rap monster: ‘even if it’s to say bad things, i really hope you would listen to the mixtape’
Q: How did working on ‘P.D.D’ happen?
RM: Through BTS’ Mnet reality program that was aired last year, I met Warren G for the first time. At that time, Warren G said that he wanted to give us a beat. After discussing how and which album it would be good to be worked on, I ended up releasing my solo single.
Q: There’s a story that you guys bribed him with money (laughter). If you could clear up the story please.
RM: While filming the program, we got a working offer first from Warren G’s side. Warren G personally said it, and I remember Warren G’s manager really positively proposed it. Truthfully, besides ‘P.D.D’, Warren G said that he wished to remix one of BTS’ tracks and place it on the album. At first, I thought he was just saying these offers. But he said he was ‘serious’, and then I realized at that moment that it was real. He said, ‘When you guys go back to Korea, I’ll officially talk about it with your company.’ Maybe it was in order to try out something new. Although, there are probably those who don’t want to believe it and will end up not believe it (laughter).
Q: I heard that you guys first received a few songs.
RM: At first, we received 3 songs. However, the feeling didn’t really come to us well. This wasn’t the Warren G feeling that I had thought of. I was looking forward to a song like ‘Regulate’ or ‘This DJ’, but it wasn’t that kind of song. That’s why I asked for another song to be sent, and I received 3 songs additionally. Among those, ‘P.D.D’ was a song that I thought was closest to Warren G’s feel.
Q: ‘P.D.D’ is definitely a song that has the traditional vibes of west coast hip-hop. Was there a specific reason in adding these kind of lyrics to this kind of sound?
RM: As soon as I heard the song, the words of ‘Please Don’t Die’ naturally came to my mind. I think I unconsciously thought that it would be fun to speak of a slightly brutal story on top of a soft beat.
Q: When you think of a ‘battle rap’, people normally think of very straightforward lyrics. Something like, “I will kill all of you!” (laughter). However, this song felt somewhat like an indirect speech.
RM: It reflects how I feel lately towards those who hate me and criticize me. I used to find it really upsetting and got very angry a long time ago. However, I’ve been able to rise above that a bit more. I wanted to truthfully add that feeling. This is also the reason behind the lyrics of “If you want to come with me even now, then let’s go.”
Q: When I see those lyrics at the bridge, I feel that you have more ease than before.
RM: That’s true. It’s not made with force, but it really feels like that lately. If there’s any person who made personal attacks towards me, but want to come with from now on, then I want them too. I’ve gained that much ease. I also feel that I have matured a bit as well.
Q: For those who don’t know the various narrations of battle raps from traditions of west coast hip-hop sounds or the specific hidden beauty of hip-hop, could continue to view this song as boring or nothing great.
RM: I just accept it. I respect the tastes of those people. I don’t want to force it upon them or explain it. Although I’m thankful to those who understand my intention or feel enjoyment.
Q: To be honest, ‘P.D.D’ has some similarities with ‘Regulate’ if you look at it. Although ‘Regulate’ received a lot of love from Korea with a gentle sound, it’s a song that has a meaning on its ‘storytelling’ aspect as well, and more than anything, if you look at the lyrics for ‘Regulate’, it’s quite brutal and doesn’t seem to fit with the sound.
RM: That’s true. I received a lot of influence from ‘Regulate’ without knowing it. To be honest, when I first heard ‘Regulate’, I thought it was a bit weird (laughter). “The sound is good, but why are the lyrics like this?”, “Why does he talk about getting robbed so gently like this?” is what I thought.
Q: Do you normally enjoy writing lyrics to battle raps like these? Even if you’re not specifically attacking anyone.
RM: That’s it. I enjoy writing it. And I also think that you don’t need to specifically attack something.
Q: What do you mean exactly when you say that you don’t necessarily have to attack any one?
RM: I’m not the type that enjoys attacking. Even if I were to attack, I’m not the type to attack with an immense amount of aggression. However, I’m the type that has to say everything I want to say. No matter what the nuance may be, should I say that it should be resolved through music. Although someone may think “if you were going to attack someone, you should have done it properly” after listening to ‘P.D.D’, but this is my tendency and method.
