Jay Park: Popular, unpopular opinion

Jae Park: Popular, unpopular opinion

INTRO: Identity for this millennial generation has been a debate topic, with the world becoming smaller and social media making it smaller by connecting people all over the world. We have become closer than before; closer than when Columbus discovered America or Jan Van Riebeek discovered Southern Africa. Through time and through sharing of culture, the biggest culture to be shared around the world is pop culture – streaming from America, with black people leading in the forefront. Poetry that was mainstreamed to rap and later hip hop, to lifestyle that influenced baggy pants and overuse of scarfs. Pop culture has crossed over to even more cultural notations that influences the modern lifestyle, with new found rappers that exists around the world, pop-culture has been frowned upon mainly for its influence on socialising and luxuriating crime, gang violence, prostitution, anti-feminist movements and opinions and sexism that exist in videos that shows half-naked women dancing to ‘vulgar’ music. That would be popular opinion, so to say. But if time is taken to view this cultural reference which has become a way of living, a lifestyle choice, one can see the unpopular opinion. This unpopular opinion is based on the microscopic view where this culture has saved and changed many lives. It has given those without formal education the ability to make a living and create jobs thus contributing to the economy that capitalist seems to be more concerned about; it has turned those who hated written work in a form of formal education to actually write and contribute to the education of the masses through music and rap lines that are equivalent to stanzas in a poem. It has convinced others that dreams are possible , even those who have many times thought about suicide. Hip hop/Rap in the modernistic view has changed the way life is viewed – this is a shift in paradigm – take Tupac for instance. It is now a tool used to address socio-economic problems that the world faces such as racism, tribalism, xenophobia, sexism, just a few to mention. But I don’t want to discuss this popular and unpopular opinion in a general view, I want to focus on one person who I believe has changed the way we view pop-culture and identity issues, that is Jae-beom Park (I am South African, so we usually start with full names first).

Disclaimer:

This is my mini docci-movie screenplay/script, I just want to put it out there that my creative writing is not solely influenced by my background, race or creed; but also, other cultures, race and creed. I am a cross-cultural writer and novelist, my ideas stimulates from everywhere, so thus this docci-movie script. Hope you understand the message I try to spread; Love all around!

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INT. UNIVERSITY LECTURE ROOM – MIDDAY. The students are quiet and listening to a presentation given by one, M. She is on the podium and the other students are sited in a semi-circle form and looking at her, and the projected presentation,

M

So, my topic is Culture Indifference through music and pop-culture: The Jay Park post-modern influence on popular culture.

PROFESSOR SHILLI

Wait! Are you talking about Jay park the rapper?

M

Yes Ma’am

PROFESSOR SHILLI

Are you sure about this presentation? I mean what is the link to your thesis?

M

Can I present first , and you can ask me questions after?

(starting to get annoyed)

PROFESSOR SHILLI

Fine, go ahead, it is your time anyway.

M

As I said, I would be discussing the mainstream Asian-American rapper Jay Park. Why I am looking at this individual is based on the fact that I believed that from pop-culture he has revolutionised and re-created pop-culture as we knew it. His influence is far beyond than his counterparts in Asia. He’s the first Asian to mainstream rap and pop-culture. His influence is not only specific but global. I would like to delve in the jurisprudence of new-age rapper that are not formally recognised as black. If you listen to his music – he moves from the same old rap about money that the millennial rappers seems to love rapping about, to talking about social issues, this is not only reflected in his music but his social media presence, he has far the most unpopular opinion that is shifting identity and social values, questioning how we think about ourselves and others. And…

PROFESSOR SHILLI

Wait! What is this? Are you kidding us here? How is a rapper jurisprudential influence?

M

He is changing the way we view the old pop culture.

PROFESSOR SHILLI

How? He is vulgar, not worthy of any academic study, actually he is not academically inclined.

M

So?

PROFESSOR SHILLI

How can he be a main focus study? I mean his music and his visual representation is nothing to be worthy of an entire thesis study or focus!

M

I believe he is. People don’t want to talk about people who shifts the post-modernity view of the social class we live in; the proletariat view is important too in academic research

PROFESSOR SHILLI

Are you saying I am ignoring the working class view?

M

If you think and believe that the only opinion that matters stems from academics or highly profiled people, then that will be avoiding social issues that grapples our modern society.

PROFESSOR SHILLI

Miss M, you are about to dedicate a 50 000 word count thesis to a rapper who is known by a few million, if you said this was about BTS™ I would have understood

M

They didn’t shift pop-culture though, they just shifted the social structure which is highly individualistic

PROFESSOR SHILLI

What!?

