Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Korean hip-hop going global, says dying magazine

Newsweek (can you get any more 1980s than that?) has an article on Korean hip-hop going global (which also reminds me of the 1980s):
East Asia’s music industry is being astutely tailored for a global audience in the digital age. “There is no line between Korean, Japanese, or international music since YouTube,” explains 2NE1’s lead rapper, CL. “It’s just the whole world through the Internet.”

K-pop groups have certainly found success abroad: bands like Girls’ Generation and TVXQ draw impressive crowds at shows in New York and L.A. Now K-hop is getting in on the act: Internet exposure helped boy band Big Bang win the World Wide Act award at the MTV Europe Music Awards last June, and MTV Iggy just crowned 2NE1 the Best New Band in the World.

While some critics still question whether K-hop will ever make waves on mainstream U.S. radio, Korean-American producers such as Teddy Park (of 2NE1) and Jae Chong (of Aziatix) are hoping that the genre will be the true crossover hit, with its ties to hip-hop, soul, and electronica. Park grew up in New Jersey and California on a diet of Queen and the Wu-Tang Clan. The 33-year-old, who has overseen 2NE1’s career from its inception, always wondered why the world music scene was missing a big global Asian act.
Um, well, for starters, non-Asian women have tended (note that this is a generalization with many, many exceptions) to not see Asian men as heartthrobs. But that is changing, as Asian media giants get to choose who to put up on stage instead of having to rely on Hollywood to put up someone sexier than Hiro from Heroes.

I have no pithy point to make about all this. This post is a five-minute hit piece while I eat a quickie dinner and get back to the academic salt mines. But I will say, to all you naysaying hatahs who said that Hallyu would never make it out of the backyard: Boo yah, bitches!

Frankly, I have no idea if that made any sense. I hate hip-hop. Korean, American, or otherwise. I just find the whole thing about Korean soft power increasing because of a sudden love of Korean movies, dramas, and lately music and dancing, a very interesting phenomenon.

I have no idea who these people are. Nor do I care.



  1. Kush,

    You forgot to say dying and shamelessly left leaning magazine masquerading as a centralist periodical.


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