Madeleine Lee: Four years ago, "Turn It Up" was left for dead, baking in the desert; now it returns, staggering, loopy and vengeful. The heavy beat and one-note chorus have warped and darkened into a drone. Fashion (Givenchy, McQueen) has aged into art (Basquiat, Kubrick), and the preening messages of seduction have dissolved into a cut-up that layers images of nuclear apocalypse against a recitation of the Korean alphabet in the space of a verse. In the end it’s more noise than signal, but the endless repetition of the title is true dada: an incantation against order, an excitation to an action that never arrives, and ultimately, its own obliteration. 
Alternate blurb: “How does one achieve eternal bliss? By saying dada. How does one become famous? By saying dada. With a noble gesture and delicate propriety. Till one goes crazy. Till one loses consciousness. How can one get rid of everything that smacks of journalism, worms, everything nice and right, blinkered, moralistic, europeanised, enervated? By saying dada.”
Lee Joon of MBLAQ, mid-performing SNSD’s “Genie (Tell Me Your Wish)” in concert. Given Joon’s past comments about his comfort with cross-dressing (interviewer: “Who is the most feminine in MBLAQ?” Joon: “Me. I like wearing lady clothes”), I read this gesture as not “Remember, I’m actually a man” (cf. Sungyeol of Infinite ripping his dress open at the chest while playing Hyuna), but “Remember, I’m still me”, which makes all the difference. Just look at this smile.
So by now we’ve all heard the very unfortunate news that nude photos of Ailee leaked online earlier this week, and the shit storm has been churning in the K-Pop fandom ever since. First and foremost - let me just extend my sympathies to…
Please read this post at the source, and please stop reading allkpop.
The hype for Trouble Maker’s return was initially generated with a single picture posted on HyunA’s Instagram, becoming headline news all over the internet. Moreover, as an extension of their new single “Now”, the group ran unorthodox “No Tomorrow” marketing strategy, providing an extraordinary experience by bombarding audience with prerelease contents as if there were no tomorrow. …
For their new single “Now”, Trouble Maker once again teamed up with “Trouble Maker” producers Shinsadong Tiger, Rado and LE to recreate the magic. As the song tells a story about an unstable love, the music video also portrays a couple at risk with its vivid colour, unique camera angels and Trouble Maker’s signature choreography. …
Trouble Maker is back and they won’t condone banality.
so satoori is ANY provincial accent, right? I’d mostly heard it used in regards to speakers from Busan (I love when it creeps into Lizzy’s speech) but I’d like to use it correctly going forward!
Yep! I think it’s often used without a location descriptor to refer to Gyeongsang dialect (Daegu, Busan, etc.) because Gyeongsang dialect has a fairly popular status, but it is the general term for any provincial/regional accent.
Bangtan Boys, “팔도강산”. The title is an expression that means “the scenery of the eight provinces of Korea”, but in English this song is commonly called “Satoori Rap” - satoori meaning “provincial accent”. Three of Bangtan’s rappers trade off in this song in the dialects of their native regions: Suga from Daegu (North Gyeongsang dialect, stereotyped as sounding macho and tough), J-Hope from Gwangju (Jeolla dialect, stereotyped as sounding chatty and bubbly), and Rap Monster from Seoul (whose dialect forms “the basis of the standard language of both North and South Korea”). If you’re not familiar with Korean it may do well to skim the charts on this Wikipedia page to get an idea of the array of standard verb endings, as that’s where much of the diversification of Korean dialects takes place. You may also want to check the video’s subs against pop!gasa’s, which have a few footnotes (such as the one about "Is that the guy?").
"Satoori Rap" is lots of fun. Bangtan is a young group - their full Korean name translates to "Bulletproof Boy Scouts" - and the three rappers chomp into the retro-styled beat with relish, and even relief at being able to use non-standard language. If you’ve ever fretted over the line between adaptation and appropriation, this song is a good example of the former: it uses rap as an artistic form in order to express a concept that’s unique to the culture that’s making it, making use of existing cultural signifiers rather than trying on or imitating another culture’s.
