Editors’ Notes Seoul, one of the world’s most vital and influential cities in recent decades, is also the epicenter of Korean hip-hop. Influenced by American culture and the populous Korean community in California, the city's first rappers emerged in the early 1990s with a vibrant sound that captured the urban intensity of its streets. Today, the scene presents two stylistic poles: On one end, mainstream and K-pop artists combine hip-hop with pop melodies and the silky cadences of R&B. At the other, rappers experiment with trap, boom-bap, and other styles to represent hip-hop’s global impact. In this list, you’ll discover the sounds that add rhythm and poetry to a fascinating city.