Rhyme Report

Published on May 31st, 2024 | by Just Jay


Epik High announce PUMP mixtape and North American Tour

Epik High —South Korea’s most influential hip-hop trio— meet fans’ demands with the announcement of their new mixtape, PUMP, and accompanying headlining North American tour. Revealed in a video posted to Epik High frontman Tablo’s social media yesterday, the forthcoming mixtape will be released with a music video on June 20th, 2024.

On the heels of the PUMP mixtape announcement, Epik High revealed that they will be embarking on THE PUMP TOUR, a 23-date North American tour which kicks off August 22nd in Vancouver, and makes stops in Los Angeles, Houston, Toronto, Brooklyn and more, before wrapping up in Tampa on September 25th.

THE PUMP TOUR presale begins Thursday, May 30th at 10AM local time, with general on-sale beginning Friday, May 31st at 10AM local time.

In 2023, Epik High celebrated their 20th anniversary as a group and after all of the festivities around this historic landmark, including an extensive global tour, sold-out stadium shows, and a movie release, the group felt reinvigorated to approach new music as though it was a fresh reset. “In a way, it feels like our first year again,” says Tablo. “What better way than to celebrate that by going back to the basics and creating a freewheeling mixtape filled with fresh energy?” he continued. With PUMP, the fresh energy is palpable as the group ventures into classic Epik High territory with an irreverence not heard since their rookie days.

“Before there was BTS or BigBang, there was Epik High,” Vanity Fair proclaimed. “Ask anyone who’s been listening to K-pop and chances are they’d know Epik High because the pioneering Korean hip-hop trio has had a profound and far-reaching influence on Korean popular music.” A legacy act in the making, Epik High is Tablo, Mithra Jin and DJ Tukutz. With 20 years and 10 full-length albums to their name, the group are widely credited for uplifting Korea’s nascent hip-hop scene and paving the way for a generation of artists after them.

Formed in 2001, Epik High’s initial climb was arduous and while their debut album, Map of the Human Soul, released in 2003, is now prolifically recognized, their sound was not immediately understood. “Their music was different, with an experimental mix of genres, poetic lyrics skillfully weaving English and Korean, punchlines abounding with homonyms, and dense rhymes,” Associated Press said. “The band has a knack for making songs about touchy subjects in South Korea, from its white-collar work culture, overly competitive educational system to religion.”

For instance, their hit single “Fan,” from their Remapping the Human Soul album, critiqued Korea’s sasaeng culture. Named “Song of the Year” by many critics in 2007, the track went on to win the Main Prize (Bonsang) at the Golden Disc Awards. All of their records, including Tablo’s solo album Fever’s End, have charted #1 on the Korean, Canadian, and U.S. iTunes hip-hop charts simultaneously.

For their 10th album, which was split into two projects, Epik High Is Here 上 (Part 1) in 2021 and Epik High Is Here 下 (Part 2) in 2022, Epik High delivered their most personal body of work to date. It weaved their expansive history together and carved out a range of memories, from vulnerable to unruly. Both parts accumulated hundreds of millions of streams and received outstanding press, including Rolling StoneVanity FairWashington PostBillboardElleSeventeen and San Francisco Chronicle. Part 2 was named by GQ one of the best albums of 2022, while “Rosario,” featuring CL and Zico, was named one of the best K-Pop songs of 2021 by The RingerTeen Vogue and NME. Epik High, who is known for uplifting Korea’’s burgeoning music scene by bridging industry stalwarts with newcomers, have collaborated with RM of BTS, IU, CL, Taeyang, Jay Park, Younha, Crush, Bobby, B.I, Simon Dominic, MINO, pH-1, OHHYUK, Woo, Lee Hi, Wonstein, Colde, to name a few.

Their recent accolades include the group’s return to Coachella in 2022 after being the first Korean act to perform at the festival in 2016 and their 2022 headlining North American tour. Tablo also made headlines for his guest feature on RM of BTS’ project, Indigo, and for his award-winning podcast, Authentic: The Story Of Tablo, which was released in partnership with VICE/iHeartMedia and named by Vulture as one of the best podcasts of 2022. 2023 marked another triumphant run for Epik High, who began the year with the refreshed sounds of their Strawberry EP, which included features from Hwasa and Jackson Wang, and earned critical praise from Rolling Stone and Billboard.

Epik High also spent much of the year on the road, bringing their All Time High Tour to Europe, North America, Asia and Latin America. Throughout the year, they headlined more than 40 concerts before closing out the year with the November release of “Screen Time” in collaboration with Hoshi of SEVENTEEN, and their run of three sold-out stadium shows at the SK Olympic Handball Gymnasium in Seoul for their 20th anniversary celebration.


About the Author

Comments are closed.

Back to Top ↑