We Need to Talk about KAACHI
DISCLAIMER: I’m basically going to be talking about a lot of the hate KAACHI is getting for their songs and for being a “white Kpop Group.” Please note my views are entirely my own and it’s coming from someone who is not Korean at all. Please don’t get upset, I’m trying to approach this from two standpoints and share my own viewpoint. I understand it’s a pretty controversial topic and it’s completely fine to disagree with me. Just please do so respectfully 🙂
Long time no see, hope you’re doing well in quarantine… or school… whichever one it is, I hope you haven’t been doing what I’ve been doing aka procrastinating this Coronavirus period.
So what have I been doing whilst procrastinating? Well, I’ve been catching up on lots of KPOP news (especially since I’ve missed lots of it thanks to Year 12.) I’ve specifically encountered multiple pages, videos etc talking about a group called KAACHI. This group has encountered lots of hate online specifically being called a “white Kpop group” (despite one member actually being from Korea) and experiencing a lot of discrimination and bullying which is definitely a no-no.
They debuted a month ago with the song “Your Turn”
The songs not that bad in my opinion however, so many people especially on Twitter have lots to say about it. I just went on the #kaachi hashtag and there are so many tweets that pop up instantaneously that are negative.
I think the main argument really comes down to culture. See, you could sing a song in Korean and release it. No problemo. You could sing a song in German and release it. Yet again, no problemo. I don’t think people are against the idea of people singing in a language that’s not their native one. For example, Despacito (remix) by Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber. Justin Bieber is not Spanish and (as far as I know) he can’t speak it. Yet people easily accepted his take on the song. So much so that the song skyrocketed on the Billboard music charts for weeks.
In KAACHI’s case, I don’t think there’s the issue of them singing in Korean. It’s more that they are buying themselves into an industry that has much to do with Korean culture. Lots of people on Twitter have specifically said “in order to become a [Kpop] idol, you’ll need to go through Korean company training. Otherwise it’s just UK pop.” they say that KAACHI is “insulting” given the members can’t speak Korean fluently and they haven’t trained as extensively as idols from Korean entertainment companies.
Well, I understand this persons viewpoint but it still takes ages just to get a record deal. It’s not as easy as ordering take out let’s just say that. In Kpop lots of idols go through really tough training, diets, sometimes even cosmetic surgeries as part of their deals and to portray this idealistic image and uphold some beauty standards. Although KAACHI doesn’t go through the same laborious training, it doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t work hard. Every singer in the world works extremely hard to make their song heard to their listeners it’s not a cultural thing, it’s a universal music thing. The only difference is the TYPE of training these people do. Kpop idols go above and beyond to portray this image to their listeners/viewers through various apps such as Vlive, MNET etc. With UK Pop I think it’s more to do with the music itself. It doesn’t matter how a person dances or how they look.
The girls have also been called “Koreaboos.” I don’t really think that’s a correct definition. According to Urban Dictionary, the greatest source of all pop culture info, A Koreaboo is “[someone] who love Korean culture so much that they denounce their own culture and call themselves Korean.” Well, they never actually SAID they are Korean so that’s technically inaccurate. They do love Korean culture though I’ll give the Twitter trolls that. But lots of us do [love Kpop]. We love the choreography, the songs, the epic raps, the vibe, the images they portray to us. We buy into it. If we didn’t there wouldn’t BE a Kpop industry to begin with. Us Kpop listeners are not Koreaboos. Most Kpop listeners do not try to denounce their cultural identities. Instead most accept the fact that they like Kpop and that they really like [insert any idol] and get on with their lives. Of course, there are lots of Koreaboos out there which of course is problematic but I really don’t think KAACHI is a group of Koreaboos. Sure they started their own Kpop group but if we look at it at a larger scale, these are just some girls that worked hard to get to where they want. No matter what, I don’t think hard work should be condemned.
I think the main issue in general is just the bullying that’s going on. I understand why it’s happening: people are unhappy with KAACHI for calling themselves a “Kpop Group”. But what’s sharing it with people going to do about it? it won’t change anything. KAACHI debuted and they already have over 6 million views on Youtube. Regardless of what so many are saying, I don’t think they’d disband. Let’s say they release another song, the trolls would still listen to it which ultimately would contribute to their views. The bullying would do nothing to the group itself. Words are just words but once someone starts believing them, problems start arising. In no way is bullying anyone okay regardless of their celebrity status or if they are “insulting your culture” there are so many better ways to do it. Trolling them, labelling them and bullying them is no way to “fix” or “solve” a problem. I guess the internet is just exposing the fact that people (who, although may have sound intentions) can still be pretty awful…