No, seriously. What are you on, JYP?
For those of you not in the know, here’s what I’m referring to.
Now are we on the same page? Good. I didn’t want to leave you in the dark. And for the record, I happen to know that you’re asking the same question.
What’s with Korea and trying to dominate the musical/entertainment world? How many companies think they have the next “it” star for Americans to oogle at? I’m pretty sure 3 of Korea’s finest can say they have ’em. But, I hate to break it to them: “You don’t.”
Hurts doesn’t it?
I’m American and I’m Asian. It’s quite a lovely combo. The thing is, I live in America: The land of “Joe-six-pack” and “McDonalds galore” and whatever other stupidity you can find. It’s all here. It’s a place where Asians are considered “all Chinese” and either “Geniuses”, “Jabbawockeez”, or “Japanese porn stars”. It’s tough to be an Asian. And let me tell those 3 significant Korean entertainment labels (heck, throw in some of Japan, China, and what other Asian countries in ) something else: “Asians don’t get the spotlight here.”
Let’s list the failures shall we?
- Lucy Liu – Sorry, but if you consider her to be successful, you live under a rock. If you think “Charlie’s Angels” and her random cameos on “Ugly Betty” are successes, you seriously need to get out more. Poor girl. She has yet to have a breakthrough success in Hollywood with a decent movie.
- Tila Tequila – Don’t you love trailer trash Asians? It’s great hearing people talk crap like “Oh, I wonder if they all act like that in Asia” just because she happens to be Asian. Um, well, let’s see. No, not everyone in Asia acts, dresses, or talks like that. And no, not all Asian women enjoy making out with men or other women on television. And for the record, not all Asian women are retarded bimbos.
- Jackie Chan – Yeah yeah yeah, everyone knows him. I bet you’re asking why I consider him a failure. Well, the answer is quite simple really. Has the guy played a role that wasn’t acting on his role as a Chinese person?
- JYP artists – Can you name them off the top of your head? No, not the Wonder Girls (although, now it’s obviously a possibility). Not even Joo. Yeah, I’m talking about those 3 random people you saw performing at the New York Chuseok Festival this past month. Ok, maybe not so random for the few that have been following JYP and his horde of talent, but for everyone else, the 3 unknowns happen to be: J Lim, Min, and G-Soul. They’re all signed under JYP, but have remained relatively on the downlow. Heck, had I not been a fan of the Wonder Girls, I probably never would have heard about them. And if I never watched Goong, J Lim would be just some other person.
And I guess this whole “debuting in America” thing is just another trend. The saying goes “If your friend jumps off a cliff, would you follow them?” In terms of Asian artists, apparently yes. In a heartbeat.
I’d like to bring up some Asian artists that have tried to break through in the America scene, but with minimal success. Actually, almost abysmal to the point where I pretty much would like to call it “failure”. Some of these artists haven’t even started yet, but you can’t help but smell the failure that they’re brewing up.
- Utada Hikaru – I guess her legion of American followers are mostly from those dorky gamers that are a fan of the “Kingdom Hearts” video game series that she sang “Simple and Clean” and “Sanctuary”. But does anyone actually remember this?
Can you tell me what the hell was that? I guess the cheap red lipstick and “Japanesey” lyric used to rhyme with “breezy” makes her look good, neh? Uh, no. Sorry, try again. The song was terrible. If you’re actually smart enough to realize it was about something with a significant meaning, good for you, but the video was primarily focused on sexing up Hikki with cheap red lipstick. Sorry, but Hikki, your American debut was an epic fail.
- BoA – Best of Asia? Ho ho ho, sure. I love her attempt to be taken seriously by Americans in this music video right here:
I think people have a weird obsession with putting cheap rep lipstick on Asian women. I find that relatively annoying. And the music video was just as absurd. Sorry. “I’ll eat you up“? Um, excuse me? We realize that sex sells and all, but seriously? SM, I realize your cash cow nowadays is DBSK, but I think it’s just plain barbaric sending the “Best of Asia” looking like a tramp with a sad attempt at an “American” song. I like her, truly, but this is just plain cruel.
- Se7en – I’ll be one to admit that I never really followed him. Here’s his attempt at American music:
NecessERY. Right. At least his English isn’t as painful to listen to as BoA’s. How about actually debuting now, Se7en?
- Rain – Rain, rain, go away. I honestly pity the guy. He tries so hard and yet all we get is a movie flop like “Speed Racer”, where he stereotypically plays an Asian guy. Whoop-de-doo.
Seriously everyone, the man needs your prayers. And he actually stated my main point: “There has been no Asian artist that has succeeded in the American music industry.”
Ok, I’m finished bashing all the above. But, folks, I bash with nothing but love. I bash because I care. The American industry is a ruthless piece of crap. The people just happen to be much worse. I am a firm believer that a fair amount of ignorance still remains among the majority of the population. That right there was your answer to why Asians just can’t win here in America. Ignorance is bliss.
And yet here are the YG, SM, and JYP entertainment companies, walking on their golden paved streets, foolishly believing that their artists have what it takes to succeed in America. HA HA HA! I have quite a number of reasons as to why I find most of their decisions foolhardy. Look at the 4 artists above. The only one that can speak incredibly fluently is Hikki. The other three, err…not so much. Problem number one: Language barrier. It leaves these artists wide open for some heavy hitting bash attacks from the American masses. Comedy Central, MadTV, heck throw in Best Week Ever: Here’s your latest source of joy. Have fun bashing Asian stereotypes, ok?
