Posted by
Crybaby P.
• 12.06.11 08:00 am

Recently everyone has been pumping their paste over Korean pop.

Recently everyone has been pumping their paste over Korean pop. Its neon-candy visuals, rainbow melodies, and sex-pixie performers seem to have captured the popular imagination. Depending on your viewpoint, K-pop is a magical, hallucinatory distillation (good) or a childishly trite retread (bad) of Western musical trends. But the truth is far juicier:


Sexual abuse is endemic in the Korean entertainment industry. It’s not uncommon for young trainees of either sex to go to parties where they’re pimped-out to industry bigwigs. Attractive deceased Korean fashion designer Andre Kim was said to take a particular interest in the progress of young boy-group idols.


Artists are locked into super-strict “slave contracts”. Yuna, the main face of lady-mob Girls’ Generation, is on a thirteen-year contract. Kara are one of the biggest acts in Korea and Japan. Their pay after tearing Japan’s legendarily insular music charts a new asshole? $3,000 each. After making $18,000,000 for their record company the girls were housed in a sauna for much of their stay in Nippon. The Wondergirls were housed illegally in the US, brought in on student visas, and refused medical treatment. One of them was even forced to perform hours after her father went into a coma. Women are supposed to look sexy but not have any sex. Ivy was banned from the TV and radio because of a sex tape. Not a sex tape anyone saw, you understand. A sex tape which was merely rumored to exist. It’s never surfaced—merely the concept of a female having sex with her boyfriend was enough to send Ivy to commercial purgatory for years. 2NE1 are often feted as having a ballsier image and more empowered lyrics than other K-pop girl groups. Their songs are all about independence and not taking any shit from men. The members range between 22 and 29 years old. Awesome. They’re all contractually banned from having boyfriends.


Smoking weed seems to be a big bad boy behavior theme this year. Ganja is slightly more illegal than murder in Korea, so when G-Dragon, Supreme Team’s E-Sens and Crown J were all busted in separate incidents this year the shit hit the fan. (You’ve never heard of Crown J? I thought you were into real hip-hop.) G-Dragon more or less got away with it—he’s in Big Bang, Korea’s biggest man-band, and they’re making a lot of money for a lot of people—but the other two have stopped public activities indefinitely. What’s even more fucked-up is that Crown J actually smoked weed in the US and was charged on the strength of a positive blood test. OK, so K-pop artists have a duty to their fans to promote a healthy lifestyle. Fair enough. Except teenaged Girls’ Generation members cheerily discuss on national chat shows how they’ve started drinking alcohol “to feel less socially awkward” and improve their health.


Big Bang and screeching pop-elves 2PM are only two of many teen idol groups who advertise beer and rice liquor. K-pop product endorsements as a whole make Kim Kardashian look like JD Salinger. IU currently endorses over twenty-five different products. Here‘s a mosaic of the different companies Girls’ Generation is pushing. In 2009 there were four cunting songs written to advertise mobile phones which made the top ten. I’m not going to link them; it’s too depressing.


All right, we know there are no new ideas blah blah blah. Loads of K-pop hits are licensed versions of songs written originally written for European pop acts—f(x)’s Hot Summer was originally by some Germans, for example—but the Koreans take the shit too far. Whether it’s ripping off UK X-Factor winners (Miss A) or stealing from Flo-rida, K-pop has no respect for intellectual copyright. Last year, Yi Hyo-ri released an album which sampled Annie Lennox, Canadian girl groups, and lots of others. She forgot to tell or pay any of them.


Korean pop factories often hold auditions throughout Europe and the USA looking for desperate suckers and aspiring talents who can be absorbed into their all-encompassing melody farms. Due to pesky anti-discrimination laws their US/Euro propaganda will say “we look at people regardless of racial and national origin” or whatever. They do, however, require that you speak fluent Korean, which is gonna knock out the vast majority of non-ethnically Korean wannabes. But their racism becomes apparent when you realize that more than a few K-pop groups have members who don’t speak Korean…but crucially look Asian. Amber from f(x) is from San Diego and has Taiwanese parents. Maybe the record companies are only reflecting the racism of Korean society as a whole? Then you watch videos like this one—Hyo-ri again—where black guys rob cookies from a supermarket using handguns, or this one where a boy band clobbers a black security guard unconscious.

Ah, fuck it. K-pop is responsible for this woman, so I’m willing to forgive them almost everything:


  1. Anonymous says:

    Well, thanks for this informative report on Korean pop music.

  2. chester says:

    I thought this article was about potassium.


  3. Anonymous says:

    Koreans have very small penises.

  4. Pacific rim vet says:

    The girls in the title photo would be like fucking one of your little sisters toys.

  5. Sniffy says:

    All I wanna do is snifffffff.

  6. Peenonymous says:

    It’s true that Korean men have hilariously small peens. The upside is that Korean women have tiny vaginas.

  7. heroin town says:

    Shu Qi (aka Hsu Chi) is my favorite Asian. She’s incredibly hot and she managed to be photographed for some full on beaver shots before she became famous. Google image that shit.

  8. 17 says:

    I think you meant “Well, thanks for this informative report on Korean pop music???????????????????”

  9. Salt Lake City Sally says:

    Korean men are a definite Tae Kwan Don’t.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I know a girl who hooked up with a korean dude and said that she could barely give him a handjob and had to use just her thumb and index finger to get him off.

  11. Mike says:

    “Racist as shit”? For the life of me, I cannot understand the multicultural mindset and I do not see how this author finds this to be racist. What’s the point of having a K-pop group if it doesn’t have K-girls? Isn’t that putatively the appeal? What would be improved if you added N-girls? Is anything not racially mixed beyond all recognition ever licit in these people’s heads? Not that I even like this sort of music; I’d sooner have a root canal without anesthesia than be forced to listen to a great deal of K-pop. But this idiotic criticism makes me want to defend it.

