After establishing a new label, Feel Ghood Music, and project group, MFBTY, Tiger JK has stayed away from the spotlight for a year, especially after the passing of his father. He revealed that there will be a new album coming out in November this year and admitted he’s been, “just been intuitively making music.”
Tiger JK’s humble recording studio in Kyunggido, Uijeongbu was very basic. The former storage space has been transformed into a recording studio, which has been running for the last 10 years. Within this studio, with it’s out-of-date looking computer, antique sofa and dusty photographs, hit songs such as “Isolated Ones, Left Foot Forward” and “Monster” were created. This space is Tiger JK’s, aka Korea’s Hip-Hop Godfather/Big Boss’s music factory. When I met Tiger JK in his studio recently, he said that he is a Hip Hop Ajusshi (Korean word for middle aged men), but he doesn’t feel it when he is in the studio. He dubbed it his “time capsule.”
This is the first time Tiger JK is doing an interview in over 12 months. Last July, Tiger JK, his wife Yoon MiRae, and label mate, Bizzy, left their former recording label, Jungle Entertainment, and established their own, Feel Ghood Music. Most recently, Tiger JK released his 9th album, “The Cure,” a year ago but since then, they have not made many stage appearances.
“I didn’t know what was happening out there. I was just in the studio most of the time, so I didn’t know what was happening around the world. Bizzy suggested I take up boxing and I’m really enjoying that at the moment.”
A Big Mountain yet Best Friend: His Father and Delaying His Album To Concentrate On Compiling His Father’s Works”
Prior taking up boxing, Tiger JK was not in his best state. His father, Suh Byung Hoo, a highly respected Pop Columnist who worked with US Billboard Magazine to introduce Korean music to Americans, passed away on February 1st, 2014. It is well known Tiger JK and his father were close. JK’s responses always wandered back to talking about his father, showing he is still saddened by his absence.”To me, my father was like a big mountain, yet my best friend,” he says. “No matter what I’d ask, he would always have the answer for me. To this day, whenever I am unsure of anything, I want to ask him. No matter where I go, everything reminds me of him. I remember when he circled February 1st on the calendar and told me, ‘This day is going to be a long birthday’ when his birthday is on the 8th. The day before he passed away, we held a party for my father. We took photos together and listened to his wisdom as well. Out of the blue, he asked me to go outside and record, so I did. The next day, he took his final breath in my arms.”
Tiger JK revealed a part of his late father’s diary that he wrote while fighting cancer. Although receiving chemotherapy, JK’s father refused anesthetics and painkillers and this was clearly shown from his handwriting from his entries. (The interviewer saw multiple entries where Mr. Suh wrote about his dear son, a ring that he wanted to give to his wife, and the feeling of departing away.) Tiger JK delayed his album production and compiled his late father’s works, such as his 8 books, nursery rhymes for Jordan (Tiger JK’s son), and a website documenting the trends of Hallyu.
JK read the following excerpt to the reporter:
“Even though I feel like a tree, I want to carry out good deeds. However, I am afraid that I will be punished.”
Tiger JK felt his father’s pain while fighting cancer. He withdrew his entire savings, and with acceptance from his family and business associates, he donated it to those in need. Tiger JK stated that after he gave his money away, he felt free. He wants to embrace what his father taught him by creating a short documentary on Youtube using his father’s works.
A Young Man Wishing to be a Tae Kwon Do Instructor Becomes A Rapper + Battling Transverse Myelitis
Tiger JK spent his teen years in Los Angeles after his family migrated to the US. His father sent him to his uncle in Miami, a Tae Kwon Do instructor, so that he can become “a man.” With this vital skill under his belt, Tiger JK was able to mingle with the other kids in the area with no problems. Tiger JK returned to LA in his high school years. He wanted to become a Tae Kwon Do instructor and even opened a Tae Kwon Do club at his high school. His other hobby was writing as he highly respected his father’s ability to create with his words. Around this time, Tiger JK realized that his friends did not listen to “mainstream music.” Tiger JK was fascinated by this music genre (hip-hop) that he did not experience before and was instantly drawn into listening to the likes of N.W.A and Biz Markie.
“They were like superstars in my eyes. I thought all stars were all fancy and luxurious, but these guys wore the same hats as we did and shot music videos on the streets. They swore. They spat verses without background music. We used to hold open mic competitions whenever there was a house party going on. I was kind of shy at first, but my friends egged me on and I built up my confidence after that.”
Tiger JK was first introduced to the people of South Korea by being a guest on popular talk show, “Johnny Yoon Show,” in 1992. In Los Angeles, racial discrimination was more prevalent especially compared to other US areas. During the LA Riots in 1992, N.W.A rapper Ice Cube released the song, “Black Korea,” which discriminated against Koreans. In response to this, Tiger JK performed his own song, “Call Me Tiger,” in front of a predominantly African American crowd at a a Hip Hop festival.
