Read the talk about The Quiett’s album ‘AMBITIQN’ in Kim Bong-hyun’s radio show from February 2013.
Translator’s note: please know that this is only a rough summary, these are no quotes!
The questions (in bold) were posed by Kim Bong-hyun (KBH) and Kirin (please excuse if they got mixed up).
Comments are written (in brackets) and additional words for a better understanding [in squared brackets].
Q: The Quiett
(The picture shows Kirin with The Quiett and Dok2.)
KBH: Please introduce yourselves.
Q: Hello, I’m The Quiett. Illionaire, baby.
D: In charge of the reactions today, I am Dok2.
KBH: First, explain the title ‘Ambitiqn’, which reminds of Wale’s album of the same name.
Q: ‘Ambition’ was the only word that expressed and saved the feeling of my album the best. It has a different nuance than the Korean word for it, ‘yamang’,1)The Korean word can also mean ‘greed’. plus I like it. It gives the feeling of doing all for one’s dream. I have also considered several other variations and combinations of the word, like changing it to ambitious and asking myself “What ambition?” but in the end I decided that only ‘Ambition’ fits my album. The letter ‘o’ changed to ‘q’ makes it a bit difficult to read.
KBH and Kirin (read it letter by letter): Ambitique-ion.
Q: Several readings are possible. I also remembered Wale’s album while thinking of a name, so I listened to the tracks while working on them to see if there might be similarities, but as there weren’t I went with ‘Ambition’.
KBH: Introduce the album.
Q: First of all, although it is named a mixtape, I don’t think of it as one. The term mixtape has extended a lot. I wanted to make a complete album, like J. Cole’s Friday Night Lights.
KBH: The download link for the album is blocked now.
Q: No, with the release on music portals I just put down the [Mediafire] link but on DatPiff.com it is still available for [free] download and streaming.
KBH: The reason you released it for free was because you want more people to listen to your music.
Q: Yes, that would be good.
KBH: I think it is just a mixtape from the outside, because the album actually contains new songs and was released on music portals, so I think it can be called a full-length album.
Kirin: The album cover is quite interesting, when I saw it first I thought it looked like you’re about to push a red button to set off explosives, because of the red ‘Q’.
Q: No, the picture just turned out that way while shooting and it looked good, also with the watch on it.
KBH: To me it looks as if you’re about to take off your watch and throw it at someone.
Q: You can see it that way too.
D: That’s quite gangster-like.
Q: I actually didn’t think deeply about that picture, it was just the one I liked best after the photo shoot.
KBH: A mixtape can either be a mixtape because it is released for free, like Dok2 did, or because its music, its style is quite free and loose.
Q: Originally, I wanted to include many tracks of that mixtape in my full-length album that I’ve been working on all the time. But the reason I released them on the mixtape is, that first the trends changed and secondly, many songs have been piling up. And it seemed like the time had come to, kind of, empty all these.
KBH: So the album can be seen as a full-length album, that’s what I felt while listening.
Q: Yes. I actually can’t work on songs just roughly, the same goes for my mixtapes. Although I start on them thinking “I will do this relaxedly” .. I feel uneasy if I don’t work on them properly.
KBH: So just like your EP Friday Storm, you released this mixtape for free and later on music portals. That is like a present for your fans.
Q: Yes, it is for my fans as well as for me. I was also influenced by American rappers, for example J. Cole’s mixtape I mentioned earlier. It was released on CD and you can buy it on ebay. Anyway, the fans need the CD to get the right feeling. It’s the same for me. I often listen to music in my car but it does feel totally different when I listen from the CD than from just plugging in my iPod.
KBH: I think that is quite a good mindset.
Q: Thank you.
KBH: In the album you tell your own stories. It seems to be a trend in the hip hop scene these days to tell people how well off you are, like saying “I came all this way from the bottom.” For example in Drake’s album. Did you receive any inspiration from that trend?
Q: Yes, of course. I’ve been watching the scene for a while and that trend in style and lyrics has started some years ago. So I thought I should do the same. But instead of copying others, I-
D (drops a CD): I’m sorry
Q: Anyway, that trend fits my musical plan, my style. I have thought a lot for several years to make this album ‘Ambitiqn’. So that’s the reason I kept pushing back my full length album. I think ‘Ambitiqn’ is a well expressed album.
