a sky full of lighters (metafictionally) wrote,
a sky full of lighters


Since I've seen a lot of people in various places asking for more information on M.I.B I figured I'd go ahead and compile what I know in hopes of helping whoever needs it... yeah.


Beginning around 2009, Jungle Entertainment (home to artists like Drunken Tiger, Tasha (윤미래), Loptimist, Bizzy, and Leessang) began putting together a new four-member hip-hop act called M.I.B. Originally meant to stand for Mega Interesting Bastards, the name was changed eventually to Most Incredible Busters (and then to Money in the Building, or at least 5zic seems to think that's the case). Preparations for the group were complete by October of 2011, and on October 6, the first of four solo music videos was released—leader 5zic's track "Beautiful Day," which featured vocals by BEE. Continuing the trend, rapper Young Cream released "Do U Like Me" on October 11, magnae SIMS released "Hands Up" on October 13, and vocalist Kangnam released "Say My Name" on October 17.

All of this preceded the October 25 release of their debut album, Most Incredible Busters, which was a full-length album comprised of 11 tracks (although 4 of those tracks were the solo songs that had been pre-released). The album was something of a pièce de résistance for Jungle; around $1.9 million dollars were invested into the album's creation, making it one of the most expensive debut albums in history, and it was produced by Tiger JK himself. Before the album's release, the members participated in a Muse Live showcase to promote their album, and on October 26 they made their official debut on Mnet's M! Countdown.

From mid-March 2012 until mid-April, M.I.B participated in the recording of "M.I.B's W Academy," the same show that idol group Boyfriend had participated in. This was meant to act as a lead-up to their late April comeback with Celebrate, and the release of that single album.

However, on April 4, the day that M.I.B were set to make their comeback on M! Countdown, a fire broke out in their dorm, killing three of their stylists (two died at the scene, one died in hospital later). As a result, their activities were immediately canceled, and M.I.B went on a nearly two-month hiatus. During this hiatus, they filmed their fourth and final episode of W Academy, during which they reflected on the accident and its impact on them as people and as artists. As of the time of writing (6/17/13), there have only been 2 times when M.I.B have performed "Celebrate" onstage—all of the members agree that the memories associated with that song are too painful.

At the end of May 2012, M.I.B came back with a mini album titled ILLUSION, the promotional track for which was "나만 힘들게" or "Only Hard For Me." They promoted all through June and most of July before having their goodbye stage.

After that, M.I.B settled in to another hiatus, this one lasting nearly 9 months. However, on April 10, 2013, M.I.B released their second mini-album, titled Money in the Building, with a promotional track called "끄덕여줘!" or "Nod Along!" They promoted through April and May, ending promotions in the first week of June 2013. Not long afterwards, M.I.B's official fancafe posted news of a new album (or mini-album) planned for release in July.

Before that, though, M.I.B had some business to take care of—like live performances and their first solo tour in Japan. On May 18, 2013, M.I.B held an album release party showcase at Queen Live Hall in Hongdae, bringing in a nearly packed venue and an extremely fun night (or so I'm told). This was M.I.B's first solo live concert.

That summer M.I.B also held their first Japanese concert, called "We Are M.I.B," on June 24 at Astro Live Hall in Harajuku—when tickets for this concert went on sale, they sold out in under 10 seconds. M.I.B also participted in a music festival in Tokyo on July 6 and 7, and in the weeks following, they organized and held a short, three-day Japanese tour called KEEP GOING.

On July 31st, 2013, M.I.B released the music video for their new title track "들이대 (Men in Black)" (also the title of the single album), which they promoted through August on the regular music show circuit. Men in Black was arguably M.I.B's most popular song, as the catchy and witty lyrics + the catchy uptempo beat made it a song that appealed not only to hip-hop fans but to regular pop fans as well.

Rumors about a comeback date started circulating not too long after the end of Men in Black promotions, but they weren't confirmed until late October, only a few days after M.I.B's 2-year anniversary as a group. At that time it was announced that M.I.B would release a single album in late November, although not too much else was known about it. However, subsequent announcements in October and November revealed the title track to be "너부터 잘해!" or "Let's Talk About You," featuring a mystery artist (later revealed to be Yoon Bomi of A Pink). The track was produced and composed by 5zic, with lyrics written by all of the members.

Originally, Let's Talk About You was intended to come as a part of a single album with another track, "Hippity Hippity Hop," but due to circumstances outside M.I.B's control, the track was unable to be released along with Let's Talk About You, possibly because of its lyrical content and 19+ rating. However, 5zic promised he would do his best to release the track for free if he had to.



