Once upon a time, I was on Tumblr, minding my own business when I see this:
Reblogged onto my dash.
My followers know that although i’m Korean, i’m really not into “KPop”. I don’t dislike it, but I don’t particularly like it either. However, seeing this gross bug eyed CGI distortion of a human being on my dash made me curious and after some research I can confirm that i’ve puked in my mouth.
Why? Because even in a country with a primarily native population (such as Korea), white privilege and Eurocentricism is still alive and well. I had always assumed that this was an unspoken fact, especially in regards to pop culture, however the inherent narcissism of white people is endless. And here we have the miscarriage known as “Chad Future”.
"Chad Future", real name David Lehre (that’s catchy), is some sort of.. musical artist from the United States of America.
Before I go any further with this thought, let me note that this is a 100% white man who does not speak Korean, did not grow up or live for an extended time in Korea, does not have any connection to Korea, Korean culture or Korean people in any way.
This is an.. uh.. artist, who apparently before “discovering” and developing some obsessive like for Korean pop music, was a “hip-hop” artist. Who called himself White Chocolate. Uh, okay.
Chad Future’s gimmick is that he makes American / White Korean pop.
Now, I don’t need to dissect this for you to see the inherent problems with it. The music he makes has no Korean lyrics in it, as he is not Korean. What we have here is a typical white kid who discovered Korean pop on the internet. The difference is that this white kid apparently has large amounts of disposible money. So instead of assuming the role of a foreign Kpop fan, he has used his money to attempt to hoist himself into a position of popularity; marketting himself as an “AK-pop” idol.
What’s more, apparently his other gimmick is that he wants to bring “diversity to Kpop”. And bridge the “gap” between American pop and Korean pop.
(Sidenote: The girl’s have very uncomfortable boy language. It’s disrespectful for a man to put their arms around a woman in that matter, here in Korea. It appears predatory, threatening, if nothing else.)
This seems innocent to most. But there’s clearly a lot of disagreeing with him even in the Western Kpop fanbase. However, just seeing this garbage posted above reblogged onto my dash was enough to make me say a piece.
There is absolutely no necessity for a token white figure in a foreign music market. In a genre made by Koreans, produced by Koreans, spoken in Korean, for Koreans.
EVERY aspect of pop culture, even in Asia, is white washed. Those with dark skin aren’t seen as attractive while pale skinned idols are held up on a platform of ideal beauty. There’s English words thrown into songs to be trendy and a lot of fashion is influenced by, if not taken directly from, Western music - particularly hip-hop.
Several Korean artists have attempted to break into the American music market with no success - 2ne1, Girl’s Generation, bi/rain, etc.
American artists, however, are always extremely high sellers in Korea. What a lot of the Western Korean fanbase doesn’t realize is that “Kpop” isn’t what’s most popular in Korea - Western music is.
All of this being said, can the “gap” between American and Korean pop be bridged? Perhaps, but it needs to be BY A KOREAN MUSICIAN.
White privilege makes it possible for white artists to earn more money, have a wider spread audience, etc. It is no feat to attempt to buy you way into the Korean music market with nothing more than the money your parents gave you. Not with talent, sure as fuck not with a genuine appreciate or love for the music OR culture (as again this cracker doesnt’ even speak Korean).
It is not okay for a white person to attempt to assume a position of authority on a subject they’re not involved in - like Korean music.
The true feat would be a Korean artist making it big in the states. A spoilt white boy buying his way into an industry is no feat, it’s white privilege as it’s defined and it’s disgusting.
ACCESSORIZING IS BAD. IT’S DISGUSTING. IT’S NOT OKAY.
Here is a white person who is attempting to brand himself as a KPop idol in an attempt to what? Seem different, unique.. “Exotic”. Despite the fact that he has no connection WHAT SO EVER to Korea, what he is attempting to do is little more than nasty fetishism.
His attempts to seem friendly with Korean artists have proven to be quite laughable. His company has hired Korean artists to feature on his tracks and are promoted to seem as if they’re friends, when in fact, Chad doesn’t speak a word of the language. The Korean artists are used as props for Chad Future to see more “in-tune” with the native artists. Example..
