So, we’ve got a lot to say here for this week’s Kpop Music Monday. If you haven’t seen CL’s “The Baddest Female” yet, check it out here:


Ok: we’re quite torn about this song and the imagery in the video. I could be totally wrong here, and might have an out of date perspective, so please let me know – in a civil manner – if I’m off here. Here goes:

When I think of rap videos, they usually depict a culture, rather than just an aesthetic. Like “this is what our lives are like. This is what we go through.” Rap music, to me, is more than just music. There’s an overarching narrative of coping and dealing with systematic racism, racial profiling by the police, and economic struggles. At least, that’s what I think of when I listen to rap. I could be wrong in that; I could be seeing something that isn’t necessarily there, and so my conclusions based on those assumptions could then be unfounded. If I’m right, then, to see YG and CL use that specific aesthetic, which kinda symbolizes something more to me than just something that looks cool, I feel a bit icky. The people of YG, I doubt, went through that struggle, so to imitate the genre, aesthetic, and imagery so closely really hits me as insincere. Innocent? Sure! Malicious? No way. I’m sure that there’s a genuine appreciation of rap as an artform, but an understanding of it as a culture?

Also, there aren’t any hoods here in Korea. Nobody here is hood. Nobody in Korea really dresses that way. And we’ve asked lots of people about it. Nobody knows where these hoods are, apart from in the YG studio. Hence the skit we did. Side note: did you know that at Teddy’s Twosome Café, you can buy Teddy’s clothing line as well? The same kinda clothing: hats, beanies, t-shirts. Buy yourself a thug-life oversized tee, with a matching Tumbler, and eat a piece of Tiramisu as people snuggle up behind you and look into each other’s eyes lovingly.

So, all in all, I’m not sure what to think about this. YG has re-appropriated Gangsta life into something different. Something that had meaning to me before I see now, in Korea, as a commercial enterprise. Not that I lived through the same conditions oppression that I talked about before. I’m not talking about it as someone who’s personally offended or upset. I’m just confused by the whole thing, like the commercialization of Christmas or something. I can’t come to a full conclusion about it on my own, so let me know what you think.

All seriousness aside, you wanna hear an awkward story? That last part of the Gangsta Amnesty skit, where we filmed outside of the YG building…well, we filmed that right when office hours were closing, so lots of people were leaving the building. While we were filming, one person ran up to us and said “Simon and Martina!” Great. We were recognized. I didn’t think we’d be, especially with the Gangsta uniform I had on, but I was recognized. The person who recognized us was someone from YG who sent us tickets to the YG family concert a while ago. She remembered us! AHH! So, there we were, in gangsta gear, talking to one of the marketing people from YG. HAVE WE NO SHAME OR EMBARRASSMENT? Yeah, a bit. We talked with her a bit and explained what we’re doing for the skit, and she asked when the video’s going to be live, and we told her, and in the back of our minds we’re thinking “well, we’re not really saying the nicest things about the song and video. This is going to get a lot more awkward when the video goes live.” AHHH! IF YOU’RE READING THIS, YG LADY WHO I WON’T NAME, I HOPE YOU DON’T HATE US! We’d still like to hang out in Hongdae! To everyone else who isn’t the YG Lady, let it never be said that we’re dishonest in our videos!

Side note: you love that Spudgy song, don’t you? I know people are going to be asking about it, so we put it up in our store. Yes! We have a store now! We’re working on putting up all our shirts, and new shirts as well, along with all of the songs that we do. All purchases of Spudgy songs go directly to the Spudgy Touch-My-Tummy fund. Click here if you want to get The Baddest Doggy! It’s the extended version, with parts not heard in the video :D

And, lastly, we’ve got a bunch of bloopers, especially when Martina says something inappropriate accidentally…


