K-pop’s ‘Culture President' Seo Taiji releases old collab with BTS on Christmas Eve
On December 24, Seo Taiji, dubbed as the Cultural President of South Korea due to his amazing contribution to the music industry since he made his debut in 1989, had an amazing surprise for fans. He announced the release of a collab video featuring him and the biggest boy band in the world, BTS. Back in 2017, Seo Taiji had a concert 'SEOTAIJI 25 TIME: TRAVELER,' commemorating the 25th anniversary of his debut. Now, four years later, Seo Taiji tweeted that the concert stage featuring BTS will be released online. In his tweet, he linked to the video that premiered at 8 pm KST (6 AM ET) on YouTube.
While BTS is currently dominating the global music industry, Seo Taiji himself was considered to be someone who drove the Korean music scene back in his day. Born as Jeong Hyeon-cheol, 49-year-old Seo Taiji (his stage name) is a South Korean singer, musician, songwriter, and record producer. After dropping out of high school to pursue a music career, he rose to become one of the most prominent and influential cultural icons in the country as fans and other artists dubbed him to be "the President of Culture".
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Seo Taiji collaborated with BTS in 2017
The video, which sees two of the greatest names from the Korean music industry collaborate, was filmed with about 35,000 spectators at Jamsil Olympic Main Stadium, the largest stadium in Korea. On the occasion of Seo Taiji’s 25th anniversary, the singer had a special performance at his concert which was a compilation of his experimental music and high-quality performances over the past 25 years.
The joint performance between Seo Taiji and BTS from the concert drew a lot of attention even back then, as it displayed a meeting between the two icons representing the generation. Seo Taiji is now, officially releasing the performance online for fans to love and enjoy. In September 2017, Seo Taiji performed 8 songs from his work with Seo Taiji and the Boys including singles like ‘I Know’, ‘My Love in Fantasy’, and ‘Comeback Home’ with BTS at the concert. On this stage, nicknamed as ‘Seo Taiji and Sons’, Seo Taiji was heard saying ‘Now is your time’ to the BTS members who have proved the legend's faith in them over the last few years.
Watch the performance here. The video premiered on December 24, 2021 at 8 pm KST (6 am ET).
Seo Taiji’s historic musical journey
Seo Taiji was, at first, part of the heavy metal band 'Sinawe'. He went on to form 'Seo Taiji and Boys,' a trio that debuted in the year 1992. The trio featured Seo Taiji himself, Yang Hyun-suk, well known for being the former CEO of YG Entertainment, and Lee Juno. This group led to Seo Taiji tasting real success and made him who he is today in the K-pop scene. After only a few years of successful music, the trio had to retire from the music industry in January of 1996 as Seo Taiji decided to move to the US.
In their music, Seo Taiji and the Boys introduced techniques of incorporating elements of popular musical genres from the West which led to a new form of music in South Korea — very different from the classic and trot music popular in the country at the time. This contributed considerably to the development of Korean pop culture in the 1990s and was one of the biggest driving forces that shaped K-pop into what it is today.