The first Yoonmirae hip-hop album was so precious to me, that I remember being heartbroken when someone stole it from me (yes, that album was that hot). It has remained a favorite hip-hop album 16 years later, and fans have waited ever so patiently for a part 2.
And on July 5th, 2018, we will finally have it.
Yoonmirae’s “Gemini 2” track list was released on July 3rd by Feel Ghood Music, and it was announced the title song, “YOU & ME,” will feature fellow FGM artist, Junoflo.
While the feature with Tiger JK and song, “Cookie (assumingely about Jordan)” are of interest, the first song on the album is definitely eye-catching.
We heard fan buzz of Tiger JK & YoonMiRae hanging in LA, but were met with surprise when they were seen in a limo glammed up and heading to the Grammys with the likes of legendary singer/songwriter, Yoon Jong Shin, and DJ Soulscape. The invite to the exclusive event came from a regular sponsor of the pair, Hyundai Card.
Tiger JK seemed to have the most fun bonding with fellow pioneer, Yoon Jong Shin.
Tiger JK’s and YoonMiRae’s appearance at The Grammy’s came perfectly timed
before the latest announcement, of Yoon’s newest OST Single, “Always” which was released February 18th as part of the soundtrack for “Descendant Of The Sun.”
The Hanhwa Eagles’ new cheer song, “Eagling/Fly Like An Eagle,” by MFBTY was exciting news for most, but questions arose when The HanHwa company brainstormed the new anthem.
Hip Hop? In a cheering song? Is that possible? After MFBTY released their track, no questions remained. “Eagling,” proved MFBTY’s musical abilities once again and reaffirmed them as some of Korea’s top musicians. Most importantly, it helped reaffirm The Hanhwa Eagles’ position within the National Baseball League.
With new recruit, Esmil Rogers’ spectacular defense, and now “Eagling” blaring on the speakers, the dedicated Hanhwa Eagles fans are flocking to the stadium and their TV screens.
“Eagling” was inspired by the comments left on the fan pages and then embedded into MFBTY’s lyrics. With The Eagles recent brilliant performance and “Eagling” cheer song, it certainly looks positive for the team.
Ever since its release, the fans had one request: make the song purchasable. The track, “Eagling” was such high quality that many requested it to be released as a single. However, due to the digital music market technicalities, the HanWha company were not able to release the track for purchase at first.
Due to the ever increasing popular demand, Hanhwa Eagles and MFBTY mutually agreed to release the song, with all proceeds going to charitable organizations or other donations.
“Eagling” full version was released on August 13, 2015. It can be downloaded via Itunes & Melon.
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.
“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.