• Real Name :Choi Seok Bae  / 최석배
  • Date of Birth : 1992/02/28
  • Status : In activity
  • Starting career: 2012
  • Genre: Hip-Hop, Rap, Old School, Boom Bap,
  • Label/Agency: Mkit Rain (2016 )
  • Belongs to: Young Creation (2012 – 2014)42Crew  (2014 – ), MKIT RAIN (2016 – )

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Choi Seok Bae aka Nafla is a Korean American rapper member by turns of the crews Young Creation (2012-2014), and 42Crew (2014 – from time to time); he is currently a member of Mkit Rain. Both a crew and a label, Mkit Rain is publically launched on January 22nd, 2016, he’s fully involved in the label alongside Loopy, Bloo, Owen Ovadoz and Young West.

Choi Seok Bae was born on February 28th, 1992, in Pasadena, a city in the East of Los Angeles, California. From a Korean family, it was around 11 years old that he started to master Korean and around 13/14 years – or 8th grade – that he started to write his own bars. 

it was thanks to a track from CB Mass that the young Choi Seok Bae started to be interested in HipHop (CB Mass was a group active from 2000 to 2003 made of Curbin and Choiza and Gaeko, now also known as Dynamic Duo). From this day, rap became a real passion for him, a stress-reliever, almost a visceral need. However, far from imagining the importance music would take in their son’s life, for a long time his parents thought that this early appeal for HipHop would just end up being a child whim. Nafla himself didn’t really think about becoming a professional rapper either. He just wanted to do what he liked while studying, to make the most of his youth (Ed. He has been in the same university as Killagramz for a while, they were even exchanging messages via Facebook). 

Hard-working student, he finally chose to follow his own path and to throw himself into music.    

If the rapper doesn’t speak that much about his family, except maybe in the track smile from the album Angels in which he confided how regretful he was not to be more present for his mother and paternal grandmother but also implied that his father was quite busy with work, we can still say that the rapper has always been well supported. In an interview for MBC 2PM Date Radio, he explained that if his parents didn’t immediately support him, things progressively changed. 


Young Creation

It’s from 2012 that Nafla took his first step as a rapper with Platonixtape released on August 16th. This project is more on an RnB vibe, far from the incisive flow that made him known. However, his Old-School and West Coast influences were already noticeable.

When it comes to musical influences, Nafla would owe a lot to Young West. Biggie, Big L, Tupac, the Wu-tang Clan, or more recently Kendrick Lamar; Nafla confided in an interview that Young West would have contributed a lot to his music culture.  

Young West like the other members of the crew Young Creation (made of EKnot EK from MBA, Lunick, Holic, Ehwhenkeem, Niahn, MacKwon, AP, Bloo at the time known under the name Daniel Prynne, Neil the forehΔd, 막내 and Fran) all grew up in the same neighborhood and have been brought together through their passion for Rap, (Ed: You can find more information in the 42Crew article).

On a side note, it was actually niahn who came up with Choi Seok Bae’s stage name. The two friends were drinking some Sierra Mist and at the time, Choi Seok Bae was looking for a stage name. And just like that, by looking at the Sierra Mist, niahn noticed the “100% Natural Flavor” written on the Soda bottle, Natural Flavor, Na – Fla. That’s how Choi Seok Bae became Nafla! 

Bet let’s go back to the topic. With Young Creation but most of all thanks to the Most Definite Family (MD Fam) and especially Souleaf (made of the rappers Sean, and Haru), Nafla made his first live performances, worked on his rap technique leading him to release several projects over 2012-2014. 

Being a Young Creation member, Nafla appeared on two mixtapes by the collective: Made in Cali and Munchies respectively released in May and November 2013. In June 2013, with Neil the forehead they also released Keep-On followed in October by the project Buttafla effect promoted on Souleaf’s Social Networks. He’s also present on other projects from the crew members that you will find in the discography below. 

As a consequence, the rapper started to assert progressively his musical identity.  



However, with EK’s leaving, Young Creation lost its leader and the members had to make a fresh start. And that’s exactly what they did, or at least, some of them stayed in touch and created a new crew.  

With Bloo, Young West, AP, and Neil, the Forehead, his childhood friends from the Neighborhood of ‘La Crescenta’, in 2014 they decided to start the 42Crew. If you want to know more about 42Crew and why such a name, there is a whole article about it. 

