3.16.2012

Jay Park, Revisited

You know what? I don't think I paid close enough attention to this young man the first time around.  His song's been on my mind for a minute.  Let's see something here....

First, the original vid


Next, some comments
"Koreans don't like blacks." Okay, not true, so just ignore anyone that says that. A lot of white people don't like black/hispanics/Asians, but that doesn't make all whites racist. Same goes for any group. Generalizations are ridiculous.

Anyway, Jay and the producers of this video knew of the backlash they would receive from "fans" for having a black woman in the video, but obviously they didn't care. She's in it, get over it. It's a progressive move on Jay's part. Be his fan or don't. :)


~ commenter AlohaDucky, YouTube

I'm Korean and white! Now let me be the first one to say if you not a little Korean don't speak for them dammit! And for all the dumb ass people that don't like black people but love Kpop. Do any of you know without black PEOPLE KPOP WOULD NOT BE AROUND! Most of your favorite kpop singers were inspired by black entertainers assholes!

So when you say you don't like black people your say you don't like kpop. Anyone got a problem with this comment please let me know! I'll be waiting

Jay Park 4EVER


~ commenter KDramaGirl101, YouTube

(in response to a white commenter)lol, you already got the nice Black men, so leave the Asian guys to us :D Don't cry too much, an Asian guy will pick you before he picks me since I'm Black, so you are still a front runner.

~ random House Cassie or troll unworthy of being named, YouTube
And now, the analysis

Let's start with the basics. The song's not half bad!  I actually found myself jamming along to this.  I could see myself bumping this in my car or moving to it in a club or at a party.  Jay's actually a decent singer, and he knows his music.  By that I mean, his knowledge of hip hop, pop, and R&B really comes across in both the music and the video.  He knows not to rely too heavily on techno, and his beats have a prominent hip hop influence.  "Know Your Name" puts me in mind of a much more polished version of "Oh, Yeah" by MBLAQ.  For those who've already forgotten:


What Rain attempted with this song, wardrobe, and choreography was innovative highly ambitious, which is to be expected.  He wanted a more overt hip hop influence in the beat, and he wanted to show off an unapologetic, unambiguous sexuality in these young men.  Jay Park's video aims to do the same.

But let me point out a few things: 1) Jay Park is not as ripped as Joon Lee, 1) he's not as "pretty" as Mir or Thunder, 3) he's not nearly as vocally gifted as G.O, and 4) he doesn't have a guy like Rain in his corner.

Despite all that, however, Jay Park's song and video are a vastly superior execution of MBLAQ's debut attempt.  And the main reason for that, I think, is the fact Jay Park is "in the know."

Let's do a quick recap.  American born and bred, Jay Park was ousted from 2 PM in part because some controversy due to the way he discussed the difficulty of adjusting to life in South Korea, as well as dealing with the Korean pop industry, which has come under consistent criticism for its overall structure.  Anyone paying the slightest bit of attention could easily understand how the man had a point.  The K-Pop industry is stifling, formulaic, and fairly narrow-minded where artistry is concerned.  Its ambitions are high and its goals are unrealistic.  If you want to capture attention in America, you're not going to do it by recycling the same tired old techno to Americans, while discriminating against the very people who inspired the music.

"Know Your Name" bears the influences of Omarion, Usher, and Chris Brown - their fingerprints are all over it. The choreography for the video was done by Andrew "Goodfoot" Baterina and Jackie "Jackstar" Lautchang of So Real Cru (America's Best Dance Crew, Season 2).  The "love interest" in the video is African American dancer Mauika Hicks.  Jay Park is Korean-American, DOK2 is Korean.  Baterina and Lautchang are Filipino-American (and from H-town!!!).

So basically what we're seeing here are is group of diverse POC working together to create something memorable and attention-grabbing, instead of not-so-subtly insinuating that [insert racial group(s) here] need not apply. *cue side-eye at Big Bang*  With "Know Your Name", there's none of that NE Asians vs. SE Asians bullshit going on; there's none of that Black-music-but-no-Black-people bullshit going on either.

I mean, do y'all remember what happened the last time Jay Park had to replace Mauika Hicks?

video

Um...FAIL.

..and now, the version I hate


I don't like this version, and it's not because of the change in love interest; this woman is perfectly lovely.  A man would have to be deaf, dumb, blind, and gay not to be attracted to her, so it's not that.

It's the tired, sappy, faux-senstive songwriter, overused girl-from-the-coffee shop/study hall theme we've seen hundreds of thousands of times. This is the "fluffy" type of video Wang Leehom flat-out states "makes you feel sick", because it's not what you really want to do, but you have to appeal to certain demographics, and afterwards you can't look at yourself in the mirror.

