Rhyming Techniques and Identity in Korean Hip Hop


  • Jinny Park Indiana University




rhymes, flow, Korean rap, rhythm and meter, identity


This article examines the development of Korean rhyming techniques by musically analysing phonetic and grammatical structure in Korean rap. Due to major differences between Korean and English, Korean MCs had to redefine what constitutes “rhyme” in Korean rap, and the conflicting definitions of what it means to rhyme in Korean reflect diverse identities in the Korean hip hop community. Through my musical analyses, I present five types of Korean rhyming techniques: flexible word order, artificial stress accents or artificial pitch accents, rhythmic motives, multisyllabic internal rhymes and translingual rhymes. I close the article by suggesting that there is an inevitable hybridity in Korean hip hop and socioeconomic class struggles that persists in Korea.

Author Biography

Jinny Park, Indiana University

Jinny Park is a PhD candidate in Music Theory at Indiana University. She received a bachelor’s degree in Cello Performance at Florida State University. Her research focuses on interdisciplinary approaches to global popular music, bringing methodologies from linguistics, cultural studies, Informatics and ethnomusicology into musical analysis.


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How to Cite

Park, J. (2021). Rhyming Techniques and Identity in Korean Hip Hop. Journal of World Popular Music, 7(2), 145–167. https://doi.org/10.1558/jwpm.42671