- Birth Name: 홍시영 (Hong Siyoung)
- Birth Date: 24/01/1991
- Status: Producer, Rapper, Composer, Founder of the streetwear brand I4P
- Genres: HipHop, Ballade, Dance, Electro, Pop
- Collectives : Do’main (at least from 2011 – ), Buckwilds (2013 – ?), WYBH (2016 -)
- Labels: Just Music (2011/2012 – | Currently vice-President), Wedaplugg Records (2018 – | CEO – formerly co-CEO with Swings)
Artist’s Social Network
Giriboy, born Hong Siyoung, is a producer, rapper, and South Korean compositor. He officially debuted in November 2011 with the single You Look So Good To Me in which he is accompanied by Swings, founder of the label Just Music that Giriboy joined at that time. Giriboy is currently the label vice-president. Since 2018, he has also been co-CEO of WEDAPLUGG Records. Swings just left the co-management of the label though.
He is/was a member of the crews Do’main and Buckwilds and founded the collective WYBH in 2016.
Thanks to his hard work he has been rewarded with the Producer of The Year title in 2019 and 2020 at the Korean HipHop Awards.
In 2018, he also broaden his horizons to fashion by launching the streetwear brand I4P.
Hong Siyoung was born on January 24th, 1991. If we don’t know much about his childhood, it seems that he always had a taste for music and creation. Early on he took a liking for drawing and painting and was even envisioning to become a cartoonist one day. Concurrently, the young schoolboy was dreaming to be an Idol by admiring the Boyband Shinhwa. At some point he started to prepare for it, however, quickly he realized that the restriction coming with the Idol life was not for him and finally, with time, Hong Siyoung understood that he was above all interested in creating from nothing. And therefore, as he was in high school, more precisely in his first year, he saw videos of people rapping and thought that he should try as well.
Hence, that same high school year he started to rap, first on beats from other producers and then on his own productions.
Through the Internet, sometime later he came to become friends with four other rappers and together they founded the crew Do’main. They rapidly started to meet in person and to perform as amateurs. Little by little artists who were hanging out with them joined the crew as well. So in the end the crew was made of Giriboy, Lil Boi, and Louie members of the hip-hop duo Geeks, Andup, Zico, Ugly Duck, Hanhae, Gganmo, and TakeOne.
In 2013, they merged with the crew Buckwilds founded by Jtong which was also made up of Kkalchang, JV, Checkany, Jei.O, J Sin, Gehrith Isle, Olltii, Fana, Hwaro, Chekanny, Duplex G, DJ Dopsh, DJ Eager, Wonhyuk, Ddolbae, and Psycoban.
The goal behind these two crews was never to result in joined albums or other projects along the way though. Yes, there have been collaborations among the artists of the crews, but the watchword was really to enjoy themselves.
They had a significant influence on Giriboy’s career nonetheless. Among other things, to hear Block B, the boyband ZICO was part of; or GEEK’s songs on the radio, so members of his crew while he was still struggling with his musical career and had no other choices than juggling part-time jobs gave him a new rush of motivation.
But more than that, Do’main played a decisive role in his career because it’s none other than Ugly Duck who talked about Giriboy to Swings, at the time CEO of Just Music. Consequently, Giriboy has been able to get in touch with Swings and arrange an appointment with him.
On the very day of their meeting, Swings offered Giriboy to join his label. However, Giriboy didn’t accept immediately.
If there are South-Korean rappers that Giriboy always especially admired, it is indeed Verbal Jint and Swings. Swings is even the first rapper to ever give him an autograph. But against all odds, while he could have directly said yes, Giriboy preferred to ask for some time to reflect. After a while, he realized that Swings might go back on his offer. That day he decided not to go to his job to attend Swings’ concert and confirmed his will to join Just Music.
It is also worth noting that at the time, Lil Boi was pushing Giriboy to join Grandline, one of the labels he is part of. Knowing that Giriboy was in contact with Swings, Lil Boi would even have tried to bribe Giriboy by buying him a meal and a cigarette packet. Sadly for him, Giriboy already made his mind.
Therefore, in November 2011, Hong Siyoung’s career took a new turn with the single You Look So Good to Me which has also been adapted in an MV available a little less than one month after and released with Just Music. It’s with this track he composed when he was in his third year of high school that Hong Siyoung officially started to be known as Giriboy.
In an interview for EBS Space Korea, Giriboy explained that there was initially no real meaning behind his stage name, it just came to his mind like that. But with time, he thought that it would be nice to give meaning to this name, and, from an interview, he gave to HIPHOP PLAYA ; in Hangeul, 기리 보이 would phonetically sound like an expression which can be translated by ‘to see the way’.
The name Giriboy means “to see the way” ((in Korean 길이 보이 [giri boi])), [implying] that no matter what I do, the things in front of me are bright and promising. If I do anything else than music, for example painting, I want to use this name.
Given this motivation to succeed, the artist didn’t stop there and kept on releasing projects.
2012: Fatal Album I & II
In January 2012, with Lil Boi from the HipHop duo Geeks they released the MV Let’s have a drink. Giriboy would have liked to release a five or six-tracks album with him, but the project sadly never happened, and this is finally Grandline CEO who pushed the two artists to release this song in particular.
Then in March the single It Shows On Your Face featured by Ugly Duck, followed in June by the singular Fatal Album, his very first EP made of six tracks. Singular due to the richness of influences one can find in it. There are pop, rock but also electronic and quite experimental influences. Just like Giriboy, from the very beginning, the artist’s music has been standing out for its uniqueness.
There are collaborations with Beenzino, Swings, Gganmo, Zico, Pyschoban as well as Choi Danbi and Lim Sung Hyun. Choi Danbi is usually not a singer, but since she was playing the piano for Blaze Up/My Body is on Fire, Giriboy asked her to sing for this track. As for Lim Sung Hyun, she was none other than Giriboy’s vocal coach assigned by Swings, at least at that time. She would also have made an appearance in the show Superstar K.