M

BTS™ are moving a social message, they are more into individualism and self-awareness. But Jay Park is the most grippling artist that I equate to Donald Glover.

PROFESSOR SHILLI

Who is that?

(scratching her head with the laser pointer)

M

Childish Gambino, Ma’am.

PROFESSOR SHILLI

Yes! why then couldn’t you talk about him?

M

He’s recent! I am focusing on someone that needs more attention and actual listening to.

PROFESSOR SHILLI

No! You just want to populace a rapper that got his fame from a stolen culture.

M

You can’t steal pop-culture, you can only influence and re-invent it, and actually also revolutionise as Jay Park is doing

PROFESSOR SHILLI

No! he didn’t revolutionise pop-culture, he just stole it, from black people

M

Ah, pardon? He mainstreamed and revolutionised it through unpopular opinion.

PROFESSOR SHILLI

Thank you for that point, opinion. This shows that you cannot base an academic work on an opinion that hasn’t even been referenced or academically classified.

M

And that is why I am doing research on this, the use of this view on Jay Park and the post-modern academic writers may prove my point.

PROFESSOR SHILLI

You want me to believe that that young boy…

M

He’s not a boy, he is a man, a very grown man. He just have a baby face, a common feature in many people.

PROFESSOR SHILLI

Fine, that rapper man, can be an academic study which will give you a positive hypothesis?

M

Who said hypothesis are meant to be positive? If that is the view, then why test? Why sample?

PROFESSOR SHILLI

He is not befitting of this study, his music is vulgar, lacks clarity, his features are also vulgar and lacking basic social conformity

M

According to who’s criteria and standard?

PROFESSOR SHILLI

Look at him, would you bring him home to meet your parents?

M

That is not the point of my discussion, and as a matter of fact, yes, I would

PROFESSOR SHILLI

Huh! Don’t lie to yourself, he just appropriated a culture and made it seem cool to Asians.

M

Wow Ma’am you are making it sound like he is not Asian.

PROFESSOR SHILLI

Is he really Asian?

M

Yes, he is! He is a full Asian

PROFESSOR SHILLI

He is actually American with a spit of Asian

M

Just because he was born in another country that does not take away his birth right and identity

PROFESSOR SHILLI

What does he identify himself as? Does he think he is Asian? All his life he never spoke his home language, and even his music resonated with the West

M

Due to circumstances it came to that, but that does not take away his identity or culture. He re-learned his culture and actually his music represents the Asian majority

PROFESSOR SHILLI

Actually, you are wrong culture is a birth right, a true identity. You cannot re-learn your given culture, it goes with the modern fluidity that identity is flexible and fluid. You young generation actually said you would like the right to create and define your own identity, from your argument you seem to actually enclose Mr Jay Park right over there

(laser pointing at the projected picture)

M

No, I am not. Yes, he has a right to his own identity, but we cannot take away who he is, an Asian.

PROFESSOR SHILLI

What if he told you he classified himself as American and only did the Asian gig for the fame and money.

M

People are not shallow Ma’am

PROFESSOR SHILLI

It is Professor. People are shallow, if they weren’t than we wouldn’t be in this mess of a world filled with crime and money serving homo-sapiens

M

I believe that is your view about what you think he might identify himself as. You are just saying that I can just deny that I am black, where else I am black and from Africa, being that Black-African. I would like to focus this study a man who has revolutionised popular culture as view by the modern society.

Silence,

PROFESSOR SHILLI

Let me prove to you he just appropriated culture and actually have not revolutionised it. Exhibit A (laser pointing at the projected picture on his bare chest), tattoos are part of the hip hop culture that have existed over the time since hip hop was mainstreamed. Exhibit B, his pants and his just visual representation cries out I am black pop-culture from the west. Exhibit C, his music, is as vulgar and as non-conforming as the modern music you young generation listens to. His music will not stand the test of time, it is the same as those three amigos singers, in ten years’ time I will not listen to his music.

M

What are you talking about Ma’am? He is the first Asian-American to go viral on a simplistic rap line cover. He has changed the way Asians view the rest of the world. And as for tattoos, every race discovered tattoos and skin art generations before us, no one has a specific intellectual property on skin art. As for the clothes it is cultural adaptation not appropriation. Ma’am you are misinformed. He is the only Asian mainstream artist that I know can do a all rap set in an Asian language and believe you-me I have heard Asian pop music, they share rap line over a lot of persons, he can do a full three minute rap cover without a chorus in an Asian language, the same language you say it is not his to claim.

PROFESOR SHILLI

Professor, Please! Are you doing this academic thesis on him because you are his fan?

