• Gaya_SB

    Thank you for this, Cynthia!

  • ybkdik91

    Bring back the old-school Taeyang. Couldn’t have said it any better, I love Taeyang to pieces and feel that as an artist he is one of the most legit out there BUT his styling has just been beyond ridiculous and borderline try-hard and forced.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/YQ53WK5K4DPXQ5DIBKDELB6WPE Camille

      To be totally fair, this IS old-school Taeyang. Even before Big Bang debuted, he had cornrows and ‘hood attire. He only toned it down when Big Bang was idol-fied.

      • ybkdik91

        TRUE. I actually prefer the way he looked pre-debut and even post debut when he still had the cornrows etc but I don’t know if it’s the current look or just the vibe he gives out that makes him come across as try-hard.

  • nouynouy

    Exactly my thoughts !
    However, I remember an interview where he said he knew fans hated his hairstyles but that he never listened to anyone and wasn’t planning on doing so :(

    • Saffi

      Really? T__T

      • ybkdik91

        During GD’s solo comeback he partnered up with Naver and did this thing called “GD Friends Live” where he answered fans questions and whatnot, along with Daesung, Taeyang also came along with Lydia Paek as well. GD talked about how his fans would tell Taeyang to tell GD to change his hairstyle and vice-versa with TY fans telling GD to tell TY to change his hairstyle. GD just laughed and asked why the fans didn’t tell him themselves instead of asking him & TY commented that he doesn’t listen to his mother in regards to things like this so why would he listen to the fans views.
        I think I made it sound more harsh than it sounded but the over-all point was TY does what he wants regardless of whether people will like it or not as long as he does then his happy.

        • Saffi

          Oh, well I guess its his choice. I wouldn’t say they look drastically bad on him (the braids) but I swear I had my hair like that at least once when I was younger-LOL!

          I do like the fact that he’s more outspoken-does anyone remember the really shy, self conscious Taeyang? Nope? Just me?

  • Mel Watkins

    I agree with 80% of this but I have to ask a question of the writer–are you black? Or at all urban? Because I see Taeyang’s new hairstyle on half a dozen cholos daily and they’re all male. Same for the Snoop-wannabes who still wear long braids–black males, not females.

    In other words, I think this is a great article but the launch pad you started from was a little crooked. Urban men of color do still wear their hair in this way, it’s not inauthentic, It is however, cultural appropriation, which you were spot on about.

  • http://vvipforseungri.livejournal.com/ Martina


  • http://twitter.com/yoio23 Yoio

    +1 to everything, I couldn’t have said it better.

  • Guest

    I’m so relieved for this article. Knowing that I’m not the only one that is feeling these negative vibes from YoungBae. As a black female myself, his apparent misinterpretation of HipHop culture has really been irking me lately. I’m sure he doesn’t really know what he’s getting himself into but I did a double take when I started seeing these Mina Kwon ‘youngbeezy’ avatars arising on Twitter and Instagram. Like…they’re black.
    At first I played along with the ‘N’aww its just him and Ji going back to their debut Hip-Hop roots’ but NO. Enough is enough. I’m starting to cringe every time he does his little ‘cross the arms and grin’ move and the constant unnecessary dougie-ing (if that’s even a legit way of spelling it). And I totally understand how he’s only really been receptive to what he’s probably seen on Music Videos and the likes, but its not inspiration anymore, its imitation.
    I’m actually slightly bracing myself for his solo comeback because I have this lurking feeling that he’s gonna go all out on the ‘SWAG’ dope and ‘SWIRVE’ gangsta theme.
    BIGBANG has VIPs of all races and YB really needs to understand that people of all different backgrounds and races are discovering his music.
    I love this man to bits, I really do. I wonder if his previous wedding dress image was one manufactured by his company, not really his individual direction of music. I don’t know, but Taeyang and ‘YoungBeezy’ are definitely two different people at the moment. I’m lost as to who is who.
    What I’ve said may sound rude, but its just my opinion. I still have his solo albums in repeat and I still have a ginormous poster of him in my room. I still see that he’s humble and I’m glad that he has a passion for music, but I want people to see him at his full potential, as a unique, individual artist, not someone with an identity crisis.
    All in all, I hope he stays in good health and he makes good music. I just miss the old Taeyang. Just a bit.

    • dustdevilliz

      I’ve had so many thoughts that I didn’t even know where to start, so thanks for summing it all up in 6 words: “its not inspiration anymore, its imitation.”

      Taeyang, and others, are clearly huge consumers of commercial US hip-hop, and it sometimes seems like their fashion choices are a little too spot-on in the reference to whatever hip-hop song or artist is breaking. It’s like you can draw a line from each part of their look to a specific hip-hop MV. I have to give him credit for being a consistent fan, I guess, but I think it’d be better if he mixed it up just a bit more.

  • Imsmiling

    You really needed a letter for this?

  • takasar1

    for the first time i fully agree with all the information presented in a seoulbeats article. he needs to stop.

  • Haugro

    This might just be my ignorance and lack of knowledge since – like him, I never grew up in North-America and are from having an African background. But all I can say is that if he offends you, don’t ever try Norwegian (or Scandinavian for the matter) hip-hop/rap as it is far worse. We’re no better than the Koreans, and there’s thousands of white wannabe Norwegian guys walking around with “swag” for the “cool” factor. Even blacks.

    A point is, that as misinterpreted as our information through different medias are, that’s the only source of authenticity you will get unless you’ve lived it and felt it on your body.

    But Taeyang is a peculiar case as it (to me) have always seemed like he’s uncomfortable in his own skin. Like he’s not doing it for the “cool” factor, but out of an identity crisis. But question is what can you/he do with that?

  • http://twitter.com/lydialydiakim Lydia Kim

    I miss the smiley shy taeyang…the taeyang that all the ajummas liked the best from big bang (otherthan daesung of course lol!)

  • http://twitter.com/catEYEx3 Clairi

    I feel the same way about Taeyang. It’s so annoying, and he used to be my favorite Big Bang member (I have a love/hate thing with GD). Especially those cartoons; I hadn’t been able to think of a word for it, but “blackaboo(?)” would totally fit…

    • wahooyahoo

      Are you me, because this comment is the exact same thing I’ve been thinking for months (even my l/h GD feels). I am so tired of Taeyang’s “I’m so black” schtick, its giving me a headache…

  • Lina90

    urgh I can’t agree more!! I love him so much in wedding dress like the clean-cut image. but now, I start wondering if it the image YG built for him not what he actually want. Or he just changed being more ridiculously hip-hop to attempt their global world touq audience. I just can’t imagine what kind of music he’ll bring in his upcoming album with such confusing image like that. I mean, I’m sure he always in R&B path for music choice, but can you imagine he sing song like wedding dress by cosplaying Snoop Dogg?? I imagine disaster

