|Origin||South Korea/United States|
|Genres||Korean hip hop|
|Labels||Jungle Entertainment (2006-2013)
FeelGhood Music (2013-present)
|Associated acts||Roscoe Umali, Micki Eyes, DJ JHIG, Tasha, Bizzy_(Korean_rapper), Mfbty|
|Past members||DJ Shine|
|Revised Romanization||Deureongkeun taigeo|
Drunken Tiger (Hangul: 드렁큰 타이거) is a Korean/American hip hop group which debuted in 1999 and has since released nine albums. They are best known to be the arguable founders of the Korean hip-hop genre.
After 2004, Drunken Tiger's central figure has been Korean American Tiger JK. Other members affiliated with Drunken Tiger are DJ Shine (left in 2005), Micki Eyes (Mike Amiri), DJ Jhig, and Roscoe Umali. In 2013, Drunken Tiger reformed to include Yoon Mi-rae and Bizzy for the rebirth of their project group MFBTY.
Tiger JK was born in Seoul, South Korea on July 29 (by lunar calendar on June 11), 1974. At the age of 12, JK moved to Miami and then Los Angeles with his family. While living in LA, Tiger JK witnessed the tension between Korean Americans and African Americans during the L.A. riots. JK, already an avid follower of hip-hop, was inspired to bridge the gap between the two ethnic cultures using his rhymes. At only 16 years old, he collaborated with Drunken Tiger member Micki Eyes (Mike Amiri) and a friend, Sucram, to compete at a local hip-hop festival in 1992. He hoped that his performance as a Korean-American with other non-Koreans would relieve some of the tensions between the cultures. JK saw it initially as an experiment, but his performance caught the attention of Oasis Records in Korea. As a result, JK was later signed and released his first solo album, "Call Me Tiger," in 1992. The album had some brief buzz, however, due to censorship put on his title song "Hide and Seek," the album received limited publicity.
JK returned to the US soon after. However, he still felt that the Korea hip-hop was slowly emerging, and it needed artists to bring it to the forefront. He teamed up with partner, DJ Shine, in 1998 and the two debuted under the name Drunken Tiger. Their first album, "Year of the Tiger," was seen as widely controversial given that the lyrics touched upon taboo topics such as sex and anti-establishment. Their debut singles, "I Want You" and "Do You Know Hip-hop" were released in 1999. Unlike their mainstream hip-hop counterparts, Drunken Tiger wrote their own lyrics, had creative freedom and did not resort to choreographed dancing. This caused much controversy in a conservative, predominantly pop driven music industry. However, their defiance of the norms was considered a major breakthrough in the Korean hip-hop movement. What was then considered an underground genre became more widely known, which many proceeding artists mark as the pivotal moment that allowed them to enter the once limited mainstream.
2000 and Drug Controversy
In March 2000, Drunken Tiger released their 2nd album, "The Great Rebirth," and introduced members, DJ Jhig, Micki Eyes, and Roscoe Umali. Produced in just 2 weeks, "The Great Rebirth" introduced The Movement, a crew of Korean hip-hop artists whose goal was to bring real hip-hop into the mainstream. At the time, the Movement Crew consisted of CB Mass, Yoon Mi-rae, Uptown, and Kim Jin-pyo and has now expanded into a large collaborative of pivotal Korean artists, including Epik High, Eun Ji-won, Bobby Kim, Leessang, Dynamic Duo, Yang Dong Gun (YDG), and Sean2Slow.
Their single, "Great Rebirth," climbed the music charts quickly, but was suddenly halted from progressing due to criminal investigation of Tiger JK for possession and dealing of narcotics in Korea during 1999. Drug tests and a passport showing JK's departure from Korea were expected to prove JK's innocence, but the Korean courts found JK guilty due to false evidence given by former Movement members in Uptown. This led to the banning of Drunken Tiger from performing on public media for 2 years. However, after appealing the decision, the ban was lifted, allowing a 3rd album to be released in March 2001.
The 3rd album, "The Legend Of..." is hailed to be one of Drunken Tiger's most pivotal albums. Their single, "Good Life," topped the charts and won the #1 spot on multiple charts for weeks. This was the first time Drunken Tiger had won the #1 spot on the mainstream pop charts. In that same year, the group won "best hip-hop music video" at the MNET Music Video Festival and "best hip-hop artist" at the Seoul Music Awards. By this time, the group had established a large fan base and following.
Success continued for their 4th album "Foundation" throughout their 5th album, "One Is Not A Lonely Word." The group continued to win awards and receive international invites to perform. In 2004, Drunken Tiger had already performed at near sell out venues of 5000+ in places such as Tokyo, Taipei, Beijing, Los Angeles, New York, Washington DC, and Chicago.
In 2005, during the debut of the 6th album "1945 Liberation," DJ Shine announced he would leave Drunken Tiger, citing family reasons as a factor. Some wondered how this would affect the legacy Drunken Tiger built, however, the success of the 6th album title song "Isolated Ones! Left Foot Forward!" led to endorsements from Hite Beer and Reebok.
By 2006, Drunken Tiger established his own record label, Jungle Entertainment, as well as LUNGTA, a clothing line.
The release of Drunken Tiger's 7th album, "Sky Is The Limit," marked another pivotal point in Drunken Tiger's career. Although JK's ability to perform was inhibited by his myelitis, the artist debuted with his hit single "8:45 Heaven," a tribute to his late grandmother whom he had been close to for years. With its thought provoking lyrics, the song was praised by many people who had experienced the death of close ones. It was the first time that a Drunken Tiger song resulted in an official "Best Song Lyric" award.
