Where Are They Now is an ongoing series where GTG talks about famous, popular people of Asia. We focus on either people that have faded into obscurity or have been out of the spotlight for awhile.
- Many of his music videos have a comedic element to them
- He has worked with Lisa, a former member of Japanese hip-hop group m-flo
- He collaborates often with female vocalists
- His breakout year was 2006
Claim to Fame
Going crazy in his 2008 hit, Michigesseo (“I’m Going Crazy” / 미치겠어). Contributing to the rise of Korean hip-hop in the mid 2000s. Dodging his mandatory military service in 2010.
Going crazy two years later in 2010 when pulled two of his own, healthy teeth to dodge his mandatory two-year Korean military service.
Whether he was actually insane, severely depressed, loathed military service, or just wanted to have a gaping hole in his mouth, his reasons are unknown.
Rumor has it he paid 80,000,000 Won (about $80,000) to a doctor to pull out these teeth. With numbing, ensuing pain, this would ensure the Korean hip-hop star to sit out of boot camp and continue his music career unimpeded. However, the Seoul supreme courts didn’t see it the same way.
The courts soon ruled on obstruction of justice charges on October 2010. The reason: delaying his military enlistment without a valid reason. While he was not charged with actual draft-dodging, delaying his service was just as serious.
MC Mong was sentenced to a six-month prison term, a year of probation, and 120 hours of community service.
Still in Seoul to appear in court for a final appeal hearings.
Since 2010, he has been on the downlow. Since his famed tooth-fallout, he’s been the brunt of much criticism. He’s heard both support from his fellow hip-hop contemporaries, as well as flames from netizens for not serving his country.
Unfortunately, bad news loom on the horizon for MC Mong. Even if he is free from his draft-dodging charge, two of the largest Korean TV stations, the Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS), have banned him for not serving his military service.
Who knew that losing two teeth would have such an impact on an artist’s career?
Ha ha, Crown J, Garie (of Leesang)
MC Mong helped bring Korean hip-hop to the forefront. In a music industry filled with sugary pop and ballads, he and other indie artists made hip-hop cool. With his catchy tunes, charismatic presence, and witty songwriting, he built a fanbase eager for his eventual return to the music industry.