KBH: I felt that the stories in your album are very realistic but are also wrapped in some kind of musical and theatrical package. I mean, you don’t just say “I’ve earned money, so I’m better now” but you give it a concept and make more out of it. It’s not like a simple documentary but it has artistic and musical points that make it alive.
Q: Yes, thank you.
KBH: It seems like you cared for those things especially.
Q: Yes, of course. Since I’m a musician I have to make good music, which makes me happy and there are things I want people to listen to. Every track has its own strong image, so although I am rapping about money in every track, they can’t help but turn out different. They have various rhythms, sounds and moods and I cared for each. I didn’t want people to feel that one song doesn’t fit in or shouldn’t have been on the album. I didn’t want to make a long album either but a short and intense album, so I think I did care for that point especially.
KBH: I think so too. When the album was released it became a big issue. Some people reacted like “the songs sound all the same” or “the hook of these is similar.”
Q: Yes, I hear that often.
KBH: Nevertheless, I think these words are really easy to say. It sounds like those people just roughly listened to the album. I feel that there is an overall topic: success, ambition, something like that. But there is a difference between the feeling of that topic in every song.
Q: That is right.
KBH: For example on one hand, ‘The Greatest’ has individuality, the beat as well, and the track kind of screams “I’ve succeeded!” while on the other hand in the track ‘A Long Way’ although the topic is the same, it’s like you are taking a break and looking back on what you did, saying: “Ah, I’ve succeeded but I still have a long way to go from now on.” Like this, the topic is a bit different in every track and the music matches them.
Q: Yes, of course.
KBH: Could you explain that difference for every song?
Q: Starting from the first? Well …
(They can’t decide where to start and which songs to compare.)
KBH: Honestly, I’m most curious about track one.
Q: Oh, really? Track number one is kind of the intro of the album, because it has a good mood for starting it off. I tried to make it sound cool and classy.
Track two has a big scale, it was actually nearly included in my full length album, so that’s why its arrangement is well made. If I had made it for my mixtape, I wouldn’t have written that third verse, but the song was already finished to be included in my full length album, so ..
That track is the most popular on the album and it kind of screams loudly “I’ve made it although you said I couldn’t.”
KBH: How about you send those people [who said you couldn’t do it] a message now?
You seem to have been hurt a few times.
Q: Well yes, we Koreans have a culture in which the people who give you textbooks and pay for your tuition say that you cannot make it. So …
Kirin: I was also often hurt by my teachers in school. […]
Q: Hearing Kirin’s story, mine doesn’t sound that bad now .. But anyway, when I started to make music in high school, the teachers wouldn’t acknowledge that. I told them to just leave me alone since I’m writing lyrics and composing tracks but they wouldn’t do that. (Laughter)
D: This is my ambition.
Q: So I went to performances after school and skipped study time. My teachers were quite strict with that and didn’t overlook it though.
KBH: Did something like that happen to you too, Dok2?
D: I nearly didn’t enroll at any school. I went to a foreigner school in Busan and the teacher there actually supported me when I told him I’m going to Seoul to make music.
D: In the sense of “since you did well here, you will do well in Seoul too.” In the end I couldn’t transfer to a school in Seoul [I wasn’t accepted]. I think that’s the difference between foreign and Korean schools.
KBH: I was actually quite in the centre of the [education] system. I was a good student until I entered university, I even received awards, but it turned out that all that didn’t help me in life.
Q: That’s true.
KBH: So, that I once was the best student doesn’t have anything to do with me now.
Q: The best in school? (Wow~)
D: I was the best kid at spelling in the foreigner school. As soon as I entered. (Repeats himself.) That’s why, when you take a look at my songs, many have changed spellings [?].
KBH: So anyway, I don’t regret what I did in my twenties but which university I went to and what I learned there doesn’t have anything to do with my life now.
Kirin: Most people are like that. After university, they find something to do while trying to make a living.
KBH: That’s why I think all the money you have to spend on university is a waste.
Q: That’s why, regarding education, I quite envy what Dok2 did. If I had also just went to elementary school and then did all I want .. Of course I’m doing fine now but .. how should I say it ..
