South Korean grandmother rappers rise to fame with songs about farm life

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Editor : Koray Erdoğan
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A group of South Korean rappers over the age of 80 rap about farm life and bring energy to a quiet rural area threatened by population decline

South Korean grandmother rappers rise to fame with songs about farm life

The rap group "Suni and the Seven Princesses," who are over 80 years old, have become local celebrities since they took the stage in August last year at a community center in Chilgok County in North Gyeongsang province, more than a four-hour drive from the capital Seoul.

"It feels like I'm getting younger... Even if I'm old, I'm excited," said Park Jeom-sun, 81, leader of the group and known as Suni, of a recent performance in a kindergarten.

Starting with a small fan base, the rapper Grannies was asked to perform in local cities and appear on TV programs, and their videos have been viewed more than 77,000 times on YouTube.

Rural areas like Chilgok have the most significant risk of fading into irrelevance as young people move away to the cities and fewer of them have children.

"In the past, it felt like I was living in a really busy town, but now it's not good. There are no people here anymore," Park said.

Park said she and the other group members feel like they are reliving their youth when they perform in bucket hats, wearing metal jewelry and baggy pants.

Their lyrics are often about rural life and include lines like: "Picking chilli from a chilli farm ... Picking watermelon from a watermelon farm. So happy to be back home!"

Group members, who have known each other since they were young, missed out on an education in the harsh years after the Korean War, and in 2016, they all took an adult education class to learn how to read and write the Korean alphabet, Hangul.

Last year, Park came across a rap performance on the internet, and the group decided to learn rap from their Hangul teacher and make a senior hip-hop group, writing lyrics about their rural life.

Their debut came at a school play at the same community center where they met for their Hangul classes.

Source: Newsroom & Reuters

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