Tasha presents fans with an exciting homage to Kill Bill in her new music video.
Did you like the song?
The Queen of Soul is back with an interesting new song. It’s hiphop. It’s soul. It’s electronica. It’s pretty damn catchy. My complaints are that the vocals on the chorus (Jung In’s, I think) are far too unnecessarily auto-tuned for my taste. I’ll jump on the broken record bandwagon of complaints here, but why go through all the trouble of training up great singers if you’re just going to auto-tune the heck out of their voices, anyway?
Also, I was impressed with how well the sound effects in the song went with the music. Sometimes that can be jarring, but in this case, I think the effects added a nice layer to the song.
What was your favorite part of the song?
I like the part after all that “I don’t speak your language” stuff where the music goes dead and then there’s the “And we can get it in in in in in” line (while she literally “gets it in” by stabbing her husband with a katana) until the end of the song. It was really powerful and matched the video perfectly as the most dramatic scene. (I also really liked the guitar at the beginning of the song.)
Does the English make you want to rip your eardrums out?
Yoon Mi Rae (a.k.a. Tasha Reid) is Korean-American rapper, and quite unusual as she has a South Korean mother and African American father. She and her husband, Tiger JK, co-wrote the lyrics for this song, which are pretty impressive, in my opinion. I particularly like this series of lines: “But the world keeps spinning like a windmill / Whatever happens keep it colder than a wind-chill / Until then just know we gonna win still / You just another dead bug on my windshield—splat!”
There’s also an English version of this song, which is I’d say is equally as good as the Korean version—maybe even better because it has the line “When I enter smooth as a ninja...”
But both these versions beg the question of what “get it in” means. (SNSD’s “The Boys” also had this phrase.) Well, those with dirty minds might highlight the sexual implications of getting “it” in, but I’m fairly certain that’s not what Tasha is talking about here. In this instance, to “get it in” means to commit yourself fully to something. Another way to say it might be to “go all out.” (Thanks, urban dictionary.)
Did you like the video?
Videos sponsored by or otherwise associated with companies or products tend to make me uncomfortable because I dislike their motives. They’re interested in promoting their product and/or company image, whereas I think the focus should be entirely on the artists and the music. And, boy, this can be done tastelessly and awkwardly (I kind of felt that way about BIGBANG’s new MV, “The North Face,” actually). However, when looked at a little cynically, even the artists and their music (especially in the pop genre) can be viewed as consumables or products to be purchased. Everything can be contrived; everything can be manipulated as an image. So in that respect, I’m not sure my discomfort with artists promoting products in music videos really holds much weight. Regardless, I can’t deny that when it’s done well, it can be done really well (I’m mainly thinking of the two “Chocolate Love” MVs, one by f(x) and one by SNSD, both of which are so good I can’t even).
Anyway, even if Intel and Vice helped to produce this MV via The Creators Project (“a global network dedicated to the celebration of creativity, culture, and technology”) and digital media designer Lumpens, I loved it. It’s one of the most exciting videos I’ve seen in a while! Really fun and entertaining. So basically we have a Korean homage to Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill, which is appropriate because that movie itself is an homage to things in several Asian cultures. Even the posters are similar, with the same color scheme and blood splatters.
But what makes this project especially like Kill Bill is that Tasha has to face off against her husband, Tiger JK of the group Drunken Tiger, who is an unexplained evil mob boss or something. (And isn’t that cute that she and her husband collaborated on this song and MV, even though they had to beat the crap out of each other? Let’s all say aww together.)
Was there a storyline? If so, did it make sense?
So the entire thing takes place in this weird cyber world that Tasha has been dropped into. She fashions her sword out of computer pixels hanging in the air. It proceeds just like any video game or anime fight sequence or action movie (specifically Kill Bill or The Matrix) from there: Tasha enters the scene and proceeds to take on a ridiculous amount of guys in suits.
It’s always a wonder to me how these suited guys keep losing. I suspect it’s their politeness, as they always pause to only fight their opponent one on one. Or maybe their suits drain their energy by reminding them of their cubicles? Or maybe they literally have no fighting experience whatsoever and were just pulled out of cubicles and handed swords.
One of them is Leessang’s Gary, whom she previously collaborated with on “Turned Off the TV…”
Lots of cool action sequences occur. I particularly liked the blood splattering the screen and the color filters. They switch from bright, super-saturated colors to black and white, and the film filters red once Mi Rae’s cheek is cut, adding to the drama.
Then suddenly she is transported to a place where it’s raining and she’s magically lost her jacket. Thank goodness she wasn’t wearing a black bra under her white tank top, right? She has to fight The Final Boss, who turns out to be Tiger JK. In addition to being a mob boss he is also a rain god/air and water-bender from Avatar. Who knew? He blows her a kiss, which drenches her in water. But I’m not sure why that was necessary, as she was pretty much already drenched in water.
They fight, he learns what it’s like to punch his wife (hopefully for the first and only time ever), she learns what it’s like to stab and kill her husband (hopefully for the first and only time ever), then she takes an Intel chip from his pocket, which then activates her freakin’ lightsaber. That’s right. We are suddenly transported into Star Wars. So basically every Jedi apprentice has to go through this ritual.
Was the dance cool and distinctive?
There wasn’t a dance per se, but everybody probably worked just as hard on learning the choreographed fight scenes and spinning around on wires. (In fact, here is a behind-the-scenes video, which shows how hard everyone prepared.)
Do the members look good?
Tasha is the only one whom we really get a good look at, and she looks badass. I love it when women get to be awesome.
Which member stood out the most?
Although Tiger JK’s appearance was welcome, obviously Tasha stole the show. I mean, come on.
Do you like it enough to buy the song?
I’m thinking this will be similar to how I felt about Kim Wan Seon’s “Be Quiet.” I’m not crazy about it, but I like it and find it catchy. I’ll get it if I can—I might even get the English version (which features Smokey Robotic)!
EDIT: Both versions are on iTunes, yay! I ended up getting the Korean one, though.
Any ending thoughts?
I’m always impressed by how many great female Korean rappers there are, either in groups or as solo artists. In America, it seems like rapping is mostly a male-dominated arena (though some headway is being made by rappers such as Nicki Minaj). This is just another thing that I really love about Kpop and that I can’t find much of in American pop. I don’t get it! Girls rapping can be so sexy—and at the same time be empowering.
“This reminds me of No More Heroes [a video game]—a fantasy about what everybody is thinking when they pick up a badass ninja sword.” [This was one of the rare Kpop videos my boyfriend actually enjoyed, lol.]
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