3:53 pm - 03/07/2015

′Unpretty Rapstar′ Jessi Spills on Why She Left Korea, Struggling with Korean Culture and More



Jessi confessed that she struggled with Korean culture as a Korean American.

Currently appearing on Mnet’s Unpretty Rapstar, Lucky J’s Jessi spoke honestly about what she struggled with during her life in Korea during an interview with Newsen.


Having debuted in 2005 with the single album Get Up, Jessi promoted under the name ‘Jessica H.O,’ but left Korea after promoting Life is Good from the album The Rebirth, which was released in January of 2009, and returned to America where she grew up.

Later, Jessi joined the rookie hip-hop group Lucky J in July 2014 and released the song Can You Hear Me, resuming promotions in Korea after changing her name. About why she left Korea and changed her name, Jessi confessed, “I took a long break. When I went to America after wrapping up promotions with Life is Good, I was on the verge of giving up because I was struggling so much.”

Jessi explained, “Later, I retuned to Korea with a firm determination and changed my name because I wanted to start fresh. I wanted to start again from the beginning. I wanted to change everything from head to toe, including music and rap. However, even though I wanted to go for the innocent look, I couldn’t change my intense appearance.”

Then what was the toughest thing for Jessi during promotions in Korea that made her want to give up on her career as a singer?

Jessi said, “I struggled the most with the Korean culture. Since I lived in America for a long time, I frequently traveled back and forth. So I faced many misunderstanding and it was tough living in Korea alone without a family. I was lonely and missed my parents. I think that’s why I left Korea.”

Jessi continued, “At the time, people didn’t take my personality or my music very well. People didn’t listen to my music back then, but I was so surprised when people liked me on Unpretty Rapstar. The public’s response was not like this before. I think many things have changed.”

Finally spreading her name and beginning to earn recognition for her musical talent, what is Jessi’s final goal? Although she seems intimidating and intense on Unpretty Rapstar, Jessi was like any other daughter who thinks of her parents.

“Although I grew up in America, I want to be successful in Korea because I’m Korean. And I would like to buy a really big house for my parents. Since my parents went through a lot, I would like to buy them a big house so they can live without having to work.”

Meanwhile, Unpretty Rapstar airs every Thursday at 11 p.m. (KST)
source: mwave
hipployta 7th-Mar-2015 09:43 pm (UTC)
This might be unfair...but when I read the ending my first thought was Bobby on SMTM3 LOL
timetobegin 7th-Mar-2015 09:49 pm (UTC)
Nice she wants to get her parents a house. Also DID Y'ALL SEE HOW SHE GOT HER ASS OBLITERATED BY KISUM IN THE LAST EP???
bunica1990 7th-Mar-2015 10:02 pm (UTC)
I died when Kisum imitated her.

Also I'm so nervous for Cheetah next week. Ugh Mnet's evil editing is killing me.
love_allure 7th-Mar-2015 10:04 pm (UTC)
ohh it's the chick that talked shit about boa on myspace(lol) back in the old days. haha shit, welp hopefully she's matured now and takes her career seriously. i friggin see her everywhere on the web these days.
jewelia13 8th-Mar-2015 12:35 am (UTC)
She actually made a string of homophobic comments (saying that Tiffany was "too good for a gay girl group"), said all SM artists were fake bitches, said Boa was "gay" and she wanted to stab her cousin in the face for wearing shoes with Boa's lyrics on them, called Daniel Henney a f*g, repeatedly used the "n" word... it just never ends.

She also (allegedly) assaulted someone in a nightclub, although the charges were eventually dropped.

I really can't understand why she still has fans.
bunica1990 7th-Mar-2015 10:10 pm (UTC)
She's getting pretty popular off the show. Hopefully she doesn't mess it up.
asth77 7th-Mar-2015 10:36 pm (UTC)
I like her a lot. Hopefully she'll learn a lot from those different experiences.
yuzuruhanyu 7th-Mar-2015 11:10 pm (UTC)
i can't believe how much a bobby 2.0 she is omg

iznanassi 7th-Mar-2015 11:38 pm (UTC)
I'm offended for her at people calling her Bobby 2.0

I like her bc she seems more genuine than most other people field/similar to her.
ggumd 8th-Mar-2015 12:18 am (UTC)
mte lol that high fiving wannabe gangster isn't the first person who wants to buy something for their parents
ironicmustache 7th-Mar-2015 11:58 pm (UTC)
i thought she was kinda annoying at first, but after 1 or 2 eps i started to really like her.

and then i saw her wearing this hoodie:


and now i love her and think we may be soulmates
charlotterhys 8th-Mar-2015 12:26 am (UTC)
She was really nice when I was doing a Simply K-Pop filming last year. :x I was kind of surprised to find out about her previous reputation later when we were looking up the groups we didn't know.

I watched Lucky J perform that song so many times, and it was so good each and every time. XD
ashiva 8th-Mar-2015 01:45 am (UTC)
Unpretty Rapstar has been really good for her as well as Yook Ji Dam as many Korean people have stopped caring about their past issues as the show is sort of about Korea's bad biatches, so bad past is now more of an asset than negative thing.
iigoru 8th-Mar-2015 02:42 am (UTC)
I did a quick youtube research and I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw this

hyungmoney 8th-Mar-2015 04:54 am (UTC)
im screaming this cannot be her. i refuse to believe it omg
leighbee333 8th-Mar-2015 04:33 am (UTC)
At the time, people didn’t take my personality or my music very well.

Lots of us still don't take your personality or rapping well, and feel pissed whenever you try to pass yourself off as REAL AUTHENTIC AMERICAN HEP-HAP!1!!

Edited at 2015-03-08 04:36 am (UTC)
hyungmoney 8th-Mar-2015 04:57 am (UTC)
nagl, i still really want to like her. i hope she has changed for the better
lettace 8th-Mar-2015 07:00 am (UTC)
i met her, and she really is honestly nice

but if she catches word and apologizes for the f and n word stuff then i'd like her
racquelle2005 8th-Mar-2015 02:32 pm (UTC)
erm yall all talking abut how kisum went in on her this ep but what about when she murdered lil cham last episode..I thought that was way more interesting tbh mostly because of the vast difference between them

Edited at 2015-03-08 02:33 pm (UTC)
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