When you have someone you love, you would do anything for them to make them happy, to see that smile on their face, and make them feel special because you believe they deserve the best things in the world. What happens if they don’t return their love for you? Would you still do anything for them? What if your love for that person becomes so obsessive that instead of being their significant other, you’d rather be their doll? Would you help take revenge for them when their heart breaks? In VIXX’s song “Voodoo Doll,” VIXX takes a dark twist on painful love and risk whatever it takes to make the woman they love feel special. Even if it means to hurt those that have wronged her.
VIXX is a six member male South Korean Pop (also known as K-Pop) group who debuted on May 24, 2012. They are signed under a company called Jellyfish Entertainment and is the first boy band group in the company. Their acronym VIXX stands for “Voice, Visual, Value in Excelsis” Excelsis meaning “highest degree” in Latin (Herman). Their first full album, VOODOO was released on November 25, 2013 which includes the song “Voodoo Doll.” When Jellyfish Entertainment released the music video, it was described as an “unusual title,” “controversial music video” and because of the scary dance performance, it became a “banned stage performance in three major broadcasts” that they had to alter while performing live (Jellyfish Entertainment). Before discussing the lyrics and music video for the song “Voodoo Doll” by VIXX, a fair warning is to be expressed to those who have a weak stomach or sensitivity to seeing blood, cuts, stapling, or any type of skin mutilation. A mature audience would also be recommended in viewing this music video. If you are brave enough and have no trouble reading about or viewing these types of gruesome scenes, feel free to continue to read along and watch the music video.
While the “Voodoo Doll” lyrics describe the perspective of the doll, the music video shows the perspective of the members taking on the role of past lovers that wronged the girl (Lindsay). In the lyrics, it depicts as though the doll is in love with the girl and will do anything for her. The lyrics translation posted by Kromanized, starts off with the doll asking the girl to “…Tell me everything, who do you want?…Want me to give you my heart?” giving the girl permission to use it on whoever she wants to control and also showing that it is willing to go beyond and give her its own heart as well. The next part continues on, “…Trust me and repeat after me ‘He will come back to me’…I’ll make him cry as much as he made you cry” represents the doll telling her how to use it by chanting “He will come back to me” just shows that just by chanting those words, gives her the power to bring the bring the guy back. “I’ll make him cry…” part shows the “feelings” of the doll and what it would do for her. Whenever someone hurts the one you love, you can’t help but feel to want to do something about it. In this twist of events, going towards the negative feelings of vengeance plays a part in the doll’s perspective. “…just step on me and stand up…no one can mistreat you…I’ll become a doll who will fight for you” shows more a reveal that it is a doll and it is allowing her to step on it so that she can transfer the pain onto the one that wronged her.
When you read the lyrics, it represents the perspective of the doll but as you watch the video it shows the perspective of the past lovers that wronged the girl. This goes hand in hand because the title of the song is clearly called “Voodoo Doll” and the music video shows a woman using a voodoo doll to control her past lovers and taking revenge on them through torturous means (VIXX). Throughout the music video, there are scenes of synchronized choreography as though they are being controlled with a voodoo doll especially the scenes of showing the doll arm dance. The use of the skull scepter also played a part in the choreography with scenes of stabbing and blood gushing with synchronized movements of the other members showing it as though they are sharing that feeling of pain. This showed a dramatic visual effect in making actually seem one of the members stabbed the other with the scepter. Along with the scenes of choreography, you can see that each member are trapped in their own cell with their own back and arm skin hooked to the ropes of the walls. The woman walks to each cell taunting these members and although the lyrics show that there is love for this woman, the members clearly show that they hate her. The woman continues to use the voodoo doll to torture these members and as she stabs the doll, all of the members are in synchronization as though that one doll controls all of them. Whenever she stabs the doll with a needle, the area of choice such as the stomach or the brain, links to all the members feeling that pain where she stabbed. Not only is the woman character in the music video taking her revenge on her past lovers but her facial expressions clearly shows that she enjoys inflicting pain on them. Eventually, you will see the members escape, it is unclear how but just by them escaping shows the doll getting up and moving on its own as they escape. The woman finds the doll and continues to use the doll to torture them. Towards the end, you see that she was able to successfully capture one of the members and finish the final means of making him her complete doll.
The type of audience that would be viewing this music video or listening to the song are K-Pop fans, VIXX fandom who are also known as Starlights, and a mature audience ranging from late teens to adult. Without evening watching the music video, the melody and catchy beat of the song draws you in and makes you want to go with the beat of the rhythm. While reading the lyrics, it gives you a feeling of sympathy, a form of pathos, for the doll being unable to express his love in a more normal and humanly way. The way the music video is presented explains why it was a such a controversial issue. K-pop music are known to be cutesy, happy, and visually appealing to the K-pop audience. It is a rare instance that it would show any gruesome or bloody scenes, especially since the audience of South Korea are conservative people. Overall, the lyrics and the music video coincide together making sense of it all in different perspectives. The lyrics, though sad and heartbreaking, represents what it is like to be in love with someone but not have those feelings reciprocated. Seeing the one you love going through heartbreak would make you want to help them and do something about it. The music video, though gruesome and maybe traumatizing, represents the pain of woman who is mentally damaged and heartbroken taking revenge on those who have harmed her but in the end, she enjoys inflicting pain. Probably not an ethical way of getting revenge but it gets the message across and perfectly works with the lyrics.
Herman, Tamor. “10 Things To Know About K-Pop ‘Concept-Dols’ VIXX.” Billboard, 2 Nov. 2016, www.billboard.com/articles/columns/k-town/7564682/vixx-k-pop-band-concept- dols. Accessed 1 Oct. 2017.
JELLYFISH ENTERTAINMENT, www.jelly-fish.co.kr/sub/artist_singer03.php? prof_id=26&page=3&v_id=80#a1. Accessed 1 Oct. 2017.
KROMANIZED, “[Rom | Eng Lyrics] VIXX – Voodoo Doll (저주인형).” KROMANIZED – latest in kpop, 24 Nov. 2013, kkromanized.wordpress.com/2013/11/19/rom-eng-lyrics-vixx- voodoo-doll-%EC%A0%80%EC%A3%BC%EC%9D%B8%ED%98%95/. Accessed 1 Oct. 2017.
Lindsay, “VIXX Take Creepy to a New Level in “Voodoo Doll”. ” Seoulbeats, 28 Nov. 2013,
seoulbeats.com/2013/11/vixx-take-creepy-new-level-voodoo-doll/. Accessed 1 Oct. 2017.
VIXX, 빅스(VIXX) – 저주인형(VOODOO DOLL) Official Music Video. Youtube, uploaded
by,RealVIXX, 19 Nov. 2013, www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOG7BexjPjM. Accessed 1 Oct.2017.