Tag Archives: dumbfoundead

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‘Kings of Ktown’ Launches Crowdfunding Campaign


by REERA YOO | @reeraboo

Korean American comedians Danny Cho, Walter Hong and Paul “PK” Kim have launched a crowdfunding campaign to film “Kings of Ktown,” a stand-up comedy special, at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood on July 2.

According to its Fanbacked page, the “Kings of Ktown” is a one-hour comedy special, in which the three comedians will share their views on culture, race, family and the L.A. K-town lifestyle. The live show will be hosted by local rapper Parker, formerly known as Dumbfoundead, and filmed by Ktown Cowboys director Daniel “DPD” Park.

Once the comedy special is filmed and edited, the comic trio plans to distribute it through digital platforms, such as Netflix, Vimeo, Hulu and iTunes.

Best known for co-starring and writing the South by Southwest (SXSW) film Ktown Cowboys, Cho has been a full-time professional comedian and actor since quitting his day job as a business consultant in 2007. His past credits include Mad TV, Parks and Recreation and a slew of commercials.

PK is the founder of Kollaboration, a nonprofit talent show that showcases Asian American artists, and co-founder of LiNK (Liberty in North Korea). A regular at All Star Fridays at Hollywood’s Laugh Factory, PK has performed stand-up for about ten years.

Meanwhile, Hong’s voice can be heard on the comedy radio show The Sneakers & Stilettos Show on YTN FM 100.3 HD2. Hong has performed with acclaimed comedians Wayne Brady, Cedric the Entertainer, Mark Curry and Damon Wayans.

Backers of the “Kings of Ktown” crowdfunding campaign will have the chance to enjoy a wide variety of rewards, including being added to the show’s guest list, a minimum of two drinks and a free T-shirt or hoody. Generous donors who contribute at least $1,000 to the project will be given a producer credit.

To learn more about “Kings of Ktown,” check out its official website or Fanbacked page


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epik high group shot 1

Epik High 2015 L.A. Concert Recap

by REERA YOO | @reeraboo

Six years have passed since South Korean hip-hop group Epik High last toured in the U.S., and last week, California fans made sure the group kicked off their highly-anticipated trek with a bang.

After successfully opening their 2015 North American Tour in San Francisco, Epik High headed to Los Angeles on May 29. Fans eagerly waited outside the Wiltern Theatre in Koreatown hours before the concert began, with the line winding around the block.

As fans squeezed into the theater, sweeping classical music echoed into the opulent gold ceiling. Instead of spectacular LED displays or set designs that are usually present at K-pop concerts, Epik High’s stage was minimally dressed with a single DJ booth that bore the band’s logo.

Promptly at 8 p.m., the concert kicked off with Koreatown rapper Parker, formerly known as Dumbfoundead, performing some of his signature songs, such as “Are We There Yet?” and “Ganghis Khan.” Fellow L.A. rappers Mike B and 1TYM’s Danny later joined him on stage to help create a dynamic performance.

Dumbfoundead at epik high

Epik High then took the stage with their soothing, orchestral track “Encore” and transitioned to their signature, electronic song “Fly.” Fans chanted the lyrics while bobbing their glow sticks to the beat.

Members Tablo, Mithra and DJ Tukutz then briefly introduced themselves to the audience—with the help of dramatic theme songs—and performed the hard-hitting song “Get Out of the Way,” followed by Map the Soul tracks “Free Music” and “Top Gun.” The group closed the set with “Light It Up,” which was originally featured in G-dragon’s second solo album.

After a short break, the trio proceeded to perform the ballad “It’s Cold” when DJ Tukutz abruptly cut off the music and suggested a song change.

“It’s too hot for L.A.,” the DJ joked in accented English. “L.A. too dry. L.A. needs more moist.”

Keeping the suggestion in mind, the two rappers proceeded to perform the melancholy song “Umbrella,” only for Tukutz to stop the music again—this time, citing that the song was “too moist.” Deciding to save the slow songs for later, the trio dove into the infectious beats of “Burj Khalifa” and cinematic songs “Map the Soul” and “Rich.”

During intermission, the band read a letter thanking North American fans for their continued support. However, the endearing letter quickly degenerated into a list of things they like about North America, which spanned from famous celebrities, such as Justin Bieber, Drake and the Jonas Brothers, to random things, such as grizzly bears, frappuccinos and Stanford University.