D: But see, there are alumnis and friends you make there. I don’t have one single friend. Not a single one now. All I have are hyungs like Qua-hyung and Beenzino-hyung.2)In Korea, only people of the same age are called ‘friends’, older people are either called ‘hyeong’ or ‘nuna’ and younger people ‘dongsaeng’. I’m comfortable without friends though, I think. I don’t like it when everyone is living their own life and when you meet again you pretend to care for and comfort each other. They also wouldn’t understand my success. Instead of wasting my time on such insincere actions, I think it is better to be with people who have the same ambitions as me, that does help me.
KBH: I agree.
D: I am also greatly thankful for not having to go drinking with ‘friends’.
Q: That’s right.
KBH: But I saw The Quiett last year with some friends who weren’t musicians and the atmosphere felt quite good.
Q: Well, I did attend school, so I have friends from university.
KBH: I received the deepest impression of this album by the narration in ‘2 Chainz & Rollies’. “Isn’t he crazy?!”
Narration is more like talking than rapping, and I thought that talking was better there in the track.
Q: Alright, I will release a narration album (laughter).
KBH: Also in other songs [of the album], I like it when the tone of your voice shows your personality.
Q: Really? Thank you.
KBH: It is fun to listen to.
Q: Ah, thank you.
KBH: So, coming back to track two .. You mentioned the variation in the latter half. Did you compose the beat and play the keyboard there yourself?
Q: Yes, all the instruments appearing there were played by me. Although I’m not good at it, I just did what I can.
KBH: I remember you told people that you were learning keyboard some years ago.
Q: Aaah! Not back then (laughter). I learned a bit at that time but it was difficult for me to get better at it. So I quit after three months. After that I kept practicing it a bit here and there.
KBH: What was also impressive in track two’s lyrics was the line “I hope you will also identify with my rap one day.”
Q: Yes, honestly, that’s what I hope.
KBH: It doesn’t sound like you’re criticizing [the haters] but instead it sounds like a punchline.
Q: Really? Well, that’s what I sincerely hope. That everyone finds their own way and happiness there. Earn lots of money .. and do something nice to the person they love with that. Driving a good car and having fun, flying somewhere they want by plane. That is a big part of happiness, so that’s important.
Kirin: Actually, when your and also when Dok2’s album was released, I felt one thing. As you’re talking about money a lot, it is different for young people to break free of that thought. I read a comment online that said “I’m only an office worker and I’m really pissed off at this.” Not to hate on anyone, but hearing that you are earning money while doing what you like, they are angry because they are also working hard at what they’re doing [but it’s not their dream job and they’re not earning that much money]. So hearing that line “I hope you will also identify with my rap one day,” those people are probably quite angry.
D (pretending to be angry): Sshh[it]! I’m not doing this!
KBH: Yes, I also understand that line this way: you’re saying “I hope you understand” but you’re actually dissing them like, “try it, try to be like me.”
Q: I have also been in the position of those people. Actually, a rapper is at a disadvantage compared to an office worker. For example, a twenty year old tells his mother: “Mom, I’m going to be an office worker” versus “I’m going to be a rapper.” What would she welcome more? Your friends as well. Because everyone thinks it is obvious that you become a beggar when you do rap. So I can say that I understand that position [of the people who complained about that line]. My family is still nothing but a common family of the working class. Some years ago I didn’t know what would be left for me if I kept doing rap. Would I receive money, fame, respect, would I become a rapstar? I couldn’t know anything. But now I do and that’s why I can say this.
Track number three is an extension to that topic. This album is my eleventh album that was released on CD, so I wrote the lyrics of that track affirmatively, like “let’s work harder! Let’s live better!”
Track three is the only one without swearwords (laughter). And looking at the lyrics, I think track three is probably the nicest track.
D: Track three is the one I like the most of the album.
Q: Because you’re a nice Dok2 (laughs).
D: Yes, I have a bit of an image but I’m actually quite nice and friendly.
Q (laughs): Right. Dok2 never cusses.
Dok2: I don’t drink or smoke either.
Q: I curse even more instead. People see me as quite a nice person, though. I’m a bit rough actually.
D: I really don’t curse. …. Really. (Laughter.)
