Tiger JK

Tiger JK (Birth name: Seo Jung-kwon, Hangul: 서정권, Hanja: 徐廷權; born July 29, 1974) is a Korean-American rapper, record producer and entrepreneur best known as a founding member of Korean hip hop group Drunken Tiger. He has also founded two record labels, Jungle Entertainment and Feel Ghood Music.[1] He is currently a member of hip hop trio MFBTY.[2]

Tiger JK
Tiger JK during an autograph event in Bundang, December 2018
Tiger JK during an autograph event in Bundang, December 2018
Background information
Birth nameSeo Jung-kwon
Also known asJK, Drunken Tiger, DT
Born (1974-07-29) July 29, 1974 (age 46)
OriginSeoul, South Korea
GenresKorean hip hop
  • Rapper
  • record producer
  • entrepreneur
  • actor
Years active1995–present
Associated acts
(m. 2007)
Korean name
타이거 JK
Revised RomanizationTaigeo JK
McCune–ReischauerT'aigŏ JK
Birth name
Revised RomanizationSeo Jeong-gwon
McCune–ReischauerSŏ Chŏngkwŏn

He is considered a highly influential figure in the development of Korean hip-hop and is credited with helping bring the genre into the Korean mainstream.[3][4][5] The Los Angeles Times referred to him in 2011 as "perhaps the most popular Korean rapper in America, Asia and the world."[6]

Early lifeEdit

Tiger JK (Seo Jung-kwon) was born in Seoul, South Korea on July 29, 1974. His father, Suh Byung Hoo (d. 2014), was a DJ and one of the first Korean pop columnists, and the first Billboard correspondent in Korea in the 1970s.[7][8] His family moved to the United States when he was 12, and he was sent to briefly live with an uncle in Miami, Florida, where he practiced Taekwondo, becoming a 3rd "dan" black belt.[8]

He spent his teenage years in Los Angeles, California, where he was one of only a few Korean-American students attending Beverly Hills High School.[5][6][9][10][11] As a teen in Los Angeles, Tiger JK witnessed the violence between Korean-Americans and African-Americans during the 1992 Los Angeles Riots. He later said he wanted to use hip hop to create a dialogue between the two communities.[6]

Tiger JK attended UCLA[11] and graduated with a B.A. degree in English from the Creative Writing program.[12]

Musical careerEdit

1995 – 2005: Early career and successes with Drunken TigerEdit

In 1995, Tiger JK's first solo album, Enter The Tiger, was released in Korea by Oasis Records, a connection Tiger JK had made because his father was friends with the company's CEO. The album got little airplay due to its perceived explicit content.[3][11]

Tiger JK returned to the United States and teamed up with DJ Shine to form the group Drunken Tiger in 1998. The group debuted in Korea and, despite the explicit content of their lyrics and the group's rejection of mainstream music trends, they achieved popularity with their first album, Year of the Tiger, which included the hit songs, "I Want You" and "Do You Know Hip-hop."[3][6][11]

Over the next several years, Drunken Tiger brought on new members and released multiple albums, winning numerous awards.[9][13] Founding member DJ Shine left the group in 2005.[14]

2006-2013: Creation of Jungle Entertainment and collaborationsEdit

Tiger JK performing at the Lolipop Concert in May 2010

In 2006, Tiger JK left Oasis Records and established his own hip-hop label, Jungle Entertainment. The label represented Drunken Tiger, and prominent Korean rappers Yoon Mi-rae and Leessang were among the artists to join the label over the next few years.[1][15]

Tiger JK continued to release music with Drunken Tiger over the next few years, while also collaborating with other artists. In 2012, he featured on "Let This Die," a single by Brian Joo of the R&B duo Fly to the Sky.[16] That same year, he featured on "Wicked," a song by new k-pop girl group Fiestar.[17]

2013-present: Founding MFBTY and Feel Ghood MusicEdit

In 2013, Tiger JK teamed up with Yoon Mi-rae and Bizzy to form the group MFBTY, an acronym for "My Fans are Better Than Yours." Soon after, he left Jungle Entertainment and founded a new label, Feel Ghood Music, which now releases MFBTY's music.[18] He has had multiple collaborations with popular boy group leader RM of BTS with the latter featuring on his final album Drunken Tiger X: Rebirth of Tiger JK[19] on the song Timeless.

