B.A.P – One Shot

There is so much to say about this song; I don’t know where to begin. Just to warn you: this is going to be a loooooong review.

Okay. Before anything, I need to talk about B.A.P (which stands for Best Absolute Perfect. Pfffft).

Now, B.A.P has a very distinct image, one that stands out from other boy bands. They have a tough, rebellious, bad boy image, complete with the smashing of stuff, and doing no-good things. Boy stuff. The image most boy bands have nowadays is a pretty boy image; flower boys. B.A.P in no way resembles that. They get down and dirty. Literally. It’s definitely a more manly image. Even the maknae, Zelo, who is only 16 years old, is more manly than some guys in other groups who are even ten or more years older than him *coughHeechulcough*. That’s sayin’ something’. Heck, when they first debuted, every single one of them sported platinum blonde hair. And they all rocked it, I might add.

I’ve heard some of B.A.P’s earlier songs, including Power and Unbreakable, and to be honest, the style didn’t really appeal to me. They gave off this angry vibe that I just really didn’t like. I loved the image, just because it was so different, but I didn’t like the vibe that came with it. I know, it’s a contradiction, really.

I guess the biggest quarrel I have with B.A.P is that I don’t like Yongguk’s rapping. Like, at all. Yeah, sometimes a deep voice is nice an’ all, but in this case? Every time he starts rapping (don’t kill me, BABY’s), I cringe and grit my teeth, waiting for his part to be over. I can’t help it. It’s just not a pleasant sound to my ears. To me, it sounds the same as when I’m grunting, or groaning in annoyance at something (not a pretty sound, mind you). Actually, a better comparison is that sound we all made when we were kids (or maybe still do) when we would say “derrrrr” to something that was obvious. You know what I’m talking about.

It just doesn’t feel like a sound any human being should make constantly. As a singer, it feels like that kind of talking, singing, or whatever you want to call it, comes from a part of the voice box that isn’t meant to be used in that way; like, using it in that way is a sure-fire way to ruin your voice. Then again, I’m a girl, and my vocal chords work differently than a guy’s does. So perhaps it’s not as destructive for a guy to sing from that part of the voice than it is for a girl to. It just doesn’t sound healthy, s’all I’m sayin’.

Unfortunately for me, Yongguk is the main rapper of the group, which means he’s probably going to have the most rapping in any song B.A.P releases. *sigh*

Another voice that has weirded me out ever since I first heard was Zelo’s. He’s also one of the rappers, and happens to be the lead rapper (don’t ask me what the difference between the main and lead rapper are; I have no clue. Wikipedia just said that. =/) of the group. His rapping is VASTLY different from Yongguk’s. Where Yongguk’s is a very low pitched, slow kind of rapping, Zelo’s is a much higher pitched, high-speed kind of rapping. I’ve never heard a Korean rapper rap this fast. It’s no wonder I was weirded out the first time I heard it; it sounded like bunch of random sounds that I would when I trill my tongue and sing a high note. No seriously. Try it. It sounds exactly the same. Okay, maybe not the same, but similar! Anyways. When it comes to Zelo’s rapping, it’s a hit and run for me. Sometimes I like it, sometimes I don’t. More often than not, I’m just weirded out while being in awe that someone can talk so fast, period.

Okay. I’ve ranted enough; on to the song.

The melody itself is quite catchy. I really like it. With the background chorus, it makes for quite an epic sound. I have mixed feelings about the rapping. The majority of it is fine, even some of Yongguk’s parts, but the very first one still sounds obnoxious and isn’t pleasant to my ears.

Okay. The lyrics. The English. Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh. Seriously, can’t these people at least try and look up the proper grammar, or at the very least, the right spelling, or even better yet, the right pronunciation? I mean, seriously. “You na mean”? What the hell is that? Is that some deformed English slang that Koreans use? I assume it means “You know what I mean”, but seriously. That’s just terrible.

