I swear, every time Chad Future comes back, it’s like:
For those just tuning in, I discussed the phenomenon that is Chad Future briefly in a previous post. I’ve also mentioned that I’m not as troubled by him or his existence as many international fen seem to be. Perhaps it’s because he just doesn’t strike me as a legitimate K-pop artist (or, according to his own mission statement, a K-pop/American pop fusion artist) so much as a fanboy with money. Think one of those youtubers who does K-pop covers/parodies, but with a budget. And despite the fact that he isn’t even a blip on South Korea’s pop cultural radar (at least, not that I know of), Chad seems to have some mad connections, given his collabs with established K-pop artists. Gotta respect the hustle.
Anyway, his latest opus features NU’EST’s Aron. It’s slightly less awkward than “Rock the World” with VIXX’s Ravi because at least Aron and Chad share a common mother tongue and a certain rapport that, in all fairness to Ravi, is difficult to accomplish when you can barely communicate. Going by what I can glean from VIXX TV’s behind-the-scenes coverage of “Rock the World,” Chad did his best to make Ravi feel welcome and comfortable, but the language barrier was omnipresent and made the dynamic between them somewhat strained. The same isn’t true for Chad and Aron, who, for lack of a better term here, really come off like two peas in a ridiculous pod.
Like Chad Future’s other songs, “Got It Figured Out” is a true icon of lyrical genius, with such brilliant turns of phrase as “Call me Top Chef cos I’m hot/Yeah, I’m cookin’” and “Cool kids, cool kids/let them know we’re dope as ish.” Aron, who in the past has composed such gems as “comin’ at you 100% raw” and “pressed down on all fours” lends his wordsmith prowess with lines like, “hottest thing I ever tasted/ooh, damn, girl you got me crazy”, “got a flow that will make you drop.” And since K-pop = Psy to most Americans, Aron also drops a not-so-subtle reference to Psy’s greatest hit: “living in Gangnam/I know you like my style.” And those are just the English lyrics. A friend helpfully translated other memorable lines: “바다 건너 날아온 hot한 asian”/”the hot asian who flew across the ocean” and “여자들은 나를 따라다녀 non-stop”/”ladies chase me non-stop.”
Musically, the song is very retro and ‘90s-sounding (as you can see, I’m a real audiophile here) and the video is strikingly reminiscent of Mandy Moore’s classic, “Candy.” It even appears to have been filmed at the same diner:
I am inclined to believe the similarity was intentional, because it’s too uncanny and the visuals match up too hilariously for it not to be.
The cast of this video is far more diverse than “Rock the World,” making it more in line with Chad’s other videos. This leaves me wondering if the casting of all-Asian dancers/extras in RTW was done intentionally to make it play better with Korean audiences or to make the video feel more authentically “K-Pop,” since it’s Chad’s only collaboration with a K-pop artist who isn’t a native English speaker. Whatever the reason, I’m glad that Chad had more diverse group of dancers/extras this time, since the juxtaposition of a white artist with backup dancers of color tends to raise uncomfortable connotations of use of PoC bodies as props, even when that isn’t the intention (which I don’t believe it was in RTW).
So yeah, I can’t hate on this video and song despite its absurdity because everyone involved seems to be having fun. In fact, its absurdity kind of brings it back around to “so bad it’s amazing” territory. And hey, anything that hearkens back to classic ‘90s pop is fine by me–provided we are, mercifully, spared the visual of Chad Future provocatively sucking on a straw.