Personal lifeEdit

Drug convictionEdit

Tiger JK was arrested for using methamphetamine in Korea in 2000, at the same time that members of the Korean hip hop group Uptown were also arrested on drug charges. Tiger JK said that, though he had used drugs in the past, he had not used them in Korea, and he said that he was ultimately found guilty due to false testimony from the members of Uptown. He spent a month and a half in jail and was given two years probation.[20]


Tiger JK was diagnosed with acute transverse myelitis, a spinal cord condition that affects motor functions, in 2006. He was hospitalized and took a two-year hiatus from performing. As of 2014, he continued to take medication to treat the condition.[3][21]

Marriage and familyEdit

In June 2007, Tiger JK married rapper and singer Yoon Mi-rae in a private ceremony in a Buddhist Temple. The wedding occurred a month before the death of his grandmother who had wanted to see them wed before her passing. Yoon gave birth to their son, Jordan, in March 2008.[11][22]

Other projectsEdit

In 2006, Tiger JK launched a clothing line called Lungta.[23]

In 2011, under American rapper Dr. Dre's "Beats By Dr. Dre" headphones line, Tiger JK released his own limited edition headphones. They retailed for 690,000 won, and all profits went to a child safety organization.[24][25]


Solo albumsEdit

  • Enter the Tiger (1995)
  • Drunken Tiger X: Rebirth of Tiger JK (2018)[26]

Solo mini albumsEdit

  • 이런건가요 (I Know) (2015)

Solo singlesEdit

  • "반가워요 (Forever)" (2015)

Soundtrack songsEdit

  • "First Love" (feat. Punch) (2014) - From the soundtrack to the TV drama, Pinocchio.
  • "Reset" (feat. 진실 of Mad Soul Child) (2015) - From the soundtrack to the TV drama, Who Are You: School 2015.



Year Title Role
2015 세계일주 (Trip Around the World) Pil Hong[27]


Year Title Role Notes
2010 "High Kick Through the Roof" Gwang-soo's friend Tiger JK made a cameo appearance on this sitcom.[28]
"Infinite Challenge" Himself His team won on the "Highway Music Festival" episodes of this variety show.[29]
"Project Runway: Korea" (season 2) Himself He appeared on "Project Runway: Korea" Season Two, Episode Eight titled "Hiphopper's Wedding Crasher." He challenged the designers to create a wedding dress for his Fiancé, and was a judge in the episode as well.
2011 "Welcome to the Jungle: Sunzoo" Himself This was a reality show special.[30]
2012 "Salamander Guru and The Shadows" Tiger He made a cameo appearance on this sitcom.[31]
"The Hero on Stage: Tiger JK.ING" Himself This was a 2-part TV documentary about Tiger JK.[32]
2016 "We Kid" Himself Tiger JK is a judge on this music competition show for kids.[33]
2017 "Show Me The Money" Himself He appeared on this music competition show as a producer judge
2019 "Boss in the Mirror" Himself He appeared as boss of Feel Ghood Music in the show


Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2009 Mnet Asian Music Awards Best Male Artist "Monster"[34][35] Won
Best Rap Performance Nominated
2010 Style Icon Awards Beautiful Sharing Tiger JK and Yoon Mi-rae[36] Won
Mnet 20's Choice Awards Most Influential Stars Tiger JK and Yoon Mi-rae[37] Won
2011 Men's Health Cool Guy Contest Best Cover Model Tiger JK[38] Won
2016 11th Soompi Awards Best Drama OST (share with Jinsil) Who Are You: School 2015 (Reset) [39] Won


