A new question has popped up on the internet lately, “Is it still Kpop when the group is all American?” The group that sparked that debate is called EXP EDITION. This all happened with the release of their MV titled, Feel Like This. It has been making the rounds within the Kpop circle and the debate is now even beginning to get media coverage. Right out of the gate they have been getting a surplus of hate. Most of it coming from people labeling them as Koreaboos. Seeing as I tend to have a positive outlook on things I thought I would offer my thoughts on the matter. 🙂
First check out their debut MV here:
I will admit that with the way people were talking about this I was expecting way worse than what I got. The video had it’s problems but nothing made me angry or have any kind of malice towards it. I mean yeah the accents are very noticeable but I didn’t think the vocals themselves where outright terrible or anything. I think that the song itself just isn’t all that good to begin with. It’s an average song with an average music video that has generic imagery. It’s shot nice but to me it lacks any depth. There is no story or memorable moments in it to grab unto at all.
Added to the fact that it’s a mediocre song/mv you now have a new controversy brewing. I have begun to notice plenty of comments from people who have begun to put a lot of the blame on them being Americans. This mostly stemming from the notion of Americans being in Kpop in the first place. It’s something that is seen as weird because let’s be honest it’s not a common occurrence in the Kpop scene. It simply isn’t. It seems really out of place to some, specially to those who already have a pre-built opinion of what Kpop is/should be. Changing their mind is not gonna come easy and like I said before, this wasn’t the best song to do something like that in first place.
Don’t get me wrong because I am NOT saying that this group should not be criticized, far from it. I think constructive criticism is good but TOO many people are loosing sight of that right now and are zeroing in on their ethnicity. I just wanna help get things back on track. I don’t want the big takeaway for many people to be that Foreigners SHOULDN’T try to make it into Kpop. I think that instead the takeaway should be, that if they do try to make it into Kpop they should do it with a better attempt than this. I fully believe that we can come up with better criticisms than “They are all American therefore it’s bad.” It’s not like they could do anything about that right? So let’s us instead focus on things they could actually do something about. Because let’s be honest here if you replaced all the members with Koreans and kept everything else the same, do you think the song would have been great? I don’t. All the complaints I made earlier would still stand for me. So don’t focus so much on race and judge the contents of the song as you would any other and move on. 🙂 Maybe this WONT be the first GOOD all American Kpop group but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be possible for another one down the line. ^^
All in all, I do give props for their company giving this a shot. My hope is that this situation doesn’t deter other foreigners from attempting something similar, specially if it is their dream. As more similar but better acts make their way to Korea, I think people will become more accepting. Who knows maybe EXP Edition will rework their concept and up their game. They have already proved they are committed to this by actually signing in Korean.(albeit not perfectly). I don’t think that is the most likely outcome but you never know.
I mean they have started to win some people over with their version of Super Junior’s “U” on the show Can I hear Your Voice. The like to dislike bar is definitely more positive on that video as opposed to their debut MV, that is for sure. If anything it showcases that they even have some dancing ability. I think going forward their label needs to take a step back and focus on the things that need fixing. Their biggest hope is to make a more interesting video with a catchier song. This first attempt is a loss but I think you can still salvage this group. A lot will ride on their next song. It could potentially win people over but it can also put them in risk of getting even more hate if it is as bad or worse than this first try. Like always I hope for the best because It would be amazing if they could end up winning over the haters.
Remember peeps there is a difference between hate and criticism. So with that what are your guy’s opinions on this whole matter? Are you less or more harsh on them than me. I am really curious where you stand on all of this. ^_^