Korean American rapper Jay Park is the latest artist being accused of cultural appropriation. On June 14, Park released a video covering Kendrick Lamar’s 2017 single “DNA”. The music video featured him and several other Korean-hip-hop artists such as YLN Foreign, D.Ark, 365LIT, and many more rapping about being proud of their Korean heritage. Not long after the video was released viewers started pointing out how the song and its accompanying video were appropriating African American culture. Viewers noticed that some people in the video were wearing black hairstyles such as afros, braids, and dreadlocks.
On Twitter, one user accused the rappers of “cosplaying as Black people and constantly using Black American culture”. While another user said, “the song is about “being proud of Asian heritage while simultaneously doing [cultural appropriation].” Eventually, Park responded to the backlash by posting a lengthy comment on YouTube. In his post he acknowledged that “Black and Latino people created hip-hop” but later denied that he was “trying to steal culture” or “be Black.” He also said that many Black rappers are heroes to Korean Hip Hop artist and that it’s “only natural that we want to be like them to a certain extent.”
Since posting that YouTube comment Park’s has faced even more blackish, with many people accusing him of being nonchalant towards the criticism. According to NME, a Twitter thread was created blasting the rapper for his actions. The thread was created by Teen Vogue writer Stitch who made a comment saying that they were “so fascinated by… how defensive [Park] always gets.” As of now, the video for ‘DNA Remix’ is private and unavailable for public viewing. A short snippet of the music video clip can still be seen on the rappers Instagram page. Meanwhile, the song is still available on multiple streaming services.