1.02.2014

Do I Love you Because: The Jay Park Effect

Happy New Year Good People! My laptop took its own life a few weeks ago and so I was unable to post to you guys! Getting a laptop in Korea, you would think, would be easy, but they are very expensive here, hence I had to wait for one to come from the good 'ol US of A. All is well now and I hope your holidays were merry and bright!

Daegu; EXCO
A lot of things have gone down in Korea since the last time we spoke. One of the things I have been enjoying in the ROK are cheap concert tickets. In December I went to the Jay Park concert twice in two different cities. Why? Because I could. For those unfamiliar with Jay Park or his government name 박재범 Park Jay Beom, he is a Korean American B-boy, Dancer, Singer, Rapper, Actor. He started off as a B-Boy in Seattle, Washington where he grew up and pledges his allegiance. He initially started his K-Pop Korea as the leader of 2PM. But he left the group to pursue a solo career that shows off his more "HipHop" side.
Jay Park's fanbase included many Asian fans and the occasional outsiders, but it was not until he released the video for his song "Know Your Name" did he gain a new audience of black girls. Why? I too, after watching the video "got into" Jay Park. The video features Park dancing with a black girl. The physical presence of black people in K-Pop and this video have been discussed on the narrative before.

By the way Rain (비) just released a video with a whole slew of black folks living in Korea. (Sidebar* Check it out. What do you think? Does this video hypersexualize black women? We'll dish on this later)



So close for $80
Sometimes I think that one black girl in one Korean guy's video sets the rest of us up. The video reactions to "Know Your Name" by black girls are priceless...as soon as the girl pops up on the screen, you see the "OMG" face. We see one black girl and our hopes soar and sometimes we think "They must really love black girls"...then the inevitable happens; when performing the song in concerts or on television, the black girl is not there, but replaced by an Asian girl or White girl...and then Jay Park is blacklisted by black girls. Should we be represented more? Do we have to be? I went through the "OMG, there is a black girl in the video, I love him, Jay Park loves black people" phase; then "What the heck happened to the black girl in the video?" Does Jay Park get a pass because he's Korean American and grew up in the states? At his concert, I was the only black girl that I could see. Of course, this is Korea, but there were plenty of non-Asian people there. Mostly taking pictures for their blogs. I was there because I was hoping...that maybe the black girl would show up during the song...hopes too high? Are black girls setting themselves up? Getting our hopes up too much? Is the Jay Park effect real? Its made me less coy when I want to "talk" to Korean guys so maybe so. Are black girls so desperate to be liked that we'll latch onto to anyone who is willing to "give us a chance"? I wonder.  Until next time Good People .

54 comments:

  1. Hum! interesting. This sounds like they are using blacks for marketing purposes only and why not show them on stage? They are very talented and make the video profitable, so why not include blacks in concerts?

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  2. I felt offended by Rain's video, after seeing that one moment, where the black girl's buttocks and breast have been expanded I felt irritated and couldn't even finish the video. The first few seconds of the video already gave me a sign that this video would be base on stereotypes of either Latinos or Black people. Guess I wasn't wrong and seriously I also didn't get the point of using a black woman dancing with tribal paint on her face. Furthermore I am not one of those black girls who feel pleased that Rain used a black girl. I want us to be represented in a human way and not as objects or as a mean to seem cool. As for Jay Park I knew that he'll never dance with that black girl in any event in Korea. I do like Kpop but I am fed up of them using black prople or black culture without giving us back the respect we deserve

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    1. I agree with you complete...When I saw what they did to the black girl on the video and just hit stop and changed the video...Rain lost me as a fan right there...It was very disrepectful and unnecessary.

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    2. Thank you for pointing that out, nanaotua nyante!

      If you noticed, Rain was singing, "Show me what you got," when he whispered in the Black woman's ear and her butt and breasts seemed to quadruple in size (see 1:54-1:55). I stopped the video after that. Is that all Rain thinks Black women can bring to the proverbial table?

      The pointed closeups of the few Black actors can easily delude a not-so-attentive viewer into thinking there were mostly Black actors. If you notice, save for those closeups, everyone else was Asian, especially the girls who were twerking (I guess that answers your question, Silver Tiger, about whether Rain hypersexualized Black women). And as for all those deliberate closeups of Black faces... did Rain think a clearly visible Black presence would legitimize his new and (supposedly) more urban sound?