  • TrickedOut

    I disagree with this article. Although I will admit that I don’t follow Taeyang, and the whole of Big Bang’s antics, except for bits and pieces, I do not deplore Taeyang’s behavior. This article reminds me of past discussions on the emergence of the “wannabe” in american culture and what not. Being black myself, I just don’t get it. There is a line to which one can claim appropriation of one’s culture. First, I’d like to clarify that Taeyang’s hairstyles do not undermine his masculinity at all. In fact, the hairstyles he dawns are not exclusive to women. Childish maybe, unprofessional possibly, but effeminate they are not. TOP’s Bantu not either – as a throw back to 1990s, early 2000s MV (possibly grassroots) trends will show. Now his representations of a slightly darker self could also show his own individuality. Meaning, he might actually perceive himself as darker than others in Korean culture. Additionally, if one was to go back to the context of blackface, in the early 1990s when rap started to make its ways in Japan: a lot of japanese youth could be seen dawning black face. It was not so much a form of satire as a form of protest. Some saw it as a way to rebel from their homogenous society. Although, it might be crediting Taeyang too much (I mean I don’t know him very well) I don’t think his was meant in jest…against or insulting black culture as such. Finally, in terms of clothing, Hip Hop/Rap, now a well mediated and mainstream culture, its clothing is stereotypical of itself. To say that Taeyang is trying to embody black people through his clothing is to imply all black people dress the same (which would be as erroneous as his supposed actions). Part of the “Mainstreaming” of any movement is to subtract it from its original culture. Just like in Punk or Grunge ( I cringe every time I see the style incorporated in any H&M store).
    Now personally, I find Taeyang refreshing. In a culture like Kpop which has a tendency to co-opt a lot of originally black culture and make it koreanized: I don’t find Taeyang half as offensive as this article made him out to be. I also see Taeyang as black people friendly – which I couldn’t say to the majority of Kpop artists either (something which is quite often forgotten in our fandom). I have witnessed too many kpop stars either laugh at or make jokes about black stereotypes (Shindong and Oprah comes to mind) whereas Taeyang not so much! (Please don’t kill me if there is a video out there I am unaware of with Taeyang ridiculizing himself).
    Anyway, to wrap up this whole rant, I would say people are too quick to jump the gun of culture appropriation. Be careful of your own presumptions about what “culture” is and for whom. Consider the context in which you are talking about culture – Korea and Japan don’t have (if at all) the same conception of race as we do in North America. Etc Etc. I say live on Taeyang as you are. (Side note: I actually appreciate his hairdos and don’ts and his dawning of black hairstyles –> if he can rock it why not!)

    • straighttohelvetica

      I agree that simply wearing hip-hop inspired clothing or having a certain hairstyle isn’t insulting, but lately Taeyang’s taking it a bit far. It’s the clothes AND the hair AND the brown-skinned cartoon versions of himself AND the “swag” and so on. It’s a bit much and he’s starting to look clownish. I miss R&B Taeyang from the “Solar”-era. That felt way more authentic than what he’s been up to lately.

    • yourmomma

      Thumbs up to a well-written response to an absolutely unnecessary and ironic article that was obviously trying just as hard as it claims Taeyang/Youngbeezy to be.

  • ajj

    I couldn’t agree more but Taeyang himself said he doesn’t even listen to his mom so why would he even listen to us mere fans. But I do wish he’d change his overall style, I miss the old Taeyang. I hear he’s busy doing another solo album, I sincerely hope when it comes out he’s done with this hairstlye and this clothes and this ”swagging”.

  • http://twitter.com/mme0914 Mari ^_^

    No offense but I laughed while reading this article because I agree and also disagree. In part, I agree that Taeyangs hairstyles have been a bit too crazy and out there. In another, I guess the fans got what they wanted which was to change his hairstyle, so in some way I guess be careful what you wish for. But at the same time in my point of view I doubt he even has thought about his hairstyles, to have such a deep meaning as you pointed it out in the article. I agree the pictures are a bit too dark to be him but I know those pictures were drawn from Mina Kwon and she is the one that at times presents them to the artist as gifts (at least from what she puts on her twitter at times) and also she usually draws them portraying someone else she even drew Jay Park as a simpson character, but I guess he could have mention to draw him lighter lol. In another point of view I agree that his hairstyles and the caricature might cry a bit of “transethnic desire” as you pointed out but I have seen that here in the U.S. I was born and raised in Brooklyn and there are people with those hairstyles, though hard to believe. The one friend (who is latino) that has a hairstyle similar to Taeyangs only does it because he likes it not to try to be a certain race. I don’t know, I guess I just don’t see his hairstyle being such a deep symbol to be ranting about also because he has said before I believe it was in the Gd friends live broadcasting that he doesn’t listen to what his mother says and basically won’t listen to what the fans say about his hair. So in a way he can care less what people say about him, which I am happy to know because he is being himself to a point. Though I won’t lie I do miss the humble, shy, quiet Taeyang but he has grown and changed something we have to get used to. I think it is harder to see Taeyang have such crazy hairstyles or awkward styles and obnoxious dance because he was consistent for a long time because if he would have been changing up his style every single time like GD I think we would have cared a bit less. I mean even GD has done questionable hairstyles and worn questionable attire yet we fail to see the deep meaning behind that, if any. In my point of view its a phase with maybe little to no meaning and it will pass. Who knows maybe an even more crazier obnoxious dancing Taeyang will come out once his new solo album is released, maybe a latin craze will come out next, I guess we can only wait and see.

    • Saffi

      I totally agree with you. I mean sometimes when I see really old pictures of JIyong and then I look at him now, I’m like ‘There’s a massive difference’ GD, changes his image up all the time.

      So I guess it fazes us a but more when YoungBae tries to do the same, because he has been so consistent with his clean cut, slick image. I don’t know if he sees it as a bad thing now, and he’s trying to detach himself from it as much as possible, but you can tell that he tries really hard for his rep, which causes me to cringe sometimes. Maybe he just wants total change in the way people see him. For me, at least, it may take some getting used to, but I still admire him.

  • ShineeWorld52911

    That’s the kid from the Cleveland Show

    • http://twitter.com/GoGoSunshine TrustのB*tch

      Yeah it’s Ralo from the Cleveland show styled as Taeyang, the same way GD had a Bart that was stylized as himself.

      • BMT

        Thanks for mentioning that! Taeyang’s also been drawn as Stewie Griffin on Family Guy and has himself up as Hello Kitty on Instagram. Some people take things way too serious.

    • bluevip

      thanks for bringing that up

  • severely

    I completely agree. And even my bb GD is annoying me in some aspects with how outlandish he’s gotten. It’s like they found something that struck a chord with fans, and now, it’s been carried out to ridiculous lengths. Like they’re cartoon characters instead of it being who they really are. It’s a bit disappointing, because you can’t help but cringe, and I worry about it overshadowing their music. (Like how Nicki Minaj is more relevant in the news for whatever the hell she did to her ass and thighs than any recent musical success.)

  • straighttohelvetica

    A+ And, damn, do I miss that mohawk.

  • http://twitter.com/GoGoSunshine TrustのB*tch

    I’m not justifying his avatars but Taeyang has been depicted as darker since they started doing those BANGS cartoons (and those are old as hell now).

  • Streby

    I am extremely grateful to you, Cynthia; thank you for publishing an article which has a remote chance of actually being read by the party concerned.

  • http://twitter.com/pnkfashionninja April 사월이

    Last time I check 99.0% of these Kpop groups are have hip hop/r&b songs or do hip hop dances. Last time I checked 99% of them wore non asian styled clothes. So I dont understand what the uproar is about Tae dressing like HE DAMN WANTS TO.
    Isn’t it in this day and time okay for a man to dress up like a woman? Society will say “Oh he’s wants to be comfortable in his own skin.” WELLLL Why can’t it be Tae being comfortable in his OWN SKIN? Damn.
    Heck 90% of Koreans desire to be lighter or have Western looks. I live here and see it everyday, on TV and all around me. So to see Tae go against what his race things is beautiful takes a lot of courage. HE is doing what makes him happy and comfortable. So get the hell over it! Why point him out? I’m black myself and when I see Taeyang I don’t see someone “trina be black” because you know what?, I’m black and I don’t dress like that! Hip Hop is a subculture from the black community so that means SOME people dress like that but NOT all.
    Oh and how about in America when White people dress hip hop? Does that mean they’re trying to be “black?” How about people are a PRODUCT of their environment. I’m pretty sure Eminiem ain’t “trina be black.” He’s being himself, So why can’t that be the same for Tae? Last time I checked the YG ENVIRONMENT is HIP HOP. I see pictures of him and GD from way back in early YG days in Jinsuseans “A Yo” video. And guess what?? TAE HAD on a DO RAG! OMG! So shocking! And Guess what? He’s STILL rocking one because he CAN. Because its the style he prefers.
    Folks need to stop harrassing this man for dressing in what HE feels comfortable in.
    Drops mic**

    • Whitney’s Receipts


    • Janee’

      I love ur channel!

