Block B’s rapper Zico has had one of the more interesting careers for a mainstream K-Pop artist. He actually got his start in Korea’s underground rap world, becoming a respected rapper alongside several crews before his debut as an idol.
Soulmate, his latest solo track, is a collaboration with IU (who we’ve covered in this column before), and it might surprise you to know this isn’t the first time they’ve sung together—Zico also featured in one of IU’s early, more obscure tracks, Marshmallow. They’ve both grown as artists in the interim—it’s almost weird to go back to some of IU’s older tracks, as they’re nearly a complete 180-degree shift from the kind of sophisticated, urban-chic music she’s producing these days.
Zico has also had a successful solo career of his own, branching out beyond just being yet another idol rapper by building a solid foundation of releases, producing credits and collabs. The short list of artists who’ve worked with Zico in one form or another include Psy, Verbal Jint, f(x)‘s Luna, Seo Taiji, and of course, IU.