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Show Me The Lyrics #2

In Show Me The Money by Lena1 Comment

This week we’re asking four rappers to show us their lyrics: P-type, Ignito, Junoflo, and, once again, Nucksal.

Note: Only a few artists’ lyrics were selected as there is unfortunately not enough time to discuss all of them. They were chosen from the videos available on Mnet’s official YouTube channel of which some are edited, shortened versions of the performances as seen in the episode and others unedited videos showing complete performances.
The content of this weekly series will change depending on what the show has to offer, e.g. great punchlines will probably come only in the later part of the show during battles or similar tasks.

While most of the contestants this time around were indisputably great, this article gives attention to the following four:
P-type: Debuting in 1999, he is one of the Khiphop veterans. We did not get to see him in season four but now we can finally enjoy his skills on the show.
Nucksal: Again, you ask? Yes, his beat/verse choice was too irresistible and important to ignore, just read on to find out why.
Ignito: Another veteran who is here for the spotlight, and rightfully so! If you haven’t heard of Ignito yet, open your eyes to the Beholder!
Junoflo: Living up to his name, that performance was a real headbanger, simple but oh so powerful.

P-type

P-type may rap in an “old” style that the younger judges probably don’t like much, but his flow and lyrics are top, no doubt. When asked why he is using the same beat as for SMTM4 when he forgot his lyrics and failed, he says that he thinks it would be a meaningless challenge if he did not once more use ‘Nas Is Like’ in order to overcome his previous failure. The lyrics he raps are from his track ‘Neanderthal (feat. Minos, JUSTHIS)’ off his ‘Street Poetry‘ LP (2015).

Once I was being called P-TYPE
Engraving the sentences of the bible into [the walls of] caves
This place that has degenerated into an archive is my shelter
The higher-ups destroyed it in the war a few years back then ran away

한땐 P-TYPE으로 불리웠지
바이블의 문장들 동굴에 새겼지
아카이브로 변질된 여기, 내 피난처
윗놈들이 망쳐놓고는 도망쳤던 몇 해 전의 전쟁

The very first sin of humanity is the war between brothers
The existence of the God of War is proof that they [humans] love war
It’s no longer in my blood, it’s only my shadow now
A valley full of artworks [each] worth ten-billion

인간의 맨 처음 죄는 형제 간의 전쟁
전쟁신의 존재는 신이 전쟁을 사랑한 증거
핏줄이라곤 이젠 내 그림자뿐
계곡 속 빼곡한 백억짜리 작품

The shitty threat of an invader telling me to throw them all out
On the tongue of a guy who knew only compromise are [now]
angry artists, Gods that became poets
Believers become betrayers, “It doesn’t matter who they pray to”

다 버리란 침략자의 엿 같은 협박
타협 밖에 모르던 놈 혓바닥에 화가
난 화가들, 시인이 된 신들
신자는 배신자가 돼, “누구를 모신들 상관 마”

Using intelligent tools
they sprinkled foolish poison
The inspection of a stranger who conquered the hill
Instead of collecting toll for walking over the clouds

똑똑한 도구를 써
멍청한 독을 뿌려댔지
언덕을 정복한 이방인의 검문
구름 위를 걷는 통행료를 걷는 대신

he chose those who had aged and slaughtered them with his fingers
Adding up the number of deceased to the number of artists
It’s said that those who suffered the most were the street musicians
That’s right … my father called it a bad thing too …

누가 늙었는가 골라내 손가락으로 학살했지
망자 수에 예술가 수를 합산했지
제일 많이 당한 건 거리 악사랬지
그래… 내 아버지도 악사랬지…

If you listen to this attentively you can clearly hear how he plays with sounds really skillfully.
Take for example in the third part the use of ‘hyup-bak’ (threat), ‘ta-hyup’ (compromise), and ‘hyup-ba-dak’ (tongue), or ‘hwaga nan hwagadeul’ (angry artists), ‘shi-in-i doen shindeul’ (Gods that became poets), and ‘shinja’ (believers) becoming ‘bae-shinja’ (betrayers).
Including the underlying, deep and complicated meaning that we won’t go into here (because it’s just too much), this is lyrical poetry; these are lyrics that exploit the possibilities of the Korean language.

