Kpop: whether you love it, hate it, don’t care, or are somewhere in between, it is a force to be reckoned with for sure. The music and the visual genre, along with K-dramas and K-movies, have almost single-handedly put Korea on the map.
With strong government support for these cultural exports from the very beginning –even Korean presidents actively promote Kpop when traveling abroad– it is arguably one of the most successful destination branding campaigns of all time.
Will the world begin to see a delinking of Kpop from the national branding cause?
And while the Korean government has sought to brand South Korea as a country teeming with family values and traditional mores, an increasing amount of the shining beacon of Korea that is female Kpop has, in recent years, gone from being cutesy and sometimes syrupy sweet, to straight up sexual.
And there is certainly nothing wrong with that, some might even consider it tame –we’re simply curious as to how all of this will play out with Korea’s destination branding strategy and whether the world will begin to see a delinking and distancing of Kpop from the national branding cause.
We ponder this because yesterday the sexualization trend of Kpop most definitely reached an all new level of risqué for the genre.
The song is called “Warm Hole” —it, and the accompanying video, was released Wednesday by veteran Kpop girl group Brown Eyed Girls. It’s fairly standard Kpop, with a catchy tune, and some very provocative lyrics.
The song is mostly in Korean, but the chorus, in all its glory, is in English:
Fire in the hole when you touch me down there
I’m not feeling very well so hot in down there
Fire in the hole, when you come in right there
I’m not feeling very well, so love me right there
The accompanying visuals are, well, watch for yourself:
It’s too soon to tell, but one would imagine that the Brown Eyed Girls and an increasing number of Kpop stars, will likely not be part of any Kpop showcase on the next presidential trip abroad.
But who knows? Psy, long the ’embarrassing’ bad boy, was persona-non-grata with the government for nearly a decade –then he hit it big and people were falling over themselves to wrap an arm around him and smile “kimchi.”
Welcome to the new world, Korea. Make yourself at home.