Simba Zawadi releases diss track ‘불꽃’ directed at Owen Ovadoz

In Free Music, Music Release, News by Lena3 Comments

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Two days ago, rapper Simba Zawadi released the track ‘불꽃’ (lit.: flame/s) via SoundCloud which seems to be a diss track about Owen Ovadoz.

Simba Zawadi was born 1992 and hails from North Jeolla Province. (For more info, read his interview with ROKHIPHOP’S SCV from 2015.)
He is a member of the crew Awaken Tongues alongside Canhaz, OHIORABBIT, 89kid, Hertz, and OaKTong. Simba released his debut album ‘용기 (Courage)‘ in 2015 and has so far worked with the likes of BewhY, DJ Kendrickx, Debi, Donutman, and Asol.
You possibly saw him in seasons five and six of Show Me The Money. In season 6 he lost against Junoflow. Last year, Simba and Ambition Musik’s Keem Hyo-eun (at the time known as Kenny Raw) released ‘The Late Night Mixtape‘ together.
Simba Zawadi has been involved in several dissing incidents: last year he dissed Hi-Lite Records and the other time he was the one getting dissed by Khundi Panda (who, by the way, also dissed Owen Ovadoz). Khundi and Simba are good friends now though.

Funnily, Simba Zawadi’s debut album also featured Owen Ovadoz, who he now decided to diss. In ‘불꽃‘ (lit.: flame/s), Simba spits:

“Where on earth did you hide your love for the US
when you wrote lyrics imitating TakeOne?”

These two lines refer to the “Come Back Home” incident from 2015. It was started by TakeOne who, due to something Keith Ape said in an interview, felt the need to defend Korean hiphop. Simba Zawadi and other rappers, e.g. Suda, released tracks on the same beat. Owen Ovadoz was among them too and took a stance similar to that of TakeOne.

“My hiphop isn’t P.O.E.M nor Problematic
Our hiphop is Yanghwa and The Anecdote

Here, Simba mentions two of Owen’s albums which makes it very clear that the disses are directed at Owen and nobody else. He also mentions two very important albums of Korean hiphop, respectively by Deepflow and E SENS.

“We’re not set on catching up with the US-American culture
If you got this wrong, then leave and take your whole team with you

When you were Koreans living in the US
Korean hiphop made you feel proud
However it’s different now, because you have become US-Americans in South Korea
and look down on us as if you were something better.”

Simba Zawadi makes his problem with Owen very clear in the lines above. The root of this whole issue lies in the question what Korean hiphop is, in what way it is different from the “original,” if it’s just an imitation, and so on. In other words, this is once again the whole issue TakeOne already tackled two years ago.

Korean fans reacted with mixed feelings, but all of them agreed that Owen is probably not going to respond to the track, that he is going to be better off not responding, even. “No matter what he does now, it won’t help his cause.” Given the recent issues surrounding Owen, some argued that Simba Zawadi attacked a man who was already lying on the ground.
Meanwhile, many listeners praised the quality of Simba Zawadi’s rap, especially his clear pronunciation and delivery. The beat produced by Verbal Jint in 2008 received attention as well:

“First of all, the beat is dope.”
“I only heard facts.”
“I’m a fan of Owen but this is so liberating.”


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  1. Pingback: Don Malik disses Xitsuh, P-type, VMC, and more on 'old Wave'

  2. Simba Got N.Y Rappers Flow. its dope
    style like Prodigy or nas I Guess

  3. “appropriation” “imitation” vs. “integration” “fusion” vs. “original” “unique”
    What can be classified as Korean hip-hop? Why can’t it be recognized as an individual genre? (e.g. Google keeps listing like every Korean music genre/artist as “k-pop”…???) The nature of korean hip-hop is something I think about too.

    It frustrates me when artists who have a good thing going on have their success measured by recognition in America. Justifying this by saying it’s because: a) to be global stars = to be an American star; or b) America has better opportunities and resources for aritsts is problematic. There may be some statistical truth to back this up but the issue here is that it reinforces a “West is best” mentality — that success in Asia is subpar/not enough; that America and the Western world have the authority to decide who is/is not successful. It makes me sad to see artists who “mimic” or “sell out” beause they fall into this.

    This discussion is something I find very interesting. Being a fan of international music really inspired me to pursue anthropological/cultural studies in university. I do find it difficult to actually debate and explore this topic with others because netizens are quick to judge and defend :/

    there’s a documentary about soul music’s arrival and integration into Korean music called “Seoul Music” with Gallant and Lee Hi (I haven’t watched it yet but it looks very interesting and I will soon !)
    maybe it will be relevant to understanding this more hmm

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