Fatal Album could have also been entitled Good Album or Electrically Shocked Album if there would have been more electronic sonorities. In any case, he wanted to keep this « —– Album » pattern and ended up keeping « Fatal » because he liked the term itself.
Fatal Album is mainly about romantic relationships. Giriboy started to work on it when he was in high school and during the time, he liked romantic movies.
The title track, Planned Girl or Calculating Woman depending on the translation from Korean, is for instance the occasion for the character to give a piece of his mind to a woman who has been using him.
He asked Zico to appear on this track because of his allegedly kind of a bad guy and scary image thinking that it would match well.
In another register, Not A chance, or Not Anymore can remind of love, dreams… depending on the listener’s thought while listening to it.
In an interview for HipHop Playa, Giriboy revealed that he has been quite inspired by English rock for this track and he would have granted specific attention to the lyrics so that they could appeal to a large public, even elderly people.
In this same interview, he also talked about the track You Don’t Look Good to Me which mirrors his debut song You Look Good to Me. He justified this choice by explaining that he composed the first one with in mind to present it to the entrance examination for university. And therefore, it’s a song he treasures a lot and thought it would be nice to reinterpret it.
Initially, he went to Psycoban to do a slow jam version of You Look Good to Me, kind of an RnB version of the track. And finally, with a little bit of time and reflection, they came up with a new interpretation of the track. Giriboy added in the interview that this new track has been quite inspired by the atmosphere of James Blake’s productions.
A few months later, in November, Swings released a cover for Blaze Up or My Body Is Burning, renamed My Body Is Burning. Rated R Version. However, still in this interview for HipHop Playa, Giriboy confided that he didn’t like this version because the atmosphere was too sensual. For him, the charm of that song is that it has erotic lyrics but its atmosphere isn’t erotic. As a consequence, this remix isn’t in tune with the idea Giriboy had when he composed this song.
To conclude this year, Giriboy released a second EP, Fatal Album II made of twelve tracks including six which were already on the previous EP. When he made Fatal Album the artist didn’t envision giving it a sequel. But one day, as he was playing video games, he realized that lots of games had sequels, like Diablo or Starcraft, and therefore he thought that it would be funny to follow the same model for his album. It’s how Fatal Album II came true.
Fatal Album II is hence in keeping with Fatal Album I theme and is made of collaborations with Ugly Duck, Crucial Star, Brother Su, Lovey, Black Nut but also Crucial Star for Different Look (or Different) which is none other than the title track.
This track had been adapted in an MV in August 2015 by the way.
Among the six new tracks of the album, there are also two remixes, Written on your face/It’s Written All over your face Tree Version and Tik Tok/Time Waits For Me Fallen Leaves Version. Why such singular titles?
In the interview for HipHop Playa, he justified this choice by explaining that it’s simply because he rearranged the tracks in a way they would convey a feeling of trees and fallen leaves and thus named them that way. He also thought about « Acoustic Version » for the Tree version but that was too ordinary.
2013: A quieter year for Giriboy
2013 broke with the pace the artist could have had the previous year since he released only two projects, singles to be exact, both featured by Swings. In November he released Skit and one month later Wake Up.
Giriboy was also present on Swings #1 Mixtape, Vol. 11 from the rapper Swings for the track 앙아지 also featured by Black Nut.
2014: Sensual Album, Just Music & Show Me The Money 3
Giriboy started 2014 in January with Sensual Album, a project made of nine tracks including Skit and Wake Up we already knew but also collaborations with Take One, Swings, and Lovey. One day before the album release, he unveiled the MV for Camp featured by Swings. While the MV for Special has only been released six days after the album release, that is to say on January 26th.
In April, followed the single Why do you live like this.
From that moment, the artist took a break from his personal projects, except for Special released in August, and this until October. This can surely be explained by his participation to Show Me The Money season 3. Show Me The Money is none other than a TV show in which rappers can show their skills through different types of challenges. From a certain moment in the show, producers’ teams are selecting contestants they think they can lead to victory. Therefore, Giriboy chose to join the team led by YDG and manage to reach round seven, that is to say, the first round of finals. He lost against C JAMM, his label mate from Just Music.
If the rapper didn’t manage to win, the show still enabled him to benefit from a significant increase in recognition.
Giriboy wasn’t the typical contestant you expect to see on Show Me The Money, especially not on the first seasons of the show, which were maybe more aggressive than what we have been used to in the recent ones.
“I’m not a fighter, I’m not aggressive, so I thought about it a lot if I should be on that show,” he says, looking back on SMTM3
The Korean rapper talking #feelings & leaving hip hop behind – Dazed – June 2016
However, with Show Me The Money and the resulting growth in recognition, the artist had to face quite a moral problem. Or at least, that’s what he explained in an interview for STARAZ in 2015.
“It’s nice that I became famous and earned more but as I earn more, there are also problems that arose. Before this, I made music in a fun way, and I thought to myself that even if the public doesn’t like my songs there’s nothing I can do about it. But now while working on my music, if I think the public might not like this, I will change it. I look at the lyrics one by one and see if there’s any expressions that are a little dangerous and I’ll change it moderately. Actually, in art there’s no such thing as a dangerous expression. But to win the hearts of the public, I tend to consider on the expression in the lyrics. But as I do this, I feel like I’m losing the ‘me’ who did music innocently. I hate being influenced by other people. I didn’t have thoughts like this when I do music last time, but now I think I lost my innocent intentions on doing music. As I earn more and more money, problems like this tend to arise.”
To conclude this year, in terms of personal projects, he released Edited by Devil, a single.
2014 has also been a rich year for Giriboy when it comes to collaborations though. Especially collaborations among members of Just Music.
