Korean hip hop legends, Epik High, are back and they haven’t lost their touch.
Epik High burst into the limelight in 2005 with their 3rd album “Swan Song,” but they had already made a name for themselves in the underground rap game. Which is why many K-hip hop rappers today say Epik High inspired them to become rappers.
The members of Epik High are Tablo the lyricist legend, Mirtha with the powerful flow, and master mixer DJ Tutkutz. The song that made them a staple in the Korean music industry is the hit, “One” but you can’t forget their other hits like “Love Love Love” and “Fly” which was even featured on a FIFA video game that year.
Epik High released two music videos this time around. First was the pre-released track, “Born Hater” which had an epic collaboration of YG rappers, and other star rappers who made it out of the underground. From YG are B.I, Bobby (Winner of Show me the Money), and Mino from WINNER, as well as non-YG Verbal Jint and Beenzino, who all each had a verse in this song. It was entertaining to see the diversity of each rapping style, from the quiet and smooth flow of Verbal Jint to the strong and energetic flow of Mino.
One interesting theory about the “Born Hater” music video is that each rapper represents one of the seven deadly sins; Tablo “Pride”, Mino “Wrath”, Bobby “Greed”, Verbal Jint “Lust”, Mirtha “Gluttony”, Beenzino “Sloth” and DJ Tutkutz “Envy” while B.I is the clean conscious that tries to cleanse the sins.
Now, Epik High’s title tracks “Happen Ending” and “Spoiler” give a completely different mood. Known for their emotional lyrics, the melodic beat with the piano chords give a great contrast to the powerful verses delivered by Mirtha and Tablo. “Spoiler” talks about the actions of a love one, which alludes to a sad ending. “Happen Ending” is a little more upbeat but it still has sad lyrics. The difference is the verses of this track is more angry and resentful.
Epik High tracks are always deep and make you think. Around for 10 years, they have a song to fit each mood, and in some way they pick apart the human mind and seem to understand how to verbalize emotions.
Great to see Epik High back and with the YG name, they’re getting the spotlight they deserve. In an interview, Tablo stated they wrote about 100 songs for this album. You can tell the care and dedication they put in the album, as each song flows smoothly into each other. Check out Epik High’s new album Showbox which is out now.