Drunken Tiger

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Drunken Tiger
OriginSouth Korea/United States
GenresKorean hip hop
Years active1999–2018
LabelsJungle Entertainment (2006-2013)
Associated actsTiger JK, DJ Shine, The Movement, MFBTY, Yoon Mi-rae, Bizzy
Past members
Drunken Tiger
드렁큰 타이거
Revised RomanizationDeureongkeun taigeo
McCune–ReischauerTŭrŏngk‘ŭn t‘aigŏ

Drunken Tiger (Hangul드렁큰 타이거) was a Korean hip hop group that debuted in 1999 and has since released several albums and won numerous awards. They are known as pioneers of Korean hip-hop who helped bring the genre into the mainstream.[1]

The group's original line-up consisted of central member Tiger JK, as well as DJ Shine. Micki Eyes, DJ Jhig, and Roscoe Umali later joined the group.[2] In 2013, Tiger JK moved away from making music under the group's original name and formed MFBTY with his wife Yoon Mi-Rae and Bizzy. In 2018, they briefly reunited for a final self titled album.[3][4]


1998-2000: Debut and early controversy[edit]

In 1998, Korean-American rappers Tiger JK and DJ Shine teamed up to form Drunken Tiger. They released their first album, Year of the Tiger in Korea in 1999. At the time, the album was controversial given its explicit lyrics and rejection of mainstream k-pop norms. Unlike their k-pop counterparts, Drunken Tiger wrote their own lyrics, expressed anti-establishment views, and did not perform choreography. However, the album's singles, "I Want You" and "Do You Know Hip-hop," are now considered Korean hip hop classics.[5][6][7]

2000-2004: Drug charges and early success[edit]

In 2000, Drunken Tiger released their second album, The Great Rebirth, and introduced new members DJ Jhig, Micki Eyes, and Roscoe Umali.[8] The album did well on music charts and established the group as "the first commercially successful true hip hop group" in Korea.[9]

However, in the midst of the group's success, Tiger JK was arrested for using methamphetamine in Korea in 1999. Tiger JK said that, though he had used drugs in the past, he had not used them in Korea, and he said that he was ultimately found guilty due to false testimony from the members of the hip hop group Uptown, who has also been arrested on drug charges. Tiger JK spent a month and a half in jail and was sentenced to two years probation.[9] As a result, Drunken Tiger was banned from performing on public media for two years. However, after appealing the decision, the ban was lifted[citation needed], allowing the group to release their third album in 2001.

2001's The Legend Of..., is one of Drunken Tiger's most successful albums. Their single "Good Life" became a huge hit, topping Korean music charts for weeks.[10] They went on to win Best Hip Hop Performance at the 2001 MNET Music Video Festival and the Hip-Hop/Rap Award at the 2001 Seoul Music Awards.[11]

The group released the albums Foundation and One Is Not A Lonely Word in 2003 and 2004, respectively. By this point, Drunken Tiger's appeal had grown internationally, with the group gaining fans and performing in countries including Japan, China, and Taiwan.[12][13][14]

2005-2012: Departure of DJ Shine and continued success[edit]

In 2005, during the debut of the group's sixth album, 1945 Liberation, founding member DJ Shine announced he would leave Drunken Tiger.[15] Tiger JK continued using the group's name as a solo artist, and, with the success of the fifth album, signed endorsement deals with Hite Beer and Reebok.[5] In 2006, Tiger JK established his own hip-hop label, Jungle Entertainment, which became the new home of Drunken Tiger.[16]

The release of Drunken Tiger's seventh album, Sky Is The Limit, marked another high point in Drunken Tiger's career. Although Tiger JK's ability to perform was inhibited by his recently diagnosed acute transverse myelitis, the album's single "8:45 Heaven," a tribute to his late grandmother, became a fan favorite and won Best Hip Hop Song at the 2008 Korean Music Awards.[5][17][18]

