Bay Area rapper DLabrie hopped on a plane and went to Korea this month and showed the country a little bit of indie hip-hop! Below, I asked Labrie, who's album Mr. Netw3rk (June 2010) about shows, hip-hop and korean bbq.
NB: How did you book shows in Korea?
DLabrie: In 2002 I went to Japan on a fluke with my very 1st album "Little Malcolm EP." I did a few shows and sold a lot of albums. The trip really gave me a lot of game on how it is in Asia. So the next year I got a chance to go to Korea and I did the same the thing. Although the scene is very different from Japan. I hit the spots with music and met the right people. I've been back three times since and it just keeps growing.
NB: What was the crowd like at shows?
I stayed two weeks & did seven shows mostly at bars and lounges near the college areas. There's a lot of universities out there that's where a lot of the young people hang out who are into hip-hop. My favorite area is by Hongik University because thats the 1st area I checked out with that type of flavor.
NB: What's the hip-hop scene like in Korea? Any good Korean rappers?
DLabrie: The scene is small. Hip hop is not the main thing there its still growing. The youth know about it since they have MTV and they know about alot of the big stars Black Eyed Peas, Eminem, Kanye of course. Some people know other hip hop through the internet and from cats who come to the US and bring stuff back. They show a lot of love because they wanna see the real thing in the flesh. They definately appreciate it when I come through even if I'm not famous as Jay Z to them it don't matter. They still see rap as something amazing, they have graphitti, alot of breakers, dj's but they also dont know all the politics and negative aspects that we debate and talk shit about out here all day.
NB: Did you eat any Korean food? If so, what?
DLabrie: Hell yeah! They got the illest freshest seafood. I had Live Octopus still sqirmin down my throat. Thet got markets where they sell u everythang Live straight out the tank and straight to the cooker- sea urchan , clams, every kind of fish, prawns, crab and much wierder shit than that some I liked some I didn't. The food is very intimidating but its very good you just gotta give it a chance. They eat alot of soups, vegatables, with spicy sauces and eating meals there is family style it's not like this is mine this is yours. You all eat together. They got a lot of spots where they let you put your own food in the cooker right in front of you and you make your own soup, they also give you food in bowl that's still boilin hot while you stir it.