Q: From the perspective of the listener, there was one place that was quite amusing. The phrase of ‘ride wit me’ comes out repetitively during the bridge, and of course, I understand that it’s a symbolic expression to say “Come with me”. However, when you listen to west coast hip-hop music a lot, don’t they normally use very direct expressions rather than the expression of ‘ride wit me’? Something like, “ride my car and ride towards the seaside of Long Beach” (laughter). Should I call that ‘driving music’. While listening to the song, things like this strangely overlapped.
RM: To be honestly, while writing the lyrics, I really wanted to include the expression of ‘ride’. The west coast hip-hop music videos that I normally had watched a lot started coming to mind, and I thought that it was a word that fit well with the west coast hip-hop vibe that the sound had. I thought that it would be good if people accepted these lyrics as a ‘medium’.
Q: I heard that you received a lot of mentoring from Warren G.
RM: I wanted to ask Warren G a lot about hip-hop. Like Warren G stated, things like ‘shooting guns, doing drugs, robbery’ aren’t things that are hip-hop itself, but a negative side that’s included within hip-hop. It’s like an uninvited guest that shoved its way into hip-hop, but people said that that’s hip-hop. He also told me that hip-hop is something that’s open to everyone despite what race you may be or what language you may speak. I heard a lot of great things from him besides those as well. Although it may seem like a very obvious thing, but the weight of it just felt different when Warren G said it. And after everything he would say, Warren G attached “It’s all Good.” When I heard those words from the side, then my mood felt really good. Should I compare it to the feeling of a grandfather telling good stories next to you (laughter).
Q: If you were to grade Warren G when he “wears glasses” vs when he “takes them off”.
RM: Since time has passed, I think it’s much better when he wears glasses. Long ago, he was really ‘very good-looking’… If you look at pictures or music videos from then.
Q: Then I’ll just wrap that up as that he looked better long ago without glasses, but looks better now with glasses. Is there anything more you have to say about ‘P.D.D’?
RM: Erm. Putting everything aside, it was really just a very fortunate event to be able to rap to Warren G’s beat. Although someone may try to cut me down for this or that reason, I’m proud and it was a good experience.
Q: Let’s talk about your mixtape, [RM]. If you can give us the concept of this mixtape?
RM: If you look at the album cover, my face is divided in black and white. I wanted to show that I was two-faced. I’m positive at some times and then negative at other times. I speak of hopes at some points and then forget about it later. You can just see it as something I made by pulling out the various rooms inside myself. I wanted to express the thought of, “There’s this many sides inside of me, but in the end, this is me, and you who’s listening to this is just you too.” I normally enjoyed India Arie’s ‘Just Do You’. It’s a song that gave a lot of comfort to me when I felt confused. I believe that the message of this song gave a lot of influence towards this mixtape. That’s why the song that represents the entire message for this mixtape is ‘Do You’.
Q: This is a solo, not a group and it’s a mixtape, not an album. Was there any specific structure you had in working on it?
RM: I tried to work on it as comfortably as I could. I tried not to have many thoughts on it. Even if there were lyrics that could start a controversy, I just went with it if it wasn’t too harsh. A BTS album is something that’s not just my own, and it needs to fit the group’s concept, which is why there are many things to think about, but since this mixtape is mine, I tried to self-examine the closest to my true self and work on it comfortably.
Q: The curses and aggressive expressions stand out.
RM: Honestly, I’m not someone who enjoys cursing. However, I believed that there was an emotion that could only be released through ‘shit’ or ‘fuck’. So I used words like those in places that were necessary. It’s not like it was a piece of work that had to go under deliberation.
Q: How did you pick the placing for the mixtape tracks?
