BTS’s Rap Monster has spoken up and apologized with regard to issues raised about the source of some of his lyrics.
On December 1, Twitter user @wevebeenhere posted a string of tweets as he became aware of some of Rap Monster’s lyrics that seemed to have been plagiarized.
The Twitter user first says, “The kind of people that I hate the most are the ones that take words from other people’s lives and take and use them like it’s nothing. What do you gain from that. When this happens to people I care about, it makes me so angry, and I have no intention of giving away my words like that. Do I need to protect my tweets.”
He points out the line from Rap Monster’s rap in Primary’s “U,” in which Rap Monster says, “I’ll become your underline / Because you’re important.” The Twitter user says it’s something he had tweeted in 2014: “I can’t believe this. Rap Monster wrote it. He did it before with [@radiordinary]; it’s not just once or twice.”
He expresses his disappointment and anger, saying that because it’s something he had saved, wanting to use it an album title for the band he belongs to, he’s even more in disbelief, and says, “A rapper that makes raps, your self-respect is truly something.”
He goes on to mention the case with @radiordinary’s tweet from October 2014, “If you lie with loneliness, the bed gets wider,” a line Rap Monster also allegedly used in Primary’s “U.”
@wevebeenhere says, “I remember that San E said for his latest single that he used a line from the poet Eun Oh. I don’t know if there are rights for tweets, but as an MC who writes his own lyrics, I think this is something to be very embarrassed about. Rap Monster.”
He then stated that he’s gathering files from his acquaintances and saving screenshots for potential legal action.
In a final tweet about the issue, @wevebeenhere posted a screenshot of a text he sent, in which he apologizes for posting harsh words, and explains that it was posted in anger: “Rap Monster, let’s talk when MAMA is over.”
Rap Monster, currently in Hong Kong for the 2015 MAMA, responded with a full apology:
“Hello. This is BTS’s Rap Monster. I’m currently in Hong Kong for MAMA. Today is a very important day for BTS, but I am writing because I think this is really important and I need to address this myself.
“Early this morning an acquaintance contacted me and told me about the issue concerning the source of my lyrics on SNS.
“First, I sincerely apologize. Even though I just started creating, I am just another creator who experiences a lot of difficulties. I can’t write music through mere internal stimulation, so I take inspiration from talks with friends, books I like, movies, interviews, and letters from fans. I write the feelings and lines that left an impression on me in notes on my phone. Most are erased or forgotten, but after hearing the criticism today I realized that I was unconscious of the mistakes I made. Without knowing the source and not remembering clearly, I carelessly worked only thinking about having to write songs.
“Everything is my fault. I think anyone would naturally feel offended if he had written a specific expression first and then saw [my lyrics]. I will try to contact everyone and claim responsibility to the best of my ability.
“Again, I apologize to the people who pointed this out and to individuals who were hurt. I am sorry and thankful for the fans who are always supportive, despite my shortcomings. I will become a person who thinks of a creator’s responsibility before thinking about a creator’s difficulties.
“I would like to apologize once again to everyone I have caused trouble for.”
What are your thoughts on this controversy? Where is the line between inspiration, quoting, and plagiarism?