[Opinion] Can Jay Park Be the First Asian-American Hip-Hop Music Mogul?

In a recent interview with MTV, musician and businessman Jay Park hints that he is looking to be the first Asian-American hip-hop music mogul. As a pioneer not only in Korean music but music overall, it is not a question of whether he has what it takes, but if the U.S. is ready for someone like him.

Jay Park performs in Los Angeles as part of the Road to MIA show

It is easy to talk about Jay Park’s accomplishments. Since going solo he has released dozens of songs, and featured on even more; started AOMG and H1GHR Music entertainment labels which house some of Korea’s greatest hip-hop talent; judges contestants on Asia’s Got Talent; Vice cited him as driving the change in South Koreans’ perception of tattoos; became the first Asian-American to be signed to Roc Nation, and performs all over the world.

At this point, he already is a mogul, particularly in South Korea where the majority of his business endeavors flourish.


Even so, Park felt that he has “reached a plateau” in the Asian country, Park has gradually dedicated more energy to his English-language music and other activities in the U.S., as much as it is a new endeavor and stage in his career, it is also a homecoming.

While the Seattle born artist is from the U.S., he sees a lot of parallels with his experiences in Sout Korea. In particular, as it was when he first when to South Korea, entering the American music market has yielded much the same: there is no one really like him doing what he is doing.

While he was a westerner in K-pop when it was still unusual, being an Asian-American in the hip-hop industry today is probably even more trying. The U.S. has a deeply ingrained and longstanding stereotype of Asian men as well, not men. They are (wrongfully) emasculated, seen as feminine, and “model minorities” who are seen are nerd or goofs.

Hip-hop remains a genre and lifestyle that champions hyper-masculinity. It is not by accident that even female rappers like Nikki Minaj  uses male genitalia to exert power and dominance as in her song “Stupid Hoe” where she raps “Ice my wrist’s and I piss on bitches/ You can suck my dick, if you take this jizz-ez.” Emasculation, feminized men, and the model minority trope are all still antithetical to most of the hip-hop community.

While shifts in society and influx of diverse voices have served to chip away at the stereotype, it is still a huge reason why there are no prominent Asian-American faces in the U.S. hip-hop community.

Fan reach out to Jay Park as he performs on stage at the Road to MIA show

Jay is hard working a good businessman who has built himself up from the bottom. There is no doubt that he has the know-how and the drive to create something in the U.S. However, it will be much harder to change deeply entrenched ideas that Asian men have no place in the hip-hop community.




By O.C

All images are courtesy of Jay Park’s Instagram (@jayparkitrighthere)


Disclaimer: The opinions or views contained in this article may not represent the opinions or views of Kpoplove, The Korea Daily, its employees, agents or affiliates

Police Probe Former CEO of TV Chosun in the Jang Ja-Yeon Case

Bang Jeong-oh, the former executive director of TV Chosun, refuted reported that he talked to late actress Jang Ja-yeon, using the threat of a lawsuit to silence her.

Jang Ja-yeon
Image source – Ilgan Sports

“It is not true that I met with Jang Ja-yeon several times and talked with her,” the former CEO of TV Chosun Bang Jeong-oh said on Wednesday. Adding, Bang said that he “plans to take legal action against related reports.

Earlier that day, a team dedicated to investing the allegations of sexual assault and more against the late Jang Ja-yeon summoned Bang. In a closed-door questioning, the team probed the former executive regarding a “Chosun Ilbo President Bang” mentioned in a letter that Jang wrote before she took her life.

When the case was initially investigated in 2009, Bang admitted having a drinking party with Jang but has stuck to his stance that he left after being there for just an hour. After that event, Bang has stated that he did not speak to or meet with Jang.

Image source – OSEN News

The CEO is the second executive director to be investigated in connection with Jang’s case. Before him, the president of the Koreana Hotel Bang Yong-hoon. On December 5, the investigation team called him and his younger brother for questioning.

According to reports, the two went through around a three-hour probe before being released. Like the former TV Chosun executive, the president of Koreana Hotel denies any suspicion surrounding him.

Meanwhile, police revived Jang’s case after JTBC’s “News Room” revealed new eye-witness details about the case in an interview with one of the actress’ friends. Jang is known for her role in the popular drama “Boys Over Flowers.”



Original article

Translated by O.C


Heo Kyung-Hwan Talks About Paying Back Debt Worth 300 Million Won Due to Failed Business

Heo Kyung-Hwan reveals that he once had to pay back a huge debt of 300 million won that his past business partner had created!