So for Black women across the globe who've watched both videos and gotten upset that the love interest was changed, ask yourselves this: if this version is so great and so important, why wasn't it the official music video? How come it doesn't have even half the views of the original music video? And has anyone else noticed how hard it is just to get through the damn song in this version? *shudders with a vengeance*

The first video is clearly the essence of the artist; he's collaborating with his peeps, drawing from diverse resources regardless of origin, he's showing off his moves, and following in the footsteps of his obvious idols.  It's the future of K-Pop - if it truly hopes to survive.

73 comments:

  1. Bravo! Now if only any other people could clearly realize that these facts are completely right. And in terms of big bang, yes I will always have a bone to pick with them about there videos for their new album. You use our producers, our influence, and our somewhat style of dancing but yet a female of another race is not good enough for you. While I know Korean entertainment companies are very struct on how they want to run their groups, I feel since they are doing so then they would cut the "we want to be global" or we want to dminate the world crap" because it is not something that will happen if you are so closed off to other races as they are now.

    In terms of jay park and that whole controversy, I was totally on his side when I read the MySpace post he made back in 2009. It had amazing points as to why he did not agree with Korean culture, and why he thought it was so messed up. The thing that socked me the most in that situation is how fast jyp terminated his contract and how they didn't even really talk it and try to understand why he felt that way. I was also happy this situation happened to him because look at him now...he is making good solid music purely made by him with very little influence or at least not as much influence that jyp had on him, this time around.

    Overall, if i were to meet jay park while I am in Korea, I would totally give him a hug and kiss and thank him for not forgetting about us beautiful black women that out there and also have talent, as well as love him and pop alot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my gosh so many damn typos. I really hate typing on a tablet....

      Delete
  2. Nice to see Jay getting some love. The kid is solid and he knows his genre of music well. In the world of k pop, he is one of the few ppl w/creative and artistic control of his music. It makes all the difference when you are performing music that you love. "Star" (link below) is my favorite from his album "New Breed". Jay calls on his b boy skills and always has interesting choreography.

    Star

    ReplyDelete
  3. P.S. - those YouTube comments are hilarious! At least the first 2 commentators bought a clue and see what's going on. I think it's time for another Evil Black Menace (EBM) post. Scratches chin...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes please Lenoxave!

      Delete
    2. Speaking of EBM: This Aziatix interview made me think of Ankh's "Negroes on top of Negroes" comment. Notice who they'd like to collaborate with:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8mNEVq-6d0

      Delete
    3. @ Ankh & Meanie. I'm working on a new EBM post. Stay tuned.

      Delete
  4. I did not know there was any backlash for Jay having a black female lead. Mostly white commenters, huh?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank You for this post Ankh. I love me some Jay Park. He put a sista in his video, and didn't give a shit (I also love Se7en for the same reason. He keeps multi-cultural dancers) The first version of the video seems more popular. I'm not a big fan of the cheesey-pop sound anyway which is why I don't listen to much K Pop.

    I have to admit, I like the vocals on EXO-K's "What is love":

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6fPzVNIEB0

    ReplyDelete
  6. P.S.- Jay and Se7en are the real deal in terms of their B-Boy style and influence. It never seems fake of forced with those two. I read some of the things Jay said on his MySpace page.He felt like an outsider in many ways, Struggled with the language and the culture. I always got the feeling everyone was jealous of him over there.

    When I saw they had created a a suicide petition for Jay my mouth dropped open. I would never deal with the K Pop industry over there after that shit.

    ReplyDelete
  7. P.S.S - Joon Lee is going da-F*ck-off in that video! "Baby Rain" is killin' it! lmao!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In terms of production I'd like to see Jay or Se7en work with the Dream or Musiq Soulchild. A lot of K Pop has shitty production and often sounds dated. This canned techno sound that seems to be popular really isn't my cup of tea. Darkchild and Teddy Riley seem to be the producers of choice for a lot of these acts. Darkchild did some excellent work on Bobby Valentino's albums (I love Bobby)

      I'm looking forward to Lenoxave doing a 2012 edition of EBM. I'd like to see more reviews on K Pop music/production.

      Delete
  8. (I apologize for being a Debbie Downer in advance)

    I honestly think it's best for black fans to keep K-pop at arms length. The comments and Big Bang's video are a reminder that the K-pop industry has a long way to go for embracing blacks. Official video or not, Jay having one black woman in his video isn't much to be excited over. Had she been the love interest in the second version as well, I would understand. Jay is another average K-pop artist. At least he is to me.

    Let's not forget, K-pop is a business. If the formula they have is working for them then they will not try to change it. After all, money talks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. K-Pop's formula isn't working, and the kind of money they want ain't talkin'.

      Personally, I would've puked had Mauika Hicks been in the second version as well. That acoustic version is awful, the "acting" is awful, and the setting is bland as hell. The moment I heard him rasp, "So beautiful", I had to shut it off.

