Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Review: B.A.P–“Warrior”

B.A.P explodes onto the scene with their sparkly bunny.

Did you like the song?
Let the comparisons that diehard fans hate begin! So right off the bat my friend noted that she was confusing B.A.P and Block B partially due to their overall look but also due to the Zelo/Zico names comparison. (I personally thought their dress style and tendency to break things was more similar to 2NE1, actually.) But regardless of that, I think both groups’ status as powerful younger rapper groups will continue to elicit this comparison, so don’t be surprised.

All that said: damn! This was perfect! This is a rookie group?! Really?! I love the song and the video and the group. This is exactly what I’ve been wanting from new groups (and from old ones, too!). “Warrrrrior…”

BAP Warrior members names

Youngjae, Himchan, Daehyun, leader Bang Yongguk, maknae Zelo, and Jongup.

What was your favorite part of the song?
I can honestly say I love every part of the aggressive chorus here and the majority of the rest of the song. “Digidigidum, digidigidum” was awesome, and the sexy line at the end of the chorus “Mogeul joyoganda~” (“It’s suffocating you”) was fabulous. And I loved Zelo’s amazing Outsider-like rapping section. What’s more, usually “bow wow” sections bother me (you’re humans, not dogs!)—for example, one of Dalmation’s songs (I think it was “Round 1”) made me wince—but it didn’t perturb me here in the slightest. *shrug*

BAP Warrior members names

Jongup, Youngjae, Daehyun, Himchan, Zelo, and Bang Yongguk.

Does the English make you want to rip your eardrums out?
There is a lot of English in this song, and it generally makes more sense if you caught the acronym for B.A.P as “Best Absolute Perfect” at the beginning of the MV. (So Yongguk’s “What’s your B.?” is actually asking something like “Are you at your best?”)

Also, there’s some English on this sign. While it doesn’t necessarily make sense, it’s punctuated correctly and could be just deliberately ambiguous.

BAP Warrior review English sign

This kind of reminds me of the English signs in the Brown Eyed Girls’ “Sixth Sense,” actually.

Did you like the video?
So there’s this evil bunny...

B.A.P Warrior bunny

The first thing I thought of was the film Donnie Darko. Zelo’s little mouthguard thing even resembles the Donnie Darko bunny to me. The second thing I thought of was Playboy.

Donnie Darko bunny Playboy bunny logo

Various evil bunny logos.

Due to this, I have decided that B.A.P will from now on stand for “Bunnies Are Precious” in my head. That’s what you get, B.A.P.

With one exception, I find myself agreeing with the top Youtube commenter at one point (albeit with less cursing)—this is how you make a debut. Sexy, powerful, manly, technically excellent, superb singing.

So what’s the exception? Well, if you’re going to debut a new group with six members, of whom only two are generally known, should you have everyone dye his hair the same unusual color so that it’s difficult for casual viewers to tell your members apart? No, you should not. It seems like I say this a lot: the point of a debut is for potential fans to get to know your members and your style, is it not? This can be made easier for us by including names or color-coordinating or something. This can be made more pointlessly hard by dressing everyone the same, down to their hair color (and in some cases style).

If you’re interested, though, my bf really disliked this video. It’s rare that we so completely disagree, so I mentioned it. But he also did not like Bang Yongguk’s voice. I know, I didn’t think it was possible, either. I even gave him T.O.P’s “Turn It Up” to compare, and he said that while T.O.P sounded natural and authentic, Yongguk sounded weird and off, like Christian Bale’s Batman. *mind explodes* Clearly I’ve now left him and taken the cat.

But I think maybe what he was referring to wasn’t Yongguk’s voice so much as his swaggering über-confident demeanor at the beginning. I liked it, but I can see how it might be a bit sudden if you’re not expecting it.

BAP Warrior Bang Yong Guk

Perhaps a tad intense.

