Epik High hold the ‘Rosario’ with CL and Zico

On 18 January 2021, legendary group Epik High made their return with their 10th album ‘Epik High Is Here 上 (PART 1)’. Containing 10 tracks, the album was released alongside two music videos, for the tracks ‘Rosario‘ featuring CL and Zico, and ‘Based On A True Story‘ featuring Heize.

Epik High is a 3-membered Korean hip-hop group, consisting of Mithra Jin, DJ Tukutz, and Tablo. They began their journey back in 2001, which makes this year the 20th year since their formation. The trio has released a myriad of tracks, from whole albums to singles, to features, and so forth; not counting their work as individual artists. Having signed to Woollim Entertainment and after debuting with their first album ‘Map of the Human Soul‘, they went on to continue releasing music under the label until 2009, where they went through a 3-year hiatus until their eventual return in 2013 under YG Entertainment. In 2018, they parted ways with YG Entertainment and signed to William Morris Endeavour, where they are still contracted with as of now.

Epik High – Rosario ft. CL, ZICO

As customary with Epik High, ‘Rosario‘ is chock-full of lyrical poetry and with obscure references that would take quite a while to decipher. And with a feature of CL and Zico, you’ve got yourself a handful to break down into digestible pieces. DJ Tukutz provides the rest of the crew a Latin-pop esque beat to work their magic on; the theme is continued as the song is titled ‘Rosario‘, which is the Spanish word for rosary beads.

You came as a rose

And left behind thorns

When you went away My dear

Epik High – Rosario ft. CL, ZICO

Right from the start, the first piece of the puzzle is presented to us. We’re greeted with a hauntingly sounding intro (performed by CL), alluding to the story-line that will soon be laid out. One can interpret these lines as an observation made by someone who’s been done wrong by their ‘dear‘; someone who came to them bearing presents, only to leave them with pain and negativity.

When everything is a crime punishable by death

All of you must be without a spot of spin

Oh, why are there so many saints

Epik High – Rosario ft. CL, ZICO

Tablo’s entire verse is a direct call-out to those that dedicate their time and existence to harassers that sit behind their screens. “What’s the use of being woke, when you’ve got bloodshot eyes?“; He calls out the hypocrisy of those that go out of their way to needlessly criticize others, equipped with their ‘holier than thou‘ attitude.

Out of my way

I am a legend and I’m here to stay

Where I set foot becomes the way

Epik High – Rosario ft. CL, ZICO

CL takes care of the chorus for ‘Rosario‘. The straight-to-the-point lyrics pack a punch so that there’s nothing left to debate; that they’re legends, and they’re here to stay.

Zico is over

On his high horse and now he’s fallen off

But not even a year later

I swallowed up all of Melon

Epik High – Rosario ft. CL, ZICO

Zico swoops in for the next verse of the song. He thanks his haters for all that they’ve said about him, as they’ve inadvertently constructed an “epic tale” about him. He asks them not to wait for him to fail, as he never takes a break – “not being the best is the only impossible thing for me“.

He goes on to narrate things people would say about him, about how he’s fallen from his prime; and brings up how he “swallowed up all of Melon” just a year later from these remarks. This is referencing the release of his single ‘ANY SONG’, which achieved an all-kill and remained at the top of the weekly charts on Melon (a music streaming site).

Two hands doing a sword dance in the dark

Throw me a thorny flower with meaningless words

Epik High – Rosario ft. CL, ZICO

Mithra Jin personifies the saying “Looks can be deceiving” in the most poetic way. The “two hands” can refer to a person on the internet (where a lot of haters find the courage to spew their words); “a thorny flower with meaningless words” is an empty present sugarcoated with lies. Mithra makes it clear that he sees through the falsities of their speech and that he’s going to keep doing what he wants to do without being held back by the criticisms of society.

I paved the way

For everyone that is pavin’ the way

Epik High – Rosario ft. CL, ZICO

Rosario‘ makes use of a trove of idioms and poetical verses to convey its message. It’s best experienced through your own eyes, which will give you much more insight into its meaning than what was mentioned in the article.

If you’d like to listen to the rest of ‘EPIK HIGH IS HERE 上 (Part 1)‘, you can find the required links here. If you’re interested in supporting Epik High or want to view more of their music, you can do so through their official channels:

|| Spotify | Apple Music ||

IMAGE/VIDEO COURTESY – William Morris Endeavour

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A k-music junkie who really really really really likes Penomeco.

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