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Korean American Rapper Jay Park Addressed Accusations Of Cultural Appropriation After Covering Kendrick Lamar's "DNA"

"So DNA remix is about being proud Koreans...yet they're cosplaying as Black American people and are using Black American culture constantly...interesting."

Last updated on June 17, 2021, at 8:53 a.m. ET

Posted on June 16, 2021, at 3:00 p.m. ET

Korean American rapper Jay Park posted a music video for his remix of Kendrick Lamar's 2017 hit "DNA" on Monday, featuring several South Korea–based artists rapping about being proud to be South Korean.

But people said it missed the mark and called Park out for cultural appropriation, pointing out some of the rappers had Afros, braids, and dreadlocks. It didn't match up with the lyrics of the song, some people said.

"So DNA remix is about being proud Koreans...yet they're cosplaying as Black American people and are using Black American culture constantly...interesting," one person wrote.

jay park talking about in my dna while rocking braids like what’s in ur dna cultural appropriation??

Twitter: @i4yg0
@hobisreal1

My people will never be free #jaypark #khh

♬ Follow me - Connor

THIS IS SO IRONIC LMAOAOOO making a song about being proud of asian heritage while simultaneously doing CA https://t.co/5FxFzvsTP3

Twitter: @ezicale_tattoo

So dna remix is about being proud Koreans...yet they're cosplaying as Black American people and are using Black American culture constantly...interesting 😐 #DNARemix #khiphop #DNA #JayPark

Twitter: @CallMeGizzzy

I though Jay Park DNA remix was going to about being Korean , but then people trying to be black soo bad , it’s the braids , afro hair/4c , growing up from wat hood for me ....a lot of CA and hypocrisy for me

Twitter: @Abigail_K65

On Wednesday, Park posted a lengthy YouTube comment addressing the criticism and admitted his public relations representative did not want him to post the music video.

"Black and Latino people created Hip Hop," he wrote. He added that hip-hop makes him feel empowered and that a lot of his heroes are Black rappers.

"Having a certain hairstyle or look gives us confidence and inspiration and makes us feel like rockstars and it's because it's what we see and hear it feels natural to us," Park said.

Park is the first Asian American to be signed to Jay-Z's Roc Nation. He also came under fire last month and apologized to Muslim fans after comparing himself to Allah in a lyric.

woulda been better if he didn’t press “comment” fa this……

Twitter: @coogiecore

In his response to the "DNA" remix video, he also addressed the blowback about Korean rappers having dreadlocks. "Do I think it's ok for Korean rappers to have dreads? I might not necessarily agree with it but who am I to say don't do that," he said.

People disagreed with Park's statement, especially the part where he said, "If y'all can fangirl over young Korean dudes with dyed hair I don't see why we cant fanboy over rappers with face tats and dreads."

There was no apology in what Jay park said, it was all just excuses. He didn’t listen to what people were saying about how harmful his actions are and only focused on the fact that people are “hating” on him.

Twitter: @oowonjaes

Not Jay park comparing dreads to fuckin hair dye, like mf should of listen to Julie and not post this shit at all

Twitter: @WonjaeArchive

Perhaps the only person who came out of the saga looking like they understood the issue was Park's "PR Julie," who had told him not to post the video.

Julie, a New York–based strategist, tweeted to thank everyone for their support.

"I've dedicated my career to uplifting both the hip hop and Asian community and I will continue to do so while holding those around me accountable & pushing dialogues," she said.


A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.