American K-Pop Group “EXP” Are Trying to Make It Big In South Korea

Just when you thought you have seen it all this comes around, good luck guys!:

A publicity photo of EXP Edition, mostly white, all-American “K-pop” band, provided by the team’s agency IMMABB. (Yonhap)

Over the past few years, South Korean pop music, or K-pop, as a whole has grown into a legitimate cultural force to be reckoned with. And while the scene has moved and evolved at lightning pace, some also began to look back and wonder: what makes K-pop K-pop?

EXP Edition, an experimental boy band which released its debut single “Feel Like This” on Monday in South Korea, is the brain child of Kim Bora, through which she asks that exact question in a unique and interesting approach.

The four-member team, artistically speaking, seems to fit the generic K-pop mold, exuding confidence in its K-pop cred and style. The catch? Its members are mostly white and all American, as opposed to being Korean or at least of Korean descent.  [Yonhap]

You can read the rest at the link, but the band is part of a project from students at Columbia University’s fine arts program to see what defines K-Pop.  Interestingly they are facing criticism from people outside of Korea for appropriating Korean culture.  Didn’t South Korea appropriate pop music in the first place from western countries so why can’t four Americans make a K-pop band?

K-Pop Group, SixBomb Intentionally Shows What $90,000 In Plastic Surgery Gets You

This K-pop group SixBomb has pulled off a pretty good publicity stunt to get them noticed by releasing a video about their $90k worth of plastic surgery to enhance their looks:

Rounder eyes, narrower faces, bigger breasts: a South Korean girlband is celebrating the country’s obsession with surgically-enhanced beauty by going under the knife to praise the virtues of “Becoming Pretty”.

All four members of obscure K-pop outfit SixBomb went through extensive plastic surgery, from nose jobs to breast implants, before releasing their new single on Thursday.

A series of videos showed the four women visiting a clinic, strutting into an operating theatre and lying on the operating table. Another had them practising dance moves in sunglasses with their heads wrapped in bandages.

“Everyone follows me, they know I’m pretty,” they sing in “Becoming Pretty” — an electronic dance number with a hook reminiscent of South Korean singer Psy’s 2012 global phenomenon Gangnam Style.  (………)

Woman Indicted for Falsely Accusing Korean Singer of Rape

This guy may want to stop having sex with women in bathrooms to stop the false rape allegations:

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office on Tuesday indicted another woman on charges of falsely accusing singer-actor Park Yu-chun of boy band JYJ of rape.

The 24-year-old woman, identified by her surname Song, had consensual sex with Park in the toilet of a hostess bar in Gangnam in December of 2015.

But prosecutors believe she became aggrieved when Park left without saying another word to her, even though he had had flirted and asked for her phone number before he had his way with her.

In June of last year, Song read press reports about another woman who accused Park of rape and decided to take the same steps. She gave two media interviews falsely accusing Park of rape.

Earlier, the Seoul Central District Court sentenced a 25-year-old woman identified Lee of falsely accusing Park of rape and trying to extort W500 million from him (US$1=W1,150).  [Chosun Ilbo]

I still believe the people who make these false allegations should receive the same punishment as someone convicted of rape.

China Blocks Streaming of South Korean Dramas as Part of THAAD Retaliation

More Chinese retaliation for the deployment of a THAAD battery to South Korea:

China has blocked access to newly updated clips of South Korean music and dramas on the country’s online video sharing platforms, sources said Sunday, in an apparent bid to retaliate against Seoul’s move to deploy an advanced U.S. missile defense system.

The move followed China’s decision to prevent South Korean pop stars from appearing on Chinese entertainment programs since October as South Korea decided in July last year to station the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system on its soil.

A website uploading South Korean dramas said on its social media account on Weibo that it will stop updating video clips of South Korean entertainment programs for the time being.

“Everybody should be aware of the reason for this,” it said, hinting at China’s toughened restriction on Korean pop culture, widely known as “hallyu.”  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link.

Korean K-Pop Ban In China Causes Surge In Japanese Pop Culture

It looks like Japanese pop culture is filling the vacuum caused by the K-Pop ban in China caused by the THAAD dispute:

china image

China has become hostile toward South Korea’s entertainment content but is welcoming to cultural products from Japan despite its strained political ties with both countries, sources close to the matter said Sunday.

Relations between China and South Korea took a hit earlier this year after Seoul announced the deployment of an advanced U.S. missile defense system called Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) on its soil. While South Korea and the U.S. argued the system would only be used to deter North Korea’s growing nuclear and missile threats, China protested the move as a serious threat to its security interests.

In the months that followed, a number of South Korean celebrities were reportedly forced to cancel their scheduled events in China, while various South Korean TV programs and films had to postpone their release in the country.

“Judging from what I’ve determined through various channels, the ban on Korean cultural products appears to be real,” said one source who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “Chinese broadcasters have not only banned the appearance of South Korean entertainers but also taken down commercials featuring them.”

The Chinese government has refused to verify rumors of the ban, although according to the sources, many Chinese enterprises have stopped applying for government permission for concerts or appearances by South Korean stars.

Before the THAAD decision, China was a huge market for South Korean cultural products mostly related to “hallyu,” or the K-pop and K-dramas that have gained increasing popularity worldwide.

As Korean content took a hit, Japan’s cultural content has shown no signs of losing ground in China.

In fact, the Japanese animation film “Your Name” drew 2.24 million people on Friday, breaking the opening day record for a 2D animation in China. Moreover, local media have praised the film with top ratings and rave reviews.  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link.