In February, he is for instance present in two tracks released by the label. Rain Shower with also Swings and C-JAMM, and Hongkiyoung#2 with again Swings but also Genius Nochang.
The following month, Swings, Giriboy, C JAMM, and Bill Stax (Vasco at the time) worked together for the track I’m going.
In June, the four artists, as well as Genius Nochang unveiled the song Just.
These four joined tracks are present on the album Ripple Effect also released in June and is made of fourteen tracks.
In total, Giriboy is in seven of them. Besides the one we already knew, he is also in Taking Over with Swings, C-JAMM, and Bill Stax; Rumor with Swings, Genius Nochang, and Bill Stax, and finally Still not over II with Swings and Genius Nochang.
That year, he once again collaborated a lot with Swings.
First in July, the EP Mood Swings II, Pt.2 : Obsessive compulsive Disorder, more precisely on the track Gravity in which we can also hear Mad Clown.
Then in October, the album Vintage Swings for two tracks: U Alright ? and Fxxk me 2014 in which we can also hear Black Nut.
2015: Sexual Perceptions, No Mercy, and more…
Giriboy started 2015 by participating in the show No Mercy, this time not as a contestant but as a team leader. It’s at the end of this survival that the boyband Monsta X debuted. Among other things, Giriboy’s team, made of Jooheon, Kihyun, Wonho, Seowon, and I.M, won against the one led by Genius Nochang, giving them the opportunity to release an MV: 0 (Young). In this MV, there are obviously the five previously mentioned as well as Giriboy, Mad Clown, and the singer Jooyoung.
One month later, on March 17th, the artist unveiled the album Sexual Perceptions or Coming of Age Ceremony depending on the translation. The project is made of nine tracks, including collaborations with Shin Jiso, Bill Stax, Genius Nochang, Cjamm, Black Nut but also the producer DJ SQ.
This project should have been released in June 2014, but with SMTM3, Giriboy had to postpone its release. Therefore, this album is standing out from his previous ones because it required around one year of work. During that year, he composed about forty songs and chose the ones which were matching the album concept the most.
Besides its time of composition, this album is also standing out because of its title. It doesn’t follow the traditional « —— Album » format, like with the Fatal Album series or Sensual Album. Giriboy explained this choice by the fact that this album has a different style than the previous ones. The feeling conveyed in this album is different from what he could have produced before.
For this album, Giriboy kind of had to step out of his comfort zone. In an interview from 2015 for TOPSTARNEWS, he explained that he is usually producing his instrumentals himself, whereas this time he asked other producers and then wrote the lyrics depending on the beats they sent to him.
It was even harder for him, that he confided that he tended to naturally go for beats which sounded like his own.
More generally, it’s this time a more mature artist that we could hear on Sexual Perceptions / Coming Of Age Ceremony. Or at least, the main topic of this album is about becoming an adult and to find a place in society.
The most characteristic track in this topic is probably Adult that he wrote thinking about all the hardships he had to face.
“instead of getting inspiration from somewhere, I was thinking about all the hardships I’ve been through in my life and ‘first love’ came up into my mind.
[…] in 성인 (Adult) there is an important part. If you replace the ‘girl’ who appeared in the song to ‘the old me’, you’ll get shocked”
Here are the lyrics of this song:
I wonder if you’re still doing that work
I’m still doing that work
Things have turned out well, in their own way I’m happy
But I think a lot, I can’t sleep at night
I don’t care about you at all
I’m really busy, I forgot everything about you and you haven’t been on my mind
The hopes I told you, I needed to achieve them all first
I’m picking up the pieces of the innocence I threw away
I found your number a while ago. How nice, I haven’t changed my number either
I wondered for a long time if I had some lingering attachment, but this is more like the thought just came up
I couldn’t even imagine that a day like this would come. We used to fight and fight, it wasn’t even a big deal
Yeah that was really the best that we could do then. We had strong emotions that we can’t feel anymore
After a lot of time has passed by, I look at the calendar
It’s just because I was thinking. The thought just came up
We see the exact same morning and night from different places
It’s just because I was thinking. The thought just came up
I’m fine without you in this city
Can’t feel inferior. I pretended not to notice the flowing tears. All useless actions, pretending to be fine
Winning a pretty woman with a parched body
But even that’s so-so, can’t leave for a long time. From what I’ve seen, people who will go, go, the only thing they don’t betray is work.
So I ran quickly. So now I’m selling embarrassment to you.
It doesn’t matter what kind of woman you used to be. If you needed money or what your dreams were.
It’s not because I’m bored, it’s just because I was thinking. It’s just because the thought came up, it’s because I’m suddenly not myself
If I think about it now, we did nothing wrong. It’s just fixed while changing, there’s nothing to say
I’ve been born again, after a lot of experiences I’ve come to regret hating you, but everything’s the same
Without any sort of reason, Looking at you
We don’t love each other, you know, We’re using our heads, you know
Let’s laugh without thinking, Let’s just laugh without thinking (x3)
I’m fine, thank you and you and you and you and you and you (let’s laugh without thinking) (x2)
Adult – Giriboy | Translated from Korean to English by GogumaYT
Adult is therefore one of the main tracks of the album. But it’s also a song he used to describe as one of his favorites.
More broadly, to accompany this topic, he built the album in a way that you have to listen to the tracks in a specific order.
During the interview for TOPSTARNEWS, Giriboy indeed explained that if Back and Forth 30 min featured by Shin Jiso is one of the title tracks – the MV has been released a day before the album release, that is to say in March 16th – it’s simply because you have to listen to it back and forth. It’s the reason why the album’s first track is none other than Outro, and usually, the outro is the last track of a project, or that the last track first verse is ‘this is the first rap of the album’ if we translate Do It ! from Korean.
