Penn State Student And Rapper Eddie Hong Releases First Album

Penn State sophomore and member of Happy Valley Music Label, Eddie Hong, released his hip-hop/rap album Dive Into My Mind on iTunes last month under the name “December.” The album contains 14 honest songs with a mix of everything from slow jams to up-beat hits. One of the songs on the album “Bae” features another Penn State student, Dong Hoon Seu, who goes by the name Seusyd. In this song, Seusyd adds Korean to the rapping. While Hong says he cannot speak Korean well, Seu can and so they complement each other in that song.

Hong explained though many people think the name December comes from his birthday month, this is not the case. Although his birthday does fall in December, he named himself December after the negative but important events that have all happened then, including his mother being diagnosed with cancer and the death of two of his friends.

Hong became interested in music at an early age. He said he started writing lyrics at seven years old. Since then, the rapper Eminem inspired him to delve into music more. Hong even got the chance in high school to write lyrics for a song by the Korean rapper DPryde. From there he bought equipment and, with the assistance of some friends, he started recording.

The reason Hong loves producing his music is because of its story-telling quality. He said, “I tell my story through music because that’s the only way I can show my emotions, my thought, and just tell everyone how I am and how I think.” Hence the name of his album, Dive Into My Mind, which contains a compilation of songs about his thoughts and emotions.

The negative life events such as the death of his friends, and being bullied, are what inspire him. He realized by listening to other music that he wasn’t alone in the way he feels and desired to share his music as a way to connect with those who feel similarly — to inspire others.

But not only does Hong have experience in hip-hop and rap, but in classical music as well. Playing piano since age 6, he looked into Penn State’s School of Music before realizing Penn State only taught classical music. Currently Hong is an IST major but plans to switch to communications next semester. As far as what the future holds, Hong dreams of being a songwriter.

His advice he gives himself and other aspiring artists: “It doesn’t matter where you are from. I know people say this all the time, but people say it because it is true. As long as you have a dream to become a musician or whatever, you will become what you want to be as long as you have a dream, goal, and effort.”

Currently working on his next album, Hong already has two songs completed. December performed at four or five venues last year and has performed with the other aspiring artist featured on the album, Malik. Malik is featured in Hong’s favorite song on the album, “Float On.”

Hong was able to get his album on iTunes and other various websites with the help of his business partner Peter Butler, who also attends Penn State. December’s album can be found on iTunes as well as CDBaby, Rhapsody, and Spotify.

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About the Author

Erin Servey

Erin Servey writes and copy-edits for Onward State. She's a Junior Schreyer Honors Scholar and Paterno Fellow at Penn State, studying English and psychology, with a French minor. Editing, poetry, and photography are her passions. Send questions and comments via e-mail ([email protected]) and follow her on Twitter (@ErinEServey).

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