Tag Archives: 박봄

Disrespectful “Diss Track” From A.KOR’s Kemy to 2NE1’s Park Bom

I had planned to stay away from this topic, but I was asked if I was going to do it and I have come to the conclusion that I should share my perspective. I believe this is the first time I must stress that this is my opinion with the facts currently know about this situation. I have no intention to insult anyone else’s opinion, so I ask my readers to calmly express themselves when the need comes up. “Diss battles” or a series of “diss tracks” released from artists targeting one another is nothing new. I did some research and found out these tracks have roots all the way back to satirical poems from medieval times. They basically started out as a “Just poking fun, so no hard feelings. Right?” situation and I would guess that the poet really didn’t mean to tear down the person they targeted. “Diss tracks” are commonly associated with the hip-hop genre and a part of rivalries in the same genre. The use of “diss tracks” are generally understood to be for publicity with fans of either artist choosing sides and even purchasing their artist’s CDs in a show of support. These rivalries can involve more than two sides as well. These “diss battles” are generally used to get attention for the artist and boost their sales. This can be different if the artists involved actually have a dislike or hatred for the artists they are targeting in their music or the situation escalated due to an artist who was not targeted getting involved. That basically means an artist got involved to “fan the flames” for whatever reason. I’m not a hip-hop historian (It does sound nice to say though), but I’m using what I have heard. This situation has come up before in South Korea as recent as last year, so “diss tracks” are not unseen in the Korean music industry. If such a conflict arises in the K hip-hop scene, then it’s not that big of a surprise. It might be surprising if a “diss track” crosses the line or seems to lack a base, but most fans would just watch to see how it ends. However, it does come as a surprise when it comes unprovoked and from a rookie to an experienced senior. This is the current situation with A.KOR’s Kemy and 2NE1’s Park Bom.

A Concise Guide to the “Diss” Battles Involving E-Sens, Amoeba Culture, Simon D and More

The K Hip-hop scene is susceptible to “diss battles” just like any other countries hip-hop scene. Fans of the pop or “mainstream” Kpop scene might not be aware of the genre and lump them together with the other Kpop groups when seeing them promote on music shows, but these artists do have a separate genre. A heated “diss battle” happened last year around July and it made itself very noticeable. Maybe the summer heat got to them? ><

[Source: Soompi.com] Link: http://tinyurl.com/n4e89qu

Let’s start with the “diss battle” that started last year before moving to A.KOR’s Kemy. The “diss battle” back in the summer of 2013 was apparently started with the release of a song called “Control” by an American hip-hop artist known as Big Sean with a verse by another American hip-hop artist called Kendrick Lamar. It’s interesting how easy it is for influence to travel across oceans, but that is the power of music. It’s unfortunate that is started something so negative, but opinions will vary. The song “Control” apparently had the verse by Kendrick Lamar that “put on blast”, which was met with responding tracks by those he had named in the verse. This inspired a K hip-hop artist known as ‘Swings’ to make a song called “King Swings”. It’s not the most modest name for a song, but it does get attention and that is key in this situation. It appears that ‘Swings’ felt Kendrick Lamar’s verse was a collection of “disses” to those he named, but some people said it was actually a call to those named for an improvement in their music. A “call to step up” as one person put it, but it was not interpreted that way by ‘Swings’ at all. The song “King Swings” apparently calls out a lot of K hip-hop artists in a manner that earned it the title of “diss track”. This cleared a path for E-Sens to make a song called “You Can’t Control Me”, which targeted Gaeko and Amoeba Culture. Amoeba Culture was E-Sens former home, until he left on July 19, 2013. I don’t believe they left on bad terms, but making a “diss track” that targets your former label after you just left it brings up that possibility. According to a Soompi.com article, E-Sens accused Gaeko of “being fake and a sellout, while describing his treatment during and after his contract with Amoeba Culture.” That last part implies E-Sens did not have positive feelings while at Amoeba Culture or it could be an exaggeration for the sake of the song. The main point is that they got targeted, but soon announced they were not getting involved as a company to combat the song or its implied claims.