RM: First off, after I picked the order, I discussed it with my company. For example, when I made the 1st track, ‘Voice’, I thought that it should be the first track since I had made it. This song is the only song that talks about my past story since I was young till now. It’s also a song I made after receiving influence from seeing foreign rappers rap over a piano sound. After that, ‘Do You’, which has the main message of the mixtape, came out and I wanted to talk more affirmatively about what I wanted to say through ‘Awakening’. After that, ‘Monster’, ‘Throw Away’, ‘God Rap’ came out, and in these songs, I just wanted to ‘rap’. I made it while thinking about rap songs that are good to listen to and hmm… that made my heart beat.
Q: Are you talking about the “auditory pleasure” that can only be given through raps and not singing.
RM: That’s right. That’s it. I couldn’t express it well (laughter). And for the last song, I put in ‘I Believe’. The reason why I thought I had to put this song as the last one is because no matter how the process was before, I end up believing in myself. I wanted to wrap it up.
Q: Without even listening to your explanation, ‘Voice’ really sounds like the first track, and ‘I Believe’ really fits the last position. Was there a song that was omitted during the working process?
RM: It’s a song called ‘Dreams’. It’s a song that I made around 2 years ago, but I felt like it didn’t really fit with the mixtape concept, so I didn’t put it in. Although there were a few songs that were of the melodramatic category, I felt like it was random, so I didn’t put it in. Ah, there was also a song that had to do with money, but I didn’t put it in because I haven’t earned a large sum of money yet, and I’ve never really had desperate worries over money before, so I felt that I wouldn’t be able to grasp the thoughts of people. To be honest, when I was writing the lyrics to this song, there were times I was a bit stuck or confused in the middle, but I think it’s because I still don’t have enough worries or that I don’t have enough years of experience stack up yet.
Q: So do you think that it ended up doing well after filtering out those songs?
RM: Although I was really absorbed in it when making them… I believe that it worked out well in the end. Even though I was sad about it at first, I see it that a refined and more concentrated mixtape came out. And I can use those songs later anyways.
Q: Is there a message that you wish those who are listening to it wouldn’t miss?
RM: “You Do You, I Do I” is the catch phrase for this mixtape. What I want to say is that, “You do what you have to do, and I’ll do what I have to. But I’m like this.” The thought of, “You’re you, and I’m me” is the largest thing that’s been taking control of me lately.
Q: There are a few songs that focused on rap techniques. For example, ‘Joke’ is like that. Could you talk about this song?
RM: ‘Joke’ is a song whose lyrics were written with a stream of consciousness. That’s why the title is called ‘Joke’ as well. There’s nothing hidden behind the lyrics. It’s 500% for the auditory pleasure of rap songs. Since the other songs have messages or emotions placed into them, I felt that it was necessary to add in a refreshing song without any thoughts. I put in a lot of what I believe are rap ‘skills’.
Q: What’s the reason in choosing ‘Run The Jewels’ as the beat for ‘Joke’?
RM: I normally enjoy Run The Jewels. There were a few songs I had recorded on the beat for Run The Jewels among the songs that weren’t placed on the mixtape. I believe that they make beats really well where the El-P is minimal, but is able to emphasize the auditory effect of raps. There were 5 song nominees to be used for ‘Joke’, but all 5 songs were Run The Jewels’ beats. I normally thought that if a chance came to me where I could show off my skills, that I would use Run The Jewels’ beats no matter what.
Q: I agree with you on your thoughts about the El-P beat. It’s a sound that burns a rapper’s fighting spirit with ‘I have to chew and eat this beat’ (laughter). If you could talk about ‘RUSH’ next, where Krizz Kaliko had participated.