  12. raymes says:

    I liked this.

  13. oh brother... says:

    “Mike” feels that the charge of racism is ungrounded in the piece, hates people falsely accusing people of racism so much that it almost wants to make him defend giant corporations who produce a type of music he hates and who engage in underage prostitution.

    You must really hate when people accuse others of racism just because they won’t allow people of other races to take part in their billion dollar industry.

  14. cook says:

    they dont want blacks in k pop because ‘you’ in korean is ‘niga’ and this would produce too much confusion.

  15. milk is chillin says:

    Good article, yo, but I think the racism thing is a bridge too far. The whole point of K-Pop is that it’s ‘Korean Pop’. It’s manufactured pop music aimed at a very specific customer in a country where, I dunno, 99% of the population are native Korean. Why should they include black people / whites in their sugary pop fantasies. It’d be like making Destiny’s Child add a Korean member who didn’t speak English just to keep some random yahoos happy… makes no sense, brah.

  16. Katrick Pay says:

    @ milk: point is, during their recruitment drives in the US and Europe they say “all welcome…as long as you can speak Korean”. But in reality they’ll take on Asians whether they can speak Korean or not and any other races don’t get a look in. You’re right, Korea is completely homogenous which is why they don’t bother with non-Asians – but they lie about it during the recruitment process abroad.

  17. pupa says:

    i had a root canal without anesthesia. wasn’t that bad.

  18. Mike says:

    @”oh brother…” – The abuse of underaged performers is deplorable, but that in no way excuses the author’s weird charge that a musical scene whose whole essence is Korean is “racist as shit” because it excludes performers who don’t look Korean. As far as K-pop’s profits go, that just goes to show you that _the world does not want_ everything under the sun to be racially integrated under compulsion by a diversity-obsessed nanny state. Nor does the world need it; if enough people want to see a “non-shit” form of K-pop, racially blended to the author’s Politically Correct specifications, I am sure some savvy businessperson will come along and fill that market niche. This sensitiver-than-thou finger wagging at K-pop is ridiculous and pathetic.

  19. Vinny "Variocele" Trask says:

    There is a dark side to showbusiness guys

  20. Katrick Pay says:

    @ Mike: my point wasn’t so much outrage that K-pop acts aren’t a rainbow coalition of races joined in perfect harmony – rather that they’re sneaky and dishonest about their racism when they recruit in the west.

  21. Mike says:

    @Curaie Baibee – I agree that they are sneaky and dishonest, but I don’t think they’re racists. They’re sneaky only because they have to be. The West is a society that places an unreasonable premium on being racially diverse above every other consideration. It seems reasonable that the K-pop wants to recruit Asians that live in the West. It doesn’t seem reasonable to accuse them of racism for not wanting to recruit non-Asians. It’s _K_-pop, after all. The lay of the land in the modern West dictates that K-pop must lie about their activities. I really can’t fault K-pop for this.

  22. Katrick Pay says:

    A Mike: I think it would be hard to separate out where the average K-pop mogul’s hard-nosed business sense ends and their belief in the superiority of the mighty Han people begins (Han Koreans not Han Chinese…). K-pop record companies cater for Korean audiences who only want to see Korean “looking” people. The people staffing the record companies are generally themselves Korean so presumably a lot of them share similar ideas with their customers.

    How much responsibilty does a cultural producer have to “better” the society they serve rather than simply reflect it and serve up lowest-common-denominator stuff? A huge question and I’m obviously not going to expect K-pop factories to be foremost in the fight against racism. I do think stuff like showing black guys robbing cookies from a store with handguns is doing more than simply reflecting racism and will actively propagate it.

    According to the laws we’ve (had) laid down in the west it DOES count as racism to say “we’re not recruiting anyone for this job who doesn’t have these racial phenotypes”. If refusing to consider someone for a job because of their racial characteristics isn’t racist, what is? Anyway we’ll probably have to agree to disagree.

  23. yow says:

    Good to see Patrick still cries about “racism” like he cries about everything else.

    Of all people, you think the British would start realizing ethnic self-hatred was not helping matters in their country. It’s not a virtue at all. It’s more like a suicidal impulse.

  24. thief laws says:

    Actually, I currently live in Korea and they are racist as shit. They kind of like Americans, but a lot of that is the same way they kind f like zoo animals. Not of all it is violent hatred of other people, but they do have a belief that they are quite superior to the rest of the world. Its the most inward looking first world culture that I have ever experienced.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Thank you opening my eyes more and more, i’m starting to hare kpop, psy for exemple, he’s Anti-American, they are so racist and strange, they Want to male us dream but they don’t want us to be a part of their country

  26. Candy says:

    Mike says:
    12.07.11 at 10:34 pm
    @Curaie Baibee – I agree that they are sneaky and dishonest, but I don’t think they’re racists. They’re sneaky only because they have to be. The West is a society that places an unreasonable premium on being racially diverse above every other consideration. It seems reasonable that the K-pop wants to recruit Asians that live in the West. It doesn’t seem reasonable to accuse them of racism for not wanting to recruit non-Asians. It’s _K_-pop, after all. The lay of the land in the modern West dictates that K-pop must lie about their activities. I really can’t fault K-pop for this.

    Lol are you living in the amazing world of Hello kitty, where everything is sweet ?
    You must be a new Kpoper, i was thinking like you when i started being a kpop fan

  27. Hannah says:

    Poorly supported and ignorant argument. Many of your points could easily be compared to european/western manufactured pop music icons. Idiot.

  28. go hye mi says:

    What’s wrong with kpop? For me, it is better than any….G.F.Y.S.if you don’t have any good thing to do.

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