Born Haters keep hating and High Skoolers grab your books!! Epik High (에픽하이), in conjunction with Siva Group, has announced the EPIK HIGH 2015 NORTH AMERICAN TOUR!
As you already know, Epik High, the three member K-hip hop group that has been on the scene since 2001, is comprised of Tablo, Mithra Jin, and DJ Tukutz.
As you may not know, Epik High released an album practically every year between 2003 and 2009. Although their second album High Society got them some notice, it wasn’t until their third album called Swan Songs (because if it flopped Tablo was gonna go get a job) that their popularity went through the roof in Korea.
As you may or may not know, after leaving Woolim Entertainment in 2009, Epik High started their own company, Map The Soul. When DJ Tukutz and Mithra Jin left for their military service, Tablo made a solo comeback under YG Entertainment in 2012.
But, if only things were that simple.
The day was May 22, 2009 when Epik High took the stage at the sold out Irving Plaza in New York City during the Map The Soul Tour, that had lines stretching down the block and around the corner. As Tablo rocked out on stage, he couldn’t have imagined the trials and tribulations that were about to beset him and his group. He was about to enter into a crucible of fire.
From the highest of highs, to the lowest of lows, within a year Tablo was faced with a full-fledged smear campaign that would cause him to become a virtual prisoner in a decrepit Seoul apartment.
To get a glimpse into the depths to which an innocent man was dragged, it helps to read the articles by Wired magazine and the Stanford University’s alumni magazine. Tablo would receive death threats, his mother and family were threatened, even his alma-mater Stanford University was targeted. If all that wasn’t bad enough, his brother, David, was fired because of the fall-out.
It became national news when the Korean Authorities had to investigate, not Tablo’s innocence, but that he forged his transcript and impersonated another “Daniel Lee.”
It was during that saga that Epik High took the three year hiatus, left Woolim, and when DJ Tukutz and Mithra Jin would leave for the military.
“The are days that try men’s souls,” proclaimed Thomas Paine, an American Founding Father. A sentiment that must have resonated with Tablo. Because, in those dark days Tablo would later say, “My life was over.”
Alone in his apartment, “for months he wrote dark, despairing songs and sang them to himself.”
It’s cliche, but the fact is, behind every successful person, is a smart, wise and courageous spouse. Tablo’s wife, the beautiful actress Kang Hye Jung, who rather than run for the hills, helped stop her husband’s spiral into obscurity and despondency. After hearing his forlorn songs, she set up a meeting with her own agency’s president, Yang Hyun-suk of YG Entertainment.
And, as you already know, thankfully, Papa YG knows when he’s struck pure gold. He would sign up Tablo, release Tablo’s solo album “Fevers End”, and later sign the other two members of Epik High into the agency.
Fever’s End would reach number two on the Billboard World Albums chart and hit number one on the iTunes hip hop charts in the US and Canada. According to Wired magazine, “the 10-track double album is a lush, captivating explosion of pain, anger, and defiance.”
Even after his name was cleared, paralyzed with stage fright during a speech to Stanford’s Asian American Students Association, Tablo would say “Honestly, I’m damaged….And, I don’t know if I’ll ever be better.”
As the recent showcase, this past March at the 2015 SXSW shows, there is no doubt that Tablo is better…. much better.
So, as fans go in droves to see Tablo and Epik High during the tour, they should know this is a celebration. This is a triumphant return. This is Odysseus coming home, after slaying the usurpers (okay a little over the top – but you get the message).
When fans buy their tickets as from 12 noon (venue’s local time) on April 15, 2015 from http://epik.sivagroupent.com, it will be their declaration of triumph over tribulation, talent over jealousy, hard work over pettiness, and a reminder to one and all that no matter what, there is a light at the end of the tunnel… as long as you never give up.
When Epik High came back as three members under YG Entertainment in 2012 with the album, 99, it included hits like “Don’t Hate Me” and “UP” featuring new label mate Park Bom. In 2014, the group released Shoe Box, their latest album, with the anthem “Born Hater” that had everyone talking for days.When Epik High headlined the sold-out K-pop Night Out showcase at SXSW on March 19th. Fans lined up for hours for the opportunity to see them, as they have not performed in the United States since their MAP THE SOUL TOUR featuring Far East Movement, MYK, and Kero One. During that tour, and is anticipated for this tour, every venue was sold out in every city. The EPIK HIGH 2015 NORTH AMERICAN TOUR kicks off Saturday, May 28 at the Warfield Theatre in San Francisco, and will make stops in a number of major North American markets this summer. Tickets go on sale beginning 12:00PM in each market on April 15 at http://epik.sivagroupent.com, with more dates to be added in the coming weeks.
EPIK HIGH 2015 NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES
May 28 – San Francisco, The Warfield Theater
May 29 – Los Angeles, TBA
May 31 – Vancouver, Vogue Theatre
June 5 – Dallas, South Side Music Hall
June 12 – New York City, Best Buy Theater
June 14 – Toronto, Danforth Music Hall
… and more coming soon.
See that coming soon? It looks like SIVA Group wants to give us more shows than they’re advertising. Using #EpikHighTour on Twitter you can vote on other cities to be added to the tour. Stay tuned to us, of course, for updates, and don’t forget to subscribe to http://epik.sivagroupent.com/ for more information about ticket sales, tour info, and more.
Johnny contributed to this article