      I had had enough by 2:00 and I have ZERO inclination to finish watching this MV. Rain just lost another fan.

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  3. Yeah I saw the Rain video and feel the same way as when black women are treated like f*ck toys in US videos. Disgusted. I read one comment from someone I guess was black who was offended then happy. Notice he is dancing with Korean girls, but the black girl is sexualized. Why didn't they use a Korean girl?

    I personally do not get why black women get upset when rappers and the lack use non black women in their sleazy videos. I mean you WANT to be shown like that? Maybe I'm just a prude.

    Are black girls so desperate to be liked that we'll latch onto to anyone who is willing to "give us a chance"? I wonder.-Sorry, but yes! These people (all of them here and overseas) are in the business of making money not making you happy. Just because someone that looks like you is featured in a video does not mean they "like" you. Someone was hired for a job period. People read too much into videos.

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    1. I agree with you. People, including myself, have read too much into videos. I have since grown up. But black girls, like any other girl or guy, wants to be wanted. Its not okay to be featured in such a way as in Rain's video, but we're there, we're featured. Kind of like "I'll take it how I can get it" mentally?

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    2. @Silver Tiger-Yeah I read the comment of someone and thats pretty much what they said. I'm offended, but at least we are there.

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  4. I'm with nanaotua nyante and Lor for the most part. Rain truly ain't shit for this video, for engaging in the hypersexualisation of Black women. Honestly why did they not use a Korean girl? The fact that he did this, and he must know how many Black women adore him and consider him the poster boy for AMBW, really shows the amount of regard he has for us.

    I'm also done with the choruses of "oppa didn't mean it", we need to stop blaming the producers, directors or whatever and start holding Rain accountable. I'm 100% sure there are Black k-pop fangirls out there just ecstatic as they accept the crumbs Rain is sweeping off the table onto their outstretched hands. It's so fucking pathetic, Black girls need to stop being desperate in 2014, we shouldn't just accept anything in the name of "representation". We are beautiful, stunning, perfect and awesome enough, celestial beings far above useless men like Rain and their disrespectful "attention".

    There goes the tiniest interest I had for him since Ninja Assassin, he can go and *censored*. *kmt* BlackinAsia wrote a post about Rain and the bullshit he pulled, it is a must read.

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    1. Ah I'm sorry I jumped at Rain's bullshit without addressing your post SilverTiger. You asked "Should we be represented more? Do we have to be?" I say yes on both counts. We should be represented more and we have to be! Black people, Black women, we're so used to not seeing ourselves in the media we consume that we don't expect to. I recently read a post on the Adventure from the Bedrooms of African women blog that talked about romance novels and how rare it is to find romance novels with Black women in several African countries. The author mentioned how in the bookshops she visited, there was a general perplexity when she asked why they didn't have more books with Black people in them, in the Black continent...Basically there should be more Black women everywhere, especially in the media we consume.

      There was a time when I too would get excited at seeing Black women in a k-pop music video. But it got old quick, yes the Black women were there but how were they being portrayed? In the end it seems that Black people in k-pop music videos never move past being used as props. It's like the k-pop powers that be put them there to keep Black fans excited and to keep them spending. We should expect to see people that look like us in the media we spend money on. I'm not sure if that is going to happen in k-pop so I'm moving my interests elsewhere. I'm ride or die for Black girls and women worldwide, it is more worthwhile for me to support my sisters than people that clearly don't give a shit about us. My money is too good to waste on them.

      Definitely there are Black girls and women who are desperate. I've always wondered why some ask "do *insert race/ethnicity* men like Black women?" because to me the answer will always be "why not?". I'm not that cute but I do get attention from men from all over the world, something I notice especially when I travel. I think it's a self-esteem issue, and also because there are so many of us that don't get the support we deserve. I'll admit that I have paid more attention than I should have to useless men of all shades but I've learned my lesson. It was more out of curiosity than settling because of they gave me a chance.

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    2. "The fact that he did this, and he must know how many Black women adore him and consider him the poster boy for AMBW, really shows the amount of regard he has for us."

      Cosmicyoruba you are absolutely right on all accounts! Now because of this video Rain will be blacklisted, by the fans who adored him. That's my point though...we thought he was with us an now we realize he's not so he's out (either you're with us or against us). That's the Jay Park effect.