A mixtape resulted from this new crew, Life is 42 and the emblematic track Bae, released on September 5th, 2014.

During that period, the artist kept on improving his technique and it was in January 2015 that his career reached another level with his mixtape This & That. This project is clearly accomplished and had been well received by the public to the point that, that same year, the rapper won the “Best Mixtape Performance of the Year” and “Best Mixtape of the Year” awards at the first HipHopLE Mixtape Awards.

This is all the more understandable when you listen to the project thoroughly. While in 2013, with his track Swings he already rapped on the mythic beat Kendrick Lamar used for Control featured by Big Sean and Jay Electronica; here with Big Dusty Remix and Boy Exhibition he challenged himself by giving a new rendition to the beats Joey Badass used in Fromdatomb$ and Big Dusty, but also Bobby Shmurda’s Hot N*gga or even Mac Miller’s Insomniak to name but a few. 

It’s also worth noting that the beat Nafla used for You Gon need it has been produced by Luke White. A few months later, XXXTentacion used it for Riot and made the beat famous. 

From this pivotal point, the rapper’s aim became to steady this position and the strategy back at the time was rather simple ‘Single, Single, Single’ as he confided during an interview with Loopy hosted by Dumbfoundead in December 2015. True to his words, the rapper has been quite prolific that same year. Among the most remarkable releases, in April he dropped on SoundCloud the track grown up remix, a new rendition of the beat used in Grown up by Detroit rapper Danny Brown. But Nafla also released a lot of MV. Early in his career, he understood how important video and personal branding were to gain visibility.     

So he released a series of MVs with, in April, Foothill (the 42crew members made an appearance in the MV by the way), followed by Wu in May. This time he used a sample from Wu tang Clan’s track C.R.E.A.M:

« Cash rules everything around me, C.R.E.A.M, Get the money, dollar dollar bill, y’all »

(Ed: back at that time he was listening to the Wu Tang Clan a lot and especially to their rapper Ol’ Dirty Bastard. The influence is really noticeable on this single)

In December he also dropped the excellent MV Stanky, a track in keeping with his Boom Bap influences.

But also a lot of collaborations:

In April of 2015 he released the now-famous Locked and Loaded featured by Owen. It’s with this track that their friendship started (more information about how they met and collaborated on Owen’s article).

Then in September, Loopy invited him on his mixtape King Loopy for the track Vegas (the MV was only unveiled in 2016 though)

In November Nafla has been quite busy as well since he collaborated with Dynamic Duo, the idols of his youth, on the track J.O.T.S. He also made an appearance on Babylon’s MV BABO, a pre-release for his album S.S.F.W dropped in 2017. Finally, that month with Bloo and Young West they worked with the producer Louis Maui for his track Highway Drivin from the mixtape Highway to the Otherworld.  

He finished the year with, in December, the really powerful track Mijangwon, a joined track with Loopy and Dumbfoundead, emblematic figure of the Korean-American rap scene.  

That year the rapper seriously started to make a name for himself and if today he’s obviously one of the strongest rappers of the Korean Hip-Hop scene, winning Show Me The Money but also being called the ‘Boom Bap King’ by some, the tremendous success he knows today might not have been possible without his decisive meeting with Loopy.  


Mkit Rain, a new era

Collaborations between Nafla and Loopy started in 2015. They met during a little show in the neighborhood of Koreatown in Los Angeles. At the time, from what we can learn from the episode LooFla Season 2: Visitors from the [MKITV] documentary series, Nafla was seemingly 21/22 and Loopy 26/27. Both of them were there to perform that day. Loopy liked Nafla’s performance and thus tried to befriend him by buying him a burger. However, according to some interviews, and especially the one hosted by Kim Chang Ryul for the Old School radio, this attempt to get on with Nafla has been rather unsuccessful, and for a reason!

Nafla did not agree with Loopy’s vision of HipHop back at the time. but by living in the US, Loopy would have gained in Self-confidence, asserting himself musically. It would be thanks to this metamorphosis that Nafla would have finally accepted to work with him. 

For a while, Nafla pursued his projects with the 42 and Loopy his solo career, exchanging together from time to time. In 2015, Nafla confided that Loopy brought a lot to the whole 42Crew thanks to his positive vibe, it was a mutual enrichment. 

