a closer kpop reading of victon’s ‘what i said’

delve into the visuals of the new music video with BG

Victon’s new music video ‘What I Said’ has racked up more than 7 million views since its debut on January 11, 2011, but how much thought have you given to the symbolism of what you’re seeing while you stream? It turns out that the visuals tie in perfectly with the theme of the song.

What is ‘What I Said’ by Victon about anyway?

You can think of this song as an open letter to anyone who doubted the success of Victon’s members along the way. The lyrics paint a picture of someone who kept chasing their dreams even in the face of the doubt. Now, that they’ve achieved what they set out to accomplish, they turn around and say, “See? I did what I said I would.”

Metaphor 1: The Mirror

The video opens on Seungwoo looking into the mirror. In the reflection, he sees a butterfly that is clearly not present in the room with him. This represents someone seeing more to themselves than what others do. After he vanishes from the room, he appears in front of another mirror in a gallery-type setting with marble busts. Typically, this type of art is made to celebrate someone great. Putting Seungwoo in the gallery with the sculptures means he’s made it; he’s a masterpiece.

Metaphor 2: The Chessboard

Chess appears as a metaphor in ‘What I Said’ in two ways. First, we see Hanse sitting among large chess pieces while he raps about “changing the game.” Take a close look at the chess pieces surrounding him in the picture above. To his right is the white king. If he were a pawn in the game of chess, his next move forward would put the king in checkmate. Pawns are generally viewed as expendable but here one is ready to change the game completely and win the match.

Metaphor 3: The Office & the Angel

In the next visual sequence, we find Byungchan in an office where the rest of the boys are wearing matching white outfits, typing away on identical typewriters. He stands out in his abstract patterned suit, representing the idea of breaking from convention. Typewriters are significant because they represent old ways of doing things. Here, the video embodies the concept of defying tradition and forging your own way. When he finally leaves the office, he is transformed into an angel with spread wings.

Metaphor 4: The Blue Rose in the Snow

Next, we find Subin in an arctic wasteland, a place that is so hostile to life that there is an actual skeleton nearby. But there among the snow, he spots a beautiful blue rose, a flower not normally found in nature. This represents something unique in an unexpected place and overcoming adversity to blossom into what you were meant to be.

Metaphor 5: The KnightS

Horses and the horse-shaped knight chess piece are shown a number of times in the video. In chess, the knight is the only thing on the board able to jump over other pieces. Because of their L-shaped movements, they are also very difficult to track and can often be instrumental in winning the game. The inclusion of the knight and the horse represents Victon making it past the naysayers and overtaking the competition.

Metaphor 6: The Box

At the very end of the video we see the ultimate symbol for the video–where a box literally breaks open and blue butterflies like the one Seungwoo saw at the beginning fly free. The pawn chess piece is tipped over behind it. The message is clear: Victon is a breakout success, not a pawn to be played with. And now, everyone can clearly see it.

So there you have it–my take on the visual metaphors of ‘What I Said.’ Any thoughts to share? Leave me a comment or hit me up on social media. – BG

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