Diversity in Kpop: EXP EDITION

A new question has popped up on the internet lately, “Is it still Kpop when the group is all American?” O_o The group that sparked that debate is called EXP EDITION. Things all started with the release of their latest MV titled, Feel Like This. It has been making the rounds within the Kpop circle and now the debate has even begun to get some media coverage. For the most part the reaction has been negative with a surplus of hate going around. 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 kinda expecting way worse than what I got. Not to say that all was peachy because I did have my share of concerns. It’s just that nothing made me actually get 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 uninspired and generic imagery. There were some nice shots in there but to me it lacks any depth making this a pretty forgetful endeavor. I mean there was no story and I didn’t get any memorable moments.

Meaning that in short, I see why people are down on this. However, I have begun to notice plenty of comments from people who have begun to put a lot of the blame on them being Americans. Which I can see why people would be quick to gravitate towards that. It’s not like  Americans in Kpop is commonplace. Therefore it’s a really weird thing specially for those who have a pre-built opinion of what Kpop should be. With that said I do think it’s misplacing the blame.

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 really 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. That’s because I I fully believe that we can come up with better criticisms than “They are all American therefore it’s bad.”

Not to be captain obvious here but 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 open up more. We just need some good groups that match up in terms of quality. 🙂 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.

They have already 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 release. 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. ^_^

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14 thoughts on “Diversity in Kpop: EXP EDITION

  1. I just feel like it’s a little cringy because its an all american group. I think it would have been better if they had at least 2 koreans in the group. I mean I guess this could have been a lot better if they had more “korean-ness” into the group. Hopefully that made sense. lol

    Liked by 3 people

    • Here is the thing though, I don’t think having Koreans would have fixed what I thought was the actual problem with the music video. To me the problem is that the song and video weren’t that good. Regardless of their nationality that is what I think needs the most work. When I watched it I didn’t think it was missing “koreaness”, I thought it was missing any kind of feeling in general. I think if you would have replaced the members with Koreans but kept everything else as is, people would have still complained because it just isn’t up to standards in general. I think people don’t focus enough on that and harbor too much on them being foreigners. Sorry for the long reply 😛

      Liked by 2 people

      • (the long reply is okay ^^’) and I understand what you’re saying. You have a good point when you said that people are focusing more on the fact that they are foreigners and not the quality of the whole thing. Also, I just came up of another idea. What if the Koreans were trained and the other members having some experience in dancing and singing. I think that could have definitely made this whole thing better as well.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I just don’t get that “feeling” when I listen to their song. Beside it’s better if they just followed one direction rather than k-pop 😂 If only there is 3 Koreans or Asian and 1 American in the group, it would be perfect for me 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • I didn’t get that feeling either. I just think it has more to do with it not being that good of a song. I asked myself if it would have been any better if Koreans would have sung it. I don’t think so. The difference is I think people would have just not liked it and moved on. But with them being foreigners I think its getting more attention than it even needs to, if that makes sense.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I don’t think there’s anything wrong with trying to be a k pop groups without Koreans, I mean I get that the song is not the best but that’s a different matter altogether isn’t it?
        Shouldn’t any group that sings in Korean be a K pop group?
        I understand how many loopholes and issues that my statement above has, so I won’t force my opinion and change that to an actual question instead of a rhetorical one….

        Got7 is a multi national group technically, right? But they sing and dance well so they didn’t face this sort of a problem. (I like Got7 a lot)
        Honestly, I don’t mind a full foreigner group as long as they do well, you know? Hopefully, they’ll come out with some non lacklustre songs and win over hearts of haters like you said 🙂
        It’d be a new development in the game too.
        Great post!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think as Kpop gets more and more popular we will be seeing more foreigner groups pop up. I think its only a matter of time until some really good ones appear and win the hearts of Kpop fans all around the world. ^_^

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I rather like this. The song is underwhelming, yes, but the IDEA is awesome. As an American white girl who loves Korean entertainment, I want to feel included not excluded. We don’t get angry at people of other cultures who sing songs in English. It would be nice if the Korean entertainment industry embraced Americans as an audience and realized that we want to enjoy the lovely language, culture, and people.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly. :)While this group may not have had the best execution, it doesnt mean you should now not want an all American group ever. Instead it should mean you should want a better one next time.

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  4. I try to open minded for new ideas like this but I’m really struggling for EXP edition. I know they aren’t mocking or making fun of K-Pop or the Korean music Industry directly and I don’t know much about it, but maybe they haven’t worked as hard to get where big K-Pop stars are now. Maybe there are masses of teenagers who are trying hard to become are star or are training and these guys just got to waltz in and be noticed? I’m not too sure and haven’t done much research but it does make me weary to see these guys get a lot of attention.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What led me to make this post were the top comments on their MV. Most of them where saying that the major problem was that they were foreigners(American). That really bugged me because what are they supposed to do about it, stop being foreigners. Obviously they can’t do that. So my goal for this post was not to get people to like them but to get people to be more constructive with their criticisms. Look past the race of the members and talk about things they can actually improve on.
      For example, you mentioned how it feels like they are just waltzing in. That is a good a criticism. I don’t know what their training was like but it is something they could do about. They could come out and let people know that their training was actually intense or they could do something like take a long break to get more of the typical Kpop training. So pretty much I want more of that type of criticism and less of, “Their not Koreans so that’s why this turned out bad.”

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: My take on this new all american “Kpop group” : EXP – myspecialplaceforkorea

  6. So… That was interesting! I was just reading some articles about them, it’s refreshing to see an all American K-POP group??
    All the other K-pop groups just didn’t jump right in to make a debut, some trained for years, some of them were from other places which required to learn the language, long life-draining hours of dance practices; literally all of them worked hard with their Blood, Sweat and Tears to actually make it into a group. While this group, who I am sure are talented and all don’t quite seem to have all that it takes, but with the rapid growth of K-Pop, like you mentioned, there certainly will be many NON-Korean groups who will try to make it in this industry.
    Constructive criticism is good,yes, so I hope that they will be able to work on all that is lacking; it’s honestly not bad but certainly isn’t good either.
    We all know the diversity that is K-POP 😀 But seriously though, there’s this deep-rooted notion in K-pop that dark skin is not so acceptable and all that, people are already discriminating them based on their skin color and playing the race card; all that aside in reality it just seems like these guys are trying to make music with little K-pop elements weaved in with Western music; its just not quite right. We’ll see, I guess! 🙂

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