      Recently here in Korea I have come across guys who are extremely curious about me...asking why I don't speak Ebonics, asking about my hair...the old me would have been offended, but these guys see what people like Rain put out and they wonder why we're not as the videos portray. I guess it is our responsibility to make them see that "We are beautiful, stunning, perfect and awesome enough, celestial beings far above useless men like Rain and their disrespectful "attention"". Or is it our responsibility?

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    3. Silver Tiger, no, it's not our responsibility to prove that we, as Black women, are "...beautiful, stunning, perfect and awesome enough..." (thanks, Cosmicyoruba, for putting it so poetically).

      No educated person in their right mind should believe pervasive negative media portrayals of any demographic. So the next an Asian guy asks about your hair and why you don't speak "Ebonics" (wow...), show them a clip of William Hung and ask if they're anything like that.

      Ignorance can go both ways. Seriously.

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  5. Guess I'm weird.

    The stunt with ballooning shadow, to me, was annoying and childish (granted, in a sexist way) and no woman - not Korean nor African - should've been shown that way...even though some of those Korean dancers could stand to fill out just a little bit.

    I didn't like how they propped up bony Korean women, trying to get them to "shake it" - it looked tacky and did them no favors. I couldn't take any of them seriously, and make no mistake, they were being hypersexualized as well. In fact, the only women I took seriously - and yes, that includes the woman with the painted face - were the fully clothed street dancers and their awesome fusion style.

    This was a video, to me, that missed the mark and came up short of awesome because of tired sexist tropes - period. The setting, choreography, overall style and artistry, and even music itself were fairly decent, but because yet another typical man thought it was sexy/funny/cool to exploit both Black and Korean bodies, it fell short. IMHO, BlackinAsia's post went off the deep end, got exasperated, and ended up reading too much into things. It's easy to do so when someone like Rain is finally able to produce a decent song (I typically don't like his music) and video with potential Black female leads, and the best he can come up with is this. In fact, it's irritating when any famous male artist pulls shit like this because it makes you wonder why so many of them have such a hard time "getting it." How hard would it have been to simply choreograph a sexy courtship dance between the two a la "Know Your Name", and then call it a day?????

    This video triggered a debate on YouTube about how at some point, we gotta draw the line on our criticism and complaints. Do Black female K-Pop fans want more Black females in K-Pop vids? Yes. Do they want them to be getting sexy and sweaty with their oppas? Of course they do; it's the fantasy. However, such fantasies will usually be depicted from a man's perspective, and thus will often involve material an female audience will question at times. Folks mileage will vary on these things, and that's just the way it is. For example, I happen to think that Rain's video overall was a few steps in the right direction; he just took a horribly wrong turn a few more steps down the line.

    My verdict: Disappointing? Yes. Trite and juvenile? Definitely. International travesty? Hardly.

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    1. Thank you! I feel as though I relate more with your perspective of Rain music video. I just don't have an overly emotional response to the video. It is disappointing to see that Rain is still quite ignorant about the misrepresentation of black women in music videos. Then again, our own people misrepresent us in their music videos. Despite this negative setback for Rain, I still like him as an artist. I believe change doesn't happen over night, we have a long way to go before things get better.

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  6. Honestly, I've never been into Kpop because the music seemed juvenile and rehashed.

    Should Black girls be in Kpop videos? If they're talking about looking more international, they should do just that. People can read between the lines and they will get the impression of something. I remembered watching an old Z.Z.Top video and my mom remarked" That something about them says that suggest rednecks" ) racists in their case).I agreed though we didn't have a definitive answer to why. Maybe it was their appearance as the two guys reminded you of radical versions of the guys from Duck Dynasty, though there are guys who look like them that aren't like that .However ,one thing that stuck out in their videos was that they never had a Black/POC in their videos. It may not seem like a big deal to some as you can't always judge a book by its cover but our suspicions was confirmed. It was said that ZZ Top supported the KKK.

    Now, I'm not saying that all Kpop stars are racists,but I do believe that Kpop management has a specific audience that they want to reach..and I don't think its the Black one.I also feel that the ones that do are afraid of the reaction of their fans and countrymen and women and they are only doing what they feel is right to keep the peace with them.

