21 January 2012

[interview] Return of the Tiger and the Queen

Return of the Tiger and the Queen 

Two urban music pioneers return to the U.S. and discuss what it’s like to spread the hip-hop gospel in South Korea. 

by Lorna Soonhee Umphrey 

It was a match made in in hip-hop heaven. 

In 2007, Tiger JK, founder of pioneering Korean hip-hop group Drunken Tiger, married Yoon Mirae (born Tasha Reid), a biracial former teenage member of late-1990s R&B group Uptown and now considered South Korea’s “Queen of Soul.” While comparisons could be drawn to Jay-Z and Beyonce, this couple, individually, has done far more to advance their respective genres in Korea than Jigga or Beyonce ever did in the States. Each gained international acclaim in Korea, breaking boundaries by tackling sensitive issues, such as the sex trade in Korea in the video for Drunken Tiger’s “I Want You” and racism in Korea in Yoon Mirae’s “Black Happiness.” 

As the Korean music industry changed, both of these artists were able to maintain their own style and keep their fans, even after taking a few years off to create one of their best hits—their son, Jordan. KoreAm sat down with Tiger JK and Yoon Mirae before “The Jungle Concert in L.A.,” held at the historic Wiltern Theater in December, which was their first joint concert in America. 

You were recently a judge for Superstar K (a Korean version of American Idol). What was that experience like? 
Yoon Mirae: It was excruciating, but I had a really good time. I don’t regret doing it. I did, however, have to think about it a lot before I said yes to doing it. I didn’t really feel like I was in a position to tell people what they weren’t doing right because I, myself, am still trying to learn. Music is definitely one thing that there is no end to, there’s always something new to learn. But aside from all of that, out of all people, I got to actually make one person’s dream come true. I remember when I wanted to sing and how much I loved music, and still do love music, and how it felt when I finally signed my contract, and when my album finally came out. And to be able to do that for somebody else was really, really cool. 

Would you do it again? 
YM: I might. I won’t say no. I’m still learning Korean, so there are a lot of things that I did want to say [on the show], but I wasn’t able to say in the way that I wanted to. And I don’t think that’s fair to the contestants. Obviously, if I had known that, I might had reconsidered doing it, but now that I know, unless my Korean gets a lot better than what it is right now, I might not do it. 

What’s it like to have grown up in the U.S. and now live and perform in Korea? 
YM: It was kind of natural. Being biracial, it was hard for me in both places. When I was in the States, you’d get picked on for being Korean. When I moved to Korea, I got picked on for being American. I’ve had my share [of racism], but no more than other people. I wouldn’t change it for the world. I think it made me who I am and I did manage to get a good song out of it. 

Are you happy living in Korea? 
YM: I am. It’s home. It’s really funny because, when I’m there I’m like, “God, I can’t wait to get away and get a vacation.” And then as soon as I leave, I’m like, “I want to go back home.” It’s like a love/hate relationship we have. 

[Tiger JK joins the conversation.] 

How much has the Korean music scene changed from when you first started? 
YM: For me, when I first started, hip-hop was basically nonexistent in Korea. I mean, there were a few underground clubs, but very few and far [between]. Until I met JK actually, I didn’t even know they existed. We were just really frowned upon. There were no places to perform or to listen to the music. Hip-hop artists would just get together and make our own shows, and we would be the artist and each other’s fans. As opposed to now, you can’t throw a concert or show or benefit without inviting at least one hip-hop artist, so I think we’ve come a long way. There’s still some ignorance and some misconceptions about hip-hop … and we still have a ways to go, but it’s a beautiful thing. 
Tiger JK: I think the world shrank, and Korea became sort of the mecca of the entertainment industry. So a lot of people are actually taking stuff from what’s happening in Korea. Back in the day, we couldn’t imagine artists from the States coming through, having their after-parties, chilling with us, you know what I mean?

JK, you grew up in Los Angeles, how much of an influence did it have on you? 
JK: Hip-hop was a way of life. It’s corny, it’s cliché, but it was what we did. And I never thought I would become a rapper. I just loved the culture. I loved the music, fashion and what those cats were able to do with words … yeah, I think we were all just rebelling. There were a lot of stereotypes— I didn’t like it. But I was not really rebelling. I was like, ‘Yo, I’m not good at math.’ So I think I got into hiphop just to show that Asians could be dumb like me! [Laughs.] I don’t have to be good at math, and I can be a rapper. I didn’t think anybody would take me seriously. They thought I was comic relief. Like, yeah, this Korean cat is trying to rap. And now it has become global, like some sort of universal language, and people are taking us more seriously. 

As a couple, you took a break from the public eye and had a son. Was it risky to do this and why did you feel the need to? 
YM: I think in the industry it’s always risky to take a long break, especially in Korea, where people drop albums just like that. But I don’t know, I’m very blessed. My fans are very understanding and patient. For some reason, it keeps being three or four years between albums, and they’ve always managed to be patient and very loving. 
[JK and I] just wanted to spend time with our kid, and [the fans] were understanding. I think if the music is good and they feel it, they’ll be there. If it’s 10 years, 20 years, one year, one month, it doesn’t really matter.