The OUTRO being the first track of the album is also another point. I was very nervous if someone else would do it (putting OUTRO as first track) before my album was released. It is really cool. The first lyrics of the last track of the album 좀해, ‘this is the first rap of the album’, you have to listen to the album again starting from the last track. I really paid a lot of attention to this album.”
Giriboy for TOPSTARNEWS | Translated from Korean to English by girigiriboy on Tumblr
He also clarified that unlike what most people seem to think, How You’ Doin’ featured by Bill Stax and Genius Nochang is not a love song but is in fact for all the people who would have looked down on him in the past.
The last anecdote about this album, this time about Take Care of You, the second title track, also adapted in an MV unveiled four days before the album, that is to say, on March 13th.
Take Care of You is about a woman who must sell her body to pay her debts. Or rather the story of her boyfriend. With this track, Giriboy gives an insight into the complexity of human feelings. If at first, the man is very understanding, knows that he doesn’t have a say in this apart from doing his best to support her, as time goes by, it seems however that it becomes hard for him. He wants to be her backbone, to be able to help her in moving on from this, that this becomes nothing more than a bad memory. But the problem is that he is increasingly feeling kind of frustrated. A frustration that seems to mirror his helplessness.
It’s worth noting that this track is inspired by Swings’ 지켜줘 (Take Care of Me) featured by Brother Su, seemingly released a year before. Still in this interview for TOPSTARNEWS, Giriboy explained that this is probably one of his favorite Swings‘ tracks (at least in 2015). However, he thought that Swings’ track had a weird happy ending and that he shouldn’t be that way.
Consequently, Giriboy made his own version. He wanted to give the song a movie-like vibe, so he tried to imagine a dramatic story, something most people would never experience and to make them feel uneasy.
If Sexual Perceptions can be considered as his main project in 2015, that same year, he also released the EP Lonely 4Songs in September. As the title suggests, this project is made of four tracks including a collaboration with the singer From and an instrumental entitled AM 04:00.
Then in December followed Hogu, a refreshing track produced by Fisherman also featured by BrotherSu. Hogu can be translated from Korean as ‘pushover’ and it’s literally the story depicted in the lyrics. A man who is knowingly used for his money by his girlfriend.
When it comes to the collaborations, in March he was present with the duo Untouchable made of Sleepy and D.Action for GIRIBOYO, a track from the album Heiiven also featured by BILL STAX. The producer Code Kunst invited him in April for his album Crumple on 나만의 룰, a track featured by Ugly Duck. In May, Giriboy took part in three projects. First, he was invited by 문샤인 (Moonshine) for Cliche… a track from the EP Time 2 Shine. A few days later, Jang Hyun Seung from BEAST and Trouble Maker released the EP MY. Giriboy is on the track Ma First. Finally in May, along with K Jun and MSH they accompany Han Yo Han for Chic from the EP SELFMADE. His last collaboration that year is in June, for Stay With Me a track from BrotherSu’s EP Between.
2016: a creative turning point
Giriboy started 2016 in March with Because You’re Pretty, a single in keeping with his previous projects, far from what will follow that year.
The artist indeed decided to take a creative turn that year and to explore more experimental sonorities.
With the triple single The Standard 3 Songs, Giriboy gave a taste of this change. The project is made of collaborations with Hanhae, CHOILB, DJ SQ, and HAN YO HAN. The first two tracks are explosive, tinged with vibrant energy which was pretty much unequaled in his previous releases. The track All Day might be more in tune with what he released before though. In an interview from June 2019 for Korea JoongAng Daily, Giriboy even admitted that it was his favorite track.
Do you have a song that you are particularly proud of?
There’s a song called “All Day” (2016). It’s really good, like really, really good. It’s sort of like a ballad and it’s sort of like hip-hop, but it’s really emotional at the same time. The lyrics are good and the song is just made so well. If you don’t know me, this is all you need to hear. It’s my favorite, and it’s an all-time classic. You’ll like it no matter when you listen to it.
Giriboy for Korea JoonAng Daily | June 2019
But it’s really with Mechanical Album unveiled on Mai 31th, 2016, that Giriboy gave free rein to this new creative energy. The project is made of seven tracks, including two collaborations. One with Samuel Seo for LO:OP and another one with Loco on I’m In Trouble which has also been adapted in an MV released the same day. As he explained in an interview for Dazed from June 2016, for this project he especially focused on the production side, and thus, the overall sound is more electronic. The goal behind this project was to showcase his versatility as a producer. Loving electronic music since he has been a kid, he more or less always tried to tinge his project with electronic influences, but with Mechanical Album he went a step further.
Such a musical change might also be explained by the influence of the crew WYBH (from 우주비행 – ujubihaeng, spaceflight in Korean). WYBH is indeed an artist collective founded by Giriboy and publicly active from 2016 (even if we can suppose that the crew might have started in 2015 as suggested by the Prod. By Fisherman from WYBH on the track Hogu released in December 2015). If today the crew is made of both producers and rappers, the initial idea behind the collective was to be able to work with other producers and secondly to contribute to establishing a proper partying culture in South Korea by putting on parties animated by WYBH artist.
Still in the interview for Korea JoonAng Daily he indeed explained that the Korean Society tended to “have really bad stereotypes when it comes to clubs”. The goal is hence to show that clubbing can also mean to have a good time with friends while listening to good music.
In 2020, besides Giriboy, WYBH is therefore made of JJANG YOU, coa white, APRO, jwork, DJCO.KR, Kim Seungmin, Kid Milli, OLNL, DNOPF, Cosmic Boy, Hayake (also known as Jiwoo), george, Justin, fisherman, Han Yo Han, DJ SQ, and CHOILB.
And therefore, to go back on the influence of the crew on Giriboy’s music, it’s worth noting that WYBH VOL.1, the collective’s first mixtape, has been released in August 2016, so we can imagine that Giriboy worked on this mixtape at the same time as his personal projects. One of the tracks from Mechanical Album is entitled WYBH1 by the way.