In fact, satoori itself has lately been the subject of appropriation. For instance, the opening stanzas of B.A.P’s "No Mercy" are all in Gyeongsang dialect, though Bang Yongguk is from Incheon (near Seoul); Rap Monster alludes to Seoul guys putting on a Gyeongsang accent to sound manly in his verse. It’d be interesting if Gyeongsang satoori starts being used as the language of rap, in a parallel to AAVE - considering the two have similar low status relative to the standard accent when spoken, though obviously AAVE has racial and class associations that are not as strong or even present with Gyeongsang satoori.
The way the song is arranged reinforces the dominance of “standard”/standardized language, by having the two regional accents banter back and forth and then the Seoul speaker coming on to give the last word, the clowns followed by the voice of authority. The overall message is one of national unity, ultimately arguing against the regionalism it’s all about: “Why keep fighting, in the end, it’s all the same Korean…We can all communicate from Munsan to Marado.” (Bangtan have a weirdly self-conscious nationalistic streak: their variety show, Rookie King,opens with a parody of national anthem sign-on reels, and a punishment on one episode of the show required Rap Monster to sing "Dokdo is Korean Land" in drag.) Still, the song’s main source of joy is in its celebration of diversity, and, as if realizing this, the after-school-special moral gets the heck out of the way for the gleefully shouted dialect of the chorus.
Note: This essay dates back to just after “Nalina” came out in January 2012 and has not been updated past the events of mid-2012 except in a cursory way. But in light of "Very Good", and everything I want to say about “Very Good”, I wanted to finally put it up.
The boy band Block B was created by rapper Cho PD under the banner of the “Creating Korea’s Eminem Project”. His idea was to create a group that could bridge the gap between indie/underground artists and the industry’s idol mainstream, particularly in terms of artistic value: “The industry has yet to see an artist who has correctly utilized the strongest point about rap, which is delivering messages to the listeners.” (source)
There were many ways he could have gone about this. His approach was to create a group that does all the tasks a mainstream idol would be expected to (idols often refer to it as “schedule”, without an article, and it means the television and radio circuits, fan signings, etc.), while at the same time embodying a certain rockist idea of artistic authenticity, with American hip-hop substituted for rock as the music of authenticity and placed in opposition to mainstream idol pop music. But rockism only goes so far as to suggest that some music is more valuable than others; for the actual ways in which authenticity is manifested (or perceived to be manifested) in art, it’s more useful to turn to the auteur theory of 1950’s film criticism. Under this model, authenticity is manifested through:
the demonstration of technical skill (implying raw talent);
the authorship of one’s work (in this case, producing and writing); and
a consistency in theme and/or tone throughout one’s body of work (revealing the auteur’s personal vision).
I find your review problematic. You’re judging Yongguk by your own Western standards and completely ignoring the society from which his views come. You call BAP imperialist because you claim their song wants all other cultures to confirm to Korean ideals, yet you criticize Yongguk because you want him to conform to your own Western ideals.
Yongguk may not fit your perfect image of a politically correct person, but how could you expect him to? He didn’t grow up in a culture that emphasizes equal treatment of all races (though neither did any of us, I won’t act superior). Yongguk is one of the few Korean idols who not only respects other cultures but genuinely is interested in them. He sponsors orphaned children in Africa, has visited them, and wants to adopt children from foreign countries in the future. Yet you have the audacity to suggest that because he does not understand your views that you cultivated as a result of numerous years growing up in a completely different culture and social environment, he is fetishizing other cultures.
You claim that because BAP doesn’t understand the intricacies of American political correctness in their /music video/ that they are racist. You do exactly as I said. You judge these people from an entirely different culture by YOUR cultural ideals, without bothering to research any of the sociopolitical culture within Korea. Stop trying to cause problems within our fandom, you’re only acting like hypocrites anyway.
Since you’re talking to me, I thought I should respond. Sorry that it’s taken me so long.
