Another year has been added to growing legends, EPIK HIGH, as they turn 12 years old since their debut.
Now, why celebrate their anniversary? Firstly, I am a HIGH SKOOL by blood and bone (wow!) I mean… Which KHOP fan would not at least have mad respect for EPIK HIGH?I can name a number of KPOP idols who look up to this trio, too. Even though you aren’t a fan, I know there was at least that one time that they got you hooked on one song. Or better yet, might have even made you cry.
That’s the magic of Epik High, I guess. They are a hiphop group that appeal to the masses not just because of their music, not just because they’re currently signed with YGE, not just because they’ve been on TV, but because their music speaks to everyone. Even their personalities are quirky and people love them!
After 12 years, how much have we known Epik High? For new fans, this link might help you know more about them. But for me, this is what Epik High is.
I have a lot of memories because of Epik High. Because of this trio, I founded a strong relationship with my late bestfriend, Jaybe. We found out about Epik High together and we loved them (including their goofy hairstyles before). As weak as I thought I was before, Jaybe was the stronger one between us. And she, too, found more strength and inspiration from Epik High. Even while she battled with cancer, she continued supporting them. And it was pretty ironic, because two years ago, a day after Epik High’s 10th anniversary, Jaybe left. So I guess, for every year that would pass, when we’ll celebrate their anniversary, I will always be filled with mixed emotions.
It was also because of Epik High that I grounded myself firm in supporting the Korean Hiphop scene. That day has been one of the most amazing firsts in my life. I started to appreciate other artists and become more critical in viewing them as “artists”. Whoever these three worked with meant that they were real just as amazing as they were. I could have never denied myself whenever I see Epik High with their fellow hiphop artists. This picture alone is giving me all the feels right now. And Epik High is still making ways to make ONE LOVE possible. They are competitors in the scene with other acts, but the way they support each other and the culture is undeniably moving. And it’s amazing how they, namely Tablo, goes out and sees budding talents from other rappers, producers, MCs and singers. It’s just sad that the relationship Epik High once had with the other members of Movement Crew would never be patched up that easily, but I guess it’s fine that the problem has already cooled down. I will still hope for a complete crew photo in the future though. I believe.
But other than hiphop artists, it is also because of Epik High that I started having great interest to K-Indie musicians including Epitone Project, lalasweet, Urban Zakapa and of course, NELL.
I remember the time when Tablo signed with YG. A friend of mine told me the news and I literally cried. I knew what he was going through with the TaJinYo issue. I believed in Tablo. I thought that YG would be a temporary thing for him since I believed he wouldn’t leave Tukutz and Mithra behind. But the next year, when Mithra finished his army service, next thing we knew, all of EPIK HIGH signed with the label. I was greatly concerned knowing how they promote being real, original and sincere in music and being in a mainstream label wouldn’t actually help. But I believed that YG has respect for Epik High and their music that he wouldn’t let their color fade. And I was not disappointed. Even up to this time, the Epik High I’ve known and loved is still the same Epik High performing at small shows, spending time with their friends and creating and releasing the music they like, no matter what the haters say. And who would deny the fact that Epik High just fits perfectly well with the other YG Family members? All we need now is a YG Family song. Really. I need it in my life.
Somehow, being signed to YGE gave both sides the best outcome they wouldn’t even have imagined. Even though fans were initially worried if they can continue the same music they had done for years, the trio still continued to be them. And even though YG has been known to work only within their four walls, Epik High was still able to work with their friends and added more people onto their list of amazing collaborations including Rollercoaster, Younha and The Barbarettes. Also, for Epik High, they were finally given more chances to meet their fans. Because of their PARADE Tour, I know a lot of fans have cried their hearts out (I know I have) for having the chance to see them live after so many years, especially to those fans who have been by their side even before YG. And I know Epik High felt the same towards that opportunity. They give back to their fans and I know that in one way or another, they wanted to do more for them. Doing shows in their fans’ countries were already the fulfillment of that dream. So for everyone who got to watch a Parade Tour Concert, hands up! We all hoped for it!
As for YG, what he benefited with having Epik High, is well, having more minds into the body. They are celebrated producers and we all know how YG pushes their artists to learn music production. And another thing is the creation of HIGHGRND which Tablo is spearheading. It is no secret that YG has their eyes on a number of artists but since the agency does not have that much space for everyone, it has been hard to add up another person into their roster. And also the fact that YG somehow only chooses the best. But in having HIGHGRND, production work and an added number to the roster was divided. YG will remain focused on their main roster while HIGHGRND will focus on independent, underground artists. A very strategic move don’t you think? Having Tablo manning the team will mean that the label’s flow will be as free as they want it to be. No pressure. YG. Tablo. HIGHGRND. Perfect combination.
12 years with Epik High is not enough to describe and talk about with just this one entry. But I hope I summed up a lot with this. Take your time to appreciate Epik High. They are so much more than what you think they are. For some, they only see them as performing artists. But for a lot of people, EPIK HIGH are not just ARTISTS. They are INSPIRATIONS. And I believe, that you have already done so much in your life if there is at least one person out there who look up to you and are inspired by you. Be inspired with their life stories, their music and their unending friendship. I believe, that even though one day they finally decide to hit the sacks and leave the industry, EPIK HIGH will continue to live on. Because that’s what legends are. They never die.