      Wang Leehom, also American born & bred, warned about this. If your influences are hip hop, R&B, and street dance (and in Leehom's case, jazz, classical, Broadway, and rock music), then it sucks to have to sing this sappy, fluffy pop which is so popular in Asia. I call it "eunuch pop", because it takes an artist who's a singing/rapping/dancing masculine force of nature in one video, and turns into a meek, harmless kitten in the next. It's no coincidence that the American artists like Jay and Leehom keep having to point this out.

      I posit that "Know Your Name" and videos like it are the future of K-Pop. Jay Park strikes me as average as well; like I pointed out, he ain't no Joon Lee. He ain't got Mir or Thunder's pretty face. But while Big Bang is losing their once-diverse fan base, Jay Park is starting to build his. If he's smart, he'll keep down this road. If not, well...he better have an acting gig or a college degree or something to fall back on.

      Delete
    2. *and turns them into a meek, harmless kitten

      Delete
    3. I agree. It seems like every week there is a new group! How these girls keep up with all of these guys is beyond me. I hear a lot of them mentioning they want to make it in this country. With this corny-ass formula (eunuch pop as you call it)they can forget blowin' up over here. A friend of mine said they need to stay in Asia (Or focus on Europe) if this is all they have to offer.

      I like sensual/sexual lyrics (I started listening to Prince when I was 11 years old. He ruined me!) I like to see a male artists keep it grown 'n sexy. The K pop industry makes it impossible for this to happen. All you get is fangirls screaming how "pure" their favorite idols are. Stfu.

      I agree with you about the second video of Jay's. I don't care if he had five black women and two latina's in it: It's that same lame, sappy formula that some of these fangirls lap up. I saw a few seconds of the video, and that was too much for me. Not my cup of tea. Jay's album seems to be doing very well. Again, I'd like to see him branch out in terms of production.

      Delete
    4. And this Nicole "Grown and Sexy" is why I can't get in to Kpop, because they won't let the artist be that. Mblaq and Rain is as far as I will go.

      I also noticed that not alot of kpop artist mentions black women names as influences either, yeah they will say Beyonce, Mariah & maybe Whitney, but beyond that...

      At least you have American/Europe male/female artist mention female influences, whether it would be Aretha, Pattie, Ella, Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, etc...

      Delete
    5. anonymous J

      I really liked this article. Thanks.

      Delete
    6. @Meanie- To me Beyonce, Mariah and Whitney (RIP) are all on the pop side. I know Erykah Badu is really big in Japan and Junsu from 2PM mentioned the likes of SWV and Lelah Hathaway as some of his favorites.He definitely knows his stuff. People use the term Soul/R&b loosely. What might be Soul to me (Ledisi, Jill Scott, Eric Roberson, Donnie, Bilal..)May not be someone else's cup of tea.

      It was interesting reading the comments about Junsu's song favorites. Most of the people were completely clueless to most of the ladies were. He also mentioned Robin Thicke and D'angelo as some of his favorites. Everyone gushed over Robin (He ain't no D'angelo) and also revealed how ignorant they are when it comes to our musical history/Culture.One of the commentors had the nerve to say that black music "Takes from white music like Jazz." I was like Excuse ME?

      Delete
    7. "One of the commentors had the nerve to say that black music "Takes from white music like Jazz." I was like Excuse ME?"

      O'Lawd! LOL

      Yeah, unless they specifically break down who they like, it just seems Beyonce, Mariah & Whitney is the PR standard.

      Delete
    8. LOL! "O'Lawd" indeed Meanie!

      Delete
    9. @ Nicole

      I agree with you about the second video of Jay's. I don't care if he had five black women and two latina's in it: It's that same lame, sappy formula that some of these fangirls lap up. I saw a few seconds of the video, and that was too much for me.

      I'm just glad Mauika Hicks was in featured the official version of the music video, rather than shuffled off to oblivion in that lame-ass acoustic remix, like some secret side ho.

      I'm a grown woman; the study hall/coffee shop meme is lost on me in vids like this. In my world, coffee is something you brew at home in 3 minutes or less, 'cause you have to hurry up and take yo' ass to work.

      Delete
    10. "One of the commentors had the nerve to say that black music "Takes from white music like Jazz."

      Wow! Just wow! I seriously hope you set that commenter straight and gave it a quick history lesson. And as for Big Bang losing their diverse fanbase, it is actually the opposite. They are gaining more and more non Asian/non white fans all over the place. I don't understand how black people can listen to kpop. Confuses me.

      Delete
    11. @Nicole - Someone needs to be beaten down with a Cluex4. Hard.

      As for KPop's fan base re: Big Bang, the genre seem to be mad popular in South America, particularly Brazil - and this is based on a cursory traipse around the internet. Either way, it's not my cup of tea. I nearly went mad during the U.S. pop explosion of the late 1990s; I couldn't bring myself to handle KPop and its ever growing roster of boy/girl groups. I joined Omana They Didn't for a bit - just for Rain - and I had my wee little mind blown. O_O Man, that's some heavy saturation in that field!

