Zico teamed up with DJ Wegun for “VENI VIDI VICI“, which proved to be the right move for the release because the instrumental sets everything off.
On the surface level, the beat is monstrous and it makes the track listenable even for people who aren’t necessarily Zico fans. I was worried that it would overwhelm the rapping, but it’s used really effectively, using loudness mainly during the chorus and post-chorus, while wisely taking a backseat to showcase Zico’s rapping during the verses. The instrumental also includes multiple sound switches for the verses and even during individual verses themselves, all of which work well without being disjointed. The end is abrupt and you don’t really see it coming, which is a solid indicator that the song effectively used build and momentum throughout.
Other than that, it’s a rather no-frills rap song, which is to its benefit. Sure, Zico pronouncing the title sounds like “ready ready ready”, but Zico also just lets his talent and lyrics do the talking and stays away from swegtastic inflection and flow (which I don’t think is his strong suit).
The lyrics consist of a lot of typical braggadocio at first, like asking why a ‘wolf’ like him would associate with a bunch of ‘dogs’ like other idol rappers. But that’s basic stuff for him at this point, so the parts I found most interesting were when he tried to define his exact niche that helps him claim being legit rapper and idol at the same time.
To the benefit of the lyrics, he doesn’t just brag about money to justify his status, and he also isn’t left exclusively sticking to the fact that he has underground hep-hap cred either. Rather, he proudly stakes claim to the middle ground and how he made it work. Of particular interest were bars where he mocks ‘idiots’ who sign their lives over to companies for pennies because they’re desperate to buy bling, burns A&R teams with clever wordplay for having flop groups after namechecking his own, and pokes at rappers who have to turn to acting cause they lack the skills to make it as rappers. The latter exchange in particular could hit a sore spot for many, and not only idol rappers but also veterans in the industry who are now far more known for acting or variety shows than skills on the mic.
It’s not groundbreaking lyricism or rhyme schemes or anything, but in something that a lesser rapper would’ve just used to brag randomly (you know who), I found it interesting how he managed to fit in his justification for playing both sides of the coin and a lot of his career story, which helps make the whole effort at least one tick better.
The music video … well it has a lot of beautiful scenery. And unfortunately it has shots like this.
What is this, exactly? Did they run out of budget and just head to the nearest rooftop and tell a few girls off the street that this Asian guy wants to shoot a music video? Cause it seems like it and it’s pretty out of place, especially when the rest of it consists of shots like this.
I loved it in all the shots with just him and the camera, but every sweglord shot made my think “really?” in my mind, like it always does.
Regardless, overall, this is a great success for Zico and given the sound he was working with I expected FAR WORSE from the music video. For this comeback at least, he’s been managing the sweglord tendencies very nicely and we’re all being rewarded because of it.