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12 10월, 2007

The Reason I wish I Spoke Korean More Fluently

So I've been trying to teach myself Korean and have stalled somewhere at learning how to read it, but having no vocabulary or grammar basics on which to build on. That's code for too lazy to progress any further without intervention. In steps rap group Epik High with their 2 Disc album Remapping the Human Soul (2007). Consisting of Tablo, Mithra and DJ Tukutz, Epik High is one of my new found favourites, and I can only hope that their music truly progresses an improves. I love this album for both rekindling my somewhat flagging fervor for the Korean language, and for making me realise that contrary to what Nas said, hip-hop is not dead, it's just morphed and moved somewhere far, far away.

Now one big part of why I like this group is Tablo. Canadian-Korean by birth, he graduated from Stanford with a Master's in English Literature, and he now is a rapper that manages to straddle comfortably both the pop and conscience driven world he works in. He nevertheless comes across as an easy going, fun dude who dances a little too much like a girl. His English lyrics are just as moving and telling as his Korean ones, which as long as they don't degrade women, glorify violence or stultifyingly boring i couldn't care less. I give them props for trying to have a message and delivering.

The other part has to be DJ Tukutz. Even though most of the time I have no clue what either Tablo or Mithra are saying I can listen to this album over and over again solely because of the production of the music itself. At times reminiscent of 90's euro-pop other times paying homage to hip hop great Dr. Dre, this album is definitely set up for some good listening, which I fully intend to do for a good long while. He also grooves in the same sort of vibe that another Korean favorite of mine, Clazziquai, does, reaching out to a lot of genres to create a smooth well connected sounds that sort of rests quietly in the background while the MC's do their thing

Below is the video for my favorite track (a.k.a my current ringtone) on the Album: Fan. Enjoy!

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