      Delete
    12. Omana is hardcore! lol I miss Rain! Eddie Shin is one of my favorites right now. He has such a nice voice <3

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTxIJHgS9qc

      Delete
    13. I use to be one of those, oblivious fans that listened to all things kpop, until I opened my eyes. Now I'm only focused on jyj, Rain, mblaq, se7en, and sometimes Jay (i'm still trying to get used to him). I also used to be a HUGE big bang fan until their major slip up and this isn't the first time with them. I still like 2ne1 b/c they know their music and give credit where credit is due, but other than those groups, I could care less about kpop. They're going to need to do much better before they can ever think about "conquering" the music world.

      Delete
  9. Quote:
    "I'd like to see more reviews on K Pop music/production."

    Yes, but I'd like it to be about Korean music, not jut kpop. I'm still unsure when I read/use this expression since it mainly means idols to me, not sure where to draw the line between kpop and the other artists that are a bit less mainstream and fit in the "pop/RnB/hip hop/pop rock/Electronica" category...

    ReplyDelete
  10. And about the article...I don't really think there's a future for Kpop. This "genre" will either really change and become hybrid or it will die/become old-fashioned. And to me, if you get rid of all the false conservativeness/sexy-aegyo-ness (for girls) in order to be fully sexy/grown-ups and get rid of the make-up/weird outfits (for guys), as well as make American/European people produce their songs...with featurings with non Asians...besides the idols singing in English... well, what's left for Kpop? The idols' Korean faces? Kpop is originally based on American pop/RnB...

    So basically you guys are right, but if Kpop becomes a hybrid "genre", it won't be Kpop anymore to me, since it will be international...well, *ahem* if they manage to make it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Future...no future outside of Korea, I mean, though this whole industry might fade in a few years inside of Korea, just like boy/girl bands stopped being "in" in the West.
      Having people of color in their MVs...why not, I'll be glad if they start doing that, but honestly Koreans don't really care about that and it won't help these idol bands to stay that popular for another decade. Japanese music industry is solid and hates change, fans are loyal...apparently. Korean music industry I don't know, but they seem more flexible and the solo artists are being way more overshadowed there than in Japan. In my opinion. So yeah...protests and boredom might come.

      Delete
  11. Before anyone decides to get in touch with their inner troll, let me clarify a few things as to the point of this article, because I'm beginning to think it got lost on some people.

    1) This is not a promo for K-Pop. I hate K-Pop. The only reason I pay it any attention is that as the moderator of a Blasian blog, I have to pay attention to a lot things I don't care about. This is about Jay Park specifically. I didn't know who the hell he was until this video came out and I got daily - seriously, daily - emails about it from excited Black female fans. That's when I started learning about this dude piece by piece. I didn't know he was born and raised in America (didn't know that about Wang Leehom initially either). That's when I learned about the drama with 2 PM and began putting pieces together. The completed puzzled presented me with a person I simply found worthy of interest.

    As for the industry, I merely suggested that if it truly intends to survive, it's going to have to evolve, become more open-minded and inclusive, and learn to appeal to a broader base. No K-Pop artist filled my inbox the way Jay Park did, which woke me up and grabbed my attention. We've been talking about Asian idols since 2010 on this blog and never have I seen Black female fans this ignited and energized by someone...not since Rain did Ninja Assassin back in 2009 (see a pattern?).

    So I simply took the excitement as a sign that Mr. Man here may have figured out a way to make this genre relevant to folks who would otherwise ignore it, or make snarky vids like I did for Big Bang/

    2) "Know Your Name's" relevancy goes beyond Mauika Hicks's cameo. Jay Park - while willing to play by some of the K-Pop industry's rules - was willing to think a little outside the K-Pop box and bring in folks from outside the industry. I would've never pictured members of friggin' So Real Cru getting involved with anything to do with K-Pop. They're Filipino-American, from Houston, Texas, and they're known for their smooth, seductive R&B moves and genuine street swag. So I'm delighted Jay Park brought them onboard, giving them some much needed work and much deserved exposure. And I'm delighted they accepted the opportunity, 'cause this is sooooooo not their scene.

    3) Jay Park is Korean-American trying to maintain a career in S. Korea. He's going to have to appeal to that base as well as the fan bases abroad. And here's the part where I feel a lot of Black female fans can be a bit stingy and hypocritical. Asian fans have supported Black artists for decades, buying their tapes, CDs, their merchandise, and concert tickets, helping them make their millions. Aside for Auburn, who's not that famous, how often do we see the Black female artists in videos with Asian men? How often do Beyonce, or Alicia Keys, or Ciara, or Rihanna or Nikki Minaj, grind up against Asian men in their videos? Has this stopped Asian fans from spending money on them? Has this stopped Asians from idolizing and emulating them?