M

No, I am doing this because I am an academic who is socially conscious and can make an argument out of things and people that are viewed simple and undeserving.

PROFESSOR SHILLI

That is enough Miss M, your thesis lack academic structure and understanding, it is actually your opinion, which will be the discussion in this thesis, this means it has no academic proof and actual academic reference and point of argument. I cannot allow you to mock this University and this Department.

M

Then why are we doing our PhD’s, I am here to show that I am a creative thinker and abled academic. If research is only meant to be based on referenced information, then we should question the first thoughts of jurisprudence, what makes their thinking academic worthy? All they had were opinions, and they put them on paper based on observations and their social structures and lifestyle, why is wrong when I do the same. My point of research is not based on opinion, it is based on facts, observations, and real things covered in the media throughout time, it is also based on some of the social academic writing covered by these academics and jurisprudence.

(finally breathing)

PROFESSOR SHILLI

I refuse your research proposal and you are getting a zero for this proposal. Class, if you know why you are here please show me that you got your Master’s based on good research, intellect and academic judgment. Miss M clearly does not wish to get her PhD. Class dismissed, and work on your proposals I want final papers soon.

M packed up her laptop and disappointingly left the lecture room.

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EXT. DORMITORY – NIGHT. M is on the phone with her friend Loveless,

LOVELESS

Did you really make a thesis presentation on your favourite artist? Are you mad, you actually wanna fail?

M

No! None of you are listening to my point of argument and research.

LOVELESS

Which is?

M

Loveless you are really being corny right now, the arguments and points are in my proposal, I believe he influences popular-culture.

LOVELESS

Maybe. He is just another wanna-be.

M

Wanna-be of what?

LOVELESS

I don’t know! Of another popular culture, people listen to him because he looks like a cool Asian who is actually black rapper.

M

What!? Are you saying he is a coconut in reverse?

LOVELESS

Yes, Black on the inside, all Asian look-alike on the outside.

M

You are a dick! Period! He does not only define the post-modern rap culture, he also revolutionised Rhythm and Blues. Imagine always relying on Tony Braxton to tell you a love tale in her own cultural stereotype and language. He changed the love language and broke the highly patriarchal system view of sex and sexuality, and considering Asians, oh-my he did!

LOVELESS

Okay, I can see you are in love with him

(sounding serious)

M

Dude!? This man changed popular opinion, popular culture, he raises self-awareness on social issues; he breaks glass ceilings that wants to lock women from expressing their sexual nature because of patriarchy systems and class; he changes an Asian perspective from an enclosed one to an open one; he shows cross-cultural harmonisation and acceptance; he is a modern visionary that is not held by social constructs, opinions, class and pillars; he defines the modern generations cry that identity, culture, humanity and sexuality is fluid and open for discussion; actually he defines that every social topic is open for discussion. Do you feel me?

LOVELESS

Bitch whatever! Are you going to his concert?

M

No! I can’t afford to

LOVELESS

Well I am going!

M

Why? You don’t believe in him as an overall artist and social philanthropist

LOVELESS

I believe in his music, I always dance when his music comes on, who needs to think when a Cha Cha Beat© is on?

M

Wow, you are a total ass

LOVELESS

Oh, come on M, if you are going to give up now after you gave me that full explanation then that means you don’t believe in your work and in him as you claim him to be

M

What is your point?

LOVELESS

Your lecture refuses to take him and you serious because of how he looks and represent himself, or how some of his music is about. His popular music that is out there is the ‘vulgar’ one, but his unpopular music is the one that socially resonates with the socio-economic issues our current generation faces. You need to show her that his music and what he represent is far beyond what we see with our own popular eyes. People judge what they see on the outside, I bet she believes that he is stupid?

M

Yes! she said he is not academically inclined

LOVELESS

Then how is he running his own label, if he knew nothing? The man is a job creator apart from your claim that he is a post-modernistic shifter. People speak and judge from what they only see from birds eye view or from the outside. Nobody actually want to accept the humanity in famous people, that they have personal and biased opinions, just like you and me. We shut them up before hearing the full explanation of a 125 character post.

M

My point exactly?

LOVELESS

If you want to cut her tail off, use him as an overall example in your thesis, incorporate her stupid academics with this coined ‘unacademically inclined Jay Park,’ and show her that these are the people and issues we need to talk about

M

Thank you. How is it that you are not in University?

LOVELESS

That is because University is too dumb for me

M

Yeah, I just realised that, go and enjoy the concert, I will be here trying to influence how we view our world academically; and good night

LOVELESS

I love you and good night, show her how wrong she is, find your angle, it is there!

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