HeeSun Lee isn’t your average Hip Hop emcee. Put up for adoption in her native Korea at the age of four months, she was brought to America and raised by Chinese parents in a Christian home on Staten Island, New York in the 1980s. As a teenager, she became a fan of Hip Hop acts ranging from Lauryn Hill and Will Smith to Tupac Shakur. All of Lee’s diverse experiences have fused to create the illuminating backdrop for her brilliant, hard-hitting sophomore CD “Stereotypes” (In My City Records) that has debuted at #25 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Albums chart.
“We are thrilled to see that a new unique voice, that doesn’t fit comfortably into any of today’s musical infrastructure, is able to rise up and be embraced,” says Jeremy Castro of In My City Records. “This next generation is looking for their mouthpiece, someone who breaks the status quo, a misfit for God and Heesun fills that bill with her music and her life’s testimony.”
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.” She envisions the new 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. “Sometimes the stereotypes in this world are so big that they can even get to my own confidence. I may think I’m good, but I can just be playing myself if society is telling me this is not what I should be doing.”