At an alley of Mapo-gu District in Seoul on Monday afternoon, hot Korean artist Balming Tiger consisting of seven members roared mysteriously like a monstrous creature lurking around the place and rushing out. Just as “alternative rock” flourishing in Western countries during the 1980s and 90s dared to claim a significant place in the long history of rock music, Balming Tiger has appeared out of nowhere to declare that they replace K-Pop artists.
Their weird music videos and songs, which are loaded with mockery and sarcasm, have brought attention at home and abroad to the Hip Hop group. Although this rookie musicians have not announced any official album, their song “I’m Sick” that was released last year led Balming Tiger to be unprecedentedly nominated in the Korean Hip Hop Awards this year.
Sanyawn, a Balming Tiger member, recalled that the Hip Hop group was created at the room 304 of a building where Homi Art Store is located. He explained that Homi sounds like an English slang “homie” meaning a friend, which he found interesting. The name of the group is a result of reordering the words of “tiger balm,” he added.
They pursue stateless Asian content. Their music videos are a quirky mix of Korean gangster movies, Internet broadcasting shows and Hong Kong films noir. Rapper Omega Sapien, who joined the group last year, seems to represent blended colors from his young days. Born in Korea, he moved to China to attend elementary school. Later, he graduated secondary school in the United States and attended a college in Japan.
Omega Sapien in short-cut green hair reminding his nickname Green Godzilla fiddles with a toy gun with Unthinkable, the group’s producer. Each member plays a different role from one another – a rapper, a video director, a producer and so on. They came from various cities including Seoul, Busan, Gwangju, and Jeonju.
Balming Tiger had a concert tour in London, Paris and Reims last month, and French pop culture magazine Konbini highly acclaimed them as a surprising discovery. Earlier this month, the Hip Hop group joined the Korea Convention (KCON) in New York with K-Pop artists.
Producer Sogeum, who used to work at a music production company before joining the team, said that there were so many that she was not allowed to do at the company but Balming Tiger members never tell one another not to do something.