M.I.A is term used in the military for missing in action so don’t mistaken it always as female rap artist MIA.Some of us remember who Masta Wu is note he is not from the Wu Tang Clan but an underground rapper from Korean label YG Entertainment.Though Wu is part of the major label company that doesn’t mean he was trying to make a big name out of himself but more of an impact.Leaving his stamp for all to see and admire for years to come.Once rumor to have beef with Korea’s greatest MC Tiger JC of Drunken Tiger it seem Wu is keeping a low profile.So what happen to Masta Wu?Did he fall off a cliff?Had some money problems and stayed low?Did he had some baby’s mama drama who couldn’t ignore?Okay that last one was kinda ridiculous but seriously what happen to him?
The story of Wu isn’t a well known one but one can assume he most likely develop a love for hip hop as a young teenager.Study the master flows of American MCs like Snoop Dog,Method Man, and several others.Had a dream,as he age and created his own signature flow went out looking for a label.Under same company that found future band members of 1tym’s Danny and Teddy Brothers Entertainment.
One look at Wu you could mistake him for someone who is African/Asian heritage mix sporting an afro that maybe was a wig.Maybe Wu was just a proud Afro Asian ways paying respects to his more deeper roots.Wu style is very hip hop which caught the eye of YG Entertainment.
Wu would soon be part of the major label and making appearances under YG Family pet name for YG Entertainment.Appearing on songs like “Fly Gentlemen” and “YMCA” having this smooth laid back flow compare to other YG Family members.Although he has his own solo songs like “Bad Boy” , “Everything All Rite” and teaming up with Se7en for “White“. Masta Wu showed off his true gangster flow and style in “Don’t Stop.” Reminds you of Lil Kim’s “Crush On You” but not having similar sound.Many music critics claim Wu was to Americanize but if your like me you just don’t understand why that might be a bad thing.Hip hop is a genre pioneer in US that is mostly African American male dominated.Maybe those critics should do some damn homework and learn the roots of hip hop.
While Wu was blazing as a soloist he decide to be part of duo with Digital Master(DM) form YMGA(Young Man’s Gangster Association).The group debut with a cover song of 1987 hit done by Taylor Dayne “Tell If To My Heart.”Turning the pop song into a Korean hip hop song with actress turn singer Uhm Jung Hwa for the female vocals. Though many argue that YMGA wasn’t being so original and recycling from Jinusean.Another hip hop duo under YG label who came to be way before YMGA.Regardless the negativity “Tell It To My Heart” YMGA version became a hit.
The duo release their album Made In R.O.K(Republic of Korea) and began promotions.Also becoming pretty faces getting a modeling gig for Korean hip hop T-Shirt clothing line Colonize.Along with other fan favorites “Scandal”featuring Taebin(Danny 1tym) and “What.”That features a slew of YG artists from Teddy(1tym),G-Dragon(Big Bang) and up in coming 2NE1 member CL.Seem YMGA was getting successful then the hype died down.YG refocus their energy on Big Bang debut in Japan and production work on 2NE1.YMGA along with other YG veterans took a back seat while the younger YG artists were given the opportunity to rise.
Where is Masta Wu nowadays and is he still part of YMGA?My guess that is a yes but he is keeping to himself.You can find the Korean rapper MySpace page but he seem un active at the moment.Most likely enjoying what he has now before returning back into competitive world of Korean pop music.The year of 09 is the year of rookie bands with mostly a pop sound.South Korea could use a good helping of hip hop from artists who truly, breathes its,live it and respect the game.
Sources:Asian Raps(YMGA info)
Photos:YG World, Asian Fanatics, YG Bounce