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Rapmon’s 4 Things Show: Fact or Misunderstanding?

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So 4 Things Show is basically one of the better ‘reality’ shows I’ve seen of late. It’s not all stupid pain-inducing games and forced laughter – they do actually try to re-enforce the harsh reality of what people in the entertainment business go through on a regular basis – and try to connect them to their past again. Which is freaking awesome if you ask me. The first episode I watched was Rapmonster’s (of BTS).

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Err.. I admire Rapmon [real name: Kim Namjoon, underground rapper name: Runch Randa] as a person – not as his idol persona as much though. He’s kinda cool – I mean, he self taught himself English, ranked highly at school throughout his academic career, can rap well [at least he can in my opinion], and he had to take a lot of shit from a company he wanted nothing to do with in the first place; in order to achieve his dream [although I’m not sure if he has achieved it yet, he still debates about it with himself, I think. I don’t blame him if he’s questioning himself about what the fuck he’s doing on a daily basis – I mean, I’m sure eyeliner and broadcast induced aegyo isn’t what he was thinking of when he dreamed of making a name for himself]. So I wrote this straight after watching his show on some rainy night [yes it was that cliche]…

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“I will type this up now because I don’t think I’ll ever feel as close to the issue as I do at the moment. I’m talking about something that may seem like a frivolous and meaningless issue to many, but it has struck a chord in my heart. Just a few minutes ago, I finished watching Rapmonster’s episode of 4Things. It almost bought me to tears. But first, a bit of background on both Rapmonster and the show.

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Rapmonster is the leader of South Korean boy group Bangtan Boys or BTS, as they are sometimes referred to. They are employed under the BigHit, a company that is a subsidiary of JYP Entertainment. The group debuted recently (last year, I believe) with the song ‘No More Dream’. BTS had been garnering a lot of attention pre-debut ue to their good looks, charms, and hip hop vibe. Their group name literally translates to ‘Bulletproof Boy Scouts’ and in several interviews, they have explained the significance of this odd sounding title – it’s meant to be about teenagers and the issues they face in society, to use their songs a shield from this rain of prejudiced bullets. In their songs, they talk not only about love, but also about society’s opinions and sometimes unfair, biased views of young adults. They have received a lot of praise for promoting hip hop actively, but at the same time, the hate list is never-ending. The underground rapping background of a couple of the members in the group has caused a lot of dispute between the hip hop community about whether idol music can truly be considered hip hop – or if it’s just superficially staged bullshit.

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Originally, BTS was supposed to be made up of Rapmonster and a bunch of his underground friends, but they dropped out of the project because it didn’t suit their lifestyle. I hardly blame them, the rules and constant harrowing schedules that are a given in idol life must be so mentally and physically stressful, not to mention draining. Anyways, the only two who remained at BigHit were Rapmonster and Supreme Boi, and Supreme Boi ended up remaining a trainee while a bunch of other guys came together to form Bangtan. I think it’s true, as the Producer of Bangtan, Bang Shi Hyuk, said; Rapmonster provided the oppurtunity for BTS to be created. So it all led to the formation of BTS as it is known today.

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So, background covered, I’m going to talk about Rapmonster in the show. He um… he said and did a few things that made me realise how shitty the life of an idol can really be. Rapmon talked about what it was like to be an idol – how even though they’re sad at times they’re pushed and pushed until they break; but how no one sees those moments. How they’re always expected to smile and pretend that everything is fine. Howe they’re so strictly monitored that they rarely find life beyond their ever present rules. How whenever he wanted to do something to achieve his dream of standing on stage and letting people hear his voice – he had to compromise.

Compromise is a word used throughout the show – not only by Rapmon, but by his bandmates, producers, and friends. Suga (of BTS) is also a rapper, and he went through similar circumstances to Rapmon. He flat out stated at the beginning of the show that he used to look down on idols in the past – but then he realised that if he wanted to be known of beyond a local community standpoint, he would have to give up his prejudices and chase after that dream of living hip hop. Bang Shi Hyuk, BTS’ producer, stated that Rapmon is a smart guy – he knows what he wants and knows why he is doing what he is. His determination to become well known was the driving force behind the creation of Bangtan and I can honestly say that I don’t doubt Bang PD’s words.

But anyway – my feels :'((

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I think I got a glimpse of Rapmon’s suffering through watching this show. Look, being the cynical little internet slinker I am, I always take things with a grain of salt [… and a lot of sarcasm as well, but that’s besides the point]. So when I came across BTS (first thing I saw of theirs was their MV for We Are Bulletproof Pt.2) I thought “great dancers – try too hard”. But then, as you do, I started watching A.R.M.Y Rookie Idol King Show and I was sort of… interested? I wasn’t hooked, but there was definitely curiosity. And procrastination kicked in. So I watched.

And I felt really bad for them.

I mean – they spent hours just hitting each other, cross dressing, and eating/smelling gross things, all just to boost ratings. They had to do endlessly stupid things for entertainment; and look happy while doing it to boot. No hate for the producers of the show – but seriously. THINK IT THROUGH NEXT TIME. I’m sure the idols will thank you.

rapmon5Anyways. Um. Right. How I ended up watching BTS. Erm.. I guess after Rookie King I just went through shows/interviews and got to know their idol personalities. And I got to know a lot more through their Bangtan Bombs, their Skool Luv Affair making video [omg yes I totally judged them for that title – SERIOUSLY Rapmon should have known better. I mean, if you’re going to put out an album, at least spell it with more maturity than that of a thirteen year old. PLEASE], their trip to Thailand video – and a bunch of other things. Also typical shows like Beatles Code and Weekly Idol [I actually re-watched that Weekly Idol ep wayyy too many times, just to see the MC’s faces when BTS won the Random Play Dance section :’) SIDE NOTE: I felt really bad for Suga in that ep. I mean, he tried and produced this kind-of-good-but-shaky track for the two MC’s but they totally dissed it. His mood actually really noticeably went awry afterwards].