    As a whole, I could care less about POCs being/not being in Kpop videos but if they're talking about looking international then they have to learn what means to be just that. I looked at a B2St video. The song sound fairly decent but most of the Black girls.. as an extra for the their video said..who was supposed to be on there was barely shown and/or was shrunked. Most of the scenes was focused on the White play dancers on there.
    I've heard of nightmares of how Black Kpop fans was forced in the back of a concert i hall in Spain while the White ones remained in the front or a case where Big Bang management said they wanted POCs in their videos yet at the end, there were no Black girls in it.This is why I say ,Kpop has a targeted audience for their industry.

    I'm like this ,if I was a lover of Pop music, I wouldn't support Kpop.Why listen to it if youre being disrespected.Some people may argue that it's Korean pop and technically it is but they're open enough to allow White people in their media, the same should apply to everybody.

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  7. You guys noticed the seperation between black people scenes and Korean people scenes? Like they couldn't have mixed them all and do something cooler, more friendly?

    I'm not pissed nor offended, but I really understand you ladies. That was WTF-worthy, indeed. I think that kpop is controlled by the government (partially) and the kpop execs who are conservative and only care to please their own people: Koreans. While diversity and especially diverse ethnic representation is a hot issue in some Western countries for cultural reasons, Korea on the other hand doesn't feel the same and doesn't seem that ready to get started on it in their media. There must be exceptions here and there but in the whole we'll have to wait. Non Asian kpop fans will have to deal with a bunch of stereotypes for a while (a decade?).

    "Should we be represented more? Do we have to be?"

    > Hm, I'm not sure. You're talking about Kpop, right? I don't think it would be that compatible with Kpop (as much as it is influenced by RnB/hip hop or jazz)...showing more black faces would make kpop seem more "real" or "down" than it actually is, I mean it's all about concepts that go nowhere and perfect visuals. If they start showing more black/Latino/Arabic people in genuine, respectful ways just like they do with Koreans, kpop will start being serious. And seriousness or reality is not what they want...they want to sell us dreamy songs and visuals of people who look like them, which is what pop music is usually for anyway, in many countries.

    These are good questions though. I don't clairm to be right. I'd rather to see more black women in the music (and film) industry of my own European country to begin with, but kpop...I don't care. All I care about is blasians like Lee Michelle to keep doing their thing and being offered opportunities to shine through their hard work.

    As for Rain...I'm disappointed, man. The choreo was meh...he kinda reminded me G-dragon (not a good thing imo lol) with his looks and maybe the choreo a little. The song was meh as well.

    And Jay Park...I need more than one black woman in a kpop video to have me in his fans. I'm picky so yeah, his music is usually not my jam and his persona isn't my kind of artist. I respect his work though, and I find him quite funny.

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    1. You know, these are some good points. K-Pop's target audience is Korean - end of story. That's one hurdle we ain't never get over and we shouldn't have to. Why? Because over here in the US, our brothers and sisters are coming up with these dances and these beats and these rhymes that everybody wants a piece of, but they're getting lip service recognition and no Grammys (or any another appreciation) to show for it. If I recall, this year, no Black American artist won a Grammy for R&B or hip hop. Dudes like Macklemore and Robin Thicke and Justin-fucking-Timberlake were sauntering off with all the awards. Um, where would these motherfuckers be without POC???

      So before we obsess further about K-Pop, maybe we need to turn our attention back to our own music & dance situation right here in the US for a while (not to mention how WOC are portrayed in videos and concerts here), because the situation is most assuredly not okay.

      The choreo was meh...he kinda reminded me G-dragon (not a good thing imo lol) with his looks and maybe the choreo a little. The song was meh as well.

      Girl, I feel you...the street dancers were cool; they struck me as being independent artists who improvised their scenes. The choreographed group dancers could've been a lot better. For a K-Pop song, this was okay, (so long as you don't read the translation). The ultimate problem with K-Pop is that it severely limits itself, whether because of censorship, industry discrimination, or marketing strategy, or that fact that it's hellbent on being Korean Pop as opposed to just friggin' Pop.

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    2. "So before we obsess further about K-Pop, maybe we need to turn our attention back to our own music & dance situation right here in the US for a while (not to mention how WOC are portrayed in videos and concerts here), because the situation is most assuredly not okay."