      • http://twitter.com/pnkfashionninja April 사월이

        haha thank you very much :) Love you too!

    • http://twitter.com/lily_of_west Everybody Lies

      Bless you and this comment!

    • Casey

      I had to make a whole post on tumblr explaining how even though I’m black, it doesn’t bother me nearly as much as it seems to be bothering everyone else, but your post said it best!

    • http://twitter.com/soluizb soluiz

      I want to give you a kiss! =3=)

    • manymanycutesy

      “Oh and how about in America when White people dress hip hop? Does that mean they’re trying to be “black?””

      hmm apparently yes, because Black murricans are always making fun of those pink skinned people when they try to look like hip hop singers

      just google “why are white white people trying to be black?”

      • http://twitter.com/Quipizifr EDQuipzifier

        White people only get called out for trying to be black because when white people know they are from the suburbs and they don’t indulge in the hip hop culture they are just trying to fit in with a “trend of music culture”. That’s why they get called out

    • Lyn

      Eminiem was accept because he was being himself. His past and life and everything he was….is authentic. People know fake wannabe’s when they see one. They know how is authentic. And yes..white get called out all the time for their bullshit in this area. If the shoe fits.

      I agree 100% with this article. He comes across as a try hard and a fake. He is not authentic. And if he comes to America with that BS…he will be laughed off the stage by “real” hip hoppers..and that will be the ones being nice.

      He means no harm…but that doesn’t mean he is not causing harm.

      • http://twitter.com/Quipizifr EDQuipzifier

        Did you know that taeyang and BB did come over to america and the “black artists love him and BB” And his popularity over in america is growing especially in the black community because of his music and where the music come from his heart and soul. Do you also know that he/YG is working with the like of Will.i.am, T-pain, flo-rida etc….. Even Fuse tv is V.I.Ps ….. Why is it the fact that non black people are making a issues of his love for black culture????? If black people aren’t complaining why bring it up?? Why is this whole thing turning into a race issue??? Taeyang is going to be himself. He grew up being apart of the hip hop/R&B culture so he know it pretty well. He just embracing himself as he keep growing and he never forget what got him into music. His style may change from time to time but if you notice all hes different styles include sometime hip hop. as for word play like Swag EVERYBODY and Their momma is using it!!!! no matter the race or culture..And since we are talking about “tae’s so called mockery of black culture.” Thou its more to black culture than hip hop. We should be taking about I’ll Wayne’s officially mockery!!! of rock music and skateboarding culture. Why because he has all this little kids thinking they can just pick up a skateboard or guitar and be apart of a culture without knowing about it.

      • LadyQT

        Causing harm to who?!! WTF you talking about?? You don’t know jackass about him, how he grew up, or what he was about before his ‘wedding dress’ days. Taeyang was like this from the get go! it’s people like you who think korea= bubblegum kpop and people who live innocent lives, that wanna spew your ignorance filled with stereotypes. Go and look up how he looked when he joined YG 12 years ago. You’ll be surprised because ain’t nothing changed.

      • Dae

        Hip hop deals with struggle and was made as a way for blacks to cope with oppression. As you mention already, Eminem is accepted because he is being himself. But Taeyang isn’t? Let me guess. Because Taeyang isn’t from the southside of some “hood” or Detroit, his trials and tribulations aren’t “authentic” enough? Now that is BS. The singer P!nk isn’t from some hood and she was accepted into the R&B scene for one reason: she expressed raw emotion and struggle. Yes, she was from the suburbs, but she had her issues and that is what made her a success when breaking out onto the music scene at first because people respected that. If the shoe fits, like you said. As a Black American from an urban area, I’d like to kindly say, educate yourself before calling anyone’s experiences BS. Not just Taeyang’s. Actually let’s take a little quote from an interview “The Spring of Dong Young Bae” that was released not to long ago. (Which I advise everyone to become familiar with.) “It was a terrible shock to me to witness it. That my father fell on hard times overnight. I saw it with my own eyes, and it was really a shock. I was told things like we had to move out to a bad neighborhood. I thought I should hurry to save my family.” Having your father lose his business and wanting to gain financial stability for your family. Those are the very things that make up hip hop therefore despite what outrageous hairstyles Taeyang may sport, he is very much indeed hip hop and not a try-hard or fake as you said. Seriously, read the interview and you’ll gain some insight.

        Now for the extreme measures Taeyang took with his hair. The entire concept YG and Big Bang as a whole took with “Alive” was exactly that…extreme. Fantastic Baby pretty much set the bar with the concept. With that,Taeyang never deviated far from his hip hop roots despite whatever concept was being pushed. With Alive, he just amped it some levels, just like G.D. has been doing with his countless hairstyles. So it come’s to no surprise that he’ll rock some braids or twists. I mean, come on. T.O.P debuted with mint hair for this album. Daesung with blonde. Fans should expect Big Bang, and actually all of YG, to bring the shock factor. Just saying.

      • Lyn Prince

        *stares at comments below*

        I stand by my comments. I know all about Taeyang and his life. I’ve been around Kpop for a while. He comes across as someone putting on a show. Playing house. Not authentic. It doesn’t matter which black people accept him and where…newsflash….not all black people think and feel the same. That’s nice for those black people…but there will be plenty others who will look at him and scoff.

        Harm? Yes, he is causing harm..by perpetuating stereotypes. People in Korea don’t have much contact with minorities and think what they see on tv or rap videos is all there is…and he is playing into that. Not intentionally. I’m sure he means no harm..I’m sure. But he is doing it all the same.

        I stand by my statements. He comes across as fake. This aint dress up…this is life.

        • pang

          If anybody can judge Taeyang for choosing his any styles…
          All the koreans and asians and all the ppl all over the world
          should be judged for copying western ppl or each other!!!
          T-shirt and blue jeans’re not from us, so I can’t wear them lol
          At least I should have good understanding about
          the western culture and interacted with them to wear it haha

          Old koreans had braided hair and wore traditional
          costumes called “HanBok”
          So is it not true me if I wear a nice dress I want?
          While 99% of koreans and kpop idols try to look western ppl
          dying their hair blonde or something…
          why Taeyang can’t look african americans???
          (Moreover only a few african amercans wear like him now, right?)
          So we can follow and be affected only by western ppl and culture,
          but not blk ppl and culture when we like it???
          I’m really sick of those double-standard………
          sick of ironic people.

          Taeyang is a sinner because he had styles he loves……… ?!?
          He/she that is without sin among you, cast a stone at Taeyang!!!

          • Gaya_SB

            I’m sorry but many countries wear Western dress as a result of past Colonisation by a European power as well as modern-day globalisation which mainly promotes a Western lifestyle. It’s not so much imitation as it is being overpowered.

