In the last decade, we've been witnesses to the meteoric rise of Asian hip-hop and at the forefront of it all is AOMG. Rooted in resilient hard work and artistic freedom, the Korean record label is home to the biggest artists in Asian music today and for the last seven years, they've been revolutionising the region's urban music scene.
Founded by world-renowned artist Jay Park, AOMG was established in 2013. Originating from the rapper's Seattle-based b-boy crew Art Of Movement (AOM), the label's name stands for "Above Ordinary Music Group.
Throughout the years, the label has undoubtedly been living up to their name. Armed with a laidback approach to music and a philosophy grounded on creative freedom and family, AOMG has built a breathing ground for some of the most unique and recognisable artists in the region. The label currently houses 19 artists – including a UFC fighter – that ranges from hard hip-hop to captivating R&B.
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From renowned producers like CODE KUNST and Cha Cha Malone to former K-pop idols like LEE HI and Yugyeom, get to know the artists that make up AOMG below.
A quintessential figure in Korean hip-hop, Jay Park or Park Jaeboum is usually the first artist you encounter when entering this special music subculture. Recognised for smooth vocals, hard-hitting rap, and incredible sense of musicality, the singer-rapper is well-known for his tracks 'MOMMAE', 'Solo', 'All The Way Up', 'Me Like Yuh', and many more.
The former K-pop idol started his solo career in hip-hop and R&B in 2010 and eventually founded AOMG three years later. Determined to spotlight Korean urban music, the 'All I Wanna Do' act also founded the award-winning hip-hop label, H1GHR MUSIC in 2017 which sees acts like pH-1, Sik-K, JAY B, and many more. That same year, the rapper also became Roc Nation's first-ever Asian artist.
Before Simon Dominic made his official debut, the rapper was already a prominent name in Korea's underground hip-hop scene. In 2009, he made his debut as part of the hip-hop duo Supreme Team which broke into the mainstream and even won Best Male Group at the Mnet Asian Music Awards that same year.
The 'make her dance' act eventually became AOMG's co-CEO in 2014 before stepping down two years later, wanting to focus on his music and artistry. Simon Dominic's musical journey has been an impressive one – across a decade, the artist has grown from an aspiring rapper to one of today's biggest hip-hop acts.
DJ Pumkin wears a lot of hats; not only is he is a highly regarded producer for artists both in and out of AOMG, but he is also the label's co-CEO. Having been with the label since the very beginning, the producer and DJ has held many roles through the years (from director to vice president to eventually, co-CEO) and has been a pivotal pillar in the label's immense success.
On the musical side, DJ Pumpkin has also had a hand in producing some of Korean hip-hop's biggest songs. In the past, he's worked with the likes Epik High, Dynamic Duo, Dok2, The Quiett, and many more.
GRAY's iconic producer tag – a faint whisper of his name – always kickstart what you know will be a great song. Considered to be one of Korea's most sought-out producers, GRAY is credited for some of the country's biggest hits, both in and out of the hip-hop scene. This includes tracks like TIFFANY and Simon Dominic's 'Heartbreak Hotel', BeWhy's 'My Star', Zion.T and Crush's 'Two Melodies', and many more.
An all-around musician, GRAY's career as a singer and rapper is also as impressive. Characterised by his melodious vocals and upbeat rap style, the 'TMI' act is a versatile as they get. Some of GRAY's most notable tracks include 'Drive', 'Just Like The Rain', and 'Moon Love'.
Loco first gained attention after winning the first-ever season of the Korean rap competition show, Show Me The Money in 2012. From there, the rapper has risen through the ranks of the hip-hop scene and is now one of the most highly regarded artists in Korea.
Loco is acclaimed for his unique flow and refreshing take on urban music both by listeners and artists alike. Creative and ever-evolving, the rapper's music is immensely diverse with songs ranging from emotional, stripped-down singles to energetic party anthems.
Cha Cha Malone
Hearing Cha Cha Malone's producer tag, "I need a Cha Cha beat boy" at the start of any song never fails to instigate a sense of excitement and thrill for what you're about to listen to. Alongside GRAY, the producer is one of the founding members of AOMG.
Cha Cha Malone, who is also known as Chase Vincent Malone, is one of Korea's top producers and has worked with the likes of Red Velvet, EXO's Kai and Baekhyun, NU'EST, Hyolyn, Henry Lau, and many more. The Filipino-American act has also released a handful of tracks on his own, including his 2020 single 'All Eyes On Me'.
The Korean R&B scene is brimming with immense talent but no one seems to compare to Hoody. Loved for her charming, melodious vocals and soft, soothing sound, the singer-songwriter is an all-around musician that's known to be involved in all aspects of her music – from songwriting to producing.
Before even joining AOMG, Hoody was a well-known name in Korea's underground music scene. She began her career as part of the hip-hop crew Amourette. The 'Like You' act eventually signed to the hip-hop label in 2015, becoming the label's first (and for a while, only) female artist. She is most known for her tracks 'Adios', 'HANGGANG', and 'Sunshine'.
Korea's rap scene is dominated by big names but Ugly Duck never fails to steal the scene. With clever lyrics, captivating flows, and unique beats, the rapper's music definitely stands out amongst the crowd.
Ugly Duck – whose real name is Sun Ju-kyung – joined AOMG in 2015 and dropped his aptly named EP, Scene Stealers featuring Jay Park the following year. Since then, the 'PUT'EM UP' act has released a myriad of well-received singles and even collaborated with top acts all across the world including Samuel Seo and Far East Movement.