But it gets even worse. “Get you mind out fo’ the gutter”. *blinks* I don’t even know WHAT that’s supposed to mean. When I first read the lyrics, I thought it was a typo, until I saw the exact same spelling everywhere. Seriously. What. The. Heck. This is even worse than EXO’s butchered English lyrics from Mama.

Then there’s the unexplained usage of American historical figures that just gets me soooo confused. The lyrics go “빛을 밝혀 Martin Luther King 처럼” (Romanized it is “bicheul balghyeo Martin Luther King cheoreom”), which translates to “Shine the light like Martin Luther King”. I understand the reference, I just don’t understand why they didn’t use a Korean equivalent of MLK. I mean, this is a Korean band we’re talking about, not American. I’d understand if they were perhaps Korean-American (‘cuz there are plenty of Korean-Americans in kpop bands these days), but every single member is Korean through and through. Why wouldn’t they use a Korean historical figure? I mean, is MLK world-famous or something? I could go into another spiel about how technically, his name is Martin Luther King Jr. and Martin Luther King is the famous man’s dad, not the actual famous man. But I won’t go into that, because it’s just pointless to do so, and a waste of breath… err… space… ink… words. Whatever.

Just overall, I’m appalled but the usage of English in this song. Seriously. Looking into the actual Korean words (I had to read the English translation, of course), I actually like them a lot. They are very strong lyrics. It’s like listening to Eye of the Tiger, in that it’s a song you exercise to, to keep you motivated to keep doing those pushups, chin-ups, rolling-like-a-ball… Okay, maybe not that last one. (I do Pilates, alright?) But seriously. I can see myself exercising to this.

Of course, some of the words make me stop that read it a second time. One such example is the phrase, “Don’t run away, turn and face your faces”. Uhhhhh. ??? But that was really the only line that got me confused. I’m just going to leave it be, since I can’t understand the Korean anyways.

I think the main reason I like the lyrics is because it’s not about a relationship. I once took a songwriting class in college, and my teacher said that the three main topics all songs are about are love, money, and power. We’ve got an over-abundance of love songs (which range from break-up songs, to songs trying to woo lovers, all the way to songs about just plain sex, which I absolutely can’t stand), but not as many songs in the other two categories. Yes, there are plenty of songs about money and power, but there are FAR more songs about love. The main reason is because it’s easy to write about love. It’s easy to write about relationships. And it appeals to the masses. Writing a song about money or power is a little different, mainly because it addresses completely different emotions. Love can address, well, love, but it can also address hatred, passion, obsession, curiosity, shyness, awe, envy, among many other emotions that appear in relationships. Money and power… I’m actually not sure how one would express those. You don’t get as emotional about money and/or power as you do about love. That’s just the human heart. This is why we have so many songs about love. So when a good song comes around that isn’t about love, it stands out. This is one such case.

The music video is something else. Man. First off, it was really long. The thing about the video is that it has three different songs in it. There’s the title song of the album, One Shot, then Coma, and Punch. But I’ve got stuff to say about Coma as well (‘cuz I fell in love with that song), but that will come at a later time. Here it is for your viewing pleasure.

It starts off really randomly on a cruise boat. They’re just there… hanging out, I guess. It’s a random way to start the video, and I honestly have no idea what purpose it serves. It has no connections whatsoever to the plot of the MV. At least, no connection that I’ve been able to discern. The story is basically like this: One of the gang gets kidnapped and held for ransom (Youngjae, I think), and in order to get enough money to get him back, the boys steal the money. Except when they bring the money and get Youngjae back, the other gang turns right around and kills him, starting a huge gun battle between the two gangs, ending with everyone dying. Quite brutal, if you ask me. Then it rewinds back to the exchange, and instead of him being shot dead, the SWAT team barges in on the two gangs, and it’s revealed that Youngjae was actually an undercover cop, and everyone gets arrested.