As for his own discography, he concluded the year with Sooljalee, a single unveiled in November.
However, in terms of collaboration Giriboy obviously also worked with artists outside of WYBH that year. In may he appeared on Samuel Seo’s album EGO EXPAND (100%) for the track DO:OM. He also took part in the OST of the drama Tantara (딴따라) along with Mad Color. Finally, in August he collaborated with the singer Jero for the track Airplane from the eponymous double single.
2017: A year in keeping with the previous one
In 2017, Giriboy kept up with his prolific rhythm.
He started the year in April with the release of 5 Songs for Initiation, an EP in keeping with the album Sexual Perceptions unveiled in 2015. The collective WYBH is also really present on the project. Cosmic Boy and Fisherman worked with him for some productions, while the EP is featured by CHOILB, OLNL, or Han Yo Han. Outside from WYBH you can also hear Mad Clown!
Then in November, he released the MV TV Star, a track produced by Minit also featured by Kim Seungmin and which was none other than a pre-release for the album Graduation.
Giriboy ended that year with, in December, the release of Graduation, an excellent album made of ten tracks. Besides TV Star, three tracks have been released with MVs. Whyyoumad featured by Kim Seungmin – The MV has been unveiled along with the album. A few days later, on December 28th, followed the MV for The Graduate featured by george. Finally, the MV for wewantourmoneyback featured by Young B and Kid Milli has been shared in January 2018. Besides those artists, OLNL, Sik-K, YANGHONGWON, and CHOILB are also present on the project.
About this album, Giriboy gave some explanations for Secret Of The Human Body, a track he especially recommends to people who are fed up with cliche love songs. Secret Of The Human Body because he would seemingly describe what he is physiologically feeling in order to prove his sincerity to his love interest. He would have written this song when he was frustrated not to be able to show directly what was going on in his head.
In parallel, Giriboy also worked on We Effect, Just Music’s second compilation album released earlier in April. Out of the nine tracks, you can hear Giriboy on five of them. He also made an appearance in March on School Rapper Regional Competition, Pt. 2, in which he accompanied YANGHONGWON (at the time Young B) and xitsuh (also known as Seo Chul Goo).
2018: Three EPs, one Album, SMTM777, I4P, and more | Alternatively; the techwear year
If you thought Giriboy had already been really active these past years, just know that it was nothing compared to his activity in 2018.
2018 has indeed been a year full of projects for Giriboy.
Musically, he started the year in March with 2Songs, a double single including northbutsouth adapted in an MV and featured by Kid Milli.
Then in May, followed the triple single 3Songs. The three songs have been adapted in MVs directed by EEHOSOO. The project is also featured by THAMA and Woo.
Two months later, on July 22nd, he released the EP hightechnology made of nine tracks including Old Clothes Collection Box featured by Kim Seungmin and adapted in an MV. On this EP he also worked with CHOILB and Crush as well as OLNL and VINXEN.
In keeping with this EP, a month later, on August 30th, he unveiled hightechnology : 3Songs & Instrumentals. Three tracks are added to the previous EP like Used featured by Kid Milli with an MV released on September 10th. CHOILB, JUSTHIS, Swings, and YANGHONGWON also present on the project.
But the climax of this year from a musical point of view was none other than the release of the album Science Fiction Music on September 22nd. The album is made of eight tracks including an MV unveiled a day before for acrnm featured by Goretexx. He also invited YUMDDA, BewhY, The Quiett as well as JUSTHIS and Swings.
In a video for Dingo Freestyle translated by the channel OHGIRIBB, he explained that the fact that vr – the track featured by JUSTHIS and Swings – was at the end of the album was not a coincidence. He knows that people usually don’t listen to the last tracks of a project. Therefore, as a seasoned strategist, he thought that a good way to avoid that would be to put the collaboration with JUSTHIS at the end. That way, people would actually listen to it.
On a wider scale, it seems that it didn’t take him much time to write this album. Most of the tracks have been completed within a day. For instance, since Giriboy asked him to be fast, The Quiett who took part in Skyblue would have written his part in about 20 minutes.
Still in the video for Dingo Freestyle, he added that the album is about being trapped in a digital world. He has been inspired by Science-Fiction (he mentioned the Netflix series Black Mirror several times), hence the title Science Fiction Music.
But this inspiration isn’t only noticeable in the lyrics. Like in most of the projects he released in 2018, in this album there is a certain influence of electronic music which by some aspects can add quite a futuristic touch.
However, Giriboy has also been especially inspired by fashion that year. That’s something you can notice just by the number of brands he mentioned, for instance in tracks like northbutsouth, used, Old Clothes Collection Box, acrnm… But among all those brands, most are actually related to Techwear or High-End Streetwear like UNDERCOVER, ACRONYM, or the textile technology GORE-TEX. And it’s true that Techwear items, by aiming to combine performance with style, can remind of Science Fiction and the type of sonorities explored by Giriboy in 2018.
More generally, even the music videos he released that year can remind of some designers’ concept videos, with kind of an experimental side. But his MVs reminds above all of I4P, the Streetwear brand he launched that same year with EEHOSOO and Yoon Kyungdeok also behind the brand T.B.O.S.
If Giriboy decided to create I4P, it was in the first place to be able to design clothes he wanted to wear but couldn’t find. But I4P is also a place of free expression for the three artists, like storage where they can relieve all their frustrations.
Among other things, in a documentary about I4P creation translated in English from Korean by the channel OHGIRIBB, Giriboy explained that if music and I4P are both about creating things, there is something different with designing clothes:
‘When I’m making music and when I’m selling clothes, what’s different…?
They’re both about creating things. In music, for Giriboy, there’s no Hong Siyoung. But for I4P, I think there’s still Hong Siyoung in there.’
