Pann: Rap Monster's interview (Bobby mentioned)
Q: Then let’s talk about the battle(?) with Bobby. What started it?
RM: Bobby made references to me a few times on Show Me The Money. He seemed to enjoy using words like ‘sangnamja (T/N: true man, also the title for ‘Boy in Luv’) and ‘leading a fast life’ (T/N: pronounced as Bangtang). Saying “Like a true man, I lead a fast life” isn’t a common mix of words, right? I thought that it wasn’t just a coincidence. He not only attacked Bangtan, but Boyfriend as well. It was the context of, “Everything you guys messed up, I’ll show it all here.” However, I didn’t even have much thoughts on it at that point either. I just thought, Bobby probably just dislikes us. However, on his lyrics for ‘Come Here’, there were lyrics that seemed to be targeting us again. “I live a fast life, there’s no need for pretty boys / They call me a monster, I never called myself that / You guys like a full-length mirror much better than a basement dungeon / If my skills were looks, then I would look like Wonbin in front of a bulletproof mirror.” But to be honest, Bobby isn’t really a Wonbin… (laughter)
Q: Then is he Hyunbin?
RM: Anyways, these lyrics were the third time. I felt like I would be an idiot if I just endured it till the third time. If I didn’t give feedback in any way, then it would also be insulting to fans, and I personally couldn’t let it pass as well. Truthfully, I was planning to use lyrics from my [RM] mixtape on the MAMA stage. However, after listening to ‘Come Here’, I quickly changed the lyrics to reply to Bobby. And then as people caught onto those lyrics, it ended up becoming a hot topic. However, I personally respect Bobby. He does really well on stage. Although I don’t think his raps are exceptional or that he has a wide spectrum, his ability to dominate the stage is good, and he has a cool style of hip-hop that rappers aren’t able to achieve. And the fact that he won SMTM whether or not he had his company’s power or not is definitely something that confirmed himself.
Q: It became a topic whether it was a diss round or battle.
RM: I think it became an even larger topic, because both Bobby and I are in the category of idols. I also felt like they were putting us together to fight (laughter). However, it wasn’t to that point.
Q: I heard you guys greeted each other behind MAMA.
RM: After the performance ended, I went down but Bobby high-fived me from behind the stage. He said that he mouthed my lyrics and saw it well. I found out that when I was performing on stage, Bobby was watching me attentively.
Q: If you push and see that situation, I feel like Bobby’s mind is very hip-hop. Doesn’t it seem like he realizes that it’s both a competitor and game that forms within music?
RM: That’s exactly it. That’s exactly what I want to say, but people don’t understand it well. Our fans are worried that we’ll end up fighting like this (laughter). However, I hope that they realize that it’s not like that.
Q: Pushing aside who’s good or bad or whose side you’re on or not, I think it’s just nice to see. I feel like you guys would give synergy to each other too.
RM: That’s true. Wasn’t Swings’ ‘control crisis’ also a way to pull up all the levels of everyone through competing musically. However, because Bobby and I are both under the category of idols, I think it became a larger controversy. I hope that many people are able to realize that within hip-hop, this is a way to express yourself and that it’s natural.
Q: You did the MAMA stage with Zico. Did Zico give you this or that kind of advice?
RM: I knew Zico hyung ever since I was a young child. I believe that hyung’s actions in general show me a lot. It gives me help, but also stimulates me.
Q: Before you went on stage for MAMA, what did you guys talk about?
RM: Truthfully, I wrote out the lyrics that I would do at MAMA 4~5 days in advance. After I said that, Zico hyung told me that it’s dangerous to write lyrics quickly like that and that I should be carefully. Saying that he made a really big mistake one time before (laughter).
Q: What does idol group promotions mean to Rap Monster. A good step in order to reach my goal? Something that’s actually my goal? Or just something you ended up finding yourself doing?
RM: Although I’m not trying to be discourteous towards our fans or the group itself, I think the closest definition would be something that I just found myself doing. To be honest, my goal is very clear. It’s to have many people listen to my music. I want to confirm my existence even more by standing on a large stage. Honestly, I wnated to continue just studying prior to my debut. However, the thing that brought me back to music again was this company and this group. That’s why I don’t want to say idol group promotions are a step towards my goal. This is because there’s just so much I’m receiving from these promotions.
Q: Are you saying that at first, you just wanted to do music and just wanted to rap?
RM: That’s right. However, when I was about to just concentrate on my studies, I received a call from Untouchable’s Sleepy hyung, and I ended up auditioning to this company through him. At first, BTS wasn’t within this kind of format. It was in the format of YG’s 1TYM, where we wouldn’t dance. That’s why I went into this group. Because they said that I would be able to rap in such a large company like this. And at that period, I also was rejected from an audition for Big Deal Records, so I was desperate. I thought that I had to do this no matter what. It was the perfect company to work out my dream in wanting to confirm my existence towards more people. However, as the group’s format switched to an idol group, I had a lot of confusion. I also felt really hopeless. However, I ended up somehow accepting it… And have come up to here.