Progressively, they built up a trust relationship, but things took another turn for them when came to Loopy the idea to found his own label. At first, Nafla was pretty hesitant but he finally accepted Loopy’s offer. 

With Mkit Rain creation, around November 2015, Loopy decided to come back to South Korea, to Seoul. Nafla and Bloo followed him.   

This decision put Nafla’s collaboration with the 42Crew on hold and on January 22nd, 2016, they publicly launched Mkit Rain with the track Come Thru performed by Loopy, Nafla, and Bloo who were, therefore, the first rappers in the label at the time.

Owen and Young West quickly joined them. The label multiplied the singles including Weathermen MV but they also organized their first concert series with first the Daegu BAD BAD GOOD GOOD TOUR and then the MONEY SHOWER TOUR in China (More information in MKIT RAIN article). 

For his part, Nafla pursued his rise with Dopeboy in March and the excellent EP New Blood in July with Mercy MV featured by AP, his friend from the 42Crew, but there are also live version of his tracks takeover and maserati on which he went more for Trap. 

In November 2016, with Holy he also performed on a sample you can also find on XXXTentacion’s famous track Look at me released back in December 2015.

Thanks to his hard work, he won the title of Rookie of the Year at the 2016 HipHop Gallery Awards.


2017: A year marked by the album Angels and the collaborations

The year started for Nafla with a collaboration with Loopy who invited him on the track Blacklist from his album ICE released in April.

In July 2017, still with Loopy, they released Internet War MV a cover of Seo TaiJi’s eponymous track as part of the project Time Traveller celebrating the 25 years of the career of this great figure of the Korean scene.

It’s only on October 31st, 2017 that Nafla released his first real album. Angels is made of 16 tracks including Smile a pretty personal song but also 3 tracks with MV adaptations released over 2017 and 2018. So for Jail, Fly High, and Apple Box featured by Loopy

That same year, in March he contributed to New Waves Attitudes from the duo Sous Chefs (pH-1 & Owen) also featured by Jay Park and Kim Hyo Eun. In June, Heize invited him on the track Dark Cloud, but he was also present on I’m good from Super Junior member Henry.

On July 10th, he also made an appearance on Young West and Neil joined mixtape #OKIDS for the track Superstar.

In August, Kebee invited him for the single 100GROUND followed in November by the track Savage by Changstarr also featured by Owen and JUSTHIS.


2018: Show Me The Money 777, a real springboard

2018 has been a just as much fertile year for the rapper since in February with Loopy he released the MV for Rough World. That same month Loopy also unveiled his album QUESTIONS and Nafla, Young West, Owen and BLOO are present on the track WHAT I WANT. Then in March, he collaborated with the producer Gray for the track Flower which seems to be a satire of the superficiality of the Korean society, and especially the women’s obsession for beauty. 

Two months later MKIT RAIN released Public Enemy, their first joined album. Nafla is present on 11 tracks out of the 14 ones of the album including on the MV Don’t Move released earlier in February.

In June he dropped B.I.G; a single.

As for the collaborations, In April, he was present on Swings’ single Keep Going also featured by BewhY and Zico. A month later, Coogie invited him on his album SUZURAN with Kid Milli and Loco for the eponymous track. In June, Xbf invited him on his single Broke. Finally, in September, as SMTM777 episodes started to be broadcasted, he made appearances on three different collaborations. 

First, with Bloo for the track Take Me, a pre-release from the mini-album BLOO in Wonderland only unveiled in November. 

Then the producer Dakshood invited him, Kim Mill, Lil Cherry, The Quiett and Tommy Strate on the track GAME THEORY from the album OFF ROOM.

The producer DJ Wegun invited him as well for the track Venom from his project Band Wegun Effect.

But 2018 is most of all an emblematic year for the rapper because he none other than won Show Me The Money season 7.

Show Me The Money is a program with a wide audience in South Korea, to the extent that it became quite a key springboard for the rappers. Loopy confided multiple times that if he would have preferred for the Mkit Rain Members and him to get more public recognition thanks to work and time, he nonetheless realized that SMTM could be a considerable accelerator.

As a consequence, Nafla, Loopy, and Owen (who didn’t make it to the battles) decided to take part to the show to give Mkit Rain more visibility, and in Nafla’s case, also to earn money.

Besides a car, SMTM777’s winner was also rewarded with a sum of 200 000 000 wons (so around 150 000€). 