REAL NAME: Namekawa Yasuo
BIRTHDATE: March 23, 1987
BORN IN: Tokyo, Japan

Kangnam is the oldest member of the group, as well as M.I.B's only vocalist (although Cream has been trying his hand at vocals these days). He was born in Tokyo, but moved to Hawaii when he was a teenager. After attending high school in Hawaii, Kangnam moved back to Tokyo, where he joined a Japanese rock group called KICK CHOP BUSTERS under the stage name YA-CHA. You can still find some of their music videos on YouTube!

In 2009 he was introduced to Tiger JK at a music event in Tokyo, and not long after, he left KCB and joined M.I.B. Despite being half-Korean (his mother is Korean and his father is Japanese), Kangnam's Korean wasn't initially very good, although both his Japanese and his English are fluent. In fact, Kangnam attended an announcer academy in Seoul in an effort to improve his pronunciation and spoken Korean in preparation for the recording of his solo track—a period of time which Kangnam describes as "hell." The results are obvious, though, and he's improved a lot ♥ Despite his still sometimes accented Korean, Kangnam is very much the mood-maker of the group, and fits well into his role as oldest hyung (although he isn't the leader).

Personality-wise, Kangnam is a big goofball. Despite his relatively serious-looking face, he's a very animated guy, and when he laughs he laughs with his whole body. He thinks almost everything is funny, and he's plenty willing to make himself look silly if it helps other people feel better—although his humor is very often non-vocal, probably because there was a long period where Kangnam couldn't really joke in Korean because his Korean wasn't good enough. He's a total sweetheart and he takes care of the members, acting as sort of the "mom" of the group.

Kangnam's name comes from the Korean phrase "강한 남자," pronounced kanghan namja, which means "strong man"—it's the meaning of his Japanese given name, Yasuo. He plays both guitar and piano, and in fact played the guitar for their track "Hello Goodbye" on their Money in the Building mini-album. Kangnam is also drinking buddies with Jake from JJANG!, and is the host of the Japanese edition of JJANG!

He also has three dogs (Rocky, Mochi, and Kkapi Kkapi), a stray cat that lives in the dorm yard that is as of yet unnamed, and once upon a time had a cat named Tuna. Definitely an animal person.


REAL NAME: Kim Hangil (김한길)
BIRTHDATE: July 26, 1988
BORN IN: Ilsan, Korea
SPECIALTY: Rap, leader

5zic (pronounced 오직, ojik) is the leader of M.I.B and one of the rappers. He was born in Ilsan, which he likes to make known during almost all his rap parts through shout-outs to his home turf, and is one of only a handful of idols who have already completed their mandatory military service—he entered in 2007 and came out in 2009, before joining Jungle and M.I.B.

The name "5zic" is actually a pretty clever one, although it takes some explaining. The word "오직" (ojik) in Korean means "only," and his Korean name "한길" (Hangil) can also be interpreted to mean "one road." As 5zic himself explains it in his solo song "Beautiful Day," "오직 한길로 걷는단 뜻이지" ("it means I'm only going to walk one road").

Although 5zic takes his leader duties seriously and definitely knows how to command respect and attention, he's also generally a pretty laid-back guy. He likes to joke around and is good at making people feel comfortable around him, which (in my opinion) is a pretty important trait for a leader to have. 5zic tends to be pretty sensitive to what's going on around him, and looks after the members well; if Kangnam is the mom, then 5zic is the dad.

Some random facts: 5zic has an impressively large half-sleeve tattoo that also covers the majority of his back. You can see the arm piece of it in the photo above, but here's a photo of the back piece taken at their album release party. The tattoo was also shown partially during their W Academy filming, although 5zic seems to have expanded it since then. The part on his back and upper arm seems to be mostly religious iconography as well as a nautical star and the words "THE MILD WINS OVER THE TOUGH." He also has a gryphon on that same forearm.

5zic has 2 older sisters and speaks fairly good English.


STAGE NAME: Young Cream (also sometimes Cream or YC, or Young Cream the Best)
REAL NAME: Kim Giseok (김기석)
BIRTHDATE: February 14, 1990
BORN IN: Daejeon, Korea
SPECIALTY: Rap, sometimes vocals

Cream is honestly a tough guy to get a read on. He isn't a very outgoing or animated person, and fans generally agree that seeing Cream smile in videos or photos is pretty rare. If anything, he's a pretty shy person, and tends to be quiet and introverted until he's more at ease in a situation. Nonetheless, his charisma onstage is undeniable, and he has the art of pretending to be stuck-up down to a T. You could probably call Cream a 차도남 and not be far from the mark.

