June 4, 2013
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 I could be totally wrong here, and might have an out of date perspective, so please let me know – in a civil manner – if I’m off here.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…