Kpop Album Review: Epik High Knocks Down Beast, Gaeko and More


Do you know Epik High's Tablo? Many of you many know of him because he's currently appearing on KBS' entertainment program 'Superman Come Back' and he's a member of YG family. However, some of you may not know that he's one of the greatest hip hop musicians in Korea because it has been so long since he released his new album.(even though he appeared on Mnet's 'Show me the money 3' as a hip hop producer)

Well, Epik High released its new album after 2 years of hiatus. The hip hop group, comprised of Tablo, Mithra Jin and DJ Tukutz, recently gave an interview to Korean media outlets, and Tablo talked about their hiatus, "During the period, Mithra has experienced a slump, and we were not able to release our new album because of our desires for a better album."

It was worth it. Right after being released all the 12 tracks of Epik High's new album got the top spots on various online music charts. The songs even knocked down new songs released by popular Kpop idol group Beast(B2st) and Dynamic Duo's Gaeko, who is one of the most famous hip hop musicians.

The album's title is 'Shoebox'. Can you figure out what this means? Usually, when they go out to work in the morning, Korean people(I'm not sure about other cultures) say good bye to their family members right by a shoebox which is at a front door. And when they return home after finishing their work, they say hello to their family members right by a shoebox. Yeah, shoebox is a symbol of meeting and farewell, while Epik high wanted to give people comfort, courage, and hope.


The album has two title tracks, 'Happen Ending' and 'Spoiler'. Both of the songs have emotional melodies and lyrics, which are the important elements of hit songs these days.(In Korea, such a song is gaining great popularity among people)

Tablo, who certainly proved his outstanding ability as a rapper and hip hop producer through the two songs, talked about the songs this way, "I think the two songs are just one song. I started to compose the songs two years ago when my father passed away. It was an enlightening experience. I had to part with him, and it was irretrievable."

Some of you may think it's strange because 'Happen Ending' is solecistic. However, Happen Ending's 'Happen' doesn't mean 'Occur' in this case. The song's Korean title is '헤픈 엔딩'(Wasteful Ending), and the word '헤픈' is pronounced as 'Happen' in English. The song is about a man who repeats love and parting too often.

Have you watched the music video of 'Spoiler + Happen Ending'? In the music video, a pretty girl show off her innocent and pure charm. Do you know who she is? Yeah, she is YG's trainee Kim Jisoo who will make a debut as a member of the company's new girl group soon.

Big Bang's Taeyang was featured as a singer in 'Rich', while a English version of Taeyang's hit 'Eyes Nose Lips' is also included in the album. Through the two tracks, Taeyang, who is well known for his attractive voice and outstanding singing ability, proves his competence as a top Kpop idol vocalist.


And please do not miss 'Born Hater' too. Korean top rappers Beezino and Verbal Jint, and YG's rookie rappers B.I, Winner's Song Minho, and Bobby were featured as rappers in the song, while the lyrics are about haters who automatically blame the rappers. If you want to know about a real Korean hip hop, you've got to listen to this song. I'm certain that the 5 musicians, Tablo, Mithra, Beenzino, Verbal Jint, B.I, Song Minho, and Bobby, are top Korean rappers. You will be able to feel their rhymes and flows even if you can't understand the language.(DJ Tukutz composed and arranged the music)

Tablo said, "I appeared on 'Show me the money 3' with B.I and Bobby. Especially, as a team, B.I and I had a long time journey together. Actually, we were the first to be eliminated from the tournament. B.I had so many haters in a short period of time. He reminded me of myself.(laugh) I though B.I should sing the hook of the song. And I think Bobby is really attractive and is a terrific rapper."

Epik High will hold its exclusive concert 'Parade 2014' at the Blue Square Samsung Card Hall in Seoul from November 15-16.