  1. someone please define hood and gangsta for me. I grew up in a bad area near Boston, shoes hangin on like every telephone line, cops always around, people shot a few feet from my apartment’s front door… is that “hood”? Really?
    And rappers may have come from poverty or other difficult situations in life, but many have not. I don’t think being poor is a pre-req for being a good rapper. And if you wanna talk poverty, plenty of Korean Celebs have experienced their share (ever read up on Rain’s background?). so I don’t think it boils down to economics either. I’m not so sure about 2NE1, but I think anyone who can do it, should. How about not defining things just to meet some assumed stereotype from the 90s? I think that what’s ‘gangsta ‘ is changing. I, for one, don’t go around telling people I lived in the hood, walked past projects almost every day, etc. I just think of it as a low-income area my family was stuck in for a while. These days, I encounter people telling me that I’m in a gangsta place, but honestly, they just label it gangsta so they don’t have to feel bad about blasting base in the middle of the night or hollering like banshees whenever it suits them. But there is no violence and everyone still has their iPhone and wifi hook up. Gangsta used to mean “don’t look the wrong person in the eye or you get shot”, but I’ve discovered that even in wife beaters and baggy jeans, 2 black, 30-something, rough looking guys can be totally friendly and chill if you approach em with the right attitude. Living in low-income (what you might call “hood”) just means you grow up with different ideals and goals and priorities. Korea not having hoods, I don’t understand that.. There is plenty of poverty there too. There are dangers and alcohol abuse and such there too. Thankfully, you don’t see many people carrying guns, but the potential for it is certainly there.
    I think that songs like CL’s and BIGBANG’s ‘La La La’ may be just as ‘hood’ as they want them to be. Nevermind the labels – they are just a crutch. Living in a bad area, its easy to fall into thinking “im in ‘da hood’ now, gonna be all gangsta and nevermind school or work or whatever” – that’s a crutch. And an outdated one at that. Life is a struggle. Even filthy rich can find themselves with “hood” mentality if “hood” is to mean “oppression” and “coping and dealing with systematic racism, racial profiling by the police, and economic struggles”. In fact, those def can apply to anyone at any time. The word ‘hood’ just has its own weight and mindset that weighs on you, when you’re better off without it. Kudos to KPop for making rap look colorful and bright! Is about time we expand our minds and step out from labels.

  2. (please read the 3rd, it’s a question)
    1st: AMEN for GD loosing his pants and be wearing shorts instead. XD
    2nd: Great video and love your honesty! Personally, I enjoyed her song on the video and live, but I do also agree with what you’re saying. However, she is american (or of american origin, idk) so I can also see it, in a way, as a form of bringing some of her country’s culture to the scene even if it’s not from her personal lifestyle experience because that part of her country’s culture sells, so yep – we still end at the selling intention though but I see it with no malicious intention just as you guys.
    3rd: You guys were at at the YG family show – did you finally get to know Bigbang properly? If not, I hope you do one day, as well as the other YG members and interview them because your interviews are great, always with pertinent questions and funny moments. I would honestly love to see that. It would be a great interview (GD and Teddy’s english is remarkably better so that’d be a plus for you and for us). Good luck :)

  3. Simon the hood is somewhere here. Here’s to hope


  4. Can someone please tell me what the piano song is @ 4:14, the moment when Simon was running dramatically towards the YG building? ;3;

  5. You know, my first reaction to this vid when it came out was, “So is she Female GDragon or Korean Nicki Minaj?”

    I stand by this rhetorical question.

    Continuing on the cultural appropriation discussion…. what do people here think of the Bangtan Boys and their new single?

  6. When I first saw the video, I was more focused on the beat – it’s sick (good) but after now that I’ve seen it 3+ times in the last 2days, I am very curious as to how Koreans view “hood” life. I am not Korean, I’m black but I can saw that while I’ve never lived in the hood, I have actually been there. And as this relates to American rap, many rappers have come from a struggling backgrounds and their experiences are relayed thru their music giving it a…authenticity or “street credit”. So seeing CL singing about being a “bad bitch” I sort of want to ask CL and/or the label what their definition of that is. Is it explained in the song? I do not speak Korean so, I’m just drawing my conclusions from what I see in the video.

    So anyway, to make a long comment short, I did not gather from the video that the artist or the label have a clear understanding of what it means to be a thug or to be from the hood; therefore it was lacking in the fore mentioned authenticity that the American rappers (and Latin American rappers) have established withing the genre. And maybe the reason this is acceptable is because there aren’t, as you described, any hoods in Korea. So there really isn’t a need for the artist to have any actual street credit. As for as the American perception, I would just count as nothing more than act.

