[Interview/Trans] Rap Monster, “Anxiety, wandering, confusion, loneliness. That’s me”(IZE MAGAZINE)[150327]

“If I say I’m different from Zico hyung or Bobby, it’s like saying I’m anxious.” BTS’s leader Rap Monster spent 2 years “seriously wandering.” While at an event immediately after their debut, he was criticized by underground rapper B-Free while he looked at [Rap Monster’s] face, and on he received a question about the identity between being an underground rapper and an idol. His diss battle with iKON’s Bobby at the end of last year was the chaotically jumbled climax of his success and anxiety. “Of course I was really angry. Why would he curse me. But after that, I understood. I said that those people could be like that. Sincerely. After that, I thought. Focus on my own self.” And the first released track from his mixtape, ‘Awakening.’ “Whether I’m an idol or an artist, to be honest it’s not important / your attention when you look at me, that was all just me / stuck to the title and hung from a modifier.”

He learned of rap through Nas, and while watching rappers’ interviews and documentaries, he learned both rap and English. His English skills, which became a hot topic thanks to his rap with its particular low-tone accent and his participation in tvN’s [Problematic Men] as an intelligent male idol, were also learned at that time. So he also feuded with the relationship between music and study, and thought he would end his anxieties while doing as much music as he wanted. However, his time waiting for debut was long, and like the lyrics to ‘Awakening,’ those who knew of his time in the underground all said, “You’ve become a moron since entering a company.” BTS’s leader. His name is Rap Monster. But he’s also an early 20s who became anxious at others’ words that kept pouring out. “I said those words as a joke. The people who say ‘I don’t give a fuck’ are the ones who ‘do give a fuck’ the most. People who say they don’t care are the people who care the most. I was like that too.”

In the movie [Amazing Spiderman], there’s a scene where it’s said that all work is just the process of asking “who am I?” The [Amazing Spiderman] series ended without ever answering this question, but the question “who am I?” is always the beginning of creation. Both the decision to release a mixtape using the sounds of Rap Monster’s favorite artists as a foundation, and the use of a cover image in black and white, were done to answer the question of “who am I?” “I left aside all strategies and just thought about what I wanted to do.” The space between ‘I don’t give a fuck’ and ‘I do give a fuck.’ So he listened to India Arie’s ‘Just Do You’ and when the words ‘do you’ were left in his heart, he made ‘Do You.’ From the “Who will hold my hand in the moment of my failure” of ‘Awakening’ to conclusion of “So just do your own thing” in ‘Do You.’ Making a mixtape of 10 tracks in the midst of continuous schedules without rest could be considered obstinance. But the sincerity that led him to start making songs by one with his anxiety as its foundation was even greater, so he tried to find the hope at the very bottom of his anxious heart. “The mixtape is like the final fortification. No matter what people do, no one can come inside here. I’m always worrying outside these lines, but I listened to good music and made it while taking into account only the standards of myself who has always longed for music. Anyway, it’s good, isn’t it? So everything is okay.”

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