Editorial

Why Gain’s ‘Fxxk U’ is disturbing

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20140127 Gain

Gain, from Brown Eyed Girls, recently released her new song, titled “Fxxk U,” a tune with suggestive lyrics, swear words and an “artistic-style” music video. Although some may argue that this project is a daring move from a K-pop idol and can be seen as some form of feminist freedom, I am not at all so positive about this song. And believe me, I am no less a feminist when it comes to women’s rights.  The problem with this song and the MV is not that it involves a woman swearing or plying the viewer with XX- ideas, but the fact that this is happening in K-pop.

Of course, Gain is not the first–and certainly not the last–K-pop artist to take this approach.  G-Dragon pushed the boundaries with his “That XX,” and more recently Troublemaker did the same with “Now.” Pushing boundaries is not necessarily a bad thing. Without them it is impossible to evolve, to develop, to move beyond. So, what exactly is my problem, then?

K-pop, when I got to know it, meant a new world for me. It is also evident from numerous fan polls, amongst them the one I did in Central Europe, that many of us love K-pop because it is different. I could cite hundreds from the survey saying that they turned to K-pop because they got tired of the over-the-top and violence in Western pop. That doesn’t mean K-pop music cannot be daring or bold, or new and exciting, but if K-pop is taking the good old American road of being bold and violence to “express” itself, then what exactly will differentiate it from Western pop? That it’s sung in Korean?

For me, it’s already disturbing that K-pop female singers and girl bands feel obliged to appear basically in underwear in their MVs and on stage.  Indeed, these days, incorporating erotic, sometimes even slutty, elements into their choreography and sensual lip licking and wriggling about on the floor are almost as much of a staple in K-pop girl group MVs as rice is on dinner tables in Korea. Now, to top it off, we also get explicit lyrics and swear words.

Watching K-pop girl band or female solo MVs nowadays feels like I’m watching porn–or a bad American movie with K-pop idols swearing (in English) like they are from the (American) ghetto.  Really, if this goes on, what will K-pop turn into? Why does K-pop need to become Westernized this much? If it is no longer different from what Beyonce is doing, then why should I watch Gain instead?

Photo  source: Youtube screenshot

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