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After DJ Tukutz opened the second half of the concert by showing off his K-pop dance moves, the team reflected on their long-awaited return to the U.S.

“The most difficult part of this tour is that it’s far away from home,” Tablo said to the audience, adding that he already missed his family back in Korea. “There’s only one good reason to be away from home, and it’s to be home with you guys.”

Without any set or wardrobe changes, the trio continued to perform old fan favorites, such as “Love Love Love” and “The One,” to hits from their latest album Shoebox, including Tablo’s cover of labelmate Taeyang’s “Eyes, Nose, Lips.”

For the grand finale, Epik High closed the show with their dark, uptempo song “Fan,” but returned for an encore at their fans’ insistence and performed “Born Hater.” During the encore, Tablo and Mithra offered some heavy-duty fan service, tossing autographed shirts to the crowd and taking selfies and videos with their fans’ smartphones.

Epik High ended the night by saying farewell to their L.A. fans, promising to return and not make them wait six years for the next performance.

The next stop on Epik High’s North American trek is Seattle, where the hip-hop trio will perform at the Showbox Sodo in Seattle on June 2 before heading to Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, New York City and Toronto. For more information about the tour, visit the official tour website.

See Also


“10 Obscure Facts About Epik High”

“Epik High Adds Additional Dates for 2015 North American Tour”

“September Issue: The Persecution of Daniel Lee”


All photos by Derek Lee

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epik high parker

Dumbfoundead to Perform at Epik High’s Los Angeles Concert

by REERA YOO | @reeraboo

Epik High announced earlier today that Los Angeles-based rapper Dumbfoundead, who now goes by the name Parker, will be joining them on stage for their 2015 North American Tour.

Parker has been invited to perform as a guest rapper for the Los Angeles leg of the tour at the Wiltern Theater on May 29. Last February, Parker returned to the rap battle scene after a long five-year hiatus, defeating rapper Conceited and even earning praise from Drake.

Born in Beunos Aires, Argentina and raised in L.A.’s Koreatown, Parker has been an influential hip-hop artist in the Asian American community since the mid-2000s. He’s been featured in Epik High tracks “Maze” and “Rocksteady,” which were included in the hip-hop trio’s sixth album [e]. The L.A. rapper also performed as the opening act for Epik High’s Map the Soul tour back in 2009.

After adding new cities and encore concerts, Epik High is set to kick off their 2015 North American Tour at San Francisco’s Warfield Theater on May 28. The group will then travel to Los Angeles, Vancouver, Seattle, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, New York and Toronto through June.

To learn more about the tour, visit Epik High’s official Facebook page or the official tour website


Awk Parker

Parker & Awkwafina Booking College Shows

by JAMES S. KIM | @james_s_kim

Parker, also known as Dumbfoundead, just finished off his Dead End Tour, but he’ll be back on the road soon with his fellow rapper Awkwafina. The two artists are gearing up for their tour through April and May, and they want a few suggestions from the college crowd.

If your school club or organization is interested in possibly hosting them for what will be one heck of a show, contact book.dfd@gmail.com.

You can read our September 2013 cover story on Awkwafina here.


Featured image courtesy of Dumbfoundead


‘Bad Rap’ Documentary Asks: Where Are The Asian American Rappers?


Ever since hip-hop took off in the South Bronx in the 1970s, rappers around the world have embraced the music and culture, with many carving out their own identities and establishing themselves as mainstream stars.

But what about Asian American rappers? Though several have stomped onto the scene, from pioneers such as the Mountain Brothers, Jin and Lyrics Born, to stars of today including Far East Movement and Jay Park, these aren’t the names that we immediately associate with hip-hop in mainstream American culture.

Why not? Is it a lack of support? Their appearance? Not having that breakout hit? Filmmakers Salima Koroma (director/producer) and Jaeki Cho (producer) are looking to explore that question with Bad Rap, a new documentary about the Asian American presence in hip hop.




Bad Rap focuses on the perspectives of four Asian American rappers: Dumbfoundead, Awkwafina, Rekstizzy and Lyricks. Each has their own story, style and attitude, but they all share the same goal: to make it big. Yet they all encounter challenges in a culture that still expects them to fit the model minority stereotype.

With insight and appearances from Far East Movement, Jay Park, Jin, Traphik, Decipher, Kero One, The Fung Bros, Ted Chung and Oliver Wang, Bad Rap looks to shed light on the Asian American hip-hop culture and highlight the up-and-coming stars.

