8.04.2010

Seoul Searching: K-Pop time

*Now With Sexy 2PM Video*

Sorry for the delay. I just arrived in America on Sunday and I am still on Korean People Time and Jet Lag has been a drag.

But last Saturday, DN and I met on my last day in Seoul by going on an adventure. She travelled all the way to Cheonyangmni train station on the express train and greeted me as we were introduced to each other for the first time. We mastered the subways and plotted our destination, united in our quest to try and find the ONE: Rain. or at least his music company.

We got off in on a muggy overcast day that had us sweating like mad. We stopped at my last Korean restaurant where we had kimchi, kimbop, and 2 bowls of ramen all for just the equivalent of 5 dollars each. We practiced our small amount of Korean and used the universal language of hands gestures and pointing to order.

Satiated, we were off trying to find Rain's (or as DN liked to refer to as HIS) company, using a glossy little star map from the tour magazine DN had picked up from her employer. We could tell we were in the rich area by the amount of armani, luxury vehicles, coffee shops, and wedding gown boutiques there were. Asking foreigners on the street, we deduced that we were heading in the right direction, getting us closer and closer to HIM. But of course we were vanquished by DN's sudden urge to use the bathroom.

We were led to a dingy bathroom located in a parking/valet garage that looked like the bathroom where prostitutes are murdered; and, low and behold, DN had the cultural experience of using a 'Korean' toilet (i.e a hole in the ground). After careful switching of shoes and other effects, she was able to master the Korean toilet.


Upon leaving we ran into the owner of the valet. He was a kindly old Korean gentleman in his late 50s early 60s who mistook us for
owners of one of the cars. Upon telling him we were just there to use his bathroom, he began asking us if we were alright. DN told him that she was thirsty as she had not had time to fill her water bottle. Upon hearing that, he excused himself and returned with 3 bottles of water he had purchased for us. We tried to ask him how much, but he would have none of it.

He asked where we were from. I said I was going back to America as I had been a student at the University of Seoul and DN explained that Osan, an hour and a half from Seoul, was her home, as she is an English teacher. He mistook me for Spanish, though we corrected him by saying we were both African American. He then launched into how when he was 17, after he served in the Korean War, he encountered a Spanish American in the military or government who went on to teach him some Spanish phrases that he then went ahead and practiced on us. He was the kindest elderly Korean gentleman I met.


Unfortunately, some customers came up to get their car and my University friend Ann was calling and we got further directions to JYP (which is Big Bang and Wonder Girls' company) and then to J. Tune (Rain's company).

Upon meeting my friend Ann, we made our way down one of the narrow streets to find a Dunkin Donuts and across the street, the JYP building. We took pictures and then, correctly or incorrectly, we followed the map, got lost, asked some people, got lost, asked people again, and then got back to the JYP building. Hopefully DN will be able to find actual Rain with better directions then we had. We called it a day because Ann and I had to get ready for the 2PM concert.

The 2PM concert was sooo fun and much more of a family affair then most concerts as grandmothers were there and whole families. It was kind of different demographic but all good. I was excited because I had essentially been introduced to the world of K-Pop a few weeks prior and had only heard a few of their songs including 'Heartbeat' but I knew I would enjoy it. And enjoy it I did. 2AM and Miss A opened for them and they did a nice job.

First of all, let me just say that 2PM needs to change their name to 2:01 PM because they were on colored people time not once but twice during the concert, missing 2 of their cues. Another thing is that there were some loud crazy fan girls, including one that had to be escorted out by security.

Fortunately, Jaeyong had got Ann and my tickets in the middle of the auditorium with seats, so we had a nice view and were only sitting by a grandmother and some Korean American girls. My friends Rabiya and Victoria were 3 people from the stage in the mash pit, and had to deal with crazy fans including one that scratched Rabiya when she took the head off a rose that 2PM had thrown to Rabiya.


Other than that, they had no problems. 2PM was an incredibly considerate and friendly group, taking time to joke and talk with the audience. They also gave out roses to the audience. I thought I was the only black woman there, but, alas, I saw 3 Black women after,each with roses so that was cool. Take brought a young Korean fan onstage and played the piano to her, even with his messed up cornrows.

The concert featured cross-dressing, a parody of the Korean Drama one of the members had been in, and rain and motorcycles. For their solos, they also did English covers of "Empire State of Mind" and Usher's "Caught Up".