There is no rule for a “diss battle”, so any artist can come back into the “battle of words”, even if no one responded to them or targeted them. ‘Swings’ decided to release a follow up to his song “King Swings”, which he called “King Swings Part 2” and this song targeted artists ‘Ugly Duck’ and Simon D. This song is known for getting to the “name calling” soon after beginning and he accused Simon D of selling out, which had negative side effects on his former partner E-Sens. I don’t know if he is implying that E-Sens ended up suffering under Amoeba Culture , which might have a connection to the break up of their team “Supreme Team” and him leaving the company. This song is also known for the second half containing a lot of English, which the same Soompi.com article states was for his “English-speaking listeners”. Gaeko decided to respond to E-Sens in a blunt manner with his song called “I Can Control You” (Do you see what he did there? Okay then) and it drew on E-Sens’ marijuana scandal from the previous year. I guess there a no “low blows” among K hip-hop artists. I don’t know how it works, but this is apparently what one must be ready for if they start a “diss battle”. Gaeko used that scandal to call out E-Sens’ “selfishness, immaturity, and unprofessionalism. ” There are a few more back and forth moments afterwards, but this “battle” is not the main point of the article, so I’ll move on to the end. Eventually artists like Zion T. and Tarae expressed their desire to see the “diss war” end. It surely does seem like there were some personal agendas involved, but some of the artists involved still talk to each other and “diss wars” are just a part of life for them. It might not be common, but hip-hop artists seem to be ready for the possibility at any time.

Rookie Rapper Kemy of A.KOR Targets 2NE1′s Park Bom with a Diss Track

The main difference between that “diss battle” and the situation with A.KOR’s Kemy is that Park Bom is considered a part of the mainstream pop genre, which is accompanied by her position as 2NE1’s main vocalist. If Kemy had targeted CL, then it is likely that fans might not be as outraged. Of course there are fans who will be outraged at any attack on their idol group, but is it hard to understand when the targeted group is not a K hip-hop group? That might be a factor.

[Source: Soompi.com] Link: http://tinyurl.com/mzcv5lt

Of course I am a Blackjack and this news made me very angry when I heard it. Many of us know Park Bom (Bommie) as a kind, gentle person with a sweet personality. It does not appear to take much to make Bommie cry and that image rushes into our heads when we see an insult heading her way. It’s a natural protectiveness a dedicated fan has to their idol, which is understandable. I believe my initial reaction was a fair one, which was a condemning of Kemy’s disrespectful action and confusion about why she would target Bommie at all. Some people feel she is going after her competition from the start, but that doesn’t quite make sense. 2NE1 is not the only girl group in Kpop and they are not even a K Hip-hop group. 2NE1 is known for having hip-hop elements in their songs and YG Entertainment (YGE) is known for its embracing of hip-hop culture. However, 2NE1 has a combination of pop, hip-hop, R&B, electropop and other genres. I mentioned above that Kemy’s main target was a factor in the outrage because a “diss battle” generally involves rappers and Park Bom is not a rapper. You don’t even get the vibe of a rapper from her and she doesn’t give off the attitude of a diva either, so most outraged Blackjacks saw the “diss track” as an attack on a person who could not fight back. The other factor in the outrage were the lyrics in the “diss track” about Park Bom. Gaeko’s response to E-Sens brought up his past marijuana scandal to point out negative character traits, which is similar to what Kemy tried to do with Park Bom’s past drug scandal. The difference begins with the previously stated fact that Gaeko and E-Sens are K hip-hop artists and one attacked the other before a response was given back. Park Bom never attacked Kemy with a “diss track”, which is also accompanied by the fact that A.KOR debuted no more than two weeks ago. They just debuted and their rapper has already caused an issue or is it an opportunity? That is one of the key points of those condemning the outraged Blackjacks. Those people point out that this is for publicity and A.KOR’s label (Doo Republic) would have to had seen the song to let it pass. This is not a song that Kemy uploaded on a personal YouTube account or spread on a forum. This is an official song by Kemy, which means the label knew about its contents. The Kpop market is flooded with groups that are just debuting and already in existence for years. Veteran idol groups like “g.o.d” and “Fly to the Sky” recently made comebacks, so competition can suddenly appear from any direction. You either stand out or you get left behind, so publicity stunts are not unexpected from new groups. However, Kemy’s actions cross a line that should have been left alone.

