by ELIZABETH EUN
At first glance, KRNB may seem like a gratuitous attempt from an underground hip-hop artist to win over a K-pop obsessed public, but the new mixtape from hip-hop and R&B artist Jinbo is actually just a simple love story of an artist mixing his appreciation for all musical genres, one of which happens to be K-pop.
Jinbo the “SuperFreak” is a Korean singer and producer who’s mainly stayed hidden from the spotlight. Epik High fans may recognize the 30-year-old’s name as he’s featured on tracks such as “Girl” and “Still Life,” and those who have a more eclectic Korean music library will remember his critically-acclaimed 2010 album, Afterwork.
But this time around, Jinbo is no longer shying away from the public. In fact, he’s courting the masses of people who only know Korean music as K-pop, by releasing a free mixtape titled KRNB, which consists entirely of remixes of K-pop hits. Continue Reading »
PHOTOJOURNALIST EKES OUT AN OLD-FASHIONED WIN
2011 Pulitzer Prize for local reporting spells victory for long-form journalism and Chicago Sun-Times Photographer John J. Kim
by Elizabeth Eun
IT WAS A MONDAY, and John J. Kim was taking a much-needed vacation from his job as a photographer with the Chicago Sun-Times. He spent the morning taking care of such mundane tasks as dropping his car off at the shop to get a wobbly wheel fixed. When he got around to checking his cell phone, he noticed he had 17 messages, including several from the newsroom.
“That’s why I thought maybe something bad happened,” recalled Kim, 36, who had not even checked his email yet that day and feared he might be getting laid off.
He was even a little peeved. “I was like, ‘Wait, I’m on vacation. Gosh, at least leave me alone until I get back to work or something.’ I finally ended up checking email and found out this happened.”
By “this,” Kim meant he, along with Sun-Times reporters Frank Main and Mark Konkol, had won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for local reporting. The jury for Columbia University’s annual honors recognized the three journalists for a riveting series documenting violence in Chicago neighborhoods that ran in 2010. Their work was the result of a year-long, immersive project that looked specifically at murders plaguing Chicago’s Northwest Side, the resulting community devastation and the Chicago Police Department’s homicide detectives charged with solving the crimes.
For four months, Kim and Main, a beat reporter, shadowed detectives Tony Noradin and Don Falk of the department’s Area 5 Homicide unit, meeting with and following them from pre-roll call hours to crime scenes in the middle of the night.
Eerie and insightful, the resulting chronicles are an unflinching look into a world that might be taken for granted, but isn’t readily talked about.
“The reporters did a lot of work beforehand—a lot of meetings, everyone from the superintendent of the police had to sign off on the project,” Kim said. “It wasn’t your everyday thing. In general, you wouldn’t be allowed to do what we got to do.
“We had to sign papers saying the cops aren’t responsible if we get shot.”
Just came across this lovely collection of photographs via Photojojo today.
A few years ago, Charlie Crane, a UK-based photographer, was lucky enough to get permission to take his camera into North Korea. While the communist nation still placed restrictions on the photos Crane could take, the photographer managed to capture some very different images from the ones normally seen by the outside public.
Apparently, Crane’s logic was that “if there is no possibility of getting underneath the surface then the answer was to photograph the surface itself.”
The results were compiled and published in the book, Welcome to Pyongyang, which was produced in conjunction with Nicholas Bonner of Koryo Tours. While the photos may not necessarily be representative of the average North Korean, they’re pretty impressive, and strangely enough, a little provocative.
Check out a selection of the photos below, or see more here.
The office just had McDonald’s yesterday, which sparked a discussion about the best burgers in the area. (McDonald’s did not win, by the way.) But, oh how we wish we were in New York, so we could try Social Eatz‘ Bibimbap Burger.
Made by Angelo Sosa (of Top Chef All-Stars fame), the burger features a beef patty cooked in sweet and savory sauce, topped with slaw, picked carrots, cucumbers and a slow cooked egg. The Bibimbap Burger isn’t the only item on Sosa’s menu that takes inspiration from Korean cuisine – his menu also features a Bulgogi Burger, shik-hae (rice drink) and Korean beef tacos.
To celebrate the victory, Social Eatz is giving away a free cocktail with each Bibimbap Burger during the entire month of May. New Yorkers – let us know how it is!
The already pretty North Korean women in 2005. (Reuters)
We all know that South Korean women are fans of cosmetic surgery, but the North Koreans?
But apparently, the quest for beauty is universal. The Daily NK, a North Korea-specific Internet newspaper recently reported that surgeons are performing cosmetic surgeries in exchange for bribes. The procedures of choice? Face lifts, permanent makeup, and ssangapool (double-eyelid) surgery.
Doctors typically receive only 2,000-3,000 North Korean won (approx, 14-21 U.S. dollars) for the eyelid surgery, while the same procedure might cost several hundred dollars in South Korea.
“Many women want plastic surgeries regardless of deprivation and food shortages,” a source from Pyongyang told the Daily NK. To put things in perspective, 2,000 North Korean won can buy one kilo of rice – a significant amount for the famine-stricken nation.
Also surprising is the shift in fashion – while the communist nation once banned women from wearing jeans and mini skirts, under Kim Jong-eun, heir apparent of Kim Jong-il, restrictions have been relaxed.
Upper-class women in Pyongyang have been sighted in skinny jeans and flashy jewelry, a big departure from the typically drab, uniform-like clothes North Korean women are most often seen wearing.
Perhaps it’s a sign that things are getting better, but we’d be happier if we heard that North Korean women were going on diets to maintain their slender figures – but we doubt it that will happen anytime soon.