  1. ^ a b "Tiger JK leaves Jungle Entertainment and founds FEELGHOOD MUSIC". All Kpop. July 31, 2013. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  2. ^ "Korean Hip-Hop Supergroup MFBTY Made an Album Just for Their Twitter Followers". Vice NOISEY. June 25, 2015. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d "Korea's Hip-Hop Legend Tiger JK is a Rebel with a Cause". KoreAm Journal. January 1, 2014. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  4. ^ "Drunken Tiger Talk Hip Hop's Early Days in South Korea: "It Was a Secret Society"". Fuse. January 13, 2014. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Drunken Tiger's Tiger JK Opens Up About His Hip-Hop Career And How He Fits Into The Wide Realm Of K-Pop [KpopStarz Exclusive]". KpopStarz. January 11, 2014. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  6. ^ a b c d Brown, August (December 2, 2011). "Asian rapper set to roar across L.A." Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  7. ^ https://www.billboard.com/articles/events/sxsw/7728744/korea-hip-hop-yoonmirae-tiger-jk-reflect-sxsw
  8. ^ a b SPIN magazine, November 2000, Silence makes the beats grow stronger, Brett Forrest, pp. 154-160
  9. ^ a b "타이거 JK". Daum (in Korean). Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  10. ^ "Music Is Colorblind: An Interview with MFBTY". PopMatters. October 27, 2015. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  11. ^ a b c d e "타이거JK "이젠 힙합 아저씨..치유 끝 다시 설렌다"" [Tiger JK: "I'm a Hip Hop Ahjussi, and I'm Ready to Come Back"]. Daum Entertainment (in Korean). September 29, 2014. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  12. ^ http://www.thebarclay.org/events-details.asp?n=explore-events&n1=&n2=&refId=9850BA8B-34BE-4A05-B893-3C48098A377C
  13. ^ "Drunken Tiger (드렁큰타이거)". KBS World Radio. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  14. ^ "Inside the Music: Drunken Tiger's DJ SHINE on HipHop in Kpop". Hello Kpop. October 11, 2014. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  15. ^ "History". Jungle Entertainment (in Korean). Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  16. ^ "Brian Joo and Tiger JK to finally perform "Let This Die" together". All Kpop. February 23, 2012. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  17. ^ "FIESTAR releases Wicked" featuring Tiger JK". All Kpop. August 24, 2012. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  18. ^ "Korean rap is your new favourite thing". Dazed. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  19. ^ Tamar Herman (November 1, 2018). "BTS' RM Will Be Featured on Tiger JK's Final Drunken Tiger Album". Billboard.
  20. ^ Forrest, Brett (November 1, 2000). "Silence Makes the Beats Grow Stronger". SPIN. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  21. ^ "Tiger JK Slams Racism Here". The Korea Times. January 14, 2010. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  22. ^ "Tiger JK, T Wed With Baby". The Korea Times. July 3, 2008. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  23. ^ "Tiger JK 의 패션 브랜드, 룽타 (Lungta)" [Tiger JK's Fashion Brand Lungta]. Hiphop Playa (in Korean). July 20, 2006. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  24. ^ "JK to release his own Beats by Dr. Dre series: TIGER BEATS". DT MFBTY International. May 9, 2011. Retrieved August 23, 2011.
  25. ^ "All Profits from Tiger JK's Dr. Dre Headphones to be Donated". Soompi. May 24, 2011. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  26. ^ Herman, Tamar (November 14, 2018). "Drunken Tiger Releases Final Album Featuring Yoonmirae, BTS' RM and More". Billboard. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  27. ^ "Legendary Korean Rapper Tiger JK Takes On 1st Movie Project For 'Trip Around The World'". KpopStarz. March 21, 2015. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  28. ^ "Tiger JK to appear on High Kick Through The Roof". All Kpop. January 20, 2010. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  29. ^ "Why Does Tiger JK Only Appear on Yoo Jae Suk's Shows?". Mnet Mwave. May 18, 2012. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  30. ^ ""Welcome To The Jungle: Sunzoo" – The Premiere of Drunken Tiger's International Project". Soompi. February 3, 2011. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  31. ^ "Tiger JK to Appear As a Cameo on "Salamander Guru"". Soompi. March 2, 2012. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  32. ^ "The Hero On Stage". DT MFBTY INTERNATIONAL. December 9, 2012. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  33. ^ "Mnet Gives Young Aspiring Stars The Chance To Shine In New Music Competition Program 'We Kid'". KpopStarz. February 22, 2016. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  34. ^ "2009 M.net Korean Music Festival Winners list" Archived January 27, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. MAMA. Retrieved 2014-06-12.
  35. ^ "2009 Mnet Asian Music Awards Part1". MAMA. Retrieved 2014-12-18.
  36. ^ "Winners at the 2010 Style Icon Awards". All Kpop. November 17, 2010. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  37. ^ "Winners at the 2010 Mnet 20's Choice Awards Ceremony". All Kpop. August 26, 2010. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  38. ^ "Tiger JK wins 'best cover model' at the "Men's Health Cool Guy Contest"". All Kpop. July 1, 2011. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  39. ^ "Announcing the Results of the 11th Annual Soompi Awards 2015". Soompi. February 23, 2016. Retrieved November 10, 2019.

External linksEdit