An interesting note about this “diss track” is that it does not name Park Bom in the song, but the lyrics could not make it more obvious aside from actually naming her. Lyrics like “You’re weak and you fell into drugs.
Did the drugs fall into the jelly box? Who glanced over the 4 pills that disappeared? Since when were the prosecutors so nice?” clearly point to Park Bom’s past drug scandal, which was brought up again recently. Also, lyrics like “It must be nice for your fans to cover you up. I’m jealous that your CEO writes a novel for you. You set fire on your Roommate friends, and they must feel chaotic, because the corn exploded. You’ll hide behind your influential label and then come back when it gets quiet.” clearly point to YGE’s letter explaining Bommie’s prescription for the medication, Blackjacks defending her in an instant and her involvement with the SBS variety show “Roommate”. The issue for my condemning of Kemy’s actions come from the fact that she is reported as 17 and new to the Korean music industry. That makes Park Bom her senior in more than one way and her “diss track” is extremely rude to her senior. One person on a forum pointed out that SNSD is a big competitor for 2NE1 and they never did such a thing. Members of SNSD have even mentioned respecting 2NE1 and both groups appear to get along just fine. That debunks the “taking on her competition angle”, which was never a good defense from the start. Gaeko, E-Sens and the other K hip-hop artists from the “battle” last year had been in the industry a while and they were not far from each other in age. That is an important factor this time for me and other people as well. A.KOR just debuted and this is a poor way to get attention. Maybe their “Payday” MV has gotten some more views since this situation started, but the views are dismal compared to many other Korean MVs, the dislikes vastly outnumber the likes and the comments are filled with obvious negativity. What makes this situation worse is that hate is now being directed to the other members of ‘A.KOR’, who might not have supported such an action at all. The other members might not have known at all, but the final decision would be in the hands of the label. This “diss track” also leaves a bad impression in the eyes of other industry officials. Kemy went for a big target, which means many people find out about it in a small amount of time. Some people feel the publicity will be good no matter what the outrage seems like now, but one must remember that there are entertainers that will remember this and view A.KOR in a negative light. This could hurt them in the long run and maybe draw “diss tracks” towards them, which the group might not be ready for as a whole. There is no guarantee the other members would be able to handle “diss tracks” back at them, so Kemy might have “opened Pandora’s Box” in a sense. I don’t believe Kemy’s choice will help A.KOR in the long run and that might hurt their success overall.

Park Bom’s Stylist Lashes Out at Rookie Rapper Kemy and Her Diss Track

K-netizens can be an odd bunch when it comes to scandals and controversies. Often called “Keyboard Warrior” for their constant typing to express their (often biased) opinions and clashing with other netizens online. K-netizens in this situation have opinions as well, but condemned Park Bom’s stylist for interfering in the situation. This seems quite hypocritical as K-netizens interfere by expressing their opinions as well. Some people call it a “double standard”, but I just call it “stupid”.

