On the March 19 broadcast of KBS2's 'Yoo Hee Yeol's Sketchbook', Jessi greeted viewers with her comeback single, "What Type of X"!
In addition to performing her latest single, Jessi also sang a cover of "Dance Monkey" and sang a snippet of her old song "Life Is Good" for MC Yoo Hee Yeol. Later on, she also sat down for a chat about her past struggles and hardships, during her teens. In 2005, at the age of 17, Jessi originally debuted as solo artist Jessica H.O. with "Get Up". She recalled, "I came to Korea some time in between 2004-2005. But I didn't receive any sort of training or lessons. They said they wanted an artist with an 'American' feel. And at that time, I did not know any Korean, or very much about Korean culture."
She continued, "A lot of people still ask me, 'How are you still bad at Korean after living in Korea for such a long time?'. But for me, up until age 14, the only thing I knew how to say in Korean was 'annyeonghaseyo'. I pretty much just grew up as an American girl."
After debuting solo, Jessi looked back on her activities as a member of the hip-hop crew, Uptown. "They were just looking for a female member after Yoon Mi Rae unnie left, and they just happened to find me. They asked me to rap, but I didn't know how to rap at the time. But I used to listen to a lot of American hip-hop at the time, not to mention I was even more full of confidence back then than I am now. So I just did it."
But after her short promotions with Uptown, Jessi fessed up about why she made the decision to go back to the United States. "I was just having a hard time. I didn't know if this was really the right path for me, and I felt like I was ignored by everyone. But when I had made the decision to go back to the States, my company at the time insisted that I release 'Life Is Good'. But for me at that time, my life was not good. I just hated everything about my situation and even started hating music. I was alone, I was a woman, and there were no opportunities for me. So I did what they asked and released 'Life Is Good', then went straight back to America. I remember promoting that song for about a week. You could tell on stage that my expression was just dirt."
Finally, Jessi shared that after that, she spent about 5 years living in the U.S, earning her GED and working part-time. Eventually, she began working on music again and found a Korean agency, through which she was able to audition for 'Unpretty Rapstar'.
Check out some clips from Jessi's guest appearance on this week's 'Sketchbook', above and below!