In a new interview, Korean hip-hop act Epik High said that retiring is not on the cards for the act, who have been together for 20 years now.
Since their advent two decades ago, Epik High have become one of the most influential acts of South Korean music, popularising hip-hop as a genre in the country and putting it on the global map. Not to mention being named by numerous contemporary acts as influences. Thankfully, for Epik High, this momentum is still going strong.
In a new interview with Vanity Fair, Epik High’s Tablo said that the group has no plans of retiring just yet – in fact, it’s not even a concern.
“I don’t think it’s an option for us to ever retire,” says Tablo. “You can only retire if this is your job, and 20 years into this, we can’t say this is a job anymore…. This is way more than a job. Epik High—this thing—has become life itself for us, and you don’t want to retire from life.”
Talking about their latest album, Epik High Is Here下 (Part 2), the group also revealed that their secret to making an album was treating it as if it would be their last.
“You don’t know what will happen to this world or what’s going to happen to you tomorrow. So we always go into this [process] with the mentality that if this were the last album in our career, we wouldn’t be ashamed of it, and it would be a nice album to end our career on.” said DJ Tukutz.
Tablo also added that the reason the group had stuck around for so long – and changed the face of modern K-pop unwittingly – was that they had healthy conflicts.
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“None of us can ever be yes-men to each other. We are constantly shitting on each other, and that’s when we’re working or playing,” explained Tablo.
“That kind of thing, I think, keeps you on your toes, and keeps you grounded because it’s impossible for any of us to ever get cocky…. To have a long career, you gotta surround yourself with people that love you, that care about you, but are very, very cold-hearted when they give criticism, even though you know that they actually do care about you.” Tablo said.
You can read more about this topic over at the Asia Pop Observer.