Thursday, September 10, 2009

K-pop and Crazy Antis

One of the popular K-pop boy bands out right now is 2PM, managed by JYPE. I don't really listen to their music, but have seen them on variety shows (Star Golden Bell). Their leader, Jaebeom, is a Korean-American from Seattle and evidently he wrote some stuff on his MySpace page about not liking Korea. I can understand this since there's a lot of stuff I hate about China since I've been traveling to Chengdu (there's a lot I like too), and I bitch about it here. However, the stuff Jaebeom posted was from 2005, while he was still a teenage trainee at JYPE. In Korea, K-pop is like politics here in the US: if you make any small mistakes, people are ready to jump all over you. Antis petitioned to have him thrown out of the group 2PM, and some even said he should commit suicide. This is not funny of course, since pressure from crazy netizens have contributed to several suicides of Korean celebrities. The latest news is that Jaebeom quit 2PM and flew back to Seattle to be with his family.

To me, the celebrity antis in Korea are like the fenqing in China. They hide behind their anonymous avatars and say things that are way over-the-top, stuff they would be too scared to say to someone in real life. They also represent a tiny minority of public opinion but since they're loud and obnoxious, they get the most attention. I think Jaebeom should have apologized (he did) and continued with his music career in Korea. Maybe he'll be back later.

In other news, there's another K-pop girl band called f(x) that just debuted. Since I'm an ex-engineer, my first thought was function?!... I think it's supposed to be "effects" or something. This new group has 5 girls and is managed by SM Entertainment, same as SNSD. The interesting thing (to me anyway) is that 2 of the girls are Chinese, including the leader, Victoria Song. She's actually from Qingdao, China and attended Beijing Dance Academy. Since she's the oldest, SM made her the group leader. Hmm, I wonder how good is her Korean. The other Chinese member is the rapper, Amber Liu, from Canoga Park so she is probably learning Korean too. Another member, Krystal Jung, was born in San Francisco and is the younger sister of Jessica from SNSD. They're actually pretty talented, judging from their first few performances.

Victoria is the one on the left

My Korean friend Sunny thinks Lee Soo Man is evil but he's an evil genius when it comes to K-pop.

LA chA TA - Music Core (Sept 5, 2009)

She's really good. Even the English is pretty decent though she's native Korean.

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