    • I agree they lack the same authenticity – they are borrowing some visual bits. Instead I think in Korea, they may not have ‘thug’ as we do here in the US, but they sure as hell have gone through and are still going through difficulties. I mean, for one, they are still actively at war with their neighbors. Maybe they haven’t been through the hood, but every single male has to go into Military – that’s a different kind of hardship and a danger unto itself. They don’t talk about it in their songs, but I bet they don’t forget about it easily. There has been a shift in the US too, about Rap, can’t find authntic old school rap much anymore – now we get the weed, hoes, and cars crap instead – but can’t be mad – something must be going right for a lot of people.

  7. I agree with you EYK. I know that recent hip hop and rap song does not revolve around life problems/hustling/gangs/etc anymore but that is where popular rappers “originate”. Rappers in America normally promote or attach their “thug” status or life with their careers. Most of time, rappers who don’t come out from “ghettos” are not taken serious as rappers because they haven’t experienced the “life”. Also, one thing I found awkward at first was that Korean rappers are so willing to do aegyo, no American rapper or hip hop artist I know of would do that. I know they respect the music but watching them recreate the last scene (that “ghetto neighborhood”) where the shoes where hanging off the telephone line…it made me cringe…no girl in that kind of setting looks that good or dresses in that nice of clothes. I’m not talking about the song…though I’m not a fan of the music itself, I do like the lyrics and message she’s sending.

  8. I am new to EYK, and SoKo, and I am incredibly impressed with your review. Coming from Chicago, when I saw this I was grossed out by the lack of context and the racial/class sensitivity. It’s a true example of appropriating things from another culture only for aesthetic appeal — a truly superficial tactic. This artist has ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA about many of the visual/language cues in this video.

  9. Yeah Simon, it’s outdated. Modern rap doesn’t require rappers to be a “gangster” anymore. Just check out Lupe Fiasco’s “The Show Goes On” for reference, where he distinctly advocates against that kind of behavior.

    As I side not, this is also related to the people who don’t listen to rap because “all they rap about is sex and drugs, amirite??” No, because they obviously having been listening for the last ten years.

  10. I’ve always liked CL, mostly because she isn’t afraid to show off her curves, so although I don’t like this song I’m really hopeful that her next few singles will turn out better.

    As for rap culture, I feel like hip-hop and rap are very subjective. For example, I’m not a huge fan of the whole “bitches and bling and brands blahblahblah” of most modern American rap, but I do love the album Inner Ninja by Classified, which is rap, but not rap from the hood. (Granted he’s Canadian so that might have something to do with it) It’s one of those genres where for me there are very distinct lines drawn in the sand due to all sorts of different factors. It’s not something I’ve gotten the chance to explore much because the sub-genres have sub-genres within other sub-genres and honestly, I find it all very confusing.

    How this relates to K-pop is that I would love it if they would quit the over-dramatic copying of the “style” and focus more on have K-artists find their own individual identities. Right now, it’s a trend that everyone is trying to in some way conform to and the sooner it ends the better.

  11. “So I can feel better about myself, think highly of myself for not liking a song? Why take pride in NOT liking something? That’s silly”

    I see what you did there, It sounds very snob-ish, K-pop didn’t born in 2006 but it seemed in 1992.

    What was seen in the MV is nothing new, for example here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4Qga45zXfM and in http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_dMdQAY95w

    Why the complaints now? Or it was just a well known secret that just exploded and collapsed now?

    Or people were just used to the recent “Fantastic Baby” Big Bang style that was changing time to time or the EDM style that even Psy adapted or dubstep that Epik High took in a song of their last album?

  12. I understand your irritation with CL’s song not being about the common rap concepts like racism and living in the hood, but as mentioned in other comments it was more the notion back in the 90s or independent rappers. If you listen to popular rappers nowadays for example Nikki Minaj and Kanye they rap about brands, drinks and their nice rich lives. Sadly, i thnk the rap music about the difficulties of being a minority as well as other controversial topics is not as relevant nowadays

    • i was with you all the way til “sadly”. Nothing sad about it not being relevant anymore. It’s good that these controversies have come soo close to resolution and so many fewer people’s lives are affected by racism and we have the freedom now to waste our time on talking about brands, drinks, riches. i’m sure you didn’t mean to say “sadly” there.

      • Yes and no. Yes, you are right my wording was a bit off. What I meant to say is that sadly rap and hip hop do not concentrate on more meaningful topics anymore. As if they are delusional to the fact that not all of us live in a world were we can spend our time discussing brands, drinks and riches. Poverty, gun violence and racial profiling are issues that still affect our society. Music was, and can still be a way to make people aware of these issues.