    This shit is a two-way street, and we can't have it all every single time. Jay Park has opened a door, stepped through the threshold, and set a new bar. The rest of the industry will either meet/surpass that bar or it won't. We're not the ones losing money here. Our careers aren't on the line.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Like you, I don’t have any major investment in Kpop as a genre. I have a passing familiarity with it because I currently live in South Korea, and maintaining a topical amount of knowledge of Korean pop culture helps strengthen my rapport with my students. I’m also intrigued by the fact that so many young black women and girls seem to be drawn to its stars, despite the ongoing campaign to emasculate Asian men in American media.

      It has been my experience that many native born Koreans have very particular--and quite misguided--ideas about the physical prowess of people of African descent. Quite literally, I’ve had more than one lettered, multilingual, relatively cosmopolitan Korean tell me that black people have unique biological traits that enable us to execute feats of singing, dancing, and athleticism with great superiority.
      Sometimes I’m able to summon the mental energy required to disabuse them of these notions, sometimes I am not.

      At some point I was having a pow-wow with other black women friends in Korea, and we all had roughly the same complaint: that when we do receive compliments, an inordinate amount of them often reference our bodies and their supposed “sexiness” and athleticism. “Pretty”, “beautiful”, “nice”, “cool”, “sweet”, “interesting”, “smart” seem to be doled out much less readily. And I am personally uncomfortable with this. I think it’s often a form of racialized objectification. So, when I saw the two treatments for Park’s song, it was against this backdrop that I was considering it. Given the fact that a significant portion of the video’s intended audience is Korean, to me it seemed to be playing on some of those wonky tropes that many Koreans seem to harbor about our physicality. Maybe it was an overly close reading, but I can’t say that I think that my initial reaction was entirely faulty, either.

      But, I do acknowledge that your analysis certainly does complicate things. If the dance version is indeed the more “authentic” expression of Park’s artistry, then his selection of Ms. Hicks surely has some significance. And furthermore, the obligatory nature of the alternative version went well over my head. The fact that it may have been a half-hearted attempt at appeasement, and therefore of negligible importance, was not something that I’d the capacity to even consider. Moreover, the fact that Park is American-- and likely has a level of familiarity and comfort with black people that most native-born Koreans do not—should have been given more weight in my analysis. Also, while it’s an uncomfortable truth, you are absolutely right: not a one major black woman pop star is peppering her videos with Asian male love interests.

      Anyways, I still can’t say that this is my favorite; I like some of the treatments in the other threads much more. But I do appreciate your framing of the issue. And your suggestion is well-taken—I’m officially stepping away from this Kpop business.

      Delete
    2. Thank you.

      A lot of people look at these videos and don't think beyond what they're seeing. They don't factor in multiple variables; they just accept something at first glance and don't analyze beyond that.

      Delete
  12. You got some great points when it come to these " Know Your Name Videos".

    If there is anything I have learned about the Kpop industry is that they were and still is, very unprepared for the international community. The problem with it is that they are scared to take risks and that they let their fans do the talking..reasons that I think that Kpop will meet it's demise. While I understand why Jay and his band had to do what they had to do with the videos, it shouldn't have to be like that.

    I scoff at some of those fangirls when they question why their favorite "oppas" aren't getting the world recognition that those Kpop stars desire.Do they actually think that they will be famous will all of those racially biased videos? Most times when you hear about a star being racially insensitive, it be way after they become famous. Many Kpop stars aren't even in that category and all of that racism is already spewing out. I was shocked that it was finally discussed on a blog because it always seemed that they didn't want to discuss it. While I not going to blame Korea as the only country in the world that practice homogeneity, as of now, it is a country that is being spotlighted for the potential to be in the international market. Other countries could end up being them. If I were those countries I would be taking notes so they know what to/what not to do with their music industries.

    I also agree about the style of music in Kpop. One of the reasons why I'm not moved with Kpop music is because a lot of it isn't unique and just sound too elementary for my tastes. There is nothing original about the music..not even by 50 percent. That song that Big Bang had was rehashed. The only difference with NKOTB, New Edition and BB is that Koreans are on the mic. I'm not saying that they have to resort to native Korean music to be original,but they sound be original about making their own Kpop music. People criticize the US for this. Yeah, some US music artist do sample others artist these days,but with Kpop it's like some of the singers just out right take the song( like BB) as their own.I also agree about the lack of personal creativity is often missing with Kpop. It's like some of these songs are hurried so they can get a hit.