Cream's stage name was given to him by a rapper from his former crew (called Daily Money Making Company), and even though I don't know where the "Young" part comes from, the "Cream" part comes from the fact that one of his favorite songs is Wu-Tang Clan's "C.R.E.A.M (Cash Rules Everything Around Me)." So that somehow got adopted as his stage name and just stuck when he joined M.I.B, I suppose.


STAGE NAME: SIMS (sometimes Fresh Dog)
REAL NAME: Shim Jongsu (심종수)
BIRTHDATE: February 27, 1991
BORN IN: Seoul, Korea

SIMS is both the magnae of the group and their tallest member at 185cm (compared to Kangnam's 177cm, 5zic's 178cm and Cream's 177cm). He's a rapper, obviously, and was formerly in a crew called Safari; now he rolls with Royal Class, along with some fellow idols including SPEED'S Taewoon and Mino (formerly Tagoon of B.o.M). He's also friendly with Serri and Ahyoung from Dal Shabet, King from LC9, and Teo from LUNAFLY, although lord knows how those connections all came to be.

SIMS' stage name is born from his real name, Shim Jongsu. Another way for the surname "Shim" to be romanized is "Sim," so the word "Shims's"—as in, belonging to Shim—in Hangeul would be "심스," which became SIMS. Not very interesting, but hey!

In terms of personality, SIMS is... well, he's the giant baby magnae. He's a mood-maker and an all around goofy guy, but he has a big heart and he's kind of a marshmallow. He likes to joke around and tease the other members (especially when it comes to "yaja time," or age order reversal), but he's reliable and dedicated and takes music seriously despite his easy-going personality. He's also one of the members most likely to reply to you on Twitter (provided you speak Korean, that is).



Album Info

Most Incredible Busters
Released Oct 25, 2011
Language: Korean

  1. Men Comin'

  2. 모두 다 뻔해 (Everything is Clear)

  3. G.D.M.

  4. Complicated

  5. Beautiful Day (ft. BEE) (5zic solo)

  6. Do U Like Me (Cream solo)

  7. Hands Up (SIMS solo)

  8. Say My Name (Kangnam solo)

  9. Who Am I

  10. My Way

  11. Who's Next

The Maginot Line
Released Mar 31, 2014
Language: Korean

  1. 놀고들 있네

  2. 치사 Bounce (Chisa Bounce)

  3. 들이대 (Men in Black)

  4. 너부터 잘해 (ft. Bomi of Apink) (Let's Talk About You)

  5. 강강수월래

  6. Dirty Sexy Money

  7. 담배를 입에 물기 전에 (ft. HIME)

  8. M.I.B가 나.가.신다2 (ft. TEM) (M.I.B Is Coming 2)

  9. Skit

  10. 낭독


Album Info

Released May 30, 2012
Language: Korean

  1. 더치페이 (ft. Hafsa) (Dutch Pay)

  2. 나만 힘들게 (Only Hard for Me)

  3. Celebrate (ft. t윤미래)

  4. Celebrate (Konrad OldMoney Remix) (ft. t윤미래)

  5. Celebrate (Dubstep Remix) (ft. TEM)

  6. G.D.M. (Konrad OldMoney Remix) (ft. Tiger JK, Bizzy)

  7. 낙화/落花 (The Falling Flower)

Money in the Building
Released Apr 10, 2013
Language: Korean

  1. Money in the Building

  2. 끄덕여줘! (Nod Along!)

  3. Hello Goodbye (ft. t윤미래)

  4. 난장판 (ft. MFBTY) (Mess)

  5. M.I.B가 나.가.신.다 (MIB is Coming)


Album Info

Released Apr 5, 2012
Language: Korean

  1. Celebrate (ft. t윤미래)

  2. Celebrate (Konrad OldMoney Remix) (ft. t윤미래)

  3. G.D.M. (Konrad OldMoney Remix) (ft. Tiger JK, Bizzy)

Released Aug 1, 2013
Language: Korean

  1. 들이대 (Men in Black)

  2. 들이대 (Men in Black) (Instr.)

너부터 잘해
Released Dec 2, 2013
Language: Korean

  1. 너부터 잘해 (ft. 윤보미 of 에이핑크)

  2. 너부터 잘해 (ft. 윤보미 of 에이핑크) (Instr.)


Beautiful Day (5zic solo)

Hands Up (SIMS solo)

Say My Name (Kangnam solo)

Do U Like Me (Cream solo)


Celebrate (ft. t윤미래)

나만힘들게 (Only Hard for Me)

끄덕여줘! (Nod Along!)

들이대 (Men in Black)

너부터 잘해 (Let's Talk About You)
Tags: *a kpop fan's guide to, famous people are awesome, kpop is a lifestyle choice, stuff you should read, yeah whatevah
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