The Musical Genius Tablo and the Controversy Surrounding His Degree at Stanford University

Tablo
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Who’s Tablo?

Daniel Armand Lee or in Korea Lee Seon-wong was born on July 22nd, 1980, in Seoul, South Korea. Lee Seon-wong or better known as Tablo, is a rapper, songwriter, author, producer, an entrepreneur from South Korea, and he’s a Korean-Canadian. Tablo was best known as the leader of the Korean hip-hop group Epik High and as the founder of  HIGHGRND music label. While he was still in high school, he worked as a songwriter, he then graduated from Stanford University. After he’s graduated, he moved to Seoul, South Korea and in 2001, together with DJ Tukutz and Mithra Jin he formed Epik High. Then, in 2003, they made their debut. The group’s first album, Map of the Human Soul, was released on October 21st, 2003, and the songs of Epic High were made by Tablo.

Outside of Epik High, Tablo has worked as a record producer and songwriter for other artists and has been involved in many collaborative projects, such as Borderline, Eternal Morning, and AnyBand. Tablo is also the best-selling author of Pieces of You, published in English and Korean, and Blonote. He made his film debut when he took part in Nonstop (2005).

Tablo debuted in 1997, and until now he has been deemed The Musical Genius. Apart from being a successful musician, in 2009 he got married to Kang Hye-jung and they have one child together. Tablo’s home town is Vancouver, British Columbia.

The Controversy at Stanford University

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In 2010, Epik High took a hiatus from the music scene because DJ Tukutz had to enlist in the Military Service and they were to make a comeback when he has finished his Military. While waiting for DJ Tukutz, Tablo and Mithra pioneered a solo career. But unfortunately, in mid-2010, a forum on the Internet called Tanjinyo appeared, that questioned the truth about Tablo being a graduate of Stanford. The forum questioned how it could be possible that Tablo, who is actually just a rapper, could graduate on one of the world’s most elite universities, Stanford. On top of that, how is it possible for him to obtain a dual degree, which is a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in English Literature in just three and a half years.

The site on the internet claimed that it is a big lie and asked Tablo to tell the real truth. This also became the headline of various South Korean media, in June 2010, and got even worse when one of the fan sites claimed that they couldn’t find the name Daniel Armand Lee (Tablo’s international name) on the Stanford alumni list.

Hearing this, Tablo provided a transcript of records of when he attended Stanford, but this wasn’t as easy as he imagined. The hatred had been spread because news from the site had already convinced many people that he is untrustworthy and they were still suspicious of his graduation in just three and a half years.

Not only Tablo, but his family was targeted by many people, even his brother was accused of being a liar and fired from where he worked. And what’s even sadder, his mother was also terrorized. This incident caused his father to die of heart disease due to Tanjinyo.

Tablo
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At the end of August in 2010, a PD held an event titled 60 Minutes and Sung Ki-yeon offered Tablo to join the show. Tablo accepted the challenge and the program titled “Tablo Goes to Stanford” and “Tablo and South Korea Online” aired in October. In the event, Tablo returned to Stanford to immediately request his diploma transcript data.

Tablo
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Tablo
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Tablo
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Finally, Tablo proved the truth and filed a lawsuit against 22 members of Tanjinyo. Tanjinyo forum chairman, with what turned out to be ID Kim Eung, is a 57-year-old Korean-American businessman who was later arrested in Chicago. The Tanjinyo Forum was closed, as well as other forums, namely Tanjinyo 2 and We Demand The Truth From Tablo 2, which had 330,000 members.