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Live in the Present & Plan for the Future

Members of hip-hop band Dynamic Duo, Choiza, left, and Gaeko shared their thoughts on the 20th anniversary of the duo’s debut. Courtesy of Amoeba Culture

By Pyo Kyung-min

Standing out as a leading figure in the Korean hip-hop scene, Dynamic Duo — comprised of rappers Gaeko and Choiza — now celebrates its 20th year. In a recent interview marking the milestone, the two established rappers revealed that their latest studio album, “2 Kids On The Block,” serves as a tribute to their illustrious musical journey.

Originating from the hip-hop trio CB Mass, Dynamic Duo embarked on its career in 2004. The duo’s debut album, “Taxi Driver,” left an indelible mark on the Korean hip-hop landscape by diverging from the typical intense underground style.

The duo’s unique, casual demonstration of hip-hop resonated with a broader audience, contributing to hip-hop’s establishment as a cornerstone genre in the Korean music industry.

Since founding their own agency, Amoeba Culture, in 2006, the two have consistently reinforced their standing in the industry with a series of hits, including “Gone” (2008), “BAAAM” (2013) and “Guilty” (2018).

Yet, the year 2023 marked another surge in the duo’s already illustrious career.

Their 2014 hit, “AEAO,” resurfaced on global music charts, gaining popularity through TikTok videos and Instagram reels. Another track, “Smoke,” from Mnet’s reality program “Street Woman Fighter 2” also became a massive hit, propelled by choreographer Bada’s stellar performance. The latter even earned recognition on Billboard’s list of the 25 Best K-Pop Songs of 2023.

Korean Hip-Hop Band Dynamic Duo Released Their 10Th Studio Album '2 Kids On The Block' In Celebration Of Their 20Th Anniversary. Courtesy Of Amoeba Culture

Korean hip-hop band Dynamic Duo released their 10th studio album “2 Kids On The Block” in celebration of their 20th anniversary. Courtesy of Amoeba Culture

During an interview with The Korea Times at its agency headquarters in Gangnam District, southern Seoul, March 19, Gaeko and Choiza thanked their fans, saying they hadn’t anticipated the sudden resurgence in popularity.

“We simply provided the music [‘Smoke’], and I believe what contributed to the song’s popularity was its exceptional choreography … For me, it honestly feels like hitting the jackpot,” Gaeko said.

“The resurgence of ‘AEAO’ was equally surprising. It was astonishing to see a song we never anticipated gaining popularity, particularly due to the trend of short-form content. The fact that we, at our age, had to reinstall TikTok … That’s why last year feels even more special and gratifying.”

Choiza, 44, also reflected on how the sudden rise of “AEAO,” a song released a decade ago, has prompted him to adopt a new mindset toward music releases.

“I find it fascinating that past releases can hold the same value as recent ones. Nowadays, artificial intelligence recommends music that ends up on our playlists. So, I began to see old songs not as forgotten relics but rather as seeds planted by a farmer, destined to sprout someday,” Choiza said.

Dynamic Duo Enjoyed Resurging Popularity Of 'Aeao' And 'Smoke' Last Year. Courtesy Of Amoeba Culture

Dynamic Duo enjoyed resurging popularity of “AEAO” and “Smoke” last year. Courtesy of Amoeba Culture

The duo’s 10th studio album, “2 Kids On The Block,” released in three parts starting June 2023 through March 2024, sums up the entirety of Dynamic Duo’s lengthy journey while signaling their ongoing evolution in hip-hop.

“The new album contains all the joys and sorrows we’ve experienced over the past 20 years. It reflects the struggles and the process of healing we’ve faced during our activities,” Gaeko said.

Especially noteworthy is the final track and lead single of this album, “PITAPA,” an upbeat hip-hop tune expressing the excitement that awaits in the unknown future.

“While the preceding tracks may have a reflective tone, singing about past moments, the title track serves as both a grand finale to the album and a signal to a new start. It’s a futuristic song dedicated to the days that lie ahead,” Choiza said.

“The song basically encapsulates the essence of Dynamic Duo. It’s lively and allows us to connect with the audience on stage, showing our unique positive vibes,” Gaeko added.

Despite having already traversed a 20-year journey in the world of music, with both members now in their 40s, the two remain steadfast in their commitment to the solid hip-hop genre.

“As we age, I feel we gain the ability to tell stories about the same subjects differently. When we were young, for example, we could only lament breakups as purely sad, but now we’re able to see them as part of life’s overall flow. I believe that’s the charm of getting older as a rapper,” Choiza added.

“Hip-hop remains a constant genre, and as time passes, we believe there are stories that only we can tell among new rising hip-hop stars.”

Gaeko chimed in, saying, “Therefore, we prioritize our health with plans to continue doing hip-hop until we’re 65.”

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