Three years later, Tiger JK partnered with his friends, one Caucasian and one African American, and visited Korea in the hopes of releasing an album in his mother country. Oasis Records’ CEO, whom knew his Tiger JK’s father, agreed to release Tiger’s album “Enter The Tiger.” Tiger JK stated that his American friends respected the Korean Culture by learning Tae Kwon Do and wanted to embrace the Asian culture like Wu-Tang Clan. Thus, they took photos in a mosque and put them in their album. However, their entire album, with the exception of a few songs, was restricted from playing on air due to dubious reasons such as “there was no melody,” and “there’s profanity.” Tiger JK stated that the album was only printed in a few copies and never really made an impact as they competed with major mainstream artists like SeoTaeJi and Solid. Some famous producers approached JK, but they wanted him to drop his friends and work solo. With their dreams crushed, Tiger JK’s friends headed back to their homeland. Feeling ashamed and unaccomplished, Tiger JK promised his father that he would go to college and teach Tae Kwon Do for a living. By studying hard, he was accepted into UCLA. Then one day in 1997, he was invited to a seminar in Korea about Hip-Hop and he wanted to use this opportunity to show his pass to his father. However, during those years, he noticed that Hip-Hop was becoming much more popular in Korea. He was also being requested to write lyrics and feature in songs.
Hearing of Tiger JK, MNet requested him to perform on stage. Doremi Records took notice and asked him to create two Korean songs. Tiger JK, with his friend Kim Jin Pyo writing the Korean lyrics, created “I Want You” and “Do You Know Hip Hop?.” Tiger JK teamed up with friend, DJ Shine, to form Drunken Tiger and released their first album ‘Year Of The Tiger’ in 1999.
“We were getting into lots of trouble since the very beginning,” Tiger JK said. “because there were profanities in our songs and our outfits were not ‘appropriate.’ We sold 180,000 copies of our album, but everyone said we were done for.”
Despite doubts, Drunken Tiger came back in 2001 with their third album ‘The Legend Of…” and won 1st place in one of Korea’s popular music program – Inkigayo. Tiger JK said that when he told his father that he just won first place, his father told him, “Don’t be too happy. If you are happy because you won an award, you will be miserable if you do not receive one.”
After DJ Shine’s departure from Drunken Tiger in 2004, Tiger JK showed his musical flexibility with Drunken Tiger’s 6th album, “1945 Liberation.” With his contract with Doremi Records over, Tiger JK’s father asked him to create his own label. He created Jungle Entertainment, but then he received the shock of his life: Tiger JK was diagnosed of Transverse Myelitis. He would sometimes lose all sensation in his lower limbs, become bloated, and confuse hot and cold temperatures. Many doubted that he would ever walk, but with many treatments and personal determination, he started to walk again.
His wife, Yoon Mi Rae, had been a pillar of support throughout both good and bad times. Tiger JK and Yoon Mi Rae tied the knot in June 2007 and had their first child Jordan in March 2008. Korean Media branded them a “Hip Hop married couple.”
“People think that Mi Rae is strong and resilient, but she is just like a flower,” JK says. “She has a lot of tears, but is strong and never shows any temper. She was closer to my father than I was.”
Drunken Tiger’s 8th album, “Feel Ghood Muzik,” was a whopping 27-track, 2 CD album. This album surpassed everyones expectations and created a buzz within the offline music industry.
Tiger JK reminisced about the last 20 years he has been in the Hip Hop music industry, “I was a rookie back then and learned a bit each time I grew up. My first album was not a masterpiece. It didn’t sell well and the media didn’t welcome me. I never thought that creating music could be profitable, so I was never greedy.” However, his desire to tell us stories helped him shape and define his music. By writing songs such as “Convenience Store” and “Once Upon A Time” (5th Album), this helped him develop narrative in his music.
“I Am Happily Working Hard.”
Tiger JK stated that he is coming to terms with everything that happened in the last year and is very confident that his label, Feel Ghood Music, will do very well. Feel Ghood Music has 7 members – Tiger JK, Yoon Mi Rae, Bizzy, a new rapper, 1 producer, and 2 staff members. They do not have an actual head office.
“We all share one vision and do everything in a positive way. The very notion of us being able to achieve something helps us to fight stronger. My dream right now is for me to able to fulfil their dreams,” JK says.
Feel Ghood Music is due to make its stance once again with a new album to be released in November this year. There is no word, however, whether it is going to be a solo artist’s album or an MFBTY album.
