Hello Asia writer Ariel Alkire continues to explore the Korean Hip Hop scene in her Korean Hip Hop 101 series. Today its Feel gHood Music.
Tiger J.K. and Yoon MiRae are both Korean American and spent their formative years in the U.S.; Bizzy grew up in New Zealand – all three of them returned to Korea to make hip hop in their homeland — and their music seems to have a bit of a Western flare to it.
The last full Drunken Tiger solo album, the aforementioned Feel gHood Muzik (2009), seems to be a watershed moment in his career marking a transition from the aggression of his early career to sounds more befitting of a husband and father. (J.K and Yoon MiRae wed in 2007; their son, Jordan was born in 2008.) Finally this summer J.K. released his first new solo material in ages, and it is rounded and mature in sound, and incredibly interesting! Check out the newly minted MVs for “Forever and I Know”:
Yoon MiRae (credited as Tasha or T. earlier in her career) drew heavily from American R&B traditions in her early music. Her 2007 single “Black Happiness” is a good place to start for her solo work (and don’t forget the lyrics translation – you’ll need a tissue, too). Her EDM interests were first explored in 2011 with “Get It In”, a one-off produced as part of the Intel Creators Project and don’t miss her brand new collaboration with Boys Noize, “Capture The City”.
Bizzy never talks much in interviews or on stage, but when he raps – he flies. He’s the perfect straight man to J.K.’s 4D personality. You’ll find him featuring in and around K-hip hop and the occasional drama OST, on top of his solo EP: Bizzionary (2008).
Their MFBTY material dabbles in EDM and club music with the occasional reggae experiment – for a good sense of this hip hop hybridization, check out the MV for their MFBTY debut, “Sweet Dream”, their 2014 single “ANGEL” which reflects on their decision to leave Jungle and start anew, and give their first full MFBTY album Wondaland (2015) a good listen. (Billboard loved it.)