I knew it!!! From the first time I laid my ears on Epik High’s Wannabe. Bwahahahaha. Tablo. Mithra. Tukutz. So sneaky!
I finally got to watch Epik High’s much anticipated comeback performance, while catching up with Kpoplandia after my HK weekend adventure (more on that later). Because the MV was actually funny, I was seriously expecting Tablo to do something outrageous during their performance like fake breakdance or bad kung-fu. Unfortunately, he didn’t but he still delivered the goods. I’m not the authority on Epik High stuff but I know for a fact that they’re one of the best hiphop acts in Korea. Plus, Tablo is a funny man who kinda looks like Eunhyuk, while Mithra is (more than? hehe) bffs with Heechul. Their latest single Wannabe is pretty catchy but what really caught my attention was Tablo’s opening.
Epik High is back…
This goes out to all the trendsetters…
Get on the dance floor…
It made me wonder which trendsetter he was referring to. Hmm… Lots of those these days. Of course I immediately dismissed the thought of Epik High slightly dissing a fellow Korean artist because that’s almost unheard of considering how polite Koreans are in general, especially Korean celebs. I mean this is Epik High we’re talking about. Mithra may look a little gruffy, but we all know he’s warm and fuzzy inside. Hehe.
Then, after listening to the song in full, I decided to check out the translation for Wannabe. Here’s the first verse courtesy of Jpopasia. I just fixed the grammar a little bit.
It looks fresh, but it feels like it has been done before
Singing the same song, lips to nose
When choosing clothes, add some touch to style
You think you got swag?
Just imitate-imitate, everyone imitates
no convo without knowing the trendy words
Dress like the fashion magazine and the TV shows
Even for the movies I wanted to see, I follow the reviews?
Everyone does it, so f-f-follow
The chorus goes a little something like this:
DJ come play my song on the radio
Feel that radio oh oh oh
DJ come play my song on the radio
Scream loud, oh, f-f-follow that
Wannabe wannabe, everyone imitates you
Wannabe wannabe, everyone imitates me
Wannabe wannabe, lead the world
Because we’re so sick
When they said “because we’re so sick,” I initially thought they were referring to how dope they were. But now I think they’re talking about how they’re sick and tired of trendsetters maybe? Of course, they could have intended for it to mean both ways. Anyway, here’s the second verse of the song:
Students still have to follow the rules, fill those answers in
Throw away dignity but listen to the self-pride
Lead the world and make it imitate you
Get up high and make those eyes follow you
It’s like MP3,can’t deny, we all counterfeit each other
One blaming the another and argue
But if it’s hot, just imitate
Public is the star, children are mother (to the trends)
Even so we are all a wannabe
Even when we love we imitate dramas
Now we have to find our own color
Compared with the first stanza, Epik High seemed to hold back with the second verse, perhaps as not to cause any controversy by going all out. Because we all know Tukutz and Tablo can pull an 8 mile on anybody. Even better when he’s drunk. Hehe.
So after reading the translation, I thought, wouldn’t it be great if Epik High really was referring to GD in Wannabe? On one corner, you have a self-made group that could care less with its image. On the other hand, you have… let’s leave it at that. So who wants to see these two groups get at it on “the dance floor?” Come on! Who’s with me?!! A freestyle rap battle! Epik High versus GD? Or even versus all of Big Bang? YG can even throw in their baddest female for good measure.
But this idea of mine seems plagiarized (word of the year in Kpop) now since someone already beat me to the punch. After listening to the Wannabe/Breathe mashup, I have to agree that both songs sound similar. Was it intentional on Epik High’s part? Well, they’ve never been known for ripping off songs. Maybe they were reminiscing one day, saw this again and got “so sick.” Until someone asks Epik High directly, we’ll never know.
And here’s Wannabe + Breathe, courtesy of cityincolors