Salima Jaeki

Salima Koroma (left) and Jaeki Cho

As of now, Koroma and Cho are looking to add on their 40-minute film, and they are asking for support via Indiegogo. All proceeds will go towards adding more content to complete a 70-minute feature, as well as finalizing the film for its eventual premiere.

The idea for Bad Rap began with a “mutual obsession” with hip-hop. Koroma first reached out to Cho, who had written a piece on K-pop star G-Dragon when she was searching for a subject to cover for her thesis at Columbia University. Cho’s journey with hip-hop began with listening to Drunken Tiger when he was 10 years old, and that led to a career in music journalism.

Check out the trailer below, and follow the project on their Indiegogo page, as well as on Facebook, TwitterInstagram and YouTube.


Traphik (Timothy DeLaGhetto)



Jay Park

Jay Park


Far East Movement

Images via Bad Rap Film Indiegogo Page

Photos by Vince Truspin.

Korea’s Hip-Hop Legend Tiger JK is a Rebel with a Cause

Against the Flow

Pioneering hip-hop artist and producer Tiger JK has long defied convention, so KoreAm decided to take an unconventional approach to covering him.

First we look back at this Korean American rebel’s incredible 20-year career, which not only changed the face of music in Korea, but also planted seeds for a larger, lasting hip-hop movement. Then, we hear Tiger tell it like it was and is, in his own words, in a special interview conducted by the Smashing Pumpkins’ Jeff Schroeder.


photos by Vince Truspin

The humility and soft-spokenness of Suh Jung Kwon are surprising—even disarming—upon first meeting him. 

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Better known as Tiger JK, or Drunken Tiger, the Korean-born rapper is a global superstar, or, as the media and his fans deem him, “hip-hop royalty,” “the godfather of Korean hip-hop,” “the Jay-Z of Korea,” the “most popular Korean rapper in America, Asia and the world.” It’s worth noting that the latter was a designation by the Los Angeles Times, not some gushing fansite.

But on this overcast late Friday afternoon in Los Angeles, Tiger JK extends a warm hand and bows his head as he greets the people waiting for him at a photographer’s cozy Hollywood studio—no swagger in sight. The only indication that there is a major celebrity in our midst is the entourage surrounding him—a handful of men in dark jackets, including a buff, bald bodyguard named Tiny. And then there is, of course, Tiger’s wife, Yoon Mirae (also known as Tasha), herself a bona fide star carrying the title of the queen of Korean hip-hop. The couple has just flown in from Korea, where they live with their son Jordan, for KoreAm’s cover shoot. They will also be performing, along with fellow Korean hip-hop artist Bizzy, at the magazine’s annual Unforgettable gala the following day.

Initially, Tiger JK sits in the center of the couch, his hands together on his lap, head facing forward, almost like a schoolboy, but there is a slightly guilty look on his face. Speaking in hushed tones, he confesses that he’s a bit hung over and apologizes for the cornrows in his hair, perhaps concerned thatKoreAm readers might not like that kind of look.

Such modest demeanor seems to contrast sharply with the rebellious and revolutionary figure that Tiger JK is to his fans and anyone who has long followed his incredible 20-year career, lined with chart-topping singles, multiple music honors and collaborations with dozens of respected artists in genres as diverse as reggae and punk. Last fall the 39-year-old rapper/songwriter/producer world-premiered his ninth album, The Cure, timing it with the launch of his and his father, music journalist Suh Byung Hoo’s, new management company, Feel Ghood Music.

But, as with most pioneering figures, Tiger JK’s success came only after considerable growing pains. The truth is, when he made his debut in Korea in the early 1990s, hip-hop was largely considered low-grade music.

“It was sort of shiny, happy, cotton candy K-pop,” described music agent Bernie Cho, president of the DFSB Kollective, recalling the Korean music scene at the time. “Then along comes Drunken Tiger, roaring onto the scene.  He not only opened doors, he kicked doors down for hip-hop music in Korea. If it weren’t for Drunken Tiger, there would be no rap categories or trophies at Korean music award shows.

Because, back in the day, hip-hop was so new, so raw, so disruptive, no one knew how to deal with it.”