Well, that looked.. comfortable..
He’s using Korean fashions to seem unique. He’s working with Korean artists to seem interesting. He’s calling himself a “Kpop artist” to seem exotic.
He, like a lot of foreigners in Korea, assumes that because he is white and from the West that he has something new or exciting to offer the natives. This is the exact mentality this person holds. Because considering he lacks any knowledge in the language, culture, or otherwise, he is in no position to think he can be a representative of anything. He only assumes that because ehe is white, he is able to provide something that the Kpop industry and Koreans as a whole do not have - a white savior.
Diversity in kpop does not include whites.
As I said before, everything is inherently effected by white privilege. They are white celebrities in TV, in our magazines, and certainly Koreans listen to white musicians.
Diversity in Kpop is occurring, but it’s a slow and steady change. What needs to be encouraged is the success of non-Korean POC musicians and idols in the Kpop industry. What needs to be encouraged is fair treatment of them, no matter what their origin.
THIS is what the priority should be. Let me give you an example why.
Han geng (韩庚) is a Mandopop artist who was once part of an SM Entertainment group known as Super Junior. His placement in the group was essentially to be a “token foreign member”. This isn’t uncommon in Korean pop as Chinese people are generally viewed as being most likeable to Koreans, and most relatable in terms of looks and physical appearance.
There’s problems a Chinese idol face that a “white idol” would never endure. For one, being forced to veil one’s self while performing on stage.
Early performances required Han geng to wear a mask for what the company said was “visa problems”. However, the reason for this was far more sinister. Koreans - a nationalistic people - at that time were uncomfortable with the presence of a Chinese artist on national TV. This mentality was mostly existed in older, Catholic generations who are the same generation who today promotes the ban and censoring of female artist’s “provocative” videos.
Han geng later left Super Junior and confessed to being restricted from going home to China to visit his family, to talk to his family in general, and more. He was starved and overworked to the point of kidney failure - something that does not happen to a Korean native idol. Naturally upon confessing this, many Korean netizen lashed out. He’s not a successful artist in his homeland.
Non-Korean Asian artists in the Korean Asian market is not uncommon now as it was at Han geng’s debut. However, abuse of Chinese and Thai talents is rampant and widely documented.
Korea is a country still in development. While it’s an improvement to have non-Korean Asian idols on our TV (or even musicians such as Tasha, Lee Michelle, etc. who are half black and passing black too), there’s even more improvement to be made with how older generations view them and how they’re treated as talents in this industry. Although we look alike, while non-Korean Asian artists are mistreated and taken advantage of, that needs to be our primary focus.
What does NOT to be our primary focus is idolizing a white man whose interest in the industry is shallow and vapid at best.
We do not need to be attempting to accompany a man who calls himself a “Korean idol” and uses this branding to seem more exotic in his marketing.
Because of the reasons above, I find it incredibly insulting for a white man - who again does not speak Korean, was not raised in Korea, etc. - to say he is promoting “diversity” in KPop. The most privileged race in the world attempting to appear a savior in an industry where even non-Korean Asian artists still struggle for equal treatment, equal pay, and equal rights.
From a Korean person, to Korean pop music fans..
Do not promote this degenerate scum. Do not support a person who only wants to be in a foreign industry for his own benefit, to inflate his own ego - to accessorize with our people.
We do not want, do not need, a “white savior” in KPop.
friendly reminder this bottomfeeder said this:
How have people responded to you being Non-Korean and working in K-Pop?
"I think the majority of people are starting to accept it more and more… and that’s what my hope is, because, you know, we don’t want people to be racist and stuff, you know? Anyone can do whatever they wanna do, and so, if you like kpop just because it’s performed by, you know, a Korean person… then maybe you just like kpop for the Korean aspect of it… and that’s fine. But just don’t tell me I suck."
Just Sehun looking cute in that hat
yassss it was from match up season 2 the golden age of jaehyo
i made it myself haha