          • pang

            I mean this world is a global town, ppl affect and be affected in anyway including Colonisation. Taeyang was moved by african american music since he was a kid. He decided to enter YG because YG was the company based on that music genres mainly at the time. His inclination became more stronger when he entered YG, being more affected by the musicians around him from america giving off hiphop swag. we should not approach on this issue with racial thing, it’s about culture based on music genre.
            Like music has no frontier, so should be the freedom of expression of an artist. No kpop artists’re free on this issue, all of them’re affected by foreign music and culture. why ppl judge only on Taeyang? moreover, most of the the current western music was also affected by african american music too. While african americans have created and progressed almost all the current music genres, isn’t it more of strange that most of musicians/artists follow western styles?

        • Dae

          I can actually respect that you stand by your statements. And kudos for realizing not all black people think the same. Some would rather assume we were hostile hip hoppers. Personally, I assumed we were drawing a comparison based on life experiences as to whether or not that makes a person “authentic” hip hop seeing as you claimed Eminem was authentic given his “past and life”. But you know all about Taeyang so that wouldn’t matter much. And for an entertainer to come across as putting on a show and “dress up”…that’s bizarre. I stand by my comments regarding the Alive concept.

      • http://fam3m0nster.tumblr.com/ Hypster_Dragon

        Real hip hoppers? This phrase made me laugh out. Take a look at the current ‘hip hop’ scene in America; with people like Future, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj dominating the scene. Hip hop is a changing evolution. It’s so infused with pop and rock and everything else, it looks nothing like the stereotype people paint it as. Skateboards, skinny jeans, bright colours, swag, cars, and clothes. In fact, I’m at the point where I believe everyone in hip hop just takes things from G-Dragon’s closet.

        Yes, Lil Wayne, I’m talking about you wearing that same (fugly) hat in YU MAD MV, that G-Dragon wore two years prior.
        In retrospective, that whole 90s’ scene of bandanas and being ‘real hip hop’ has long since faded out. It’s experimental, it’s changing. Just like Taeyang is experimenting with his looks, the braids in that picture particularly, poetic justice. Hell, Kayne West wore a skirt and still has his status in his career. I’m not condemning it, I’m just saying.

        Your most popular hip hop song will talk about a dance style or a clothing brand. And I have no doubt in mind, if given the opportunity, the best in the hip hop scene would collaborate with BIGBANG. Will I Am already put 2NE1 on the track.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sil-GO/564953915 Sil GO

      this whole issue about Taeyang’s hair is getting old and annoying…..THANK GOD FOR YOUR COMMENT!! not only because you have an upper hand on the subject by experiencing both cultures BRAVO TO YOU MISS (love your channel by the way)!!! …….. and in to all respect of the “writter” of this….”article”…..obviously she is quite intolerant…..

    • LadyQT

      You are on point! People are attaching too much meaning to style. It’s quite ridiculous. Unfortunately some ignorant folks will never understand this.

    • http://www.perfectlyspecial.wordpress.com Noni-Ayanna Gobern-Roach

      well said

  • WhySoSerious

    Wow, I think you’re taking this issue way too seriously and personally.

    Hair and clothes aside, he’s still the same sweet and humble and forever-loving music person he has always been. So honestly, who cares? Do you like him for his styling? Or for his music and the passion he puts into it? Prioritize please.

    Apparently, this conversation happened at the latest Osaka concert,
    -Just remember what YB said last night..*talking about YB’s hair style* I think it was Riri who said, YB will look more handsome if he change his hairstyle to a more idol-like hairstyle, then YB said: “i know it will suits me so well, that’s why I’LL NEVER DO IT!”

    YB obviously isn’t going to do what people want. He’s already said he doesn’t care about what people think of his hair and styling. Hell, he doesn’t even listen to his mom about it. He’s doing what he wants and is enjoying himself. It’s actually only now that he seems to be enjoying his freedom and just having fun, rather than being a worrywart all the damn time.

    All in all, there are a lot more important things to worry about than his hair. Like where the hell is his next solo album dammit? All of those new dance classes and working with the Int’l producers must have resulted into something!

  • Whitney’s Receipts

    Articles like this are so funny to me. Seriously, Taeyang doesn’t give a damn what people think. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if he does stuff like this just to troll people like you all. Hiphop culture/black styles are not popular at all in korea, so obviously he’s not doing this to keep up with a fad. Also, anyone who’s followed YGE through out the years knows that taeyang is no stranger to black styling, so this is not “fun and games” to him as the article suggests. This is someone who has sported an afro, cornrows, and a braidout. I’m waiting on him to pop up with a Katt Williams-like perm or some finger waves. His love for black culture may be a little misguided but he’s certainly not doing this to make a mockery out of it. I really don’t think it’s that serious but a problem I have is his beautician shouldn’t have burned the ends of the twists, they should have dipped them in hot water.

  • Missy

    Great job cyn! I was dyin reading this article. The endless swag variations on his Instagram postings make me embarrassed for the youngbae. A lot of big bang’s stylings make me pause. and for everyone commenting like hes not biting its his style blah blah. i have NEver seen a man rock mid length twists. he looks a hott mess with those extenstions. But the messiest has to be the avatar. Like tae love u I do. But ur not a brother!!! Ur not. Twitter is ur medium to connect to the world so u need to stop frontin! And while we are at it don’t take cues from trindad James and ASAP rocky on what is cool in black culture. That’s what has u all f’d up in the game now. Have enough foolywangs in American hip hop as is no need to inspire global rachetness.

  • Cherry_Blueberry

    Though I see your point of this letter, I can only somewhat agree with you. The reason I don’t fully agree is because Taeyang is one of those rare k-pop (pop being the key word here) artists who seems to show a genuine admiration for African- American culture. Even though him and Bang Yong Guk (BAP) get flack for appropriating they don’t, for the most part, superficially consume AA culture. They research and learn more than what’s on the surface and being exported for mass consumption. I feel like Big Bang’s recent world tour has reignited his passion for AA culture. It could be that he was around AA people so much and for extensive amounts of time that his admiration has grown stronger for the people and its culture.
    Does appropriation go on in kpop? Of course. Most recently, from Big Bang, being GD in “One of a Kind”. And that wasn’t him appropriating AA culture, more like Lil Wayne’s “swag” lol! (the word swag needs to die a quick and painful death by the way, sorry for using it) And that’s funny he called his song “One of a Kind” while playing the role of someone else all the way down to Wayne’s mannerism, but now I’m going on a tangent. I once believed Taeyang’s admiration to be a phase like many people who listen to kpop go through, but he seems to have a genuine everlasting infatuation.The thing about calling out everything on appropriation(and this is not directed to the author, just generally) is that it dilutes its true meaning and this confines everyone to stay in their bubble. People become afraid of admiring a culture because they feel they will be accused of appropriation and fetishism when they really haven’t done such things. Genuine appreciation sometimes becomes misconstrued or misinterpreted.
    Is Taeyang reaching? Yes, but I don’t think all the points brought up should be criticized. I think bringing Tasha and Lee Michelle into the picture was a bit reaching as well. I really don’t see anything wrong with him styling his hair to be be kinkier. That’s that bubble thing I was talking about earlier. If your telling him not to do that, then you might as well tell black girls not to get their hair relaxed. I know my opinion might not be popular, but I like the fact that him and GD are now experimenting with these more afro-centric hairstyles. Not that I like all of the styles on them but they’re telling the world that something other than the standard can be seen as beautiful, appreciated and desired. Some of of the things he’s done that have been mentioned have got me scratching my head and I do agree he needs to let that dougie rest in peace, but for some reason I can’t stop laughing because even though everything points to him being serious, I feel he’s trolling everyone. “no, do not tell me he is just “super tan” HAHAHAHAHA, priceless!