Though born in Korea, Tiger spent about a decade of his youth in the U.S., including his teen years in Los Angeles. And, at a time when we saw the rise of L.A. gangsta rapper crews like N.W.A. with their in-your-face, anti-establishment lyrics, Tiger grew his passion for this music and the mic. Though he attended Beverly Hills High School, he kept a multiracial group of friends—at one point, he said he even joined a black gang—and took part in freestyle battles with some of L.A.’s now-legendary underground rappers.

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“I was surprised when [Tiger JK] started dropping these rappers’ names that I grew up listening to, from a famous open mic in L.A.,” said Dumbfoundead, a.k.a. Jonathan Park, the most prominent Korean American rapper in Los Angeles today. “They’re not big at all, they’re super-underground. It was tripping me out.

“That’s when I started having respect for him because that just tells me he was a rap kid like me growing up, battling, paying your dues in rap, going to cyphers, like you’re supposed to do. He was actually participating in the culture. I know every f-cking Asian American rapper who’s doing anything … you talk to them, they got mad respect for JK.”

Following the 1992 Los Angeles riots, Tiger JK famously performed at a multiracial open-mic event in L.A., withstanding some initial anti-Asian boos from the crowd, but leaving many with their mouths agape after he showed them what this Asian kid could do with words and rhymes. That performance also got him noticed by Koreans overseas.

At the urging of his friends in Koreatown, he then decided to take his motherland by storm.

Bernie Cho, working for the Mnet music network at the time, recalled the buzz about this kid from L.A. who could hold his own with the best rappers out there. “It was hard to believe, but you had to see it to believe it,” said Cho, also a former producer for MTV Korea. “He was the real deal.”

But many Koreans weren’t ready for music so real and so raw.

By its very nature, hip-hop is a rebellious art form, Dumbfoundead noted. “The Ice Cubes and Public Enemy, these are people that are fighting the establishment,” he said. “When you bring that sh-t out there, especially in a country where there are so many restrictions and it’s so conservative, … it’s like [Tiger JK] doing rap music is already like a symbol of being a rebel. He was a rebel. The first rebel.”

Dumbfoundead said that there were other artists rapping in Korea before Tiger, but the latter was more authentic. “I think everyone was doing it because they saw it in America, and they were like, ‘this is hot,’ as opposed to Tiger JK—he’s a rapper,” said the 27-year-old artist. “He wasn’t a singer dude trying to rap. He was the Eminem. Before, it was all Vanilla Ices.”

Tiger’s first solo album, Call Me Tiger, released by Oasis Records in Korea, flopped due in part to limited publicity because the single “Hide and Seek” couldn’t get any radio play.

“Every single or track got banned, had a redline, marked ‘explicit content,’ but I wasn’t cussing or nothing,” recalled Tiger JK, in an interview with Arirang TV in 2009. “Back then … everything’s rehearsed, everything’s in the box. I had no dancers, no stage clothes, no bling. … I was too raw. They banned my music, and they banned me.”

After that first effort, he would return to the States—he is a U.S. citizen—but gave Korea another try a few years later, this time teaming up with DJ Shine from New York to form Drunken Tiger. Their debut singles “I Want You” and “Do You Know Hip-hop” from their first album, Year of the Tiger (1999), are remembered today as classic and quintessential Drunken Tiger songs. Though their music was still seen as controversial, Korean youth started to gravitate toward this new sound and culture, showing industry naysayers that not everyone was satisfied with manufactured, choreographed K-pop fare.

The crew’s albums would feature noteworthy Drunken Tiger-affiliated artists like DJ Jhig (a Korean American), Micki Eyes (a Korean Italian American) and Roscoe Umali (a Filipino American), as well as several Korean hip-hop artists who were part of The Movement. The Movement crew, which included Tiger’s now-wife Yoon Mirae, was in many ways a movement to bring these artists’ music into the Korean mainstream, but also served almost as a support group for these still-marginalized artists, who would cheer each other on. “The Movement was created for those of us who felt isolated and down,” Tiger JK has said.

The collective would eventually sprout some of Korea’s most popular hip-hop crews today, including Epik High, Dynamic Duo and Leessang.

“[Tiger JK’s] impact goes beyond just, like, seeing him on TV or on the radio,” noted Dumbfoundead. “He had a huge influence on the subculture. I think the influence on the subculture is actually more important because it sparks that underground movement, and that seeps into the mainstream. It’s like planting seeds.”