Whoop de do getting back on track~ (Why do I even ramble so much. I don’t even know, the words just come out and I’m typing away and see I’m doing it again)

SO. Um. Rapmon. Right. Admiration. Crappy idol life. Err…

I think I’ve covered everything. As it happens (more often than not) I’ve had a great build up and a crappy body + conclusion. It’s been my problem since I first started writing and I have yet to fix it.

Uhm.

Bye

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EPIPHANNNYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

Whilst that image [not mine] is completely unnecessary and irrelevant to my post – it’s so true!

I would like to announce to all you fabulous readers that I have had a wonderful (yet rather useless) epiphany. So I had successfully convinced (more like forced but whatever) my mother to watch a Kdrama with me. Obviously the conflict lied with WHICH drama I would chose. I’d told her the plots for The Masters Sun, School 2013, Secret Garden, Gaksital, and I Hear Your Voice [notice a Lee Jong Suk theme yet? He got all the good scripts anyway. Doctor Stranger is apparently good too – but I’ll believe that when I watch it]. Anyway, we’re a pretty awkward family when it comes to romance or anything remotely related to sex ed (my mum doesn’t even use the word period in front of me – if I’m complaining about cramps she’ll be all like ‘Has IT started yet??’ – but it’s endearing. I still remember her slight shock when I said ‘bra’ in front of her; and It’s even funnier because my grandma is super chill and all cool with it. She doesn’t mind talking about it all – and I think my mothers morbid embarrassment from past experiences have made her so that she’s super conservative now. Regardless, my mum’s funny and amazing and I wouldn’t have it any other way).


SO! What drama to watch. I had decided on IHYV due to the massive amount of skinship in TMS and the ridiculous implied sex convo in one of the first scenes of SG. School 2013 was way too serious and slow to begin with, as was Gaksital. Anyway, so we watched couple of episodes (my mum even GIGGLED for some of the funny scenes c’:) and I thought she quite enjoyed it [although she was, like me at first, opposed to the whole Highschool kid/ Adult Attorney pairing because of the reverse of the traditional age gap].

During dinner I asked her what she thought of the series – like if it was interesting, if the storyline was good, who her favorite character was – and she responded positively to everything except the last question. She said that there was no character to really like – because everyone’s acting was stony faced. I admit, originally I was quite surprised at this statement. I thought she had seen enough of Lee Bo Hyung’s screaming and crying, as well as Lee Jong Suk’s eye gaze and crazy anger acting to think that they were quite expressive – thank you very much. But she said that even though the plot and characterization made for an interesting show, the actors didn’t express emotion using their eyes.

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And suddenly – I understood what she meant. I had a bit of an epiphany [how anti-climatic after all that build up but whatever]. I realized that… THEY RARELY USED THEIR EYEBROWS.

Okay so maybe that’s a bit random – but here’s my explanation. It’s an Indian thing. We use our eyebrows A LOT when expressing. I do traditional Indian dancing (Bharatanatyam) and I do it myself ALL. THE. TIME. Eyebrows and eyes for happiness, sadness, excitement, despair, horror, surprise – you name it. It’s not like we use JUST that part of our face, the mouth and stuff comes into play as well – but in comparison to South Korean actors, we do it a lot more. And it’s true what my mum said; it leads to less expression being shown on the face. It leads to more emphasis being placed on the dialogue for expressiveness, and of course some of that dialogue would be lost in translation.

So that was my epiphany – and it doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop watching dramas – it just means that I’ll pay more attention to this contrast when I do.

EDIT: Okay I realized that they do use their eyebrows, but just not in the same way or as obviously. This post just keeps getting more and more underwhelming. I’ll go now.

[NEWS] 140503 World of Singers, Rapid fire comebacks,rather than promotions,internal stability

Oh god I hate to say this – but FINALLY!

Infinite Updates

The comebacks that were stopped due to the Sewol ferry incident will be resuming on May. From this, Music shows will return to normal schedules from next week onwards.

Male group EXO and singer GNA activities which were halted suddenly due to accident are in waiting mode now. They will begin their promotions carefully in middle of May.

Singer Hweesung and Secret Jeon Hyun Sung will sell their digitals from 12th May, Baek Ji Young will sell her digital on the 19th. Infinite will plan to comeback on end of May.

EXO’s comeback which was planned to be on 21st April and GNA are still planning their exact comeback dates which will be on the 2nd week of May.

Jeon Hyun Sung who has debut for 5 years will show a mature side through her single ‘Top Secret’.

Baek Ji Young will release a powerful ballad for her comeback. You…

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Noel Coward’s “Private Lives”

John Leary as Victor Prynne, Nadine Garner as Amanda Prynne, Leon Ford as Elyot Chase, and Lucy Durack as Sybil Chase, in ‘Private Lives’

As a Literature student at my school, we get some benefits (thank god!). One of these was to attend a performance of a play that I came to adore – Noel Coward’s Private Lives.

 The plot is romance centric – it’s about a divorced couple with their own respective partners, now married, honeymooning in the same hotel, with a shared balcony. The original couple meet each other due to coincidence and remember the passion they had for each other back in the day. Caught up in their previous love, they run away and leave their partners – which sets up the premise for a lot of hilarious comedy. 

The stage set up, lighting, additional characters, and realness of the actors on stage all combined beautifully to make a wonderful afternoon, and it goes without saying that it was WAY better than school.

Have you watched a play recently that you’d like to talk about?