[Source: Soompi.com] Link: http://tinyurl.com/qa5rgnv

The reason K-netizens might have told Park Bom’s stylist to stay out of the situation was because she is not a random person hiding behind a computer screen. She is an employee of YG Entertainment, which means her opinion could contain bias and it is not her battle to fight. The quote in a Soompi.com article showed the K-netizens saying ” it wasn’t a fight for a third party to interfere in, and that the post was rash”. A rash post from a third party in a Kpop controversy is nothing new and K-netizens do it on a daily basis, so that would have been a sign for me to ignore them. However, the post and the Instagram account it was on were deleted shortly after criticism came her way. It was probably her way of agreeing to stay out of it and support Bommie in a private manner. Of course screenshots were captured before that and they can be found all over the internet, including right here. According to Soompi.com, the post the stylist made said “Look at everyone and their grandmother saying that they’re doing hip hop and throwing out diss tracks. The ink on your ID card hasn’t even dried yet, and look at you speaking informally to someone who is a huge senior to you. You’ve got some nerve. It’s like you want to retire right after your debut. If you want to diss someone, do it when you’re on their level.” This essentially says that A.KOR’s Kemy has just debuted and yet she is already putting out tracks that insult another person who is a senior of many years to her. The last part is probably not serious, but it mentions her being able to do such a thing when she is on the level of Park Bom in terms of seniority. This can never happen as both artists can not be at the same level of seniority since they debuted so far apart. That would require breaking some law of time and maybe space, so that option is out. The main focus of the post is that Kemy’s action was rude and that has been my point from the start. “Diss tracks” appear to be nothing more than rude attempts to get attention, when they are not childish squabbles between artists in the public eye. Some rappers might feel it is a natural part of the hip-hop culture, but insulting your senior with no personal reason to do so is pathetic in my eyes. This is a clear attempt at attention using news that has passed or been explained already. It was very foolish to target such a big group too. YG Entertainment is known as “YG Family” and the fandoms are often known to band together when presented with a common enemy, which is not uncommon to see in human behavior. YG fandoms banding together also happens to support each other and that is also happening now. Various YG fandoms are gathering to condemn A.KOR’s Kemy through deeming her disrespectful and requesting an apology, which is what Blackjacks like myself are doing and even creating “diss tracks” back at Kemy. That is just like trying to put out fire with more fire to me, but I won’t bother them. They are being creative, but some of them are just as hurtful with a collection of fans who are going too far in my eyes.

There will always be the extreme fans who do not control their emotions or even want to take the “high ground” in moments like these. It would defeat Kemy’s goal in more than one way if fans ignored the “diss track” and shrugged off Kemy, but some people just have to respond over and over again. I have only stated how disrespectful I found Kemy and her “diss track”, which I deemed a foolish act for the target she chose as well. Some people are choosing to insult Kemy right back with mocking lyrics about her appearance and lack of fans. I believe “two wrongs don’t make a right”, but I have heard Kemy merely put out a “Thanks” that I cannot confirm. If it is true, then it only means Kemy has yet to see how seriously disrespectful some people have found her actions and she is content with her track’s purpose. Now this action can come back to hurt her career, such as it being brought up by an MC during a time when the group or Kemy is well known. An MC can even save their facts from this event for a time when the group or Kemy is going through a big scandal/controversy and use it to case more drama, which could have terrible consequences during such a time. One never knows, which is why people are advised to be very careful about what they do. This is even more true for public figures, which Kemy became upon her debut. The reactions I do not agree with and condemn are the death threats. These always show up from extreme fans who have no control of their emotions and perhaps are emotionally unstable in their everyday life. They could even be sasaengs, which would not surprise me at all. Every fandom has them, so there is no point in denying it. Some fandoms do a better job of controlling or stopping them, but death threats are a tactic that is usually associated with the obsessive sasaengs. Such actions are terrible either way and I am ashamed people would even speak of such a thing. Something to note is that some people cause trouble under the guise of a Blackjack or they are automatically labeled one by people who see them condemning Kemy. I do not believe a true Blackjack resorts to such tactics, but that is how I choose to see my fandom. I only wish for Kemy to apologize for her disrespectful actions and reflect to become a better person. It would appear such “diss tracks” do have a place in the music world, but I do not believe Kemy has found that place yet. Some people may believe this means she should not have to apologize, but I believe so and I am not alone. In the end, the “diss track” was unprovoked and a rude way to introduce herself to the music world. I do hope everyone can calmly express their opinions on the matter from now and I sincerely hope Kemy realizes such music is not necessary to become a good hip-hop artist. Her actions have consequences that affect other people as well. Kemy needs to think before she acts or A.KOR might end up suffering for her actions in the long run.