And those seeds even spread to remote areas of the world. Korean hiphop artist Bizzy, currently performing with Tiger JK and Yoon Mirae under the name MFBTY, recalled how, in his late teens, he was living in New Zealand and one of his Maori friends told him to check out Tiger JK. “One of my closest friends brought me a CD, and he was telling me, ‘Yo, those are your people. Have you heard of this album?” recalled Bizzy, then part of the underground hip-hop scene in New Zealand. It was Tiger’s first album. “It was kind of funky because it wasn’t Korean people who introduced [me to] Tiger’s music. It was Maoris (indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand) because they thought that the music was dope. I heard it, and it was fresh. I was, like, ‘Oh, that kind of music exists in Korea?’ That inspired me a lot.”


The early 2000s would see Drunken Tiger’s single “Good Life,” from the crew’s third album, The Legend Of…, climb to No. 1 in Korea; it is often referred to as the first time a purely hiphop song topped the Korean charts. That same single would claim the award for “Best Hip-hop Music Video” at the Mnet Music Video Festival in Korea. From there, Drunken Tiger’s fanbase swelled in Korea and beyond, with performances before capacity crowds of thousands at venues from Los Angeles to New York, Tokyo to Taipei.

Even after the departure of DJ Shine in 2005, Tiger JK would continue to use the Drunken Tiger name as a solo act, and his success only grew, with a hit sixth album, endorsements from companies like Hite Beer and Reebok Asia rolling in, and the establishment of his own record label, Jungle Entertainment in 2006.

But, notably, Tiger JK’s music didn’t intrigue based on shock value or explicitness. Ask fans of Drunken Tiger what draws them in, and they’ll use words like original, authentic, innovative, genius and honest. His music was not only influenced by L.A. rap, some tracks also carried Latin rhythms or a reggae vibe. He would also sample Korean instruments or songs, and rapped in Korean and English. “It’s very meticulous,” Cho said of Tiger’s songwriting. An example from his hard and heavy rap song “Monster” that Korean Americans can especially appreciate: Crazy jiujitsu but a hapkido flow. / You only throwin’ hands playing kai-bai-bo.

“Whether he mixes or mashes his verses in Korean or in English, every rhyme, every rhythm, every beat effortlessly flows,” added Cho. “The fact that he can seamlessly tap into his bicultural influences is a testament to his genius.”


He also draws from his life. His “8:45 Heaven,” which he wrote after the passing of his grandmother—at 8:45 a.m.—who helped raise him, is a fan favorite. Intimately performed, the song begins with a piano ballad introduction, and Tiger’s voice carries a longing and despair throughout, his voice sometimes breaking up and falling slightly off beat, yet he left that vulnerability in the track.

“I just fell in love with it,” said Hannah Jun, 24, a Korean American actress based in L.A., who has been a Drunken Tiger fan since high school. “It’s about his grandma, but it also relates to everything, anyone you love. It wasn’t heavy hip-hop, but it was very honest. You can actually feel it.

“His material is always personal. That’s why I think fans love him even more,” said Jun. “As a fan, you feel like you’re with him. It reminds you he’s human, too.”

And the human travails for Tiger have certainly been many. Not only did he contend with the early rejection of his music—he has said people even threw shoes at him—but he also faced a drug charge in 2000, widely believed to be trumped up by authorities trying to sabotage this controversial artist on the rise. It’s an almost unbelievable story that was documented in a Spin magazine article, which noted Tiger had passed a drug test and was not even in Korea at the time of his alleged crime. The charge led to an airtime ban of Drunken Tiger’s music, but he wouldn’t be silenced for long.

Then, by the mid-2000s, as Tiger’s success was soaring, he was diagnosed with acute transverse myelitis, a spinal chord disease affecting one’s limbs and motor functions. It forced his hospitalization and a hiatus from performing. The disease, which can paralyze some patients, is incurable, and to this day, the rapper takes medication to treat the symptoms. In a 2009 TVN A Look at a Star documentary, his wife said, “No matter how sick he was, he didn’t want to show it and always kept smiling.”

He kept smiling and pushing himself, releasing a double-album of 27 tracks in 2009—this at a time when Korean artists were favoring releasing digital singles and not physical albums. Once again, Tiger went his own way. Feel gHood Muzik: The 8th Wonder would be named Album of the Year at the 2010 Seoul Music Awards, and was one of the best-selling CDs of the year in Korea, with all its tracks debuting in the Top 100 K-pop digital singles chart.

