People are like smells. The more you experience them, the more you get used to them, but when they’re gone, you notice an absence. Depending on the amount of time you’ve spent with them, their scent and feel may linger, sometimes more than others. Relationships are powerful things, which is why it is so important to choose people to spend your life with that will make worthwhile the time your pour into them, and won’t leave a bad scent in your nose. As broken people, though, can we truly create meaningful relationships? What happens when our feelings fade and our interactions go south? That’s a question I want to explore in today’s KPOP Friday post, as we take a look at On Your Body by VEN.
My music tastes lately have taken on a very soul/R&B feel. Don’t get me wrong, I love bubbly pop and sparky electric synths as much as the next guy, but sometimes I need to take a break from the noise and listen to the quiet. R&B is a great genre to do that with, because it straddles that line of deep and smooth with the ability to get louder if needed, but it’s just that: when needed. Presentation is a large part of delivery in music, especially in R&B, so I’ve been chilling more with artists like Zion T. and Jonghyun than BIGBANG and GOT7. Recently I discovered a relatively unknown artist who goes by the name of VEN, and his work has really intrigued me. Sounding like a cross between Zion T. and Dean, VEN’s work embraces deep beats and rich vocals to create a slow, thoughtful sound as he delivers his lyrics.
Out of the two songs on his first mini album that feature other artists, On Your Body is my favorite, not only because of its sound, but the questions it brings up with its lyrics. VEN takes the standpoint of a distant boyfriend as he sings
Where would you go without me?
Where can you go, what can you do?
It’s obvious you’ll think of me.
Don’t pretend otherwise,
Your smile is so awkward.
You’re showing it
In so many ways, it’s so funny
His self-confidence at the fore, VEN speaks to his (former?) lover as if she’s trying to leave him, but he knows that she won’t get over him anytime soon. So far, it’s honestly a stark contrast to most love songs I’ve heard, at least in my limited experience. Rather than trying to coerce her into staying, VEN feels indifferent to the feelings of the woman who is leaving him, which makes me wonder what type of relationship they had to begin with. The cameo appearance of Beenziono in this song sheds some light as he raps
But you said you wanna hug me one more time,
Girl that’s impossible.
I’m sorry, I’m too dangerous for you, I’m so toxical.
Stop looking for me but look for the medicine that is time.
That’s what I hope for you, I can’t lie – That’s what I said.
And you said OK, oppa I thought you would be different from other guys.
I heard that so many times already from other girls,
As if it’s from a textbook, I’m sick of it.
I’m sorry, but I don’t feel anything for you
This life I live, pretty girls they’re sniffing me,
And after that want to sleep with me
Then after that, they dissin’ me
Why hate, why hate the player you better hate the game
You’re dissin’ like I’m guilty, but I’m innocent, I’m what I am
The picture this paints is a bleak one, and yet one that is experienced all too often by celebrities and those in positions where people look up to them. Yet another in a string of girls who wanted to feel special by being with the character of VEN, she was disappointed to realize that he was simply another broken individual, nothing truly special or different than anyone else. The lights of fame and fortune often blind us from the reality that those who possess that human glory are not gods, but still humans themselves. This doesn’t exempt VEN from fault, however; his pride is extremely evident as his main downfall. He feels so above the women that constantly throw themselves at him that he’s stopped seeing them as people, but rather as inconveniences, guilty of misunderstanding who they are in relation to him.
Taking a step back, this song is less about a relationship, and more about the lack of a relationship. When feelings and hopes are the only foundation for a supposed love, when those feelings fade as the hopes are dashed, what can happen to that love other than it dying out? When love is ultimately a tool for self-fulfillment and self-realization, when the object of that love doesn’t fulfill the criteria necessary to deliver on that love, it breaks down. Where the Bible breaks human tradition is when it points us to a cross, where a God became man in order to take our pain and give us true fulfillment (1 John 4:10). Where VEN, and the rest of us sinful humans, try to play the love game and attempt to win as much for ourselves as we can, Christ has already won the game, and given us the true prize: eternal life, lasting love, and true satisfaction in Him.