12. Seo Taiji Syndrome: Rise of Korean Youth and Cultural Transformation through Global Pop Music Styles in the early 1990s

EUN-YOUNG JUNG


1. Seo Taiji and Boys, “Nan arayo” (I Know, 1992)

From: Seo Taiji ’N Boys, Bando Records, BDCD-014, 1992, CD.

Sŏ T’aeji: vocal, rap; Yang Hyŏnsŏk: vocal, rap; Yi Juno: vocal, rap.

Lyrics

Discogs

Seo Taiji and Boys perform their debut song “Nan arayo” for a popular weekly music-variety TV show Sunday Night in 1992. Considered by many to be the first Korean rap song, “Nan arayo” topped major music charts within a few weeks of its debut, and the trio became an instant cultural sensation.


2. Seo Taiji and Boys, “Kyosil Idea” (Classroom Ideology, 1994)

From: SEO TAIJI AND BOYS III, Bando Records, BDCD-023, 1994, CD.

Sŏ T’aeji: vocal, rap; Yang Hyŏnsŏk: vocal, rap; Yi Juno: vocal, rap.

Lyrics

Discogs

1995 live concert footage included in Seo Taiji and Boys’ “Goodbye Music Video: [The &]” released in 1996. This video includes a DJ and Seo Taiji working on sound editing at a studio in the beginning. An extended version of the song begins with the guest singer An Hŭng-ch’an, accompanied by his metal band, Crash.


3. Seo Taiji and Boys, “Come Back Home” (1995)

From: SEO TAIJI & BOYS IV, Bando Records, BDCD-028, 1995, CD.

Sŏ T’aeji: vocal, rap; Yang Hyŏnsŏk: vocal, rap; Yi Juno: vocal, rap.

Lyrics

Discogs

The official music video draws on American gangster rap conventions by using a setting in an abandoned building and on inner city street corners. It begins as a male teenager runs out of a house after arguing with his father. The teenager wanders the woods, a large backyard, and street corners of the inner city, all juxtaposed with Seo Taiji and Boys along with dancers performing in the abandoned building dressed in typical hip-hop attire.