the drama because the drama resembles our live so much.
Additionally, I got impressed by the Jungle Fish 2 because when I watched the drama, I had a bunch of good memories such as first love and good times with my beloved people. So I named after the main character naturally under sympathy and some kind of admiration.
We are having this interview in English. How come your English is so good?
Thanks for telling me but I don’t think my English is that good to be mentioned! xD Umm … if you really want to tell me the secret, then let me tell you guys …! (joking) I think I developed my English by listening to English culture’s music. I always wondered meaning of English lyrics and out of curiosity, I searched lyrics and every time I caught with awkward words, I studied the meanings of words or expressions.
Like 4 or 5 years ago, I found out a very useful lyric translation site (explains inside facts about lyrics which include historical background or artist’s intentions) called ‘genius’ and it really helped a lot. By the way, I major in English Language & Literature.
Which track or mixtape of yours would you suggest to listeners who have never listened to your music before?
I would like to suggest all tracks! Sorry xD Out of my third mixtape ‘BITTERSWEET’ I would like to recommend 3 songs to listeners who are first with me.
02. Picture Perfect Love – I really love this kind of beat. Chill, bright track with a calm and mellow rapping. I think this track can tell you which atmosphere/genre I’m good at.
06. Disco2nite (feat. Yuldia) – I really love this track personally. Especially, I really love the verses. You will be listening to my smooth verses with funky sound.
09. Fly High (Up In The Sky) (feat. 우람) – I really love to rap on a beat which includes piano/string instruments. This track will give you impression as a closing track and as the track itself.
As far as I know you were part of the PaperBlockz Crew with Jay Moon, amongst others, what happened to it, are you still part of it?
I’m now done with Paperblockz. None of us are in Paperblockz now. We decided to break the crew by personal conflicts. Instead, Paiddy & Coldkidd & LAKE KIM (me), previous Paperblockz members, decided to make a squad called ‘XOX‘.
How did you spend the three years until the release of ‘BITTERSWEET’?
I was obsessed with the university things. As you know, in South Korea, college/university is a big matter to both parents and students. I decided to do both things – music, studying. So I was busy with my entrance exam and I concentrated on university when I was a freshman, last year 2015 (during these periods, I made few songs but released just a few of them).
How was the mixtape created? Did you decide on a concept first?
I had a little slump thing due to period of blank. It was not easy to create songs like back-in-the-days. But I knew I should break the slump thing and start over. It was really difficult when I made songs without a concrete plan such as mixtape. I decided to begin my career again first by setting a concrete goal. After setting a goal which was releasing a new mixtape, everything became clear and I took pace again.
The title “BITTERSWEET” came up with my usual thoughts in my head about life. I’ve always thought that if I should choose a word which defines my life, I think I would choose “bittersweet” to describe my life. Because sometimes life is sweet and nothing bothers, but sometimes life is bitter and anything can bother. I didn’t really have difficulty in choosing subjects because all I’ve experienced in my life became subjects of each tracks. Then after it, I wrote lyrics and I put melodies and rhymes and that’s all.
Are you already planning your next release?
Not really, I am now working on diverse work including photo/music (no fixed genre)/video. I am going to hold a performance with my crew members. Also, I’m going to release single with new producers! Maybe it can be an official album release, or it can be my 4th mixtape.
You especially wanted this interview to reach out to your international fans. Do you have a special relationship with them?
I’ve always known that there are a lot of international Khiphop fans all over the world via Twitter. I had some followers who gave me their attention and I was really glad that my music could be spread all over the world even though it is only a small movement yet.
I really got impressed by the fact that people can share their feelings when hearing music under different languages/cultures/lives. Of course I thought that my music is worth more than just staying in internal range: South Korea.
I really appreciate the attention and love I’ve got from international fans, and this time I want to repay them with my new mixtape.
Last but not least, feel free to say whatever is still on your mind!
If you’re reading this, it’s not that late. My mixtape released just about a week ago and better late than never!
It was a joke haha … I really appreciate your precious attention about me and my music!
Thanks a lot HiphopKR subscribers and whoever reading this.
I will keep making cool, warm, touching songs like I’ve always been.
So plz look forward to LAKE KIM. I won’t disappoint you.
Look forward to LAKE KIM’s upcoming activities, we will keep you updated!