Just for Fun: BTOB “Insane” Lyrics

Ah, one of the fun [and sometimes annoying] factors of Kpop is their obsession with using English in their songs. I will admit that since they do, it actually makes it easier for me to start to learn them, but some of my favorite songs are ballads which feature no random English which detracts from a song’s meaning by being more or less gibberish just thrown in. I don’t blame the kpop groups themselves, as most of them get their songs from elsewhere. I just wish that sometimes if they decided to use English, they could at least use it properly.

BTOB’s debut song “Secret (Insane)” is really catchy and shows off the rapping and vocal abilities of the members. However, it does suffer from a few random moments of English failure. The biggest problem being with the chorus in which they say: “You make me go insane. She gives me so much pain. I won’t be back again.”

What exactly is the problem? Well, this is something a lot of people [native English speakers included] do. They go from addressing someone directly using the second person “you” and then switch to the third person “she.”  I admit that I have done this before in my writing tons of times. I am also notoriously bad at keeping the correct verb tenses throughout my writing. It’s not a big deal, but if you actually listen to the rest of the song, they are usually always addressing this female as “you” versus the third person “she.” It actually would be correct if the part went “You make me go insane. You give me so much pain.” But, for English in kpop, it’s rather a small matter to quibble about.

I think my main problem with English came with the phrase “ridin’ now say goodbye.” Um. Even with the Korean translated, it still doesn’t make any sense. The guy is talking about going back to before they met and then BAM! This bit of English ends the phrase. If not for that and the switching between second person and third person, this debut song would actually be free of errors, which is a little shocking coming from B2ST’s company Cube Entertainment. They’ve had some pretty bad English in their songs.


  • First time hearing about BTOB (funny name, by the way). I’m not very impressed by the song nor the video. The video doesn’t really stand out. They could use a new and powerful concept like, for instance, B.A.P. did with “Warrior”. But on a positive side, I do like their rapping and dance moves. BTOB boys are definitely talented, but they just need a fresh approach, in my opinion.

    Funny thing, I have long considered writing about nonsensical K-pop lyrics, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. Maybe one of these days…

    • I like BTOB so far. Although, what is with this funny acronyms for equally funny group names that make no sense? The video is a tad confusing and very understated, but given the power groups making their debut with the flash and thunder, maybe that’s a good thing.

      Yeah, I’m thinking about making these random little regular posts about kpop lyrics. This one wasn’t too bad considering the real doozies out there, but it’s just been kind of grating at me every time I hear this song. I also love it when you look at the Korean and that alone doesn’t even make sense really let alone when you add in this English which just makes it even more weird and more like gibberish.

  • I really wish they would come up with new band names instead of confusing and hard-to-pronounce acronyms. On the other hand, Korean indie bands have pretty awesome and quirky names.

    Yeah, sometimes even the Korean lyrics in K-pop make little sense, so when you add weird English phrases it gets only worse. But I don’t think only K-pop has a problem with confusing lyrics, many American songs also have nonsensical lyrics. At least K-pop artists have an excuse – they don’t know English that well, but American artists should be able to speak in their own language.

    • I know. I listen to some American songs and end up wondering just what the heck the song is about as the lyrics make no sense at all, but I suppose comprehension doesn’t matter as long as its catchy & sells well.

  • You know what the worst thing is? They have an American in the group! Peniel was born and raised in Chicago! And they sing ‘she give me so much pain’, instead of ‘she gives me so much pain’. Like, add an ‘s’, seriously.

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