Time for Gary Kang to be known as a musician
Running Man star Gary Kang leaves show to focus on rap career
Many die-hard viewers of popular Korean variety show Running Man are lamenting the departure of a regular cast member, rapper Gary Kang.
Kang, 38, announced his decision to quit Running Man last week and reportedly filmed his final episode on Monday.
Known for his unflappable demeanour and blatant flirtation with actress Song Ji Hyo on the show - the pair are affectionately referred to as the Monday Couple - Kang is leaving behind seven years of wacky obstacle courses and crazy laughs to focus on his music.
I, for one, am all for Kang returning to his rap roots full-time.
Kang is half of K-pop's most underrated hip-hop duo Leessang.
His identity as a Running Man goofball might have brought him more fame, but it has totally overshadowed his excellent musicianship.
Kang's rapping style is smooth, effortless and charismatic.
He spits his verses like chants and plainspoken prose when they are in fact intricately penned with deep, insightful meanings.
Take the single Lonely Night, which got him the nomination for Best Rap Performance at this year's 2016 Mnet Asian Music Awards. Kang's lyrics reflect the sentiments of those entrenched in the nightmare of humdrum office life - soul-crushing cubicles and horrible bosses.
HAPPIER TIMES: Rapper Gary Kang (far right) and actress Song Ji Hyo (second from right) are affectionately known as the Running Man show's Monday Couple.
"There's so much unhappiness if you don't have money/ Those on top push you down, those on the bottom fight their way up... Everything's the same, it's all the same competition," raps Kang.
In May, to the delight of his Chinese fans, he released his first Mandarin rap number, It's OK, showing the world how linguistically gifted he is.
With Leessang, the number of solid tracks are uncountable. If you're looking for something sad and depressing, check out Tears.
If you prefer a cute, fun and upbeat tune, Turned Off The TV will get you grooving in no time.
I'm happy for Kang, and I believe he has the ability to take his music career to greater heights.
Running Man, by the way, has suffered a huge dip in ratings this year and seriously needs a creative boost to get its mojo - and audiences - back.
I'M WITH HER
Yes, it's another one of those songs about the upcoming presidential elections in the US.
This time, it's about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, with the song title directly referring to her campaign slogan.
The MV transitions between empowering freedom marches, random cat videos, and the trio singing and dancing to the song in pantsuits, Mrs Clinton's signature look.
The video throws in wacky colourful effects, making it look trippy and fun.
It's pretty entertaining - if you block out the terrible vocals.
THE LION CITY BOY
HRLY (HARRY LEE)
Good direction, eyebrow-raising special effects and amazing rap - this pretty much sums up the new MV from the local rapper.
The song's mellow beat blends well with the dark atmosphere in the video.
There's also the occasional levitation of the rapper and lyrics popping up on the screen, making it more interesting.
The one thing viewers should look out for is the ending where everything goes black and white and shows The Lion City Boy rapping in one continuous shot.
Filled with promising visuals, HRLY is an MV you should not miss. - Rachel Chan