Censoring Popular Korean Music ContinuesJanuary 8, 2009 at 2:56 pm | Posted in Music | 3 Comments
Tags: Big Bang, Rain, TVXQ
Censoring authorities have been busy recently, sticking adult-only ratings on Rain, TVXQ and Big Bang member Seung-ri’s new songs. The Division of Child and Youth Protection under the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Family Affairs ruled 110 songs as harmful to youths in late December and banned TV stations from playing those songs on the air.
The first censored song that fired off the debate was Rain’s “Rainism.” TVXQ changed problematic lyrics in their “Mirotic” from “I got you under my skin,” which supposedly implies a sexual act, to “I got you under my sky.” Big Bang’s Seung-ri, who has gone solo with the song titled “Strong Baby,” also changed the word “crack” to “clap.”
Music critics say that the government’s censoring has boosted, rather than suppressed, the sale of these supposedly improper and harmful records. As a matter of fact, Rain’s agency said that album sales jumped 10% since the song received a harmful material rating. Industry insiders claim that the times have changed and today’s teenagers are exposed to materials more explicitly sexual than these songs. Although they understand the government’s effort to protect children and youths from the influence of harmful materials, they say that specific and more lenient guidelines should be provided to keep pace with the current trends.
Although I’ve noticed that many people scoff or complain about these “clean versions,” I also invite you to also look at the other point of view and how Korea conceives things, being an Eastern cultured society. In addition, I see some KPop fans complaining about how dirty and prude American mainstream may be (that being the reason they don’t like listening to it), but it seems that KPop has been turning in that same direction, even slightly.