Q: Anyway, track four is one of those I like the best.
D: Yes, number four is good.
Q: In that track, I am talking about the feeling of me succeeding and spending money again, but .. Rappers often think about tomorrow. They are people who do not receive monthly pay, so they wonder if tomorrow or in one week or some months they might have to quit what they’re doing [because of money problems]. So when I see something I want to buy, I think “Oh, can I buy this? The price is a bit high. How much do I have? I did spend a lot of money lately though.” Other people might calculate “if I earn that much, I can spend this much,” but I don’t do that so I have those thoughts. I think everyone fears tomorrow. So there, my motto in life is that I don’t think about tomorrow.
D: People are uncertain about tomorrow and save things. But we see tomorrow in a brighter light: we could earn more tomorrow. Other people think “I am earning lots of money right now, but I don’t know what will be in one week.” But trust is what we need. That trust isn’t really wrong. If you believe in something, it will turn out that way. The way I see it, the people who think they will fall to the bottom, will fall.
Kirin: A hyung I know thinks similarly, he says “I could die tomorrow so I will use up the whole money in my account.”
Q: This track could become that person’s theme song. Let him listen to it once.
KBH: Yes, the thoughts are different but the outcome is the same.
D: Yes, it’s ‘YOLO’. We don’t think about death but it’s similar.
KBH: Could you explain YOLO to those who don’t know about it?
D: ‘YOLO’ means you only life once, like Qua-hyung has said in “한번뿐인 인생” [Only One Life], but that is the English version of it.
Q: It was quite a hit last year.
KBH: Who used that first, Drake?
Kirin: Drake says he wrote it but honestly ..
D: That word has been used a lot in the American [hip hop] history, take AK for example. He was the first to use that name but many African Americans then used it too.
Q: In America, many ads use ‘YOLO’ as catchphrase.
D: The same goes for the words ‘swag’ or ‘snapbacks’. Anybody can say they used them first but they’ve actually always existed. Tyga says he revived them. I think the same [that they’ve always existed] goes for ‘YOLO’.
Q: I recently saw an interview with Drake and he didn’t say he invented the word. Instead he stated that he is the one who made the word famous.
Kirin: Like Swings did with the word ‘punchline’ in the Korean hip hop scene.
Dok2: And Quiett-hyung made Givenchy a trend. “Rockin’ Givenchy, Benz” ..
KBH: The time most people want to buy brand goods is local time.3)Pun on jibangshi=local time, which sounds exactly like Givenchy.
Kirin: Yes, it is very important to be happy right now. (All agree.) I should actually have a lot of money prepared in case I get cancer tomorrow, but still I’m not the type to do that. People think that if they suffer and save money now, they will be happy later. But who knows, you could still be happy later on even without having it hard right now. Our aim is to become happy. Earning money is a means to get there.
KBH: Honestly, when I watch my parents or other people’s parents, I often think this: they keep having it hard with work and it is still hard for them when they’re old-
Q: Yes, parents live for their children.
KBH: Yes. So that hurts ..
Q: Yes, you get the thought that there’s no need for them to do that.
KBH: At the same time I think “Ah, I won’t live like that.”
Kirin: But it’s good when they take care of you secretly, from time to time.
Q: Yes, right. Although I wish they had a hobby. Like, “I need to see that film” or “I definitely have to see that in 3D,” something along those lines would be nice.
D: People over thirty don’t seem to have hobbies.
Q: So I think that being happy today is the happiness of tomorrow.
KBH: When I hear that, a story comes to my mind. When I eat Bibimbap4)mixed rice then I usually put the egg in last. A friend of mine then asked me “Why are you putting the most tasty thing in last? You should eat that when you’re the most hungry!” He couldn’t understand me.
D: I think you should eat the tastiest things first. For example, there are people who go to meat restaurants thinking of meat, while others go there thinking of the fancy side dishes. And I can’t understand the latter. You should go there for the tasty meat. Because I think that those side dishes are in the way of my eating the meat. (…) Because you just said ..
KBH: Yeah, so I am trying to change my habit now.
D: Or see it like this: [when you have several tasks to complete,] it’s best to do first what you like to do the most. I think that’s good.
