There are two big Psy stories floating around today, one that’s nice and another that’s other less so. Let’s start with the good news, shall we?
Apparently Psy is on track to end the year nearly 1 billion YouTube views and $8.1 million dollars richer. According this AP report, the the South Korean pop star that taught the world to giddy-up dance has been seriously racking in the revenue from YouTube ads and iTunes downloads. So there we have it: there’s plenty of money to be made in music, you just have to be Taylor Swift and/or a viral sensation.
This next story is less expected, and unfortunately it’s significantly less heart warming, too:
Up until this point, Psy has been — particularly for non-Korean speakers — just fun. There have been a few late nights with his manager Scooter Braun, and a raunchy moment or two with Madonna, but otherwise no major scandal to muddy the sharp-dressing K-Pop star’s rise. Today that changed, as Mediaite has uncovered footage of Psy performing a song called that calls for a “slow and painful” killing of the “f***ing Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives” and smashing a model U.S. at a 2002 Iraq War protest in Korea. Oof.
According to their translation, the song called “Dear American” goes something like this:
Kill those f***ing Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives
Kill those f***ing Yankees who ordered them to torture
Kill their daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law and fathers
Kill them all slowly and painfully
Sure “Gangnam Style” too was an act of political commentary, but it was also more sly, more fun and significantly less violence than this song — he probably could have chosen his words better. Psy’s going to have some explaining to do, and he might want to do it before he sings Christmas Carols with the President next week.
“As a proud South Korean who was educated in the United States and lived there for a very significant part of my life, I understand the sacrifices American servicemen and women have made to protect freedom and democracy in my country and around the world. The song I was featured in – eight years ago – was part of a deeply emotional reaction to the war in Iraq and the killing of two Korean schoolgirls that was part of the overall antiwar sentiment shared by others around the world at that time. While I’m grateful for the freedom to express one’s self, I’ve learned there are limits to what language is appropriate and I’m deeply sorry for how these lyrics could be interpreted. I will forever be sorry for any pain I have caused by those words.
“I have been honored to perform in front of American soldiers in recent months – including an appearance on the Jay Leno show specifically for them- and I hope they and all Americans can accept my apology. While it’s important that we express our opinions, I deeply regret the inflammatory and inappropriate language I used to do so. In my music, I try to give people a release, a reason to smile. I have learned that thru music, our universal language we can all come together as a culture of humanity and I hope that you will accept my apology.”