RM: There was a time where we made a dance performance to Krizz Kaliko’s ‘Spaz’ last year on a year-end awards ceremony. And I don’t know how he found out about it, but that video came up on Krizz Kaliko’s Twitter. He said, “Look at these guys. They danced to my song, but it’s really cool.” I normally enjoy Krizz Kaliko’s songs, so after seeing that, I sent a message to Krizz Kaliko. I asked about working together via DM, but he answered so coolly that we should work together. So I sent him a few beats, but Krizz Kaliko picked out the one that I personally liked the most. I thought that as expected, he has good ears (laughter). In the end, he worked really hard. He first asked, “Want me to do the chorus too?”, and I don’t know how he knew, but he placed the word ‘oppa’ inside the lyrics before sending it to us. He probably knew it from ‘Gangnam Style’. And he also left one space blank during the chorus and gave the suggestion of, “Wouldn’t it be fun if you added in Korean during this part?” And for the mix, he replied, “I’m currently on tour in Mexico, but the mix isn’t really good because it’s not with the engineer that I normally work with. So, I think it would be good if you guys re-did the mix. Sorry.” Even after the work was finished, he proposed, “Since I worked on your mixtape this time, let’s officially work next time and release a track.” The next time I go to America, I really want to meet him once.
Q: Do you like Krizz Kaliko’s rap included in ‘RUSH’?
RM: OF course. I felt that he really genuinely worked on it. I also like the melody as well. The fun thing is, whenever we receive an award at some ceremony, Krizz Kaliko always sends us a congratulations mention (laughter). I think he’s slightly cute as well.
Q: From ‘Voice’, I could hear the part where you gave an homage to Nas’ ‘One Mic’.
RM: I normally enjoy ‘One Mic’. I like the movie-like development, and silent mood of it. I received a lot of influence from ‘One Mic’, and used a small portion of the lyrics from the clean version of ‘One Mic’. It’s respect in my own way.
Q: After hearing your reply, I remember. There was recently a screening of a documentary release. What did you feel?
RM: I learned a lot of things that I didn’t know. The interview with Nas’ younger sibling, Jungle, was especially interesting. I was looking forward to a lot of stories on Bravehearts, but it didn’t come out. Truthfully, although I did feel something from the movie itself, there’s a lot I learned from just the screening itself as well. Our nation is able to do something like this, and even when they do this, people come too… A proudness like that.
Q: In ‘Voice’, there’s a line that goes, “I admit to it, my dark past”.
RM: Just like how it says, it’s my dark past. Something that can be summarized with Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar.
Q: If you say Kendrick Lamar, then are you talking about your ‘School of Tears’ where you covered over his song, ‘Swimming Pools’?
RM: That’s right.
Q: But isn’t that song just a ‘cover’ like you say? Using the original song’s flow over the song’s beat and rapping is something that can be seen often on a hip-hop mixtape or a released song.
RM: Although I did film the music video for ‘School of Tears’, it was a cover song where I revealed what the original song was before releasing it. So it was just a successor, but it got criticized a lot, saying that it was plagiarism. To be honest, if plagiarism was the goal, who would do it like that. Also, because it was a cover song, there are many parts where I did the exact same flow as Kendrick Lamar on purpose, so that I could learn his flow. However, there were a lot of negative comments like, “This is a nation’s disgrace”, “Don’t you even have the guts as a rapper”.
Q: When I see it, that doesn’t make sense. If anything, it just sounds like attacks that started from ignorance. Don’t make it your dark past, let’s make it your bright past. Now, what do you mean with Kanye West?
RM: During the choreography practice for BTS’ comeback, we matched it to Kanye West’s ‘Black Skinhead’. Now that I look back on it, I think it may have been a bit too ignorant by the company. Because we couldn’t just use ‘Black Skinhead’ on broadcast. Anyways, our choreography teacher is amazingly skilled, so he had perfectly set up the choreography to fit with ‘Black Skinhead’. So we were fretting over how to change it before our comeback stage. But after changing it numerous times, the dance completely died. So in the end, we had to make a new song that was similar to ‘Black Skinhead’ and do our comeback stage. If I had to make an excuse, this song wasn’t added to the album, and it wasn’t used for business purposes. It was simply used for our stage performance. Like a BGM. However, I believe that people could definitely criticize this. No matter what the situation or process was, the results ended up like that.
Q: I think if you wanted to see this as a dark past, it could definitely be seen as that. Although it would be thankful if people understood this process, there’s no possibility for that. Now, let’s talk about ‘God Rap’.
