Bobby (rapper)

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180818 iKON 2018 Continue Tour in Seoul 바비 05 crop.jpg
Kim Ji-won

(1995-12-21) December 21, 1995 (age 23)
Seoul, South Korea
Musical career
Years active2014–present
LabelsYG Entertainment
Associated acts
Korean name
Revised RomanizationGim Ji-won
McCune–ReischauerKim Chiwŏn

Kim Ji-won (Hangul김지원; born December 21, 1995), better known by his stage name Bobby (Hangul바비), is a South Korean rapper, singer, producer and songwriter. He is known as the main rapper of the South Korean boy group iKon, signed under YG Entertainment.

Bobby is both the first idol rapper and the youngest competitor to have won reality television rap contest Show Me The Money, at 18 years old.[1]

Early life[edit]

Bobby was born in Seoul, South Korea but later moved to Fairfax, Virginia, United States with his parents until he was in high school.[2] He later passed YG's audition through Kim Jinwoo of Jinusean in New York, and moved back to Korea at the age of 15.[3][4]


2013: Win: Who is Next?[edit]

After joining YG Entertainment on January 10, 2011, Bobby participated as a trainee in the 2013 survival program WIN: Who is Next?, competing against other trainees from the same label for the chance to debut as a group. He was a member of the trainee group "Team B" together with B.I, Jinhwan, Yunhyeong, Junhoe and Donghyuk. They competed against "Team A" that consisted of Jinwoo, Seunghoon, Mino, Seungyoon and Taehyun. "Team A" won the program and debuted as Winner.[citation needed]

2014: Show Me the Money 3, etc[edit]

After Win: Who is Next? ended, Bobby, together with other trainees from YG Entertainment (Mino and Taehyun from Team A, Lisa from Black Pink) and the rest of Team B made a cameo appearance on their senior and labelmate Taeyang's music video for the song Ringa Linga.[citation needed]

In May 2014, together with B.I he successfully auditioned for the third season of the rap competition Show Me The Money, going on to win the series overall as part of team "Illionaire" with Dok2 and The Quiett of Illionaire Records, winning $100,000 and a special concert.[1][5] On the competition, Bobby released 4 songs: "Go", "L4L (Lookin' for Luv) featuring Dok2 and The Quiett", "YGGR#HipHop", and the final song "Guard Up and Bounce". His songs also charted well on several digital music charts.

In October 2014, he featured in Epik High's single "Born Hater" alongside Beenzino, Verbal Jint, B.I, and Mino,[6] and in November 11, he featured in "I'm Different" by Hi Suhyun, a project unit composed of Lee Hi and Lee Su-hyun of Akdong Musician.[7] In the same month, he also featured with Dok2 in Masta Wu's track "Come Here".[8] He performed "Born Hater" with Epik High at the 2014 Mnet Asian Music Awards, also performing "Come Here" and his single "YGGR" together with Dok2, The Quiett and Masta Wu.[9][10] He was featured on GQ Korea's 2014 Men of the Year list and on December 4, 2014 he appeared as a guest at GQ Party.[11] He also made an appearance on the Sprite CF together with Kang Sora.

In the same year, again he competed in the Mnet survival program Mix & Match.[12][13] Successfully made to the debut final member together with B.I, Jinhwan, Ju-Ne, Yunhyeong, Donghyuk and Chanwoo.

2015: Show Me the Money 4 Appearance and Debut with iKON[edit]

After winning the season before, Bobby came back to Show Me the Money 4 for the guerilla concert and he also came to cheer his close friend Mino from WINNER who competed on that season. He appeared on the music video of Mino's song Fear (featuring Taeyang) by MNet. Also he appeared on the 4th episode, performing on special stage together with B.I, Epik High's Tablo and DJ Tukutz and Jinusean (producers of the team "Tablo x Jinusean").

After went through some survival programs and contest: Win: Who is Next?, Show Me the Money 3 and Mix & Match where he won Show Me the Money and settled as one of the seven final members of iKON through Mix & Match, finally Bobby together with B.I, Jinhwan, Junhoe, Yunhyeong, Donghyuk and Chanwoo debuted as iKON. The group officially debuted on September 15, 2015, with the single "My Type".[14] The group released their full-length debut album on December 24, 2015.

2016: Solo debut with Sub-unit MOBB, etc[edit]

Bobby on the red carpet of the 2016 Gaon Chart K-Pop Awards

On the end of year 2015 until early 2016, Bobby together with iKON, through the success of their debut album Welcome Back by selling 260.000 copies in Asia and sold 4.8 million copies of the songs leaded the group to be the first group (8 years after Shinee) to get the grand slam Rookie of the Year title by winning several best new artist awards on major Asia awards, including Mnet Asian Music Awards, Japan Record Award and QQ Music Awards

Also on the early of 2016, Bobby featured in Lee Hi's 2nd Album Seoulite on her song "Video". The album was released on the 20th of April.

Bobby also made an appearance on the 9th episode of Show Me the Money 5, featuring in Reddy's song "Like This" and together they performed it on the stage.

