Epik High

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Epik High
EpikHigh 061215 036 (18151992384).jpg
2015 North American Tour, New York City
Background information
Origin Seoul, South Korea
Years active 2001–present
Labels Woollim Entertainment (2003–2008, 2010)
Map the Soul Inc.(Independent label) (2009–10)
YG Entertainment (2012-present)
HIGHGRND (2015–present)
Associated acts YG Family, Dynamic Duo, MYK, Infinite, Park Bom, Dok2, Yankie, Nell, Planet Shiver, Lee Hi, Pe2ny, TBNY, Jay Park
Website Epik High Website
Members Tablo
Mithra Jin
DJ Tukutz

Epik High (Hangul: 에픽하이) is a South Korean alternative hip hop group from Seoul, composed of Tablo, Mithra Jin and DJ Tukutz. The group is known for combining different styles of hip hop, along with different musical genres and collaborations on each album. The group went on hiatus from 2009–2012 whilst members served individual mandatory military service. On July 25, 2012, YG Entertainment announced that they would sign Mithra Jin and DJ Tukutz (Tablo already being signed as he had a solo album under YG) and the group returned with their seventh studio album 99 on October 23, 2012.[1]


2003-2005: Early Days[edit]

Epik High was relatively unknown early in their career due to hip-hop's lack of popularity in Korea. They were performing with other groups like "CB Mass" to gain popularity in the underground hip-hop scene. They also became members of the "Movement Crew", one of the largest hip-hop crews in South Korea. Their debut album, Map of the Human Soul was released in 2003. However success only began with the release of their second album, titled High Society.

2007 at Everland

2005-2007: Swan Songs[edit]

Epik High's 3rd album, Swan Songs, was originally intended to be Epik High's final album after the poor performance of their first 2 albums. However, the album became a mainstream hit in the Korean music scene, making Epik High one of the most popular hip-hop groups in Korea. "Fly", the title song, and "Paris" (feat. Jisun from Loveholic) from their third album became hits in Korea, reaching number one on many Korean music channels as well as on online music charts.[2] "Fly" was also chosen for the video games FIFA 07 and Pump It Up.

The album was later repackaged as Black Swan Songs, which included remixes of various hit songs.

2007: Remapping the Human Soul[edit]

Their fourth album, Remapping the Human Soul, was released on January 23, 2007. The title songs, "Fan", and "Love Love Love" became huge hits in 2007. Despite the lead singles, Remapping the Human Soul, was known to be much darker and contained more mature content than previous albums.

Originally, the album was set to be released on October 2006, but the date was postponed.[3] The album sold almost 90,000 copies in its first month and pushed Epik High to the number one spot for best upcoming artist. It went on to sell a total of 130,000 copies. The group was chosen as the best artist of the month.[citation needed] The group decided to head towards a 'no genre, just music' style for their fourth album. Several songs on the fourth album have been banned and subject to censorship from several channels due to issues dealing with sexual crimes, war, education and religion; the Ministry of Culture and Tourism attempted to stop radio airplay of Remapping the Human Soul as stated by Tablo in an interview with The Korea Times.[4] With the title song "Fan", the album became their number one selling music album. In addition, Epik High's fame has risen in Japan with the song "Flow", which features Emi Hinouchi. They will release a CD sample in Japan. There have been offers to remake "Fly" as well as "Paris".[5] The album sold 120,301 copies during the year, making it the third best-selling album of 2007 in South Korea.[6]

2008: Early Success of Pieces Part One and The First Mini-Album Lovescream[edit]

Over 50,000 copies of the fifth studio album entitled Pieces, Part One were pre-ordered. The first single off the new album and released music video is "One," which features Jisun from Loveholic and Korean actress Jung Ryeo-won. Shortly after "One", music videos for "Breakdown" and "Umbrella" were created. After the success of Pieces, Part One, Epik High released a mini-album, titled Lovescream. This is their first mini-album since their debut in 2003. It came out September 30, 2008. Teasers were put up on the Epik High website, which gained attention because it was made of abstract, animated graphics instead of actual actors.[7] The mini-album gained huge success and the title track "1 Minute 1 Second" topped online music charts.

