Cover of Epik High’s 9th full-length album / Photograph = YG Entertainment

We’ve created these songs with scars, not sounds / Although bloodstained / We’ve done something wonderful” 
(Lyrics from “People Scare Me,” the first track on Epik High’s ninth album)

Epik High has achieved something they’ve dreamed of doing – that is to do something wonderful and beautiful. On October 23, three years after topping the charts with Shoebox, the group released their long-awaited ninth album We’ve Done Something Wonderful.

All of Epik High’s blood, sweat, and tears have paid off. As of 7:00 a.m. on October 24, one of their double title songs, “Love Story” (feat. IU), swept the number one spot on virtually all of the domestic music charts such as Melon, Genie, Bugs, Olleh Music, and Mnet. The other songs from the album either lined up right behind “Love Story” or landed on the upper end of the charts.  

The success of the album can be attributed to Epik High’s style of “good music.” Epik High is a three-dimensional hip-hop group. They create the kind of music they want using hip-hop as a medium while not being confined or limited by the genre of hip-hop, and they’ve expanded upon that freedom.   

Epik High has become more seasoned through this particular full-length album. They’ve maintained their characteristic sensibility while making music that is both sophisticated and easy on the ears.

Evidence of the trio’s growth can be seen in the album’s lineup of solid featured artists. Comprised of a total of 11 tracks, We’ve Done Something Wonderful features hip-hop musicians such as Song Min Ho (MINO), Simon Dominic, The Quiett, and Crush; modern rock musicians such as Kim Jong Wan of Nell and Oh Hyuk; and female vocalists that go back and forth between different genres such as IU and Suhyun.

Although it’s showy and eye-catching, the lineup itself isn’t everything. The real appeal of We’ve Done Something Wonderful is the harmony and synergy achieved by Epik High and the featured artists. The color of the album completely changes from one track to the next depending on the musical disposition of the featured musician.  

The album’s third track in particular, “No Thank You,” is a masterpiece. The song – which not only features The Quiett, but also had the rapper involved in composing and arranging the track – has an unparalled beat. After starting off with a concise and powerful beat, the song flows along with a jazzy melody until it transforms back into something more dynamic. Song Min Ho (MINO), Simon Dominic, and The Quiett put their best foot forward and confidently displayed their rapping skills for the song’s supremely attractive and ever-changing beats, making the listener lose themself in the song.

Featured artists on Epik High’s 9th album ‘We’ve Done Something Wonderful’ / Photograph = YG Entertainment

The message and emotion behind each track are also exquisite. Covering everything from the weight of love and life, to the bitterness that one feels as they approach adulthood, and even offering a glimpse into the feeling of staying awake for days on end to write a single line of a song – the depth and honest portrayal of the lyrics resonate with the listener. Before you know it, the lyrics become a source of solace. Concepts like sincerity and solace – words that have become almost trite in this day and age – are what make these 11 tracks shine.

Epik High has said that they hope “the music [from We’ve Done Something  Wonderful] provides a sense of solace.” Artists who succeed in making genuinely comforting music when they approach their fans with the intention of providing solace; what a complete success.

Epik High will be performing an exclusive concert on November 3rd and 4th at Blue Square in Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. 

Translated by Jennifer Earwood