Earlier this week I read about Korean musician MC Mong’s upcoming comeback and had a positive initial reaction being an MC Mong fan. I thought his last couple albums were definitely solid and I really enjoy the fact that he’s a rapper that doesn’t take himself too seriously. He’s the kind of guy who seemingly doesn’t mind being the butt of a joke.
Then I paused to think for a second about this new image/style concept… an ‘Indian Boy’. I scratched my head… and asked myself… “Wait, is this OK?” Look at the following images…
I’m honestly a little torn as to whether these images are humorous or offensive. Now, before we go down the road of adhering to absolute strict political correctness all I’m saying is let’s consider both sides of the coin here.
On one hand, I’m fairly certain there is no ill will here. MC Mong & company found a new/interesting concept direction to pursue and they ran with it. It looks light hearted and fun and I gotta admit it intrigues me enough to stir anticipation for his new release.
On the flip side, the term ‘Indian’ in reference to a Native American is already a bit of a faux pas. Additionally this a culture that is has gone through a long history of various struggles since the discovery of the ‘New World’ by Europeans and continues to be misrepresented in media and contemporary culture to this day. Lastly, if Lil Wayne were to start taking goofy pictures dressed up in a hanbok you can bet your bottom won that he’d be scrutinized by Korean culture, as they criticized anything that could be the least bit offensive.
I don’t think MC Mong’s new concept will really upset many people, especially considering the cultural separation of those involved; but it does make me think a little bit. If no one’s upset is it “no harm, no foul”? Is this a point where we realized we need to lighten up? Or do we need to take a step back and reconsider our predispositions?
Now this is my opinion, but us Koreans as a people often tend to be a culture that can dish it much better than we can take it. Koreans are a proud people, for better or worse but would we be as accepting if the tables were turned?
Something to think about.