In week four we’re examining interesting lines by Olltii, Hanhae, Jin Doggae, Hash Swan, and myunDo, and taking a peek at some of the other performances.
Before diving into the lyrics, here are some quick notes on what else this week had to offer:
Nucksal is still going strong, still with no new lyrics though, the ones this week taken from his track ‘Skill Skill Skill (Feat. DJ Wegun)‘.
Sleepy was hit by a blackout, but he retrieved his balance quickly and delivered, just like Hash Swan. Here are good news for everyone disappointed about Zesty being eliminated: He has a mixtape titled ‘NIGHTGLOW’ coming up this month under his new artist name RAUDI. Check the teaser for ‘Oil and Water (Feat. KillaGramz)’ here!
Needless to say, and as expected, the producer stage was turnt. With the most epic producer line-up so far, the performances did not disappoint. Gaeko showed that he is still far from retirement, and Dok2 was live so good that he made people think he was just lip-syncing, reminding everyone of the fact that rappers need to do well live, not just on tape. ZICO rapped amongst others his glorious verse off ‘Turtle Ship Remix’, whose full translation you can read here. Fun fact: Tiger JK performed his verse off Drunken Tiger’s 1999 classic track ‘너희가힙합을아느냐’ (Do You Know Hiphop?) which was HiphopKR’s name when the site was founded in 2010.
Note: For the following, only a few artists’ lyrics were selected as there is unfortunately not enough time for 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.
Olltii sure has enough experience in rap battling to come up with punchlines like these:
I love my hater[s], I’ll be your snitch
Thanks to you I’ll probably live long, I’m overflowing with thirst [for live]
Hey man, you say my success is all thanks to my looks?
I enjoy your hateful comments much more than being told I look like a pigeon, so be angrier!
I love my hater[s], I’ll be your snitch
덕분에 오래 살긴 할 듯해 욕이 넘치네
어이 형씨 내 성공이 외모 덕이었다니
비둘기 닮은꼴보단 네 악플이 훨씬 기분 좋으니까 더 빡치시길
The first punchline here is a really simple wordplay using a homonym. Aside from the translation above, it can also be understood as: “Thanks to you giving me all this insults, I’ll probably live long.”
The “being told I look like a pigeon” in the second punchline comes with a long history that needs some explanation. It all began on SMTM3, when Olltii was to battle Bobby and Dok2 said that Olltii looked like a pigeon. As a result, Bobby raps in ‘Born Hater‘: “When I grab the mic, even pigeons fly away” (마이크를 잡으면 비둘기도 자릴 떠)
Then, Olltii participated in the Born Hater contest and spit: “Even when pigeons fly away, they droppin’ shit on your head” (비둘긴 자릴 떠도 머리 위에 droppin’ shit)
In the same punchline, Olltii says his success is thanks to his haters, aka his skills, and he hopes they will be even angrier at him, i.e. that his skills will improve even further.
I softly tread [on you] with mediocre rap
There’s a huge difference between you and me
뻔한 랩으로 사뿐히 즈려밟아
우리 둘 사이 있는 낙차
‘사뿐히 즈려밟아’ (sappunhi jeu-ryeo-balba, to tread softly) originates from Kim Sowol’s famous poem ‘Azaleas’ (진달래꽃). The phrase itself is an oxymoron as the two parts, the adverb and the verb, exclude each other. Treading or trampling is a strong action, there is force behind it, while softly is the exact opposite. In the poem, it says to tread softly on the flowers. The idea is that no matter how carefully one walks over flowers, they are bound to break.
Analogically, Hanhae raps that a light footstep is all he needs to crush his opponent. He even takes it a step further by saying that all he uses is mediocre rap, he’s not even putting in any effort, that is how big the difference between him and his opponent is. Easy-peasy!
Hash Swan vs. Jin Doggae
Even though Hash Swan had a brief black-out, he overcame it rather fast and kept rapping as if nothing had happened. His verse starts off with these interesting lines:
When I was born I left a scar on the belly of a woman […]
The scar of that woman who was so beautiful has to do its job now
한 여자의 배에 흉터를 새기고 태어나
아름다웠던 여자의 흉턴 해야 해 제 역할
These lines are about his mother. Filial duty plays a big role in Korean culture and is often brought up in Korean rap lyrics, being one of the reasons why many rappers want to succeed and earn a lot of money. Hash Swan has mentioned in an interview that his mother is his role model because despite being scammed out of a lot of money she managed to protect her family and stayed strong, overcoming the financial difficulties.
Culturally interesting is also the mention of the scar. Most Koreans, like probably most people in other places of the world as well, do not consider scars beautiful. Random fact: Already in the Joseon era, the king’s concubines could not have any scars.
In these lyrics, Hash Swan expresses that his mother got scarred for his sake and that he wants to give back to her for her love.
Meanwhile, Jin Doggae pays homage to Korean hiphop and his favorite artists. In between all the name dropping, he uses this epicly famous line:
I’m an 8-ton truck with a dysfunctional wheel
I’ve probably been on a curvy road since then
난 핸들이 고장난 8톤 트럭
아마 그때부터 탔었나 봐 삐딱선
The 8-ton truck has been around since 2005. The line was created by Tiger JK and reused by the likes of Gaeko, Beenzino, and Choiza. You can find out all about it in this article.
Jin Doggae uses Gaeko’s version of the line word by word, thus paying homage to him. To rap this line in front of him, and the one who “gave birth” to it (Tiger JK), and another rapper who successfully reused it (Choiza) takes a lot of guts, and the judges sure looked impressed. Jin Doggae probably was so excited by this that he slightly messed up his next line, rapping “greeting-style hiphop” instead of “hiphop-style greeting.” As the Koreans say, “Don’t mind!”
So, a dysfunctional wheel makes for a curvy road. Metaphorically speaking, it stands for the path Jin Doggae has been walking in his life. He has taken many detours and unconventional paths to get to where he is.
There may be many rap stars
But I’m the moon, one and only
난 moon 유일해, one
There’s not much to add to this, it’s pretty straightforward. While it might not be a very epic punchline, it is rather witty.
As ZICO mentioned, myunDo’s verse seemed a bit long, but you could also clearly hear his trademark groovy flow.
KOR KASH vs. Woodie Gochild
The fact that there is not much to say about the lyrics in this battle is really curious. The performance was so turnt and fancy while the lyrics were boring in comparison. They consisted of bragging, repetition, more repetition, several beeps, really simple rhymes, and about one regular metaphor.
Yet, this was an enjoyable performance! Their teamwork, melodical rapping, voices, dancing, and clothes really made up most of it. This is another way of putting on a successful performance.
Woodie could probably rap gibberish and we’d enjoy it. Prrr prrr!