Drunken Tiger released its eighth album, Feel gHood Muzik, in 2009. The double-disc album featured American hip-hop legend, Rakim, as well as Roscoe Umali, who had not appeared on the last few Drunken Tiger releases.[19] The album sold over 100,000 copies,[19] and all 27 tracks debuted on the Top 100 K-Pop Singles chart.[citation needed] The album ultimately won Record of the Year at the 2010 Seoul Music Awards and Best Hip Hop Album at the 2010 Korean Music Awards.[20][21]

2013-present: Forming MFBTY and Feel Ghood Music[edit]

In 2013, Tiger JK and label mates Yoon Mi-rae and Bizzy released the song, "Sweet Dream," under the group name MFBTY. An acronym for "My Fans [are] Better Than Yours," the name MFBTY started as a joke between Tiger JK and fans on Twitter. Although the name was meant to be temporary, the three artists have made subsequent releases as MFBTY, as well as under their solo names.[22][23]

Later that year, the three artists left Tiger JK's own Jungle Entertainment and signed to his new label, Feel Ghood Music. In September, they released the album The Cure, under the name Drunken Tiger ft. Yoon MiRae and Bizzy. The album, which peaked at #6 on the K-Pop Hot 100 chart, was a tribute to Tiger JK's father, who was battling cancer at the time.[24][23]

In 2015, MFBTY released the album Wondaland, which was an immediate success. Hours after its release, 17 of the top 20 songs on Daum's music chart were from Wondaland. The album ultimately reached #8 on Billboard's World Albums chart. Tiger JK said the reason he wasn't making music under the name Drunken Tiger anymore was because his young son did not like the word "drunken."[22][23] In April 2018, Drunken Tiger returned for a final self titled album, the last album they would ever make under the name "Drunken Tiger."


  • Tiger JK (Seo Jung-kwon) — 1998-2018
  • DJ Shine (Lim Byong-wook) — 1998-2005
  • DJ Jhig (James Jung) — 2000-?
  • Micki Eyes (Mike Amiri) — 2000-?
  • Roscoe Umali — 2000-?



Title Album information Notable songs
Year of the Tiger Released : February 2, 1999

Label : Doremi Media

"I Want You"

"Do You Know Hip Hop?"

The Great Rebirth Released : March 29, 2000

Label : Doremi Media

The Legend Of... Released : March 22, 2001

Label : Doremi Media

"Good Life"

"Is Ack Hizay"

Foundation Released : February 25, 2003

Label : Doremi Media

"Because I'm A Man"


One Is Not A Lonely Word Released : August 13, 2004

Label : Doremi Media

"Liquor Shots"

"Convenience Store (Feat Gamini)"

1945 Liberation Released : August 12, 2005

Label : Doremi Media

"Isolated Ones! Left Foot Forward!"
Sky Is The Limit Released : September 5, 2007

Label : CJ E&M


"I Hate Myself" (feat. T)

Feel gHood Muzik : The 8th Wonder Released : June 29, 2009

Label : Jungle Entertainment

"True Romance" (feat. T)


The Cure Released : September 13, 2013

Label : Feel Ghood Music

"The Cure"
Drunken Tiger Released : April 13, 2018

Label : Feel Ghood Music

Released : June 27, 2018

Label : Feel Ghood Music

Drunken Tiger X : Rebirth Of Tiger JK Released : November 14, 2018

Label : Feel Ghood Music

"끄덕이는 노래"

Single albums[edit]

Title Album information Track listing
희망승일 - 행복의 조건 Released: November 17, 2006

Label: Jungle Entertainment

  1. 난 다시 살아났죠
  2. 희망승일 - 행복의 조건
Rhapsody Part 2 Released: May 28, 2008

Label: ?