        • yea but other genres are stepping up and doing so. Can’t really be hard on CL for what she says in her rap – can’t single rap out – to need to stay traditional when all other genres are changing constantly. Although I agree that music can bring light to issues, but how many people do you know that have ever heard Ice Cube’s ‘Black Korea’ or Tupac’s ‘Hellrazor’. Instead, people will remember the news articles and later the TV covers of the awful mess that was the riots in 92. People who like and listen to rap may have heard the songs, but bets face it – its media that brings light to things and although music can, can we really look down on musicians who don’t. As someone who likes rap – I’m just glad new stuff is coming out and if it’s more meaningful, all the better. This song isn’t one I particularily like, but I like 2NE1 in general because they are not afraid to cross boundaries and bring all kinds of genres into their songs. The must know some people would dislike them for it, but they do it anyway and I gotta respect them as long as they keep bringing different things together.

  13. I’m with you guys on this one. It grows on you but for the most part…I DON’T like it. LOL Its got it good point but mostly…NOT!!! Thanks for the on-the-scene reporting on the Gangster was just looking for a place to be himself. I’m glad he’s going back to be a Wigger. My daughter is a Wigger! No really, she makes AWESOME WIGS!!!!
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=419818188111451&set=t.1413460815&type=3&theater (she’s in the middle but basically makes pretty much all the stuff you see, and more!) Thanks for that plug! LOL But seriously!

  14. Prior to this, I was pretty neutral to 2ne1 and CL. Having heard the song and watched the MV, the song was…. confusing, and the MV, worse.

    Why I say this is like some of the people here, I”ve been involved with rap and the underground culture in Asia since my teens (Living in Hong Kong ATM). In that kind of environment, rap to us, was Tupac and Biggie, rap battles, and maybe some of the more contemporary guys nowadays (k-os, Shad. K anyone?). But I’m annoyed at how K-pop sees rap. To us, it’s a culture, a way of life (maybe) and a form of expression. To them, it’s a commercial tool to help their songs sound more appealing. I’m not sure how you feel, but I’m quite insulted.

    I guess the record labels see rap as a very “gangster” genre, since the most commercial successful like Kanye, Jay Z and DJ Khaled wear a lot of bling, wear oversized clothes and have a collection of exotic vehicles. Meanwhile, we see rap as a complex genre where you have to master the fundamentals, lyricism and freestyle. While I have nothing against how the genre is commercialized in the US (they’re progenitors of the genre, so I can’t say anything against them anyway), K-pop makes it look ridiculous. The other day, I see T-ara N4 making the West Coast sign, as if they’re masters of the genre, when they know they’re clueless about it. Plus, you don’t deserve to do the sign in the first place. Honestly, they’re trying too hard, and end up looking like ridiculous wannabes instead. CL is no exception in this video: just because you’re wearing exactly the same stuff that P Diddy does, doesn’t make you a rapper. If this is how K-pop thinks, I’m confident in saying that the American hip hop community will throw them back to Korea.

    That’s why when it comes to REAL rappers in Korea, you can really only mention Kero One, Tiger JK, MYK, Dumbfoundead (ethnically Korean), Seo Taiji, Verbal Jint, Epik High and one or two others. K-pop has nothing to offer to the genre, and is making it look bad.

    Harsh, I know. But I just can’t stand how horrible hip hop looks when K-pop changes it.

    • I hear you – gotta say tho – you said it yourself – the genre is commercialized differently in the US nowadays and that’s what they’re seeing – modern rap – we don’t have as much of the strong, deep, undercurrents in our Rap like we used to. Either because there is not as much of a need for it since the issues are not as bad as it used to be, or just because no one has had the opportunity to get popular enough to reach other countries with real, old school, rap in the last decade or so. Plus, people’s interests have shifted, even those living 2014 version of ‘the thug life’ are equipped with tech more often than not. Basically, can’t blame KPop for staying current.
      Notice the rappers you named are all in their 30s now.. Plus, 2NE1, especially, seems to be all about blending diff genres and daring to perhaps offend in their songs. Otherwise they really really really have no business including Reggae in their songs! But I like that they do because I see it as something different than the Reggae I am used to hearing here. Not bad, nor mockery, just different. (and of course they’d use it – they’re not deaf – a good sound is a good sound!)