“He’s a very innovative individual, with his lyrics and music, and the choices he made with his career,” said Korean American singer/rapper Jay Park, formerly of K-pop band 2PM.

“I respect him as an artist and as a person,” added Park, who has collaborated and performed with Tiger JK. “To me, he’s an OG, a legend, but he’s super cool to me, and he’s super humble. He keeps it real and helps me out whenever he can.”

Park’s comments seem to reveal a sense of responsibility Tiger feels, and the title of godfather of Korean hip-hop doesn’t seem quite so hyperbolic anymore.

“A lot of what Tiger JK went through is almost like urban legend,” said Cho. “He’s been through some unbelievable hurdles and hardships that would derail most people. But he’s always found ways to get up and stand up—bigger, better, stronger.”

Today is no exception. Last July, Tiger revealed via Twitter that he, Yoon and Bizzy were leaving Jungle Entertainment. He has not publicly stated the reasons, though Tiger has said generally in the past, “the record business in Korea is shady.”The Drunken Tiger fansite, drunkencamp.com, quoted a source as saying the move was “related to business practices recently unearthed.”

Tiger’s new album, The Cure, released under his new label Feel Ghood Music seems to symbolize a fresh start for this hip-hop veteran. But it’s more. He has dedicated the album to his beloved dad, who is battling cancer. As KoreAm’s cover shoot last December was coming to a close, Tiger talked about how heavily his father’s serious condition was weighing on him and said that’s why he had been drinking the night before. He hoped the soulful title track—with the refrain, “I gotta get up. / Don’t give up now”—would uplift his father and anyone else going through difficult times.

The elder Suh, a former writer for Billboard, is a pioneering figure in his own right, instrumental in introducing pop music and culture to Korea’s shores through his writing and as a rock promoter, at a time when it was risky to do so. He has been called one of the most influential figures in the Korean music scene. That’s a title that could easily be applied to his son, who seems to have unknowingly followed in his father’s revolutionary footsteps, pushing boundaries for his own generation and opening up his motherland to new sounds and forms of expression.

“He created a real culture,” Dumbfoundead said of Tiger JK. “When I went to Korea over the last five years, it was incredible to see Korean hip-hop crews out there who rap and make beats, who don’t count on outside rappers to come in and throw shows.

“It’s been huge progress, where you can have rap groups compete up there with K-pop artists now. I think Korean hip-hop is at its peak.”

Incidentally, “The Cure” hit No. 1 on multiple charts in Korea, and the Billboard and Billboard Korea staffs ranked it No. 2 of the top 20 songs coming out of Korea in 2013. In other words, the Tiger is back. Again.


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This article was published in the January 2014 issue of KoreAmSubscribe today! To purchase a single issue copy of the January issue, click the “Buy Now” button below. (U.S. customers only. Expect delivery in 5-7 business days).


Video Roundup: Crazy Korean Drivers, Spiral Art, Rappers Unite

Here’s a look at some of the videos we are watching this week at KoreAm.

Korean Tow Truck Breaking Traffic Laws

In South Korea, a camera mounted on a Korean tow truck captures the truck’s journey to an accident scene. The truck, however, didn’t just travel to the scene, it raced at least two other trucks to the accident scene. Along the way, the truck broke an outrageous amount of traffic laws by violently racing through the streets, crossing over into the opposing lanes, running red lights, nearly hitting other automobiles among other laws.

Spiral Artwork

Chan Hwee Chong, a Singaporean artist, uses a single black line to reproduce famous artwork from all over the world. His illustrations consist of a single black line spiraled into the likeness of a particular artwork.

Coast to Coast Collaboration

Asian American rappers from across the United States come together to collaborate on a new hip hop track. The black and white music video features the rappers rhyming about everything from music, women, life and other topics. New York’s Rekstizzy (a.k.a. KoreAm contributor David “Rek” Lee), Decipher from Philadelphia and Los Angeles’ very own Dumbfoundead put their own verses and experience into the song “No Apologies.”

India’s Toughest Warriors

The Warriors of Goja prove that they are some of toughest and most resilient men in India and, probably, the world. For an Indian talent show set up similarly to “America’s Got Talent,” this group of men showcase their talent of trying to destroy themselves. The Warriors violently attack themselves and each other with bricks, florescent bulbs, sledgehammers, spikes and even cars causing the judges to gasp in horror. In the end, all the men walked away battered, bruised and bleeding but that didn’t stop their smiles. This video is not for the weak-hearted.

