Is Ailee Korea's first female urban hip hop artist?
During a media showcase event in Seoul on Tuesday, K-pop start Ailee preformed three songs from her latest EP, A New Empire, and while on stage, boldly proclaimed herself the first Korean female urban hip hop artist.
After performing Home on stage, with top female rapper Yoom Mi-rae, Ailee said a few words to those in attendance at the media showcase event. "This album is sort of the essence of my music. They say South Korea has not seen its first female urban hip-hop artist. I thought I could become the first." As everyone listened, Ailee continued to explain herself as to why she felt compelled to transition now. "I guess I was afraid. Urban hip hop is an alien genre here, which began to draw people’s attention only lately," she said. With multiple collaborations with K-pop stars, rappers, and R&B singers completed for her new album, and more in the works, fans are sure to notice a stylistic change from Ailee's earlier work.
Wanting to be known as an artist instead of just a singer, Ailee made it a point to fully participate in the composing and songwriting process for the entire EP, exploring as many genres of music that she could. All she wants to do is create the music that she's always wanted to, without being pigeonholed into a genre she didn't feel comfortable in. "I finally got to sing the genre that I wanted so badly. The mere idea of it makes me excited and grateful."
Korea now has an urban hip hop queen — and her name is Ailee.