Okay. Lots of things to say about this. First off: I nearly cried during that shoot off. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one. It was brutal, especially the part where Zelo coughs up blood (around the 5:30 mark). That was just… urg. Tore my heart to shreds (doesn’t help that, young as he is, he’s my bias of the group, and the only one I can actually put name and face together for). And right before he’s shot and killed, the way he desperately shakes Youngjae just kills me. I actually just recently saw a gif set that made an interesting parallel, though it worked, for some odd reason. The comparison was between Zelo desperately trying to wake Youngjae up, and Simba desperately trying to waking Mufasa up. Both doomed to fail, both really sad (I mean, come one; who DIDN’T cry when Mufasa died?!).

Of course, probably the part that got most people talking was the alternate ending. I’m still a bit confused whether this was, indeed, just an alternate ending for fans who wouldn’t be happy with all of B.A.P dying, or if it was symbolic of something. I honestly don’t know.

The symbolism that people have been talking about is mostly that them all dying the first time around is the kind of loyalty they have in each other, so loyal that they would even die for each other. I can get that, I guess… I honestly think people might be looking into it a tad bit too much. *shrugs* But what can I say? One thing it does emphasize is the amount of betrayal that the boys probably feel.

It kind of annoyed me to have that second ending, to be honest. It confused me to no end, and kind of took away from the impact of everyone dying. I was seriously getting some major feels. But they just seemed redundant by the end of the MV. Granted, a new set of emotions replaced those, though they were still of the heartbroken variety. The only difference was that instead of being heartbroken that everyone died, I was heartbroken at the betrayal. I dunno if that was their aim, but if it was, they succeeded.

The more I talk about this MV, the more cynical I’m becoming. Seriously. =/ I think I should stop before I start spouting random nonsense.

Here are the lyrics. See for yourself just how stupid the English lyrics are, and the translation themselves. For your benefit, I’ve italicized the lyrics that are originally in English. Normal font means it’s originally in Korean, and just translated.

One Shot

One shot, Let me tell you something that you already know.
You just get the rock to me.
You na mean?

There’s only one chance as you walk on this dark path
Shine the light like Martin Luther King
Get your mind out fo’ the gutter
It’s too early for failure, you’re still young
One shot, one chance
There’s no second chance, don’t lose it, get ready now
Hell yeh, challenge yourself, spread your small self out, just do it

One shot!
Are you gonna give in? Are you gonna be caught by the surrounding traps?
Only one shot!
Don’t run away, turn around and face your faces
Even if the world turns away from you
Protect yourself, that’s the right attitude
Everybody already know?
Hey shout your voice to the world?

I can’t step back on this endless path
Woo woo woo, don’t be shaken
I can’t trap myself in this time of confusion
Woo woo woo, there’s only one chance

Only one shot only one shot
Bite down hard and go against them, one shot
Only one shot only one shot
Throw yourself at the world, one shot
Only one shot only one shot
Bite down hard and go against them, one shot
Only one shot only one shot
You only have one chance u know?

Shake your head and say no to being a slave to laziness
All those who don’t try, wake up right now
You want a high position by just sitting in your room?
This isn’t a game – why can’t you separate it from reality?
Oh yeah, go around a track
Time keeps turning and turning, so far away
Only those who are ready can really talk
Staying in the same place will only make your regret when you close your eyes whoa

One shot!
Are you going to be a victim? Are you going to get lost, looking for an easy way out?
Only one shot!
Turn your face to the rough world and clash and fight
Even if the high walls try to block you
Jump over it all, even if you fall every time
Everybody already know?
Hey shout your voice to the world?

I can’t step back on this endless path
Woo woo woo, don’t be shaken
I can’t trap myself in this time of confusion
Woo woo woo, there’s only one chance

The parts of you that are hidden by fog
Burn yourself with passion that’s hotter than the sun
Run and go away, don’t look back
Don’t stop, go away, don’t let yourself go

I can’t step back on this endless path
Woo woo woo, don’t be shaken
I can’t trap myself in this time of confusion
Woo woo woo, there’s only one chance

Only one shot only one shot
Bite down hard and go against them, one shot
Only one shot only one shot
Throw yourself at the world, one shot
Only one shot only one shot
Bite down hard and go against them, one shot
Only one shot only one shot
You only have last chance u know?

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