Bobby, iKON‘s golden boy and Lee Hi’s boyfriend (it’s cannon now), is featured in GQ’s “Men of the Year” issue. After having a mini James Bond pictorial, the rapper sat down for an extensive interview with the magazine. Some of the things we find out about him are: he didn’t know Eminem was white before joining YG Entertainment, he and Block B’s Zico are friendly rivals, he views watches as hip-hop symbols and I’m going to stop here because I don’t want to ruin it for you guys. You can read some of the interview highlights below as I enjoy my spaghetti and meatballs, while trying to figure out whether I’m trying to “awww” or not laugh, as I choke on my food.
1. Interviewer: Mountains? Do you have a specific target?
I’m more comfortable with setting a specific goal first. The first mountain I need to cross over is Block B’s Zico-hyung. Jokingly I tell him, “Hyung, one day I am going to beat you. Just wait.” And then Zico-hyung says, “I’m never going to let you catch up to me.” He’s kind of a rival but he’s a hyung that I respect and from whom I can learn a lot.
2. MIX & MATCH ended a few days ago. On that show, we saw your ability to enliven your team’s vocals. Like a rejoinder?[*Seems to be referring to Bobby’s ability to rap in harmony/conjunction with the vocals.]
I studied that as well. All we can do is recognize that Korean hip-hop still has a long way to go in comparison to American hip-hop. I researched a lot about the naturalness that African-Americans have, because their lives are hip-hop. Their words, actions, lifestyles, all of it.
3. Does your experience of growing up in the US help you?
Not exactly. I learned a lot through being with the iKON members. Before I came to YG, I didn’t even know that Eminem was white. I rapped myself, but I didn’t study it much. I think it’s extremely important to have companions who share the same goals and interests.
4. Is there anything you want to buy?
Just one or two things. I wanted to buy a watch, but Epik High hyungs bought one for me. They said that they were thankful that I featured on ‘Born Hater,’ and it’s a very meaningful item to me. That watch is the symbol of hip-hop.
5. You had a totally different image than from when you were on YG Entertainment’s survival show WIN. You were the so-called mood-maker there, and it was only a year ago.
Well first off, iKON was completed/confirmed as a group, and I am in charge of the rap.If you compare music to a discussion, solo songs give me a lot of time to speak. Within a team, I have less time to speak; I like both. As a solo, I can say everything that’s on my mind, and in a team, the members fill in all the parts I couldn’t even think of.
6. Now instead of imagining a smiling face, an excited face comes to mind when I think of you. On Show Me The Money 3 you raised your middle finger right in the front of the camera, and you even cursed.
I became a lot stronger after losing to Team A during WIN. I became desperate, because here was a chance that I wouldn’t have the opportunity to keep doing music. I had a lot of worries like, “If I want to protect my music, I need to be cooler than this. What would be cooler? Am I just going to keep living like a baby, a smiling nice kid?” When it’s necessary to frown or put on a frown, I need to, but I felt like my charisma was lacking.
To read the whole interview click here.