Tiger JK

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Tiger JK
Tiger JK.jpg
Tiger JK performing at the Lolipop Concert, in May 2010
Background information
Native name 서정권
Birth name Seo Jung-kwon
Also known as JK, Drunken Tiger, DT
Born (1974-06-11) June 11, 1974 (age 42)
Origin Seoul, South Korea
Genres Korean hip hop
Occupation(s) Rapper, record producer, entrepreneur
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1995–present
Labels Oasis Records (1995–2006)
Jungle Entertainment (2006-2013)
Feel Ghood Music (2013–present)
Associated acts Drunken Tiger, MFBTY, The Movement, Yoon Mi-rae, Bizzy
Stage name
Hangul 타이거 JK
Revised Romanization Taigeo JK
McCune–Reischauer T'aigŏ JK
Birth name
Hangul 서정권
Hanja 徐廷權
Revised Romanization Seo Jeong-gwon
McCune–Reischauer Sŏ Chŏng-kwŏn

Tiger JK (Birth name: Seo Jung-kwon, Hangul: 서정권, Hanja: 徐廷權; born June 11, 1974) is a Korean rapper, record producer and entrepreneur best known as a founding member of Korean hip-hop group Drunken Tiger. He has also founded two record labels, Jungle Entertainment and Feel Ghood Music.[1] He is currently a member of hip hop trio MFBTY.[2]

He is considered a highly influential figure in the development of Korean hip-hop and is credited with helping bring the genre into the Korean mainstream.[3][4][5] The Los Angeles Times referred to him in 2011 as "perhaps the most popular Korean rapper in America, Asia and the world."[6]

Early life[edit]

Tiger JK was born Seo Jung-kwon in Seoul, South Korea on July 29, 1974. His father was a DJ and one of the first Korean pop columnists. His family moved to the United States when he was 12, and he was sent to briefly live with an uncle in Miami, Florida, where he practiced Taekwondo. He spent his teenage years in Los Angeles, California, where he was one of only a few Korean-American students attending Beverly Hills High School.[5][6][7][8][9]

As a teen in Los Angeles, Tiger JK witnessed the violence between Korean-Americans and African-Americans during the 1992 Los Angeles Riots. He later said he wanted to use hip hop to create a dialogue between the two communities.[6]

Tiger JK attended UCLA[9] and graduated with a degree in English.[citation needed]

Musical career[edit]

1995 – 2005: Early career and successes with Drunken Tiger[edit]

In 1995, Tiger JK's first solo album, Enter The Tiger, was released in Korea by Oasis Records, a connection Tiger JK had made because his father was friends with the company's CEO. The album got little airplay due to its perceived explicit content.[3][9]

Tiger JK returned to the United States and teamed up with DJ Shine to form the group Drunken Tiger in 1998. The group debuted in Korea and, despite the explicit content of their lyrics and the group's rejection of mainstream music trends, they achieved popularity with their first album, Year of the Tiger, which included the hit songs, “I Want You” and “Do You Know Hip-hop.”[3][6][9]

Over the next several years, Drunken Tiger brought on new members and released multiple albums, winning numerous awards.[7][10] Founding member DJ Shine left the group in 2005.[11]

2006-2013: Creation of Jungle Entertainment and collaborations[edit]

In 2006, Tiger JK left Oasis Records and established his own hip-hop label, Jungle Entertainment. The label represented Drunken Tiger, and prominent Korean rappers Yoon Mi-rae and Leessang were among the artists to join the label over the next few years.[1][12]

Tiger JK continued to release music with Drunken Tiger over the next few years, while also collaborating with other artists. In 2012, he featured on "Let This Die," a single by Brian Joo of the R&B duo Fly to the Sky.[13] That same year, he featured on "Wicked," a song by new k-pop girl group Fiestar.[14]

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

In 2013, Tiger JK teamed up with Yoon Mi-rae and Bizzy to form the group MFBTY, an acronym for "My Fans are Better Than Yours." Soon after, he left Jungle Entertainment and founded a new label, Feel Ghood Music, which now releases MFBTY's music.[15]

Influences and rapping style[edit]

Tiger JK has credited Jamaican singer Bob Marley for his musical style and numerous American rappers as well. He has demonstrated his Reggae style, gangsta rap style and West Coast hip hop in Drunken Tiger songs. He is praised for various aspects of his rapping technique by numerous other rappers – these techniques include: his varied and humorous subject matter, connecting with his audience, carrying a concept over a series of albums, unique rhyme schemes, his ability to bend words so that they rhyme, his use of syllabic rhymes fitting many rhymes in each bar, complex rhythms, use of melody, and syncopation.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Drug conviction[edit]

