By Ryana Ali KDA Internship
This is Part 1 of a three-part blog series looking into한량 (Hanryang) and focuses on first reactions to the music video and song. Views, opinions, and interpretations are the author’s own.
K-pop idol group Super Junior’s Kim Heechul and rock band Buzz’s Min Kyunghoon, both starring on popular K-variety show 아는형님 (known as “Knowing Brothers” or “Ask Us Anything”) and formerly known as 우주겁쟁이 (Universe Cowards), came back near the end of 2020 to bring us into 2021 on a good note. After previously releasing ballads, the two went on a journey to release a new hip hop single.
Their new name? 우주힙쟁이 (Universe Hipsters).
The creation? 한량 (Hanryang - which can translate to “hedonist” or “libertine” but also has other meanings, according to HiNative), a DinDin-produced song about living one’s life regardless of other people’s opinions (Cha, 2020), complete with a feature from upcoming artist BIBI, a music video directed by Super Junior’s own Shindong, and a dance cameo of...ATEEZ?? (Now that’s a combination that I never saw coming).
Below are my personal thoughts about this song that I’ve had on repeat for the past week or so.
Disclaimer: I don’t watch “Knowing Brothers”, nor did I listen to Universe Cowards, Buzz, or BIBI before this song, and I don’t really know much about ATEEZ (I’m late to the party, I know).
At first listen, I remember thinking:
Heechul hit HARD, I did not know he could rap
Who or what is the black lion?
Min Kyunghoon is a really good singer, and he kills his own rap part, too!
BIBI’s charisma really pulls you in, and I like how she sings with the emotion that is meant for this song - a disregard for what others think and a confidence in oneself
I can tell DinDin put a lot of effort into the song’s production - also, his gestures in the MV are so cute and funny, especially during the narration part at 1:26
ATEEZ can dance really well - which doesn’t surprise me, I’ve seen a couple of their dance videos - I really like this dance...also, how did ATEEZ get roped into this
It is too funny that they got Sugeun’s face on this scroll - I legitimately cackled
How on Earth is Kyunghoon making that sound from his neck into the mic?
The ending with the charisma, emotion, and dancing, especially the traditional dancing/elements - I really like the execution of this fusion
(But seriously, who is behind this lion mask?)
And that was just the music video! The song itself is more interesting because they take on different ideas of what it means to be a Hanryang.
Heechul openly mocks others for looking down on him, a Hanryang who doesn’t think much about others’ views of him and moves to the beat of his own drum. To my knowledge, Heechul is fairly outspoken and willing to criticize the K-entertainment industry, so this sounds fitting. I wouldn’t be surprised if people looked down on him in an industry that involves such heavy scrutiny over the tiniest of actions. It’s admirable that he remains true to himself.
Kyunghoon takes on the role of a proud Hanryang who was skilled from a young age and became everything, calling out those who are jealous of him and/or trying to ride on the coattails of his success. He said that people were nice to him when he was young (Knowingbros, 우주힙쟁이 EP.6, 2020), so it could be that the role aligns with his past, or he could be trying to fit that aspect into this song - either way, I know I definitely have to look into him more.
BIBI comes in as a different side of Hanryang: looked down on, yet ready to show everyone what she can do and come out on top. She’s fine if people take their time to come around and recognize her talents because she knows that she always does well (Knowingbros, 우주힙쟁이 EP.7, 2020). In a way, I think of it as her saying she comes out on top because she’s a Hanryang; her lack of fear to do what she wants and be who she is helps her succeed.
And what I think is the catchiest part of the song, 어기어차 (eo-gi-eo-cha), contributes more to this song’s message than one would think after first listen. It’s an exclamation of “Heave Ho!” or “Heave Away!” used during performances of 판소리 (Pansori), Korean storytelling through song, to “arouse excitement” (NAVER). BIBI likens the exclamation as a declaration that they, as Hanryang, will go hard (Knowingbros, 우주힙쟁이 EP.7, 2020).
All three demonstrate the idea of Hanryang by conveying different circumstances, yet their message remains the same: as DinDin said, they’re “Hanryang, so what? Who are you to look down on us?” (Knowingbros, 우주힙쟁이 EP.6, 2020). And in case you didn’t believe them before, they proved why they shouldn’t be looked down on in this song.
Final Thoughts: I think the overarching idea of remaining true to oneself and showing people that you will surpass their expectations (not for them, but for yourself) while calling them out for not treating you well before you became accomplished is a really important message to spread. I applaud everyone involved in the creation of this song, and I’m proud to stream it so often. (And the line about them being more famous than Korean ginseng is a humorous bonus). I definitely recommend that you give it a listen and watch the music video!
Be on the lookout for Part 2, where I give my thoughts on the song’s development and focus on how the Universe Cowards became the Universe Hipsters.
If you would like to reach out about any publications or topics you would like me to cover, please email me at email@example.com (and no, that is not a typo).
Cha, E. (2020, December 18). Watch: Kim Heechul And Min Kyung Hoon Combine Tradition With Hip Hop In "Hanryang" MV Featuring ATEEZ, BIBI, And DinDin. Retrieved January 10, 2021, from https://www.soompi.com/article/1444264wpp/watch-super-juniors-heechul-and-min-kyung-hoon-team-up-with-ateez-and-bibi-in-mv-teaser-for-new-collab
Updated 26 December 2020 to include music video
Gerberarose. (2017, August 11). 이것은 영어(미국)로 무엇이라고 하나요? "한량". Retrieved January 10, 2021, from https://hinative.com/ko/questions/4278087
Knowingbros. (2020, December 05). 【ENG) 우주힙쟁이│EP.6】 김희철x민경훈의 힙합에 해탈해버린 스윙스-키드밀리 ㅋㅋ │FULL- knowingbros. Retrieved January 11, 2021, from https://youtu.be/g54-P-W06qY
Knowingbros. (2020, December 12). 【ENG) 우주힙쟁이│EP.7】 김희철x민경훈의 랩핑에 대한 트렌디 보컬 '비비'의 평가는?│FULL- knowingbros. Retrieved January 12, 2021, from https://youtu.be/W7IUyUmZdoc
Knowingbros. (2020, December 26). [MV] 우주힙쟁이 - 한량 (feat. 비비(BIBI)) (prod.딘딘). Retrieved January 9, 2021, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FngYpWfdE_w
SLoR. (2020, December 28). Kim Heechul - 한량 (Hanryang) lyrics + English translation. Retrieved January 11, 2021, from https://lyricstranslate.com/en/hanryang-hanryang.html
추임새 (Chu-imsae) (1151847735 865927027 NAVER Korean English Dictionary). (n.d.). Retrieved January 10, 2021,