Korea’s top hip-hop group, Epik High, has made a glorious return with their 8th album, “Shoe Box“, on October 21st. The title song, “Happy Ending“, has swept through various music charts with the release on October 27th. Check out the latest interview with the trio, including Tablo, Mithra, and Tukutz.
Epik High’s comeback for the first time in two years since their previous, seventh album “99”, has been a great success. Tablo and Tukutz deliver their thoughts on their ninth album, “Shoe Box”:
[Tablo] “It’s kind of surprising how happy I am right now. I was happy whenever we released our numerous albums for 11 years, but the happiness I am feeling these days is quite different. I am a little ‘men-boong’ with the situation because I actually did not expect this much response from our fans and the public. It’s still hard how to believe how great the response has been. I am 100% satisfied. We have worked for more than two years to achieve this satisfaction. We selected songs from all the ones we have worked on until today. The standard for the selection of our listed tracks were based on whether or not the time listening would be wasted. I feel like time is money these days for many people. It takes about one hour to listen to our full album and we hoped that their experience of Epik High for the hour would be worthwhile.”
[Tukutz] “I smile and laugh throughout the day for no particular reason. It just feels great. I haven’t felt this in a while.”
Epik High signed an exclusive four-year contract with YG Entertainment on September 2011. Then in 2012, Epik High released their seventh album, “99”, and some fans had negative response as they thought Epik High lost their style with YG Entertainment’s influence. Reportedly, for this album, YG Entertainment’s producer and CEO, Yang Hyun Suk, advised Epik High to work on their album outside of YG’s main recording studios.
[Mithra] “There is nothing wrong with our previous album.”
[Tukutz] “Yang Hyun Suk CEO did not participate on our latest album at all. In fact, we didn’t even meet him when we were working on our album. The negative comments and responses during our seventh album gave us less burden for this album. The last album was based on Tablo’s experience and situation at the time. This time, the album is based on our usual habits of living, and way of working with songs.”
[Tablo] “Actually all our members love our previous album. In fact, we use ‘Don’t Hate Me’ for our ending song in all our performances. Audience loves the song and we love the song as well. Yang Hyun Suk did not like the fact that YG can influence Epik High’s musical style. For the company, it takes more, financially, to have its artists work outside of their studio. We went back to our previous recording studios like old times. To think of it now, it was a great choice for us and for YG as well. Yang Hyun Suk was actually mad at us once because we didn’t make him listen to it for a long time until our album was almost finished.”
Meanwhile, Epik High is busy preparing for their upcoming solo concert “PARADE 2014” for the first time in five years in Seoul. The concert will take place November 14th to 16th with a total of four performances. Initially, Epik High were to perform twice only but with the tickets selling out full house in two minutes, they have extended the number of concert performances.