Korean-American singer-rapper Jay Park is trending on Twitter now, and it’s not because of a good thing. His recent Instagram post has attracted a lot of criticisms after he made remarks about cultural appropriation. He had posted a video of Avatar Darko, a white rapper from the United States. The latter was seen sporting dreadlocks, and many called the rapper out for cultural appropriation.
Jay defended the rapper, leaving a series of comments to address the backlash.
He wrote, “Like every time I twist my hair into spikes with gel, y’all say the same s*** ’cause y’all THINK it looks like dreads… tbh getting pretty ridiculous… I can’t style my hair???”
He continued, “Yooo feeling somebody’s music is personal opinion but hating on somebody ’cause of their hairstyle… I’m sorry but THAT ain’t it. Jay Park and Avatar Darko never disrespect the culture and always give back. That’s like saying a non-Asian person shouldn’t use Korean words and shouldn’t listen to K-pop ’cause they didn’t go through all the suffering Korean people went through (if you don’t know, look the s*** up). It’s 2019 and every culture, every ethnicity influences each other and as long as we’re not disrespecting each other, it’s all love and nothing else. If I sound like a dumba** because of this comment, then I guess I’m dumba**.
He replied one of the commenters, questioning if adaptation of Korean words amounted to cultural appropriation. “So it’s OK for non-Asian people to use the word ‘oppa’ and ‘selca’ and ‘mukbang’ but have never lived in Korea and don’t even know the culture? Is that cultural appropriation? Or is that just showing love and being interested or passionate about something? Please educate me. PLEASE.”
He ended off it off with a comment, which got people more riled up: “Let’s not argue over dumbs***. There are REAL problems out there, much more serious than how you wear your hair… If you wanna focus on something, go focus on that. We’re just trying to put on for the city and our people while doing what we love… If you don’t like it, that’s cool. Much love to all the fans.”
A Twitter user said:
jay park saying there’s more serious things than the way you style your hair.. PLEASE tell that to the little black girls that have been suspended from school, tell that to the black women denied from jobs. tell that to them & let me know how far you get.
— kay ♡’s b4m (@yeodreams) January 30, 2019
Another commented on his post:
— 𝑚𝑜𝑜𝑛 𝑓𝑎𝑖𝑟𝑦’𝑠 𝑝𝑟𝑜𝑚𝑖𝑠𝑒 (@chimdesires) January 30, 2019
A fan boldly posted an unpopular opinion:
Okay everyones got diff mindset but isn't it discrimination if u guys limit "dreadlocks" to just one culture? It's rly annoying if ppl keep on telling u what to do with your own hair. U guy's enjoy other cultures too. Dont deny it. Jay Park's just straight to the point tho pic.twitter.com/959lblSZdv
— 𝑅𝑜𝓈𝑒 is Rose 🌹 (@isRose4) January 30, 2019
For those who are wondering what the deal is, here’s a background: Dreadlocks is a hairstyle that holds a special meaning to African Americans. In fact, a few African American students have faced discrimination due to their hairstyles: last year, a six-year-old was turned away on his first day of school because he had dreadlocks; recently, a high school wrestler was told by a referee that he couldn’t compete unless he cut his dreadlocks—minutes before the competition.
So, yes, in some parts of the world, a hairstyle can determine whether you can get a job, represent your school or even go to school.
Some Twitter users have also highlighted one of the fundamental problems:
Remember how that one interviewer said zendaya smelled like patchouli oil because of her braids yet Kim was adored when she wore braids yet jay park can’t seem to figure out the problem with White’s wearing braids or anyone that’s not black, the way I am praying for his downfall
— kylie💍 (@diorvantes) January 30, 2019
Jay has since disabled his comments.
Image: Jay Park’s Instagram