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Seo Taiji & Boys

Seo Taiji & Boys. L to R: Yang Hyun Suk, Seo Taiji and Lee Juno.

Seo Taiji & Boys (서태지와 아이들) was a popular and influential Korean pop group throughout the 1990s.



After leaving Sinawe in 1991, Seo Taiji switched gears and formed the dance group Seo Taiji & Boys with dancers Lee Juno and Yang Hyun Suk. With the release of their first album, the group ushered in a shift in Korean popular music that is still felt today. Their first single, "Nan Arayo" was a hugely successful hit, and was one of the first songs in Korea to combine dance sounds with rap lyrics. In November 1992, after the success of their debut single, the group refused to appear on television, which at the time was radically different behavior for an up and coming new group. Instead, they began working on their second album in privacy.

The group's sound was constantly evolving. While their first album was very dance-oriented, their follow-up album contained more hard rock and heavy metal influences while still retaining some dance sounds. The first single from their second album, "Hayeoga", combined heavy metal riffs with the sounds of a taepyeongso (a traditional Korean wind instrument).

On their third album, Seo Taiji & Boys switched gears once again, and adopted an almost purely heavy metal or rock sounding group, with the pop songs being almost non-existent. Instead, songs like the extremely controversial, "Gyoshil Idea", with almost death metal-like grunting provided by Ahn Heung Chan of the Korean heavy metal group Crash, took center stage. The song, which was extremely critical of the Korean education system, caused a great deal of controversy. The group was accused of, among other things, back-masking Satanic messages in their songs.

The controversy did not deter the group from pressing on. With the release of their fourth album, the group experimented with gangsta rap on songs like "Come Back Home". Once again, the group faced criticism. This time, their song "Sidaeyugam" was nearly banned by the Korean Performance Ethics Committee, for having lyrics that they considered to be inappropriate for young listeners.

On January 19, 1996 the group held their final concert, and several weeks later on January 31, 1996, the group announced that it was disbanding.


The group's sound influenced the musical landscape in Korea, and they are often credited with if not creating hip-hop and rock in Korea, at least with creating mainstream appreciation for those genres. After Seo Taiji & Boys disbanded, Seo Taiji continued releasing albums as a solo artist, and also has worked as a producer for Korean rock groups including Nell and PIA. Yang Hyun Suk founded YG Entertainment, a prominent hip-hop focused label in South Korea.



Other Albums


  • [1996.06.07] Sidaeyugam (시대유감(時代遺憾))