RM 02: Do You

‘Do You’ is Track 2 of RM, the first mixtape released by RM (formerly known as Rap Monster) on March 20, 2015.
A line-by-line translation and interpretation follows this clean version. English lyrics in the original text are italicised.

English Translation
I hate self-help books most in the world
Bullshit that tells you to do this or that
They’re all spineless, only believing the words of others
That’s why such bullshit become bestsellers
What would they know about you?
Your dreams, your hobbies; do they understand them?
A lot can change simply by being less conscious of others
Born a master, why do you try to become a slave
‘It’s youth because it’s painful’
Those sorts of dangerous conclusions are the biggest issue
Genres are traps in life, just like in music,
for the moment you become chained to them, you become a fool
Fuck that. You the only one ever
Even if not perfect, you’re a limited edition, leggo
Someone is bound to want you anyway
So, please, just do you 
Do you do you do you do you
(Do the fuck you want)
Do you do you do you do you
(Do the fuck you want)
Do you do you do you do you
(Do the fuck you want)
Do you do you do you do you
What the fuck you want?

I’m not pop, I’m not rock, I’m not funk, I’m not R&B or hiphop
Kids who still don’t know what these are, all of you should dig out your ear wax
“Skirts with skinny jeans? That’s not hip hop!”
Then is A$AP not hip hop?
Are you more hip hop than A$AP or Kanye?
Arrogant, outdated bastards, move to the back
I say fashion is passion
If you write them in Korean, they’re pronounced the same, pe-sheon
Rather than being like those who pull down their pants when in Hongdae,
wear what you want to wear; that’s swag, that’s it
(Whoa!) If you follow trends, good
(Whoa!) If you’re crazy different, good
You’re already hood, it’s just that all of us, from our origins,
are each a little different since there’s no right or wrong
Haters gon hate and players gon play
Mufuckas keep mufuckin all day
Follow my shit, my friend and I’ll pay
I’ll spit in your stead
Twae
Having been told to do as they want, even at the ripe age of 30, 
there are many adults who don’t understand shit
They, who go around shouting ‘respect’ with their mouths –
truthfully, it’s not as if they don’t know the true meaning of that word
Freedom and self-indulgence, they’re different for sure
You’ve got to be able to know the time and place
The suckers that plagiarise and then present it as if they haven’t –
my music’s better than theirs, at least
‘This one raps better than that one’
‘This one is better at this than that one’
Fuck that. I am just doin my thang
So you just do yours too, bitch

I’m doin me juss doin me
Who were you until now?
That’s right, we’d been friends
Nothin’s everything, everything’s nothin x4

Line by Line Consideration
난 세상에서 자기계발서가 제일 싫어
I hate self-help books most in the world 
이렇게 저렇게 하란 개소리들
Bullshit that tells you to do this or that 
다 줏댄 없고 남말은 잘 믿어
They’re all spineless, only believing the words of others
None of them have ‘좃대’, which can mean they’re unprincipled and fickle, but also that they have no backbone/spine. These characteristics combine easily in a person, but the choice of word has an additional edge, for of course, physical books should have spines.  
그러니까 그 개소리들이 베스트셀러
That’s why such bullshit become bestsellers
걔네들이 너에 대해 무엇을 알지
What would they know about you? 
너의 꿈 너의 취미, 이해를 하니?
Your dreams, your hobbies; do they understand them? 
눈치만 덜 봐도 바뀌는 건 참 많지
A lot can change simply by being less conscious of others 
주인으로 태어나 왜 노예가 되려 하니
Born a master, why do you try to become a slave
‘아프니까 청춘이다’
‘It’s youth because it’s painful’
This is the title of a series of essays published in 2010 by Kim Rando, a professor at Seoul National University. It was written as a response to the mental anguish he witnessed in the younger generation facing loneliness and uncertain futures. One of its most popular excerpts invites the reader to recognise that if an average 80 year lifespan was represented as a 24 hour clock, a 24 year old would only be at 7:12am. The analogy was an encouragement for youth to take courage and do what they want. Read a review by The Korea Herald here
While a lauded bestseller at the time, it also received waves of criticism for suggesting a strong will and perseverance were enough to overcome difficulties, and because the author’s own life suggested he’d be unable to sympathise with the struggles of the lower classes in a generation of increased competition. 
Thus, as much as the title became a part of the Korean vernacular, it was often in a negative light. For example, Yoo Byungjae for a sketch for Saturday Night Live Korea retaliated against his superior who used the phrase as an easy solace, shouting “If you’re sick, you’re a patient, you son of a bitch! How is that youth?” Defconn also released a song titled “Don’t be in pain, youth” in 2016 that turned the book on its head.
그딴 위험한 정의가 제일 문제야
Those sorts of dangerous conclusions are the biggest issue
삶에서 장르는 덫, 마치 음악처럼
Genres are traps in life, just like in music, 
거기 얽매이는 순간 바보 되니까
for the moment you become chained to them, you become a fool 
Fuck that. You the only one ever
완벽하진 않아도 한정판 레고
Even if not perfect, you’re a limited edition, leggo
차피 누군간 널 탐내게 돼있어
Someone is bound to want you anyway 
그니까, 넌 그냥 너를 해줘
So, please, just do you 
Do you do you do you do you
(Do the fuck you want)
Do you do you do you do you
(Do the fuck you want)
Do you do you do you do you
(Do the fuck you want)
Do you do you do you do you
What the fuck you want?
I’m not pop, I’m not rock, I’m not funk, I’m not R&B or hiphop
아직도 뭔지도 모르는 애들 전부 다 파라 귓밥
Kids who still don’t know what these are, all of you should dig out your ear wax
‘치마에 스키니진? 힙합이 아냐!’
“Skirts with skinny jeans? That’s not hip hop!”
그럼 A$AP은 힙합이 아냐?
Then is A$AP not hip hop? 
니가 A$AP, Kanye보다 더 힙합이야?
Are you more hip hop than A$AP or Kanye? 
꼰대 선비새끼들은 저 뒤로 가라
Arrogant, outdated bastards, move to the back
Or more literally, ‘kkondae seonbi bastards, move to the back.’
In Korea’s dynastic kingdoms, a ‘seonbi’, or ‘virtuous scholar’, was the title given to Confucian scholars who led lives of integrity rooted in learning. Since then, it was more widely used to describe learned men who with reputations of righteousness and incorruptibility. However, for many contemporary Koreans, the term is synonymous with old men who are arrogant and set in their ways. 
This term is paired with ‘kkondae’, a derogatory term for older men “who are quick to dole out unsolicited advice and even quicker to demand absolute obedience from their juniors.” 
내가 말하길 fashion은 곧 passion
I say fashion is passion 
한국말로 쓰면 똑같아 패션
If you write them in Korean, they’re the same, pe-sheon
There is no ‘f’ sound in Korean, and so the ‘p’ sound is adopted in its stead. Thus, ‘fashion’ and ‘passion’ sound the same and have the same spelling.  
홍대 가면 괜히 바지 내리는 것들 대신
Rather than being like those who pull down their pants when in Hongdae,
Hongdae is an abbreviation of Hongik Daehakgyo, or Hongik University, which is acclaimed for its architecture and art schools. It also serves as a metonym for the area, which since the ‘90s has had a thriving arts and live music scene. It has unsurprisingly become more ‘mainstream’ since, with indie groups being pushed out to surrounding suburbs, but it still holds a reputation for being one of the most popular entertainment districts in the city.