The 8th album, "Feel gHood Muzik," was released on June 29, 2009. The double disc CD sold a total of 50,000 copies in 3 weeks. The album features hip-hop legend, Rakim, and welcomes back Drunken Tiger member, Roscoe Umali, who had not partaken in a Drunken Tiger album since 2003. It consists of a unique combination of what many call the older Drunken Tiger style (raw, rugged) and the lighter side of JK that has dedicated his life to his new family.
On November 11, 2009, Drunken Tiger won the MAMA (MNet Asian Music Awards) Best Male Artist of the Year award.
2012-Present Formation of MFBTY, Leaving Jungle Entertainment
A spinoff of a Twitter joke, Tiger JK joined fellow label mates, Yoon MiRae and Bizzy, to form the group "MFBTY (My Fans [are] Better Than Yours)," in 2013. The inspiration for the group came from a number of factors, including fans demanding a full length solo album of all three artists and the fact the three always performed together. They dropped an EP on ITunes called, "Sweet Dream," with a single of the same name.
Later in the year, the three artists left label, Jungle Entertainment, to form their own label, Feel Ghood Music. Although the MFBTY name was initially temporarily, the three are still unofficially known as a trio act. In September 2013, they released the album "The Cure," under the name Drunken Tiger ft. Yoon MiRae and Bizzy. Future albums will have the name orders switched, i.e. Yoon MiRae ft. Drunken Tiger and Bizzy, but are still known amongst fans as MFBTY.
"The Cure" topped the online music sales charts. The lead single that holds the same name, is a soft melodic song that differs from Tiger JK's past releases. The lyrics were dedicated to Tiger JK's father who was diagnosed with lung cancer a few months before the album was released. However, it was also made with the thought of inspiring others to stay strong through their physical and emotional struggles.
Throughout Drunken Tiger's legacy, there have been five DJs. DJ Jhig (2000-2003, 2011), DJ Mongo Fresh (2004-2005), Bizzy (briefly in 2004), DJ Juice One (2006-2012), DJ Smells (2013 - current).
- Enter the Tiger(1995)
- Notable Songs: "Hide and Seek"
- Year of the Tiger (1999)
- Notable Songs: "I Want You" (난 널 원해) "Do You Know Hiphop?"
- The Great Rebirth (2000)
- Notable Songs: "Great Rebirth",
- The Legend Of... (2001)
- Notable Songs: "Good Life", "Is Ack Hizay?"
- Foundation (2003)
- Notable Songs: "Because I'm A Man (남자기 때문에)", "Thumb (엄지 손가락)"
- One is not a Lonely Word (하나하면 너와나) (2004)
- Notable Songs: "Convenient Store (편의점)," "Liquor Shots (술병에 숟가락)"
- 1945 Liberation (1945해방) (2005)
- Notable Songs: Isolated Ones, Left Foot Forward! (소외된 모두, 왼발을 한 보 앞으로!)", Love Song That Won't Get Banned (심의에 안 걸리는 사랑노래)
- Sky's the Limit (2007)
- Notable Songs: "8:45 Heaven", "I Hate Myself (내가 싫다) Feat. T" "주정"
- Feel gHood Muzik : The 8th Wonder (2009)
- Notable Song: "Monster", "True Romance (Feat. T)
- The Cure (2013)
- Notable Song: "The Cure," "Beautiful Life"
2006 - 희망승일 - 행복의 조건 (Hope SeungIl - The Condition of Happiness)
2008- Rhapsody Part 2
2011 - 두두루 와바루 (Doo Doo Roo Wa Ba Ru) Korea's Next Top Model Season 2 theme song
1999 - 《1999 대한민국》 Songs: Hip-Hop Syndrome , Mission Impossible
2000 - 《힙합천국》 Song: Together With Us
2002 - 《2002 대한민국》 Song: Voodoo Boogie
2002 - 《HipHop Movie 'Turn It Up'》 Song: 또 다시 (Once Again)
2006 - 《Drama 'Alien Sam'》 Song: 선생님은 외계인 (Teacher Is An Alien)
2006 - 《HipHop Drama 'Break'》 Songs: Break, 봉우리
2014 - 《Drama 'Pinocchio'》 Song: 첫사랑 Feat. 펀치 (First Love Feat. Punch)
2015 - Tiger JK (타이거 JK) – Reset (Feat. 진실 of Mad Soul Child) Who Are You – School 2015 OST
Awards & Honors
2012 Commended by the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare for their campaigns against child abuse
2011 Men's Health Magazine (Best Cover Model)
2010 Style Icon Awards (Most Envied Couple - With Yoon MiRae)
2009 MAMA 남자가수상 (Best Male Artist of the Year)
2009 Golden Disk 디스크 본상(Best Disk of the Year)
2008 한국대중음악상 Korean Music Awards (Best Hip-Hop Song of the Year - Artist)
2008 한국대중음악상 Korean Music Awards (Best R&B/Soul Record of the Year - Producer)
2008 한국대중음악상 Korean Music Awards (Best R&B/Soul Song of the Year - Producer)
2007 MTV Kountdown (#1 Korean Hip-Hop Artist of All-Time)
2005 Golden Disc Awards (Best Music Video)
2003 Golden Disc Awards (Best Hip-Hop Song)
2003 서울가요대상 Seoul Music Awards (Best Hip-Hop Artist)
2001 서울가요대상 Seoul Music Awards (Best Hip-Hop Artist)
2012 Far East Movement + Drunken Tiger (Seoul)
2011 Jungle Family Concert (Los Angeles, Wiltern Theater)
2010 Rakaa Korea Album Release Party + Roscoe Umali + Stylizstik Jones + Bizzy + Yoon MiRae (Seoul)
2007 Linkin Park (Seoul)
2006 Jay-Z (Seoul)
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- Brown, August (December 2, 2011). "Asian rapper set to roar across L.A.". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 17, 2014.
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