On November 21 broadcast of MBC “Radio Star,” Heo Kyung-Hwan appeared as a guest alongside actor Park Kwang-Hyun, comedians Kim Hak-Do and Kim Hyun-Chul. These 4 celebrities were invited to represent “two-job celebrities” – celebrities who own a separate business aside from their main careers as actor and comedians.

Image Source – MBC ‘Radio Star’

Heo Kyung-Hwan, whose chicken breast business has reportedly reached a yearly profit of 90 billion won said, “I was searching for something that I know the best. The first thing that popped up into my mind was chicken breast. At the time, there were only 3 to 4 places that were selling processed chicken breast. That’s where I got the idea from.”

However, not everything on the way came as easy.

The comedian revealed that his past business partner had made a huge mistake that resulted in 300 million won worth of debt (approximately $265,000). He continued, “I received a call from the bank during live radio broadcast. Afterwards, I paid a visit to the bank with the document of house deed.”

Furthermore, some even tried to take advantage of the celebrity’s fame and popularity. Heo continued, “one time, this owner of a poultry farm came to me. He showed me a number of eggs and asked me to do business with him since they are about to hatch. It was hard for me to get angry with these silly questions because they frequently threatened to reveal my secret to the press.”

Thankfully, his chicken breast business was a success.

He revealed, “if the sales were good, we would reach over 7 million won (approximately $6,000) a day. In response, Kim Hyun-Chul asked, “that’s the net income?” to which Heo Kyung-Hwan jokingly answered, “please think about the question you just asked.”

Original Article
Translated by Dasol Kim


BIGBANG Seungri Ventures into the Technology and VR Sector

Seungri is already known for his business savvy but has mostly delved into the entertainment and food world.

Image source – YG Entertainment

BIGBANG member Seungri is entering the social networking VR (virtual reality) world. On the 7th of this month, the singer and entertainer will be inaugurated at the CEO of the VR franchise brand HeadLockVR.

This is particularly notable because it is the BIGBANG’s member’s first business in the IT sector. Seungri is already known for his business savvy with multiple establishments. However, so far, the majority of these businesses are in the food and entertainment sectors like his famous ramen restaurant.

Commenting on this expansion, the singer said that he feels honored and that he will work to “lead a new concept in entertainment culture” that will delight people. Although details have not been released about the business, he is planning to have a presentation at the inauguration ceremony.


Original article

Translated by O.C


SM’s Lee Soo-Man Included on List of Executives With Excellent Leadership Skills

SM Entertainment’s (herein referred to as SM) Lee Soo-man landed in the 4th spot in Insight Korea‘s list of Executives who display excellent leadership skills.

Image source – SM Entertainment

In Insight Korea‘s October issue, the publication released a list of executives who exhibit excellent leadership according to a survey of 500 college students. In this list, SM’s founder Lee Soo-man ranked fourth but also managed to crack the top 10 is two other lists. Lee took the sixth spot in a category ranking executives who are contributing to South Korea’s economic development, and tenth on a list of best CEOs according to college students.

Significantly, others executives on the list included the CEOs of Samsung Electronics, LG Group’s chairman, and Hyundai Motor Group’s chairman, adding meaning to Lee’s ranking. Citing the results of the survey, Insight Korea said that Lee is “called the ‘culture president'” having started as a singer. More, with that background he built upon his experience and with “excellent business mindset and drive, led the Korean Wave (Hallyu Wave) around the world.”

Further, the publication also stated that Lee is widely considered to have changed the way that people listen to music domestically due to substantial investment in IT and Culture Technology (CT), a term encompassing the export of cultural products through the integration of global collaboration and management strategy.

Additionally, Lee is also given the title of “the pioneer of the K-pop industry” since the 1990s. Groups and artists like H.O.T., S.E.S., Shinhwa, and BoA have made SM South Korea’s top entertainment agency. According to Insight Korea, “it is safe to say that all idol groups that followed were directly or indirectly influenced by Chairman Lee Soo-man.”

Besides the Insider Korea lists, Lee has also been recognized at the Korea-China Management Awards, U.S. culture magazine Variety, and Asia Society as part of its 2016 Asia Game Changer Awards.



Original article

Translated by O.C


A Letter Hyuna Wrote to the CEO of Cube Entertainment Has Come to Light

On October 15, Cube Entertainment announced that the company and Hyuna decided to part ways in a short official statement. Although the entire situation was rife with miscommunication, a letter that Hyuna wrote to the CEO of Cube Entertainment helps to shed light on what was going on behind the scenes.

Image source – OSEN News

On October 15, Cube Entertainment released a short statement announcing it had agreed with Hyuna to terminate her contract. As such, she was able to depart from the company without any legal dispute.

