Rap Monster Tibits

egg rapmon

He looks so nerdy, I love it!  ^^

I think Suga and RM are very interesting…so this is mostly to just compile bunch of things that I found interesting… or things that I found international fans to be confused about at times.  Mostly random stuff, and will probably update over time with more stuff.


 

ENGLISH

One of the things people seem confused is… did he teach himself English?  Or did he study abroad?  You can see the answer here.

from 2014/02/25 Radio show

(My comments in brackets. They talk about their marks in school. Starting at 35:39 in the video… Previously, RM said he got 13% in Math once... )
DJ: Rap Monster had TOEIC score of 900. Rapmon had good enough marks to get into Korea University?
RM: Uh… it’s not that… There was one time I got top 1% on national exams (standardized exams?)
DJ: When you were a trainee, it says you were 3rd level for math, but 1st level  for everything else. You really were weak in Math. (See below for explanation re: levels)
RM: Yes, I was weak in Math.
DJ: Everything else was first level?
RM: Numbers were hard.
DJ: You must be good in English then. Did you study overseas?
RM: About 4 months in New Zealand….
DJ: 4 months!! (everyone laughs)
DJ: I don’t know if you can even call that studying English overseas!
RM: It’s a bit embarrassing to talk about it (ie. it’s so short, it’s embarrassing to call it as “experience studying abroad”)
DJ: That can’t really be seen as the reason you speak English well. You’re probably just good at it. And have lots of interest in languages.
RM: I liked English.

Levels/등급/rating

Levels are a attempt to bell-curve the high school grades.  Rather than to give percentages as marks, they give levels for each subject.

level 1 = top 4th percentile
level 2 = top 11th percentile
level 3 = top 23th percentile
level 4 = top 40th percentile
level 5 = top 60th percentile
level 6 = top 77th percentile
level 7 = top 89th percentile
level 8 = top 96th percentile
level 9 = top 100th percentile

This would mean that RM was in top 4th percentile for all subjects and 23rd percentile for Math…which makes him really quite good in Math, despite it being his weakest subject.
 
This level system was started, to prevent some schools from giving better marks to their students compared to other schools.  If the grades from schools become unreliable, the universities would put too much weight on the  “sooneung” exam (kind of like SAT). The intent was to avoid having your whole academic career be judged by one day of exams…and partially it works…while it does have some problems too.

 

 

MATURITY

One of the fun things about following an idol is watching them mature and become stronger and more open-minded adults.

They had a lot of things happen over the years…. like the infamous:  B-Free disrespecting BTS Rap Monster and Suga.

Or the “4 Things Show w Rap Monster” which I could not watch fully.  It was too painful watching his old friends talk behind his back…and then RM would come and smile like a little kid at them.. and… anyway, it was too painful.

I did read an interview a while ago where the PD of the “4 Things Show” actually created this show, after he/she found about Rap Monster…and learned that there are more than one views to a story and wanted to explore the prejudices (eg. like idols are brainless/manufactured performers).

It’s interesting though, that while his old friends may talk about him behind his back, RM actually is respected by a lot of people… often smart and successful people…like the PD of the show.

His process of maturing is illustrated well in his section on Namu Wiki (I love Namu Wiki!!  It’s a sarcastic/social commentary type of wikipedia.)

I’ll translate the section from Namu Wiki.  (Of note, “Too Much” was a song he released right after the B-Free incident in 2013.   I think “Unpack Your Bags” was released quite a while after that, sometime in 2014).  Some formatting has been changed to make it easier to read.

 

His basic personality is that he contemplates a lot.  Most common issue he contemplates is his identity, standing on the border between Idol and Rapper.  During the “4 Things Show”, this was the main question.  This can be seen commonly in his lyrics that he wrote himself, such as “Too Much”, and “Unpack Your Bags,” which was released during the “4 Things Show”

 

While they deal with similar issues, “Too Much” and “Unpack Your Bags” have very different feel.  In “Too much”, you can see how much he is anguishing, even as expressed in the title.  Rather than the conclusion after anguishing, it’s the anguish itself.  Even in the lyrics, it says “There are too many thoughts so I packed in myself, hungering for something”.

But after that, during his interview with Sports Seoul, he had an answer that was different from this anguished contemplation.

Rap Monster said “There was a time that I felt conflicted between Idol and Hip-Hop artist titles.  I wanted to be a true artist and I felt that the word “Idol” could shadow that.”  But one fan’s letter has changed his mind.  He said that the letter stated, “In my mind, ‘Idol singer’ and ‘Hip-Hop singer’ are not even the same level of category.  An ‘Idol’ is not a genre of music, but a concept that is higher than the division of genres.  Never be embarrassed about the word ‘Idol’.  Show all the energy you can show as an idol now.  ‘Artist’ is a word that will naturally follow you after having consistently shown a uniqueness over time.”

Rap Monster stated that he learned from the fan’s letter, and said, “Idol, by dictionary definition, is really an 우상 (idol  in Korean).  An idol should be someone who can advocate for what you think and want to say.  I hope BTS can truly be an idol for the teenagers.  On stage and with performance, I want to continue to be advocate for the teens.”    In addition, he stated he decided not to contemplate for 5 hours, something an anti has written over 5 seconds.

“Unpack your bags” that was released after this, shows this positive change.  “Too Much”, which was released after B-Free diss, says:

wake up every day like a machine,
getting used to life of make up every day like a machine.  
break up with self-identity.

In “Unpack Your Bags”

Lovers go from break ups to make ups
I go from wake ups to make-ups. 
I won’t complain.  
I’m sure I can do it too, break up.

While they use similar rhyme, the feel of the songs are very different.

Even when I debuted, I anguished a lot between major and minor.
Where is my place?  
I uselessly measured and wore a mask and hit my head with worries
Forget them all
In the end, the titles are decided by the public

You can see in the lyrics, the conclusion he has reached after the contemplation seen in “Too Much”.

In addition, in “Unpack Your Bags,”  the lyrics say “I opened the bag and took out the real me.”  This contrasts with the lyrics “All I could do was lock myself up even more, suppressing my anger and shut myself up even more” in “Too Much.”

After contemplating about the border between idol and rapper, or artist, it seems he has found himself.  With the help of his fans, it seems like he reached the conclusion to trust in himself.

 

Hope you enjoyed!    Will probably slowly update more stuff.

 

 

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Rap Monster Tibits

  1. Thank you so much for this information. I am really ready to worship Korean – English traslators cause you all do great work) I am worried of future when there will be less translations :( I try to learn Korean but I still struggle wth English cause my native is sakha and the 2nd – Russian. Rays of love to you :)

  2. This is impossible! I studied four months? And I’m still not good you can see that If what he said is true how I really want to know ㅠㅠ

  3. Hii i cant believe i just found your blog. I loved all your posts and your thoughts. Your posts help me understand everything better. The lyrics and even the boys as a person. Thank you. Hope to see more of your post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s