South Korean Lawmaker Tear-Gases Parliament

Earlier this month, a South Korean lawmaker, Kim Sun-dong, tried to prevent a vote on a trade pact with the United States by releasing tear gas into the National Assembly chamber. This video captures the moment and chaos that ensued.

Chinese Pig Walks on Front Legs

In July of the year in Mengcheng County, Anhui Province, China, this piglet was born without its two hind legs. The piglet, called “Piggy the Strong” by the local villagers ways over 30kg. and mostly travels on his two front legs.

Have a video to share? Email linda@iamkoream.com!

Thursday's Link Attack: Toby Dawson, SNL Korea, Tokimonsta

Skier returns to his roots
Korea Herald

Olympic bronze medalist Toby Dawson has only been the coach for the Korean national men’s freestyle skiing team for a short time but he’s already received a shock.

A month has passed since he settled in Korea, and Toby Dawson, a U.S. Olympic bronze medalist skier, has just found out his real birth date.

“I had a fake birth date from the orphanage, which was Nov. 30 in 1978. But two days ago my dad in Busan told me I was born on May 4 in 1979,” Dawson said Wednesday.

Dawson, a Korea-born adoptee, came to Korea last month after being named freestyle ski coach for the national team. And after his official appointment last week, the 32-year-old sat in a caf in Gangnam, southern Seoul, to speak about his plans here.

“I’m just starting to learn so much now, and I’m very excited,” he said with a big smile on his face.

Seoul Patch vs. Reform Club Pop-Up Battle Royale
SF Weekly

San Francisco-based Korean American chef Eric Ehler will be mashing up his two pop-up kitchens this Sunday.

Some of the menu highlights include seared rock cod with braised kimchi beans, ham hock, and ginger, and salted caramel ice cream with black sesame rice cake and persimmon. To take the evening to the next level, they’ll play K-Pop and a Korean Dramedy on the projector screen. Bang!


Official Says U.S. Needs Time to Assess Aid to North Korea
New York Times

The United States needs more time to decide on possible aid for North Korea because it is not sure humanitarian assistance would reach the people in need, the top American aid official said on Thursday.

Rajiv Shah, the head of the United States Agency for International Development, made the comment amid growing appeals from American and United Nations relief agencies, which have recently called for urgent aid for the most vulnerable of the North Korean population, especially its children.

REVIEW: Dia Frampton – Red
Entertainment Weekly

With Red, [Frampton] pledges allegiance to no single genre, flitting confidently from Blondie-style disco-pop (”Billy the Kid”) and floaty acoustic folk (”The Broken Ones”) to the kind of big-chorus country proffered by her Voice coach Blake Shelton, who turns up for a duet on ”I Will.” The result feels like a farewell to life on the Warped Tour. B

REVIEW: Dumbfoundead’s ‘DFD’
The Silver Tongue (blog)

Rising out of the very saturated Los Angeles hip hop scene is Korean-American emcee Dumbfoundead, who has been making quite a name for himself through various viral YouTube videos of his exploits as a battle rapper and his latest venture: a media collective/lifestyle brand known as Knocksteady. All of these efforts have lead up to his latest album titled DFD, which hit the #2 spot on iTunes during it’s week of release last month, shocking many as Dumb is an unsigned act that managed to accomplish this feat with the strong fan base he has built over the years.

DFD’s production is very much in the realm of synthy boom-bap with splashes of alternative rock elements that give off a happy-go-lucky vibe throughout the album. Guest vocalists such as American Idol finalist Andrew Garcia and Breezy Lovejoy along with Dumbfoundead himself provide very catchy melodies and flows that have a lot of crossover appeal while maintaining a genuine everyman atmosphere in the track concepts.

Korean Students Struggle at Ivy League Colleges
Chosun Ilbo

The number of Korean students at Ivy League universities is on the rise, but little more than half complete their courses. According to figures from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, around 110,000 Korean students were studying in the U.S. as of this year, the largest group of foreign nationals for the fourth year running.

Korean-American academic Samuel Kim, a doctoral candidate at Columbia University’s Teachers College, reviewed data of 1,400 Korean students at 14 top universities such as Harvard, Yale and Cornell between 1985 and 2007 for his doctoral dissertation and found that only 784 or 56 percent graduated while the rest dropped out.

