Lee envisioned the 16-track CD as a tool to evangelize, while also examining society’s stereotypes like the one that suggests that someone of Korean heritage lacks the spit skills to make it in Hip Hop. I have had to constantly remind myself that I am legit, Lee says of the battle to win cred as an emcee. Through it all, HeeSun has managed to break through every barrier and challenge set before her, as she continues to grow and develop as an artist.
HeeSun Lee isn’t your average Hip Hop emcee. Put up for adoption in her native Seoul, South Korea at the age of four months, she was brought to America and raised by Chinese parents on Staten Island, NY. As a teenager, she became a fan of Hip Hop acts ranging from Lauryn Hill and WillSmith to Tupac Shakur. All of Lee’s diverse experiences have fused to create the illuminating backdrop for her sophomore CD Stereotypes that released on iTunes and other retail outlets on January 21, 2014. It placed #7 on iTunes Christian/Gospel Charts and #24 on Billboard Christian Gospel. Lee’s story is unique in that she credits not only her faith but also Hip Hop for saving her life. Hip Hop saved me from a lot of things,
she confesses. “My biggest struggle growing up was with my identity and it all correlates with being stereotyped and not knowing where I belonged because I was adopted.”
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Her 3rd full length album, “Beauty for Ashes,” is further enhancing her credibility as an emcee. She named this album “Beauty For Ashes,” quoting the Bible verse Isaiah 61:3, where it talks about how we were made out of ashes until God transformed us into beautiful. “A garment of praise instead of despair,” which she mentions in one of her songs, in hopes to let the listener know how much they are worth.
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The album discusses topics on motherhood, the lack of “humble” artists, anxiety, being a police officer, and standing bold in your walk with Christ. She also mentions the refreshing transition from being a signed artist to going independent on this project. There is obvious growth and maturity! Overall, “Beauty for Ashes,” is another eye-opener from this veteran, as she makes sure that no track was created without a message behind it. HeeSun’s production also has a variety of different sounds, from the hard-hitting trap beats to soothing piano hits.
Those fans who are already familiar with her work will continue to be inspired and encouraged after hearing this album, and any new listeners will gladly want to jump on the bandwagon. Most female rappers these days are glorifying and focusing on the wrong messages, clearly steering their entire fan base the wrong way. HeeSun Lee is light in the darkness, a much needed voice, and a refreshment to what most Hip Hop is making us digest these days.