Swaggers Made in USA (main title)

[Translators’ Notes] Swaggers Made in USA 05-07

In Miscellaneous by Lena

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The next three episodes of Swaggers Made in USA are available with English subtitles. Read on for the links and all the background information!

In these three new episodes, the Swaggers visit murals of The Notorious B.I.G in Brooklyn, the Statue of Liberty, and travel on to Atlanta. myunDo responds to plagiarism accusations, Superbee shows off the love he’s getting from fans, Tarae reveals one of his weaknesses, and Jung Sangsoo is hit on by an American girl. You also get to listen in on Tarae and Sangsoo’s conversation about the harsh reality of being a 33-year-old rapper, whose honest and straightforward depiction moved us while translating.

Subtitle Credits Episodes 05-07
Translations: Nahae
Timing, Edit: Lena
Quality Check: Lena, Nahae

The following batch of episodes with English subtitles will be released next Wednesday (23rd).
We recommend you to watch the episodes on YouTube, the links are below.

Related links:
AKATV’s mascot MC AKA  .
Superbee           .
myunDo         .
Tarae           .
Jung Sangsoo  .

Episode Links and Translators’ Notes

Episode 05: The Notorious B.I.G
  1. This episode addresses several stereotypes of the USA and African Americans. First, the taxi driver talks about guns, then the overall atmosphere and most likely things they have heard beforehand about Brooklyn scare the Swaggers. When they walk around the neighborhood, Superbee says he is convinced that it is more like the “real” US. It seems as if the show is poking fun of the Swaggers who are all scared about the whole thing. Although this is probably used as a means to make the episode more dramatic, we would like to point out that these are stereotypes, not an accurate representation of reality. We can see how some of these stereotypes are challenged when the Swaggers have fun with the friendly “Brooklyn hyungs.”
  2. The men who gather at the Biggie mural are described as “Brooklyn hyungs.” The Korean word ‘hyung’ (형, hyeong) is basically used by men to refer to older brothers or unrelated men older than themselves. It implies a closeness and/or friendliness, as in this case where “Brooklyn hyungs” can be interpreted as friendly and nice Brooklyn people.
  3. Jung Sangsoo says that the atmosphere in Brooklyn with the “Brooklyn hyungs” was similar to that of the Korean countryside where elder people gather, drink, dance and sing. When you think about it, most cultures have this, and it is a nice observation.
  4. When you turn up the volume on your device to the max, you can actually hear the girl say “You are so cute” to Sangsoo.
  5. During his antics, the Korean subtitles describe Sangsoo first as “The man who is cute in the USA,” then as “The cute guy who wants to pick up girls” and Tarae as “The man who cannot believe Sangsoo.”
  6. Although irrelevant, I had to mention this: the “You are so cute” scene is by far my most favorite so far. Huge shout-out to the girl who called him cute.
Episode 06: The Statue of Liberty
  1. Thoughts on the plagiarism issue: first of all, in my opinion it is normal for a rapper to listen to others and be influenced, knowingly or unknowingly. Secondly, it is a known fact that Beenzino has been a fan of Verbal Jint, so Beenzino has most likely been influenced by VJ and does sound similar in some ways. Therefore, it is no wonder that if myunDo’s rap sounds like either one of them, it also sounds like the other one. And yes, I do find that myunDo’s rap in that song sounds similar to all three rappers mentioned, but I surely would not call it plagiarism. It is rather lack of individuality and I suppose that it is a normal phenomenon on a rapper’s way to find their own style. It’s like painting, at first you copy the masters until you have mastered the art yourself, then you start creating your own thing.
  2. On their way to the boat, Sangsoo is joking: “Oh damn, Paldang Dam, Chungju Dam.” Both are names of dams in South Korea. It’s a simple wordplay, the joke has been priorly used by SHINee on Hello Baby, and by Eddy Kim in his song ‘Paldang Dam (feat. Beenzino)‘. Sangsoo apologizes to Superbee for the lame joke and says “You’re laughing in disbelief,” thinking that Superbee is laughing because the joke was so lame and not because he found it funny.
  3. When myunDo is riding the helicopter, the music playing in the background is Superbee’s ‘좌! Jwa! (feat. myunDo)‘.
Episode 07: Atlanta
  1. When Tarae talks about how much money they spent on the rental car, the Korean subtitles describe him as “One person who regrets renting a car.”
  2. Several Korean musicians have mentioned their phone number in songs before, like Zion.T and Evo. Zion.T however has changed his number one week after, unlike Superbee.
  3. “They see me scrollin, they hatin~” Superbee’s message count says “999,” it might even be more but the app probably cannot display four-digit numbers.
  4. The ‘status texts’ while Sangsoo tries to buy a can of Coke are very much in the style of Pokémon or similar games.
  5. When myunDo says, “Cheese cheetos are really delicious,” the Korean subtitles show the image of a dog. This is because the word ‘kae’ (개), which means ‘dog’, is used as intensifier in colloquial Korean. Here, we translated it as “really,” but depending on the situation it could also be translated as: super, duper, f*cking, damn, etc.
  6. Unexpected charm” is an expression for a person who is charming because there is something unexpected about them. For example, you get to know someone who wears hiphop style clothes but then you find out they like country music.
  7. I really like the conversation between Sangsoo and Tarae. It displays parts of the human condition in general and also very specifically the problems of the Korean hiphop scene and SMTM. (Lena) I’ve never seen that side of Sangsoo or Tarae, and it was humbling in a sense to see them open up. (Nahae)


If you like Swaggers Made in USA, also check out AKATV’s other web series, Rapper Car! The first two episodes with Olltii are now available with English subtitles.

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