By this, we can suppose that over time, when it comes to music – Giriboy – the image people have of him, gradually took over – Hong Siyoung – the individual. And therefore, designing clothes is like an outlet. He can give free rein to sides of him people aren’t necessarily aware of.
To go back to music, in keeping with his album, in November he released Science Fiction Music : End made of three tracks including collaborations with THAMA, Paloalto, Mommy Son, Kim Seungmin, and Han Yo Han.
Finally, he ended that year on December 28th with Thank You, an EP made of five tracks which is more in tune with songs he could have released before his electronic turning point. There is a new collaboration with OLNL as well as an MV for vv 2 with CHOILB, Kid Milli, Kim Seungmin, and Hayake. Hayake that you can hear under his stage name Jiwoo for a cover of Sooljalee. But Giriboy also unveiled band versions for ALL DAY and 2000/90.
Concurrently, from September to November, Giriboy took part to Show Me The Money 777 as a producer. With Swings they accompanied ODEE, YunB, OLNL, and Nafla who happened to win this season. For his part, Giriboy prepared instrumentals ahead of the show, however, he inevitably had to produce some tracks from an episode to another. During his interview with Korea JoonAng Daily, he confided that it can be a struggle. Having to make songs in a short amount of time can be burdensome, especially when it is songs for other artists. For Show Me The Money Giriboy had to adapt to the rappers of his team:
‘I had to constantly communicate with each rapper, which isn’t really my style of work. I like to just do what I want and tell people “Do it”. But saying, “Do you want to change it? Okay!” ; “Oh you don’t like it? Let me change it then”, this really wasn’t easy for me.’
Besides his appearances for some tracks released within Show Me The Money, Giriboy also contributed to a lot of collaborations in 2018. He worked two times with OLNL. In January for the little prince from the album All Available and later in November for fake emotion from the EP staff ONLY.
Same for NO:EL, Giriboy appeared on two of his project that year. In April for Person Like A Person for the EP 18’S/S then in July on Parrot, also featured by Han Yo Han for the album DOUBLEONOEL.
Otherwise, in March he was invited by Swings on Shit Is Real from the album Upgrade III. You can also hear The Quiett and Kid Milli on this song.
In April he was present on two projects. On Cosmic Boy‘s EP Can I Cosmic for the track EWSN also featured by CHOILB, OLNL, Kid Milli, and Han Yo Han. And on Donut Man’s Science Love.
In May on Thama’s single Like That.
The following month, in June, he was again present on two projects. On Spray’s album Mindspray for Set Me Free, a track featured by Ugly Duck and KIRIN. And he is also obviously present on Just Music new compilation album entitled Series. Giriboy is on three of the eleven tracks, that is to say on We Do Not with Swings and Han Yo Han, One Hunnit with Black Nut, Swings and Dbo – a special guest – as well as on Sphere with Goretexx and Han Yo Han.
Kim Seungmin invited him in July for Island along with THAMA. That same month, flex a joined track by Indigo Music and Dingo and featured by Kid Milli, NO:EL as well as Swings is also released. The track is also remixed in December with this time The Quiett, Mommy Son, and Swings along with Giriboy.
In August, he was on Han Yo Han’s EP Dragon Bike for Mood Maker featured by Changmo and JUSTHIS.
In November, besides OLNL, he is also invited by Kid Milli for Outro from his EP Maiden Voyage III.
Finally, in December he took part in Gray’s 119 Remix!
2019: 100 Years College Course, Fatal Album III…
In keeping with 2018, Giriboy has been really active musically in 2019.
He began the year on January 16th, 2019, with the release of Stone MV, a track featured by Kim Seungmin and OLNL but also a pre-release of his EP KGVOVC from wybh vol.1 unveiled a few days later, that is to say on January 24th, and his made of six songs. You can also hear Kid Milli, CHOILB, Hayake, NO:EL, and Chaboom on this EP.
In May, he released Traffic Control, a single in collaboration with the singer HEIZE and a pre-release of the album 100 Years College Course unveiled one month later on June 10th.
The album is made of eight tracks, including an MV for I’m Sick available four days later and featured by CJAMM, Kid Milli, Lil Tachi, Kim Seungmin, and NO:EL on a beat by Code Kunst. Giriboy also invited youra and Jclef.
Among other things, he explained that producing I’m Sick has been quite complex. Giriboy indeed wanted to gather his friends from WEDAPLUGG, Just Music, WYBH, and Indigo Music. He failed to get all their lyrics though.
As for the album itself, in the ’interview for Korea JoongAng Daily, he gave some explanations about the album title.
They say our average life expectancy is 81, but supposing that you live up to be 100, it’s like attending “Earth School” while you’re living on earth. That’s why the album called 100 Years: College course.”
And therefore, 100 Years College Course is filled with Life Stories, stories people can relate to and is somehow almost full of love songs since according to him, most of our life would be about love.
Before making this album, Giriboy asked people on Instagram to send him their stories by mail. He received about 9000 emails, he read about 2000 of them, 1500 were pranks though while the others were serious. Therefore, he took inspiration from those stories for one song and mixed them with his own experiences.
Two months later, on August 2nd, Giriboy released GAB BOON GI, a new EP made of five tracks including an MV for party is over but also two collaborations. Party People featured by Uneducated Kid and YUMDDA as well as Let’s Meet After Work with Kim Seungmin.
In October, he released the single Tiger Den featured by Jvcki Wai, a track you can find on Fatal Album III with which he ended that year on December 2nd.
Fatal Album III is made of eleven tracks including three MVs. Snow Sweeping, The Time Is Now whose MV is unveiled on December 11th, and What’s Wrong in collaboration with YUNHWAY who is released on December 26th.