  1. Baby Bye Bye (by Yoon Mi-rae)
  2. 문자놀이 (feat. Yoon Mi-rae)
두두루 와바루 Released: July 24, 2011

Label: CJ E&M

  1. 두두루 와바루 (Korean ver.) (feat. Yoon Mi-rae & Bizzy)
  2. 두두루 와바루 (English ver.) (feat. Styliztik Jones & Roscoe Umali)


Title Album information Songs contributed
1999 대한민국 [25] Released: 1999

Other artists: Kim Jin-pyo, Gary, Uptown, and more

"Hip-Hop Syndrome"

"Mission Impossible"

힙합천국 [26] Released: April 6, 2000

Other artists: g.o.d, Y.G. Family, and more

"Together With Us"
2002 대한민국 [27] Released: May 1, 2002

Other artists: Dope Boyz, Defconn, and more

"Voodoo Boogie"


Mnet Asian Music Awards[edit]

Year Category Nominated work Result
1999 Best Hip Hop Performance "Do You Know Hip-Hop" Nominated
2001 "Good Life" Won
2003 "Because I'm A Man" Nominated
2004 "Liquor Shots" Nominated
2005 Music Video of the Year "Isolated Ones! Left Foot Forward!" Won
2007 Best Hip Hop Performance "8:45 Heaven" Nominated

Seoul Music Awards[edit]

Year Category Nominated work Result
2001 Hip Hop/Rap Award Drunken Tiger Won
2010 Record of the Year Feel gHood Muzik : The 8th Wonder Won
Hip Hop/Rap Award Drunken Tiger Won
2019 Hip Hop/Rap Award Drunken Tiger Won

Golden Disk Awards[edit]

Year Category Nominated work Result
2005 Best Music Video "Isolated Ones! Left Foot Forward" Won
2009 Best Disk of the Year Drunken Tiger Won

Korean Music Awards[edit]

Year Category Nominated work Result
2008 Best Hip Hop Song "8:45 Heaven" Won
2010 Best Hip Hop Album Feel gHood Muzik : The 8th Wonder Won

Select live performances[edit]

Date Concert title City Other performers
May 13, 2006 Movement Concert[28] Seoul, South Korea YDG, Epik High, Eun Ji-won, Buga Kingz, Dynamic Duo, Leessang
2006 Seoul, South Korea Jay-Z[citation needed]
July 21, 2007 Summer Big4 Concert - Exciting Star[28] Seoul, South Korea Epik High, Dynamic Duo, Yoon Mi-rae
November 30, 2007 Linkin Park Projekt Revolution World Tour[29] Seoul, South Korea Linkin Park, Dynamic Duo
September 27, 2009 R16 Korea (World BBoy Series)[30] Incheon, South Korea Rakaa (of (Dilated Peoples), Epik High
July 22–23, 2011 Caribbean Bay Summer Wave Festival[28] Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea T-Pain, 2PM, Will.i.am, Yoon Mi-rae, and more
August 5, 2011 Super Traxx Concert[28] Incheon, South Korea Taeyang, Miss A, G-Dragon & T.O.P, Yoon Mi-rae, B.o.B.
December 2, 2011 The Jungle Concert in L.A.[31] Los Angeles, California, United States Yoon Mi-rae, Leessang, Bizzy, Jung In
July 14–15, 2012 Caribbean Bay Summer Wave Festival[28] Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea Taio Cruz, Ludacris, M-Flo, Yoon Mi-rae, and more
August 10–12, 2012 World Electronica Carnival[28] Gapyeong, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea Yoon Mi-rae, Daishi Dance, Shinichi Osawa, DJ Shadow, Benny Benassi, Far East Movement, and more