While this concluded the singer’s tenure at an agency that she has been with for more than a decade, the past few months have been a rocky road. However, although numerous news articles have documented the gradual deterioration of Hyuna’s relationship with the company, there has been little information from the singer herself.

Now, a letter she wrote to the CEO on October 4 has come to light and reveals some of her feelings on the situation and the steps she took to find a conclusion.

Image source – Ilgan Sports

In the letter, Hyuna starts off by writing “as you know, I have done nothing by broken my body and diligently doing activities until now [to make] present-day Cube Entertainment,” hinting at how much the company has benefited from having the singer in their roster of artists.

Going on, she makes several points detailing her loyalty for the company over the past several years, most notably to Hong Seung-sung, who co-founded the company. In particular, she mentions her decision to join Hong Seung-sung at Cube Entertainment just a few years after he departed from JYP Entertainment in the mid-2000s and remaining by his side through another dispute.

Later in the letter, Hyuna mentions Cube Entertainment’s decision to oust her and E’Dawn on September 13.  While the company reasoned that it could no longer trust the two singers, in light of Hyuna’s letter the reasoning now appears lackluster, rushed, and possibly verging on a lie.

Although the company later flip-flopped and retracted their earlier statement to make a final decision in a general meeting with stockholders the following week, Hyuna reveals that she has remained in limbo for almost two months. Instead, Hyuna says she had been given nothing by endless excuses. Moreover, for unknown reasons all of her activities have been canceled.

After weeks of waiting she finally put her foot down.

Image source – Ilgan Sports

“It’s too hard for me to wait for two months. I’d like you to reply by the 15th of this month, and I hope my contract will be terminated early,” Hyuna said. Further, should she not get an answer on that day, she tells the CEO that she will be moving forward in a press conference on her own.

Finally, wrapping up the letter she writes that “if you think of the beautiful old times, I hope you will find an amicable solution,” and wished for Cube’s everlasting development.



Original article

Translated by O.C


Nam Tae-hyun After WINNER: Being a CEO, Leader, and Artist

Being the founder, CEO, and face of a company is hard, but Nam Tae-hyun says the challenge is making him a better person.

Image source – Daily sports

In the second part of a tell-all interview with former WINNER, Nam Tae-hyun delves into his professional life. First on the list? His agency, South Buyers Club, which he founded last year.

Being the founder, current CEO, and representative face of South Buyers Club is challenging to say the least. Ask Simon Dominic, who stepped down from his co-CEO position at AOMG with the raw “Me No Jay Park,” about the other executive at the label.

Indeed, there was a steep learning curve for the singer-songwriter after leaving large company YG Entertainment. “I didn’t know it would cost so much for security, hair, and makeup” he started off. Looks are important for idols, but Nam does his hair and makeup to reduce expenses — unless it’s a regular schedule.

Cosmetic compromises are not the only changes that Nam has had to adjust to. “I have to read all the contract when I coordinate my work” he revealed. But there is more, “There is an aspect where you have to know what you don’t want to know…I’m doing this with the thought of learning,” he explained. That said, he believes that he’ll be a bit more experienced ten years from now. Fortunately, he doesn’t have to do it all alone; his mother lends her expertise to look over the contracts too.

Contracts are only the beginning for Nam.

Nam Tae-hyun is a CEO and also a musician, but the different positions have made him more responsible. “It’s harder too because I have to take care of everything and I have to select the music. I picked the title [song] for the first album but [still], I asked the members and managers for their opinion and [officially] decided” he said.

Although he has a lot of responsibilities as the owner of South Buyers Club and has been CEO for more than a year, it is still an adjustment. “The title of CEO is very difficult. I’m embarrassed. Of course, I need a title, but it’s still a little awkward,” Nam confessed. In truth, he sees himself very differently. “I’m just the leader of the band (South Club). As a leader, I try to get a lot of feedback. I’m just the leader of the band, but my shoulders are very heavy.”

In particular, Nam points out that if he makes a mistake, that it can reverberate through his band and company, leaving everyone reeling. Notwithstanding, he believes he is steadily improving. ” I used to be 90 percent sensitive and 10 percent rational, but now I am trying to halve that.”



Original article

Translated by O.C


BIGBANG Seungri Becomes CEO of YGX Entertainment

BIGBANG’s Seungri became the CEO of YGX Entertainment, a subsidiary company of YG Entertainment!

On June 4, Yang Hyun-Suk took to his Instagram to announce the news. He posted a picture of a business card that showed that BIGBANG’s Seungri is the CEO of YGX Entertainment. In addition, Yang also included hashtags “business partner,” “grand opening this August in Hongdae,” and “home to future stars” and shared his excitement.

