MC Mong Returns

Popular South Korean rapper MC Mong released his sixth album in December and will follow it up with a mini-album and new single in March.

The flurry of activity is seen as making up for the star’s five-year absence due to a scandal. Some years ago Mong was accused of ducking his mandatory military service by purposely having some teeth removed.

Evading conscription is considered a serious social misdemeanor, though some wealthy parents arrange for their sons to avoid it by shipping them overseas during the period when they are required to report for duty. In the meantime Mong was “cleared of the accusations,” according to the Joongang Daily, but nevertheless decided to lay low. Known as much for his conversational wit and frank personality as for his musical talents, he was a natural on television variety shows, which are still very important for promoting music in Korea.

Even after he released his new album, he has not appeared on TV or radio, and his agency has said he doesn’t plan to follow the usual publicity paths, relying instead on word-of-mouth and exposure on Internet music portals. It seems to be working. So far, the album is a hit.