Nucksal

Yes, it is Nucksal again, but he is not leaving much choice with that beat and those lyrics. Some of you might have wondered why everyone went “Woah!” when the beat started. Well, that beat belongs to the “godfather of Khiphop” Deepflow (nickname courtesy of Huckleberry P). It can be heard on his epic album ‘Yanghwa‘ and is called ‘작두 (Cut Cut Cut) (feat. Nucksal, Huckleberry P)‘. The track has been remade by many well-known artists like Jerry.k, RHYME-A-, Royal Class Crew, or Fana and Ignito.
The whole idea of the track is the metaphor of the ‘jakdoo (작두)’, a straw cutter that is used by Korean shamans to prove that they are indeed real shamans-they walk over it unhurt while fake shamans would be cut by the sharp blade. In ‘Cut Cut Cut’, the ‘jakdoo’ distinguishes the real rappers from the fake ones.
The following is Nucksal’s verse off Deepflow’s ‘Cut Cut Cut’:

Look at those kids! The whole neighborhood [is here] as if there’s something interesting to see
They’re watching me dance on a sharp stage, my mind is far-off
They’re all reaching out with possessed gazes as if they wanted something
Me who is being watched by you and you who I saw might not be two anymore but already one

저 애들을 봐 온 동네 구경이라도 난 듯
내 춤을 구경하네 날이 선 무대 위에 내 정신은 아득
다들 무엇을 원하는지 손을 뻗은 체로 홀린 눈빛
날 보는 너와 내가 본 너는 이미 둘이 아닌 하나일지도

We’re all living our lives blinded by money
What we need might be an exorcism that relieves us of it
“Hey Nucksal, what are you crazy about?”
I think I’m just a guy who’s got a bit too much positive energy

우린 다들 돈에 씐 체로 살아
필요한 건 그걸 걷어내는 살풀이 일지도
넉살아 넌 무엇에 눈이 돌아 갔냐
난 그저 흥이 좀 과한 놈이 아닐까

A few years ago I’ve been writing boring things with my pen
But I don’t think that was the will of Him Who brought me here
I was born a yaksha who preys on sons of bitches
Just the way I am, I grab a club

몇 년 전에는 또 뻔하게 펜을 굴렸었는데
그건 날 내린 그분의 뜻이 아닌 것 같아
개새끼들 잡아먹는 야차로 태어났어
난 모습 그대로 몽둥이를 들고

and roll up my sleeves, yes, keep playing the drums
Don’t seek Buddha, I’ll shove ’em all away, bulldozer
Goblins dance on Sanggoo-hyung’s back
A face [looking as if] possessed by a ghost, devils dancing on top of the jakdoo

소매를 바짝 올려 붙여 그래 계속 북 쳐
찾지 마라 부처 싹 다 밀어내 불도저
상구 형 등짝엔 도깨비들이 춤춰
귀신이 씐 얼굴 작두 위에 악마들이 춤춰

With its metaphor taken from Korean shamanism and the beat using befitting Korean instruments, ‘Cut Cut Cut’ is not only displaying Korean hiphop, it is also the ultimate “I’m real and y’all are fake” track. Do watch the music video which is, like all of VMC’s music videos, a lot of fun to watch.

Ignito

Ignito aka Beholder, who is well-known for his deep voice, has been in this scene for a long time, making his first official appearance on Mild Beats’ ‘Loaded’ LP in 2005. He has released three full-length albums, the most recent being ‘Gaia‘ (May 2017). Off this third LP is the track whose verse he raps here: ‘METAL RISING’ which originally features DOKYO13 from 13STEPS.

