As you likely know by now, we are not much a fan of award shows around these parts, especially the ones for the Korean music industry, which are blatantly literal popularity contests first and foremost. We have, however, covered the Korean Music Awards results, not because they are infallible by any means, but at least because they give readers an idea of what Korean critics think of the scene.
And so here are the 2020 results.
Album of the Year: Baek Yerin – “Our Love Is Great”
Song of the Year: Jannabi – “For Lovers Who Hesitate”
Artist of the Year: Kim Oki
Rookie of the Year: sogumm
Best Pop Album: Baek Yerin – “Our Love Is Great”
Best Pop Song: Baek Yerin – “Maybe It’s Not Our Fault”
Best Rock Album: Jambinai – “ONDA”
Best Rock Song: Jambinai – “ONDA”
Best Modern Rock Album: The Black Skirts – “THIRSTY”
Best Modern Rock Song: Jannabi – “For Lovers Who Hesitate”
Best Metal and Hardcore Album: Method – “Definition Of Method”
Best Dance and Electronic Album: Lim Kim – “GENERASIAN”
Best Dance and Electronic Song: Lim Kim – “SAL-KI”
Best Rap and Hip Hop Album: C Jamm – “Keung”
Best Rap and Hip Hop Song: E SENS – “Son of a”
Best R&B and Soul Album: Samuel Seo – “The Misfit”
Best R&B and Soul Song: Jclef – “Mama, See”
Best Folk Album: Chun Yongsung – “Year of Kim Il-Sung’s Death”
Best Folk Song: Chun Yongsung – “Heavy Snow Watch”
Best Jazz Album: Kim Oki – “Spirit Advance Unit”
Best Crossover Album: Black String – “Karma”
Best Jazz & Crossover Performance: Jangeun Bae & Liberation Amalgamation – “JB Liberation Amalgamation”
Lifetime Achievement Award: Kim Soo Chul
Selection Committee Special Award: Seoul Record Fair
Baek Yerin obviously benefits most from this, taking home both the most awards and the most coveted one. However, Jannabi, Jambinai, Lim Kim, Chun Yongsung, and Kim Oki also take home multiple awards.
Worth of pointing out (to me) is E SENS, whose album you should give a listen to if you enjoy hip-hop, though “Son Of A” isn’t even my favorite off of it.