South Korean “Gangnam Style” rapper PSY is about to learn Americans will giveth, then taketh away, especially when it comes to fame, fortune and accolades. The YouTube superstar has come under fire for lyrics he sang and actions he took during anti-American protest concerts in 2004.
The Washington Post reported that though PSY did not write the anti-military song, “Dear American,” he sang the following lyrics at a concert protesting the United States and its military involvement in Iraq:
Kill those f****** Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives
Kill those f****** Yankees who ordered them to torture
Kill their daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law and fathers
Kill them all slowly and painfully
In yet another concert in South Korea, PSY took to the stage and smashed a model of a U.S. tank in protest of the acquittal of two U.S. soldiers, whose military vehicle hit and killed two teenage girls walking on a roadside outside of Seoul.
MTV received the following apology from PSY:
As a proud South Korean who was educated in the United States and lived there for a very significant part of my life, I understand the sacrifices American servicemen and women have made to protect freedom and democracy in my country and around the world. The song I was featured in — from eight years ago — was part of a deeply emotional reaction to the war in Iraq and the killing of two innocent Korean civilians that was part of the overall antiwar sentiment shared by others around the world at that time. 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. I will forever be sorry for any pain I have caused anyone by those words.”
I have been honored to perform in front of American soldiers in recent months — including an appearance on the Jay Leno show specifically for them — and I hope they and all Americans can accept my apology. While it’s important 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 though music, our universal language we can all come together as a culture of humanity and I hope that you will accept my apology.
Well, time will tell if Americans will accept the apology. After all, U.S. rappers glorify the killing of police officers and other atrocious acts all the time and never apologize.
In the meantime, the Post reported, PSY will still perform as planned for the Obamas at the taping of the annual “Christmas in Washington” concert Sunday evening.
I, for one, will discontinue riding the Gangnam Style horse around my house, content to see PSY become the next one-hit-wonder.