This line therefore is a dig at people who are rowdy with their assumptions but in fact are the first to try to fit in, adapting their clothes to the neighbourhood (while completely missing the point). It could also be a sly reference to those who come to the area for sexual activities.

니가 입고 싶은 대로 입어 that’s swag. that’s it
wear what you want to wear; that’s swag, that’s it 
(Whoa!) 유행 따라가도 good
(Whoa!) If you follow trends, good 
(Whoa!) 졸라 남달라도 good
(Whoa!) If you’re crazy different, good 
걍 니 자체가 hood, 원래 모두 처음부터
You’re already hood, it’s just that all of us, from our origins,
맞고 틀린 건 없었어 각자가 좀 다를 뿐
are each a little different since there’s no right or wrong

Haters gon hate and players gon play
Mufuckas keep mufuckin all day
Follow my shit, my friend and I’ll pay
내가 너 대신 침 뱉어줄게
I’ll spit in your stead 

Twae
An onomatopoeic sound for when one spits.
하고싶은 대로 하랬더니 나이 서른 처먹고도
Having been told to do as they want, even at the ripe age of 30, 
똥오줌조차 못 가리는 어른이 많지
there are many adults who don’t understand shit
The more literal translation here is that there are ‘many adults who can’t distinguish between feces and urine’.
지 입으로 리스펙을 외쳐대는 이들
They, who go around shouting ‘respect’ with their mouths –
지들도 사실 그 말의 참뜻을 모르진 않지
truthfully, it’s not as if they don’t know the true meaning of that word
자유와 방종, 분명 다른 것
Freedom and self-indulgence, they’re different for sure
때와 장손 알아야 하는 법
You’ve got to be able to know the time and place
in order to act accordingly.
똑같이 베껴 갖다 쓰고 아닌 척 포장하는 suckers
The suckers that plagiarise and then present it as if they haven’t –
걔네 음악보단 내 게 낫단 것
my music’s better than theirs, at least
누가 누구보다 랩을 잘 해
‘This one raps better than that one’
누가 누구보다 이게 낫네
‘This one is better at this than that one’
Fuck that. I am just doin my thang
그러니까 너도 그냥 니 껄 해 bitch
So you just do yours too, bitch
I’m doin me juss doin me
넌 여태 누구였니
Who were you until now? 
그래 우린 친구였지
That’s right, we’d been friends
Nothin’s everything, everything’s nothin x4


Please refrain from sharing screenshots without providing a link, I’d love for people to be able to read the lyrics in context.

One thought on “RM 02: Do You

  1. Thank you so much, Wisha, for posting these translations! It means a lot! I can’t find the links of all the translations of RM o your website. Can you please link them here, if it is possible?
    Also, you’re one of my favourite translators on Twitter! Thank you for all this!

    Like

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