Yonko Expresses His Duality Through His Double Single “No Way / 1 On 1”

The singer-songwriter Yonko released his latest songs a few days ago. The three-track single includes No Way, Interlude, and 1 On 1. Just like the A-side/B-side of a cassette tape, the two songs express the duality of Yonko’s personality. In No Way, it is Yonko versus the world. The singer doesn’t care what others think and is strong enough to handle bad comments. 1 On 1, on the contrary, reveals his passionate and romantic side.

The single cover made by Masse reinforces this dichotomy (the angel Yonko on the left side and the devil Yonko on the right side).

No Way: Yonko, The Cold-Blooded Devil

Lyrics by Yonko.
Composed by Yonko, Zodiac.
Produced by Zodiac.

As I said earlier, No Way is about not “giving a d@mn” about what people think and embracing who we are despite the insults and rumors:

[English translation]
bitch I’m so solid
Whatever they say, fuck it

[Original lyrics]
bitch I’m so solid
누가 뭐라든 fuck it

[English translation]
My life is mine
My life is mine
I do what I want
[Original lyrics]
내 삶은 내꺼라매
내 삶은 내꺼라매
그래서 내 맘대로 해

It is also about standing up for ourselves. The alarm loop expresses the state of alertness of his mind because Yonko has to constantly work on himself to not be affected by all these slanders.

[English translation]
It’s hard for me to live because of you
Your words choke me every day
Your words choke me like a snake

[Original lyrics]
덕분에 사는게 나는 참 버겁네
매일같이 네 말이 내 목을 조르네
뱀같이 네 말이 내 목을 조르네

Yonko – No Way Official Performance

He has no choice but to shut down his sensibility and become cold-blooded. That’s why Yonko is represented as the devil on the right side of the cover. However, usually, the devil evokes warm colors such as red and orange (flames, inferno). But Yonko is surrounded by blue, which is a cold color. In my opinion, Masse chose blue to symbolize Yonko’s cold-blooded state of mind.

On the track, the strong bass embodies this dark energy.

1 On 1: Yonko, The Passionate Angel

Lyrics by Yonko.
Composed by Yonko, Zodiac.
Produced by Zodiac.

In 1 On 1, Yonko confesses his feelings for a woman through his soulful raspy voice. The synth adds a lighter sound, something more airy than the low-pitch sound of No Way.

Yonko is mesmerized by this beautiful woman. He can’t think straight. He can’t control his emotions and growing desire to be with her. Almost like he’s possessed.

[English translation]
All my mind is absorbed by you
[Original lyrics]
온 정신이 네게 팔려

1 On 1 by Yonko – 82 Street Performance

The “angel Yonko” is tempted and craves physical touch:

You and I, 1 on 1 [너랑 나랑 1 on 1]

I want you right now [너를 원해 지금]

These lyrics are not so angelically behaved, right? Because the double single No Way / 1 On 1 isn’t as Manichean as we might think. Even in 1 On 1, Yonko refers to himself as the devil:

The devil wants you too [악마도 너를 원해]

In my opinion, the “devil” (악마) does not refer to Satan/Lucifer but to his lustful side. Yonko uses the third person to differentiate his romantic personality from his “naughty” side.

Yellow has often been used to symbolize holiness, and passion is traditionally represented by a red color. If you mix the two, it gives you orange, which is the color that surrounds the angel Yonko on the cover (a yellowish orange).

Interlude: The Bond Between The Two Yonko

Composed & produced by Zodiac.

The interlude makes the transition between the two songs. The alarm loop heard in No Way is gradually replaced by car horns, and the ringtone in the intro of No Way is the same as the one we hear in the interlude (we just hear it from another point of view). The organ synth we heard at the end of the interlude becomes a background sound in 1 On 1. Gospel music often uses organ synth chords, so it makes sense that Zodiac chose this instrument to introduce the “angel Yonko”.

In addition to connecting the two songs, the interlude awakens our imagination. In just 15 seconds, we are immersed in a traffic jam. We can hear the crowd, the car horns honking, a phone ring tone, a car door closing, heels clicking on the floor, the engine of a motorcycle starting up, etc. Through listening, we feel like we’re watching the scene unfold before our eyes.

YONKO & SAAY – No Way Official Performance

Traffic is a metaphor for everything that happens in life. Remember that No Way is about focusing on ourselves without worrying about what others think. We must stay focused on the road (= our goal). So we have this strong mentality when suddenly a woman gets out of her car and starts walking down the street. Her footsteps outweigh everything else. We stop paying attention to the crowd and start following her with our eyes. The road doesn’t matter anymore. We are seduced by this woman. Then comes the love song 1 On 1.

Fun fact, the verb “seduce” comes from the Latin seducere, which means “to lead away from the right path”. That’s exactly what happened in this interlude. The woman diverted our thoughts with her beauty. Everything is expressed in sound, not a single word. Shout-out to Zodiac for this well-thought-out interlude!

About The Single Cover

Cover artwork by Masse.

No Way / 1 On 1 single cover by Masse

The cover is inspired by street art. The aesthetic reminds me a bit of “699” (1984) by Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol.

Here are some elements of street art:

1. TAG

2. TROW UP (the letters have a rounded shape and are painted with two colors).


The cover also includes Renaissance-inspired elements.

The hand touching the skeletal finger refers to the fresco The Creation of Adam (1512) painted by Michelangelo. The fresco features the left hand of Adam almost touching God’s right finger. This posture expresses the breath of life breathed into Adam.

The Creation Of Adam (1512) by Michelangelo

The cover depicts a right hand (but similar to Adam’s posture) touching a skeletal finger (probably Death).

The cherub can be a reference to the putto. Putti are winged naked boys. The words “putto” and “cherub” are often used invariably. They were extremely popular in Renaissance and Baroque arts.

This cherub is a cupid (he has a heart at the end of his tail). However, he is not wielding a bow but what I think is a water gun. He is shooting, which sprays water on a rose, the flower of love. We can almost hear Yonko singing:

[English translation]
I’ll shoot at your heart
girl, you already know I’m ballin’

[Original lyrics]
네 마음에다 대고 쏠래
girl, you already know I’m ballin’

I’m glad Yonko still cares about the album art. A successful album cover is supposed to arouse our curiosity and make us want to listen to what the artist has to offer. Masse did an amazing job with this one. 👏🏽


This is based on my own experience while listening to No Way / 1 On 1. I can only encourage you to listen to the three tracks to make up your own mind.

I first heard the lyrics of No Way about 5-6 months ago while watching Yonko’s performance at SLOPPY FREESTYLE. The instrumental was different, and the song was called 25KJACKET. It was produced by Jumal of SMGS. Here’s the video:

Instagram: @yonkorea
Spotify: YONKO
Youtube: @jangyonko

Instagram: @ma_sse_good

Instagram: @zodiacisyoursign

Thank you for reading me 🙂 🙏🏽

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: