JYP, What Exactly Are You Thinking?

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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:

  1. Should they hear something different, they could dislike it and just bash bash bash they’re dying hearts out.
  2. 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.

10 responses to “JYP, What Exactly Are You Thinking?

  1. “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.”

    Not really, at least not for YG.
    In a message written by YG Entertainment’s Yang Hyun Suk in the label’s homepage, he admitted the “fact” that an Asian singer, in this case, a Korean singer, to successfully enter a major market in the US has only a 1% chance. Yang even made the odds even worse when he mentioned that the 99% probability of failing is so much pressure on Se7en especially that he put a hold on his Korean and Japanese activities.

    However, the 1% success probability is not what they are after.

    “Rather than expecting a 1% success rate, we are working hard to find ways to raise that probability,” Yang Hyun Suk revealed.

    They’re aware of the obstacles and understand that success is not easy.

    All they can do is try.. yes, there are high expectations, but as humans I think we expect too much of ourselves. They’re just following their dreams. If everyone was programmed perfectly we wouldn’t have to do anything difficult and learn to how to mature. But all of this is an experience for the artists – whether good or bad. I agree with some of your points, but even in Korea, when they debuted it wasn’t certain if they would be successful or not. There lots of Korean artists who are very talented, but had little recognition/promotion. Success and failures are bound to happen for everyone. It can’t be all preventable. The most important thing is whether people learn from them or not.

    “In America, we like to make you roll around in dirt before we toss you aside for good.”
    Not necessarily. Skull (from Stony Skunk) didn’t make it big, but landed on the R&B/Hiphop single sales on the Billboard (U.S. debut cut short because of military duties though). and S.Blush reached #2 on the Dance/Club charts, but were poorly promoted afterwards.
    But haven’t seen people in America make any snide remarks or ridicule them for not doing better.

    As for changing styles, it’s just a marketing tool. Even when they debut in Japan, they will alter their style. We don’t know personally know these artists to judge them that are a completely different person because all we see is just a stage presence. They are entertainers, so it is inenvitable they will reinvent themselves once in a while to keep things fresh (even they’re stay in Korea, for every album/single, they have to switch their style up somewhat).

    Also, there are several Asian American artists out there, but get little attention because U.S. record labels are afraid to take a risk to sign them (or don’t know to promote them). I would like to see an Asian artist more in American mainstream music, but everyone knows it’s not gonna happen overnight. But if people don’t do anything about it or keep people aware about Asian artists, then it’ll stay that way forever. Even if it’s little progress, people can try again later. We can see a lot of examples of evolution of several things in history, but it all takes time and patience.

    But when it all comes down to it, whatever happens, happens.

  2. All the points you make are very true and all I can really do is nod xD

    “I would like to see an Asian artist more in American mainstream music, but everyone knows it’s not gonna happen overnight. But if people don’t do anything about it or keep people aware about Asian artists, then it’ll stay that way forever. Even if it’s little progress, people can try again later. We can see a lot of examples of evolution of several things in history, but it all takes time and patience.”

    I think you summed up what I was trying to say very well.

  3. LOL! I love BoA just as much as the next girl…or guy XD

    But seriously, what the fuck is up with that song/MV?

    I guess it’s alright with the world to watch her shake her Asian ass on screen. Nothing wrong with that at all. It’s on everyone’s TV screens in America anyway.

  4. What is he thinking?

    he is thinking the industry is killing his artists…whats WG’s sole purpose in the US as far as we know? rest… and have activities here and there… Contrary to what most people think JYP knows what he is doing.. He knows more than anybody what those girls are capable of… I’m not saying they will be successful.. I don’t know if they will, all I can do is hope…Those girls are killing themselves running left and right, in a industry where buying cds is becoming an exception… So if JYP has to try to get something better for his artists, I applaud him and say go for it…

    I was watching clips of the girls on youtube yesterday and I kept thinking, there is nothing left for them in korea… They are very popular, their songs are charting well…but the industry is too small…. Its overcrowded and the sales aren’t up to par… Do you think JYP is happy seeing how hard his girls are working, but know that the industry is too small for them.. they will suffocate… G.O.D used to sell MILLIONS of albums when they were under JYP… he is thinking that the industry is a different animal now, and that its time to go where the grass is greener… so you know what? I applaud him for being courageous enough to say “they deserve better, i’ll try to make sure they get the best”…(at least thats the way i’ve understood the situation so far)

    Someone has to step it up and try to break into the US market one day.. what are people trying to say? there is no room for Asians just because those that came before didn’t do much to change the view Americans have of Asians? Thats equally a narrow minded way of seeing things… African Americans didn’t get attention, so they came up with BET. They started producing their own music, cuz nobody gave em a chance… They started producing their own movies…look at African Americans in the industry now… Though their image isn’t really representative of them as a whole, but the hip hop culture is the driven force in the music industry…if everybody thought, there is no hope, lets give up then we wouldn’t have those artists there… I think people should start giving Asians some credit… JYP won’t go there and sell his girls (i’ll find the interview for you)..He will produce them himself and make sure they are getting the best he can offer… So one day we might have a big Asian channel like MTV in America…why can’t that be possible?

    People try to break, if you don’t make at least you will have tried (corny, but its true)…don’t be too hard.

    with all that said WHERE THE HELL are you hiding yourself? finally updating your blog, now u are hiding from me..biotch! lol… dude i need some loving! lol

  5. LOL Of course you would rant like that on blog. I’m touched.

    FYI, I’m always around. You aren’t =P

  6. I think that making them all sexy so people will buy their music is kinda lame. Their Lyrics are not even making any sense. I don’t like Utada music video above. I don’t even get it and the lyrics are horrible..I do like her music and all but that one wasn’t what I was planning to hear about.
    I think BoA music Eat You Up is pretty okay herself. But giving her an chance to America wouldn’t hurt a bit to anyone. For I know..lots of people seem to enjoy having her debut in America and also Rain..which is not his real name anyways :D. I think his hard working effort has “Pay off”, I don’t see much a day people like him having difficulty in life being able to reach being an pop star. If you have gone to check out what they have said about him..I think he is one of the most amazing person that accomplished so much, as I can see, he work harder on being an true one then all the other asian pop star as I know of. Se7en I’m not an fan or so but I also think that he should get an chance to perform also if people think that he is good, then he is, or some will just go on with it for his looks(I think this also goes for Jung Ji Hoon too.) For what I think…I like all of their singing and I can’t vote against them unless they are really horrible. For I know part of what I agree to your saying is what sarcastic things of bringing korean pop star into america but I also think at the same time that it’s an good thing too. If Wonder Girl are coming to debut their songs in America, won’t you also be happy, cause I will if they are my favorite. I think everyone gets an chance to have their spot light in America since it is an free country..(I myself is also asian.) 🙂

    Also I can see that Rain english haven’t improve so much also, but it’s pretty good from what I see. I also agree with you for what you have said so far. But I think the main goals for the entertainment groups back in korea are more focusing on debuting in America then korea now, I don’t really think some of them care much about anything else for what I have thought of. But for always..
    I’ll always support Rain cause I look up to him. I think he is the most hard working star, he barely have time for rest…Anyways. Good luck on their debuts.
    Love you all!

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  8. you keep putting my thoughts into words. I agree with the BoA. ‘Bank of America, you mean?’ seriously, the U.S. version of Eat you up is lame. I think the asian version is way better and would probably looks better in U.S. too. We like music that have the beat and rhythm and also good moves to it. Her moves are pretty tight and everything in the asian version but the U.S. version? nope.
    anyways, soulja boy? his lyrics, no one listens to it. they only listen to the beat and the chorus part where it’s additive. ‘soulja boy…oh!…superman…’ People listen to songs with beat and additive parts of the songs, making them actually remember the lyrics but only to that point. Seriously, do YOU know the lyrics to soulja boy? If you just spontaneously just heard the song on the radio, would you have actually listen for the lyrics? I think i made my point.
    anyways, u were a little harsh on jackie chan. he’s the most well known asian star in america. sure, he plays the chinese man but duh, what is he gonna play, the white man? no.
    anyways, i agree with you on how america isn’t china, or japan, etc. and i agree with the wonder girls. americans will laugh.
    i laugh at what you said about jumping into the river if the other one does too. well, if the korean music industry is dying, heck, might as well try america! got nothing to lose!

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