South Korea's first rap song was likely "Kim Satgat" released in 1989 by singer Hong Seo-beom.
[Sound bite: Kim Satgat by Hong Seo-Beom (1989)]
That's according to pop music critic Kim Bong-hyeon who has analyzed the history of Korean hip hop in his latest book published Thursday titled "Korean Hip Hop Evolution."
Kim believes that song absolutely measures up to what constitutes as rap music because of the repeating chorus that conveys the lyrics solely with rhythm and without resorting to melody.
The book has chosen the most important hip hop tracks from 1989 to 2016 and examined their significance, how they were created and even the social context.
Kim gave high marks to boy band H.O.T.'s 1996 debut song "Warrior Descendants" describing it as the first model case of combining hip hop with a Korean idol band.