Charming, memorable, and incredibly talented, sogumm makes the type of music you can't seem to get out of your head. Throughout her catalogue of sonically diverse tracks, the singer relays honest stories of life and love elegantly encased in a blend of soul, lo-fi, and electro-pop.
sogumm's musical journey started on SoundCloud, where she cultivated a community of listeners and even captured the attention of established acts leading her to join Balming Tiger, an alternative K-pop artist collective. The 'yayou hoi' became AOMG's second female artist in 2019 after winning the label's hip-hop competition show, Signhere.
Rising through the ranks of Korean R&B is ELO, who is recognised for his euphonic vocals and sophisticated musical style. Alongside Hoody, Loco, and Ugly Duck, the singer is one of the second wave of artists to join AOMG in 2015.
In his expansive catalogue of releases and collaborations, ELO boasts a wide musical range that encompasses sultry love songs, upbeat summer tracks, and everything in between. The 'Parachute' act first made his debut in 2016 with his EP Femmes, and has since collaborated with many of Korea's biggest acts like ZICO, PENOMECO, Dynamic Duo, and more.
If there's anyone at the forefront of Korean urban music, it's CODE KUNST. The producer – whose real name is Jung Sungwoo – has always been a respected figure in the world of music. Even as an independent artist in the early 2010s, CODE KUNST boasted an impeccable sense of artistry that, till this day, remain unmatched.
Whether it's his intricate approach to producing or unique creative vision, the NOVEL hitmaker's music is captivating and entrancing, the type you'd never forget. Throughout his career, CODE KUNST has released a hefty arsenal of tracks, many of which feature the biggest names in Korean music. Almost like a rite of passage in the local music scene, there isn't anyone who is anyone that the MUGGLES' MANSON act hasn't worked with.
With a stage presence so engrossing and a sound so inviting, Woo has become of Korea's most celebrated young hip-hop acts. The rapper first garnered attention after finishing 3rd on the rap competition show, Show Me The Money in 2017. He made his official debut later that year with his single 'We Are' featuring GRAY and Loco that reigned all mainstream music charts across the country.
Proving to be a powerful musical force right from the start of his career, Woo has continued to reach astronomical heights with his distinctive brand of rap coupled with his ability to relay intimate and personal stories of hardship, pain, and misery.
punchnello is the type of artist that definitely lets his music do the talking. Through rap and hip-hop, the rapper weaves an intricate roadmap through his innermost emotions, experiences and thoughts, leaving everything he has to say in his songs.
The 'Absinthe' act was a familiar figure in Korea's underground hip-hop scene. Well respected by listeners and rappers alike, punchnello released several successful mixtapes as an independent artist which led to his much-anticipated appearance in the rap competition show, Show Me The Money. The rapper ended up winning 8th season of the show and joined AOMG that same year.
Innately musical and creative, DJ Wegun is one of the most sought DJs in Korea. Having been a part of the music scene for over a decade, the producer and DJ has had a hand in producing some of the best music in Korean hip-hop. In the past, he's worked with an array of his fellow AOMG artists, as well as the likes of The Quiett, Loptimist, Deepflow, Paloalto, and many more.
Alongside AOMG, Wegun is also part the BACKnFORTH crew, the country's most distinguished DJ collective, alongside DJ Pumpkin. The 'Teach Me' act has also released two albums – Band Wegun and School For Dummies – throughout his career that featured a star-studded lineup of featured acts.
Lee Hi is one of the newest artists under AOMG, having joined the label in July 2020. Known to have one of the most captivating voices in the whole Korean music scene, the singer-songwriter made her debut in 2012 under YG Entertainment after finishing as the first runner-up of the reality competition show, K-pop Star.
In an almost a decade-long career, the 'BREATHE' act has solidified herself as a force in the music scene with her soulful and expansive musical range. As her first release under the hip-hop label, the singer dropped 'HOLO' and 'For You', both of which amassed million of streams upon release.
An internationally loved singer and dancer, Yugyeom is one of the most diverse musical acts in Korea. Before joining AOMG in February 2021, the 23-year-old debuted as part of GOT7 in 2014. During his time as part of the idol group, Yugyeom made a name for himself with his mesmerising dance skills and melodious vocals.
Most recently, the singer dropped his first-ever solo EP, Point Of View: U where he showcased a new side of himself as a performer. The record also saw collaborations with his fellow AOMG acts Jay Park, DeVita, GRAY, and punchnello.
DeVita is one of Korea's newest R&B artists, but she boasts a skillset and sound that goes way beyond her years. The Korea-American made her AOMG debut in April 2020 with the release of her artistically powerful EP, EVITA!.
Across two languages, the '1974 Live' act dives deep into her innermost thoughts and emotions in an enthralling display of R&B, jazz, and soul. The record serves as only the beginning of what DeVita has to offer, promising more sonically rich music that sees a new, refined twist to urban music.
Alongside DeVita, Lee Hi, and Yugyeom, GooseBumps also comes as one of the latest wave of artists under AOMG. Living up to his name, the producer and DJ is known for his distinctive and eclectic hip-hop beats that send chills down your spine.
A respected and highly regarded artist in the music scene, GooseBumps has previously produced the entirety of Simon Dominic's No Open Flames, and SiK-K's Officially OG, and even worked with the likes of June One and ZICO. As one of AOMG's producers and DJ, the 'Somewhere' plans to unveil a vivid soundscape that ranges from hard hip-hop to mellow r&B.
Chan Sung Jung, or more popularly known as The Korean Zombie, is undoubtedly the most unique artist under AOMG – mainly because he's a MMA fighter. Currently the only non-musical act under the hip-hop label, the world-renowned kickboxer has gone up against some of the world's best fighters and currently ranks 4th in UFC featherweight rankings.
AOMG will be hosting their first-ever online concert, Above Ordinary 2021 this August. Yugeyom, LEE HI, Simon Dominic, GRAY and more are slated to perform.