Was there a storyline? If so, did it make sense?
So you get this impression of violence and repression in an apocalyptic future (note the skull imagery). Things coalesce more in this scene where it seems as if Zelo has the other members as his puppets:

BAP Warrior Zelo

Puppetmaster Zelo and his minion army.

I got the impression that Zelo (with his bunny helper?) had made a kind of clone army of blonde guys who feel constricted and repressed under his tyrannical rule (notice the chains and the hands-around-their-throats dance move).

BAP Warrior Bang Yong Guk

Bang Yongguk’s literal and metaphorical chains.

They gradually start rebelling against him, shown in the video as smashing pumpkins things up.

BAP Warrior smashing cars

Literally smashing through repression.

The story culminates in them surrounding him and shooting him in the head, overcoming the dictator.

BAP Warrior shooting Zelo

You kind of start feeling sorry for Zelo, who’s now been finger-shot in the head twice in this music video.

In a year in which “The Protester” was named Time magazine’s 2011 Person of the Year, this storyline really resonates. I think it was brave of B.A.P to make “the evil dictator” role one of their own members, too, and it made the story stronger.

Time magazine cover protester

Time’s Person of the Year cover.

Was the dance cool and distinctive?
Oh, I’m sorry, did you say there was a freakin’ stomp section here?! I love stomp. It reminds me of high school pep rallies where our stomp team would badass their way across the basketball court with ultimate swagger. I’ve never seen it in a Kpop music video, though. Well done.

Other than that, I loved both the little moments in the dance and also the overall impression. I highly approve of the choreography where members touch each other. My best absolute perfect favorite part was the choreographed fight scene where they mimic shooting each other in the head (complete with sound effects). It sounds kind of bloodthirsty of me, but I found that really sexy. :D

BAP Warrior dance choreography

This scene.

Plus, any dance where the members end up on the floor is cool.

Do the members look good?
Dirty + sweaty + manly + with this air of desperation = perfect. Other than the matching blonde hair, which I could have done without.

BAP Warrior members names age order panorama

(Top:) Bang Yongguk, Himchan, Daehyun, (bottom:) Youngjae, Jongup, and Zelo.

Which member stood out the most?
Although I think Himchan is certainly the prettiest, I thought Zelo stood out the most. (Yup, my maknae obsession strikes again.) It’s partially because of his rapping, partially his demeanor, and partially because his hair is more curly than the others’, which helps to differentiate him.

BAP Warrior Zelo


Do you like it enough to buy the song?
Absolutely. More, please!

Any ending thoughts?
If you’ll recall, leader Bang Yongguk and maknae Zelo previously collaborated on the song “Never Give Up,” with a MV that starred Secret’s Hyosung in a suspiciously American high school setting. I once had a doorbell that sounded exactly like the main riff of that song, which is why I generally disliked it, but I did think at the time that they were impressive rappers, especially for rookies. It was very deserving of all its G-D&T.O.P comparisons.

And prior to that, Bang Yong Guk released “I Remember” with BEAST’s Yoseob.

Boyfriend’s one-liner:
“At first I thought their hair was dyed blonde, but now I can tell it’s from them break-dancing in all that dust.”

BAP Warrior break dance

This explains much.

Oh, and here, have a panorama I put together with their names and birthdates:

BAP Warrior members names age order

Bang Yongguk, Himchan, Daehyun, Youngjae, Jongup, and Zelo.

Thanks for reading! :)


  1. Hahahaha I love your reviews. XD  

    I definitely agree about each member needing to show his own style, but I think the unison works for this video.  I didn't particularly like the way those jackets dwarfed them, but I liked that every time they sang (?) "WAAAARRIOR!"  they charged forward in a phalanx as if they were soldiers, and having the same hair color and basic style helped them pull that move off even better.  Their hair styles are different enough to tell them apart when you focus on just one, but having the same shock of blonde hair on all of them helps them blend together as one unit when the choreography calls for it.  In a way, them having all the same color hair is actually helping me tell them apart--I'm looking at their faces rather than just their hair colors.  

