Rain, Big Bang, BoA, TVSQ, Mighty Mouth, Dynamic Duo, and a very large majority of Korean pop music's brightest stars liberally borrow and copy African-American music styles right down to the fashion. If some variants of black culture are so desirable for mass Korean consumption, why aren't black people equally engaged as, at the very least, human, on a fair and individual basis?
Being foreign in Korea already presents challenges, regardless of complexion: getting a cell phone, credit card, one's own apartment and even certain bank services can be unnecessarily difficult because of one's citizenship. Being of color need not and should not be an added burden.
Some Koreans, and I say some because I have been treated quite nicely by a great and many people, should ``critically think" about their racial presumptions and prejudices. Where's the simpatico? The histories and experiences of Koreans and the African Diaspora are unique but not dissimilar, as both struggled and died to gain freedom and demand human dignity from brutal imperialist forces.
Yes, this debate happens back home, too, but I'll just direct your attention to the title of my blog. I think the above paragraphs are things we've all thought about while in Korea, and often well outside the arena of hip-hop: like when people in jeans, t-shirts, Converse, and perms chuckle at the foreigners.
I recall reading in a journal article some years ago about Asia and borrowing hip-hop culture that performers are imitating the domestic acts that have come before, not necessarily the Western groups that inspired them. So a new Korean quote-unquote hip-hop group coming out in baggy jeans is doing it because another Korean group did it, not because an American fifteen years ago made it cool. But one does run the risk of looking foolish by doing something so out of context. See the douche Crown J and his antics, for example.