They say, “life’s a bitch and then you die.” Bibi couldn’t agree more. Veering away from her lighthearted approach on taboo topics, the 22-year old multi-talented singer-songwriter talks about the harshness of life in her sophomore album, Life is a Bi… The five-track album each has a music video, with “Life is a Bi…” as her recent release as of this writing.

The music video opens with Bibi as a high school student walking in the middle of a football field and listening to a song (her song “BINU” to be exact). Her peaceful time alone becomes interrupted by a throng of people running past her direction. Not knowing where they’re running to or why they’re running, Bibi runs anyway. Later on, there are no other people in sight. She runs alone, yet her eyes are filled with determination. She runs with all her might… until she bleeds.

Lyrically, Bibi likens her perspective of life to experiencing inner conflicts from a toxic relationship. A toxic relationship is like a bad habit we can’t get out of, even when we are “free” from it. We struggle with the temptation of going back even to the point that it could hurt us.

I almost fell for it again
I almost believed you
If it’s someone like you, I can risk my life
I said, as I almost went to you

We are in a toxic relationship with life. We chase after our dreams—our ambitions or the people we want to be with. We run away for our lives when we commit a mistake (in Bibi’s case, a crime). We’re in a rat’s race. We have to get ahead of everyone else. We are always running—whatever stage we are in life.

It is this vicious cycle that costs Bibi’s life in the middle of the music video. After trying to run away from the police, she eventually gets imprisoned and begins to spiral towards insanity. She tries to escape, but we then see Bibi walking towards a deity. She falls to her knees and cries out for her suffering. Nonchalantly, the goddess only replies, “Well, life’s a bitch. Deal with it.”

“When life hits you hard, sometimes you just want to blame everything on someone else,” shares Bibi on the creative process and inspiration behind “Life is a Bi…”. It’s typical human nature: we blame everyone or anyone, even to a point of blaming a deity we may have not believed in at first. We blame our circumstances. We’re born unfortunate and luck was never on our side.

Towards the end, Bibi portrays a homeless woman, a prelude to another music video, “Birthday Cake”, the singer’s most personal song to date. Compared to her previous characters, she isn’t determined to run after something. Instead, she feels forced to until she could no longer catch up and eventually collapses. Everyone runs past her until finally, she gets up and smiles.

Bibi realizes the silliness of her desire. How many times have we compared our lives with other people? Just because people have reached the top of the corporate ladder earlier doesn’t mean we won’t ever get there. Just because we aren’t married yet—when society pressures us to be—doesn’t mean we can’t have our own happiness. We don’t have to run. We can go at our own pace. “Life’s a bitch and then we die.” Eventually, we’ll all reach the same finish line.

Bibi’s skillful acting of a spectrum of characters would convince anyone she’s an actress more than a singer. Her transformation from being a high school student to a homeless person is so distinctive from the other that it could lead us to forget we are looking at only one person. There are dance sequences inserted between the narrative with movements denoting struggle; however, the one where she dances at the back of an open truck seems unnecessary and out of place.

Nevertheless, “Life is a Bi…” is a thought-provoking masterpiece that combines the young artist’s masterful storytelling, insightful songwriting, and superb acting all in one.

Life can be difficult. It jumps out and bites us painfully whether we are ready for it or not. It can be, for the most part, unpleasant and unfortunate. But Bibi’s “Life is a Bi…” offers us a different perspective—we may be “6 feet under”, but that could translate to being “9 feet upward”. It is also no wonder she puts this as the last track in her album. We can be overcomers depending on what we fill in the blank.

But I’ve been the rim of the world
But I’ve been the rim of my life
Cuz I’ve been 6 feet under
And I’ve been 9 feet upward

(YouTube. Hypebae Korea. Lyrics via Popgasa. Images via Feel Ghood Music.)