Epic Punchlines is here with the first female MC to grace the series: KittiB!
This time around, to better describe and explain the punchline, we shall introduce two terms:
- the first level: what is actually being said, grammatically correct sentence
- the second level: the ambiguous, second, hidden meaning of the line, be it metaphorical or literal, does not have to make sense or be grammatically correct
With these new tools, we will take a look at a punchline that you might already know if you’re an avid fan of Unpretty Rapstar. KittiB spit it on the fifth episode of season 2 during her diss battle with Heize. It is in fact a rather simple punchline but the imagery it comes with is powerful enough that it definitely deserves to be featured in this series. Without further ado, on to the punchline!
Diss Battle KittiB vs HeizeEpisode 5 of Unpretty Rapstar 2
The video starts at 1:04 with the punchline.
Translation & Explanation
You’re a merry-go-round right now, you’re anxious
This is the punchline’s first level, it translates what is being said “as is.” On the second level, KittiB has made use of the ambiguity of the term for “anxious”: 애가 타다 (aega tada)
Etymologically and literally, 애가 타다 (aega tada) means that someone’s intestines are burning out of bitter worry and anxiety. An expression that has the same meaning is ‘애가 끓다’ (aega kkeulta). You could compare it to the English ‘one’s insides are boiling’, though the meaning of this phrase is that someone is angry. The Korean language has a lot of terms that make use of organs, take for example the well-known “My liver nearly fell out!” (“간이 떨어질 뻔 했어!” from: 간이 떨어지다, gani tteoreojida), an idiom that expresses great surprise, like: “You scared the hell out of me!”
Back to our punchline’s second level now. ‘애가 타다’ (aega tada) can very literally also be understood as “children are riding,” and this right here is the connection to the merry-go-round:
You’re a merry-go-round right now, children are riding
(Let’s not interpret anything strange into that translation, the “ride” thing is an English problem.)
So what KittiB is saying on this second level could again be interpreted as: “Even children play around with you, like with a merry-go-round”
Or: “You’re childish like a merry-go-round”
However, since the second level is only there to give sense to the first level and make the punchline work, (and as mentioned above in the definition, the second level does not have to make sense) it is most likely not supposed to have any other meaning, so take the two interpretations above with a grain of salt.
지금 넌 “회전목마” 애가 타네
- adverb ‘지금’ (jigeum, now)
- 넌 (neon) = the condensed version of the pronoun ‘너’ (neo, you) + the subject particle ‘는’ (neun)
- noun ‘회전목마’ (hoejeonmongma, merry-go-round; lit.: rotating (회전 = rotation) wooden horses (목마))
- noun ‘애’ (ae, child/ren or intestines) + subject particle ‘-가’ (ga)
- 타네 (tane) = form of verb ‘타다’ (tada, ride/burn/etc.) + particle ‘네’ (ne) which is used for declarative statements
Was the introduction of the two levels useful? How did you like KittiB’s punchline? Will she be the queen of Khiphop punchlines or is there any other candidate you see on the throne? Let us know!