Park Jihoon marked a milestone earlier this week by releasing his first studio album, Message, and the MV for the corresponding title track “Gotcha”. In the MV for “Gotcha”, Park Jihoon embodies the dangerous but irresistible bad boy archetype, but with a sick twist.

The MV opens with a shot of a city from above, setting the moody and mysterious tone for your typical dangerous urban criminal-esque MV. Jihoon plays multiple criminal personas that accentuate how dangerous he is; he is a high-profile robber surrounded by snipers in a small office, an imposter police officer, and a criminal handcuffed and being taken away by a SWAT team.

The initial impression is that Jihoon is trapped, with no method of escape. He is handcuffed and escorted into an elevator by officers armed with guns, and in another scene is bound tightly to a chair. In all of these scenes, however, even when he is at the top of a building surrounded by drones and at a dead end, Jihoon oozes a sense of unsettling ease and confidence.

At the point where it seems to be over for him, as the snipers open fire, the bullets freeze and rewind, and the true mastermind behind the whole scheme is revealed. Jihoon himself is the man behind the whole plot. The lights flicker off in the elevator and the officers guarding him collapse, revealing graffiti and scrawls on the walls of the elevator that were not visible before, with the most prominent message being GOTCHA. The whole time he had the police and the audience wrapped around his finger.  Though it may have seemed like he was the one in trouble, the perspectives are instantly switched. Even his handcuffs are glowing green and once they drop to the ground, freeing his hands, it is a clear sign that his pursuers are now the ones who should be scared.

Jihoon is more than a smart criminal though, he is a mastermind that is able to captivate everybody that he sets to lure in:

GOTCHA, the answer has already been decided

Look carefully, the puzzles are all being put together

Watch out, holding you in my arms

I caught your heart

I caught your heart, all right

He is able to enthrall and attract by letting people think that they are the ones in control; however, it is actually him who is always pulling the strings. Jihoon’s different personas throughout the MV, like the put-together murderer to the robber, are deliberately presented to his audience so that they can pick their favourite version of him. This false sense of power lulls his audience into letting their guard down, and it is this precise moment when he strikes. By the time people realize, they are the ones that are in danger, not him.

The slick, irresistible criminal narrative also signifies his confidence in winning fans over, and once again, once they are charmed there is no escape. Whatever fans want to see, he is capable of pulling off:

A bad guy

Choose according to your taste

Uoo Uoo Uoo Uoo Uoo

I react to your words

Take it out, then my concept

In this interpretation, Jihoon’s multiple criminal personas in “Gotcha” represent his different talents and abilities that he can choose to showcase depending on what his audience wants. In the MV, he sings and raps, and dances, of course, announcing that he is multi-talented with a fatal charm to top it all off.

The overall gritty, urban feel of the sets and the smooth transitions between them are sometimes interrupted by two sets that stand out as anomalies. The first is the dystopian-like set where Jihoon is bound to the chair, the other is the bright and bouncy record store used for performance scenes. The record store seems to be the same set used in a special pre-release MV for the song “Hit it Off” produced by and featuring Penomeco. However, its inclusion in “Gotcha” feels like a half-hearted attempt to include a little trendy retro in an MV where it does not necessarily belong.

“Gotcha” has Park Jihoon playing a mastermind behind a bad-boy façade to prove that there is more to him than meets the eye. He proclaims himself to be someone irresistible to anybody and everybody, and the confident message highlights why “Gotcha” may have been chosen as the title track for his first full album.

(YouTube, images via Maroo Entertainment, lyrics via Genius)