Group Name: Epik High Debut: October 21, 2003 Debut Album: Map the Human SoulMembers: Tablo, Mithra Jin, DJ Tukutz
Epik High is a Korean hip-hop trio signed under YG Entertainment. The group formed in 2001 in Korea's underground hip-hop scene, the group consists of members Tablo, Mithra Jin, and DJ Tukutz. As hip-hop was not a popular genre of music in Korea until recently, for quite some time Epik High was relatively unknown and unpopular in the Korean mainstream music market.
Epik High released their debut album May of the Human Soul in 2003 after signing with Woollim Entertainment, but it wasn't until the release of their sophomore album, High Society, that the group started gaining traction commercially. In 2005, Epik High released their third album Swan Songs with the intention of it being their send off, as they still hadn't gained enough commercial success to sustain a career. Ironically, the album became a massive hit, largely thanks to the lead single "Fly", which dominated Korea's music charts following its release.
Thus, the group continued their career, releasing their fourth album, Remapping the Human Soul in January of 2007. The two happy rap songs on the album, "Love Love Love" and "Fan" were hits, while the other tracks addressed heavier topics like war and religion. In 2008 Epik High released their fifth studio album Pieces, Part One to critical acclaim, and followed it with the release of an EP entitled Lovescream that was equally, if not more, popular.
In 2009, Epik High ended their contracts with Woollim Entertainment and started their own independent label, "Map the Soul". Their artists included Epik High themselves, MYK, Dok2, and Planet Shiver. Epik High released their first project 魂: Map the Soul independently in March of 2009. The group then released their sixth album [e] independently as well.
In 2009, DJ Tukutz enlisted in the military two days after his wedding to begin his mandatory two year service as a male Korean citizen. While he was in the army, Epik High's seventh studio album Epilogue was released by Woollim Entertainment in 2010 and was a huge success on the charts. The members of Infinite, who were trainees at Woollim at the time, starred in the music video for Epik High's lead single from the album, "Run".
A few months after Epilogue's release, Mithra Jin also began his army service. Meanwhile, as a Canadian citizen Tablo was not required to serve military time, and thus signed a four-year contract with YG Entertainment while his members finished their service. Tablo released his first solo album, Fever's End, under YG, making it clear that even though he was releasing a solo album it did not mean that Epik High was disbanding.
In 2012, YG Entertainment that Epik High would be making a group comeback for the first time in three years under YG. The trio pre-released a song featuring new label mate Lee Hi entitled "Cold" which immediately took over the charts. In the following days, the group released the remainder of their album 99, along with music videos for their two lead singles "Up" featuring Park Bom and "Don't Hate Me".
In October of 2014, Epik High released their eighth studio album Shoebox, once again to critical acclaim. The following march the group headlined a Kpop showcase at SXSW in Austin, Texas. Most recently in 2016, Epik High became the second Korean artist ever to perform at Coachella.
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