Ideally, Nafla and Loopy were aiming to respectively finish at the first and second places and it turned out just like that.

After joining the team led by Giriboy and Swings alongside ODEE, YunB, and OLNL, Nafla overcame the challenges one after the other to finally reach the final (all his performances are available in the discography following this article).

Therefore, as the episodes went by, Nafla showed the extent of his skills. The artist has indeed captured a lot of attention, as much from the producers than from the other rappers, positioning himself as one of the favorites from the very beginning of the show. But SMTM also enabled him to show different sides of him and to discover leader talents during the fourth round, the group battles against the team led by Superbee.

Winning SMTM777 enabled Nafla to do more and more performances and to have better media coverage.  


2019: a career on track

After SMTM craziness, Loopy and Nafla finally decided to produce a joined album. This project was an idea they have had for a while, even before their participation in the show. In [MKITV] episode LooFla Season 2: 얼음왕(Ice King), they explained that if they managed to won the first and second places, then they would release an album together. 

Released in June 2019, LooFla is made of 12 tracks and has been mostly recorded in a studio in Los Angeles in the space of 5 days. Jaden Smith, Future, Young Thug, or even Migos would have recorded in this same studio.    

As Loopy explained in Loofla Season 2 last episode, with this album the goal was most of all to release a project they would take pleasure to perform on stage. Therefore, some tracks are on an asserted pop vibe like Atlantis produced by Taesan Kim. While Ice King, produced by Big Banana and Louis Maui is totally on egotrip:

“Ice on my neck, Ice on my wrist”

Glace (diamants) à mon cou, Glace à mon poignet

Loopy&nafla얼음왕(Ice King)


In another spirit, with Shot, they wanted a track reminding of alcohol because Big Banana, who also made the beat for the track, always welcomed them in his studio with a shot before getting to work. 

Among all the producers present on this album, you can also notice Code Kunst’s participation in Coca Coca

At the same time, the rapper kept up multiplying collaborations. 

Earlier that year he collaborated once again with Heize on her song Umbrella Calls for Rain from her album She’s fine released in March 2019. 

The same day Owen released his album P.O.E.M. II with Nafla on the track away (fugees)

There has been a lot on collaborations that summer as well since in June Loopy, Bloo, DJ FLOJEE (MKIT RAIN’s official DJ), and Nafla released the joined track NBA

The same month, with Changmo they took part to Swings and HAN YO HAN’s track Whistle. But Nafla, with Young West and Loopy also contributed to BIG BANANA’s project L.A. on the track Missed Call

In July, Loopy, Lee Young Ji, Pluma and Nafla released the track I’m the ONE. 

But Nafla also did an OST for the OCN drama Watcher.

As for the artists he would like to collaborate with, by the past he talked about Frank Ocean, but also the Korean artist CL and more recently the Korean/Afro-American artist Yoon Mirae.  



Nafla in a few words 

To define Nafla, the artist he is, the easiest thing to do would be to take a closer look to his influences. He explained in an interview that the artist who inspired him the most is none other than The Notorious B.I.G aka Biggie. He even said that everyone who wants to learn how to rap should religiously listen to Ready to die from the New York rapper every day. However, Nafla can’t disavow his Californian origins and also talked about his deep admiration for the Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar, how his story is a source of motivation. Younger he also listened a lot to Meek Mill, A$AP Rocky, and a lot of American artists in general. 


Therefore the rapper likes to try a lot of styles but tends to stay true to Boom Bap and Old School or at least, it’s a recurring influence in his music. As for his creative process, the instrumentals are really important for him, and he is producing from time to time as well, but he is also very spontaneous when it comes to writing. Overall, he listens to a beat and if a flow comes to him then he tries to write more from that. He even confided that it’s pretty much the same for the MVs. He listens to the song until an image comes to his mind. 

Sometimes, when he likes a sentence or a movie line, he writes it to use it later. 

More generally, Nafla tends to write EgoTrip a lot. But he can also be softer like with Flower, Smile or his u n u series in which he is almost singing sometimes, like in his mixtape Dali from 2015 that he only released publicly on 2018. 

One thing is yet for sure, Nafla and the Mkit Rain members are not short on ambition and they are most certainly going to keep on multiplying projects.  


Interview Mkit Rain – The ICONtv International

Part 1

Part 2

Koogle TV


Part 1

Part 2

Part 3


Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4



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