2009: Map the Soul[edit]

Early 2009, Epik High parted ways with their old label Woollim Entertainment, and founded Map The Soul, an independent record label that consisted of Epik High, MYK, Planet Shiver and Dok2.

Epik High's seventh work, a book-album entitled 魂: Map the Soul, was released on March 27, 2009. Completely independent from any major label, the book-album was distributed exclusively on Epik High's website. They recorded the album with the help of other artists such as MYK, Kero One and Beatbox DG. Tablo has specifically stated that 魂: Map the Soul is not Epik High's official 6th album but instead a special project. On May 19, 2009, Epik High released both worldwide and Korean versions of the music video for "Map the Soul". To commemorate their first release under their independent label and to interact with fans, Epik High toured in Japan and performed at Melon Ax in Seoul, Korea with Kero One & MYK. Shortly after, Epik High toured various cities in the US (New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle) along with Dumbfoundead, Kero One, MYK and Far East Movement in May 2009.

On July 22, 2009, Epik High and the electronic group they scouted, Planet Shiver, joined forces and released an album with re-recorded, remixed and remastered versions of Epik High’s past hit songs titled Remixing The Human Soul.

On August 14, 2009, Epik High member Tablo revealed on his blog that they are working on a new album called "(e)". Then on September 16, 2009, Epik High's 6th album, "(e)", was released. This album contains 30 tracks in 2CDs and a 74 page mini-book, which has interviews of each member as well as pictures. The Korean tour began on September 19, right after the album release. The first single for "(e)" was "따라해(Wannabe)" which features Mellow, and is an electronic-pop song that criticizes the current trends of K-pop. A joint music video was released for the next upcoming singles ("Trot" and "High Technology") shortly afterward. On December 6, 2009, a music video featuring scenes from the movie "No Mercy" was released with the track "Slow Motion".

2010-2012: Epilogue and military service[edit]

On October 15, 2009, DJ Tukutz enlisted for mandatory military service for two years, and was discharged on August 7, 2011.

On March 9, 2010, the album Epilogue was released.[8] Epik High had created their new album with their new song "Run," representing their new artistic direction. The music video for "Run" featured Infinite's L as the main character, Sunggyu as the guitarist, Woohyun as the bassist, and Sungjong as the keyboardist prior to their official debut. Infinite's Hoya and Dongwoo were also back-up dancers during Epik High's "Run" promotions on various music shows. This new album contains fewer songs than the previous, but is dedicated to all their fans and they thank everyone for all their support, as they wait for DJ Tukutz to finish his military service.

On August 3, 2010, Mithra Jin also enlisted for mandatory military service, he entered the 102 reserve in Chuncheon, then served as an infantry rifle soldier, a member of the military band and a GOP soldier, and finally at the Defense Media Agency (DEMA). He was discharged by the Ministry of Defense in Yongsan-gu, Seoul on May 14, 2012.[9]

Announced on September 27, Tablo made his comeback on November 1 with his debut solo album. Although Tablo signed an exclusive 4-year contract with YG Entertainment, he indicated that it did not mean that Epik High had disbanded.[10]

2012: YG Entertainment and 99[edit]

In 2012 it was revealed DJ Tukutz & Mithra Jin were no longer signed to Woollim Entertainment. In June/July several hints were given to a possible Epik High comeback in the second half on the year such as the YG Stock Report, a tweet from a fashion designer that said they were making the costumes for Epik High's comeback under YG, and a tweet from Jerry K to Tablo that said he is anticipating the new Epik High album. On September 26, 2012, YG posted a teaser image suggesting that Epik High would make their comeback in October, after a three year hiatus as a group.[11]

On October 8, the group released their first song in about three years entitled "It's Cold" featuring K-Pop artist Lee Ha Yi.[12] On October 19, 2012, YG Entertainment and Epik High released two new music videos for the songs "Up (ft. Park Bom of 2NE1)" and "Don't Hate Me."

