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Tiger JK

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Tiger JK

Tiger JK
Tiger JK performing at the Lolipop Concert, in May 2010
Background information
Native name 서정권
Birth name Seo Jung-kwon
Also known as JK, Drunken Tiger, DT
Born (1974-07-29) July 29, 1974
Origin South Korea
Genres Hip hop
Occupation(s) Rapper, producer, songwriter, musician, model
Instruments Guitar, sampler, piano, synthesizer
Years active 1995–present
Labels Oasis Records (1990s–2000s)
Jungle Entertainment (2006–2013)
FeelGhood Music (2013–present)
Associated acts Drunken Tiger, Movement, Tasha Reid, Yoo Jae-suk, Bizzy (Korean rapper)
Stage name
Hangul 타이거 JK
Revised Romanization Taigeo JK
McCune–Reischauer T'aigŏ JK
Birth name
Hangul 서정권
Hanja 徐廷權
Revised Romanization Seo Jeong-gwon
McCune–Reischauer Sŏ Chŏng-kwŏn

Tiger JK (born July 29, 1974; as Seo Jung-kwon Korean: 서정권, Hanja: 徐廷權)) is a Korean-American rapper, best known as one of the founding members of hip hop group Drunken Tiger. He is the founder and former CEO of Jungle Entertainment an imprint distributed by CJ E&M. JK and Drunken Tiger are also noted collaborators of various South Korean hip hop artists, and are the basis of the South Korean hip hop joint movement known as simply "Movement" or "The Movement". He has released nine studio albums under Drunken Tiger, and continues to collaborate with that said group today.

His legendary status extends beyond that of South Korea, and is often compared with famed American rappers in terms of style and lyrical content. He and Drunken Tiger are also considered the true pioneers of the Hip hop scene in South Korea (the other said pioneer being Yang Hyun-suk).

Early life

Jung-kwon was born in Seoul, South Korea on July 29, 1974[1] the first of three siblings born to South Korean parents. At age twelve he and his family immigrated to the United States where the family briefly lived in Miami, Florida (a prominently non-Korean area) where he practiced Taekwondo and earned his 5th rank black belt in 1990. The family later moved to California and was raised in Los Angeles, where he attended and graduated from Beverly Hills High School where he was racially discriminated. As a teen living in Los Angeles he witnessed the violence between Korean Americans and African Americans during the 1992 Los Angeles Riots; JK was determined to close the gap between the two races within his community with his rhymes. He later attended and graduated from UCLA, with a major in English.[1]

Musical career

1990s – 1998: Beginning of Drunken Tiger and success

At age sixteen he met Micki Eyes, later to be a member of Drunken Tiger, and performed in a rap festival in Los Angeles. He later caught the eye of Oasis Entertainment of South Korea, got signed, and released his first solo album, Enter The Tiger. The album achieved major success, but due to censorship, the songs were banned from being played on radio stations.[2] Soon after the release of American rapper Ice Cube's highly controversial song Black Korea, Tiger JK teamed up with east coast rapper DJ Shine, to form the duo Drunken Tiger in 1998. Although the group was formed in the U.S., the group debuted in South Korea as well. Drunken Tiger immediately gained major popularity with songs such as I Want You and Do You Know Hip hop?.

1998 – present: Criticism, withdrawal of DJ Shine, Legendary status, and further activities

Initially, Drunken Tiger was criticized for generating controversy due to their lyrics' explicit content and rebellious attitude towards mainstream music trends. Nevertheless, they continued to write their own music, perform in local shows, and gather a large following. The group would go on to release five albums, before DJ Shine leave for personal reasons in early 2005.[3]

Throughout Tiger JK's career, he has also written and composed many hip-hop songs in South Korea for many well known hip-hop artists in the country. In mid-2006, Drunken Tiger established a hip-hop record label named Jungle Entertainment, whose roster includes many well known hip-hop artists.[4]

Today, Tiger JK continues to perform under the Drunken Tiger stage name, and is still considered one of South Korea's most respected Hip hop artists. He and DJ Shine are considered the true pioneers of the hip-hop scene in South Korea.[5] His eighth album, entitled Feel gHood Muzik : The 8th Wonder was released on June 29, 2009.[6]

On January 25, 2012, it was revealed that JK worked on Brian Joo's (a member of Fly to the Sky) album, featuring in tne song "Let This Die".

