a closer kpop reading of oneus’ no diggity

delve into the visuals of the new music video with BG

Within 24 hours of its debut, the latest music video from Oneus, ‘No Diggity’ has a whopping 6.5 million views. If you’re a ToMoon, you’ve probably seen the video many times by now, but did you notice how the visual elements relate to the meaning of the song? Let’s take a look at what I mean.

What Is ‘No Diggity’ by Oneus about anyway?

‘No Diggity’ has a simple message: stay away from my woman. The lyrics speak directly to another guy who is jealous of a relationship and scheming to break the couple up. Through the fiery rap and powerful vocals, the guys are saying ‘you can try to steal her if you want but you won’t succeed.’ Many elements of the video help to visually convey this message.

The Color Green and the Letter X

The palette for ‘No Diggity’ relies very heavily on green, and this is no accident. For centuries, the color green has been associated with envy and jealousy. Some scholars believe it began with Ancient Greek healers who thought that people were jealous because they had too much bile in their bodies, and that this problem would turn the skin slightly greenish.

No matter how it started, the history of linking green with envy has clearly influenced ‘No Diggity.’ You’ll also notice that the letter X appears in the background of much of the video. Traditionally, we cross out things that are wrong or forbidden with an X. Here, the use of the X suggests that the guy being addressed shouldn’t dare to mess with the boys.

The Eyes on the TV Screens

Repeatedly, we see Hanwoong with this stack of televisions. On the screens appear flickering images of an eyes. This goes back to the theme of jealousy. In Shakespeare’s Othello, Iago refers to envy as “the green-eyed monster” and this has become an English idiom to represent jealousy. The eyes give a nod to this.

The Crowned Skull

Several times in the video, we see Keonhee in this strange room that looks something like a private club. The place is decorated with fine artwork and filled men who are dressed identically. At one point, Keonhee picks up the skull sculpture in the middle of the room. Its central location suggests that it’s the most precious item there, yet he just grabs it as if saying ”This is mine and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

The sculpture itself has some interesting details. On its crown, we see flowers and butterflies, which bring to mind traditional concepts of femininity. This indicates that the skull is meant to represent the woman in the song. In addition, the skull itself brings to mind death and danger. As a result, clutching the sculpture so boldly suggests that the woman in the song is off limits–or else.

Religious Imagery

Between the Earth and the Moon

Between Adam and Eve

There never was a place for another planet

You’re the serpent in our Eden

Spreading bad vibes in our garden

Oneus, No Diggity

As you can see from the above lyrics, it makes perfect sense for religion imagery like the stained glass windows and the fiery angel wings to show up in the video. These words from Leedo’s verse suggest that the rival in question is trying to tempt the woman away. But as the song goes on to say, the guy is destined to fail.

Stained glass windows suggest a place of religious refuge and safety. The woman in the song is out of reach of the other man. The angel wings indicate that Leedo is the good guy in the story, but they are on fire rather than feathered because he’s powerful and furious, not some meek and mild angelic figure.

Traps & Cages

For part of the video, Xion wears a mask that crisscrosses over his face and is covered with both diamonds and spikes. This looks bad ass for sure but I think it serves a symbolic purpose, too. You definitely wouldn’t want to get close to someone wearing that, and this reinforces the idea that the villain being addressed in the song better step back.

We also see RAVN holding holding a bear trap-like device with two things inside: a rose and something lumpy and red that reminds me of a human heart. If someone tried to reach into this trap to take these symbols of love, they’d be in for a painful surprise.

Torches & Flamethrowers

Fire is found throughout the video, but often it is either in the form of a flamethrower or a torch on the end of a long handle. Both of these weapons could be used to light something on fire, but that is not their only purpose. Often, fire is used to get someone or something to back up, echoing the idea that the nameless guy this song is about better keep his distance.

That wraps up my analysis of the visual imagery in ‘No Diggity’ by Oneus but before I go I can’t miss the opportunity to share these:

They’re not symbolic, but they were works of art anyway.

What do you think about the video for No Diggity? Tell me your opinions in the comments section.

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