While Psy is thankfully a long-gone memory at this point, it seems another South Korean lad, Keith Ape, is about to become a dominant contributor to the international music landscape. If you haven’t been following along, Ape released ‘It G Ma’ (phonetic Korean for ‘Don’t Forget’) at the beginning of the year to significant fanfare and controversy. While some view the song as an example of those of one cultural background honouring what they love about another, others have pinpointed it as another case of misguided appropriation of black culture. Particularly astute listeners would also notice its similarities to ‘U Guessed It’ by Atlanta’s OG Maco – so much so the man himself had to say something about it.
I’m aware of the Koreans that mocked me and took my sauce. I’m not impressed. I’m not inspired. I think it’s kinda lame. To each his own.
— OG Maco (@OGMaco) February 4, 2015
Even so, the video above indicates that plenty of people in the West are on board despite this, as Keith had the diverse crowd singing along to his performance of the single at S.O.B.’s in New York. At the very least and on the basis of this performance, Ape is one to watch this year, and as evidenced by the crowd reaction, could very well be a key to improving international relations in the region. Who knows, if he can just get Kim Jong-un to turn up and get loose, maybe we’ll finally have a fix to this whole North/South thing. It could be like the resolution of US rap’s East/West coast feud in the mid ’90s. That’s not too lofty a goal, is it?
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