In August 2012, his collaboration with the LOEN Entertainment's new girl group, FIESTAR, was released. The song, "Wicked", is part of their debut album.

In 2013, Hip Hop legends Tiger JK, Yoon Mirae and Bizzy teamed up to form the project group MFBTY, an acronym for 'My Fans [are] Better Than Yours'. The trio from Jungle Entertainment debuted with the first single "Sweet Dream".

In Summer of 2013, he left Jungle Entertainment and formed FEELGHOOD MUSIC due to disagreements with the CEO and investors.

Influences and rapping style

Tiger JK has credited Jamaican singer Bob Marley for his musical style and numerous American rappers as well. He has demonstrated his Reggae style, gangsta rap style and West Coast hip hop in Drunken Tiger songs, Tiger JK is praised for various aspects of his rapping technique by numerous other rappers – these techniques include: his varied and humorous subject matter, connecting with his audience, carrying a concept over a series of albums, unique rhyme schemes, his ability to bend words so that they rhyme, his use of syllabic rhymes fitting many rhymes in each bar, complex rhythms, use of melody, and syncopation.

Personal life


Tiger JK and singer/rapper Yoon Mirae secretly wed in 2007. The couple has one son named Jordan Seo who was born in mid-2008.[7]

Health problems

Tiger JK was diagnosed with transverse myelitis in 2006,[8] which led to a two-year hiatus from performing.

Drug possession trial

Tiger JK was arrested for possession of methamphetamine in 2000, even though some say there was strong evidence that Tiger JK did not use drugs. He served community service as a penalty, and the band received a two-year promotion ban.[9]

Religious views

Tiger JK is a deist and denounces organized religion.

Clothing line


Shortly after discovering having Transverse Myelitis, Tiger JK began his clothing line named LUNGTA in 2006.[10] But, after a few years, the online store suspended its activities.


After ex-N.W.A rapper and famed hip hop producer Dr. Dre released his signature high performance "Beats" headphones, Tiger JK released his own kind of the same headphones titled "Tigerbeats", on May 20, 2011, for 690,000 won (630.00 USD). Tiger JK was amongst the select few and the first Korean artist to release his own collection of headphones under the Dre brand.[11]



  • 1995: Enter the Tiger


2006 - 《Drama 'Alien Sam'》 Song: 선생님은 외계인 (Teacher Is An Alien)
2006 - 《HipHop Drama 'Break'》 Songs: Break, 봉우리
2014 - 《Drama 'Pinocchio'》 Song: 첫사랑 Feat. 펀치 (First Love Feat. Punch)

Television appearances

Though neither he nor Drunken Tiger has had many appearances outside of music programmes, he along with his wife has made special appearances on the South Korean variety shows Infinity Challenge, High Kick, Happy Together and Running Man.



Year Award-Giving Body Category Work Result
2009 Mnet Asian Music Awards Best Male Artist[12] "Monster" Won


  1. ^ a b "Drunken Tiger – bio". Retrieved 2010-03-28. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ "Profile from Drunken Tiger". Retrieved 2010-03-28. 
  4. ^ "Jungle Entertainment". Retrieved 2010-03-28. 
  5. ^ "Artist Profile: Drunken Tiger > Korea > MTV Iggy – Global Pop Culture, Latest Trends and New Music". MTV Iggy. Retrieved 2010-03-28. 
  6. ^ (작사:Tiger J.K 작곡:Tiger J.K) (June 29, 2009). "드렁큰 타이거 8집 – Feel Ghood Muzik: The 8th Wonder". Retrieved 2010-03-28. 
  7. ^ "Tiger JK, T Wed With Baby". The Korea Times. Retrieved November 27, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Tiger JK Slams Racism Here". The Korea Times. Retrieved September 20, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Drunken Tiger | Korean Pop Singer – Drunken Tiger(드렁큰 타이거), korean star". Retrieved 2013-05-07. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ "JK to release his own Beats by Dr. Dre series: TIGER BEATS". Retrieved 2011-08-23. 
  12. ^ "2009 Korean Music Festival Winners list". MAMA. Retrieved 2014-06-12.

External links

  • Drunken Tiger site
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