Maybe there’s more to K-Pop breakout PSY than natty suits and goofy dancing?
According to Busanhaps.com, the “Gangnam Style” rapper performed a song called “Dear America” at a 2004 protest concert which contains the lyrics “Kill those f—ing Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives/ Kill those f—ing Yankees who ordered them to torture/ Kill their daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law, and fathers/ Kill them all slowly and painfully.”
Anti-U.S. military sentiment is not uncommon in South Korea, and the song was reportedly written and performed as a reaction to the death of a Korean missionary in Iraq. According to the report, this concert wasn’t PSY’s first time at the anti-military rodeo, either: He was apparently quite outspoken when, in 2002, a pair of American soldiers were accused of negligent homicide after their vehicle struck and killed a 13-year old Korean girl; the soldiers were later acquitted of that crime.
There’s already a petition going about rescinding PSY’s invitation the National Building Museum’s Christmas in Washington concert with President Obama this Sunday, and neither PSY nor his camp have commented yet.
It’s unfortunate that this news comes hot on the heels of the revelation that “Gangnam Style”—which began as an in-joke lampooning a very specific sect of Korean culture—netted the rapper around $8 million in digital downloads and streams, and recently became the most-watched YouTube video of all time, beating out Justin Bieber’s “Baby.”
UPDATE: Through his publicist, PSY released the following statement:
“As a proud South Korean who was educated in the United States and lived there for a very significant part of my life, I understand the sacrifices American servicemen and women have made to protect freedom and democracy in my country and around the world. The song I was featured in—eight years ago—was part of a deeply emotional reaction to the war in Iraq and the killing of two Korean schoolgirls that was part of the overall antiwar sentiment shared by others around the world at that time. While I’m grateful for the freedom to express one’s self, I’ve learned there are limits to what language is appropriate and I’m deeply sorry for how these lyrics could be interpreted. I will forever be sorry for any pain I have caused by those words.
“I have been honored to perform in front of American soldiers in recent months—including an appearance on the Jay Leno show specifically for them—and I hope they and all Americans can accept my apology. While it’s important that we express our opinions, I deeply regret the inflammatory and inappropriate language I used to do so. In my music, I try to give people a release, a reason to smile. I have learned that thru music, our universal language we can all come together as a culture of humanity and I hope that you will accept my apology.”
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