Tiger JK was arrested for using methamphetamine in Korea in 2000, at the same time that members of the Korean hip hop group Uptown were also arrested on drug charges. 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 Uptown. He spent a month and a half in jail and was given two years probation.[16]


Tiger JK was diagnosed with acute transverse myelitis, a spinal chord condition that affects motor functions, in 2006. He was hospitalized and took a two-year hiatus from performing. As of 2014, he continued to take medication to treat the condition.[3][17]

Marriage and family[edit]

In June 2007, Tiger JK married rapper and singer Yoon Mi-rae in a private ceremony in a Buddhist Temple. The wedding occurred a month before the death of his grandmother who had wanted to see them wed before her passing. Yoon gave birth to their son Jordan in March 2008.[9][18]

Religious views[edit]

Tiger JK is a deist and denounces organized religion.[citation needed]

Other projects[edit]

In 2006, Tiger JK launched a clothing line called Lungta.[19]

In 2011, under American rapper Dr. Dre's "Beats By Dr. Dre" headphones line, Tiger JK released his own limited edition headphones. They retailed for 690,000 won, and all profits went to a child safety organization.[20][21]


For releases with Drunken Tiger, see Drunken Tiger § Discography.

Solo albums[edit]

  • Enter the Tiger (1995)

Solo mini albums[edit]

  • 이런건가요 (I Know) (2015)

Solo singles[edit]

  • "반가워요 (Forever)" (2015)

Soundtrack songs[edit]

  • "First Love" (feat. Punch) (2014) - From the soundtrack to the TV drama, Pinocchio.
  • "Reset" (feat. 진실 of Mad Soul Child) (2015) - From the soundtrack to the TV drama, Who Are You: School 2015.



Year Title Role
2015 세계일주 (Trip Around the World) Pil Hong[22]


Year Title Role Notes
2010 "High Kick Through the Roof" Gwang-soo's friend Tiger JK made a cameo appearance on this sitcom.[23]
"Infinite Challenge" Himself His team won on the "Highway Music Festival" episodes of this variety show.[24]
2011 "Welcome to the Jungle: Sunzoo" Himself This was a reality show special.[25]
"Running Man" Himself He appeared on the September 4 episode of this variety show.[26]
2012 "Salamander Guru and The Shadows" Tiger He made a cameo appearance on this sitcom.[27]
"The Hero on Stage: Tiger JK.ING" Himself This was a 2-part TV documentary about Tiger JK.[28]
"Happy Together" Himself He appeared on the May 17 episode of this variety show.[24]
2015 "Happy Together" Himself He appeared on the March 19 episode.[29]
2016 "We Kid" Himself Tiger JK is a judge on this music competition show for kids.[30]



For awards with Drunken Tiger, see Drunken Tiger § Awards.
Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2009 Mnet Asian Music Awards Best Male Artist "Monster"[31][32] Won
Best Rap Performance Nominated
2010 Style Icon Awards Beautiful Sharing Tiger JK and Yoon Mi-rae[33] Won
Mnet 20's Choice Awards Most Influential Stars Tiger JK and Yoon Mi-rae[34] Won
2011 Men's Health Cool Guy Contest Best Cover Model Tiger JK[35] Won


