With huge K-Pop stars like Grammy nominee BTS and popular girl group BlackPink, it’s no secret that the K-Pop music genre has made an impact in the music industry. Many K-pop music artists have turned many people around the world’s heads with their catchy songs and well-choreographed dance breaks. The popular Korean genre has caused many people to pay attention to the talented musicians that reside in that genre. However, the music genre has had a lot of criticizing. Which one of those things being the huge influence black culture has had in the K-Pop music industry.
Many fans of K-Pop music would say that their favorite artists praise and always give props to Black music artists, choreographers, and the list goes on, but it’s quite not enough when a lot of K-Pop artists music style and dances are carbon copies of black artists that you may know.
K-Pop artists RAIN and JYP recently were in the hot seat on social media after many people noticed their familiar choreography they displed in their music video o Switch to Me. The dance break in the music video was very similar to Bobby Brown’s choreography in his music video for Every Little Step. When you say similar, you might as well say they studied each of Brown’s moves very closely.
Call the police pic.twitter.com/mJVUxOLqR6
— No. (@agirlikemey) December 31, 2020
Both JYP and RAIN issued an apology for the obvious similarities between the two music videos, but as they were on the hot seat, many people on social media pointed out other highly black culturally influenced things in the K-Pop industry. South Korean singer Hyolyn released a music video for her single Dally, which people on Twitter speculated that the singer stole popular R&B singer Tinashe’s whole style.
Alongside the similarities in choreography and style between many black artists and K-Pop idols, the K-Pop industry does have a huge history of cultural appropriation, with many of the stars wearing locs, braids, and other black hairstyles. Some artists even were caught in blackface before they hit the spotlight of the K-Pop industry. In 2018 Pop Crush wrote an article listing many K-Pop idols who took cultural appropriation to a new level, from wearing braids, mimicking black stereotypes, to even wearing blackface. Some of those idols on that list consisted of Yuri from the girl group Girls Generation, Gikwang of Beast, and many others.
the REAL kpop wap pic.twitter.com/Wht5Z8M7bB
— jack (@clczi) October 13, 2020
Even though the K-Pop industry is notorious for blackface and other cultural appropriating moments, some K-Pop idols aren’t afraid to state just how much black culture has influenced their career. K-Pop idol CL was very vocal about stating that TLC and Destiny’s Child were the ones that inspired her former group 2NE1. In an interview with K-Pop journalist Jeff Benjamin, CL stated, “Artists, directors, writers, dancers, designers, producers, stylists in the K-pop industry are all inspired by Black culture whether they acknowledge it or not,” CL wrote. “I would like to encourage K-pop fans to give back and show love and support for all that we have received from Black artists. I want to explain to K-pop fans, fellow Asians, and non-Americans who feel like they have no connection to what’s happening that we are all connected.”
As the K-Pop genre continues to dominate around the world, soon many black artists, stylists, choreographers will get their rightfully earned props for helping influence the K-pop industry. As many would like to ignore the impact black culture has had in the industry, it’s important to know that a huge amount of dance moves, fashion styles, hairstyles, etc. you’ll see K-Pop artists use or wear comes from black culture.