A ruin that leaves nothing but an insincere outcry
Embers escape through the cracks of the remains, burning all of the screams
Exquisite and swift control
The straight, black steel tower that informs of the reconstruction of this planet is set up high

무성의 절규만 남은 폐허
잔해 틈새로 새어 나온 불씨는 비명마저 모두 태워
정교하고 신속한 제어
이 행성의 재건을 알리는 곧고 검은 철탑을 높게 세워

The generation that lingered around legends has ended
A war broke out in order to extinguish all of its traces
The lives of the remnants who barely survived
are being trampled over as the iron revenge is being completed

신화에 머무른 시대가 멈춘
흔적을 전부 소멸시키고자 발발한 전투
잔당들의 간신히 살아남은 목숨을
짓밟아가며 완성시키는 철의 복수

A group that kills countless soldiers again and again
Old and blunt feelings are murdered by automatic weapons
After violating the value of humans who lower their heads obediently
They end their done duty under the connivance of victory

군인 무수히 죽고 또 죽이는 무리
낡고 무딘 감정이 숨죽인 자동화된 무기
순순히 고개 숙인 인간의 가치를 유린 후
승리의 묵인 아래 다 한 임무를 멈추지

Following the circuit of mechanized reasoning
The wriggling current takes reason captive
Paralyzed by perfect rationality and having had a “group marriage,”
individual wills bring forth a controlled movement

기계화된 논리의 회로를 따라
꿈틀거리는 전류는 이성을 포로로 삼아
완벽한 합리성에 마비된 집단혼을 지닌
개별의 의지가 빚어낸 통제된 움직임

These lyrics criticize the abuse of technology, which already is an interesting topic, and Ignito uses a rich vocabulary that makes for great rhymes and metaphors. His delivery and flow are audibly on point, as to be expected from a veteran of the scene.
His overall style (the dark clothes, his deep voice) and probably also the first part of his rap (“embers escape through the cracks of the remains, burning all of the screams”) made the judges want to see him surrounded by fire, just for the effect of course, and he jokingly asked them not to fail him for that reason. After he passed, the judges called for the flames anyway, and you have to admit that it did look pretty cool.

Junoflo

Junoflo demonstrated that one can go far with simple but witty metaphors and references, topping off the performance with his head-banging flow.
The lyrics he spit are new, not part of any track he has released yet. Check them out:

You already know, [I’m the] chosen one
When you watch me you can’t help but nod your head
One thing is obvious, what saved me was music
Penny for my thoughts, giving it even if it’s unwanted

넌 이미 알고 있어 chosen one
어쩔 수 없이 고개 끄덕여 날 보는 너
한 가지는 당연하지 날 살린 거는 music
penny for my thoughts 원하지 않아도 난 주지

Foolish, pay attention, I’ll make you like me
I was born with a .44 on my tongue
My firepower is do-do-do-double
I slice and finish off, lookin like sushi

Foolish 주의를 기울여 널 기울게 만들지
혀는 44 들고 태어난 내 무기
화력은 두 두 두 두배
썰어버려 먹어버려 lookin like sushi

Mmm, I’m the MVP, the rest are benchwarmers
Jiggy Juno’s rhymes on display
An imagination that cannot be converted into money
So until now, money stay on my mind

Mmm 난 MVP 나머진 bench를 따뜻하게 해
Jiggy Juno’s rhymes on display
돈으로 환산이 안 되는 상상력
그대로 여태까지 money stay on my mind

Told y’all that I’ll be back when I be the OG at TOP
Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, Ali
This is a harmony you can’t see just anywhere
Feel Ghood Music, verbatim I’m feeling good

Told y’all that I’ll be back when I be the OG at TOP
나비처럼 날아 벌처럼 쏴라 Ali
이건 어디서도 볼 수 없는 조화
Feel Ghood Music 말 그대로 기분 좋아

Especially witty were these lines: “An imagination that cannot be converted into money / So until now, money stay on my mind”
Also, the Korean phrase he’s used for ‘benchwarmers’ is really droll. While the Korean language uses the English word (벤치워머, read: benchiwomeo) since this is a technical term, Juno literally raps: “the rest keep the bench warm,” which sounds much like a phrase out of a love song, e.g.: “You warm my heart.”

So, with a warm heart and in a ghood mood: See you next week!

  • GDji

    Fantastic article! Incredibly interesting to realize the full scope and impact of these artists’ words. Thanks so much. Please keep doing these translations!