The sexiest part of the performance is when one of the members did an English cover of Chris Brown's "Take you Down" and he and his back up dancers literally gyrated topless onstage, sending the entire concert full of girls into a frenzy. When he got down and air humped the stage, the 60 year old Korean grandmother sitting next to me went into an apoplexy of excitement. It was so sexy, women almost threw their panties at the stage. I was ethnic and screamed "You can take me down any night!!" ... Don't judge me, it was my last night in Seoul. I'll have to post that video later but I'm not sure it's appropriate ;D

It was the most fun I've had at a concert in a long time, considering the last one I went to was a 50 cent concert when I was only 13 and was under the constant, disapproving stare of my uncles. I'll have to go to another K-Pop concert, next time for Rain's sexy self.

All in all, I had an amazing time in Seoul. I'll have 2 final quick posts about the Korean dates I went on and then a retrospective about my life-changing time in Seoul as a Black woman.

36 comments:

  1. Please post the video. As soon as I get home I'll be googling the concert to see if I can find any fancams of the incident.

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  2. Oh...my...God.

    I'm moving to Seoul.

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  3. I saw the caught up performance on youtube. It was pretty good. They even did Usher's choreography from the video.

    2 PM Caught Up

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  4. I'm so happy you had this experience before returning home. I'll comment more next week when I get back home.

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  5. Posted the link to the performance below my above comment.

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  6. @Lenoxave
    I was really impressed that they did Usher and Chris Brown and look for Black artists for "sensual" music. Thought that was interesting :D

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  7. I was really impressed that they did Usher and Chris Brown and look for Black artists for "sensual" music. Thought that was interesting :D.

    *pattern*

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  8. Here is a video of 2pm performing Take You Down at a TV show

    as far as the pattern goes, anyone in they right non racist mind that is interested in R&B and hip hop dancing is going to be more interested in Usher and Chris Brown than the Justins of the world

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  9. @ MG - I didn't even know 2PMK rolled hard like that. LOL

    @ Bcbgrl33 - Interesting isn't it? Someone is going to have to explain what's going on btwn Black & Korean folk. Cuz this shit is intense.

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  10. @Lenoxave
    LOL I know girl. There is too much sexy for there not be something going on Koreans and Blacks need to unite

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  11. Guys, remember to tag so we can easily find and read these posts!

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  12. @AM
    Thanks for reminding me :)

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  13. @MG
    as far as the pattern goes, anyone in they right non racist mind that is interested in R&B and hip hop dancing is going to be more interested in Usher and Chris Brown than the Justins of the world

    THIS!!!

    @Lenoxave
    Someone is going to have to explain what's going on btwn Black & Korean folk. Cuz this shit is intense.

    You're so right. 'Cause something is up, that's for sure! (makes a possible post topic percolate in my mind. hmmm...)

    @Bcbgrl33

    It sounds like you and DN had a wonderful time. I can't wait to read all about your adventures in dating and your wrap-up. Maybe one day, I'll get to have my own adventure. *sigh*

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  14. You're so right. 'Cause something is up, that's for sure! (makes a possible post topic percolate in my mind. hmmm...)

    I'd be interested in reading whatever you write. I found myself watching that concert and feeling our presence (as in Black Folk), though we weren't on stage.

    It's like we're there in spirit, just not physically. You know? Your first concert ever and you cover Usher, Chris & Alicia/Jay-Z?

    Usher especially. I can't count the number of K-Poppers who cite him as an influence. It's astonishing.

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  15. @Lenoxave
    >>It's like we're there in spirit, just not physically. You know? Your first concert ever and you cover Usher, Chris & Alicia/Jay-Z?

    I would love to attend a K-Pop concert where Black artists are actually there physically. Apparently, Usher was there a few weeks prior and Kanye is going to be doing a concert in Seoul; the collaboration would be amazing

    >>Usher especially. I can't count the number of K-Poppers who cite him as an influence. It's astonishing.
    Girl many Korean women I talked to gushed at the thought of him. There is something definitely going on

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  16. @Bcbgrl - Usher went all through Asia. He spent almost a month from Seoul, Manila, Taiwan...he was all up in there. I was watching some of the concert footage and his fan base in Asia is incredible.

    The collabs would be nice to see. They truly would. Alicia had Taeyang open for her when she came through Seoul in '08. I'd like to see more of that happening.

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  17. I was watching some of the concert footage and his fan base in Asia is incredible.

    They just love them some Usher. It's truly an incredible sight to witness.

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  18. @Lenoxave
    It's like we're there in spirit, just not physically. You know? Your first concert ever and you cover Usher, Chris & Alicia/Jay-Z?

