AOMG Official has partnered with MBN to launch a new competition show to find the next generation of great hip-hop talent in South Korea.
MBN and AOMG Official are collaboration to discover the next generation of South Korean hip-hop artists in the form of a competition survival show. For the new program called “SighHere,” the show will look to find the artists that are extremely talented rappers, vocalists, or producers. In particular, they are looking for people who are well-rounded with both basic production and performance skills.
Artists from AOMG Official including Jay Park, who is the CEO of the label, Simon Dominic, Gray, Code Kunst, Woo Won-jae and more, will join the program as team leaders. The leaders will try to recruit members who will compete against opposing teams in the show. Further, if they struggle to get people on their side, they themselves may have to step into the competition which is a facet that is raising expectations.
On top of that, it is noteworthy this is the first program headed by producer Nam Sung-hyun, who transferred from KBS to MBN. Previously, Nam worked on “Hyena on the Keyboard” and assisted in the creation of the hit collaboration song “Don’t Give it to Me” by Loco and MAMAMOO Hwasa.
Meanwhile, “SignHere” will premeier during the first half of the year.
The AOMG family gather together to send off labelmate and friend Loco as he begins his two years of mandatory military service.
On Wednesday, rapper and singer Gray posted a photo on social media with different artists signed to AOMG Music as a (temporary) farewell to friend and labelmate Loco (real name Kwon Hyuk-woo) who enlisted. The rapper is and is set to go through basic training before serving as a police officer.
In the photo Gray, Simon D., Ugly Duckling, Code Kunst, DJ Pumpkin, Woo Won-jae, Elo and others strike different poses around a cardboard cutout of Loco. Along with the photo, Gray wrote “my dear Hyuk-woo, don’t get hurt and make sure to come back healthy.”
However, the AOMG members weren’t the only ones to post a goodbye message. On the same day, Loco took to social media where he announced his latest album which also served as a goodbye present for his fans. “Hello, my new album Hello, will be released at 6 p.m. tonight. Please enjoy listening to the album,” the rapper wrote. In response, fans responded with massage and comments of encouragement and to say their farewells.
The new EP has six tracks and features many of the talented artists from his record label with collaborations with pH-1, Woo Won-jae, Paloalto, and Zion T. Moreover, it is also produced by Gray, Woogie, Goosebumps, Thurxday and Kitsches. In addition to the album, AOMG plans to sell limited edition stamps and calendar featuring Loco.
Meanwhile, besides Loco, BtoB member Lee Min-hyuk, rapper Hanhae, and former Infinite member Hoya also enlisted on Wednesday.
New AOMG producer and artist Code Kunst unveiled eye-catching teasers for his new digital single “Bless.”
Producer Code Kunst is ready to release his first song under hip-hop label AOMG. According to the teaser image, his single “BLESS” will feature rapper Loco and Woo Won-jae, who are both known for their unique musical style.
With a history of hits under their belts and a strong reputation in the music world, expectations are already high for the new song. Fortunately, fans won’t have to wait long too hear the single. AOMG plans to release “BLESS” on various online music sites on August 16 at 6 pm KST.
Meanwhile, it has been about two months since Code Kunst released his single album Rain Bird in June. During that same month, the producer announced that he would be joining AOMG, adding to the label’s repertoire of rappers, singers, and beat makers.
In particular, founder and current solo CEO Jay Park has had a flurry of activity in the U.S. and South Korea, raising expectations for each artist under the label.
YG’s groundbreaking label, HIGHGRND seems to be in trouble.
In 2015, YG Entertainment opened HIGHGRND an ambition subsidiary music label headed by Epik High’s Tablo. YG established the label with the aim to provide an opportunity for talented and visionary underground artists, giving them a higher platform from which they could share their music — hence the name HIGHGRND (high ground).
Indeed, the label houses some great artists including offonoff, Hyukoh, Punchnello, The Black Shirts, Idiotape and more. Their individual sounds are creative and ear-catching in a manner that deviates and redefines most people’s understanding of Korean music. As Alexander Lendrum wrote in the online publisher Unrated, HIGHGRND is: “responsible for housing some of the country’s most contemporary, forward-thinking and simply f****** awesome sounding music acts today…redefining the genres synonymous with the country they came from.”
Lable Loses Ground
However, according to industry insiders, the label is on its last legs. In July of 2017, Tablo stepped down as the CEO of the company. Since then, the position has remained vacant. More, the company has little staff members left. Apparently, YG has dispatched workers to the agency to keep it running. Reportedly, the only permanent staff at HIGHGRND are the artists and their managers.
Furthermore, the company branch in Hongdae has also been shut down, adding speculation that the agency will soon close its doors. Additionally, no new projects have been carried out. No collaborations with other brands or label have happened for months, a fact that stands out since HIGHGRND artists have actively done so since its launch.
Given these facets and the lack of action from YG to revive the company, it shouldn’t be a surprise that many industry insiders believe that the company is about to be shut down or liquidated.
When Tablo resigned as chairman last year, internal cracks in the company became apparent. At that time, YG stated that “HIGHGRND and its artist will remain. YG’s professional stall will actively provide more support.” However, since then the sub-labels operating power has diminished.
According to YG Entertainment’s 2017 business report released on April 2, shows that it holds a 100 percent stake in HIGHGRND, which is unlisted. Further, the current assets of HIGHGRND are reportedly recorded at 1.73 billion won, approximately 1.6 million USD. More, its net loss from last year was recorded as a 336 million won, which is about 316,000 USD.
In the meantime, the future actions of the artists under HIGHGRND will be watched by industry insiders.