*This is a Twitter petition (Twitition) for a formal apology to be made from A.KOR’s Kemy: http://twitition.com/v96ul

Here is A.KOR’s debut MV “Payday” with all I mentioned above.

This is the currently “infamous diss track” from A.KOR’s Kemy concerning Park Bom.

Of course, I also have some Park Bom for everyone too. ^^

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Blackjacks Rally Behind Park Bom!

I normally don’t blog about 2NE1 because I want to be a blogger without bias. I have no problem standing by my idols when they are in the right and supporting them if they need to improve after a fault. I am writing this entry to show support for Park Bom (Bommie noona) and express my feelings about the recent news concerning her. It is true that I do not know her personally, but I have been a Blackjack since 2NE1’s debut and I have followed them closely. I am proud to call myself a Blackjack and be part of YG Family, which is known for its strong bonds. The aspect of this situation I am disappointed in is the reactions I have read about some netizens online. The netizens in Kpop news are often assumed to be South Korean and this is used by some international fans to prove that Korean netizens are worse. This is not always the case and I’m not going to assume the same thing, but the netizens in question are the type I usually see in news labeled as a “scandal”. They condemn the person in question, demand an unreasonable punishment and vanish if the person is proven innocent. Sometimes they even come back as a person condemning others for what they did before all the facts were out.  The issue this time involves medication/drugs and that is a not an issue that is taken lightly in South Korea like most places in the world.

Park Bom (Bommie) is known as a gentle and kind woman by Blackjacks, BOMbshells (Park Bom fans) and YG Family stans. Responses, to name a few, to this news about “drug smuggling” were “No real fan would believe it” and “Bommie would only smuggle food ><“.

[Source: hellokpop.com] Link: http://tinyurl.com/q4v3th4

Park Bom is the oldest member of the 2NE1, but has the bubbliest personality for a women her age. This is not to be confused with immaturity because Bommie has shown her wisdom in knowing when to act serious, such as an instance when she stopped a security personnel near her from shoving a fan away.  This drug smuggling case came out in 2010 when Park Bom was trying to come back into South Korea with Amphetamine. This drug is usually given to people with disorders pertaining to the nervous system, such as narcolepsy or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). I cannot find the footage from 2NE1 TV when Bommie was sick in L.A. or articles on why she was prescribed with amphetamine, but the facts state there was a prescription. This is where the issue becomes difficult. It is accepted that the trip was from the U.S. to South Korea and 2NE1 did take a trip to L.A. in 2010. The drug is heavily regulated in the U.S. and it is said it can only be prescribed once a month, but it can be prescribed if a doctor decides the drug is necessary. However, South Korea appears to have a law about amphetamine that says the drug is banned in the country under all conditions. This means that a prescription for the drug does not allow it to be given to a patient in South Korea. That is fine, but the prescription was given in a country that allows the drug to be prescribed. This gets into international law concerning drugs and how a prescription can carry over from a country that allows it to one that does not. The case was registered by prosecutors because they need a records of potential and actual incidents, but it was dropped when the prescription was found. This probably means that the prescription allowed the medication to be used in the country or it was taken away and no charges were filed. The situation is that Park Bom was given a prescription for amphetamine in a country where it was legal and the medical orders had her on it for a time that extended back into her return to South Korea. One cannot suddenly ignore a doctor’s orders because the medicine they were prescribed is not allowed somewhere else. This is probably what the courts decided when they looked at the prescription and the case was dropped. It was not really a smuggling case, but a patient following a doctor’s orders and expecting the law back home to understand. I am Blackjack, so I do automatically side with my 2NE1 noonas and that is natural for any Kpop fan. I make sure to show my support in relation to the facts and my knowledge of the person in question. I know Bommie noona is a kind woman and the facts showed that it was just a rumor, so I  showed my support by stating I would stand by her. When the facts showed there was a prescription and the case was dropped four years ago, I got bolder by stating those spreading it as if the smuggling allegations were terrible for doing so. I never talk down to others, but I do defend my idols when I know the truth. There is nothing wrong with defending your idols, especially when the facts are on your side. However, some people use coincidence with their suspicions to say the cruelest things and this is happening for some netizens in this situation.

