Date of birth : January 23, 1985
Height : 175 cm
Weight : 68 kg
Education : Georgia University (on a leave of absence from Graphic Designs Studies)
Debut : 2008 (featured on Verbal Jint’s 2008 song "누명" or "False Accusation"), released self-titled album in 2010-10-26 Awards : 2010 Korean Music Awards for "Best Hip Hop Award"
After having officially debuted with his first album in 2010, many people may have been left wondering, “Who the hec is this San E? Where in the world did he come from?” Fans have been voicing that he could play a strong role in popularizing hip hop more in Korea. Critics – or antis as we call them in Korea – have been saying he’s like an underground rapper who’s now playing the role of a comedian to get some limelight.
It may seem like San E became an overnight sensation, but the truth of the matter is that he spent many years perfecting his craft. Having immigrated to Atlanta in the US, San E grew up immersed in hip hop. More specifically what’s being dubbed “the dirty south style hip hop”. San E reached a fork in the road when he was a student at the University of Georgia. After contemplating on pursuing an office worker job within his major (Graphic Design), San E ultimately realized that he’d regret it if he didn’t pursue his passion in music. So he did.
He started uploading some of his music onto Korean websites where it caught the eye of Korean artists. Some big names, albeit underground names, started contacting him for collaborations. Names like Verbal Jint and Swings.
He was soon picked up by JYP Entertainment, a company that many aspiring singers would sell their souls to get into. As the first rapper to emerge out of the talent agency, San E started garnering a lot of attention through his teaser photos. One featured him standing by Park Jin-young holding a gorilla doll (Park Jin-young has always been compared to a gorilla). Another featuring his fellow JYP artists such as Jo-kwon from 2AM, the Wonder Girls, and miss A.
When his music hit stores, people were swept up in his catchy, truthful, and humorous lyrics, which made references to the likes of Tiger JK and Outsider. His title song, “Delicious San” actually criticizes the k-pop industry saying that it’s flooded with idol stars that overuse the “auto-tune” or voice synthesizer. His music video featured parody clips of popular variety shows in Korea and even politician Heo Kyeong-young.
The real clincher that signaled his strong start as an artist was when he beat out all other hip hop acts in Korea and won the Hip Hop Award at the Korean Music Awards.
San E promised to always deliver rap that’s “delicious”, refreshing, and cheerful. Let’s see if he lives up to that promise.
Everybody Ready? (debut album, September 13, 2010) : "산이 소개하기" "Introducing San E", "맛좋은산" "Delicious San (feat. Min of miss A)". "LoveSick", "B.U.B.U. (feat. Junsu of 2PM)", "원하잖아" "It’s Clear You Want It (feat. JOO)", "놀자" "Let’s Play (feat. Ye-eun of Wonder Girls)"