Tuesday, July 29, 2014         

 Print   Email   Comment | View 12 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

Viral rapper PSY apologizes for anti-U.S. protests

By Chris Talbott / Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 07:23 a.m. HST, Dec 08, 2012

South Korean rapper and Internet sensation PSY is apologizing to Americans for participating in anti-U.S. protests several years ago.

Park Jae-sang, who performs as PSY, issued a statement Friday after reports surfaced that he had participated in concerts protesting the U.S. military presence in South Korea during the early stages of the Iraq war.

At a 2004 concert, the "Gangnam Style" rapper performs a song with lyrics about killing "Yankees" who have been torturing Iraqi captives and their families "slowly and painfully." During a 2002 concert, he smashed a model of a U.S. tank on stage.

"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," he wrote in the statement. "I will forever be sorry for any pain I have caused by those words."

The 34-year-old rapper says the protests were part of a "deeply emotional" reaction to the war and the death of two Korean school girls, who were killed when a U.S. military vehicle hit them as they walked alongside the road. He noted anti-war sentiment was high around the world at the time.

PSY attended college in the U.S. and says he understands the sacrifices U.S. military members have made to protect South Korea and other nations. He has recently performed in front of servicemen and women.

"And I hope they and all Americans can accept my apology," he wrote. "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."

His participation in the protests was no secret in South Korea, where the U.S. has had a large military presence since the Korean War, but was not generally known in America until recent news reports.

PSY did not write "Dear American," a song by the Korean band N.EX.T, but he does perform it. The song exhorts the listener to kill the Yankees who are torturing Iraqi captives, their superiors who ordered the torture and their families. At one point he raps: "Kill their daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law, and fathers/Kill them all slowly and painfully."

PSY launched to international acclaim based on the viral nature of his "Gangnam Style" video. It became YouTube's most watched video, making him a millionaire who freely crossed cultural boundaries around the world. Much of that success has happened in the U.S., where the rapper has managed to weave himself into pop culture.

He recently appeared on the American Music Awards, dancing alongside MC Hammer in a melding of memorable dance moves that book-end the last two decades. And the Internet is awash with copycat versions of the song. Even former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson, the 81-year-old co-chairman of President Barack Obama's deficit commission, got in on the fun, recently using the song in a video to urge young Americans to avoid credit card debt.

It remains to be seen how PSY's American fans will react. Obama, the father of two pop music fans, wasn't letting the news change his plans, though.

Earlier Friday, the White House confirmed Obama and his family will attend a Dec. 21 charity concert where PSY is among the performers. A spokesman says it's customary for the president to attend the "Christmas in Washington" concert, which will be broadcast on TNT. The White House has no role in choosing performers for the event, which benefits the National Children's Medical Center.

 Print   Email   Comment | View 12 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
palani wrote:
Here are the edited, but less sanitized, lyrics from our pudgy pop star:

Kill those f***g Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives Kill those f***g Yankees who ordered them to torture Kill their daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law and fathers

Kill them all slowly and painfully

on December 8,2012 | 04:07AM
Bigdog_MD wrote:
Hmm...yeah a little hard to forgive when the words are THAT explicit. Absolutely no ambiguity at all, no sir. Used to be a bit of a fan, now you can suck it. If an American said that about another country, there would be riots, burned flags, Americans assaulted.
on December 8,2012 | 07:57AM
livinginhawaii wrote:
Why apologize? Our Governor was very open about his protests over the Iraq war. He even posted a lengthy document explaining his protest on his congressional website. If you knew Neil from his UH days he had nothing good to say about the "Yankees" over in Viet Nam. The freedom to protest is a US right.
on December 8,2012 | 05:19AM
al_kiqaeda wrote:
People change. USS Arizona survivor Richard Fiske became good friends with dive bomber pilot Zenji Abe. Hell, I was a full blown anti-establishment liberal while a young man. Today I'm a church going conservative that thanks every person in the military for their service.. Yikes.
on December 8,2012 | 05:58AM
RetiredWorking wrote:
I respect Fiske's sentiment. In Viet Nam, I was a hawk, not a dove. Now, I'm a dovish hawk.
on December 8,2012 | 06:05AM
Graham wrote:
Nothing good to say..how about Murderers...baby killers..etc..many friends of mine served in Viet Nam and died from their injuries... I cannot understand how Hawaii veterans can support our Governor...
on December 8,2012 | 07:46AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
It's real popular for Koreans to criticize the US while they enjoy the peace and prosperity provided them by our military. Psy can kiss my 'elemu.
on December 8,2012 | 06:58AM
Workingrl wrote:
Agreed. And how hypocritical of PSY - he is making millions in the US. Personally I can't get the popularity of his video. Lyrics are catchy but the visuals suck.
on December 8,2012 | 08:31AM
jussayin wrote:
I agree too. If the Koreans don't like the US, it makes you want to pull our troops out. Let them protect themselves from North Korea and China. I heard Psy made $8 million from the video. Amazing, huh?
on December 8,2012 | 03:57PM
ejkorvette wrote:
Is he even a rapper? More publicity than hate, after all those types of people will say anything for money. Deport him from the U.S. and send a message to his fellow countrymen.
on December 8,2012 | 10:03AM
malamaula wrote:
unfortunately I downloaded the song before reading this. I thought it was fun song... but can't support this two faced looser, so deleted it.
on December 8,2012 | 10:58PM
IAmSane wrote:
I torrented his song from PirateBay, and immediately deleted the song from my computer after the download was completed. That's how angry I am.

P.S. I didn't even seed.
on December 8,2012 | 11:04PM
Breaking News
Political Radar
`My side’

Political Radar
‘He reminds me of me’

Bionic Reporter
Needing a new knee

Warrior Beat
Monday musings

Small Talk
Burning money

Political Radar
On policy

Warrior Beat
Apple fallout