Hillsborough gas station owner shot in leg during robbery
St. Petersburg Times (Florida)

Deputies were searching for two men who robbed a gas station and shot the owner in the leg Wednesday night.

Two men walked into the BP station at 9702 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and demanded money. As the two attempted to take money from Tae Chun Kang, 42, the owner struggled with them and a gun fired, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. Kang was taken to the hospital with a non life-threatening injury, deputies said.

Korea Tourism Organization wages war on ‘Engrish’

Looks like Engrish.com — the snarky website showcasing error-riddled English signs in Asia — won’t be getting as many submissions from Korea.

How awesome is this? Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) is offering to reward photographers who submit snaps of muddled signs at tourist spots.

The prize? A gift card of ₩50,000 (approximately US$45) that can be used at any vendor that accepts credit cards — otherwise known as free money.

Live From Seoul! It’s Saturday…Really…
Wall Street Journal

Since 1999, the KBS comedy show called “Gag Concert” on Sunday nights has been required viewing for those wanting to be part of the cultural zeitgeist. It’s often called Korea’s “Saturday Night Live” for its influence, though obviously not its format or time.

Now, cable station tvN, which mainly broadcasts variety shows and entertainment-celebrity news, is starting a weekly comedy program called “Saturday Night Live Korea.”

And it will be both live and on Saturday night. The show starts this Saturday.

It will have a cast of 16, nine men and seven women. A celebrity will host each week and there will also be musical guests, just like the original SNL on NBC in the U.S.

Toyota Gains From U.S.-S. Korea Trade Pact

The biggest beneficiary of the new trade agreement that will end South Korea’s tariffs on U.S.-made cars may be based in Japan.

Toyota Motor Corp. is looking to profit as it fights a rising yen blamed for an operating loss (7203) in its fiscal first half. Japan’s biggest carmaker began exporting Sienna minivans from Princeton, Indiana, to South Korea this month and may do the same with Camry sedans next year, said spokeswoman Amiko Tomita. The Camry was the third most popular import in South Korea in 2010.

Until this month, the 17 Toyota and Lexus models sold in South Korea were all from Japan. The dollar has declined against the won in the past year while the yen has gained.

“Because of a more favorable dollar-won exchange rate compared with the yen-won rate, Japanese carmakers can shift sourcing to the U.S., allowing them to lower their prices in Korea,” said Christian Yang, an analyst at consultant IHS Automotive. “Japanese imports look to gain market share through more aggressive pricing against domestic competitors.”

K.J. Choi leads Tiger Woods in Chevron World Challenge
Los Angeles Times

Tiger Woods birdied four of the first five holes but a red-hot K.J. Choi did Woods one better with birdies at all five to grab the early lead Thursday in the first round of the Chevron World Challenge.

Choi, a South Korean who won the Players Championship in May, went out with a five-under 31 on the front nine holes of the par-72 Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks.

After a bogey at the par-four ninth hole, Woods carded a three-under 33 and trailed by two shots as he headed to the 10th tee.

Preparation of Steelers’ Hines Ward hasn’t changed
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review via Boston Herald

The reality is that Ward has had to accept a reduced role since wide receivers coach Scottie Montgomery told him three weeks ago that the Steelers wanted to get others more involved in the passing game.

Ward played just nine snaps in Cincinnati, and he caught one pass for 10 yards. Ward started last Sunday night in Kansas City, but he logged just 16 snaps and caught four passes for 21 yards.

“I didn’t ask why or if I was playing bad or the reason behind it. I’ve never once questioned a coach(ing) decision, how they run game plans,” Ward said following practice yesterday. “That’s all that was told me that we want to get other guys the ball. They don’t owe me anything. I just try to go out and bust my tail and continue being the same player. I think you guys wanted it to be about me, but it’s not about me. I’m a team guy.”

TOKiMONSTA: “Swine And Burgers”
Prefix Magazine

Can I just come out and say that Soundcloud is the f-cking tops? I mean, in just the past 24 hours we have been able to hear previously unreleased gems from Brainfeeder’s Flying Lotus and TOKiMONSTA thanks to their accounts on the social networking/music site. The latter just posted a great never-before-heard tune, “Swine and Burgers,” that stems from some recording sessions back in 2009. Why she chose to leave this bumper of a tune off any of her releases is beyond me, but at least we’re hearing it now, right?

Check out our feature story on Tokimonsta from the October 2011 issue of KoreAm.