For this MV Breakdown, we will be exploring Zico’s video for ‘ANTI’.
Before we delve into this music video though, it is important that we familiarize ourselves with the lyrics, which are much entwined with the video’s symbolism.
We see that this song is told from the perspective of an anti-fan. A fan that doesn’t even seem sure of the reasons of their hate themselves, but believes that this celebrity is deserving of it nonetheless simply because of the position they occupy.
As Zico is driven along a barren road, lightning strikes illuminate the sky. Perhaps this signifies the perilous journey of a celebrity, never sure about when you will be struck with criticism. Hatred is always brewing for them.
A young, glamourously dressed woman leans into the window, angry at and berating Zico before being left behind. This may be a symbol for how difficult it is for famous people to maintain romantic relationships. Perhaps it shows the idea that even the people celebrities try to hold close can end up turning against them because of anti-fans’ behaviour.
At the side of the road, there is a woman on a platform, with her hands tied behind her back, a pointed head piece on her head and people dance around her below. This may be about the sacrifice made my artists and performers, or perhaps the fact that they are held up high and at the mercy of the general public.
The pointed headpiece can give the idea of a thorny crown, like the one Jesus Christ is said to have been forced to wear when crucified. Of course, this may make you think again of sacrifice and how celebrities can sometimes be held up as deities and persecuted for sins that are not their own.
We see Zico seemingly living out the Anti’s desire, lying in a coffin as a skull is superimposed on his face at the start of the video. Later, he arrives at a burning house occupied by rats, he eats from maggot infested food as fire burns around him. He then sits down to watch television, sees himself perform on stage and points the remote – shooting a bullet through his performing self’s chest. It is as if he is consistently asking “Is this what you want? Would this make you happy?”
As the shot Zico dies, he looks up to see the other version of himself standing over him, proceeding to lift his foot and kick him over. This could mirror an anti’s cruelty and feeling that the celebrity is undeserving even of a dignified death. Zico starts to ascend to heaven, only to then end up sitting atop a toilet, likely again illustrating an exaggerated fantasy of anti-fans. The ones they hate are not worthy of heaven in their eyes.
Zico lifts the lid of the toilet and vomits black liquid. A final point to his anti-fans, as if he is saying “Yes, my insides are black and disgusting. You have been right all along!”
[Sources: Lyrics English translation: Popgasa]