Rapper/singer/songwriter ZICO has managed to find success both inside and out of South Korea's ardent idol-band scene. Born Woo Ji-ho in 1992, the protean crossover star first displayed his rhyming skills as a teenage underground rapper on the loose-limbed 2010 mixtape Zico on the Block. Stardom came knocking the following year, when he was chosen to lead a new boy band, the seven-member Block B, with whom ZICO wrote, performed, and produced slick songs and sexy videos—while also cultivating a parallel solo hip-hop career. ZICO cut skittering, thumping tracks like his debut solo single, 2014’s "Tough Cookie," and a catchy co-write with Psy, "I Luv It," which hit a certified all-kill (i.e., it topped all eight Korean charts). He defended himself against detractors in the track "Anti" and continued to top charts before electing to leave Block B in 2018. ZICO marked his artistic liberation the following year with the thoughtful debut solo album Thinking. He repeated his all-kill success in early 2020 with "Any Song," followed by his third EP collection of hip-hop ruckus and charming pop smarts, Random Box. Weeks after its release, ZICO’s crossover career was put on hold: He began his mandatory two-year service in South Korea’s military, following four of his fellow Block B members.
HOMETOWNSeoul, South Korea
BORNSeptember 14, 1992