    I was reading about JYJ..man I didn't know that some of those fangirls were that sick and when I mean sick, I mean they are REALLY sick. While I'm not going to justify Jaejoongs actions of hitting a female fan, you can get why he is beyond angry with some of them. All of that craziness is just too much for a human being to take. Many of those idols have to swallow their pride just to please them..ugh! This is my last reason why I don't think Kpop will hold. I was looking at this British pop band called One Direction. When they were being interviewed they discussed how free they were, having girlfriends and so on while Kpop stars are not allowed to. That is enough to give a person a nervous breakdown. I just think it's inhumane for anybody to go through that.Like you said, Jay did have a point about it when it comes to that industry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If there is anything I have learned about the Kpop industry is that they were and still is, very unprepared for the international community. The problem with it is that they are scared to take risks and that they let their fans do the talking..reasons that I think that Kpop will meet its demise. While I understand why Jay and his band had to do what they had to do with the videos, it shouldn't have to be like that.

      BINGO. Bing-friggin' go.

      Fangirls don't know shit about marketing, contracts, nor the roots or evolution of a musical style. Ergo, they shouldn't be making any of the big decisions.

      Seriously...the aim of a career should be to last at least 20-30 years, with growth and maturity to show for it, not cap out at ten (if you're lucky) doing the same thing over and over again.

      Delete
    2. "Seriously...the aim of a career should be to last at least 20-30 years, with growth and maturity to show for it, not cap out at ten (if you're lucky) doing the same thing over and over again."

      This-this-THIS!!!

      And this is why I agree with all of you when you mention KPop acts not being prepared. (Especially those who want success in the states) You have to release a quality product. The game is filled with pretty faces, and dudes that can dance. The question is what do YOU bring to the table that's different? The music/production on some of these songs sound dated. You have to be innovative and at least five steps ahead of these other dudes, or you'll get lost in the shuffle.

      Because these guys are so restricted creatively they're pretty much trapped. There is absolutely no room for growth in terms of lyrics and image.Hell, Rain is a grown-ass-man and got chided like a child for saying "Magic stick" in one of his songs.

      All these fangirls care about is who's hot, sexy and cute. I have yet to hear any of them talk about the quality of the music and its production. Most of them don't care. A lot of them don't listen to any other kinds of music (Even their idols express an interest in varied musical styles). Its like everyone is living in a bubble.

      Delete
  13. Not only that, the fandom, I encounter with this genre is so...juvenile. Now, unfortunately, I have friends who are OBSESSED with kpop, many of them African American girls like myself. Now, I will admit, I do dabble in Korean music, but I do not turn it up and squeal and become overly obnoxious over a six pack. I just find the fan worship of these artists to be so stupid and childish, and a bit close-minded, too. When I try to turn them on to a different style of music, they want to close their ears or turn their noses up at my suggestions. And once I give up, they'll turn the music up even louder to irritate everyone else who's trying to study or eat. I'm hope I'm making some sense, it's just that Korean pop has always been this thorn in my side for far too long and I long to see the day when Korean indie music (which I was what I prefer to its pop equivalent) gain some relevancy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I long to see the day when Korean indie music (which I was what I prefer to its pop equivalent) gain some relevancy.

      It will be an interesting day.

      Delete
    2. Great comment Monochromatic. I have seen a lot of people within the fandom shit on American artists (Their precious idols are imitating the people they shit on!)They seem so detached from reality. I'm pretty open-minded. I'll give any kind of music a try. A lot of this K pop stuff just doesn't move me in the least bit. There's a lot of potential there, but the music is missing something.

      Delete
    3. I'm sure you've all seen this site--> http://www.koreanindie.com/

      Delete
    4. AZIATIX is a cool group as well. Eddie is the yummy one with the long hair:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFex915ZebY

      Delete
    5. Granted AZIATIX isn't KPop,I just thought I'd show them some love <3

      Delete
  14. I like kpop and all of it's cheesiness, but I take it for what it is. Corny and cheesy most of the time. I get my fix now and then. I just think it's how you view it. It's when you start obsessing that it gets out of hand.
    Now for Jay Park. I like Jay. I appreciate that he gets to pretty much think and create for himself. The only reason I pointed out how Mauika Hicks was being portrayed was because if some others ever start using more people of color in their videos(unlikely) it will be in a stereotypical way. I'd hope not. This is just from the things I've seen in the "kpop world" and the crazy things they have said about black people. The parodies I've seen them do are ridiculous. They think that stuff is funny. A lot of them only go by what they see in movies and music videos.
    I'm not completely bummed out about her being in the 1st video and not in the 2nd one. Like you said you can tell Jay has been influenced and is not going to shun or stick black influence like some others. That's Jay. He seems to get it. I wasn't the biggest fan of the 2nd video or song either. I would've just like to have seen that kind of interaction between an Asian guy and black girl. I know it's going to be a long time before that happens. The song on the other hand I have to really want to listen to. I wouldn't just play it out of nowhere like "Know Your Name." All in all I do appreciate where Jay was coming from. It's nice to see an artist with some kind of control switching things up. I don't think this boy is going to back down anytime soon either. I just wonder what would happen if some of these other kpop singers got to use their own minds and creativity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Continued:I wouldn't expect the ballad type one to get that much attention anyway. I like my ballads, but knowing that the black girl was in the more upbeat powerful title track I think more people were attracted to that video. I know how many people wanted to watch that dance part over and over again. lol. Many of these fangirls are blinded by their good looking Asian boys that they don't think to look at the videos and certain aspects of kpop the way some of us view them. Like I said before I'm not enraged( not saying anyone said I was) at the fact that Mauika Hicks was in the first one. I guess someone like me just wants to see that kind of interaction like the 2nd video.