      I originally wasn't going to comment but had to just to cosign this statement. Yes x100! I'm past my Kpop phase but I watch the new videos that come out every now and then. When I saw this Rain video at first I was glad to see black girls in it but that particular scene didn't sit too well with me. I like Rain but honestly never got into his music and probably won't bother to listen to this album.

      I think it is important to realize that our representation on our own shores should come first and foremost, because it is what affects our representation overseas. It would be nice to see black girls in general in Kpop videos but I'm not holding my breath anymore, nor do I care. I honestly don't care about whether black girls are in Asiam MVs in general because 1. We lack representation on OUR OWN COUNTRY and what little representation we have sucks lemons. 2. Black women still have many battles to fight before even being seen respectably and treated equally as other (white) women. So the Kpop thing is so irrelevant. K (Korean) Pop is and always will be for Korean people. Yeah international fans make up a bulk of the fan base but all the big companies care about are those Youtube views and dollar signs. Otherwise they don't give a crap, especially about the black fans. Plus, who knows how long the Kpop fad will last. Remember when Jpop was the "thing"? Like you said, we really need to worry about what's going on here, and it obviously isn't so great, especially for black women.

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    3. Grammy 2014 will broadcast on the 26th of this month. Last year Beyonce, Miguel, Usher to name a few. I think you are talking the AMAs.

      2013 winners:
      Best R&B Performance
      “Climax,” Usher
      Best Traditional R&B Performance
      “Love On Top,” Beyoncé
      PHOTOS: Best and Worst Dressed
      Best R&B Song
      “Adorn,” Miguel
      Best Urban Contemporary Album
      Channel Orange, Frank Ocean
      Best R&B Album
      Black Radio, Robert Glasper Experiment
      Best Rap Performance
      “N****s in Paris,” Jay-Z & Kanye West
      Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
      “No Church In The Wild,” Jay-Z & Kanye West featuring Frank Ocean & The-Dream
      Best Rap Song
      “N****s in Paris,” Jay-Z & Kanye West
      Best Rap Album
      Take Care, Drake

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    4. AMAs!!! That's what it was!!!! 'Cause that was the night of the Katie Perry geisha bullshit! And I remember folks on the blogosphere kinda were having a WTF moment about the winners in R&B and hip hop.

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    5. Yeah I don't watch any awards shows anymore, but I happened to be flipping channels and caught Katy Perry's "performance". I remember thinking there is going to be some sh*t for that in the morning and kept right on flipping!

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    6. You guys noticed the seperation between black people scenes and Korean people scenes? Like they couldn't have mixed them all and do something cooler, more friendly?

      I've watched the vid a few more times now (need to stop, the song is starting to getting obnoxious), but I noticed in the street, everyone was dancing together. Painted Face Girl is actually directly to Rain's right.

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    7. Yes, I saw the screen caps afterwards and noticed I was wrong! Good thing.

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    8. @ Ankhesen: I really agree with you on focusing on the West, as it's where Korean take their stereotypes and ideas of what a black woman should be about. We need more diversity in the mainstream scenes.

      I also think that the street dancers were on point, really cool. Rain was not as good there in the choreo.

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  8. The Rain video was posted on the Brothas and Sistahs of South Korea Facebook page by the girl who does the tribal dance with tribal makeup in the video. She was very proud of the video and everyone who commented on it seemed to love the video as well.

    But there are others on other social networks who have now blacklisted Rain. That's the point...we were down with him before, now we're not. Some will argue that at least we're in the videos...I call this the Tyler Perry effect "At least he is making movies with people of color in them" despite the movies being crappy.

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    1. Like, I said, dude took a few steps forward, then got overconfident/overly excited/whateva and took a wrong turn.

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    2. "I call this the Tyler Perry effect"
      YES

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  9. I found Rain's video and song unintentionally hilarious. I get a sense that this video and song are trying very hard to NOT be K-pop and go for both an international look and sound. Then again I haven't listened to a lot of recent K-pop so maybe this is the style of songs nowadays. However it just misses the mark and seems messy and silly. And WTF is up with Rain's hair? It's all just...wrong...so wrong...Asian Junkie is going to have a field day with this, LOL.