  1. ^ a b "Tiger JK leaves Jungle Entertainment and founds FEELGHOOD MUSIC". All Kpop. 2013-07-31. Retrieved 2016-04-10. 
  2. ^ "Korean Hip-Hop Supergroup MFBTY Made an Album Just for Their Twitter Followers". Vice NOISEY. 2015-06-25. Retrieved 2016-04-10. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Korea's Hip-Hop Legend Tiger JK is a Rebel with a Cause". KoreAm Journal. 2014-01-01. Retrieved 2016-04-10. 
  4. ^ "Drunken Tiger Talk Hip Hop's Early Days in South Korea: "It Was a Secret Society"". Fuse. 2014-01-13. Retrieved 2016-04-10. 
  5. ^ a b "Drunken Tiger's Tiger JK Opens Up About His Hip-Hop Career And How He Fits Into The Wide Realm Of K-Pop [KpopStarz Exclusive]". KpopStarz. 2014-01-11. Retrieved 2016-04-10. 
  6. ^ a b c d Brown, August (2011-12-02). "Asian rapper set to roar across L.A.". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2016-04-10. 
  7. ^ a b "타이거 JK". Daum (in Korean). Retrieved 2016-04-10. 
  8. ^ "Music Is Colorblind: An Interview with MFBTY". PopMatters. 2015-10-27. Retrieved 2016-04-10. 
  9. ^ a b c d e "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 2016-04-10. 
  10. ^ "Drunken Tiger (드렁큰타이거)". KBS World Radio. Retrieved 2016-04-11. 
  11. ^ "Inside the Music: Drunken Tiger's DJ SHINE on HipHop in Kpop". Hello Kpop. 2014-10-11. Retrieved 2016-04-11. 
  12. ^ "History". Jungle Entertainment (in Korean). Retrieved 2016-04-11. 
  13. ^ "Brian Joo and Tiger JK to finally perform "Let This Die" together". All Kpop. 2012-02-23. Retrieved 2016-04-11. 
  14. ^ "FIESTAR releases Wicked" featuring Tiger JK". All Kpop. 2012-08-24. Retrieved 2016-04-11. 
  15. ^ "Korean rap is your new favourite thing". Dazed. Retrieved 2016-04-11. 
  16. ^ Forrest, Brett (2000-11-01). "Silence Makes the Beats Grow Stonger". SPIN. Retrieved 2016-04-10. 
  17. ^ "Tiger JK Slams Racism Here". The Korea Times. 2010-01-14. Retrieved September 20, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Tiger JK, T Wed With Baby". The Korea Times. 2008-07-03. Retrieved 2016-04-10. 
  19. ^ "Tiger JK 의 패션 브랜드, 룽타 (Lungta)" [Tiger JK's Fashion Brand Lungta]. Hiphop Playa (in Korean). 2006-07-20. Retrieved 2016-04-11. 
  20. ^ "JK to release his own Beats by Dr. Dre series: TIGER BEATS". DT MFBTY International. 2011-05-09. Retrieved 2011-08-23. 
  21. ^ "All Profits from Tiger JK's Dr. Dre Headphones to be Donated". Soompi. 2011-05-24. Retrieved 2016-04-11. 
  22. ^ "Legendary Korean Rapper Tiger JK Takes On 1st Movie Project For 'Trip Around The World'". KpopStarz. 2015-03-21. Retrieved 2016-04-11. 
  23. ^ "Tiger JK to appear on High Kick Through The Roof". All Kpop. 2010-01-20. Retrieved 2016-04-12. 
  24. ^ a b "Why Does Tiger JK Only Appear on Yoo Jae Suk's Shows?". Mnet Mwave. 2012-05-18. Retrieved 2016-04-12. 
  25. ^ ""Welcome To The Jungle: Sunzoo" – The Premiere of Drunken Tiger's International Project". Soompi. 2011-02-03. Retrieved 2016-04-12. 
  26. ^ "Tiger JK and Yoon Mi Rae's Kiss is "Best Ending in Running Man History"". Soompi. 2011-09-04. Retrieved 2016-04-12. 
  27. ^ "Tiger JK to Appear As a Cameo on "Salamander Guru"". Soompi. 2012-03-02. Retrieved 2016-04-12. 
  28. ^ "The Hero On Stage". DT MFBTY INTERNATIONAL. 2012-12-09. Retrieved 2016-04-12. 
  29. ^ "Tiger JK talks about a time he fought with wife Yoon Mi Rae on 'Running Man'". All Kpop. 2015-03-19. Retrieved 2016-04-12. 
  30. ^ "Mnet Gives Young Aspiring Stars The Chance To Shine In New Music Competition Program 'We Kid'". KpopStarz. 2016-02-22. Retrieved 2016-04-12. 
  31. ^ "2009 M.net Korean Music Festival Winners list". MAMA. Retrieved 2014-06-12.
  32. ^ "2009 Mnet Asian Music Awards Part1". MAMA. Retrieved 2014-12-18.
  33. ^ "Winners at the 2010 Style Icon Awards". All Kpop. 2010-11-17. Retrieved 2016-04-11. 
  34. ^ "Winners at the 2010 Mnet 20's Choice Awards Ceremony". All Kpop. 2010-08-26. Retrieved 2016-04-13. 
  35. ^ "Tiger JK wins 'best cover model' at the "Men's Health Cool Guy Contest"". All Kpop. 2011-07-01. Retrieved 2016-04-11. 

External links[edit]