This is the "cultural relativist" defense that I mentioned in my blurb, and like I said then, it is fair. Obviously, I can’t help but judge this video from my Western viewpoint, the one that wags a finger and says, “He should know better,” rather than one that accepts that “he doesn’t know any better”. But what I am suggesting in my blurb is: why do we leave it at that? B.A.P come from a different cultural point of origin, yes, and I respect that. But why is it bad to want cross-cultural understanding to go both ways?
I see a parallel between this and the use of B.A.P’s image in One Direction’s “Best Song Ever” video. Some fans were upset at the mere association between B.A.P and 1D, but there was also the implication that somehow, they had gotten it wrong; that they only looked at B.A.P and saw identical hair colours and used this to represent the idea of a homogeneous, bland boy band, whether or not this was reflective of reality. Whoever chose to use this image didn’t know any better, either, and yet the hurt of misrepresentation was still there, and more importantly, still valid.
As Jessica illustrated in her blurb, there are B.A.P fans that this video has caused hurt to, regardless of its point of origin. These are fans that did not grow up in the same culture as B.A.P, it is true, but that shouldn’t invalidate the fact that this video has hurt them. Intent means a lot, yes, but so does execution. I wouldn’t want an American film crew to go to a foreign country and make a movie that portrays the local people in a way that they perceive as harmful, even if they have respect for these people - and this has happened countless times in history, and it’s not okay when they do it, even if they are coming from the same place as my Western standards.
In short, it’s true that I am judging them from my own cultural ideals because I can’t help it, and it’s true that it is wrong of me to assume evil intent. But I’m judging the product they have created, and it’s also true that there are genuine problems with this video, regardless of the place where it comes from.
And just 14 hours after the VMAs, it remains PROBLEMATIC O’CLOCK!
Madeleine Lee: What to make of this level of cultural appropriation — not the flash style-skimming we’re used to from the YG roster, but one that comes perilously close to invoking the word “soul”? For “Badman” is not entirely the product of some context-poor upper-level corporate decision. B.A.P’s leader and creative nucleus Bang Yongguk, whose Neruda-quotin’, Kahlo-admirin’ ways have surely earned him a Complex interview by now, has made reference to MLK in his lyrics, once citedBlack Like Me as a book he reads several times a year, and is the kind of guy who tweets about "becoming one through music beyond race." So this is coming from a more enlightened place than it may seem, but enlightened fetishization is, well, still fetishization. If anything, the problem with “Badman” may be that it knows too much, and so tries to do too much. The song stumbles from post-Kanye electronica to dub to generically “exotic” breakdown to their usualslogan-shouting, all without apparent forethought; the last one seems more like a default safe stance than an attempt to bring things together. The video is just as confused: Is it helping Detroit or exploiting it? What’s with the painfully obvious kissing white couple/violent black men parallel? Does its portrayal of a riot glorify violence or glorify the struggle, and which is worse? Half a black face doesn’t count, right? Of course, expectations can be adjusted. This is still pretty bold for a mainstream idol group, and for the other stuff, stans have continually invoked the cultural relativism defense, which is fair. But the thing is, “Badman” positions B.A.P as global saviours. And when you’ve decided a bunch of people need saving, but insist your own cultural standards be upheld, that’s not aid — that’s imperialism. 
Neither here nor there: As an ex-Givenchy-head, I like the drapey costuming a lot. And I feel the need to pre-emptively emphasize that I like Bang Yongguk - the art appreciation thing goes very far with me - it’s just that I’m not always willing to back him up when I don’t agree with him.
After some new rules introduced in August 2012, every Korean music video uploaded onto YouTube or broadcast in Korea needs to have a rating shown at the start of the music video in a corner.
The ratings are assigned according to content, though as we would see later, the criteria by which the music videos are judged are pretty muddled. One thing that is certain though is the ruling for music videos rated “19″ are slapped with age restrictions for online viewing, as well as only being allowed to be broadcast on television after 10pm in Korea.
Despite the initial controversy surrounding the rating, we now have companies that openly encourage the rating (if only for the news worthiness), and now we have reached the point where a company (Star Empire) does not bother to dispute the ratings and just rolls with it, despite the potential for reduced commercial success.