As for the collaborations, you can also hear Ahn Byeong Woong, Nafla, Jhnovr, JUSTHIS, and BIG Naughty.
That year he also took part a second time as a producer for SMTM 8. For that eighth season, Mnet decided to constitute two teams of judges. 40 Crew with Swings, Mad Clown, Kid Milli, and BOYCOLD and BGM-v Crew, so where Giriboy was along with Verbal Jint, BewhY, and millic.
BGM-v Crew led the rappers Dbo, CHOILB, Seo Dong-hyun, Mckdaddy, YANGHONGWON, ZENE THE ZILLA, Woodie Gochild, JJANGYOU, Chillin Homie, Kingchi Mane, and Punchnello who is none other than the winner of this season. Second participation for Giriboy but second win as a producer as well!
This year again Giriboy collaborated with fifteen or so artists.
As early as January, you could hear him on CHOILB’s project 오리엔테이션 for 편의점KID.
In February, he took part in two projects. He first appeared on producer Cosmic Boy’s album Can I Love ? for About Time also featured by THAMA. Then followed the track IMJMWDP which gathered a good part of the artists at the time signed with the labels Indigo Music, Just Music, and Wedaplugg Records, that is to say, NO:EL, Black Nut, YANGHONGWON, Osshun Gum, YUNHWAY, JUSTHIS, Jvcki Wai, Kid Milli, Han Yo Han, and Swings.
In March he was on Han Yo Han’s album Exiv for Dance. But also on Woo’s Taste produced by GRAY.
Two months later, in May, Huckleberry P released the album Grande Season. Giriboy was on the track EGR.
U-KNOW invited him on True Colors – The 1st Mini Album unveiled in June, for Hit Me Up. You could also hear him on producer Fisherman‘s EP Well Being for the track 현미경 (Microscope).
In July he took part in We don’t talk together, a collaboration between the singer HEIZE and SUGA from BTS who produced the song.
September is a month rich in collaborations. Sik-K and Coogie invited Giriboy on their EP S.O.S (Sink or Swim) for Two Everything. The same day, Rhythm Power released Project A, an EP, and Giriboy is on the eponymous track. He also on Jessica’s Call Me Before You Sleep.
To conclude that year, in December, he was on two tracks. First with SOMDEF for Why Can’t We from the album MorningMare. Then ten days later on BIG Naughty’s single Sigh.
Besides this, in 2019 Giriboy also won the title of Producer of the Year at the Korean Hip Hop Awards.
2020: 9Cut, Show Me The Money 9….
Giriboy started the year with, in March, an OST for the drama Hyena. Then followed in April the single Baby, as well as Just Kidding a song produced by Zion.T and with an MV adaptation.
It’s only in October that Giriboy released his next personal project, Like A Film : 4 Songs, an EP. He invited the singer Heize for the track Acting.
In December he unveiled Reverse, a track with an MV and featured by Khakii, Kim Mono, and Ahn Byeong Woong, then, a few days later, on December 23rd, Giriboy released 9Cut, his eighth album. As suggested by the title, 9Cut is made of nine tracks. Five new tracks as well as four tracks that were already on his previous EP Like A Film : 4 Songs. He shared an MV for the song It Was Love. Besides Heize, Giriboy has also been accompanied by THAMA and Zion.T.
At the same time, with Zion.T they constituted a team for Show Me The Money season 9 broadcasted from October to December. Together, they chose to support Park Shin-wook, noahjooda, Mac Kidd, kitsyojii, Lee Gi-wook, Cho Soon-young, Chillin Homie, Skyminhyuk, Wonstein, and Lil Boi, winner of this season.
It’s worth noting that it was the third time Giriboy participated as a producer/judge to Show Me The Money, but also the third time a rapper from his team wins the competition. This win is all the more symbolic as Lil Boi and Giriboy are long-time friends. As explained earlier in the article, Lil Boi and Giriboy were both part of the crews Do’main and later Buckwilds.
2020 was calmer in terms of collaboration.
The singer youra invited him on More a track from her double single dot released in February.
In March he appeared on two projects. First on Dawn’s MV Burn The Memory, but also on Coogie’s album UP!. Giriboy is on Set Go! along with Simon Dominic.
Finally, in April, the producer Code Kunst invited him as well as Jay Park and Woo for Flower, a track from his album PEOPLE also adapted in an MV.
He won a second time the title of Producer of the Year at the Korean Hip Hop Awards.
Giriboy, a multi-faceted artist driven by an insatiable curiosity.
Hong Siyoung has always been driven by his curiosity, doing things after taking an interest in them. It’s like that he started out music, thinking he should give it a try, and just like that he never stopped.
Pushed by this taste for music, a will to keep on reinventing himself, the artist surpassed the rapper status. Giriboy is not a rapper only, he has no creative limits and is trying out a lot of genres. Yes, Hip-Hop is his favorite, and therefore this is the main basis of his music, but he doesn’t want to limit himself to this spectrum only.
As you might have noticed reading this article, Giriboy has become one of the most prolific artists of the Korean Urban Scene, and it’s not without a reason.
In an interview posted on Just Music channel and translated from Korean to English by OHGIRIBB, when asked why he is that active, he answered this:
‘There’s nothing much to do when I’m resting, I feel empty. I think that’s why I keep working.’
He is literally pushed by a need to work, he can’t stay without doing anything. He wrote so many songs that at some point his label ended up asking him to stop releasing songs, so he gave some to other artists.
However, this hyperactivity is not without a price. By involving himself with all his might in music, by gaining more visibility and recognition, little by little, the artist lost himself as an individual. It was to the point that he thought about stopping making music. As explained earlier in the article (the part about his relation with I4P), Giriboy gradually became the public’s property, leaving no place anymore for Hong Siyoung, the individual. He had to draw a line between his self, who he is as a person, and his public image as an artist to be comfortable again. (Note: Not sure if this is really clear, English isn’t my first language so I wasn’t sure how to formulate that properly). This distinction enabled him to be more comfortable with failure as well.