    On another note, in accordance to the summation of this article, I feel the thoughts used were more Asianjunkies and its commentators more than your own. Honestly should have linked to the article. I would have liked to hear your own thoughts more than a rehash of what another blogger has already posted about.

  • http://dvqd92.tumblr.com/ Elizabeth

    totally agree with this article Cynthia :)

  • http://twitter.com/sollenatburger Sonwabile Antonie

    Im just tired of the word “SWAG” period. Its too played out now and its getting annoying rather than cool. I kinda agree with the writer, Taeyang’s hairstyles are questionable but atleast he has done them from day 1 so his african american inspired hairstyles are not just concepts to him.

    I just wish he shaves his whole head and starts a new trend

  • http://twitter.com/lily_of_west Everybody Lies

    So it’s not ok for him to dress like he dresses (like HE clearly wants to dress) and style his hair to his own liking, but it’s ok for kpop boy groups to dress like girls, to put on dresses and wigs, to put make up on, make fun of girl groups basically? Enlighten me because I’m not following? He can dress and style his hair how he wants and clearly wishes to do, it’s not him making fun or trying to appropriate a culture, it’s him doing what he wants what he’s comfortable with. For the first time in many years I feel like he’s finally being himself, doing what he wants and we get all these people screaming “racism” “cultural appropriation” “embarrassment” “disrespectful”. Can everyone take a seat and stop acting like you have any right to tell him how to act or dress. It’s his life. He’s not trying to offend anyone, if he was he would have done it once. Those twitter avatars for all of you clueless and dumbass people are not drawn by him, but by Mina, and if any of you have a bone to pick, you can address it to her.

    And how is dressing a certain way being disrespectful to a race? As far as I know not all black people dress like they just popped out of a hip-hop video. So are the black people who wear suits or polo shirts and khaki pants appropriating white culture? The amount of dumbass in this post is beyond me. People need to stop riding his hairstyle and the way he dresses to get some attention. He’s a grown ass man, he can dress how he wants to. He’s not offending anyone, he’s just being himself. So if he wants to put on a dress and pigtails and jump around a field full of yellow flowers, if it’s something he wants to do he can do it.

    • PrincelyLuna

      I LOVE YOU.

    • GaCaRa

      gender and race are not the same: race in the current global climate is defined with relation to white people, while gender is recognised in all races and cultures individually.

      You should read about cultural appropriation some time. crossdressing is a whooooole other issue

      • http://twitter.com/lily_of_west Everybody Lies

        And when did I say they were the same thing. I was just drawing parallel of people judging a kpop idol/artist for dressing in a certain manner claiming it’s disrespectful (even tho it’s clear that the individual they’re talking about is not trying to be disrespectful) but not saying shit when certain idols/artists aim to be disrespectful when they dress a certain way.

        For your information I know quite a bit about cultural appropriation. But it’s clear here this isn’t a case. His style of dressing is hip hop inclined, always has been since even before he debuted, he identifies with it. He was never disrespectful about it in no way shape or form. And again, not all black people dress that way, it’s a style connected to hip hop culture, which yes originates from black people but that doesn’t mean it has to be exclusively connected to black people. People riding Bae for dressing the way he dresses are just people looking for attention. He has all the liberty to dress how he wishes as long as he’s not being disrespectful about it, and clearly he’s not.

    • http://twitter.com/poetdiva28 IG anointeddancer

      Oh my God, you are my hero right now. Just for that last paragraph alone.

  • http://twitter.com/Neoteros_92 Neoteros

    I don’t recognize Taeyang anymore. He is becoming a caricature of his pre-debut self. I hope that his new album will be his usual R&B and not some sort of glam rap shit, because that’s where he seems headed.

  • http://twitter.com/KariiDel89 Karii ㋡

    I knew it! I KNEW I wasn’t the only one that saw he had black caricatures. I sincerely hope he sees this, someone show this to him…puh-lease.

  • fanimnida

    He just needs to add some beads to those braids and he’ll be just like my elementary school classmates

  • http://twitter.com/PlumAusten Plum Austen

    After reading this ‘open letter’, all I could think was “Danger! Freedom of speech and expression, getting encroached.” Surely, this is an over-reaction to what is just one man’s personal choice?? And an open letter is typically used to communicate publicly to the intended recipient that some action of theirs is causing public harm. I know that SB covered some aspect of this perceived “cultural misappropriation” recently. I did not agree with some of the sentiments expressed there, but it was an op-ed piece. This open letter format is more personal and therefore I found it naive and rather patronizing,

    Taeyang has the right to wear what he likes, choose any online avatar he wants. How does any of this affect his music? They say that the late Michael Jackson was uncomfortable with his African physical characteristics. I don’t know much about this or whether this was even true. All I care about is his music which, to this day, moves me. Sir Elton John dresses in the most eye-catching clothes. How does that make any difference to his abilities or accomplishments? And same with Lady Gaga. Taeyang has not expressed any racial hatred through his hair, or online posts. He does not sing about beating women up or shooting people. He does not incite people to hurt others in his songs, tweets, or pictures. There are far worse things a celebrity can portray and dreadlocks, dougie, swag – do not even come close to anything stereotypical or bigoted.

    Lastly, Taeyang’s hair, clothes, online avatars, they are his choice entirely. Therefore why magnify his choice and make it a blanket representation of how Korean people see people of color? This is just one man’s personal preference, an expression of his free choice.

  • Chyrita Bonita

    This article is hilarious! I don’t really have a problem with Taeyang embracing hip hop style and culture but i do agree that recently he has gone way overboard with it. He needs to pull it back some.

  • http://athlieskores.blogspot.gr/ Erisa Desu

    where can I sign this petition…and please someone make GD stop changing his hairstyles so often…

  • http://twitter.com/kwonjiyen Shhhh

    Dear Cynthia

    Do you really think he cares?


    A VIP


    This honestly doesn’t bother me but I can see how some black folks can become annoyed by this. Honestly this article was a good keke so many good quotes lol…I just think he like a lot of kpoppers are influenced by black culture and he wants to imitate it but you can’t be mad at him when the bang Big Bang toured with is playing songs like big booty girl for TOPs bday (vid can be found on YouTube) and etc. I think he just needs more black friends maybe live in the states a bit to get a sense of black reality then maybe he’ll understand it more. Idk who knows but that pic and the quote
    now this before it was hella funny! Lol

  • Krisus92

    Seriously? Why does his choice of hairstyle need to be turned into a race issue? It’s not that damn serious. He likes what he likes and I can assure you he doesn’t give a damn that you are basically offended over nothing. Sit it on down, JFC.

    • Whitney’s Receipts

      Find better things to do with your time.

  • kooky_cookie

    You can like or dislike it. It is called personal opinion and I respect that. It’s one to express your thoughts and an entirely different thing to whine about something you have no control over. You don’t like his hair? Change your bias, like another group, get over it. Youngbae is a person not some doll you can dress up as you wish and desire, he likes what he likes and he does whatever he wants because he can. Whether you like him the way he is or not doesn’t make him wrong and no one should control the way a person expresses himself. Youngbae doesn’t care, he can follow Jeremy Scott’s trend and I wouldn’t care because FACT true VIPs appreciate the music not the colour nor the style or the face. And Youngbae could look like an ass and still pull off the music no matter what because FACT he is that talented.

    So said by a true VIP-change yourselves not the others because they.don’t.give.a.damn. PERIOD.