    • Don’t forget napper! You have to look really hard to find songs featuring napper, but it’s worth the hunt. As e.via, her image wasn’t great, so I think people assume all she can do is rap fast and say things that get her banned from television, but as napper, she is outstanding.

  15. I really enjoyed this song and was surprised that EYK didn’t. I was also disappointed with the Music Monday; I don’t know it just wasn’t very pleasant to watch.

  16. I think American rap has honestly appropriated -itself-, given 80% of the artists that are out there today are from backgrounds a hell of a lot better than the original rap arists of the 80’s and 90’s. A LOT has changed in the music scene in general when it comes to rap, and the stereotypes are perpetuated again and again by rap artists that have never seen the ‘hood’ or ever had to struggle to get anywhere. Racial profiling, sure, that’s not uncommon in general. But considering they grew up well off without many other struggles, kinda BS that they then rap about the ‘hard times’. Then again, the content of the songs so often has nothing to do with the hood or how hard their lives were, and instead how much money they have, how many girls are hanging off of their arms, and how swag their swagger is; it’s predominately commercialized at this point to begin with. Note I say predominately, as there are pockets of underground rappers, and even bigger stars that do focus on their upbringings and hardships. They just kinda get lost in the mix with the sell out BS. So all in all, I don’t think what YG or CL (or GD, TOP, Taeyang, and other YGE artists for that matter) has done anything that different than the American rappers that grew up well off and play up stereotypes for fame. Only real difference between them is skin color and language.

    It’s kind of sad how sold out rap is, and how few real artists are left. :/ Just my two cents though. Didn’t read other comments to see if someone already spoke toward this.

    • Your reply seems to be a rather common one in the comments section. And it’s a very reasonable one too. Why get mad when CL and YGe appropriate rap/hip hop culture when American rappers who don’t understand it either do the same exact thing? Well, both sides bother me about the same. I side eye rappers like Drake just as much as I side eyed CL when they go on about how hard they are.

      • You know, I kid you not, Drake is one of the main rappers I was thinking of when I wrote the comment. I really should have read the other comments before putting my own in, but I’m used to the order being reversed so I thought it’d be a long haul, LOL, I’m glad other people agree though. It’s sad that the original reason for rap is long since drowned out by money, women, ‘swag’, and excess. It used to be to tell a story, get a message across, and generally make a difference through a type of music that has old roots. Then again, most music these days is worthless lyrically, and can’t touch the greats instrumentally.

  17. I like how you respect and know of the origins of rap, You simon, is a true “OG”. Also Martina is “G” for diggin this song. Still can’t help myself to like the beat and CL , because she’s good at being edgy like that. If this song came up out of the club or a grocery store, I’d literally bust a move.

  18. What video did Martina mention that CL stole her hairstyle? I thought it was funny but I can’t find it!

  19. I really love this song and the video. I guess cause I’m from America I like this song so much because I’m used to seeing a lot of rap videos that aren’t about depicting a culture. Now a days rap is about money, girls, fast life, cars, looking good and all that but since its rap they still wanna portray that gangsta image. If you heard of rick ross he is kind of an example. He raps about selling drugs and living “that life”, but I heard through the grape vine that all of that was a lie and he used to be a corrections officer; there’s a picture to prove it. Anyways rap music today, to me, is just about image, and that’s ok with me because I like it. Don’t get me wrong there is still music out there with meaning Martina guuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrllllllllllllll.

  20. GD’s boxer briefs were way too distracting…. but I like the song and the video just not the grills.

  21. The thing is, rap has experienced cultural appropriation from many different sources. It’s true that those dew rags and other clothing items used to hold significant meaning to the artists performing, but they have not held that significance for a loooong, long time, now. Even in the west, rappers rap about bling and sexy bitches, and very few mention the original struggles and oppression of their predecessors, so in a way, hip hop and rap culture has already been hijacked and commercialized by itself. Moreover, it has evolved, to the point where this style of dress no longer holds the same meaning, and it is no longer tied exclusively to specific genres of music; like any trend, globalization has caused it to begin to spread outside of its birthplace.

    Feeling uncomfortable about this evolution translating to freedom of expression via fashion in one part of the world (Korea), but not another (North America) seems a teeny bit hypocritical and silly, but you are not the first people to mention that this example of cultural appropriation in k-pop makes them feel uncomfortable to watch. I seem to remember more than a few discussions on the topic last year, when SNSD released their MV for I Got A Boy…I can’t remember what your opinions on some of their outfits were then, though, if you happened to express any opinion on that at all. I should hope you felt the same discomfort, anyway, just for the sake of consistency.