    But getting to the general point, I can understand wanting to see black women in videos. I supposed there isn't anything wrong with seeing a face that looks like yours when you're really into something. At the same time, I think there's a blurred line between true appreciation and appropriation/pandering. Honestly one of the reasons why I'm not big into K-pop anymore is because I got a stronger sense of the latter coming from Korea. And to me it doesn't matter if a black woman is in the video it matters WHAT shows doing. There have been Asian artists who have used black women: Far East Movement, Monsieur Nov, and Kubota Toshi just to name a few. But it's very important that these black women are just props in videos. We've seen them be in relationships, be singers and collaboratorators, be dancers and/or band members on an off screen. And to me this is a much more genuine way of displaying black women or heck just black people overall. It's a reminder that sure, black women can be sexy, BUT we're so much more than that. But these are all people that probably have spent more time around black people than the average K-pop star so maybe they just know better? In the case of the Jay Park video, I haven't seen enough of his videos to see if he falls into the appreciation slot or the latter. Have black women been in his other videos or performances, even in the backgrounds?

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    1. I found Rain's video and song unintentionally hilarious. I get a sense that this video and song are trying very hard to NOT be K-pop and go for both an international look and sound.

      LOLOLOLOLOLOL - I thought the same thing. I was like, "Oh...he's tryin' to do some new shit now. ...Too bad it's still very much K-Pop."

      And WTF is up with Rain's hair? It's all just...wrong...so wrong...Asian Junkie is going to have a field day with this, LOL.

      Yeah...I kinda cringed with that ish. The suits, the colors, the blending of time periods, etc. was bold and ambitious, though.

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    2. And WTF is up with Rain's hair?-Glad to see I wasn't the only one to think this! Its funny cause I caught an episode of his reality show. He was talking to Lee Hyori and she mentioned "wasn't his style a little dated!"

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    3. LOL - did she really? I guess he's dead set on reinventing himself. It's like he's having a Madonna moment.

      Fashion Tip, Rain: retire from music, switch over to film, and give us Ninja Assassin 2 or something.

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    4. Yeah. It was funny cause they showed his expression (like WTF) and that of his stylist (she has been with him for like ten years). I think they need to get out (a more worldy fashion view) more.

      I agree I think he should retire from music or take a break and recharge his batteries for a while. LEARN about music it didn't start with MJ people! A problem even American artist have.

      He is playing in The Prince with Bruce Willis. http://www.dramabeans.com/2013/11/rain-takes-hollywood-movie-the-prince-as-comeback-role/

      He was in Alabama last month filming.

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  10. @Shasha LaPerf
    Well I went to Jay Park's concert and Maurika Hicks, the Black female dancer was at all of his performances in the states.....

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    1. In the STATES! I would be more impressed if it was at ALL of his concerts. I understand though he is about making his money.

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    2. That's cool. But like Lor said she should be there at ALL of his concerts. But he bows to the almighty dollar.

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  11. Rain's style was horrendous in that video. "30sexy" is a much better video conceptually and well, much more pleasing to the eye. About hyper sexual aspects, yes, I do believe that enlarging the woman's breast and buttocks was bad taste. And I get why everyone is offended by that because of historical connotations of black woman's sexuality as being loose or wanton. However, I just can't bring myself to get as irate as others are about this video. Bad taste, yeah, juvenile, absolutely but not really enough for me to start a riot over. I don't know, I just thought the whole video was funny as in haha funny. He seemed to really want to change his image as this adult bad boy of k pop and I guess he was trying to channel his inner Too $hort, Lil Wayne or old school Jay Z to do it. I mean with the bandana, gold chains, rings, old school bomb box that no one in the twenty first century uses anymore, girl dancers with the fur throw overs and heels, this is really like a glitzed up pseudo rap video. When are they going to stop taking from Black American culture and come up with something completely fresh and new? I don't get the love for k pop because lets face it, its just Black American music sung by Koreans. And the Koreans aren't really adding their own flavor to it to make it unique. That's why it puzzles me why people are so invested into K pop in general? This is not music that you haven't heard before. So quite frankly, I think we need to stop being so invested into this, hoping they would put a black girl in the video and give her good representation. The reality is K pop is for Koreans, white people are the ones with world social capital so they get in, and they feel they don't have to respect us enough for good representation. And I don't know as an American, that I want my representation coming from Korean media, nor do I think I should be demanding them for inclusion. I want it here in the United States. I want to see more black women and girls in media in the country that I am from. As I said bad move for Rain, hope he gets his ish together. I will still watch his movies but he lost a lot of his black girl fan base from this debacle.
    AC

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    1. I agree with you AC...everything you said, I've been thinkng the same. I liked the concept of Janelle Monae's album (the one with her in a futuristic outfit). She looked like she thinks forward, not backward...I'd love to see some (black) singers in my country do that, in their own ways. Musically as well, not just visually.

