08 October 2013

Drunken Tiger, Yoon Mi Rae & Bizzy Find 'The Cure': Exclusive Video Interview + Photoshoot

Hip-hop power couple Drunken Tiger and Yoon Mi Rae are perhaps the most respected rap artists in Korea today. The couple revolutionized the Korean music industry through their cultivation of the then-nascent hip-hop genre in Korea during the 1990s and early 2000s. Years later, with longtime collaborator and talented rapper Bizzy by their side, their lives and careers have only gained more momentum. 

The trio started 2013 off with a bang, releasing a project single entitled, "Sweet Dreams," (which peaked at No. 13 on the K-Pop Hot 100 in January, 2013) under the group name MFBTY, an acronym that stands for "My Fans Better Than Yours." The group also contributed to the expansion, and validation, of Korean hip-hop at MIDEM in France, one of the world's largest music festivals.

Months later, the trio is back at it again, continuing their story through the mini-single "The Cure," the first album of three released from the group's upcoming "trilogy" project. The title track, which peaked at No. 6, is an inspirational song dedicated to Tiger's father, who is currently battling cancer. He and Bizzy stridently rap encouraging words, while Yoon Mi Rae mellows things down with her warm vocals.

In honor of the release of "The Cure," and Yoon Mi Rae's No. 1 single "Touch Love," the trio chatted with Billboard in an exclusive video interview about their new album, future promotional plans and the pros of having worked with each other for over a decade.

07 October 2013

Strength In NUMBERS - Episode 2 feat. Tasha & TigerJK

Drunken Tiger returns with message of hope

Tiger JK, Yoon Mi-rae and Bizzy have seen it all. From their beginnings in the hip-hop industry when Tiger JK would perform for free tapas, up to now, with the release of a new album, Drunken Tiger’s ninth, they have seen both ups and downs.

All three got into hip-hop in different ways. For Yoon Mi-rae, or Tasha, it was her dad who first influenced her. She said he was in the U.S. Army, but at the same time, he would also DJ for parties as a side job. 

“I grew up listening to my dad DJ, so I guess it kind of happened naturally,” she said. From there, she said she got lucky when she tagged along to a friend’s audition and was picked up as well.

Bizzy said that as a child he would sing commercial jingles or melodies. He added that he wanted to be an R&B singer initially, but he felt he wasn’t good enough as a singer. 

For Tiger JK, hip-hop was a means to fit in. Growing up in Los Angeles, hip-hop was everywhere.

“L.A. was all, the culture is really strong. Either you’re down with hip-hop or you’re an outsider,” he said. “You did your own thing, but hip-hop was like this, our own underground movement where we thought we were cool and we were rebels. You get to express yourself in the most outrageous ways.”

But the group said that in Korea, they felt lonely when they started out in hip-hop. Yoon said it wasn’t until she met Tiger JK that she realized there were other people out there who liked the same music and doing the same things she did, such as jam sessions or writing rhymes together. 

But she said at the same time, it opened her eyes to how lonely everyone in the hip-hop movement was. 

“The rappers were actually the audience,” she said. “We would get on stage and perform. And the people clapping for you would then get up, and come on stage and perform. And then we would go down and clap.”

Bizzy agreed, saying he too felt he was alone in his interest of hip-hop.

“I was just writing in a diary, from the heart, and trying to rhyme it,” he said. From there, he showed his writing to a friend and was then introduced to a crew and the underground scene.

The trio said they came together organically. The underground hip-hop scene back then was small, so everyone knew each other. Since they’ve been together, Yoon said they have learned each other’s chemistry and often know when someone is about to mess up, even before the person knows themselves. 

But despite their many years in the Korean hip-hop scene, and the respect they receive from fans and other artists alike, the group finds themselves once again starting over from the bottom up. 

They recently branched off to start their own label, Feel Ghood Music, and just released their first album under the new company called “Cure.” However, despite the fact that the album made music charts in Korea, Tiger JK said they haven’t had much media attention. 

They said that the theme behind the album was simplicity and hope. 

“I feel like everyone is always going towards the provocativeness,” said Tiger JK. “So what is provocative became really boring for us. It didn’t provoke us or invoke us or anything. It didn’t inspire us, so, we started just making music. And we wanted to send a positive message.”

Yoon added that the struggles the three were going through at the time also influenced the album. 

“We were going through some stuff personally and with our prior company, so, at the time, I think our mind frame or state of mind was that life is complicated as it is, let’s just simplify everything,” she said.

For Tiger JK, it was also important that his father be involved in the project. He said his father was recently diagnosed with cancer, but he is going through chemotherapy and fighting. On the front of the album, the name “Salja,” the albums name in Korean, is actually his father’s handwriting. 

They said that everyone involved in the album, from the artist who created the animation in the music video to their friends who stopped by their studio in Uijeongbu for jam sessions, felt the message they wanted to send. Hope.

“Every moment we really appreciate,” said Tiger JK. “When we hit bottom, all the cliches started popping up and then became the most powerful philosophy. ... What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. ... Either you quit or die or you fight and find a way.”

They said their next step is to continue to get their music out there and heard, and to “cure” people. They’ve put together a band and hope to take them on the road for shows. 

They said they often lock themselves up in their studio recording and fans will be hearing non-stop music from them. They are planning to release two more albums to complete the “Drunken Tiger, Yoon Mi-rae and Bizzy” series, as well as solo albums.

By Emma Kalka (

the korea herald

06 October 2013

NAVER's Musician's Choice

For the final week of September

01. The Roots with Jaguar Wright - What You Want
02. Eric Benét - Poetry Girl
03. Da Brat - Da B Side
04. Diana King - Shy Guy
05. Refugee Camp All-Stars with Lauryn Hill - The Sweetest Thing
06. Cassie - Girl
07. Monica with Usher - Slow Jam
08. Earth, Wind & Fire - September
09. Outkast with Sleepy Brown - I Can't Wait
10. Eve with Keyshia Cole - Never

Her previous ones are here

04 October 2013

Tiger JK praises wife Yoon Mirae as the best female rapper

Source: Newsen via Nate

1. [+835, -18] The top four female rappers of Korea
1. T
2. Tasha
3. Yoon Mirae
4. Jordan's mom

2. [+463, -9] A couple where the husband loses in rap skill to his wife ㅋㅋㅋ

3. [+458, -13] Everyone knows this as fact, right? ^^ ㅎㅎ

4. [+43, -1] Yoon Mirae has been recognized all over the world...; She's past the point of being argued about whether she's top or not in Korea...

5. [+36, -1] She's of a different class

6. [+33, -0] She's at the top not only with female rappers but males as well

7. [+26, -1] A great singer as well ㅋㅋ I still listen to "After Time Passes" and it's still so great ㅜㅜ

8. [+23, -1] No rapper in Asia to beat T 

9. [+18, -1] The top female rapper? No, you mean the top in all of Korea!

10. [+12, -1] No one in Asia can touch her. Everyone knows that she's recognized worldwide for her talent. 

01 October 2013

[Sep 28] Mini Midem Concert in ChunCheon

09/28/13 ChunCheon City, South Korea - Two weeks after the release of The Cure, Drunken Tiger, Yoon MiRae, and Bizzy held their first “public” performance (The first official performance was the Google concert on the release date, but was not fully “public”).  Catering to quiet crowd in pouring rain, the trio did a full hour set including a mixture of songs from old and new albums. Major highlights included JK distributing multiple copies of his new album the crowd and the public debut of their band, The Feel Ghood Band. Hey, if you’re dedicated enough to stand in the rain for a concert, you might as well get something free!


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