Dynamic Duo Reflect on 14 Years in K-Pop: Exclusive Q&A
Dynamic Duo brought their spitfire flows and head-bopping beats to KCON 2013 in Los Angeles, where the pair caught up with Billboard.
Hip-hop heavyweights Dynamic Duo -- composed of members Gaeko and Choiza -- have made an immense impact in the hip-hop world throughout their 14-year career, with albums filled with real-life stories over catchy productions. Their sharp rap skills, as well as gifted wordplay, have secured hardcore fans and critical love, making them one of the most prominent rap groups in Korea.
Already having a successful year with their latest release, "LUCKYNUMBERS," they brought their spitfire flow and head-bopping beats to KCON 2013 in Los Angeles, where Billboard sat down with them for an interview. Despite a highly controversial feud with their former labelmate E-Sens (E-Sens released a diss track "You Can’t Control Me" targeting Dynamic Duo, and Gaeko responded with "I Can Control You"), Gaeko and Choiza seemed relaxed and high-spirited as they discussed their thoughts on the growth of K-pop, their hit single "BAAAM," and more.
What does it mean to you that a convention dedicated to all things K-pop is taking place here in L.A.?
Gaeko: We are really excited to have been invited to participate in a large K-pop convention.
Choiza: The vibe in L.A. is great. We try to come back to the States as much as we can by holding concerts here at least one or twice a year. We came here as if we're on a vacation. We just want to have a good time with our fans out here in L.A.
Your careers span over a decade, how did you decide what to perform on the L.A. taping of "M COUNTDOWN"?
First of all, we chose our single "BAAAM," off our latest album, as the song fits the vibe as well as the weather in L.A. We tried to put together a selection of upbeat, feel-good tracks in hopes to hype up the crowd. We focused on tracks that are good for big concert performances.
Speaking of "BAAAM," the single was a huge commercial success. How do you guys feel about that?
Choiza: It's awesome. We’ve been doing music for about 14 years now and we’ve never had a No.1 on any Korean TV music programs until "BAAAM." There’s a total of five music shows in Korea and we took No. 1 in four ["M COUNTDOWN," "Music Bank," "Music Core," "Show Champion"]. The sudden amount of attention we have been getting is overwhelming, but we are definitely enjoying it.
Your latest collaboration with Bumkey, "Attraction," is doing well on the charts (at No. 11 on the K-Pop Hot 100 after peaking at No. 3). How was it working with Bumkey this time around?
We’ve worked with Bumkey since the day we debuted. We really wanted to help him out because for years he didn't have a hit single yet -- although his music as well as vocal abilities were critically lauded. We are really happy that the song turned out great.
What changes have you seen in Korean music from 14 years ago?
Gaeko: When we first debuted, we didn't have opportunities to perform in the States. We are here today because of all the efforts that K-pop artists have made throughout the years.
Choiza: When we did come to the States to perform a couple years back -- we saw a lot of American-Koreans in the audience. But now we see a lot of other nationalities supporting our music. That's when we realize how big K-pop has become.
Additional reporting by Jeff Benjamin.