    Usher especially. I can't count the number of K-Poppers who cite him as an influence. It's astonishing.


    Is the same phenomenon also happening in Japan? I know they're also into hip-hop and R&B, but is it to this degree and with such obvious love for the pioneers and current superstars?

    Alicia had Taeyang open for her when she came through Seoul in '08.

    I heart Taeyang like the dickens. Good gracious, he's fine. My favorite Big Bang video is "My Girl", just because it's all about him and lawd is he something to look at. (Robbing the cradle and not caring!). I must say that I do miss the cornrows though.

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  19. Ok so I had to go watch that Taeyang My girl video. O_o Oh my, he looks just like a light skin black dude in that video. He already has a full nose and lips, with his hair braided up it is just mind boggling. Seriously, if he ever walked around the US looking like that he'd get harassed and racially profiled by the cops.

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  20. @ Cinnamon - I can't speak about Japan. I'm in the process of checking out some of the music coming out of there.

    Nao'ymt is a member of Jine and their R&B is quite good.

    Your Place

    I bought a few songs that were available from iTunes. I'm impressed by his production and their sound.

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  21. @ Cinnamon & MG - Taeyang is a talented young man and a true R&B artist. He is all b-boy in his aesthetic and it works for him.

    Some kpop acts do R&B songs, but they are essentially pop acts. Taeyang is the real deal when it comes to R&B music.

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  22. Mm-hm. *nods* The man is fine.

    Glad to now have a name to go with that face.

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  23. Thanks for all the discussion ladies :D Apparently 2PM was too fine because there is controversy that they were "too sexy" in the July 31st and August 1st performances. http://community.livejournal.com/omonatheydidnt/4021506.html Apparently the concert was rated 8+...um yeah this was definitely NOT a Disney concert. Hope it blows over

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  24. @Bcbgrl33 - uh-oh. Too sexy for the kids! I hope it blows over as well.

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  25. I blame Bi for this mess right here. He opened up the flood gates. LOL

    Chansung Take U Down

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  26. @Lenoxave
    Girl you trying to give me a heart attack with all that sexy damn

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  27. @Lenoxave

    Good lord! And I mean that in the best possible way!

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  28. G-Dragon was also in a concert controversy for being too provocative on stage (there was a bed involved).

    G-Dragon concert (bed action starts @ 1:40)

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  29. I'd read about the "controversy" with G-Dragon. S. Korea bans their artists for some ridiculous stuff.

    Se7en and T.O.P got banned for mentioning designers in their songs. You can have billboards and magazines sellin' shit everywhere, but an artist can't mention a designer?

    I can understand a parent saying wait a minute, this thing was sold as 8 yrs and older. I'm seeing adult content that isn't suitable for my kid.

    If G Dragon and 2 PM sold their concerts as family friendly, then they should be slapped with a fine, not jailed.

    These folks are grown and you can't stop human nature...you just can't.

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  30. Those performances are definitely more appropriate for teens than 8 year olds, I started attending concerts when I was 9 and I saw my fair share of pelvic thrusting and stage humping. Kinda embarrassing when you are watching with your Dad and your older sisters. But no mental trauma.

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  31. @MG
    Ok so I had to go watch that Taeyang My girl video. O_o Oh my, he looks just like a light skin black dude in that video.

    That is exactly what a woman on my job said when I showed her the video. Like y'all keep saying, something's up with black folks and Koreans. I don't know what it is, but it is!

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  32. @ Cinnamon, I'm kind of ashamed of myself for not noticing the similar facial features before. I guess that is what happens when all you watch is American media which rarely has positive depictions of Asians.

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  33. @modest-goddess

    As long as you are nice and friendly and don't come off as some stuck up person, you'll be fine.

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  34. @MG
    I really never did either. Maybe it just never occured to me because I don't pay attention to other black people's facial features either since they look like mine (if that makes sense). But now that I've noticed, it's pretty obvious.

    Maybe that's one of the reasons that we have such an affinity for each other...one we didn't even realize that we shared.

    I guess that is what happens when all you watch is American media which rarely has positive depictions of Asians.

    I've noticed that much like they do with black people (esp. black women), they have a tendency to choose Asians who look more "acceptable" to WP (European-looking features) and/or make them look stereotypical. I'm surprised that Rain even got a play as a hero with his full nose and lips and made him sexy as all get out to boot. It was a shame to waste all that sexy with no Blasian lovin' in the mix... But I digress. Baby steps I guess...

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