    • Tbaby


    • bluevip

      preach; freedom of expression!

  • THUGrife

    At first i thought this was a joke because honestly no way in hell could this possibly be serious. This is obviously just a FASHION STATEMENT. If he wants to dress the way he does, let him. It’s the whole thing with “cultures” in this aspect. I come from a very typical asian family and before it was looked down upon to dress like a “westerner” when i still lived there and i was forced to wear traditional clothes. So basically this article is just what YOU wish he would wear. this is just a crock of shit. let him be and wear whatever the fuck he wants. i agree, i’m not a big fan of his hair but all of my black friends haven’t found taeyang in the least bit disrespectful. they even say “i bet he was a black guy in his previous life”.

  • Lyn


    Thank you for this article. He and many other in Kpop are out of control with this bullshit

  • innerD
  • clara sosa

    PLEASE. what about people (black people and white people) who are not korean using terms like “oppa” “Noona” “annyeong” or “kekeke” to name but a few? isn’t that cultural appropriation as well?

    • http://twitter.com/M_Wys Michaela Wylie

      Yes, it is. As was mentioned in this article…

    • Michael Zamot

      No it isnt, and Koreans living in Korea are happy knowing people is loving their culture. Of course some will dislike it, ignore those, the overall population likes it.

  • Marie

    The effeminate thing… Just a thought, and while I respect your opinion… since when has Big Bang cared about when something was made for women… G Dragon wears skirts on a regular basis.

  • http://twitter.com/M_Wys Michaela Wylie

    I agree with this article. I think that he goes too far with his black/hip-hop obsession. Other idols do too, I guess, so I can’t just call out Taeyang. Bang Yongguk also said he wanted to be black. It’s just sad. Be interested in other cultures, but don’t abandon your own. (Something I don’t think some K-pop understand, which I imagine is a reason for some of the hate on here.)

  • http://twitter.com/poetdiva28 IG anointeddancer

    I would be a little more inclined to agree with this letter if it weren’t for the band. You know, the group of black men YB’s interacted with for months who seem to have no problem with his style. While some of his recent choices have been a bit cringe worthy, I don’t believe he’s trying to appropriate or mock my culture. He’s simply growing more comfortable in his skin.

    And his DPs were drawn by Mina Kwon, so how you’re faulting him for something out of his control is ridiculous.

  • pary16

    well i agree with some things you said, the hairstyle is TERRIBLE but the avatars are drawn by his friend Mina Kwon, if you wanna blame anyone blame her for the dark skin avatars lol

  • Teresa94

    The only reason why I dislike his hair is because it takes SOOO FRIGGEN LONG to do! I remember sitting in the salon for 4-5 hours gettings twists done, the neck pain was unbearable. But it still looks good on him though, so he might as well rock it! :P

  • Mabel M

    oh another try hard unnecessary ironic Seoulbeats article! i’m not even surprised.

    Btw, the talented Mina Kwon drew a lot of “super tan” people in that skin tone, so it might really be just “super tan”

  • http://twitter.com/syikinomnom 시킨

    dude follows black people’s trend and people are having fits over it. but how bout those other idols who’ve been trying to be ‘white’ (bleached blonde hair and all) all this while, why isn’t anyone making noise bout that huh?
    just chill. don’t see anything wrong with an asian guy sporting a hip hop style. sometimes i just don’t understand kpop fangirls. just let the damn celebrities do whatever the hell they want. why do you guys wanna control their lives?

  • http://twitter.com/sebsobandsky Sabah

    Without belittling crimes of cultural appropriation, I think it is impossible to judge individual cases. Though we may be able to estimate the depth of understanding of a
    person’s interest in hip-hop, we can not comprehend their affinity towards it, nor their love for it.

    The world is becoming smaller and as more borders are opened for people, cultural boundaries that once defined us become lost too. I find this kind of criticism a type of elitism that fails to understand the modern age of information and its influence which for the most part is very positive. For me an inspirational example is Beena Keum.

  • capri08

    First I would like to say the hip hop culture and Black culture are too different things. Not every black person out there in the world dresses and/or style there hair in the hip hop culture fashion. So please everyone get off the stereotype.
    Secondly no one should be say they know what a music artist or idol is thinking. Because technically, you don’t know what is going on in their head. Or why they would choose to wear/style themselves one way or the other.
    Third, I THINK, the reason why some people would feel this way is because he may come off, not being himself. And for others because he an idol you like or you find him be him you don’t see a problem with it.
    But for me, as a person who part of the hip hop community, sometimes I feel not just Taeyang but other idols as well; try to hard. For example sometimes you may see someone like that on the street and it might not even be the hip hop style, it maybe another culture. And they come off a little phony and not true to themselves. It’s a turn off be it a man or a women.

  • LadyQT

    Some people need to get the F*ck over it, OK?! Why is it that most black people do NOT care?! And why the hell do you care so much?!! Acting like the boy has never stepped foot in America. Shoot, the last time I checked he was chilling with Danja up in LA lol. Now you think Danja’s gonna be chilling with some fake ‘face palming’ wannabe, what ever for? In addition, the big bang band are all black men (and fine! FYI). If tae was out of line, he’d know about it by now. Open your eyes people! It’s only you naïve souls, who know nothing about him that have so much to say.

    As for the author of this stupid ‘letter’ that’s going no where: It’s about time you did more meaningful things with your life, like paying more attention to the atrocities taking place around the world. Acting like Youngbeezzy wearing a bandana is some kind of a transgression. What’s wrong with you?! Like how stupid can u get?! lol. Please go and educate yourself and re-evaluate your life if that’s your definition of transgression. Please!

    • Whitney’s Receipts

      They want “oppa” to accept them for who they are but they can’t accept
      him for who he is if it doesn’t fit into what they perceive as “normal.”

      • bluevip

        OMO I LOVE YOU

  • Daisy H

    ok i do not get involved with these things but this has made me so angry i feel compelled to. No matter whether is famous or a lonely hermit you should never attack someone for their appearence. Enough is enoug, you may not like his style but thats a personal opinion and should not be sent to put a person down or make them feel self conscious. no race has exclusive right to a certain style. We are all just human beings and are entitled to express ourselves as we choose.i don’t usually follow bands but this is the main reason I like BB as they dont appear to be afraid to be who they want to be. Im sorry if i have offended anyone but i couldnt just sit back on this one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Juliana.Bockova Julka Bocková

    WHAT THE FUCK I hope this is just bad sick joke and you´re just very awkward comedian !!!! How dare you ?? Write something like this to adult man ? Who are you ?? Do you even know him personal ? Or are you his friend ? I´m telling you – STOP THIS SHIT , it´s really not fair and sad and makes me pissed as hell. How would you feel, if someone COMPLETELY STRANGE send you a letter like this ? Shame on you and all “VIPs” for saying this and worse – writing shit like this straight to him. Ahhh I´m so mad right now, it´s so RUDE form all of you, so-called FANS . GO, fuck yourselves. AND DON´T EVEN THINK ABOUT SENDING THIS TO TAEYANG.

