Zico is known for being one of the many artists who was able to maintain his clout as an underground rapper while attaining mass appeal as an idol. He started as an underground rapper, releasing mixtapes and gaining industry respect before debuting as the leader of K-pop band Block B. The talented star is known for writing controversial songs that push the boundaries. Notably, the songs he wrote for Welcome to the Block, Block B’s mini-album, LOL and Did You or Did You Not were banned from public broadcast by the Korean Ministry of Gender Equality and Family as they were deemed “vulgar” and “inappropriate.”
Before becoming a big name, Zico used to perform under the stage name “Nacseo” in the Japanese underground hip-hop scene with the crews Dope Squad and Undisputed. Nacseo means scribble or doodle in Korean. The music star has confirmed that when he was a teenager, he auditioned for SM Entertainment. After his debut in 2011 as the frontman of Block B, the underground rapper-turned-K-pop star made himself a household name, regularly topping Korean music charts and garnering nominations at several award shows. He has been applauded for his crossover skills, being able to retain a reputation in the South Korean underground hip-hop, as well as maintaining his mainstream appeal as a K-pop idol.
On November 22, 2018, it was revealed that Zico would be leaving Block B’s agency, Seven Seasons, while the other six members chose to renew their contracts. Meanwhile, Zico left Seven Seasons to establish his own label, KOZ Entertainment in January 2019. The rapper intends to use his label to further his career as well as develop other upcoming artists. His responsibilities go beyond being the CEO of his record label. He is also a member of other crews such as Buckwilds and Fanxy Child, even after leaving Block B.
Zico was born Woo Ji-ho in Mapo, Seoul, South Korea on September 14, 1992. He lived abroad in Japan for three years. He studied at the Dong-Ah Institute of Media and Arts University between 2013 -2015. Zico was in a relationship with Seolhyun from AOA, but in September 2016, they announced that they had broken up due to personal reasons. Zico has a bad boy image and former groupmate U-Kwon always believed that Zico had the most fangirls of Block B. He draws with his left hand, but writes with his right hand.
5 Lesser Known Facts About Zico, The Leader of The Boy Group Block B
1. Zico has an older brother called Woo Taewoon. He had been a former member of the group Speed and he joined YG Entertainment’s survival program MIXNINE but failed to join the debut group. He was born called Woo Ji-Seok on May 11, 1990, in Mapo, Seoul, South Korea. Like Zico, he lived in Japan for 3 years and studied at the Tokyo Polytechnic University. Both Taewoon and Zico were trainees for Block B, but Taewoon left before debuting and afterward joined Core Contents Media, known as MBK Entertainment.
2. Zico is a devout Roman Catholic with his baptismal name “John the Apostle” tattooed on his chest, along with a portrait of his mother and below it the phrase “God save Paulus.”
3. In the spring of 2018, Zico served as a music producer for the MNET show Wanna One Go Season 3: X-CON, creating the song Kangaroo for the Wanna One subunit, Triple Position. Zico’s Boys and Girls song released in 2015 reached more than 100 million streams in Korea. He has mentioned that he may look into producing his very own boy group after the establishment of his new label KOZ Entertainment.
4. Zico joined the Mnet survival reality show Produce X 101 in 2019 as a producer. It was also announced that he participated in the making of the evaluation song used to vet participants. His pop song Move joined the line-up for the songs on the show and was broadcasted on the episode previews on the June 14, 2019 broadcast of Produce X 101. The rapper hosted his first fan meeting ‘Small Talk’ on June 30, 2019, with his fans.
5. In August 2013, he was dissed in Deepflow’s King Swings. In it, Deepflow accused Zico and Jay Park of only being in hip-hop for the money. Later, rapper Aphelia created a diss track called Zicontrol, specifically speaking of his frustration with Zico’s guaranteed popularity as an idol compared to the difficulty of being a hip-hop artist alone.