      Delete
    2. I guess someone like me just wants to see that kind of interaction like the 2nd video.

      Phrased like that makes sense; it's an issue of personal preference. Someone like me doesn't want to see her in a video like that. I find it tacky, sappy, and fake.

      Delete
    3. Oh, I got all of that from the video too. The video was sappy, but I think with her heck a girl that he had more of a connection with would have been better. I think that video could have been done a lot better. Like you said, personal preference. I do prefer the 1st song and video overall. The video was upbeat, fast paced, and lots of dancing. I just don't mind taking it down a notch sometimes. It was a video to please certain groups of his fanbase.

      Delete
    4. 1.I love Monsieur Nov

      2. I am also a fan pf Kpop but I also think its better to take it for it's poppy cheesiness. Like, it's not thinking music its fun head bobbing dancing music imo. But yeah, I do have an appreciation for Kpop artists who respect the roots of their musical/vocal styles like 2PM Junsu, MBLAQ G.O., Jay Park...

      3. I agree that the original video IS much better but I kind of understand Kim's pov. Like the black women in the vid is amazing but are we surprised to see her in an upbeat/club song dancing fiercely and sexy ? While the 2nd vid isn't that great it would have been much more surprising to see a black woman as the love interest in a slower,sweeter song.

      PS I know this is super late but I'm a bit new to the sight and I came across this post looking through the music tag

      Delete
  15. Basically, this video says, "Hey, you know what? It can be done. And when it's done, the universe doesn't implode. It can be done, and it can go over well."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I completely agree~

      Delete
    2. I was not thrilled with Jay Park before New Breed came out. I liked some of his songs and had bought them on iTunes, but it wasn't that serious for me.

      After purchasing New Breed, I am most definitely a fan of Jay's! ONLY about half of the album though. I dislike the rap songs intensely! I cannot stand all of that pseudo-swag stuff with constant cursing. Ick. I skip all of the rap songs, they are NOT my style of music at all.

      However, that just goes to show how good songs like "Girlfriend", "I Got Your Back"' "Star" "Turn Off your Phone" and "I Love You" are. I could wear my iPod to death listening to those. The man has some serious talent! The half of the album I like was worth the price by itself. I don't know why he basically combined two totally different albums into one; I wish he had not done it. But anyway.

      I know it was a low time for him when he basically got chased out of Korea, but I'm grateful that it did happen. SK would only let Jay be the cheesy pop artist from Bestie- he never could have made his best music there.

      I think he "had to" make the syrupy coffee shop versio- for Korean girls. So why not put a Korean girl in that version? And the other version, the REAL version, has a beautiful and talented black dancer in it, and it's for his black fans. One video for each demographic, and we got the better one. Not too shabby.

      ps.... I'm about to go visit that Dongho clip again...

      Delete
    3. Lmao! Joyful you're a mess! I love "Turn off your phone". Jay getting chased out of Korea was the best thing that happened to him. Everything happens for a reason.

      Delete
    4. @Joyful I see where you are coming from. I like his music and his ability to control it to some degree. I guess I'm just more worried about everyone else taking the stereotypical route when including people of color in videos. I just want for the black girl to be cast for both types of videos. What I get from Jay is that he gets what he's doing and is not ignorant to things. I like the 1st video. I also appreciate that Jay did it because he meant well. It's just that the audience usually doesn't get it. Like @Ankhesen Mie said about her being in the video "Hey, you know what? It can be done. And when it's done, the universe doesn't implode. It can be done, and it can go over well." I guess that's just what it really comes down to.

      Delete
    5. Yeah, Turn of Your Phone is kind of a...melt-worthy ? song. I think he suits kind of sexy songs.

      Delete
  16. I love your article! But i was curious as to what everyone means by "Big Bangs slip up"?

    ReplyDelete
  17. I'm curious to know too. Perhaps she is referring when Seungri made a joke about being shot by a black person or the fact that BB didn't feature any black women in the video they shot in Brooklyn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was thinking that too, i mean they have such a hip hop style but no black women in their videos. I think it's pretty ridiculous. Also this is the first I've heard of Seungri making that joke.