Source: KoreAm

Yoon Mirae shares her secrets to maintaining beautiful skin

Rapper Yoon Mirae brought out the femme fatale within, recently posing for ‘Sure‘ Magazine. 

She looked elegant wearing a black-lace dress with smokey eye makeup and dark lipstick, a look that completely contrasts her every day casual look. Fans were also impressed with her long and shapely legs that were exposed, and wanted to know her secret to maintaining them. 

Luckily for them, she was more than willing to share. 

At the interview that took place after the shoot, Yoon Mirae shared her personal know-hows on how to maintain great skin. The beauty product she recommended was none other than coconut oil, a product that can easily be obtained at a local drug store. 

The rapper stated that she prefers more natural cosmetics, and uses coconut oil on her body to retain natural moisture. The coconut oil, she explained, is also full of vitamins and minerals that help with troubled or blemished skin. 

You can find the rest of her pictorials as well as her full interview in the February 2012 edition of ‘Sure’.


Source: allkpop, Sure

04 January 2012

Tiger JK, “The First Time I Met My Wife Yoonmirae Gave Me Goosebumps”

On January 3rd, Tiger JK appeared in the recent broadcasting of KBS 2TV ‘Win Win’ and stated, “A friend made me listen to a song by Yoonmirae. At first I was shocked. She was so good that listening to her made me want to quit hip-hop.” 

He continued, “I forgot about it and lived my own life for a while until I met my father coincidently at a convenience store. Here he saw and approached someone who he thought I might be interested in.” 

My father praised to me about this girl, who coincidently turns out to be Yoonmirae. I forgot about her again, but after a long time I met her once again at a [recording] studio. This incidence gave me goosebumps”, Tiger JK revealed. 

Later in the show, Tiger JK’s father and Korean pop columnist Suh Byung Hoo made a surprise appearance and explained the situation in detail. 

Suh revealed, “When I saw Yoonmirae at the convenience store, I told her: I know someone who can be seen as hip-hop’s Che Guevara, someone who is on a mission to create and spread Korean hip-hop. That someone is my son, Tiger JK.” 

Show MC Tak Jaehoon asked, “So you were considering her as your future daughter-in-law at the time?” and Suh replied, “Yes, that is true. I was so happy when the two began dating.

Source: doyouknowhiphop

Tiger JK proposed to Yoon Mirae with a yellow rubber band

Yoon Mirae recently talked about her unique engagement and wedding to her husband, Tiger JK

The singer guest-starred on the January 3rd episode of KBS 2TV’s ‘Win Win‘ and revealed, “We had a quiet wedding at a Buddhist temple with our families.” 

She had told Tiger JK that she did not need a flashy engagement ring. Thinking back, he remarked, ”A lot of people told me she was lying, but I think she was serious.” 

The couple did not wear a traditional wedding dress or a formal tuxedo, and instead of wedding rings, they used yellow rubber bands. 

When I proposed, I told her I would replace her rubber band later on,” Tiger JK explained. 

I was so touched that I cried. He felt so bad and he promised to replace the rubber band with a diamond ring, but I didn’t need anything like that. We bought a fake ring for the wedding,” Yoon Mirae remarked. 

When the MCs told Tiger JK to keep his promise and buy his wife a diamond ring, Yoon Mirae added, “He doesn’t need to keep his promise. I asked him to buy me a house instead,” which caused everyone to explode in laughter.

Source: akp

WinWin ep.96 (승승장구) (raw)

Turned off the TV fancam (Leessang encore concert)

Dec 30, 2011

03 January 2012

Tiger JK and Tasha "We lived together before we got married"

Recently during a filming of KBS 'Win Win', Tiger JK and Tasha made their appearances as the first guests of the year. On this day, the couple received all the attention of the studio by revealing their sweet memories of dating and marriage. 

On this day Tiger JK stated "One day I earned $150 from performing somewhere then used $100 on taxi to meet Tasha", surprising the studio. Tiger JK continued "To get to where she lived I was asking around in the taxi for few hours. So I used $100 on the taxi when it should have only cost $20" and "When I got to her house all I did was call on the public phone and then come home. Tasha's mother was very strict so it was hard to meet at night time. I even tried to get in her house through the dog door but the door was so small that I failed", making the audience burst into laughter. 

Tasha continued, "Oppa helped me a lot whenever I was going through a tough time. Seeing that side of him, my mom grew to love him even more than I. And when she found out that he was living in a difficult situation, she allowed him to live with us", revealing how the two started living together even before marriage.

Source: kpopstarz

02 January 2012

Tasha Thinks of Herself as a Bad Singer

Multi-talented singer/rapper Yoon Mi Rae may be a bit too humble.

In the upcoming episode of KBS 2TV Win Win, Korea’s globally renowned hip-hop couple Tiger JK and Tasha were featured as main guests. While filming this episode, Tiger JK revealed that his wife Tasha “thinks of herself as a bad singer.” Adding to her husband’s statement, Tasha said, “Honestly, I think I’m good at rapping, but not so much at singing,” which shocked everyone else in the studio.

This week’s episode of KBS 2TV Win Win will air on January 3rd.

Source: in2kpop