Epik High released 99 as their seventh studio album on October 19 (on digital formats) and October 23 (on physical CD format). The album CD has two extra tracks not found on the digital release.[13]

On December 30, 2012, during the "SBS Gayo Daejun" they joined Dynamic Duo and Simon D for "Cypher 2012", a remix of popular hip-hop tracks of the year to much acclaim.

2015 K-Pop Night Out at SXSW
DJ Tukutz, Tablo, Mithra Jin

2013 - Present: 10th Anniversary and Shoebox[edit]

On October 23, 2013, Epik High released the single "420" to celebrate their 10th Anniversary. The track also featured rappers Double K, Yankie, Dok2, Sean2Slow, Dumbfoundead, TopBob, and MYK.[14][15]

Epik High released the single "With You" on May 18, 2014. The track was a re-recording of the song "Fool" from their previous album, Epilogue, as a collaboration between Epik High and Chinese singer, Bibi Zhou. The melodic parts originally sung in Korean by Bumkey were replaced with Zhou's vocals and new English lyrics.[15]

On October 12, YG Entertainment announced Epik High's upcoming comeback with their 8th studio album, Shoebox.[15] On October 18, the trio revealed a 19+ rated M/V for their pre-release track "Born Hater" featuring a line-up of rappers. Originally intended to be posted on the 17th, the M/V release was delayed in respect to the Pangyo Techno Valley Festival tragedy.[16]



Studio albums[edit]



Special Album[edit]



  • Epik High Concert Parade Asia Tour (2014)
  • Epik High North America Tour (2015)
  • Epik High Concert Legend 3 In Seúl (2015)
  • Epik High Japan Tour (2016)


2014 Bugs Awards[edit]

Year Category Recipient Result
2014[17] Album of The Year Shoebox Won

Golden Disk Awards[edit]

The Golden Disk Awards is a music awards show founded in 1986 that is presented annually by the Music Industry Association of Korea for outstanding achievements in the music industry in South Korea. The Main Award (Disk Bonsang) is awarded up to 10 best artists by calculating album and digital sales with online vote and a final judgement by the judges of the award ceremony. The Grand Prize award (Disk Daesang) is equivalent Artist of the Year, is awarded to the performer of the best full-length album nominated from the Disk Bonsang.

Year Nominated work Award Result
2005 Best Hip-Hop Artist Won
2007 Bonsang (Fan) Won
2009 Best Hip-Hop Artist Won
2013 Best Hip-Hop Artist Won

KBS Music Awards[edit]

Year Nominated work Award Result
2005 Best Hip Hop Artist Won

Mnet Asian Music Awards[edit]

The M.net KM Music Festival (MKMF), now known as Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) is a major K-pop music award show that is held by Mnet Media annually in South Korea from 1999-2008. Daesang Award (Grand Prize) is equivalent Artist of the Year.

Year Nominated work Award Result
2004 "Peace Day" (평화의 날)[18] Best Hip-Hop Video Nominated
2005 "Fly" (ft. Amin. J)[19] Best Hip-Hop Artist Won
2007 "Fan"[20] Song of the Year Nominated
Best Male Group Nominated
Best Hip Hop Performance Won
Remapping the Human Soul[21] Album of the Year Won
2008 Pieces, Part One[22] Album of the Year Nominated
"One" (ft. Ji Sun)[22][23] Best Hip-Hop Artist Won
Best Male Group Nominated
Best Music Video Nominated
Song of the Year Nominated
2009 "Wannabe" ft. Mellow[24] Best Hip-Hop Performance Nominated
2010 "Run"[25] Best Rap Performance Nominated
Best Music Video Nominated
2012 Best Rap Performance[26] Won
2014 Best Rap Performance[27] Won

Naver Yearly Ranking 2014[edit]

Year Category Recipient Result
2014 Top 10 Album Shoebox Won

SBS Music Awards[edit]

Year Nominated work Award Result
2006 Best Hip Hop Artist Won

Seoul Music Awards[edit]

The Seoul Music Awards is a music awards show founded in 1990 that is presented annually by the Sports Seoul for outstanding achievements in the music industry in South Korea. Daesang Award (Grand Prize) is equivalent Artist of the Year. While the Bonsang Awards (Main Prize) is awarded up to 10 best artists by calculating album and digital sales with online vote and a final judgement by the judges of the award ceremony.

