On the 3rd, the Korean rapper MC Mong made a remarkable comeback with his latest album “Miss Me Or Diss Me”. After 5 years of preparation and seclusion from public gaze for the past 5 years, the rap artist killed all of Korea’s major charts and became the highest grossing album in his career. However, MC Mong is still under a great deal of controversy with his experiences before he left Korea for his 5-year disappearance to the United States.
Though consumers of popular music and MC Mong’s fans have expressed that the latest album is probably the best in the artist’s career, many critics however showed very mixed responses. One the one hand, many stated that the 13 songs in the album were not only artistic but very unique in that they all reflected the rap artist’s own style. They even pointed to the other singers that were featured in the songs including Minha of “Girls’ Day”, Hyorin of “Sistar”, Gary of “Lissang”. They were not surprised that the album made it to the top of so many charts.
On the other hand, another group of critics and fans have expressed some problems not necessarily with the music but the messages that lie behind the individual songs. 5 years ago, MC Mong was convicted of illegally avoiding mandatory military service even though he was a Korean citizen. It was reported that he had deliberately removed one of his teeth to be exempt from the draft. Some have expressed outrage that MC Mong, now 35, had planned to make his comeback right when he had reached the age where one was no longer eligible for military service by Korean law.
The songs that he released in “Miss Me Or Diss ME”, according to some critics, seemed to reflect no change in attitude regarding his past actions. The songs were mainly about pain of the individual or resentment towards society. Such songs included tracks like “Can’t See Others Do Better” or “Hide All Who Spread Runors”, giving off a notion that he is telling the world that he had not done anything wrong.
In terms of music however, many music critics expressed that the best way to express the finished product was simply “smart”. Music that features rap with vocal featuring was the kind of music that is currently selling the most in Korea, and MC Mong is known to make good music from that genre.
MC Mong began his rap artist crew in 1998 as a member of a hip hop group called “People Crew” but he did not receive any public attention until 2004 when he began his solo career with “180 Degrees”. He began to gain a great deal of popularity with his third album The Way I Am, and so far has released a great deal of successful upbeat songs including “Circus”, “Horror Show”, “Bubble Love”, and “Love you ‘Til Death”.