‘That means that even if Giriboy fails, Hong Siyoung doesn’t fail. That’s why I abandoned it. ‘I abandoned Giriboy’’
GIRIBOY After Video – 2252 CONCERT IN SEOUL (0413) | JustEnterprises YouTube Channel – Translated from Korean to English by OHGIRIBB
To go back to his activity as a musician. Overall, Giriboy tends to prefer the production side. He has his own tag, G.R.BOY, a sound signature you can hear on most of the beats he produced. It’s worth noting that it’s none other than Kasper’s voice, seemingly because she was speaking English well.
One of the producers who inspires him the most is Pharrell Williams that he liked since he was a kid. He also loves the producers of SM Entertainment agency, especially Hitchhiker. He literally describes him as his role model because of his versatility.
He would love to have the opportunity to compose for the BoyBand EXO actually from SM, it’s an actual dream he mentioned several times. Overall he really likes SM artists universe, like the girl group Red Velvet for instance.
However, Giriboy still likes to perform, he likes being able to diversify his activities and this might be a reason why at some point he worked with a singing coach. The goal wasn’t for him to become a vocalist, but to improve his stability for instance during live performance. The fact that he can’t really sing is actually part of his charm though.
As for lyrics writing, Giriboy tends not to think too much, he just follows his inspiration. He doesn’t choose a subject and then write from there, he prefers a more natural process.
He can be inspired by his daily life. Sometimes he will hear a sentence he will especially appreciate and thus write it down to use it later in a song.
Giriboy draws inspiration from other musicians too, as well as from movies and series – as much from Science Fiction as Romantic movies, but also from gag programs on TV.
As for the collaborations, the most important thing for Giriboy is above all that the artists do well and that they can relate to the feeling of his songs. He would obviously like to work with artists like Pharrell Williams, Kim Dong-ryul, Verbal Jint, Eddie Kim, Ailee, or Suzy. Zion.T was also an artist he was aiming to work with.
Therefore, last ten years Giriboy established himself as one of the major artists of the Korean Urban Scene. Blessed with incredible versatility, the artist never stops surpassing himself and has become a real source of inspiration for a lot of artists.
Despite this status, Giriboy has remained humble. Far from wanting to impose himself as a leader of HipHop in South Korea, what Giriboy wants is above all to thrive in what he is doing and to contribute to developing a partying culture through WYBH.
In parallel, Giriboy is getting increasingly involved in the Pop Scene, by producing beats for groups like PENTAGON for instance, or these days by accompanying Jhnovr, a member of WEDAPLUGG RECORDS the label he is leading as CEO.
Giriboy isn’t the type of artist who has a lot of plans for the future. But we can imagine that with WYBH, WEDAPLUGG growing activity, I4P, and obviously his solo career, the artist is going to be quite busy. And it wouldn’t be surprising to see him giving a try to acting one day. We can’t tell the future, but it will surely be eventful!
Korea JoongAng Daily 코리아중앙데일리
Giriboy’s interview with Pikicast, June 2016 – Translated by GIRIBOY NEWS
Giriboy – ‘Fatal Album II’ Interview with Hiphop Playa – Translated by HIPHOPKR
19/3 GIRIBOY INTERVIEW PART 1 W TOPSTARNEWS (ENG) – Translated by girigiriboy
19/3 GIRIBOY INTERVIEW PART 2 W TOPSTARNEWS (ENG) – Translated by girigiriboy
19/3 GIRIBOY INTERVIEW PART 3 W TOPSTARNEWS (ENG) – Translated by girigiriboy
19/3 GIRIBOY INTERVIEW PART 4 W TOPSTARNEWS (ENG) – Translated by girigiriboy
19/3 GIRIBOY INTERVIEW PART 5 W TOPSTARNEWS (ENG) – Translated by girigiriboy
150406 스타에이지 STARAZ GIRIBOY INTERVIEW – Translated by girigiriboy
Giriboy’s interview with The Celebrity magazine, April 2016 issue – Translated by GIRIBOY NEWS
[EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW] Giriboy in London
An honest talk with rapper Giriboy: Back and Forth
The ICON tv
14.08.14 Giriboy @ The ICON tv EP.1 – Translated by the Youtube Channel Jung Hoseok
160909 기리보이 GIRIBOY on EBS 스페이스 공감 1 – Translated by Giriboy News
180126 기리보이 GIRIBOY on 바이어스 BIAS Player – Translated by Giriboy news
Yang YoSeob Dream Radio (w/ Nafla, Loopy & Giriboy) – Translated by 66845492i
GIRI & BOYS RADIO EP. 01 (w/ GIRIBOY, NO:EL, HAN YO HAN, COOGIE, DJ SQ) – Translated by OHGIRIBB
GIRI & BOYS EP. 02 (w/ GIRIBOY, NO:EL, OLNL, CHOI LB, KIM SEUNGMIN, DJ SQ) – Translated by OHGIRIBB
GIRIBOY – SCIENCE FICTION MUSIC ALBUM SPOILER (w/ WYBH) – Translated by OHGIRIBB
DINGO FREESTYLE (w/ WYBH @ ART SCHOOL) – Translated by OHGIRIBB
I4P DOCUMENTARY ‘Since 148’ – Translated by OHGIRIBB
GIRIBOY After Video – 2252 CONCERT IN SEOUL (0413) – Translated by OHGIRIBB
10Q – GIRIBOY INTERVIEW – Translated by OHGIRIBB
Korea JoongAng Daily 코리아중앙데일리
Giriboy just wants to live in the moment | 기리보이 인터뷰
NCT, Night Night!
170419 NCT, Night Night! Cut (Guest: Giriboy) – Translated by Neo Subs for NCT