“We made these songs to heal ourselves,” Tiger JK stated. “We forgot about genres and just recorded what felt good. The end results were happy songs, not sad.” Tiger JK continued to say that Yoon Mi Rae has even volunteered to do the choreography. “We are working hard, but at the same time, we are excited.”
Original article: YeonHap News
Translation credits: JSK
Drunken Tiger International
Tiger JK and Yoon Mi Rae were the stars in the Star style magazine, High Cut’s, 134th issue.
The issue, released on 18th September 2014, showcased Tiger JK and Yoon Mi Rae as a stylish Hip Hop Couple with the backdrop based on a 1990’s pub scene.
They were both highly praised on their ability to make the outfits “work,” such as sporty outfits, vintage denim looks, and dress wear – and they saw similarities to the worldwide Hip Hop fashion icon couple – Kanye West & Kim Kardashian.
Tiger JK and Yoon Mi Rae rocked Skechers sneakers during the photoshoot.
This illustrated magazine issue will also be released via mobile apps on 23rd September 2014 on both platforms (Apple App Store and Google Play). Download the ‘Digital High Cut’ app now for exclusive behind the scenes footage.
Original Article: Sports Chosun
Translation by JSK
We at Drunken Tiger International, Drunken Tiger Brasil, and BizzyBTBT have been blessed to see our boss man, Tiger JK, accomplish so many things in his life. We have seen him grow both personally and professionally, and wanted to share with the world some sides of Tiger that most people may not have noticed. In honor of our boss man’s birthday, we went through 15 years of footage and relived some of our favorite memories of him. This is just as much as a gift to the fans as it is to him. To 40 more years of Drunken. Happy Birthday, J.
Conception by Drunken Tiger International, Drunken Tiger BR, BizzyBTBT
Video by Work&Play (LoBak), Cherrie Yap
[This is an outside article that was translated by DT Intl staff]
If America has Jay-Z & Beyonce, South Korea has its equivalent: Tiger JK & Yoon Mi Rae. Let”s take a look at this exquisite married couple famously known for their flawless collaborations and chemistry both on and off the stage.
The Hip Hop Couple and their beginnings
Tiger JK was born in 1974. His parents were father, Mr. Suh Byung Hoo, South Korea”s first ever pop columnist, and his mother, Kim SungAe, was the leader of a famous K-pop group, Wild Cats. Tiger JK immigrated to America in his teens and had a rich musical influence around him since his birth. He first became recognized in the music scene when he defiantly rapped, “Call Me Tiger,” at a Hip Hop festival in 1992 right after the LA Riots.
Tiger JK released his first solo album, “Enter The Tiger,” in 1995, but due to the popularity of Seotaeji and other artists at that time, he did not see major success with the album and had to return to America. His real standing in the Korean music industry became definitive when he partnered with DJ Shine in 1999 and released an album under a group name, Drunken Tiger. They went on to release hits such as, “Do you know Hip Hop?,” “I Want You,” Good Life,” and “Because I Am A Man.” After Shine left the group in 2005, Tiger JK took on the name of Drunken Tiger on his own, and the legacy continues to grow today.
Yoon Mi Rae was born in Texas in 1981 to a Korean mother and an African American father. Her father lived in Korea and worked as an Army Officer. Her dad was also a professional DJ, soYoon Mi Rae naturally grew up around music. At a young age of 14, she signed up to be a member of Uptown and debuted at the age of 15. In 1999, she left Uptown with fellow Uptown member, Annie, and formed the female duo, Tashannie. They released hits such as “Day By Day” and “Caution.” In 2001, Yoon Mi Rae started a solo career and proved to be more popular than ever with hits such as “As Time Goes By,” “Don’t Leave Me,” “Did You Forget,” and “Black Happiness.”
Tiger JK & Yoon Mi Rae got married in 2007 after 7 years of being together. It was here where they became known as South Korea’s “Best Hip Hop Married Couple.” Yoon Mi Rae did not believe in tradition and old fashioned ideologies, so she did not have an extravagant wedding. The two had their wedding ceremony in a temple in the mountain near their residence in UiJeongBu. There was no wedding dress nor rings. Instead, a yellow rubber band was wrapped around her ring finger with Tiger JK promising that “One day, you will have the most beautiful wedding ring on this finger.” They are currently living in UiJeongBu with their son, Jordan, who has been blessed with his parents’ genes – musical ability, personality, and looks.
Rise to Success, Trials & Tribulations
Up until the early 2000s, hip-hop was not that well accepted in South Korea. Tiger JK was not welcomed with open arms even within the local hip-hop community. However, Tiger JK proved his worth with the release of Drunken Tiger’s, “Good Life.” This title track from their 3rd album reached the number one spot in 2001, at a time where the South Korean music scene was more geared towards pop artists such as GOD, SES, FINKL. This was reportedly the first “HipHop” song to reach the number one spot. Drunken Tiger instantly gained respect from the South Korean Hip Hop community.
