Every day until the end of February, we’ll highlight one of our favorite Korean rappers on a countdown to #1.
Coming in at #4 is my biggest crush…
… I mean, Epik High’s Mithra Jin.
So, in my introduction to Epik High I explained a lot of the genius of the trio is the way they work with their lyrics to ensure consistent rhyming, something that both of them (sometimes controversially believe) is a fundamental aspect of rap that cannot be foregone but that is still difficult to do with the nature of the Korean language all the same.
While the other rapping half of Epik High, Tablo, makes rhyme happen with his seamless switching back and forth between English and Korean, Mithra Jin does it all within the boundaries of the Korean language.
Instead of substituting this Korean word for that English word to hit it, he has to get hella creative to make it happen, sometimes saying fuck syntax entirely. The results are excellent, and while is literally bending the language to his will, he isn’t just rapping nonsense. Mithra Jin’s got something to say and he does so impressively. He’s also quite good with puns and wordplay, which is a lot of fun.
His lyrics are certainly more emotional than Tablo’s seem to be, and that’s something that I vibe with. They hold more depth, and he employs literary devices more than most rappers do; instead, they like to discuss their lives and outlooks straightforwardly and rather unpoetically.
Rap is an emotional artform and I appreciate that Mithra respects that; it helps me connect with his music more. His delivery of such poetic lyrics is nice and even, rarely getting wild like the likes of Agust D and Changbin, but he doesn’t need to.
He conveys plenty in his traditional delivery style–one that does not ask for speed but for feeling; one that does not look for flaunting but for expression–conveying just enough emotion without overwhelming the verse.
In fact his voice is one of the reasons he’s among my favorites, and it is a voice that was hard won, one that developed and aged like wine over time. Especially because, as Tablo will never let us forget, Mithra used to be a part of a horrorcore group before joining forces with Tablo and Tukutz.
So, he’s uh. Quite, uh. Versatile, too.
His voice is as mature as his lyrics, and I’m here for it. Its timbre and texture is so comforting and soothing to me for some reason? I don’t know.
It sounds like charcoal and marshmallows and cigarette smoke and coffee. It sounds like forest fires and tire irons. It sounds like soft flannel shirts and wool socks. Man, I wish I knew how else to explain it. It’s just comfortable and familiar and I could listen to him go for hours.
And I often do, lol. Epik High has been my most played Spotify artist according to my year end round ups for a few years.
For all that Mithra Jin brings to Epik High, he has made it as #4 on our list of favorite rappers.
Check out a quick list of some of my fav Mithra verses below. As always, come back tomorrow to see who our #3 fav is!
ab6ix astro ATEEZ baekhyun blackpink bts chung ha cix cravity dreamcatcher DRIPPIN exo gidle golden child got7 hoppipolla ikon itzy iu Kang Daniel mamamoo MCND mirae MONSTA x nct Oh My Girl Oneus ONF OnlyOneOf Pentagon PIXY Purple Kiss Red Velvet Seventeen SHINEE stray kids Super Junior T1419 Twice TXT Up10TION Verivery Victon WEi WJSN