RM (BTS) – Do You (English Translation + Ramblings)

Do You (track 02 in RM Mixtape)
Lyrics by Rap Monster
Original Track : Major Lazer – Aerosol Can

The lyrics are fairly straight forward, so I figured I would talk a little about HYYH/Youth and the book RM mentions here, called “It’s Youth Because It Hurts.”


The HYYH series is about 청춘 (chungchoon), which roughly translates to youth. However, I would say that the meaning of this word is a little different from the English word youth.

I think the word youth usually refers to late teens, and gives me the feeling of last years of childhood – the last chance to party and be carefree before becoming an adult and having adult responsibilities and consequences.

However, chungchoon refers late teens to about 30 years of age, with focus on early twenties.  This is the age to take the first steps as an adult.  This is the age you make your mistakes, suffer the consequences on your own, and struggle in the adult world.   It is the age where you still dream of ideals, and where failures and struggles are not meaningless as it shapes your character.   I guess it’s when your loves/failures/successes are more vivid, and make this time more beautiful as well as more painful.

Chungchoon literally means “the green spring” and often is also called “the spring time of your life” or “the most beautiful moment of in life – HYYH.”

I hate self-help books the most in the world.

“It’s Youth(chungchoon) Because It Hurts.”
That kind of justification is the biggest problem

There was a best seller book called “It’s Youth Because It Hurts”, published in 2010.  You can listen to an excerpt here.  It was written by a professor of SNU, the most prestigious university in Korea, based on his experience of teaching and interacting  with a lot of his students.

I read this book several years ago and dug it out of my old book box to have another look. Initially, the book was much praised .. and I had not realized that it had developed such negative criticism past few years.

In a way, what the book says does overlap a lot of what RM and BTS preaches.  For example:
-you should follow your dreams, even if it’s not what society/your family wants.
-even if you don’t succeed right away does not mean you’re failing.  Someone who reaches life goals at 20 has not had a more successful life than who is happy with life at 60.
-even if the struggles are hard and it hurts to follow your dream, the fact that you’re young and have potential is more valuable than being wealthy at an old age.

Sounds good, right?

I guess the problem comes from the fact that the author has never really experienced this struggle.   He comes from a wealthy family, and easily obtained the very expensive education overseas (not common back then) that helped him become a professor of SNU.

It would be like… if a wealthy man born with silver spoon in his mouth became a professor of Harvard, sees the struggles of students at Harvard, and tries to write a book for general public who are struggling to put food on the table.

If you are the “rich” in the phrase “the gap between the rich and poor”, you should really not be saying that there is beauty to the struggles of the poor.

The title became such a catchphrase, that if a young person spoke of his struggles in the difficult unfair job market, the older generation can just say “It’s Youth Because It Hurts”, meaning essentially “shut up and stop whining about your struggles.  At least you’re young.”  It gives those who are privileged an excuse to absolve themselves of the responsibilities to improve the fairness in job markets and equality.  To be fair, I think the phrase was a bit over-used/abused beyond what the author had intended…

In this, the book is very much against the social justice that BTS talks about in songs like Baepsae and Am I Wrong.  It’s good to chase dreams and work hard, but having a level playing field would make these dreams and hard work more likely to bear fruit.


One could say that the book is trying to cover a topic that is much deeper and more complex than the author has experience to talk about.  I do wonder though if the book would have been better received if it were written by someone who started off poor. The book is really not that bad, if you don’t know much about the author.  Should the book with the exact same words be of different worth, just because of how much money the author grew up with?

In addition, you can’t really expect one book to cover all the relevant points in a topic.   There is much more to the struggles of youth than what the book glosses over, but this is exactly why people should read more than one book on a topic.

