Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Review: Epik High’s Tablo (feat. Jinsil)–“Bad”

I hope for his sake Tablo took out an insurance policy on his shack in “Bad.”

Did you like the song?
Tablo is one of the three-member hip-hop group Epik High, whose activities have been interrupted by members DJ Tukutz and Mithra Jin having to go to the army (though DJ Tukutz is back now), giving Tablo time to do solo songs.

Epik High members

Mithra Jin, DJ Tukutz, and Tablo.

So the typical rap song nowadays has the basic (male) rap with lovely (female) vocals on the chorus. But “Bad” mixes this up because Jinsil isn’t just singing in the chorus, and her vocals are wickedly awesome. And Tablo’s rap does a great job at portraying his sadness and frustration with his situation while giving the song a cool groove.

What was your favorite part of the song?
Definitely the first part of the chorus (“love is so bad”). Memorable and creepy.

Does the English make you want to rip your eardrums out?
Tablo grew up all over the world, but partially in Canada; as a result his English is good (“Love is a sickness. Can I get a witness?”). But man, that “love is so bad” part is deliciously creepy, isn’t it? And Jinsil’s accent just…accentuates it, heh. She’s got a lovely Enya-esque quality, all breathy and airy and light, but at the same time mildly disturbing. I like it.

Tablo Bad music video

Check out that skull tattoo!

Did you like the video?
(Good luck getting screenshots with this shaky-cam, extreme-angles video.) Do we really need another of these I-hate-you-but-I-love-you music videos about destructive relationships that equate violent, bordering-on-rape sex with extreme passion? Granted, this one goes a bit farther than Bang Yong Guk’s “I Remember” and Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie,” and a lot farther than Ram’s “Deceived in Love,” but I for one would be glad to see the end of these. Love isn’t all romance and flowers. We get it already.

Was there a storyline? If so, did it make sense?
Yes, yes. There’s a couple who are passionate about both hating and loving each other. They decide to demonstrate the destructive power of love by systematically destroying everything in their shack, which was kind of nasty to begin with. The male lead at one point even shoves all the trash on the table onto the floor. Their cleaning person will be most displeased.

Tablo Bad shack

Tablo in the shack.

Things get violent—and I mean really violent—very quickly. There’s quite a bit of blood from broken mirrors and lamps and windows: blood drips from his mouth onto her face…her hand is cut up by glass shards…

Tablo Bad blood

Oh, yeah, and he slams an alcohol bottle against her head. Classy.

Tablo Bad blood drip face mouth

So I think we should just skip counselling and go straight to the restraining order at this point.

Was the dance cool and distinctive?
No dance, unless you count the breaking-everything-in-existence dance.

Tablo Bad broken window breaking

They’ve got that one pretty much covered.

Which member stood out the most?
I’m gonna have to give this to Tablo’s “Sick Love/Love Sick” finger tattoos. They look wicked, adding to the overall aura, and also have a message of their own.

Tablo Bad hand finger tattoos

I think they got more screentime than everybody else.

Do you like it enough to buy the song?
Probably not; it’s a bit depressing for my tastes.

Any ending thoughts?
I could find zero information whatsoever on Jinsil. Who is this girl? Her voice is awesome! I liked it a lot and want to know more about her. (Edit: thanks to Nurulnadia in the comments for letting me know that Jinsil is from Mad Soul Child and sings the OST from the movie The Man From Nowhere.)

So this is my very first venture into the world of Epik High! (Just to further show what a newbie I am. *fail*) To be honest, they don’t seem like entirely my style of Kpop music to listen to, but I haven’t listened to enough of their songs to really make a judgment. Anyway, check out their playlist or Youtube page for more.

Boyfriend’s one-liner:
“Just say no to sex on broken glass.”

Thanks to the High Skools who recommended Tablo. Please share your comments below! :)


  1. Hello! Might as well drop by since I really like this amazing song. I just love the "love is a sickness" part; it's really cool and addicting.

    The MV was pretty intense, too. Two people making out, hitting their loved one with alcohol bottles, bleeding hands and faces, then back to making out again...yeah, pretty much a normal drama-like storyline. But it was interesting.

    I LOL'd when you made Tablo's finger tattoos stand out the most. I saw them in almost every scene with him; funny how none of the actors in the MV got that one.

    I don't know much about Tablo or Epik High before this song, but I guess I'll keep an eye on them from now on.

  2. This MV was very dramatic; I was not expecting to see so much blood or graphic injuries, but I guess they helped set the dark tone.

    I want to know whether or not Tablo's tattoos are real! I'm 99% sure they're fake, but maybe...but yeah, I wish I could've seen the actors a bit more clearly.

    Epik High have quite an impressive portfolio of songs I've never heard of, so I'll definitely have to keep up with them! I look forward to seeing what they do next! :)

  3. "Do we really need another of these I-hate-you-but-I-love-you music
    videos about destructive relationships that equate violent,
    bordering-on-rape sex with extreme passion?"

    I could do without, for sure :/ Sick and tired of them already. Btw, speaking of k-hip-hop trends. Currently, it tends to get as close to easy listening as it can, it seems. Latest title tracks of Simon D, Verbal Jint, Cho PD, even Lessang (my last hope for emotional or angry rap, which they deliver, only not in title tracks).

    I can't wait for Monday. I want to hear the 2nd part of Tablo's album :)

  4. I don't think I noticed that until you mentioned it, but you're definitely right! I keep thinking, "Oh, this is nice and pretty, a good thing to listen to during a stroll," while listening to hip-hop, and that is just so wrong! Where's the anger and the passion?

    Or, yeah, maybe they're just not doing it in their title tracks in order to...I don't know, gain a wider listener-ship? Maybe? It's not working for me, though. I was soooo bored during Simon D's "Stay Cool," as one example. I keep meaning to review it, but I don't want to listen to it again. :(

  5. Yeah, I think wider listener-ship is the answer. Smoother, calmer... and boring :/ I'm with you on Simon D's Stay Cool. I hand in my article on the last Wednesday of each month. When he was releasing his album, he started from Hero (single) which I loved. It was edgy and exactly as I like my hip-hop. So I included it in my review. And then I didn't like anything else from the album which was released a week later. Bummer :(

  6. Well, at least "Hero" was good! I'll give that a listen, and hopefully I'll like it! :)

  7. this amazing girl, Jinsil is from Mad Soul Child who sing's 'dear', the OST for "The Man from Nowhere". Her haunting voice is so amazing. it makes me really wonder why are they so underrated among other artists.

  8. Thanks very much for that info! I looked up the OST, and it was really lovely.