Netizens showing up in Kpop articles can be shown saying general support comments and criticisms, but their criticisms are generally harsh. Idols breaking the law in South Korea is deemed even more serious than usual because they are public figures with a lot of influence over the youth, which makes drug crimes even worse. However, netizens are usually quick to judge without all the facts and that starts heated arguments and fan wars.

[Source: Hellokpop.com] Link: http://tinyurl.com/p8s26wd

The netizens in these situations remind me of Youtube or Facebook comment makers. You know those people who love to comment “First” or “Second”. Sometimes you see many people commenting “First” because they posted as someone else was posting to be first and then sarcastic remarks come in to those comments. That shows the odd fascination with having your voice out there before anyone else and hopefully being recognized for it. There is this deep analysis about this habit with competition, recognition and how it relates to human nature, but that is not why you all are here. I also don’t have time to go into it, so let’s move on. The point is netizens have this habit as well and it cause a lot of grief. These netizens decide they want to comment right away to have their voice heard, which means they are often berating someone based on little or no facts. These netizens are often supported by like minded netizens because they are also trying to get their voice out as soon as possible. Few people care about the runner who comes in 5th or 10th and this can be the case for people commenting later on. Comments earlier often get more “likes” or positive votes because they were out longer and during a time when like minded people were online. People also get bored with an issue as time goes on, which makes it seem like more people believe earlier comments because of the support they had. Netizens in the situation are making ridiculous requests like calling for Park Bom’s “retirement” and even jail time by calling her a criminal. YG Entertainment is not a label to cause problems and they often shrug off issues they know will pass when their artists have done no wrong. If YG Entertainment wanted to pursue legal options, then it might be possible against those who are stating that it is a fact that Park Bom is a criminal or those who are spreading the rumors as fact.  Many people are pointing their fingers at Kpop gossip site ‘AllKpop’, which lost a lot of support after the “Ailee Photo Incident”. Their site associates the sudden revival of this issue with the rising tension over the South Korean government’s handling of the Sewol Ferry Tragedy funds, which some people say is a diversion from the mishandling of those funds. This has caused some people to attack AllKpop again and create a hashtag to abandon the site called “#UNFOLLOWALLKPOP”. This blogger left AllKpop after the photo incident mentioned above and written about before. I have not joined in the group of those using this hastag because I see many sites talking about it, but I noticed only AllKpop associating it with the Sewol Ferry Tradegy funds. I will warn people that AllKpop is really a gossip site and it should not be relied on as a news source. One should always check multiple sources and gather their thoughts after that. Even so, I will not trust news I am told from that site. Comments made condemning Park Bom on sites like Naver got thousands of “likes” and positive votes, even though there is proof the case was dropped after the discovery of a prescription. Some netizens don’t care about the prescription and condemn her due to the ban on the medicine in South Korea. I have mentioned why I support Park Bom and how the courts probably decided to drop the case before. The main point is the case was dropped after the discovery of the prescription, which means it did matter to the courts. This issue was brought up by news media, so it is suspicious why they would do it now. The spreading of the news is on various netizens and Kpop news sites, which is clearly done to get views and create a buzz in the Kpop community. My final message to all those reading this is that the courts decided to drop the case because the drugs were being used for medical purposes. Park Bom is a wonderful person and not a fool, so please believe her innocence and do not hurt her feelings more than they are likely to have been hurt by now. Blackjacks and the rest of YG Family supports Park Bom (Bommie) through this situation and unite to protect her from harm.

 

*Hastags being used to support Bommie in this situation are “#RightBesideYou박봄” and “#WeBelieveInParkBom”.

Here is some sweet Park Bom (Bommie) moments for everyone. This is what Blackjacks and YG stans are trying to protect. A wonderful woman with a wonderful soul.