About a month ago, Tiger JK released his single, “Nice To See You Again (Forever),” which was a tribute to his loyal fans. So, for this year’s birthday, we at DT INTL wanted to return that gift back to him and reenact his music video.
There are some guest appearances that many will be surprised to see.
Thank you to all the people who helped make this gift possible.
Noisey interviewed MFBTY recently and discussed with them the origins of their name and the meaning behind their album. MFBTY had nothing but good things to say about the people who inspired them to continue on past all their struggles.
So the name MFBTY came out of this community you found on Twitter of K-pop fandom?
Tiger JK: When I started tweeting, the first group of people that actually started talking to me was from Brazil. So just imagine—we didn’t think we were popping in Korea, and someone from Brazil will talk to us! And I was like “Hey, how do you know me?” And I was chatting with them and they were from different fandoms. And it was sort of an inside joke between them, ‘cause I was kind of like the UN for all these fans from different groups. The inside joke was “my fans are better than yours,” so the fans made the name. One day it kind of snowballed into something, and people were writing MFBTY graffiti in London and Spain and Italy, and we became something like a cult.
Today, June 15th, it was unexpectedly announced that JK would drop a new single, without the other MFBTY members, on June 16th.
The song, “Nice To See You Again,” is a letter to JK’s fans who have supported him since his career started, particularly his Korean fan club, Tigerbalm. The cover photo dated 05/03/1999 is a photo he took in Los Angeles, while he was preparing for his second album, “The Great Rebirth.”
In this interview with YAM, MFBTY had the chance to talk about the family they work closely with, (special focus on Tasha and EE’s friendship) why they created Wondaland, and they give a deeper look into their song, ‘Rebel Music’.
Hello! While many of the YAM writers are familiar with MFBTY and were very excited when Wondaland came out, can you please give our readers an introduction to MFBTY in your own words?
Tiger JK:MFBTY is a pop trio that makes wonderful pop music. Yoonmirae is our leader, Bizzy is the face, and I am the father that fathered all of our styles. MFBTY is an underground pop music group that was made accidentally on a social network. Our fans are better than most because they can abandon us at any given time!
Yoonmirae:My name is Tasha, but I’m better known as Yoonmirae or T. For more information about myself and MFBTY please check out ourwebsite.
Bizzy:MFBTY means My Fans Better Than Yours aka mother#ckin’ Bizzy, Tiger, Yoonmirae aka My Father’s Better Than Yours for Father’s Day.
“My style is a bit rough but since this is a festival with kids, I’ll tone it down a little. I won’t even say, ‘Let’s smash them.’ I’ll say, ‘Let’s bounce!’”
Tiger JK, Yoon Mi Rae, and Bizzy rocked the finale stage of 2015 Green Plugged, which was held on May 24, 2015 at 9pm.
The trio, (who are known as MFBTY) turned the grassy fields into a club as soon as their set started. Tiger JK jumped off the stage to meet the fans face to face, splashing water from his bottle and shouting like a rock star. The reporter met the drenched Tiger JK backstage right after their set.
We Lost Everything
Tiger JK is slowly climbing up from the bottom. In February 2014, his father passed away after a long fight with cancer. TigerJK said he lost absolutely everything at that time. As Drunken Tiger, (who topped the Korean music charts on several occasions) he made enough money for him to say, “I just want to do my kind of music now”. These days however, “If I don’t work today, I can’t guarantee I can put food on my family’s table, it’s that tough right now.”
For him, being on the bottom is somewhat familiar. Back in 2000, right after his debut, he was arrested for allegedly taking prohibited substances (all charges were later dropped). Back in 2006, he was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis, and cannot properly function if he does not take his medication four times daily.
MFBTY, started back in 2011 on Twitter when they playfully stated, “My Fans are Better Than Yours.” This joke spread through the Twitter world through their international fans.
“This started out as a joke and back in 2013, we released a single called, ‘Sweet Dreams’. It was a massive hit overseas, to the point we were invited to Cannes MIDEM festival. We thought, “Alright, that was cool”, and were preparing to do our individual music. Then our fans continuously sent us well wishing messages about my father. It just built up from there.”
Like a roller coaster, there are ups and downs in life. After Tiger JK’s father passed away, MFBTY released an album to thank their fans entitled Wondaland. This album charted No. 8 in the 1st week of April on the Billboard World Album Charts. MFBTY was even invited to perform at the annual Dream Concert in May this year. With this overwhelming international response to their music, the tracks on the ‘Wondaland’ album charted on Korean music charts as well.
We Are Not doing Hip Hop
“People around us are asking us to change our group name to something like ‘Yoon Mi Rae & MFBTY or Drunken Tiger & MFBTY. But our name started with our fans so how dare we change it? Anyway, we went on air after a 3 year hiatus with everything saying that, “it’s the Hip Hop era in Korea right now” but they just wanted us to dance and rap, leaving out all the DJing, Drums, or VJ. Witnessing that, we are just doing our thing on stages. Hard as it may be.” As Tiger JK stated, MFBTY is doing the majority of their appearances on stages purely based on word-of-mouth from other festival attendees and organizers.
At the Green Plugged Festival, Tiger JK thanked the crowd, (even though most of them may not know them) pointing to the fact that the majority of the crowd were females in their 20’s. However, even the hardcore fans who followed Tiger JK from the Drunken Tiger days would’ve been a bit perplexed with the set. Their stage set started with Hip Hop, then a rendition of “I Heard Some Rumor” by Jang Gi Ha and The Faces, Bob Marley’s- “Jamming”, and a dash of Trot in there as well. It was vaguely reminiscent of an impromptu Jazz performance with quick transition of styles. The tracks in, ‘Wondaland’ vary greatly in their flavour, notably “Hello Happy” with Yoo Hee Yeol, “Love and Peace” with Jeon In Kwon, and “Bucku Bucku” with EE, Dino J and BTS leader, (Rap Monster).
“Hip Hop can go across all different sounds. If Electronic is the thing, then Hip Hop can reside in it for a while, then when Rock becomes more popular, we can go there too.” Tiger JK insisted that MFBTY is not a Hip Hop group, rather an Underground K Pop group. “We all know that we are not at our prime, but there are some interesting things happening around us. When we rock gigs, we go crazy and when we were invited to the Dream Concert, we attended as their oldest performers. We are truly blessed!”
Donning the necklace given to him by his father, (he wears it every time he goes on stage) Tiger JK is getting ready to rise up once again.
Can you tell us about the origins of the concept of the MFBTY project, how it came about?
Tiger JK: The origin of the concept for MFBTY came from love. And it came about in the loveliest way. Our album “WondaLand” is a K-pop fantasy world where everybody loves Bizzy, Tiger, and Yoon Mi-rae.
Bizzy: People who are lost in their own lanes, they all deserve to be happy in this “WondaLand.” “My Fans Better Than Yours” is what MFBTY stands for.