Tiger JK called his wife a “genius,” and this is not an exaggeration by any means. Yoon Mi Rae has been and continues to be South Korean reigning female rapper. She has also proved herself by collaborating with international stars. When John Legend was on tour in South Korea, Yoon Mi Rae had a chance to meet him backstage. They introduced themselves to each other via a freestyle rap. Being so impressed with her talent, John Legend invited Yoon Mi Rae to perform with him the very next day and let his fans know about her on Twitter. She also performed with Asian-American hip-hop group, Far East Movement, and has been continuously praised by legendary producer, Quincy Jones.
Even for this power couple, there were some trials and tribulations. In 2005, Tiger JK was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis. Transverse myelitis is a neurological disorder caused by inflammation across both sides of one level, or segment, of the spinal cord. The term myelitis refers to inflammation of the spinal cord; transverse simply describes the position of the inflammation, that is, across the width of the spinal cord. Attacks of inflammation can damage or destroy myelin, the fatty insulating substance that covers nerve cell fibers. This damage causes nervous system scars that interrupt communications between the nerves in the spinal cord and the rest of the body. On one TV program, Tiger JK stated that he experienced instances where he felt a burning feel when he touched a cold object. He would wake up in the middle of the night and could not move his body. He is reportedly to be much better currently, but continues to be on prescribed medications.
Hip Hop Married Couple’s Fashion Sense
Jeon InKwon, member of godfather rock group, Deulgukhwa (A Wild Chamomile), said that when he first saw Tiger JK, he could relate to him. “I used to dress freely and looked a bit like a person on the streets,” he said. “But when I saw Tiger JK for the first time, he looked more so. I found that to be really charismatic and saw the freedom in him. I really respected that.”
Yes, Tiger JK can rock a beard and a perm with a raggy t-shirt and jeans and still look good. However, when he puts on a fitted suit with loafers complimented with a fedora hat, he becomes the definition of a gentleman. Tiger JK’s fashion style is not that different on and off the stage, but it is completely the opposite with Yoon Mi Rae. When on stage, she is not afraid to put on bodysuits and see-through tops, but off stage would rather wear an understated t-shirt and jeans.
Hip Hop Married Couple – A Hot Topic
Back in May this year, Tiger JK and Yoon Mi Rae helped former Super Star K contestant, Yuna Kim, with her solo debut single title track “Without You Now.” Tiger JK & Yoon Mi Rae”s recording label, Feel Ghood Music, stated that when Tiger JK and Yoon Mi Rae heard Kim Yuna rap, they volunteered to mentor her. They said that it was like looking at a younger Yoon Mi Rae. Yuna Kim is due to debut as a member in a girl group along with a former contestant, Jeon Min Ju.
Yoon MiRae will feature on drama, ‘It’s Ok, That’s Love” official soundtrack. The single will debut July 23rd.
Translation by JSK
Kim Wan Sun released the full “Goodbye My Love” today featuring Tiger JK & Bizzy. Unfortunately, our guys are not in the music video, but it is a nice breath of fresh air as we wait for MFBTY fam to come back. The song tells the story of a couple going through a confusing and harsh break up. 1theK conveniently included a closed captioning with an English translation of the lyrics.
Drunken Tiger International
On July 2nd, legendary singer, Kim Wan Sun, revealed she will be making her long awaited comeback with single, “Goodbye Love,” that will feature Tiger JK and Bizzy.
Kim Wan Sun first debuted in 1986 and is known to be Korea’s version of Madonna. Kim Wan Sun was one of the first to bring the signature 80s dance studio moves to the main stage. Combined with her hypnotizing voice, her piercing eyes, and leading fashion style, Kim stands as one of Kpop’s most recognizable figures. After the 90s, Kim took periodic breaks from the Korean music industry, performing briefly in other Asian markets and then studying in Hawaii. “Goodbye Love” marks as her first debut in the Korean market since her brief comeback in 2012.
The preview for “Goodbye Love” leads with a brief verse from Bizzy and Tiger JK backing him. It is clear that Kim (45) still has her dance moves too.
The full single will debut on July 7th on 1theK’s (Korea’s Vevo) YouTube channel.
Source: Star News
Drunken Tiger International
We at Drunken Tiger International, Drunken Tiger Brasil, and BizzyBTBT want to wish our sis, Yoon MiRae, a Happy Birthday today! As our gift to her, we polled our followers on how they would describe Yoon MiRae in one word. Our followers were told they would receive a special prize by participating, but were not aware of the bigger project in the works. This was the result (and the prize they were all vying for!). Congrats! Now your love for MiRae will be seen for sure. Thanks to everyone who participated!