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).
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]…
“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.
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.
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.
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 :'((
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.
Anyways. 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.