    Myself, I found it awkward to watch CL wearing those grills. I think it’s hard to say, like others have, that CL was cheated into taking GD’s sloppy seconds, and forced into an image she doesn’t want when this is her first solo, and we have no idea how it is she wants to portray herself. If she likes this, great; if I knew for sure that she didn’t, then I’d probably be more put off by the gangster image…it did seem harder than I was expecting, and it was a bit jarring. But who am I to say “this doesn’t suit you”? I could very easily imagine that GD *did* write this before it made its way to Teddy’s hands, but it’s still not fair to say she wouldn’t have chosen to sing something like this, herself.

  22. I believe Simon’s view on rap music/hip-hop culture is what rap is supposed to be like. HOWEVER, commercialization of rap music in America has converted it to rappers rapping about how rapping has made them rich, famous and popular with the ladies. As result, I don’t find it surprising that YG would translate the current American image of rap into something that represents swag and wealth. Yes, it was ignorant, but understandable.

  23. Hahaha : D
    I love the Spudgy version !
    Is there a link where I can download it?

  24. I’m not particularly interested in the co-option of the hiphop subculture by North American media interests; been there, done that.

    What is actually really interesting about this video, and Simon and Martina’s commentary about it, is how globalization can lead to some truly, amazingly screwy situations sometimes–here I am, a 1.5 Gen Korean-American who grew up in Seoul but is now living in San Francisco, watching a video created by a Canadian couple who grew up around Toronto but are now living in Seoul, watching a M/V by a Korean woman who grew up in Japan and France but is now part of the K-pop machine in Seoul, rapping to a track by a Korean who grew up in the U.S. but returned to Seoul to become a producer.

    Living in an age when such dizzyingly globe-spanning, multicultural situations are commonplace, the question isn’t whether the hiphop images on the screen are a legitimate representation of hiphop culture. It’s whether our traditional understanding of dominant cultures and resistant subcultures is still valid?

  25. I may not agree with Simon and Martina on this one since I always have a soft spot for the YG Family when it comes to music but I don’t think there’s really any problem with the music video itself. It’s something that they just created on their own for the sake of the song and the appeal of it. So… Yeah. And even if they weren’t part of the hood or actually lived in one, it never wanted to point out the bad directives of it. o.o

  26. Yeah the whole wigger part…not feeling it. I just think that took it a little too far and I found it pretty inappropriate.

  27. i really like this song like he said kpop is not suppose to represent korean cultures so whats the problem?!…. yes you don’t see that korea soooo! she’s didn’t make this music video to show how people in korea really dress and if they carry a bat or not. CL IS AWESOME !! if she wants to be ghetto wtf let her she’s CL!

  28. Glad to see I am not the only person who didn’t care for this song. I actually turned it off before it finished. Ugh.
    Loved the review though! So nice to start my day off with something funny. Gansta Spudgy was bad ass! Bad in a good way, not a bad dog…. XD
    As for the battle of solo songs: Park Bom without a doubt.

    • Actually a lot of people didn’t care for this song. I am one of them, it’s not the worst song but it’s not the best either. I was expecting more from her. Let’s hope 2NE1’s comeback song will be better

  29. I would just like to add..

  30. Personally, I LOVED the video….with madmoiselle yulia and gd with his pants missing, and the video was TOO short!

    BUT! The music sounds to me as gd-gone-girl and the lyrics are forever talking about cl’s greatness(god help me).

    All in all, I think I have heard enough of teddy’s gangster sht and arogant lyrics.

  31. “Uh, ‘scuse me. I’m tryna find where I could.. …SHIT.

  32. did soozee dye her hair?

  33. I see where you’re coming from, and maybe initially that’s what rap was (some of the late 80s and early 90s) but radio these days isn’t always about oppression, sometimes it’s about bottle service, sometimes about sex, sometimes about money/ice/chains. Korea may not have a hood per se, but liking the culture that hop hop is derived from and using out to echoes themselves is well within the scope of any one, even if they’re not from the “hood”.

