YG Entertainment's Epik High celebrates ten years in the rap game.
WARNING: This article contains rated material due to the song "420". Please use your discretion.
Like Us on Facebook :
Earlier this week, Epik High, pioneers in the Korean hip-hop community celebrated ten years of being in the rap game. Before there was a surge of Korean hip-hop meets pop groups, Epik High, comprised of members Tablo, Mirtha Jin, and DJ Tukutz were leaders in the underground movement to bring the sounds heard specifically in genres like American hip hop, to the streets of Korea. Since the lyrical nature and visual effects of hip-hop were controversial, many hip hop performers were members of rap crews or small collectives.
When Epik High formed in 2003, they were relatively unknown and remained key players in the underground scene. In 2006, Epik High released their third album "Swan Songs", which was meant to indicate an end of the group considering that their first two releases had underperformed. "Swan Songs" was well received and helped to catapult Epik High to become one of the most popular hip-hop groups in Korea.
Although, Epik High began to see more success, it was not without its challenges. As seen in the current Korean music market, K-Pop dominated leaving acts like Epik High to create a more pop friendly sound to remain competitive. This trend was reflected even within the label representation of the gorup. From 2003 through 2008, Epik High were artists on Woollim Entertainment, the label which launched Infinite to boy band popularity. With conflicting musical interests, Epik High left Woollim Entertainment to form their own label.
2009 led Epik High to begin to systematically enter the military for mandatory service. The group released "Epilogue" and throughout the course of service did not have any additional music releases as a group until 2012. During this period of influx within the group, speculation began to form that Tablo had plans to abandon the group, especially due to the fact that he had signed a 4 year solo contract with YG Entertainment.
However, in 2012 YG Entertainment announced that Epik High would be making a comeback as performers on its label. Under YG Entertainment, Epik High made a successful comeback with the release of "It's Cold" which featured label mate Lee Hi. Following the release of "It's Cold", came the infectious hip-hop meets dance tune "Up" which featured the vocals of 2NE1's Park Bom. Finally, Epik High made a triumphant comeback with the release of "Don't Hate".
Use discretion while listening, as this song is rated, but is truly hip hop.
To commemorate the milestone, the YG Entertainment artists released a heartfelt video which featured samples of Epik High's hit songs. In complete juxtaposition of the YouTube video, Epik High also released the single "420" through SoundCloud. "420" exemplifies the underground hip hop roots which yielded Epik High. The single features heavy hitting Korean hip hop artists such as Dumbfoundead, Double K, Top Bob, MYK, and Dok2. "420" brings Epik High full circle and back to their initial roots of being outliers in a world of Korean hip-hop that is usually more pop than hip-hop.