      Delete
  18. I love Jay Park, good man and he knows what he's doing. An actually Dok2 isn't 100% Korean...which is lovely truly he's only half Korean while his other make up is Filipino and Spanish ...talk about different but Good! I still call him Gonzo though considering that's what he used to go by. I adore his music too. But back to Jay Park, he's good because he's got a good understanding of how to market to women of ALL COLORS not just Caucasian or Asian but all; which I find cool. Jay Park seems to have a flavor that's just seemingly addictive; I cannot get over him and I'm certainly not tired of him either. His B-Boy ways make him sexier, and I love the fact that he's not your cookie cutter pretty boy either. I like the way he is cause he seems Real not fake like some of em.

    And I haven't watched the second version due to the look of the idea concept of the video in the first place...too goddamn grossly CORNY. And I'm really thinking Jay Park didn't really want to do the second version of that song. It doesn't really seem like his style ya know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And I haven't watched the second version due to the look of the idea concept of the video in the first place...too goddamn grossly CORNY. And I'm really thinking Jay Park didn't really want to do the second version of that song. It doesn't really seem like his style ya know.

      That's what I'm saying; it's not them. They feel like they have to, but they don't really want to.

      Delete
    2. Yea just the look of the video looked grody...that much corny sappiness makes me gag.

      Delete
  19. I guess I'm more worried about how some of them already perceive us. I can't always be worried about that I guess. I'm not trying to change any ones views or anything. I think if Jay had a say on a 2nd version it would have probably been a more slow paced R&B song. Like some of you said it was probably for another demographic. We'll just have to wait and see if anything comes from this "step" forward in video casting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here's a thing I think fans often forget. The videos aren't about "us" - they're about the singer/rapper in question. The reason why I focus on whichever video's the "official" video is that that video tells us what the artist is all about.

      These pop, R&B, and hip hop artists who grew up dancing in crews on American streets generally aren't into sap. They're not emo songwriters who. They want to do sensual, not sappy. They want to do videos which assert them as force-of-nature alpha males. The reason why women in these videos generally come under such heavy scrutiny is that the women act as supporting characters to the men. Which is fine - the reverse goes when the singer/rapper is female. What we all want is respectful representation.

      There's nothing nasty in "Know Your Name", not lyrically, not physically. The moves are sexy, but not straight up dirty. Both Jay and Mauika showed off talent in their performance, which is what the videos need to get back to. He didn't slap her ass, she wasn't indecently dressed, and they didn't simulate anything graphic.

      She's dark-skinned, not some white-washed, conveniently "ambiguous" black girl with six feet of weave. She clearly has a dancer's body (strong, well-nourished). We needed to see that. We needed to see all of that, and I think it was respectfully presented.

      Delete
    2. "Six feet of weave." Hilarious!

      Delete
  20. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I am curious to know what Asian men hairstyle wrote.

    ReplyDelete
  22. If I can I'd like to add my two cents. My parents find every angle of kpop absurd, because they have seen and heard all of these rehashed songs. "Enjoying people who imitate what your people have done and could or should be doing- Do not do that" is what I get when I find a good Ballad LMAO, but at the same time I completely understand. Sometimes I cannot help when I find a good song in the kpop genre that oozes some type of MJ/ R&B goodness(eg. more recently Shinee's "Sherlock" & Exo's "What is love" & "History" SUJU's "Sorry sorry Answer"). I apologize in advance but I refuse to deprive my ears of good food.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Not as ripped?? haha pleasseeee look him up again! XD
    that boy is BEYOND ripped:
    http://static.allkpop.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/20100901_jaebeom_weight.jpg
    http://whataisaid.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/jay_park_abs_11022011213939.jpg

    ReplyDelete
  24. You should check out new rookie group B.A.P! They are obviously very influenced by hip hop and even quote artists like Jay-Z, Kanye, Lupe Fiasco, Musiq Soulchild and Mos Def as their favorite artist/influences. They also have this "thing" where the want to "take over the world" with their music.
    And kinda going on Jay Park's Myspace post, the lyric translations to B.A.P's album 'Power' are deeeeep.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Anyone who wanted to see Jay Park perform on stage with Mauika, you can see it in the following link to one of his US performances.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=vyTQ9XwQOIw#!

    Found this on Black Kpop Fans Get it
    http://black-kpop-fans.tumblr.com/post/23487889499/jay-park-apahm-tour-2012-d-c

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Its a long video but Mauika appears around the beginning (first song he performs is Know Your Name) and and somewhere near the end..I forget the exact times

      Delete
  26. Also thought someone might like to see this interview Jay did where they touch on the subject of the dancer Mauika for the 'Know Your Name' video (skip to 3:08)-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=PZYPJtJmC70#!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I truly don't care about the video of the second verson of the song, i just like the song it self. Fuck it i'll get me and some of my friends together we'll film a better video. Stupid ignorant fans.

    ReplyDelete

Comments are no longer accepted.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.