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- Music never dies, and Epik High starts now
- Me, Myself, and I
- Epik High were relatively unknown to Koreans in the beginning of its career due to hip-hop music's lack of popularity in Korea. Their success began with the release of their second album, titled "High Society". Upon the success of their third album, "Swan Songs", released in late 2005, Epik High has become one of the most popular hip-hop figures in Korea.
"Fly", the title song, and "Paris" (feat. Jisun from Loveholic) from their third album became hits in Korea, reaching number one on many Korean music channels as well as on online music charts.
"Fly" was also chosen for the video game FIFA 07
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In their song “Still Life,” the three members of Epik High - Tablo, Mithra Jin, and Tukutz - sing, “The world is going to be better. If I can’t beat you down, world, I am going to at least give you a scar.”
“Noctourne (Tablo’s Word)” and “Girl Rock” from their fourth album “Remapping the Human Soul,” the group makes witty and ironic observations about society’s problems.
When the group made its debut in 2003, the public wasn’t familiar with their sound because hip hop wasn’t popular yet in Korea.
After releasing their first album “Map of the Human Soul,” Epik High began to attract attention and their second studio album “High Society” made them well-known. This new album features some excellent songs such as “Peace Day” and “The Sunset.”
Their third album “Swan Songs,” released in 2005, became a hit with its single “Fly.”
On their fourth album, the tracks “Love Love Love” and “Fan” have brisk and lively rhythms. But it’s the band’s lyrics that really grab the public’s attention.
“Ninety percent of the songs in this album are related to social issues,” said Tukutz, the D.J. “The lyrics deal with subjects such as sexual crimes, war, education and religion.”
“Our current single, ‘Love Love Love’ is similar to ‘Fly’ from our third album,” said Mithra Jin. “They both are rhythmic and good to dance to.”
But Mithra Jin said that it would be a mistake to think of their albums as just dance music. What defines them are the lyrics and content of their songs. “It’s not right to judge us on only one or two songs,” Jin said.
Rather than “Love Love Love” just one of the 28 songs on their fourth album, Epik High say they should be characterized by their last track, “Public Execution (Finale).”
The song, produced and written by Tablo, starts with: “Music never dies, and Epik High starts now.” After the words is the sound of a gun shot.
“We wanted to define music,” said Mithra Jin. “The span of music is influenced by the people. Depending on them, music can either live or die.” He also said that both listeners and producers should be held responsible for the problems in the music industry.
Although Epik High’s new album is distinguished from other popular music because it pays more attention to words, Tablo said that he tries to avoid being too extreme in his lyrics. He says he sometimes longs to take a break from from serious music.
“Writing serious lyrics makes me dizzy to some extent,” said Tablo. “I want to pause for a bit.”
Though Tablo wants to get away from being serious, his passion toward music still remains.
Epik High is planning to hold an impromptu guerrilla concert in front of the Seoul Arts Center. The purpose is to protest against Seoul Arts Center for not opening its doors to popular music at all.
The group has been planning the protest concert since last year, but weren’t able to move forward because they had to work on their album.
During the concert, Tablo is planning to hand out his solo album for free as a token of gratitude toward his fans.
“By handing out free CDs individually to fans, I will be able to see the faces of those who listen to my music,” said Tablo. “It will be a pleasant thing to do.”
Before they can give life to their dream of a free concert, Epik High has a tight schedule.
0 Comments 231 weeks
Tablo, has once again made it to the top, but this time with a book.
“Pieces of You,” a collection of 10 short stories he wrote while in the United States from 1998 to 2001 is currently a local best seller. A one week after it was published on Nov. 7, some 50,000 copies were sold.
The publishing company had to print an extra 20,000 copies this week.
“If it were not for my fame as a musician, the book wouldn’t have been this popular,” Tablo admitted in an interview last week.
“Pieces of You,” a collection of 10 short stories written by Tablo. [JoongAng Ilbo]
Since his debut in 2004 with Epik High’s “Map of the Human Soul,” Tablo has been busy. The group has released six studio albums so far, producing hit titles like “Fly,” “Love Love Love” and “Fan.”
The band’s latest studio album is “Lovescream,” with its title song “One Minute and One Second.”
Tablo has also appeared in a MBC sitcom, “Nonstop 5” and co-hosted “Good Friends,” a radio show, with actress and comedian Jo Jung-rin. He also acted in “The Fantastic Parasuicides” (2007), a comedy film directed by Cho Chang-ho, Kim Sung-ho and Park Soo-young.
He rarely appears on entertainment programs or in commercials now because he said they stop him from delivering his passion towards music to the public. But he hasn’t quit his radio show.
He is currently the daily host on MBC radio’s “Dreaming with Tablo.” He said radio is a medium that allows him to express his identity as an artist.
But why did he take time out of his busy life to publish a book?
“I wanted to write a book in my late 20s that would wrap up my life thus far,” said Tablo, whose real name is Lee Sun-woong.
The collection is a translation of short stories he wrote in English from 1998 to 2001 at Stanford University where he studied creative writing and English language and literature under short story writer and professor Tobias Wolff.
The translation of Tablo’s stories might seem awkward at times but the original English version is scheduled to be published early next year.
As the author was in his late teens and early 20s at the time, the stories are mainly about vulnerable young people who wander the streets searching for an identity.
The stories seem gloomy and asked why, Tablo said, “Everything I wrote is based on reality. If the stories seem gloomy, it means society is gloomy.”
Tablo is well aware of the dark side of life, especially in popular culture in Korea. He said there is not enough variety in Korean cultural life. Everyone is striving for the same goal, he said, of earning money.
“Every era puts importance on different social values. Once, it was arts and at times, religion or truth,” Tablo said. “At present, people value comfort and money the most, which limits their passion for other things, like the arts.”
In music, he said there aren’t revolutionary musicians anymore like Seotaiji or Cho Yong-pil.
“Fewer musicians are having a social impact,” he said.
0 Comments 243 weeks
Many people have asked me that question recently so here goes the answer. You can get it at the biggest online Korean book store ( Yes24 ). Perfect gift for Christmas
Mr. Tablo will hold a book concert on December 9th at 7pm located at the government enterprise, KT&G’s SangSang Madang according to “popseoul”.
Now we need an English version of the book!
0 Comments 243 weeks