    All that said, I still hate the blond on some of them.  Especially the goofy curly style on Zelo--it makes him look like a little kid with that young face of his. 

    Also, about Bang Yong Guk's voice--has your boyfriend listened to Going Crazy or I Remember?  I will agree with him that his voice sounds almost forced in this song, but I loved how his voice worked in those two songs.  I think his voice just sounds weird when he yells.  I don't dislike it, but I much prefer his voice in those first two songs versus the later ones--Zelo is now my fav rapper in the group because of it.

    And another meaning for their name: Blonde And Proud.  XD

    Thanks again for another great review--definitely helped make my day that much more awesome. (it's my bday today!!)

    A side note about your background--I love it, but I keep getting confused cuz I keep thinking of Big Bang. o_O the colors....and the weird black and white's so similar to some promotional stuff they've done before, especially for Japanese releases...... XD

  2. Oooooh, OMG it was your birthday yesterday?! Happy Belated Birthday!!! Congrats!

    In a way, them having all the same color hair is actually helping me tell them apart--I'm looking at their faces rather than just their hair colors.

    This is actually really true. It's taken away my crutch for telling them apart--"oh, he's the one with the purple hair," and then when he doesn't have it anymore I'm totally lost. So hopefully this will help in the long run.

    Nope, this is the first time my bf has heard Bang Yongguk's voice. But I enjoyed those MVs and know what a good singer he is, so maybe that makes it easier for me to appreciate his performance here. Agreed that Zelo is an amazing rapper, though. I soooo adore fast rapping.

    Blonde and Proud

    *dies laughing*

    OMG since you mentioned that the background reminds you of Big Bang, I cannot unsee it. That was totally unintentional; I was just like, "Ooh that background is pretty~" :DDD

    Happy Birthday again!

  3. hahaha thanks :)  and muahahaha i have tainted your vision to that of a true VIP!!!! :P 

    And I have to confess, i am not the one who came up with Blonde and Proud, I stole it off a comment on allkpop.  XD

  4. I laughed out loud reading this review :) Also lol at "Well, if you’re going to debut a new group with six members, of whom
    only two are generally known, should you have everyone dye his hair the
    same unusual color so that it’s difficult for casual viewers to tell
    your members apart? No, you should not."

    I'm Captain Obvious 'cos I compared them to Block B half of their section of my article. And now you do realise you simply HAVE TO review the new Block B's song?

    I loved Warrior: the song, the rap, the choreo, everything. Am enjoying their docu too even though I only can tell apart Bang, Zelo and Himchan so far (damn bleached hair, yeah!). Btw, the speedy Ousider-ish rapper baby is only 15. Rather unbelievable, isn't it?

  5. Addendum:

    1) I'm in the minority here but I absolutely love Zelo's hair. LOVE! :)

    2) Have you seen Bang seeinging I Remember with Daehyun instead of Yoseob?

  6. I'm fairly certain that Bang Yongguk's birthday is March 31, but it looks like you have March 30 on there...

  7. Well, I didn't add text to the photo with their birthdays in any way, I just put them together from separate pictures on their official site, which is So if his birthday is actually March 31, then the official site has it wrong, which is definitely possible. Thanks for commenting! :)

  8. you're not alone. i cried buckets over this performance too. not only this performance but basically every BAP's songs especially UNBREAKABLE. Daehyun's voice is too good. he touched my heart and i can hear sincerity in his voice. he's got a voice i am willing to listen to all my life.

  9. Yay, glad I'm not the only one emotionally affected, lol! :)

  10. Blonde Ass Pimps
    Blonde and Pretty
    Bunnies are People
    Blonde and Precious

    Those were the acronyms I thought BAP stood for.

  11. Here's a comment from Anonymous that Blogger ate--some more acronyms, lol:

    Blonde Ass Pimps
    Blonde and Pretty
    Bunnies are People
    Blonde and Precious

    Those were the acronyms I thought BAP stood for.