In this week’s article we’re checking out the lyrics of all the remaining contestants, admiring Nucksal’s rhyming skills and eating a lot of food.
Team Dynamic Duo
Team Dynamic Duo made use of the popular food/eating metaphors. These work in the sense of “the stronger one eats the weaker ones,” or “the stronger one gets all the food and the weaker ones have to starve,” the food here being a metaphor for the fans, the money, and the fame.
This already begins in the hook where Woochan Jo raps literally: “We’ll eat up this game really easily” which basically means “We’ll win this game really easily.” He continues: “After that we’ll happily share it at a rate of 1 over n.”
G2’s ‘Family’ for example uses the same metaphor:
At the table is only our family
We look after all our family members’ meals, uh
When I eat, my whole family eats too
By any means, me and my team we gon’ get it, get it
Check out the complete translated lyrics here.
myunDo gives a shout-out to his producer team by making a reference to Gaeko’s ‘Rhythm Is Life (느낌 So Good)’, then he continues with the eating metaphor:
I want to put my spoon on the table set by DD-hyungs
I can’t snap out of it, there’s so much to eat
I’ll start dieting tomorrow
This is our food, don’t covet it
I know, the grass always looks greener on the other side
Nah that’s not true, our grass is the greenest
It’s overflowing, money as yellow as curry
We swim in a sea and share our food
Happily, ‘nom nom nom’ we earn money
and invest it, wanting to eat more tasty food
Hanhae meanwhile starts off by playing with the song title “1 over n,” saying for example how he was only a third of Phantom, but quickly goes over to the food:
Yes, we naturally stole their food bowls […]
We just take everything and need to pour water because you will all be sucked dry […]
We catch and eat the beat […]
At the end, Nucksal-hyung will lay all the dishes bare […]
This isn’t a contest but food-sharing between us only
“I’ll order the soda,” raps Ryno—a soda is a refreshing drink and Koreans use the word as an expression for something that makes them feel better. For example, when you feel frustrated with a contestant on the show and another contestant disses him, speaking your mind, and you feel really good about that. This is what Koreans colloquially call “a soda.” So, Ryno is saying that his rap will make the listeners feel good, implying that it is better than the other teams’ rap.
Really witty and full of confidence is also this line: “Woochan, get yourself a manager ahead of time!”
In comes Nucksal with everyone’s favorite food and even remembers to take care of the youngest team member:
I wanna go to Firenze
Cut a pizza in seven pieces and share it, with stringy cheese
Woochan, take another bite […]
Tomorrow we’ll feast on the other side of the globe
We’ll get sick of planes so we’ll take a cruise ship
Looking back, looks like we wrote a legend
A sequal to the Greece, Roman myths
And finally, Nucksal rhymes “샹들리에를” (syangdeulliereul, chandelier) with “상어지느러미를” (sangeojineureomireul, shark fin). Why is this worth a mention? There are several types of rhymes: really simple identical rhymes (e.g. singing – ringing) which are easy to accomplish in Korean too using for example all kinds of verb endings. Then there are general rhymes which includes matching vowels or consonants, something we’ve heard in the show mostly from the veteran rappers as it does need some amount of vocabulary and effort, but it is a powerful tool for rhyming in the Korean language. And finally there are so-called eye rhymes which are words that don’t look like they’d rhyme at all but the artist makes them rhyme with the appropriate pronunciation. This is one of the most difficult types of rhyme, especially in Korean, but Nucksal makes it happen like it’s no big deal—with an incredible number of syllables on top of it. Looking at the two words above you’d never think they’d rhyme: they have a different length and barely resemble each other.
Woochan who raps the hook comes in with his verse that makes it clear how greatly the young rapper has improved in that short time. His rap is more fluent and better articulated while the content is still as fresh as in his first round:
The hyungs are right, I’m still in my growth period so I’m super hungry […]
There’s no more to share, an irreducible fraction […]
In the first round y’all made big eyes
In the second your mouths stood open and you screamed
In the third you properly enjoyed [my rap]
It was the rebellion of a young child who closed the books
My one dream was to get a SMTM necklace
I’ve come this far chasing my dream
Those who call this a bubble – bottoms up!
Team Tiger JK & Bizzy
Team Tiger JK & Bizzy bring it on with the track ‘젓가락 (Chopsticks)’ produced by Konquest and Ann One. While everyone is bragging and throwing in punchlines, Wonjae Woo stays true to his style and lyrics, a freedom the two producers gave him as expected.
Maniac shows off with his years of experience: “My writing skills are as deep as my wrinkles” And he plays on his multiracial background: “My skin may be dark but my future is very bright”
BLACK NINE calls himself the “dark horse,” the “underdog,” his team the “suicide squad,” and spits with a lot of power about his will to win and prove himself.
Asol comes off equally strong: “Don’t call me princess, I wanna be king”
Meanwhile, P-type stays critical: “Now that you’re on SMTM you only see the advantages of the system?”
And to those who don’t like his flow (“P-type? His flow is boring though?”) he says:
It’s good for you, just take it in
“Just take it in” literally means “just eat it,” another food/eating metaphor. P-type disses his haters even further:
Even if you practice in secret you can’t imitate me, can’t help it
You feel like shit but can’t counter
You can’t rap off-beat nor on an easy beat
The last two lines include identical rhymes with ‘반박’ (banbak, counter), ‘엇박’ (eopbak, off-beat), and ‘정박’ (jeongbak, easy beat).