      I also agree on Rain's acting like a younger idol in this MV...hence my comparison with G-Dragon. Rain should try to act more like his age and use his fame to do meaningful work.

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    2. Thank you! I'm disappointed in Rain but, not furious with him, he clearly made a terrible mistake. Funny thing is G-Dragon's music video are a bit strange and sometimes entertaining. I wonder why he featured the biracial children in one of his music video?

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    3. "its just Black American music sung by Koreans. "

      I've been saying this for years. Appropriators, period.

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  12. I know I talked about this already, but I would like to further add that the international fan base for k pop is quite small in various countries. Like in the US, K pop is really not on the majority of peoples radar. Remember when Girls Generation came to Dave Letterman's show and how the comments were they sounded dated, or why are so many of them in a group, or more importantly who are they? I'm sure its the same in many other countries. That is why I question the many rattle sounds of inclusion from k pop fans. This is Korean media. It's for Korean's and that is where the main money is. And let's be honest, how many black girls that you know are really out here staning hard for K pop idols? That is a minority and we all know that. We are not the intended audience. Let's focus on our media. Black American, Afro Caribbean, Afro Latino, Black British and African media and support all of those. Rain is getting old and as I said, this is an attempt to bring a bad boy image to make him appeal to the teenagers. And in your thirties, you need to grow, mature and damn it just move on from the teeny bopper appeal. Too bad he can't be like Raheem Devaughn, or Kem, Dwele, Jesse Bowkins Jr, Maxwell or Eric Benet. Or even his idols Usher or Michael Jackson. Artist appeal to adults not children and although they started out as child singers, in Michael and Ushers case, they grew out of that. Shoot I would like to see Rain put out a Confesions type album, ( I know its asking too much for him to put out a Thriller, Off the Wall or even Bad 'cus he is not on MJ's level like that) but something that is mature.
    AC

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    1. AC you are on the money.

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    2. AC you must be a mind reader because you're saying all the right things. I'm fairly new to K-pop, I'm 5 months in and I'm already seeing the cracks in this music industry. I remember when I first saw Girl's Generation on Regis & Kelly's Show, it was a cultural shock for me. I didn't understand why there was 9 girls in a girl group. The dance moves were so outdated and desperate, I had to laugh. LOL

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    3. I agree with everything you said and the Anon from below. And, actually, a lot of the comments here.

      I'm not angry about the video and what it depicts, ect. because honestly, why would anyone expect black women to be shown in a respectable way in a k-pop video when we aren't even in the Black American videos produced by other black people featuring other black artists? What Rain did was in bad taste, but does anyone honestly think he's going to give up his career because he has progressively gained a noticeable (but not large) fanbase of black girls? Nope. He's not going to fight his agency and resign himself to anonymity for the cause of black women...and I think it would be unreasonable to expect him to. It's just the sad reality. K-pop wasn't originally made to target non-Koreans, the popularity has just sort of manifested itself. Now when black fans are treated badly at concerts, that's something to get pissed about.

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  13. Black women aren't respected stateside by ourselves or others that look 'like us'. Especially in music vids. We can't hold other nations to a higher standard. I didn't like the scene either, but I did see there was another black female in the vid without face paint or exaggerated body parts. Albeit, it was brief. It was interesting his hand hid 'the kiss.' oh well, and I was looking forward to his comeback. :( Try again Rain.

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  14. Now Rain is appealing to his Korean fan base however he does have a very large following from non Korean fans from around the world. The Asian media dubbed him "World Star" Bi/Rain because of his ability to cross over to other Asian and non Asian markets that no other Korean artist has (no Psy you don't count because Rain did it before you). I want like so say I really like both songs and videos but I don't. I'm not sure about the concepts, and styles he was going for, it looks a little too effeminate and his hair cut/style is HORRIBLE! I clearly understand it's to appeal to his Korean fans, but if he's not even going to consider his INTERNATIONAL fans than he's going to lose some folks and some of those folks are Black women/Women of Color. LA Song is okay, but the video is WRONG! 30 Sexy I don't like at all.
    Now I have to wonder if Rain was still under JYPE management or even under his own Rainy Entertainment management would that horrible scene been in the video? Hmmm?