Problem Number Two: YG, SM, and JYP are Korea’s three largest entertainment industries. Completely unstoppable…in Korea. We all knew SM had an ego, JYP can get borderline crazy, and YG is run by a relatively chill dude, but what are they getting high off of that makes them think they can conquer? Let’s bring in the I.E.’s
- BoA was SM’s cashcow for a significant amount of years. Then DBSK came along. Then Super Junior. Then SNSD. BoA’s still raking in the dough, but come on, nothing beats DBSK nowadays. At this point in time, BoA had already conquered Korea and Japan. What was left? America, I guess.
- JYP was caught up in some media confusion about the whole “PEREZ HILTON LOVES THE WGs” scoop last month. Some people are firm believers that he paid him off. Uh, ok. So Perez does happen to have a large following, but come on. Perez? Of all the entertainment people out there…PEREZ? What the hell? I’d like to believe JYP was smart enough not to pay that geezer off. And if he didn’t pay him off, my theory would make more sense. If Perez wasn’t paid off, JYP would look at his girls’ publicity off his site as something close to an “ego boost” of sorts. And let’s not forget Virgin Records recognizing the Wonder Girls as one of the 8 girl groups to look forward to. Not only where they mentioned, but they happened to be the only Asian female group mentioned.
Now I’m just having a brain fart. I’m all over the place.
Problem Number Three: America ain’t Korea…or Japan, China, whatever.
Sure, boy groups and girl groups are ALL the rage in Asia, but have you seen America lately? We’ve got the Pussycat Dolls and Danity Kane. Destiny’s Child officially called it quits. Heck, ever 90s group I know called it quits. Now, what makes JYP think he can succeed with the Wonder Girls. Seriously? I can hear it now: “What kind of idiots would call themselves the ‘Wonder Girls’?” or how about: “BoA? You mean Bank of America?” If the message wasn’t received in Korea, they should eventually realize that stupid names and quirky dances don’t equal success in America.
They should realize that most people in America have no idea who BoA, Rain, the Wonder Girls, etc. are. Not everyone is going to be as kind as they are in Korea. Sure, you can be a flop in Korea, but at least you die out quietly. In America, we like to make you roll around in dirt before we toss you aside for good. No hard feelings, but we gotta stick to our reputation and such.
Just kidding, but seriously, it’s like tossing a steak to a bunch of starving hyenas. And what exactly are my personal concerns about the Wonder Girls and their “special projects” in America? To put it bluntly: I know they’ll get eaten alive should they walk into America with the concepts they have now. So Hot would be taken relatively well, I guess, if people with half a brain can understand that they were trying to be sarcastic. But Tell Me and Nobody would make them…er…laughing stocks? I’m not trying to be mean, but this is no laughing matter. America is the land where “Soulja Boy” was considered awesome. And then there were actual hits like “Umbrella” that made sense to some people. The American public is used to the crap they hear on the radio and there are two problems that lie within that common fact:
- Should they hear something different, they could dislike it and just bash bash bash they’re dying hearts out.
- They are open enough to try something new.
“Something new”? Since when was that a guarantee? Entertainment companies always boast about having the “next best thing” when in reality, all they have is an upgrade of the current popular hit. It’s the same processed bull with a new image. The reason why Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears are still so popular is because no one has been able to be “the next best thing”.
And the weird thing about it is: I hate how Asian entertainment companies in general believe that putting on this “image” will mean automatic success for their artists. Look at BoA and Utada Hikaru’s videos again. What did you find? Cheap red lipstick and sexualized undertones. That’s a great way to display talent, right? We all know that sex sells, but come on. Americans (some of them anyway) aren’t dense enough to not see talent. They know talent when they see/hear it…it’s just that most times sometimes, stupidity gets in the way. And that’s what I fear with the Wonder Girls. Erm, yeah. From Nobody to an image like…oh I don’t know, the Pussycat Dolls-esque. Something over the top and sexy. Now, I don’t think I’d mind, but the contrast of images from Korea to America would just seem overwhelming to me. Should their image be something of the sort, I don’t know how I’d react to it. And how would their music change? What about their personalities? If you didn’t get the memo, “cute” doesn’t work here, unless you work for the Disney Channel. It’s like digging your own grave.
The main problem lies with the entertainment companies themselves. The fact that they jump into this whole American scene without thoroughly thinking it through is what leads to the downfall of their artists. They don’t spend enough time fine-tuning their English. They don’t spend enough time with routines and vocals. They don’t think about the image thoroughly. To put it simply: They just don’t think. These American debuts are impulsive and large bouts of stupidity on their part. I’m all for world domination, but one step at a time, please.
I think I’m basically saying I don’t want them to change. I don’t want them to go to America and get eaten alive. I don’t want them to Americanize themselves. I realize that the Korean industry is basically dead nowadays, but this is just as bad as keeping them in Korea to rot along with the industry. Maybe I’m being a little close-minded. Maybe I’m just being selfish. But I do know one thing: Should the girls, and all the other brave and stupid souls out there in Asia, wish to debut in America, they should pray a helluva lot of prayers before jumping headfirst into their graves.