According to the business card, YGX Entertainment also includes YGX Academy and music label NHR. Previously, Yang Hyun-Suk announced the establishment of YGX when he announced that YG merged with Seungri’s DJ label NHR last month.

Regarding the merge, Yang said “with our recent merge, we think we will be able to target the international market more easily. We plan to support not only Seungri’s DJ business, but also do collaborations with YG artists.”

Meanwhile, Seungri is gearing up to release his first full-album in July. He has previously released two solo mini-albums in 2011 and 2013. Therefore, this upcoming album is his first full-album as a soloist as well as the first time in 5 years he is standing solo.


Original Article
Translated by Dasol Kim


Fantagio Nominates New President, but His Criminal Background Is a Deal-Breaker for Some

Fantagio board members have nominated the chairman of Box Media Park Hae-sun as the new registered president of the company. However, some have expressed that his criminal past could be a problem.

Image source – Fantagio Entertainment

In an official press conference on May 24, a company representative talked about the nomination. “Park Hae-sun is a veteran who has more than 30 years of experience in entertainment,” they began.

Continuing, they delved into a bit more detail about his work experience. Park has worked on producing “content such as movies, dramas, performances, and entertainment programs.” Additionally, he joined the broadcast company KBS in 1993 and was first a director of entertainment at Box Media before becoming CEO in 2009.

Notwithstanding his extensive experience, there are voices in the entertainment industry that question the announcement. This doubt stems from Park’s criminal history.

In 2009, Park was indicted and sentenced to prison for taking bribes from entertainment companies. As that time, the Seoul’s Central District Court gave the executive ten months in jail and a 75 million won penalty.

According to the case, four entertainment representatives gave Park around 125 million won. Reportedly, this event occurred during his career at KBS, and also bought 25,000 shares from company “F.”

On the other hand, Fantagio will decide whether to appoint Park during a shareholder’s meeting on June 18. The appointment is extremely important given that the company was found to be operating illegally for the past few months.

According to the Public Culture, Arts, and Development Act, all entertainment companies are required to have a registered CEO in place who has at least four years of experience in a related field. This assignment is needed for companies to obtain the proper license to conduct entertainment business.

Meanwhile, the artists under the company remain in limbo until this situation is sorted.



Original article

Translated by O.C


CEO of CUBE Entertainment Posts Heartwarming Letter to Express His Love For CUBE Artists

On May 7, CEO of CUBE Entertainment, Hong Seung-Sung posted a heartfelt letter to express his love for the artists and update on his health.

Hong Seung-Sung is currently battling with Lou Gehrig’s disease. In the letter, he thanked everyone for the encouragement while he battles with his illness, and expressed his love and gratitude towards CUBE artists.

The message wrote as followed:

“Hello, this is ‘Hong Cube,’ CEO Hong Seung-Sung.”

“About 10 spring seasons have passed since the first time I introduced myself as ‘Hong CUBE’ and I would like to offer my gratitude towards everyone who has loved CUBE artists throughout the years. To return the love I’ve received from your encouragement, I’m trying to listen to even the smallest voices.”

“It’s been about 6 years since I started this battle with my health. During those 6 years, I witnessed lots of changes in the music industry and thousands of thoughts and emotions crossed my mind. As I witnessed BTS’s global success and great singers like Yoon Jong-Shin who had remained and endured through all changes, I saw hope in the industry once again. Then, I decided that I wanted to build on that hope with you guys. Because I know for a fact that all CUBE artists are enough proof that that hope will grow even stronger.”

He continued, “even though I was away fighting with illness, I continued to communicate with my artists.

“However, we could only communicate through a video chat, and I was upset and felt regrettable that I didn’t get to have more intimate time like I used to with BTOB, HyunA, and Jo Kwon.”

“But I continued to host weekly assessment and debuted rookie groups, such as CLC, PENTAGON, and (G)-IDLE. In addition, I’ve been watching our two “little chicks,” Seon-Ho and Guan Lin from afar to help them to become the performers they wanted to be.”

As I watch all the executive staff members, along with BTOB and HyunA take care of each other when the time of United CUBE concerts approach, I feel nothing but proud and thankful. I feel especially proud when I see BTOB and HyunA, who became the senior artists, and Jo Kwon in the front and leading the group.

He concluded, “I heard that the United Cube Concert will be starting soon. What kind of great performances will unfold? I can already picture them in my mind.”

“I will be there in spirit. From afar, I will sing along to the songs and send my applause for my great artists. I hope you do the same. Once again, I thank you for your love and ask that you continue to cheer on our artists at CUBE Entertainment. Thank you.”

Original Article
Translated by Dasol Kim