Year Nominated work Award Result
2008 Bonsang (Fan) Won
2012 Bonsang (Fan) Won

Music Programs[edit]

MBC Show! Music Core[edit]

Year Date Song
2005 October 29 "Fly"
November 5
November 12

SBS Inkigayo[edit]

Year Date Song
2005 November 27 "Fly"
2007 March 4 "Fan"
March 11
2008 May 5 "One"
May 18

Mnet M! Countdown[edit]

Year Date Song
2005 November 10 "Fly"
2007 February 15 "Fan"
March 1
March 15
2014 October 30 "Happen Ending"
November 6
November 13


  1. ^ "Epik High soars to the top of the charts". The Korean Herald. 2012-10-10. Retrieved 2012-10-10. 
  2. ^ "Epik High 1st on online chart" (in Korean). Retrieved 2008-05-04. 
  3. ^ (Korean) Tablo's hip hop magazine interview
  4. ^ South Korea: Censors attempted to silence hip hop group
  5. ^ Epik High to expand into Japan with sample CD
  6. ^ "January - Total sales level" (in Korean). Archived from the original on 2008-05-08. Retrieved 2008-05-04. 
  7. ^ "Epik High Website". Retrieved 1 December 2008. 
  8. ^ http://mapthesoul.com/news/29
  9. ^ Oh, MiJung (14 May 2012). "Epik High’s Mithra Jin Released from Army". Mnet News. Retrieved 16 May 2012. 
  10. ^ "Epik High's Tablo Joins YG Family". Asia Pacific Arts. 2011-09-28. 
  11. ^ "YG-Life updates with a new mysterious teaser image for Epik High". allkpop. 2012-09-27. 
  12. ^ a b "Epik High and Lee Hi reveal "It’s Cold"". allkpop. 2012-10-09. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  13. ^ "Epik High reveals tracklist for 7th album ’99′ + two title tracks "Don’t Hate Me" & "Up"". allkpop. 2012-10-16. Retrieved 2012-10-16. 
  14. ^ a b "Epik High reveals 420 for 10th anniversary". http://star.mbn.co.kr/. 2013-10-24. Retrieved 2013-10-27.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  15. ^ a b c "Epik High releases hard hitting track '420' featuring seven talented rappers". http://www.allkpop.com. 2013-10-23. Retrieved 2013-10-23.  External link in |publisher= (help) Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "allkpop" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "allkpop" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  16. ^ "YG delays release of Epik High's 'Born Hater' MV in light of 'Pangyo Techno Valley Festival' incident". http://www.allkpop.com. 2014-10-17. Retrieved 2014-10-19.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  17. ^ "2014 Bugs Awards Winners and Nominees". http://award.bugs.co.kr/2014/web?wl_ref=under_gnb_4#goTotal.  External link in |website= (help);
  18. ^ "2004 M.net Korean Music Festival Winners list". MAMA. Retrieved 2014-06-12.
  19. ^ "2005 M.net Korean Music Festival Winners list". MAMA. Retrieved 2014-06-12.
  20. ^ "2007 Mnet KM Music Festival Part1". MAMA. Retrieved 2014-12-14.
  21. ^ "2007 M.net Korean Music Festival Winners list". MAMA. Retrieved 2014-06-12.
  22. ^ a b "2008 Mnet KM Music Festival Part1". MAMA. Retrieved 2014-12-17.
  23. ^ "2008 M.net Korean Music Festival Winners list". MAMA. Retrieved 2014-06-12.
  24. ^ "2009 Mnet Asian Music Awards Part1". MAMA. Retrieved 2014-12-18.
  25. ^ Hicap, Jonathan M. (October 29, 2010). "Controversial Mnet Asian Music Awards bares nominees". Manila Bulletin. Manila Bulletin Publishing. Retrieved February 12, 2011. 
  26. ^ "2012 M.net Korean Music Festival Winners list". MAMA. Retrieved 2014-06-12.
  27. ^ "2014 M.net Korean Music Festival Winners list". MAMA. Retrieved 2014-11-3.

External links[edit]