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  15. To be honest I'm kinda surprised by the huge outrage some women of color have over Rain's video. When I first saw the video, I was happy it was diverse. That one part of the video with the girl's boobs and butt was enlarged, it did kinda rub me the wrong way, but it wasn't that serious. Honestly, when was the last time you saw a popular Hip-hop video that portrayed black women in a respectable way? All the ideas Kpop artists come up with for their MV's are from us here in America. I don't want to make excuses for Rain, but how is he suppose to know some of his black female fans would be turned off by this if we don't even speak up and complain about how our own music industry makes us look? Bless his heart, he probably really thought all his black female fans would be so happy that we were featured so much in a Kpop video. I doubt highly he meant to hurt us in any kind of way. It was just an ignorant move. La Song itself is ok but I like 30 Sexy better. I think his comeback could've been way better than this though. Like Rainism was really good, that's the Rain that I became a fan of. Am I a little disappointed by the La Song video?... eh, yeah I guess but not enough for me to say I'm not a fan anymore. If that's the case I might as well throw out most of my Hip-hop, R&B, Reggaeton, etc music collection and not watch most of the music videos I see on BET, Youtube, etc. If you don't wanna be a fan of Rain's anymore, you have that right. But if we seriously want change and demand more respect, we have to speak up more and stop financially supporting most Hip-Hop and R&B artists right here in our own country

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  16. I think part of the problem SOME black fans had was that, since kpop is appropriating the majority of their stuff from black American artists, then the stance of "they don't cater to non-Koreans so we shouldn't get too mad" is "unfair" for lack of a better word. If they aren't going to represent us in a respectable way, then why should they get to use our "stuff" for their music "concepts"?

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    1. In a perfect world, they wouldn't, but as it stands they can. It's annoying yes, but it's also life.

      Since Black fangirls can't influence the K-Pop industry the way they'd like to, then Black fangirls need to influence what they can - themselves. They can withdraw support from fan clubs, and refuse to go to concerts or purchases the merchandise. They can stop sharing links and pics, and start ignoring the industry the way it has ignored them. They can instead focus on the SDMs, the Tia Ferreras, the likes of AKNU, Diamond Rowe, Jhene Aiko, Davina Robinson, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Look Alive, Alexis Brown, and A Tribe Called Red, and I could go on and on and on because I've covered and/or interviewed them At the Bar, and their posts get no love.

      But let me or someone else so much as mention K-Pop on any of my blogs, and that conversation goes on for months to years.

      In case anyone's wondering, there's a reason why the comments are turned off for "Asking the Right Questions: Black Women in the Asian Music Scene", because after 149 comments in less than a month, 2 years later, folks won't still let that convo go. A blog is meant to be an evolving discussion, and yet I've noticed that where K-Pop is concerned, folks get stuck on repeat.

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    2. @Ankh-You have to be OPEN to other sounds and most people aren't. I like an eclectic range of music. I also listen to a lot of OLD music. A lot of people have their one range and they will not budge. Ask a rap fan to listen to country or vice versa! You have better luck finding bigfoot! I've listened to some of the artists you featured. Some I like and some I just didn't care for. But I did try it.

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    3. It's not just about the sounds, but the representation as well. I don't listen to some of the music either, but it's about the whole package and showing these struggling artists some love and letting them know their hard work and sacrifice is not in vain.

      The K-Pop obsession is fetish-related and we need to address that aspect. Most of the people who comment on K-Pop posts here at the Narrative flat-out state they can't stand K-Pop...yet some folks get viscerally angry when [insert K-Pop singer who does the wrong thing for the umpteenth time here], and the conversations simply refuse to die.

      We don't have to like all the music featured on the blogs, but we should look at these artists holistically. If they sing metal and you don't like metal, but they look good and proudly (and respectfully) rep POC, then they deserve some love and appreciation on those grounds alone. They deserve the chatter that goes on for days.

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  17. And there it is is then! The KPop obsession is real. Why is there such a KPop obsession and not C-Pop or J-Pop? Filipino? Or those that respectfully rep POC? What is it about the so called "Korean Wave"? One thing is clear: the "obsession" keeps growing, thus, the conversation seems to never die.

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