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Drunken Tiger Talk Hip Hop's Early Days in South Korea: "It Was a Secret Society"". Fuse. 2014-01-13. Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  2. ^ Brown, August (December 2, 2011). "Asian rapper set to roar across L.A." Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 17, 2014.
  3. ^ "Tiger JK, Yoon Mirae & Bizzy Transcend Korean Hip-Hop on MFBTY Album 'WondaLand'". Billboard. 2015-03-24. Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  4. ^ "Korean Hip-Hop Supergroup MFBTY Made an Album Just for Their Twitter Followers". Vice NOISEY. 2015-06-25. Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  5. ^ a b c "Korea's Hip-Hop Legend Tiger JK is a Rebel with a Cause". KoreAm Journal. 2014-01-01. Retrieved 2016-04-11.
  6. ^ "Inside the Music: Drunken Tiger's DJ SHINE on HipHop in Kpop". Hello Kpop. 2014-10-11. Retrieved 2016-04-11.
  7. ^ "<노래인생> 타이거JK "이젠 힙합 아저씨..치유 끝 다시 설렌다"" [Tiger JK: “I’m a Hip Hop Ahjussi, and I'm Ready to Come Back"]. Daum Entertainment (in Korean). 2014-09-29. Retrieved 2016-04-11.
  8. ^ "Throwback Thursday: Drunken Tiger". Republic of Sound. 2015-07-30. Archived from the original on 2016-04-10. Retrieved 2016-04-11.
  9. ^ a b Forrest, Brett (2000-11-01). "Silence Makes the Beats Grow Stronger". SPIN. Retrieved 2016-04-11.
  10. ^ "Rap-fueled takeover of Lotte World, Seoul". The Korea Herald. 2010-03-30. Retrieved 2016-04-11.
  11. ^ "타이거 JK". Daum. Retrieved 2016-04-11.
  12. ^ "K-beat knocking on Japan doors". The Japan Times. 2000-12-19. Retrieved 2016-04-13.
  13. ^ Kirk, Don (2002-03-14). "Korea's rap 'n' roll phenomenon". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-04-13.
  14. ^ "Asian hip-hop music has come a long way". Taipei Times. 2004-03-25. Retrieved 2016-04-13.
  15. ^ "Inside the Music: Drunken Tiger's DJ SHINE on HipHop in Kpop". Hello Kpop. 2014-10-11. Retrieved 2016-04-13.
  16. ^ "History". Jungle Entertainment (in Korean). Retrieved 2016-04-13.
  17. ^ Chen, Roselle (2011-12-03). "Drunken Tiger - The Jungle Concert In L.A." L.A. Weekly. Retrieved 2016-04-13.
  18. ^ Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 2009-03-28.
  19. ^ a b "Interview with Drunken Tiger". KoME U.S.A. 2010-03-03. Retrieved 2016-04-13.
  20. ^ "제23회서울가요대상" [23rd Seoul Music Awards] (in Korean). 2014-08-18. Archived from the original on August 18, 2014. Retrieved 2016-04-13.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
  21. ^ "7th Korean Music Awards winners". Indieful ROK 2.0. 2010-03-30. Retrieved 2016-04-13.
  22. ^ a b "Korean Hip-Hop Supergroup MFBTY Made an Album Just for Their Twitter Followers". Vice NOISEY. 2015-06-25. Retrieved 2016-04-13.
  23. ^ a b c "[Interview] MFBTY creates a Wondaland of Feel Ghood Music". Hello Kpop. 2015-04-24. Retrieved 2016-04-13.
  24. ^ "Drunken Tiger, Yoon Mi Rae & Bizzy Find 'The Cure': Exclusive Video Interview". Billboard. 2013-10-07. Retrieved 2016-04-13.
  25. ^ "1999 대한민국". Daum (in Korean). Retrieved 2016-04-13.
  26. ^ "힙합천국". Daum (in Korean). Retrieved 2016-04-13.
  27. ^ "2002 대한민국". Daum (in Korean). Retrieved 2016-04-13.
  28. ^ a b c d e f "드렁큰 타이거" [Drunken Tiger]. Play DB (in Korean). Retrieved 2016-04-12.
  29. ^ "Linkin Park Rocks Fans in Seoul". The Korea Times. 2007-12-02. Retrieved 2016-04-12.
  30. ^ "World B-Boy Championships & Hip-Hop Festival To Commence in South Korea". AllHipHop. 2009-09-24. Retrieved 2016-04-12.
  31. ^ "Jungle Entertainment to have their concert in L.A!". KPop Music. 2011-11-11. Retrieved 2016-04-12.