KBH: Yes, I think it’s best to eat the tastiest dish first. And while eating this ..
D: Yes, I am distributing caramels called Juicy Force [?] right now. You should eat the tastiest first, which are the red ones with strawberry flavor.
D: But there’s only one in each packet.
KBH: So we’ve talked about each song having a bit of a different feeling although the topic is the same. So I am curious if you compose the beats first or decide on the topic.
Q: Aah. It nearly never happens that I decide on the topic first. I make the song first, then I find my feeling, my topic for it.
D: Yes, we search for the themes.
Q: Fana for example decides on the topic and writes the lyrics first. He writes them without any beat or on another beat. But I am the opposite of that.
KBH: I was one of the judges for a hip hop contest for female rappers where most of the participants said that they like Illionaire, that their favorite artist is either The Quiett or Dok2. They also wrote lyrics like you.
Q: About earning lots of money and stuff?
KBH: Yes. And there was a participant who really surprised me, she had swag and I thought “Oh, this is no novice.” Lots of them have a ‘bad bitch’ style.
D: What’s the name of that rapper?
KBH: I forgot it.
D: Then we’ll have to stop by, although I usually don’t do that. I never go to other Korean rapper’s concerts.
KBH: Is there a special reason for that?
D: Oh well, the atmosphere in the waiting room .. and I think “I am Dok2.” We Illionaires have that, like “I am The Quiett” or “I am Beenzino.”
Q: We don’t really like meeting people.
D: But we should go to that witch-bitch contest once.
KBH: Yes, do come once. The next is in a week.
D: Oh, then we can’t come. (Laughter.) We’ll be in Japan by then.
KBH: Okay. Anyway ..
Q: I will hurry and explain track five.
KBH: Before that, back to finding the topic for a song.
Q: Ah yes. Well, we rappers, when we hear a song, the song is telling us a story. I listen to it and think “Ah, it’s about this, I have to rap like that.”
D: Many American artists are good at that and it is where you can see if a rapper really has skills. If the nuances of the hook and the bridge are correct. J. Cole does that well. So I think that way of working is the best.
Q: When I let others listen to ‘A Long Way’, they also said it reminds them of the earlier day’s music. Every beat tells another story.
KBH: When I listened to ‘Gettin’ Rich’ first, I didn’t look at the credits and thought Dok2 has made the beats for it. Because you made lots of similar beats, like for Jay Park’s album. But hearing that The Quiett wrote those beats quite surprised me.
Q: Yes, many people thought that way. I just made them, although I usually don’t make those kinds of beats.
KBH: I like the song. Jay Park [he pronounces the p like an f] is featured in it too, I think he is getting better and better.
D: Your pronunciation is a bit .. “Jay Fuck!?” (Laughter.) Jay Fuck!
Q: Yes, I think he [Jay Park] is getting better.
Kirin: It feels that he’s better at expressing lyrics.
Q: Yes. He uses expressions which Korean rappers wouldn’t think of.
Kirin: Jay Park’s album gives off the feeling that it was first in English and then moved to Korean. For example, the lyrics “you are highly sexy.” In our country, we wouldn’t use those words in combination.
Q: Yes, it’s special.
KBH: Is there a special reason you released ‘2 Chainz & Rollies’ beforehand?
Q: First, that song has actually been finished for a long time already and we released it to perform it at our Illionaire 2 years anniversary concert.
D: We think of the concerts.
Q: I wanted to perform that song at that concert, so I released it two weeks earlier.
D: That’s also why the video was released earlier. It was shot in Las Vegas and I wrote the lyrics on the plane. So the recording wasn’t finished but we just shot the video with an iPhone.
Q: Freestyle .. I recorded the song in Vegas. I really like the song.
D: Me too. A lot. I think we show a combination like the Korean Method Man and Redman. The two of us understand each other very well, so that song has a deep meaning.
Q: I think that ‘2 Chainz & Rollies’ is the hip hop version of Gangnam Style. I mentioned that on Twitter. I think it’s a song that everyone can just enjoy, so also the fans from overseas liked that song quite a lot. Other songs are difficult for them because they don’t understand the lyrics. For example, ‘Livin In A Dream’ can only be understood correctly if you understand the meaning of the lyrics.