I like the fact that BTS sees music as part of the continuum that makes up culture.   They can join in on this debate on a social topic.  Literature and essays and music and dance and fashion all overlap to exist as interactive pieces when I listen to BTS songs…    Let’s hope it makes us all less one-dimensional, better read, and more open-minded people…
I hate self-help books the most in the world.
The bullshit talk telling people to do this or that
People have no backbone and easily believe what others say
That’s why all this bullshit end up being best-seller.
What do they know about you?
Do they understand your dreams, your hobbies?
Even if you just stop being so self-conscious, things can change a lot
Why are you born as a master of your life, but try to be a slave?
“It’s Youth Because It Hurts.”
That kind of justification is the biggest problem
In life, genre is trap, just like music
Once you get hung up on that, you’ll become stupid.
Fuck that. You the only one ever
Even if you’re not perfect, you’re limited edition Lego
In the end, someone is bound to value you
So please, you just do you.
Do you do you do you do you
(Do the fuck you want)
Do you do you do you do you
(Do the fuck you want)
Do you do you do you do you
(Do the fuck you want)
Do you do you do you do you
What the fuck you want?

I’m not pop, I’m not rock, I’m not funk, I’m not R&B or hiphop
All the kids who don’t know what’s going on should clean their ears
“Skirt and skinny jeans? That’s not hip hop!”
Does that mean A$AP is not hip hop?
Are you more hip hop than A$AP, Kanye?
The oppressive and inflexible sunbae bastards should move to the back
I say fashion is passion
If you write it in Korean, it’s written the same “pashun” (패션)
The kids who feel like they need to pull their pants lower when they go to Hongdae
Why don’t you just wear what you like, that’s swag. that’s it
(Whoa!) If you follow the trends, good
(Whoa!) If you’re fucking different, good
Just you, yourself is hood,
From the beginning, there was never right or wrong
Everyone is just a bit different, that’s all.
Haters gon hate and players gon play
Mufuckas keep mufuckin all day
Follow my shit, my friend and I’ll pay
I’ll spit on your behalf for you,
Do you do you do you do you
(Do the fuck you want)
Do you do you do you do you
(Do the fuck you want)
Do you do you do you do you
(Do the fuck you want)
Do you do you do you do you
What the fuck you want?
Having been told to do whatever they want,
There are now adults in their thirties who don’t even know where to shit
They shout “respect” with their own mouths
But in honesty, it’s not like they don’t know the meaning of that word
Freedom and Recklessness – they’re clearly different
There are still time and place for things that you need to be aware of
Suckers who copy and package it as if they haven’t
At least my music is better than theirs
“He raps better than him
He is better at doing that than him”
Fuck that. I am just doin my thang.
So you just do your own thing too bitch.

I’m doin me juss doin me
Who were you all this time?
Yes, we were friends.
Nothin’s everything, everythin’s nothin x4

Do you do you do you do you
(Do the fuck you want)
Do you do you do you do you
(Do the fuck you want)
Do you do you do you do you
(Do the fuck you want)
Do you do you do you do you
What the fuck you want?

2 thoughts on “RM (BTS) – Do You (English Translation + Ramblings)

  1. You’ve said that the lyrics are pretty straight forward, but honestly, your translation makes so much more sense than some other translations I’ve seen, they were very… disjointed (?) compared to this which actually seems related and relevant. Thanks for the translations and additional information (as a side note, I do believe that all people experience all troubles, and whilst words of advice that are valuable will be valuable no matter the origin of the source, perhaps it is a bit hypocritical to discuss things which you have not and are not likely to experience in such a way? For example, I am well into the middle class of Australia, but am living alone as a student seperate from my family, so I have a broad view of wealth and experiences with having (or not having) money, and because of the wealth of my parents, which is both entirely seperate to me, and due to convoluted debt and mortgages, largely irrelevant to them,(they are comparatively well off, but do often experience instability, so well-off compared to who, I guess) I would feel hypocritical discussing or advising on being poor, beyond just the broadest sense, so I can agree with the arguments against the author of that book. (Plus I just have a general distaste to self-help books, because of the tendency people have to buy them, even read them, then ignore/forget and move on) On the other hand I can see a teacher observing and wishing to give objective advice, especially to students who may be struggling with such issues) sorry for the length, thanks so much for translating, this is one of my absolute favourites of RM

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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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 )

Connecting to %s