Is this the end of “Gangnam Style” mania?
Korean pop star PSY — who rose to fame through his YouTube record-breaking video “Gangnam Style” — apologized Friday for anti-American lyrics he rapped back in 2004.
That performance resurfaced on CNN’s iReport and then circulated widely online. It included lyrics calling for the death of American troops serving in Iraq, not long after news of the brutal slaying of a South Korean hostage by Iraqi insurgents — an incident which sparked anti-American sentiment in South Korea.
In his apology, PSY said his performance had been emotionally charged and was a response to events in the war in Iraq.
“I understand the sacrifices American servicemen and women have made to protect freedom and democracy in my country and around the world,” he said in a statement.
He said the song “was part of a deeply emotional reaction to the war in Iraq and the killing of two Korean schoolgirls that was part of the overall anti-war sentiment shared by others around the world at that time.”
The girls were struck and killed by a U.S. military vehicle.
PSY continued: “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 by those words.
“While it’s important that we express our opinions, I deeply regret the inflammatory and inappropriate language I used to do so.”
The lyrics of the song, titled “Dear America,” were written by the South Korean rock band N.E.X.T., and PSY was one of three performers rapping out the lyrics on stage.
The lyrics were posted on an unvetted CNN iReport in October. The English translation of the Korean lyrics has picked up steam online since then, drawing thousands of views, and then exploding on blogs and social media this week. CNN reached out to the iReporter who brought attention to PSY’s anti-American lyrics, but did not receive a response.
CNN was able to translate the lyrics as saying, “Kill those f–ing Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives and those who ordered them to torture,” and going on to say, “Kill them all slowly and painfully,” as well as “daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law and fathers.”
View full report here.