Note: I won’t be addressing bullying in detail, just my quick thoughts on the song and music video.
Earlier this year, there was a lot of media coverage in Taiwan following the death of Cindy Yang (楊又穎), a young actress with a great career ahead of her. Every day there are many cases of suicide in the world, for many different reasons; but this incident brought cyber bullying to the spotlight in Taiwan and increased awareness of it. Many artists were speaking out about it on a “balanced” viewpoint – take criticisms with a pinch of salt because they can be constructive and help you improve, which although can be true, doesn’t address the common situation where comments are no longer constructive and instead become destructive.
The music video begins with shots of a guy that looks like a typical bully, a chubby guy with glasses, a guy with long hair, and a girl in a white dress. Show himself is locked in a cage. The girl in a white dress slowly becomes covered in black paint until you can no longer see her features. Watching this lets you imagine how helpless victims feel in situations of bullying and how slowly, without realising the situation gets too much for them to handle.
Having put on the white masks, the leader of the masked gang unites them to dislike everything. Yesterday a close friend of mine told me about her sister being bullied at school by her (ex) closest friends. They suddenly turned on her because she wanted to practise sketching in the library rather than spent a lunchtime with them, one of the girls decided that she deserved from then onwards to be excluded in all their activities and not to be spoken to by any member of their form class. The rest of the class then followed her lead and everyone talks about her and rumours are passed on about her but nobody in her class talks to her. The thing that surprised me the most was when asked to ‘make up’ and apologise by their teacher, my friend’s sister was willing to even though she had done nothing wrong, while the other girl said something along the lines of “I’m not sure I can forgive you after all that you’ve done to us”… *speechless* The situation is currently being handled and hopefully it’ll be resolved (despite the schools refusal to let her change forms), but there are many cases like this that go on unknown because victims are too scared to tell their parents or teachers.
The masked group gang up on the men at the start of the music video, sticking on profanities and horrid phrases onto the chubby guy as well as tearing apart the clothes of the other guy. The keyboard begins to bleed. All the victims are dragged out in front of masses of masked people, who openly fire their keyboard keys at them, laughing at what they’ve done. In the midst of this, a masked man becomes unmasked, and they turn on him, in the very way that they treated the victims. I don’t think this really needs any explanation because the message is clear; the actions of cyber bullies are represented in a form of physical bullying that we all can observe, but in reality physical damage cannot (usually) be seen through cyber bullying. But that doesn’t make it less important.
Lyrics to the song ‘Let Go’ or an alternate translation would be ‘That’s enough.’
do you get vibe? I’m about to spit my rhyme
I’m in my prime ! we going wild
Ya 大眾話的小說都不用線索 很多嘴天天都塞滿砲火
製造紛亂當幽默 只是看圖想太多 雞蛋挑骨頭
你 瞎啦 醉啦 扯吧 奇耙
只敢在暗處放火 夠了 get down get down
你思想停在侏羅 just get down get down
let let let let let let let let the bass go
下什麼蠱 跟著人盲目 吃土 糊塗 下肚
誰先扮豬 吃老虎 OK蹦 送你的 禮物
現在 開始 倒數
讓你 心服 口服
Down 不相信 不需要 道聽塗說
嗆 真人秀 哪些真 哪些胡說
Down 裝可憐 扮無辜 有人拍手
[RAP by Starr Chen ]
blah blah 已讀不回
love me or hate me
Ironically, this song is getting a lot of hate in the comments because apparently the entire music video and music style has been copied/plagiarised from KPop, namely G-Dragon (from Big Bang).. I’m not even a fan of Show Lo but although I can see similarities in the costumes they’re not used to portray the same message. For example, white face masks were used on dancers in GD’s ‘Heartbreaker’, but here crowds of people use masks as a symbol of anonymity hiding behind their actions. Also, in retaliation Show mentioned that a white mask features in ‘Phantom of the Opera’, yet fans aren’t so quick to jump onto that fact and say that either himself of GD has copied the concept from Phantom, which is arguably more famous.
I feel like sometimes (a minority of) Kpop fans (but which make up a large proportion in East Asian countries, especially Taiwan and HK) can get so caught up in Kpop that nothing their oppas do will be wrong, that they are superior to all other artists and that everyone else copies or is at least heavily influenced by Kpop Yes they may have influenced other musicians but it’s as if hiphop or rap didn’t exist before Kpop, which must also take influences from elsewhere too..
Also, I just watched the official dance music video and it’s refreshing see to black dancers, because I don’t think I’ve noticed much multi-cultural representation in Asian music videos. Along with Jolin Tsai’s previous music videos such as ‘We’re all different, yet the same’ that addresses LGBT culture and ‘Dr. Jolin’ which questions gender specificity, I think Taiwanese music is doing well in creating a movement for a more open and accepting society in Asia.