  • Guest

    WHAT THE FUCK I hope this is just bad sick joke and you´re just very awkward comedian !!!! How dare you ?? Write something like this to adult man ? Who are you ?? Do you even know him personal ? Or are you his friend ? I´m telling you – STOP THIS SHIT , it´s really not fair and sad and makes me pissed as hell. How would you feel, if someone COMPLETELY STRANGE send you a letter like this ? Shame on you and all “VIPs” for saying this and worse – writing shit like this straight to him. Ahhh I´m so mad right now, it´s so RUDE form all of you, so-called FANS . GO, fuck yourselves. AND DON´T EVEN THINK ABOUT SENDING THIS TO TAEYANG.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Grace-Hong/15213088 Grace Hong

    Hmmm, ya know… after so many reported cases of depression and suicide, I don’t really see the humor in these ‘petitions’ encouraging a person to change some aspect of, or render harm to, themselves. Isn’t it kind of just a form of bullying? Granted everyone is entitled to have an opinion, but is it necessary to try and encourage others to gang up on somebody? Is it really all that amusing? side note: I don’t think that was really a perm, your hair just kind of looks like that when you take tight braids out >_<

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Grace-Hong/15213088 Grace Hong

      sorry, not really a reaction to the letter, but a thought that popped in when I saw the petitions below :0P

  • moxie91

    *inhales deeply* *exhales slowly*


    I’m starting to get real tired of the writers who label themselves as “fans” reaching out to point out how racist and stereotypical these images are. Coming from someone who actually knows the history of Big Bang’s members and style, and someone who’s dealt with the same accusations you’re putting on—let me be the first to say that this isn’t him trying to be something or someone he’s not. Just because someone may appear to be imitating another culture doesn’t make it so.

    There’s a ghetto and hood lifestyle in EVERY CULTURE and EVERY RACE.

    Talk about being narrow minded…

    I’ve spent most of my life being told I act too white to be black, or that I couldn’t possibly be half Japanese because I’m too dark. Countless times I get told I’m “acting Black:” or “acting White” or “pretending to be Asian”, but the thing is, I’m not. I’m just being myself, whether people see it that way or not.

    Most of the black people I know would look at me once and just assume I’m only Asian and that I couldn’t possibly know anything about living in the hood, or having a thuggish mentality—but that’s where they’d be wrong. I spent most of my life with the black side of my family—and experienced a lot of things considered cultural “norms” in the community.

    Anyway…I’m not here to talk about me, I’d just like to point out that anyone should be able to dress however they want. It’s not as if he’s blatantly walking around in blackface—he’s just expressing a side of himself that in my opinion, has always been there since before Big Bang.

    He was rocking the dookie braids probably pre-debut as well.

    OH and another thing—those hairstyles aren’t gender specific and I have no idea who taught you that but it’s false. If anything Jiyong’s golden braids were more effeminate.


    And the whole sitch with the “dark skinned icon”—that’s pretty much Bae’s skin color in the summer, or maybe you haven’t noticed but Koreans actually do get pretty dark, as do Japanese people.

    Matter of fact, up until I was 9 I was telling everyone that my very Japanese Grandpa was African American because he was so dark compared to me—and I’m actually half!

    Le sigh. I doubt there is any point in writing this though since it seems you hardly take the time to read these anyway.

    Oh, and by “you” I’m referring to the writer of this article and/or anyone who has similar thinking.

    To be frank, the person writing this article is appearing to be more racist with this constant need to point out how wrong it is to portray a culture that supposedly belongs to another.

    How about you get off your high horse and take a look at the bigger picture, kthanks.

    • Stephanienluv Toch

      I totally agree with you ..who cares what he want to do with his hair . People just need to calm down and stop being so negative sometime. I don’t see anything wrong with what he do. He haven’t hurt anyone . If you don’t like what he do or what he wear then don’t pay attention to it . You can changed the music or don’t watch kpop . Its not that hard go do something else with your life . And stop worring about what he do like come on stop being such a hater and besides most of thr stuff you see online is not all true people Photoshop pictures and reblogged from someone page . The world would be a better place if we all just get along and stop being so mad over useless things like this. Stop being so close minded about things and try to understand what they are all about before you judge them . I like all kind of music no matter what race or culture it is i just love music and music brings people together .thanks to al the artists that are out there making them music for our ears . Without them doing what they do we would have no music ..music become 1 <3

  • my self

    I wonder if this article was trying to point out that Taeyang behavior and image is a stereotypical image of black culture. This can go beyond being a fan to creating a fetish that is quite scarey and abrasive.
    We are all kpop fans, and maybe some us have whiteness fandoms gone out of control. The first thing that comes to mind is Korean fans worshiping their idols and stalking them but it isn’t like international non-Asian fans haven’t done worse.
    Reading fan blogs of young white and black girls only desperately wanting to date and marry an Asian guy because they like K-pop or J-pop. Assume that they will find someone like their Asian male bias or think every Asian behaves like an idol.Even try to adopt Korean and Japanese mannerism and become someone they are not. Its no different when a Korean person who likes hip hop and tries to dress and act the mannerism. Some will go as far with exclusion to only dating black people and darking their own skin. It is a form of extremism that has hidden racial social issues dwelling deep in that person sub-conscious. That is being express by that outward appearance in a desperate attempt to feel apart of something.
    But you have to be careful when passing judgement and understand that person’s personality and their sincerity. Taeyang used to dress this way back in his early training days and when Big Bang first debut. He change because the Korean fans were not responding to his look as warmly. So he became a little more simple and people like that because they can absorb him easier. I think G-Dragon gets away with how he looks because he is so flamboyant. GD isn’t trying to act black, white or even the stereotypical Korean male idol. He is trying to portray himself on something that can’t be social categorized.
    I feel Taeyang wants to be the same and he is trying to do it again. Big Bang has paid their dues, became globally recognized and shape K-pop to fit them and not the other way around. I wouldn’t be surprise if Taeyang is force to change his look again but if he doesn’t than he is become the man, I guess, he wants to be. Someone who has control over his life and isn’t being told who to be, what dress and how to act, in order to be accepted. This ties into Korea’s very structure mundane society that can kill the most creative of minds.
    On the flip side, I think Taeyang should explore this image he is portraying at a deeper level. More to black culture than our music, fashion and street language. Its such a diverse and unique culture, this is just the tip of the ice berg. I would like to see someone in Korea dive into African and African American culture with a better wisdom and presentation than the obvious hip hop.I think that is why people are turn off. I’ve seen Japanese musician create indulge in the origins of African culture music and dance. Its quite cool to see someone not just present their culture but can also represent another with the same level respect that goes beyond the superficial.

  • Tabi

    This article disgusts me. I suppose I should leave it at that.
    In fact, all the things I have read by you on this site seems to be inflammatory and miles away from the usual standard of SB.
    This is a disgrace.

  • wahooyahoo

    Wow, the VIPs on here are starting to act as crazy as the SM fans…the point the author was trying to make in the article goes beyond the way Taeyang dresses and the styles he wears his hair in. Those are just superficial and although the author did discuss them as part of their argument, its not the main point of the entire article. I think you guys are missing that point entirely…

    • Tbaby

      Whatever. She made her point very clear. We just don’t agree with it, and think it’s stupid for her to care so much when he doesn’t care, or anyone around him for that matter, or his fans. So get over it. Let him BE.

  • Tbaby

    Just shut up with your dumbass rant. Like Taeyang gives a sh*t. Nobody cares OK!! BYE.

    • kooky_cookie

      Let them diss and have their fun. This article is so out of place and out of line I can’t even imagine what the writer was thinking. We all know who Bae is and what he can do. How hard he’s been working and how he will blow our minds with the new msic he’s been working on. Don’t sweat it and don’t worry over all this. People will always hate there’s not escaping from that. Youngbae is amazing and we love him because we know him ^^ because he is talented and generous, kind-hearted and just an amazing incredible person.

    • Whitney’s Receipts

      lol I love you.

