Mnet’s ‘Unpretty Rapstar’ participants Tymee, Cheetah, and Lil Cham speak honestly about rapper Yoon Mi Rae in an interview with ‘The Daily Sports’.
Hip Hop is difficult.
It is a rare occurrence for people to understand the culture and sentiments 100%, and even those who do have different values. The standards for what makes a certain rap good and what makes another bad are ambiguous and most often decided by personal preferences. However, a program that calls for a ‘competition’ among rappers is gaining quite a lot of popularity. The participants of Mnet’s ‘Unpretty Rapstar’ fiercely fight, “ripping each other apart”, and have gained the attention of viewers in the midst of controversy and disputes. What is the secret behind this hot topic?
Tymee, Cheetah, and Lil Cham were asked about ‘Unpretty Rapstar’, ‘Female Rappers’, ‘Yoon Mi Rae’s Presence’, ‘Hip Hop’, and ‘Rap’.
-What is extraordinary about Yoon Mi Rae?
[Cheetah] Put simply, she is just really good. Although it’s a touchy subject, I think she seems extraordinary because there is this notion of ‘only Yoon Mi Rae’. When it was safe to say that Korea was not affiliated with hip hop, she became the ‘first generation’ female rapper. People, as if they are ‘brainwashed’, have come to set her as the standard by comparing other female rappers to her, and I think that’s a bit wrong.
-What about her skills?
[Cheetah] Fundamentally, she has a different engine. Jessi unni and Jidam have similar nuances. Of course, Jidam is still ‘a learning engine’, but I would say that Yoon Mi Rae is close to the ‘perfected engine’.
[Tymee] It’s hard to explain, but even if she only says “ah”, it’s coming from a completely different engine.
[Cheetah] Hip hop and rap has its roots in America, and I think it’s right to say that she has the elements of the ‘origin’.
-One female rapper has stated that ‘All Korean female rappers train and practice through Yoon Mi Rae’s rap’ in a previous interview.
[Tymee] When I practice, I keep Yoon Mi Rae’s rap as a reference, but I don’t treat it as a textbook. It’s because I’m afraid I’ll be exactly like her. Since she’s so unrivaled, there is the risk of simply copying her.
[Cheetah] Of course I have practiced with Yoon Mi Rae’s rap before. It’s because there was no other female rapper besides her.
[Lil Cham] I have rapped to her songs at karaoke before, but I can’t say that I practiced with her raps.
-Is Yoon Mi Rae the best female rapper in Korea?
[Lil Cham] I don’t think there is such a thing as ‘the best’. Actually, before I participated in ‘Unpretty Rapstar’ I thought that one could be called ‘the best’. However, through the program, I realized that each rapper clearly had an aspect that they were really good at. I’m saying that it’s hard to label someone as ‘the best’. For example, winning first place on ‘Show me the Money’ is not indicative of who the best rapper is. Similarily, I don’t think I can say that Yoon Mi Rae is ‘the best’.
[Tymee] It’s like this: there’s so few female rappers to begin with that I think finding ‘the best’ among them doesn’t make sense. It’s a sensitive topic, but although she is unrivaled, to say that she is ‘the best’ is a bit…
[Cheetah] The three of us respect her very much, and thank her for setting up the playing field. But I don’t want to say that ‘Yoon Mi Rae is the best’. Every rapper intrinsically believes that ‘I’m the best’. I’m like that too.
-If that’s the case, why hasn’t there been a definite line of succession after Yoon Mi Rae?
[Tymee] Honestly, I have thought that it would be nice if Yoon Mi Rae could lead her juniors. Male rappers have the concept of ‘the crew’s youngster’ and encourage him by allowing him to participate in featurings. I don’t think that process follows with Yoon Mi Rae. From her unrivaled position, I haven’t seen the willingness from her to help out other female rappers.
[Cheetah] I say this repeatedly, but I think the public’s ears have been trained to be in sync with Yoon Mi Rae; and therefore, are not prone to be open to other sounds. Especially since people think that if someone has a different style than Yoon Mi Rae, they aren’t good. Of course, it is up to us to garner the attention. I believe that since we have become the center of attention through ‘Unpretty Rapstar’, we should get acknowledged via the release of albums and open up a new field.
-When would you be confident to state that you have succeeded?
[Cheetah] If I am asked to perform overseas, I think I will say that I have succeeded.
[Lil Cham] If I’m still rapping 10 years later despite being a female, I would call that success; since it’s so rare in both overseas and Korea to have a rapper active for that long.
[Tymee] Placing first on music charts. But, it has to be a song that is filled with just my rap, not a featuring. Although that’s going to be really difficult, it is a dream.
-Tell us your future resolutions as a female rapper.
[Lil Cham] It’s a bit of a spoiler, but I plan on participating in another ‘survival of the rappers’ stage. I believe that there were things that I didn’t show during the program, so I want to focus on that.
[Cheetah] I plan on releasing my album soon and working hard, but I also want to participate as a ‘producer’ and not a ‘contestant’ on a show like ‘Unpretty Rapstar’. I think that I will continuously work hard without getting weak if I have those goals and ambitions in mind.
[Tymee] I will prepare my album with great efforts, but I also want to hold many concerts. In addition, through broadcasts and radio, I will try to get close to the public often.
–[ Source | The Daily Sports ]. [ Translations | HIPHOPKR ]