Q: And ‘2 Chainz & Rollies’ doesn’t have that, it’s simple. That’s why it’s like a sort of party song you can enjoy anywhere.
KBH: Was there a special reason you released the third verse of ‘2 Chainz & Rollies’ later?
Q: First it was released until Dok2’s verse, but I kept listening to it after its release and checking people’s reactions. So I thought that it needed a third verse. I actually had that thought before, but it became stronger. I thought the song needed that and that there was more I wanted to show on that beat. If I remember it correctly, I wrote the third verse in only one day. I wanted to make it really cool.
People think we write those lyrics in five minutes. Well, it happens that lyrics come out quickly, but when rapping on a slower beat (about 90 bpm), the flow has to be exact – other rappers would understand – and that takes a lot of time.
KBH: I actually think the third verse of ‘2 Chainz & Rollies’ is the highlight of the album.
KBH: So, as I said before, although the theme seems to be the same, every single track has its own details and is different, which must have taken a lot of work to accomplish.
Q: Yes, every line has to be interesting and the listener shouldn’t lose interest.
Kirin: In the end you shout like “Aaarrrghh!” And that sounds like “Ah, finally it’s finished” (laughter).
D: People who make tracks with the atmosphere and tempo of ‘So Ambitious’, ‘1llionaire’ and ‘2 Chainz & Rollies’ are only the three of us.
Q: Yes, we three.
D: Slow tracks with a tempo of 73, 71, which were common in the earlier days of hip hop-
Q: That’s even R&B tempo.
D: Doing such a tempo but still making it exciting and fun.
Q: The bounce is the most important, so the listener can keep bouncing until the end we use the rap as an instrument with a bouncy feeling.
D: So if any listener or rapper has bad views about such a rap, I want to recommend them to try it themselves. So they can see how hard it is.
I think a rapper should be able to rap on any beat.
Q: So if anyone records a verse on that beat, we would be glad if they could send it to us, because we’re searching for someone who can rap with us on that beat. There is no one!
D: Really, nobody.
Q: We’re looking for a rapper.
D: When we search for someone to feature, all we can do is feature me on The Quiett-hyung’s album and feature The Quiett-hyung on my album. We need someone to do this with us. Please contact us! (Laughter.)
KBH: The last line left quite an impression: “Although I have a girlfriend, I might get another one.”
Q: I like such expressions, it is what I’m doing rap for, such cool expressions.
KBH: It’s not like you’re saying you’d steal someone’s girlfriend or something.
Q: Yes, and I’m not actively getting myself another one, it’s just that I might [passively] get another one without having anything to do with it.
KBH: That shows a bit more swag and it hit me right away.
Q: My lyrics give a lot to think about. I like such expressions. For example, the line I like – which I recently tweeted – is “After cursing my money you ponder on your career.” People are annoyed at my lyrics about money and when they turn around they think “Hm, what am I doing for a living?”
KBH: I think – no matter the genre – good lyrics are those which create images in your mind, like a video. Like in break-up songs, when they not just say “Aww, I’m so sad”-
D: Like ‘총 맞은 것처럼’ [As if hit by a gun by Baek Ji Yeong]? (Laughter.)
KBH: If I need one example –
D: ‘한 남자’ [One Man by Baek Ji Yeong]? (Laughter.)
KBH: Not that either. There’s an old song, where someone breaks up with his girlfriend and later goes to her neighborhood and calls her number. But her parents pick up and say that she has died.
D: Is it a true story?
Q: That’s sad.
KBH: Yes. And the point is, that in the end of the lyrics there’s a line that says that the mother, who was angry with the guy before and against him dating her daughter, now greeted him friendly. I think that was quite impressive and projected a move in my head. Although there are no details about the conversation.
D: Yeah, there’s one song by Jinbo-hyeong, ‘너 없는’ [Without You] it is very funky but it is somehow quite sad. We also try to show such a nuance in our songs. The power and vibe is important. I think such songs are quite good.
KBH: And track nine is another crew anthem, after ‘Profile’ and ‘1llionaire Gang’.
Q: Right. It doesn’t need much explanation. Zino shows his own style, Dok2 his own, and I also show my own style while rapping as coolly as possible.