  • choomin87

    What a nasty piece of work. Who are you to bother him, his mama? This is so irrelevant and messed up.You just waisted your time and energy. Taeyang is still the shit, don’t even get it twisted. His hair preference isn’t going to change that. Period.

  • Steffani Stirks

    totally understand this article. Some non-black people will never understand
    black people/black culture. I’m not saying that black kpop fans should be mad at
    Taeyang but some of the commentators don’t get the point the author was trying
    to make. In nutshell she was trying to say that Hip-Hop and RnB are not defined
    by dressing in baggy clothes and wearing braids in your hair. The author isn’t
    calling Taeyang racist nor did she say that only black people should be making
    Hip-Hop and RnB music. Black people don’t have a problem with Eminem as rapper
    because he’s real, he his own style and he isn’t trying to be “stereotypically
    black”. I mean when I saw GD and Tae on one of those end of the year
    shows, my first thought was it’s almost 2013, why are they dressed like Tupac
    and Snoop! Putting cultural appropriation aside, that’s just lame! Eminem
    doesn’t feel the need to dress like that, he just writes his true feelings and
    raps. So, my question is why can’t some of these k-pop stars do that as well?
    Tae also seems worse than he was pre-debut. He’s really nice and open to the
    fans but his attitude on stage is so annoying. He seems cocky these days, I’m
    not saying that he is but that ‘s how he comes across on stage. And for those
    of you who say Koreaboos are the same way and they should also be called out.
    Um news flash, Koreaboos do get called by their names. To honest though, this whole subject really does need to end because people will never agree. I’m black I’m not offended but some black fans are. And it’s not that I’m biased it’s just that I don’t care. Kpop is just music so I try not let people that’ll never meet rattle my cage too much

  • lovelytunes

    Just because black culture is known for those types of clothing/hairstyles, I don’t think it should be limited to JUST black people. It’s a look, not like it’s illegal for him to wear things like that. We’ve seen kimonos turned into dresses for different occasions that were definitely not Japanese, and definitely not worn by Japanese people. The chopsticks in the hair, or the “asian bun”, isn’t always worn by asians. So if someone does that hairstyle, they’re automatically deemed “asian wannabe’s” or something?

  • vipNY

    I start to hate this site SOULBEAT now! this site is full of SHIT!
    I wish this site burns in hell! GO TO DIE! Motherfu*ker!

  • anisan;

    To be honest, so many of you are commenting with your opinions but half of you have no idea of the depth of this matter. You’re just trying to protect oppa. But whenever y’all get a clue as to what is to be BLACK and all the shit that comes along with it, you can respond. I really want some of you to at least open your eyes to the matters at hand. At this point, let me also say that what Taeyang does is none of my business. But education needs to be given here.

  • Jess

    Okay… Are you fucking serious?
    You’re getting all up at Youngbae for his hairstyles and his “black” concepts
    But man, you wont get up the white people saying that they are black.
    Bitch, Youngbae can do whatever the fuck he wants. He has more friends than you and a bigger following
    So sit down, shut up, and quit your bitching.

  • VIP

    Guys! If you ever see anyone other than a black person with braids, write an article about them, okay?! Oh and another thing, if anyone dougies (and isn’t black), write an article dedicated entirely to them. And if ANYONE dare write swag in their instagram caption (and isn’t black), once again, write an article just for them. [This writer is so stuck-up and ignorant. I don’t think the writer understands that she’s generalizing herself, meanwhile she’s bashing someone else about it.]

  • http://twitter.com/palo011 Paloma Cavazos

    I would like to let you know that clothes was not made for only one race or group of people. There is no label on clothes that says “for black people only” or “for Asians only.” If he likes a certain style let him be and either way his style matches his clothes and hairstyles because Taeyang is basically a part of the Hip-hop culture.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/LimaCake LimaCake

    Amen to this entire article. I just re-read it and I bow at how real it is. We all love Taeyang. He is one fine specimen of man and I’d jump through fire to get to him. But if you can’t admit that he has an issue with appropriating black-ness, then you need to take a look at the mirror and then take two seats because you’re not being honest with yourself. Or you are blind as hell. Cynthia, thanks for writing this because I’m tired of people pretending that Taeyang doesn’t have this borderline fetish for black culture (but would cry tears of blood if he actually had to be black)

    • Gaya_SB


  • Resky Djakfar

    YB……I Love You just the way you are…..

  • http://www.facebook.com/AnaiCheri AnaiCheri Cymone Choi

    Are you serious? This…this is a troll post right?

  • Guest

    Me being a “darker skinned and kinky hair” as you call it female myself I find nothing wrong in what he is doing. He is expressing himself which is what hip hop and the rap genre is all about! Expression of self! Let him do what he wants. American hip hop artist love him and his music. And if you did your research you would know his avatar was drawn by Mina Kwon. She made it for him ad a gift he did not request her to make him a black taydaddy avatar. Besides if you have so much to say about him then why not drag Gd into it? He’s all about swag, yolo, gangsta and all that and his music as well. So why is he exempt? I think your just being one sided and tunnel vision. Just admit you dont like YB and sit down somewhere and chill out. His music is brilliant, he is one of the nicest and humble idols in the industry and I pray to god he doesnt take your advice!

  • T.R.

    Your brain must only have about 2 cells working, right? No really….how did you even manage to form sentences? You’re dumb as rocks and this article is dumb as rocks. Black people always have to be so extra. Write an open letter to like the damn president about a more pressing issue like jobs or health care instead of a Kpop artist who sports braids and wears hip hop clothing. clown.

  • Moka1990

    This right here is nothing but putting you nose in more successful person than you really lots of people need a reallity check and black is not a style it’s urban I’m Mexican and black but I act more different then how people think African Americans act everyone has there own style and his is urban

  • http://twitter.com/ghost4twenty fucking radical

    wooww u guys missed the point.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ayan.mahdi Ayan Mahdi

    Agreed…I won’t even address the fact that a lot of the people who dissagree on here aren’t even making an effort to see the serious amounts of cultural appropriation, as fangirls rarely ommit to their lack of neutral judgement and sense of critique. Hip hop culture is already often misconstruded and bellittled in the westerned music industry but to have YG partake in that isn’t a “celebration” of urban hip hop culture amidst east asian culture, it only adds to the mockery and oversimplification of it. Their usage of stereotyped imagery only popularizes the negative stigmas and perpetuates them and if you don’t understand why that can be harmful I suggest you take a couple sociology classes to enlighten yourselves.

  • Akosua Boffour


  • ronnibear

    I love that Taeyang’s avatars are brown, because in Korea pale is akin to beauty. I can even say I find this particular case of “cultural approproation” endearing. Because other than that one time he wore that hideous sweater in Singapore, I think his swag be on a million. He’ll be the first to tell you his idols are Michael Jackson and Usher, to name a few. He’s not faking it- Hip hop and black culture is obviously the well of inspiration where he draws his charisma from. I see nothing wrong with that. Now if he start sayin “nigga” in his songs, then we might hve a problem LOL. But clearly he does it because he thinks its cool, and it FUCKING IS. I love you Youngbae!

  • http://www.perfectlyspecial.wordpress.com Noni-Ayanna Gobern-Roach

    omg shut the hell up. You do not speak for all women/ppl of color. He has the right to be creative…and I don’t think he was being offensive but probably liked it at the time. I don’t even know the damn history for for those freakin’ knots or braids & I am a woman of color by the way. why should he have to walk on egg shells with all his choices bc some of us get butt hurt over the most stupid stuff. Go buy some butt cushions and stop acting like you speak for the majority….smh