  34. Side note: WHOA this post has a lot of comments!

  35. 90% of mainstream hip kpop reminds me of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTsD05rYcro

    Shit, 99% of mainstream hip pop from around the world reminds me of this song.

    Just saying. Word.

    And just for the record, I had never heard the word Wigger before. We got shoes on power lines in Brazil as well… they mean… damn, I have no idea of what they mean.

    But then again the hoodiest thing I have in my wardrobe is a Spock doing gang signs t-shirt. Gonna go chill in the corner fo a sec with my nerdcore.

    Peace and long life bro.

  36. I get the feeling that San E’s Rap Circus, that was also just released, is more like what Korean hip hop is about. I’ve been listening to a lot of Verbal Jint, Kk , and Swings. Ironically, from what I got of Rap Circus’s lyrics, its the same subtext as One of a Kind. Blame neo confuncionism and group mindset in South Korea, but even the tiger analogy is there.

    What I do love in Korean hip hop? The use of orchestration and other instruments, like the influence of traditional Korean elements in Baechigi’s last album.

  37. I see where you’re coming from Simon on the whole rap/hip hop culture misuse YG seems to be doing. It’s annoying to me but I usually just shrug it off. Just like the kids from back in high school who I labeled as “wannabe gangsters”, that’s how I see some YG artists (and a few others in Kpop who go for that concept – it’s not all just YG) at times. But there are some things they do and symbols & words they use that I’m not quite sure they’re fully aware what they actually mean. And this just makes them appear as idiots. It’s laughable sometimes. I’m for people who are real and have a handle on who they are. Many in Kpop who hold onto the rap/hip hop culture image appear very fake and completely ignorant of what it really is, therefore I don’t care for these Kpoppers. I respect their talent, yes, but I’d respect them a lot more as people if they weren’t trying to “be cool.”

  38. Oooo Simon and his nast- cute bandanna XD

  39. How does anyone feel about Rihanna & Coldplay “Princess of China”? Like really? Western culture has been absolutely pillaging the cool out of Asia for decades. That’s when we’re not irresponsibly portraying Asians poorly through media. Martial arts, graphic novels, hanbok, kimono all have serious and deep roots but have been made into something else, something very else, in NA. If we’re going to get on a soapbox for how YG is hurting Black America, let’s think of everything today we’ve touched, watched, tasted that has asian roots and wonder if we know the meaning behind it, the roots. Or we can all just get over it and agree to like or not like CL’s new mv without getting all hurt and emotional over it. Let’s share what we have, where we’re from and stop being such hypocrites, okay?

    • THAT is the last word on this issue, I’d say. And we have been doing it for far longer and to a far larger extent than KPop.

    • I just checked out “Princess of China.” I think it should be renamed Asian princess. It has way too many different Asian cultures. (seriously, ninjas?) Also, Rihanna is nowhere near Chinese.

      I think YG was trying to show a badass image that is simliar to what is seen in American rap mvs. It may have gotten liked by Korean kpop fans (i’m guessing. please don’t hurt me), but it might not have attracted the international listeners that have knowledge as to what rap music is like.

      • On the other hand, it attracted me, and I know exactly what North American rap is. I had zero expectations that it would sound like “our” rap. When I first heard “70bpm hip hop” I thought that they could have done something *amazing* with it…hardcore, fast rapping, over a solid beat…Could have been great. Never mind it was advertised as being a mixture of many different styles of music, though, so no one should really be saying “this is a rap/electronic/hip hop song”, because it’s not any one thing. The dubstep stood out for me, and I really enjoy dubstep and gritty/filthy sounding bgm, so that’s why I like it, anyway. I heard the korean fans didn’t like it very much, at all, actually.

        • Netizens went in on CL’s rapping. It was kind of sad, they were getting onto her for slurring her words and rapping with such a stuttered flow.

    • I’ll admit I like the song “Princess of China” but didn’t like the music video. Rihanna cannot pass for a Chinese Princess, plus she was wearing a kimono which is Japanese. And then the imagery with her 8 arms (I guestimate) isn’t even Asian, it’s East Asian. That video was quite the let down for me. I don’t think most people are hurt because YG portrays American hiphop in this video. YG has used American hiphop imagery in their videos way before this video. It’s the use of American Gang culture to show how “bad as in good” CL is that doesn’t sit well with some. To portray it in a positive light is wrong on so many levels. And I agree with you, America has distorted symbols in many cultures (not just Asian).

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