If you work with someone side by side for 20 years, you either learn to love or to hate them.
Epik High knows everything about maintaining healthy relationships in a group of people with totally different personalities who have to work together almost 24/7. We are talking about K-hip-hop trio consisting of Tablo, rapper and a songwriter, Mithra Jin, rapper and a lyricist, plus DJ Tukutz, producer and a dancer. What makes this group incredibly interesting is not just sentimental and relatable songs that they create endlessly, but also unfiltered relationship dynamic between three artists.
The one with a Buzzfeed test
Don't even try to ask Epik High to take the 'Are You Best Friends Forever' test. However, Buzzfeed were braver than marines and dedicated a whole video to showing the world what the musicians think of each other as friends.
It went exactly as you might've expected. In 9 minutes it took to make a video Tablo, the spokesperson of the group, has managed to roast everyone, even himself. Meanwhile Mithra somewhat unexpectedly connected with Tablo over the topic of food and Tukutz… well, for someone who thinks BFF means "But(t) F****ng Friend", he knew quite a lot about his two colleagues.
[Favorite Alcoholic Drink]
Tablo: (pointing at Mithra) You like whiskey.
Mithra: I never liked whiskey.
Tablo: No, you used to like whiskey.
Mithra: I pretended that I liked whiskey.
Tablo: I saw you buy 18 bottles into your Rimowa, trying not to get caught at airport customs. Dude, we were stopping you!
Tablo also called out DJ Tukutz, saying that, as surprising as it is for someone who writes songs for a living, he doesn't really like listening to the music. Epik High continued to seek understanding even in the mundane things like eating and drinking.
Tablo: (to Tukutz) Do you hate people who like Hawaiian pizza?
Tukutz: I don't understand them.
Mithra: That's fine, because we've never understood you for the last 20 years.
Despite all the affectionate jabs the artists took at each other, the goal of this test was accomplished – turns out, friends who spent so many years together knew each other like the back of their hands.
The one with Epik High picking songs they hate
Only artists like Epik High could decide to rank the songs they made – but in a reverse order. And of course, if you choose the songs in your discography you "hate" the most, so many discussions can go wrong and so many friendships can be ruined.
On the other hand, we got to know what the main criteria are for Tukutz when it comes to loving Epik High's songs.
Tablo: 'Face ID' versus 'Born Hater'. Oh my God.
Tukutz: 'Face ID' is so much better.
Tablo: Why? Because it's the newest song?
Tukutz: It affects our recent income.
Tablo: Yes, Tukutz's favourite song is always the latest song because that's the one he's trying to make money with. For Tukutz here, it's (songs) is just all money.
Tukutz definitely values songs that bring him the most profit. But is he all that different from us?
The one with Tukutz talking about leaving the group
In the same interview, the fandom got to hear a shocking story about how one of the members could actually leave Epik High. No, it wasn't because the other members were teasing him too much but because some opportunities in life just can't be missed no matter what.
Tablo: Backstory on 'Here Comes The Regrets'. We made it with Kanye West's team at a song camp and they loved the song so much. They said that Kanye was going to take the song. Tukutz, who made that beat, was so happy and ready to retire and quit Epik High.
Tukutz: I packed all my stuff.
Tablo: And then the song never came out. So we put it on our album
Mithra: We were so nervous that Tukutz would become successful all by himself.
Tukutz: What a pity. It was the perfect time for me to escape.
The High Skool (Epik High's fans) surely wouldn't be able to cope with DJ Tukutz leaving the team, so by a collective decision, 'Here Comes The Regrets' being released in Epik High's album and not in Kanye West's one is a joyful happening. Sorry, Tukutz.
The one with Epik High testing how well they know each other
The game Epik High played in SBS PopAsia interview starts with a promising cut scene where Tablo claims that the show's producers will be responsible for breaking up Epik High. Despite announcing such a shocking turn of events, it was Tablo himself who seemed to really enjoy toying with other members' feelings.
Mithra and Tablo jabbed at Tukutz's hunger for money again but when the question "What is (name of the artist)'s best quality?" was given to Epik High, that's when it all came tumbling down. Both rappers aligned against the DJ to mercilessly roast him again.
[What Is DJ Tukutz's Best Quality?]
Tablo: Is it okay if I don't answer the best quality, but the only quality?
(Mithra shows the paper saying 'Nothing'.)
(Tablo shows the paper saying 'He knows RM's phone number'.)
Tablo: The only thing that gives his life, his existence value – he knows RM's (from BTS) phone number.
After all this slaughter Tukutz's reaction was actually very sweet. When naming the best quality that Tablo has, he wrote "being Haru's dad", which turned out to be the same answer that Tablo himself wrote. Epik High knows each other so well, both the artists and fans were touched by Tukutz' correct guessing and matching with Tablo. It certainly shows how big of a heart Tukutz actually got.
The one with Epik High looking back
Unique friendly-dissing atmosphere is also there in a Seventeen video where Epik High members recall their past struggles, comparing it with their current life. Weird hairstyles and clothes changed to neat casual outfits, the mere acquaintances becoming friends with a tight family bond.
Tablo: Back then we were strangers and then we were put together by ourselves. It was our own decision but we didn't really know each other at first. Now it's like we went from friends to family. And by family (I mean)... you know how some people hate their family?
The fact that every one of Epik High members laughed hearing this shows how they are all used to roasting each other but they know when it's serious and when it's not. If anyone is attacking or dissing Epik High members they wouldn't tolerate it. Only Tablo has that privilege.
At the end of the video, Epik High noted that the only thing that hasn't changed is their fans. Their fandom community, High Skool, always stays the same. As Epik High says, "they make fun of us, we make fun of each other, and we make fun of them". Seems like the sense of humor runs in the family, right?