Q: The fact that you didn’t reject it could also be seen as a ‘passive choice’, right?
RM: That’s right. I just… I think it was just fate to be lke this (laughter). Honestly, I really hated dancing at first. Because I’m not good at it. I still Don’t like dancing. However, the reason why I keep staying in this company is that they said they would allow me to do my music with my lyrics and my rap, and it’s slowly becoming a reality. It’s like that for BTS’ album and in my solo works too. For example, the [RM] mixtape is really no different from just myself. I believe that the company is keeping its promise with me. I liked hip-hop, wanted to do rap, and wanted to stand on a large stage. As those three interlinked, I came up to here. If you look at it in another angle… it’s something that I chose.
Q: However, this is a world that clearly divides hip-hop between real and fake, and has a compulsion towards its purity. Criticisms will continue to exist.
RM: I completely understand. Sometimes I have that kind of critical mind to myself as well. This is because there are times where I have to do things that I don’t wish to. When I see other rappers’ lyrics of “I don’t do what I don’t like to do”, I feel like it’s really cool and there’s also an envious side to me about it. Like I said before, I understand that people have a critical mind towards my position. And receive a lot of confusion too. However, because I believe that I know about that aspect of hip-hop better than any one else, I’m trying my best in order to be the most real I can in this situation. And more than anything, I want to just have the largest amount of people possible listening to my music. This is the biggest thing to me.
Q: The standards for ‘many people’ could differ for each person.
RM: That’s right. However, if someone were to ask me if I could just have my music be played for many people no matter what method or way is used, I would reply that that is not the case.
Q: As a result, ‘many people’ is your standard, and the things you’ve chosen and set compromises on through your life till now is because it doesn’t violate your own standards or values. However, your standards will probably remain unmatched with others.
RM: I understand those people too. I believe they can definitely be like that. However, I believe that the only thing that remains in the end is my music.
Q: Is there a criticism you agree with that relates to idol group promotions?
RM: There are many. Why do you do smoky makeup, why do you try to act pretty on broadcast, etc. For hip-hop where purity is important and masculinity plays a large part, I believe it’s definitely a critique that could come out. So from some point, my self-conscious has been divided in half. The reason why the cover for my [RM] mixtape is divided in black and white is to show my two-faced self. I believe that there’s no improvement if you have an inferiority complex and victim mentality. I decided upon the thought that I can only find myself once I can admit to myself and approve that both sides are sides of myself.
Q: However, towards the tradition of hip-hop that sets ‘actions’ as something importance, they could be thinking that you’re receiving everything possible through your idol group promotions and then try to act hip-hop by releasing a solo mixtape. Criticisms that that’s a contradiction and isn’t cool. Even if your mixtape’s completion level is high and is well-made.
RM: I understand that thought. You can see it like that. However, I have a lot of greed. The types of music I want to show are on this side and on that side. Conclusively, if I’m able to make good music and people continue to look for my music, won’t this kind of controversy get better… is my thought. I’m going to not be wavered by things like that any more. I’ve been shook by it too much up till now. When G-Dragon released ‘Heart Breaker’, I remember it. The reactions to when that was released as opposed to ‘One of a Kind’ is really like heaven and hell. Didn’t he do well like that? However, people that dislike G-Dragon still continue to dislike him. There’s nothing you can do about that (laughter) - Source
1. [+260, -274] Isn't GD a big sunbae? Am I the only one who thinks he's looking down at GD? Hip-hop sites and listeners only approve GD and Zico for idols...
2. [+240, -219] GD mention annoys me more... He's a sunbae for years
3. [+239, -282] This kid always says annoying things ㅋㅋ Don't think of riding on Bobby's popularity
4. [+96, -14] I'm an iKON stan but I want him to stop bashing Bobby. He said how Bobby is rude and stuff but he doesn't even know what he's talking about. Now, he even says this in an interview. Stop bashing Bobby
5. [+94, -24] I know that Rapmon is a talented and smart rapper but it's bothering that he said G-Dragon and Swings' names without proper appellations. Rappers always put appellations in their interviews. And stop bullying Bobby
6. [+93, -34] As a Bigbang fan, the GD mention is bothering me so much
7. [+90, -102] I don't like Rapmon. Just fucking look at how he talked about GD. Makes me mad
8. [+79, -38] I didn't believe it when the diss was happening... So Rapmon really thinks Bobby targeted him? ㅋㅋㅋ How can he think that "bangtang" is "bangtan"? Isn't it reaching?