D: That song is really slow, I think it’s the slowest I’ve ever participated in.
KBH: There are some aspects in each of your verse, like the rhyme or the pauses, which are similar.
Q: We didn’t talk about that at all. Dok2 finished his verse first and sent it to me, to Beenzino I said “Please finish it by tomorrow” so he sent it (laughs).
D: Our content in these verses is similar, like talking about ambitions. When people listen to it, they will wonder how Beenzino-hyung turned out like that (laughter).
Q: At first, his time was too precious5)referring to Jazzyfact’s ‘아까워’ [It’s A Waste] but suddenly …
D: First he tells sleepy things on tracks like ‘Vibra’ or ‘Smoky Dream’ and suddenly he’s talking about ambition.
Q: But if we give Beenzino such a beat again, he will rap that way again. People misunderstand something, but that’s how you rap on that beat. (Laughter.) If you give Beenzino a jazzy, samba-like tune played on a vibraphone, he will surely rap the other way.
D: And that’s what I am sick of. If we plan the album that way with those beats, then the only lyrical content that goes with them is the one we use. But people always say that the lyrics are all the same.
Q: Right, you have to see it as one musical package.
Kirin: Correct, if you look at those pop songs, most of them are about love. But who told them to sing only about love?
Q: When I was working on my earlier albums, I also got such a reaction from fans, saying that it’s all the same. But I have never been a rapper who searches for themes. I don’t sit there and think “Is there any good theme?” I just listen to the beat and write down whatever comes to my mind, what I feel from it. I write my state of mind in my lyrics. So the theme that dominates my mind is the one that appears in the lyrics. At that time it was youth and people complained that there were no love songs. But I don’t write love songs often.
D: Like people who go to a steak house and complain that there is nothing but steak on the menu. I said from the beginning that my style is South but people complain that there’s only South in my album. “Why are you only talking about women, money and hip hop?” I did say that I’m doing South, though. Seriously. On one hand I can’t believe it and on the other hand it’s sad.
Q: My album cover is quite serious, too.
D: And the title is Ambition. He can’t be talking about his ambition with his first love, can he? (Laughter.)
Q: So, fans think I have stopped [in time] with my last album but that’s not true. I have changed. Just like I look at some hip hop groups and say “Ah, back then I really liked them,” my fans might do the same. Anyway, although the theme of my music has changed, I think that’s good. Plus, I rap better than before. I think I’ve gotten better in certain aspects.
KBH: Well, a musician can’t just do the music the listeners want him to do.
D: I always leave a PS in my lyrics, saying that they don’t have to listen if they don’t want to. But they do and then they complain, which I can’t understand, as I definitely told them not to.
Q: Still, I am happy for reactions of the fans and people, because I know that they’ve listened to my album. And I’d like many people to listen to it. I am thankful for that.
As I already said, music is the first thing I care for. Then I think about the theme. The same goes for Dok2 and Zino. We try to pick out the best music.
KBH: I think it’s boring if you only tell real stories in lyrics. Then it sounds like a documentary.
KBH: So, anything you want to say now, before we end the show?
Q: Well, please enjoy listening to my album. And I will keep releasing videos and contents regarding my album, so please enjoy them. And visit our concerts, Dok2’s concerts in Seoul and Busan, come and have fun.
KBH: Will another video be released?
Q: Yes, the first track ‘Ambition’ will get a video. It will be released soon.
Kirin: Personally, I was hoping for [a video of] ‘Livin In The Dream’.
Q: Yes, that would be fun too, I considered that as well. I didn’t expect a lot from people’s reactions when I made that song, but it turns out it’s the most popular track of the album.
KBH: Thank you for the long talk.
Q: Thank you.
D: Thank you!
—[ SOURCE | PODDBANG ]
Translator Notes [ + ]
|1.||↑||The Korean word can also mean ‘greed’.|
|2.||↑||In Korea, only people of the same age are called ‘friends’, older people are either called ‘hyeong’ or ‘nuna’ and younger people ‘dongsaeng’.|
|3.||↑||Pun on jibangshi=local time, which sounds exactly like Givenchy.|
|5.||↑||referring to Jazzyfact’s ‘아까워’ [It’s A Waste]|