Near the end of 2016, Bobby made his debut as a solo artist on September 7, 2016, with the single "HOLUP!" (Korean: 꽐라).[15] The single was released as part of a four-track EP, The MOBB, a collaboration between Bobby and Mino under the name MOBB.[16] They released the singles "Full House" (Korean: 붐벼) and "Hit Me" (Korean: 빨리 전화해) on September 9 with the music videos.[17] As the promotions of their mini-album, MOBB performed on some music shows and also on December 28, they released the Japanese version of The MOBB. They also performed on 26th Seoul Music Award and won the Hip-Hop/Rap Award

2017–present: Studio album Love and Fall[edit]

In March 2017, Bobby and B.I took part in producing and featuring in PSY's song "Bomb" from his album 4x2=8.[citation needed]

After a year of hiatus on solo activities and focused on touring with iKon on Asia in 2016 and having Japan tour until early 2017 then again having Japan Dome tour with iKON after the released of their Double-title Album New Kids: Begin, finally Bobby released his first full-length studio album Love and Fall on September 14, 2017.[18] Both lead singles from the album, "I Love You", and "Runaway", were written and co-produced by Bobby; the former was produced by Kang Uk-jin and Diggy and the latter produced by Choice37.[19] Bobby took parts in all songs as lyricist and producer. His bandmate Donghyuk together with Katie Kim a trainee from YG Entertainment featured in his song Secret while Mino his close friend and part of the hip-hop duo MOBB with him also featured in his song entitled Up. Following the success of his seniors and labelmates G-Dragon and Taeyang of Big Bang on sweeping the international iTunes Album Charts, Bobby followed their steps and came in 3rd place (after G-Dragon and Taeyang) for the most number one for Korean single album. Having total number one markets in 22 different countries. Bobby then performed his songs I Love You and Runaway once on Inkigayo. Later on, due to having Japan Dome tour with iKon, Bobby couldn't continue on promoting his solo album. However on November 29, he released the Japanese version of the album and he also performed some of his songs on the tour with iKon.



Year Channel Title Role Notes
2013 Mnet WIN: Who Is Next 10 episodes; premiered on August 23
2014 Show Me the Money 3 Contestant Series winner
MIX & MATCH 9 episodes
2017 MBC King of Mask Singer Contestant as "Fish Shop's Best Handsome Squid Prince" Episode 117
Living Together in Empty Room Cast Cast member with Jinhwan (Episodes 12–15)[20]
2018 Show! Music Core Special MC Co-host with B.I and Yeri

Awards and nominations[edit]


  1. ^ a b Jee Won, Jeong. "Bobby Wins ′SMTM3′ and Promises Not to Become Lazy". Mnet. eNewsWorld. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  2. ^ "iKON's Bobby's wish comes true with his family moving to Korea".
  3. ^ "Icon Bobby Casting Behind Story". Han-river Times (in Korean). 2015-11-16. Retrieved 2018-05-11.
  4. ^ "Bobby, "my parents came to Korea."". choson newspaper (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-05-11.
  5. ^ Kalka, Emma. "YG trainee rapper Bobby wins 'Show Me the Money'". The Korean Herald. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  6. ^ "Epik High Explores Dark, Personal Struggles & Tells Off Haters on 'Shoebox' Album". Billboard. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  7. ^ Benjamin, Jeff. "Lee Hi & Akdong Musician's Suhyun Say 'I'm Different' on Brassy Collaboration". Billboard. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  8. ^ "마스타 우, 바비와 'YG 힙합프로젝트2' 참여… 나머지 한 명은? Masta Wu , Bobby and 'YG Hip Hop Project 2 "participation ... the rest one of them ?". Naver News. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
  9. ^ Stanley, Adrienne. "MAMA 2014:EXO Wins Best Male Group, SISTAR Upsets Girls' Generation & 2NE1 For Best Female Group". KpopStarz. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  10. ^ Kramer, Kyle. "Have You Guys Seen the Korean Migos?". Noisey Music By Vice. Vice Magazine. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  11. ^ "iKON's Bobby poses for the "GQ Korea" Men of the Year issue". Koreaboo. Retrieved 27 November 2014.
  12. ^ Jackson, Julie (3 September 2014). "YG to mix and match to create boy band iKON". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
  13. ^ Lee, Yousun (7 November 2014). "Kim Dong-hyuk is the final member of iKON". The Asiatoday. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
  14. ^ "iKON's First Single Slated For January, YG Reveals New Group's Debut Strategy". KpopStarz. October 22, 2014. Retrieved 5 December 2014.
  15. ^ "VIDEO: iKON's Bobby's solo debut MV 'HOLUP!' is here". SBS PopAsia. Retrieved 2016-09-08.
  16. ^ Seon, Mi-kyeong (2016-09-06). "송민호X바비 MOBB, 유닛곡은 '빨리 전화해'..더블 타이틀 활동". Osen (in Korean). Retrieved 2016-09-08.
  17. ^ "MINO & BOBBY's MOBB to Release New Songs and Do a V App Show Today". YG Life. Retrieved 2016-09-09.
  18. ^ "Ikon's Bobby reveals teaser photos for lead track of first solo album". Kpop Herald. Retrieved 2017-09-08.
  19. ^ "iKONのBOBBY、ソロ新曲「RUNAWAY」予告ポスター2種を公開…優秀&苦悩が調和したイメージに"視線集中"". Kstyle (in Japanese). September 7, 2017.
  20. ^ Park Seul-gi (July 6, 2017). "'발칙한 동거' 아이콘 바비X진환, 홍진영 집 입성 '흥폭발'". TenAsia (in Korean). Retrieved July 7, 2017.

External links[edit]