[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

Jo Han-Chul Says Do Kyung-Soo Broke His Preconception of Idol-Turned-Actors

Jo Chan-Chu says EXO’s D.O. completely changed his perception of idols-turned-actors!

On October 31, actor Jo Han-Chul answered several questions regarding Do Kyung-Soo, who appeared as his son in the recently ended drama “100 Days My Prince.” Jo began to compliment the idol member, “he such a diligent worker.”

The two met through the recently ended drama, “100 Days My Prince” as father-son figures. Jo continued to explain how he had much doubt about D.O., since he did not originally debut as an actor.

Jo said, “there are many times where idols get to be the centerpiece of dramas and films. Because they were not trained as long as actors are, I always worried if they could adapt to the surroundings easily. Do Kyung-Soo was different. He was great. Even though he is very young, he carried much responsibility on his back.”

He continued, “when we were rehearsing our first scene together, he could’ve had relaxed and gone easy. However, he continued to directly stare at my eyes and really showed his focus. His attitude towards this drama, the way he handled the lines and acting, I really liked that about him.”

“I’m sure he had the urges to prove that he can act as well as any other actors,” Jo continued, “and he really showed that with his attitude. After filming our first scene, I realized I should work harder. There’s this certain feeling that you get when you work with a great actor. I got that from Do Kyung-Soo.”

At the end, Jo Han-Chul mentioned the upcoming film of Do Kyung-Soo. The actor said, “apparently, he has a premiere of upcoming film ahead of him. Since the drama was such a success, I’m sure the film is as great. He is also a great singer. The fact that I was Do Kyung-Soo’s father, I’m honored.”

Original Article
Translated by Dasol Kim


Kangta and B1A4 Sandeul Talk About Overcoming Stereotype as Idols

Kangta and B1A4’s Sandeul have opened up about the inevitable stereotype every idol goes through in their career.

On September 6 broadcast of tvN’s “Life Bar,” Kangta and B1A4’s Sandeul appeared as guests alongside actress Choi Yeo-Jin and Cha Ji-Yeon. Among many discussions, the two idol-based celebrities freely explained the inevitable stereotype every idol goes through in their career, and how they individually overcame it to stand where they are right now.

At first, Kangta expressed his worries as a rookie musical actor. The singer said, “to be honest, I had received many musical offers in the past. However, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to draw out the energy that is needed to be a musical actor. Because it is such a difficult and different genre of music, I was being very careful.”

Cha Ji-Yeon, who is co-starring in the same musical as Kangta, added to it. The actress said, “I worried about Kangta, who is very new to musicals. But it was only at the beginning, because he adjusted to the surroundings very easily. Of course, I couldn’t look past his experience of performing on stage for the past 20 years.” In response, Kangta commented, “thanks to Ji-Yeon’s veteran-like energy, I was able to focus even more.”

Kangta continued to speak about overcoming the stereotypes of being an idol-based celebrity. The singer said, “while it’s already been 22 years since debut, I always feel a constant pressure regarding my performance. I always have this idea of putting on a perfect show, which sometimes drags down my confidence.”

He continued, “when I first started producing music, the public did not have much expectation for me just because I was an idol. It was the same when I first released my solo album, too. People had a certain prejudice about idols, which I could not break, and I had a hard time with it. Because it was a repetitive occurrence, I learned to live with it.”

To this, Sandeul added his personal experience dealing with the public’s standard image of idols. The singer said, “I once read a comment online that came as a shock to me. The comment wrote that people just assume it’s a bad musical if it features an idol member.”

He continued, “I wanted to prove them wrong and it was finally time I showed them what I and many other idols could do. That’s why I decided to take on musicals.”

Image Source – tvN’s “Life Bar”

Original Article (1), (2)
Translated by Dasol Kim