Legendary South Korean hip-hop trio Epik High–comprising rappers Tablo, Mithra Jin, and Tukutz– made their much-awaited comeback earlier today with part one of their 10th studio album Epik High is Here. The record follows the group’s hit 2019 EP Sleepless in __________ and features 10 tracks with a star-studded lineup of some of Korea’s biggest names in hip-hop and R&B. The second part of the project will release sometime later this year with the exact date yet to be announced. Prior to the album’s release, Epik High teased audiences by slowly revealing the collaborators on the album via a collection of polariod photos.
The record is accompanied by two music videos, one for each lead single–“Rosario” and “Based On A True Story.” The haunting Latin pop and trap influenced “Rosario” features rappers CL and Zico and is a criticism of online hate, malicious comments and smear campaigns with lyrics that outline the experiences of each artist. On the chorus CL declares, “Out of my way/ I am a legend and I’m here to stay/ Did it my way, just step on it and that’s all the way/ When it rains, I’ll dance in the rain/ You talk a lot, ain’t no one givin’ a fuck what you say.” The music video follows the style of Epik High’s 2014 video for “Born Hater,” shot portrait-style with each artist in their own individual ‘hotel room’ set and surrounded by symbolic props.
“Based On A True Story” takes a completely different turn, going down a more mellow route with R&B artist Heize; the track is soft, jazzy, piano-led track about heartbreak and pain after losing someone you love and a fear of that emotional state. As Tablo raps, “I’m scared, actually/ I’m afraid I’ll feel what’s all mine, a touch of sulky emotions/ I’m afraid that with just one pull, all this thread will be unraveled.” The music video is simple and elegant, featuring Heize singing in a pretty field during the day while the members of Epik High rap in city nightscapes bathed in red street lights.