RM: ‘God Rap’ undoubtedly received a lot of influence from Nas as well. Should I call it the hidden beauty of Nas? I thought of Nas’ vibe a lot while making it. To be honest, I thought a lot when I was trying to give it a title. Because there’s already Eminem’s ‘Rap God’. However, ‘God Rap’ isn’t something where I’m shouting out that “I’m the god of rap.” The story is completely different. It talks about how there is no god in the world, and that the only gods are ourselves. It’s the thought that the only thing that picks my fate is my own self.
Q: Do you not have a religion?
RM: No, I don’t.
Q: Are you Atheist?
Q: For things that talk about religious or are related to gods remind me of Joey Bada$$’s ‘Christ Conscious’. Did you happen to make a reference to that?
RM: Ah, I didn’t refer to that song. If anything, like I previously said, I received influence from Nas. However, now that I listen to it, it seems like there’s a connection (laughter). I did normally listen to ‘Christ Conscious’ a lot too.
Q: Now let’s talk about controversies and issues. ‘No More Dream’, which is your debut song that talked about the realities of education, received a lot of criticism, saying that it was ‘clearly a business method since H.O.T days of idol groups that are worn and can be seen through’.
RM: For this problem, there’s already a solution within me. My thoughts is that people in their 10’s are the same now as they were back then. They continue to not have dreams, don’t want to study, and have no idea what it is that they want to do. They just want to become a civil servant or make a lot of money. I believe that it’s the same now as it was when ‘Warrior’s Descending’ came out. That’s why we’re just trying to plainly express the reality of now. “A student that just studies hard even though they don’t have a dream” is exactly who I was. It’s not something I was trying to pull out old stories for, but something that was purely my own story.
Q: I saw that you studied well during your school days.
RM: I felt like I had to do something. I believed in the words that, “If you don’t study now, then you’re unable to succeed later on.” That’s why I studied really hard. The only thing I enjoyed from studying was the sense of achievement and superiority. I didn’t like studying itself. To be honest, when I wrote the lyrics for ‘No More Dream’, I received multiple rejections from Bang Sihyuk CEO. I wrote about money and a lot of other toics, but he said that it didn’t seem like our true stories. After going back and back again, I ended up being able to write what I truly felt.
Q: It makes me have this thought. There can definitely be criticisms towards ‘No More Dream’ from the historical viewpoint of idols or from the flow of the music industry. Since no one needs to know the reason or meaning for the creation. However, if that’s really your own personal story, I think there’s a hip-hop side to that from the context of it being ‘real’.
RM: Although I believe that I can receive criticism, I don’t have any embarrassment towards the lyrics for that song. It was really my story.
Q: You shouted, “Westside Till I Die” during ‘If I Ruled The World’.
RM: That’s well. I was really wrong then (laughter). After the album came out and I listened to it, I thought “Ah”. I think I was immersed in the emotions while recording and ended up shouting like that.
Q: What’s the specific reason why you feel you were wrong?
RM: First off, I didn’t even live in the ‘west side’… And even if that song had a G-Funk sound, what I shouted wasn’t the way to respect the west coast hip-hop musicians. I believe there are many meanings inside the words “Westside Till I Die”. Sweat, struggles, pride, etc. Isn’t it a phrase that compressed all these factors of life.
Q: Are you saying that you overlooked the weight and complex undertones that the phrase has within hip-hop?
RM: That’s right. I believe it’s different from words like “Yo!” or “Check It!”. As a result, I was thoughtless.
Q: Are you admitting it to be a mistake?
RM: Further than a mistake, it was a wrong. I have nothing to say.
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: So is it like a relationship like Seo Janghoon and Hyun Jooyeop?
RM: That… I don’t really know about.
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).
Q: If there’s something final you want to say?
RM: I hope that you’ll definitely listen to this mixtape. Just download and click it. Even if it’s to say bad things about it, I hope that you can listen to it at least once.
TRANS. CR; YASUIS @ TUMBLR (@ryuveiys) | SOURCE CR; HIPHOPPLAYA
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