Last but not least, here’s Wonjae Woo‘s rap which has interesting content as usual:
Mom, it’s your son, it’s been a while
I know you must have been very surprised because of that song
Just feign ignorance, that’s easier for me
Just pretend to be an adult, I will never change
엄마 나 아들이야 오랜만이네
많이 놀랬을 거 알어 내 노래 땜에
그냥 모르는 척 해줘 그게 난 편해
그냥 어른인척 해줘 절대 나는 안 변해
Everyone’s like this, it’s alright, I won’t die easily man
Don’t talk about it lightly, that kills me man
This light is shining on me but I no longer
want this place, go away y’all, hey!
다들 그래 괜찮아 쉽게 안 죽어 인마
쉽게 말하지 마라 그게 날 죽여와 인마
이 빛이 날 향하지만 나 더 이상
여기를 원치 않지 너네다 저리가 야
You still see me as a hero? I curse this place
I’m telling you, we’re all the same, where on earth is God?
If this is being human I refuse
Just feign ignorance, turn off the beat, ay
아직도 내가 영웅 같냐고 난 여기를 저주해
우리 모두 똑같은 거라고 도대체 신은 어디에
이런 게 인간이라면 난 그딴 건 거부해
그냥 모르는 척 해줘 비트 좀 꺼줘 ay
Team Jay Park & Dok2
The GroovyRoom-produced ‘Life Is A Gamble’ is as flashy and braggy as the stage props.
Ja Mezz begins, as cocky as usual:
Life’s a gamble
The chance is always fifty-fifty […]
They say gambling is illegal
In that case I’ll be eating prison food for my victory speech
And Ness doesn’t hold back either:
How is this a fair team battle? […]
I have fun by myself, everyone but me has a hard time breathing
With nothing but my voice I shoot everyone down
Woodie Gochild provides us among other things with this useful insight:
In the last line he rhymes identically (just like P-type before) with the words “쪽박” (jjopak, failure), “대박” (daebak, success), and “도박” (dobak, gamble).
“A game of numbers, I don’t care about the probabilities / I know that I’m the one,” so Junoflow who in the following puns on “dinero” and “De Niro,” and “배불리” (baebulli, full) and “Beverly” (another eating metaphor by the way).
Double K used a few onomatopoeia, which are rather common in the Korean language: “징징징” (jingjingjing, whine), “띵띵띵” (dingdingding, sound of a cell phone), “빙빙빙” (bingbingbing, round and round).
Team ZICO & DEAN
Team ZICO and DEAN worked with Poptime on their fanxy “Kids These Days” in which the contestants rap with a lot of wit in accordance to the hook:
Even the silent ajusshi scolds them at least once:
“Look at those clothes, what is that? […]
This is why kids these days are no good
Bows should be 18 degrees”
Young B makes sure that everyone knows he is as young as his name implies: “I was born in ’99, haven’t even gotten my ID yet” (Korean citizens receive an ID only at the age of 17)
He also trumps with this highly witty punchline: “I’m B-Rabbit, y’all are Papa Dog”
First of all, this line plays on the Chinese zodiac signs dog and rabbit, the latter being Young B’s sign. Secondly, it plays on the fictional characters B-Rabbit and Papa Doc from the movie ‘8 Mile’ and thirdly on the animated children’s series ‘Papa Dog’.
At the end the rapper does not forget to show his confidence:
But you can’t never do what I did
Even if you’re reborn twice
Olltii lists up all the debts he and his family have, then goes on with this pun:
With just one more line they become light, the debts are erased
The Korean word for debts is ‘빚’ (bit) and the one for light is ‘빛’ (bit), the only difference between the two being the one additional line in the letter ‘ㅊ’ (ch) as compared to ‘ㅈ’ (j).
And once again Olltii makes a reference to the pidgeon incident (read about it here), this time probably directed at Dok2 (?):
The pidgeon [whose skills] you failed to acknowledge a few years ago now shits on your head
The battle rapper also uses a food/eating metaphor, since everyone’s at it:
The list of your favorite MCs is my dish list
Those who have pocketed more are more delicious
In the end, another punchline:
ZICO and DEAN have become the trend, turning the generation upside down
We start off just as good, this is an attempt to turn the city upside down
While Hash Swan‘s whole verse is super bold and cheeky, here are the best parts:
If you too want to become one of the kids these days
First of all, diss BewhY-hyung
Kids these days all have an inferiority complex
That’s the result of my past one year of research
Killagramz takes the stage, bragging:
I take planes like taxis […]
Kids these days want something stronger
So I’ve brought something raw
The finale is brought to you by HANGZOO:
Why care about what other people think?
The way I see it, hiphop is a sleep-over at your liberty […]
I get out of stagnant waters as quickly as possible
This is why HANGZOO does not have any connections,
why there are no photos of me at drinking parties
I believe in myself, I believe in the music I want to do and in my choices
Whether you stand in my way or not, I don’t care […]
Behind my back they write the script to my drama in my stead
Prejudices are more effective when they’re overthrown, right?
These are The Usual Suspects