Youtuber, Tay Zonday, compared today’s K-pop to Motown saying, “Maybe K-pop is South Korea’s Motown Era.”
After seeing this video months ago, the comparison has been on my mind. Tay Zonday was pointing out that K-pop’s training of people to be Idols is similar to Motown, but I wonder if the connection is deeper.
First, we have to understand the impact of Motown.
Through Motown, the hearts of many white Americans were being opened to African Americans. I’d say that music was an essential element to the Civil Rights Movement. White Americans, who could have tried to ignore African Americans, heard the music and were moved. (In the Manga ‘Emma,’ a cook said, ‘When her food moves the upper class, in that moment, they become equals.’ This is not an exact quote)
At the same time, African American children were able to turn on the TV, and see someone of their own race.
If, you question the effect that music could have on the Civil Rights Movement, listen to the song, ‘A Change is Gonna Come.’ This wasn’t from Motown, but, if you haven’t heard it, you must. Remember to think of the song from the perspective of 1964.
Motown’s music wasn’t as straightforwardly a part of the Civil Rights Movement. The songs were not about change coming, but the music was still powerful.
K-pop is being respected throughout the world like Motown was. K-pop Idols are becoming representatives of South Korea to people that normally wouldn’t spend much time thinking about South Korea. K-pop artists are moving (moving as in inspiring) people throughout the world.
There is great inequality in the world today. Could K-pop’s popularity be a push towards a better world, if by simply making people think about a culture outside of their own? Could it open people’s minds to many other world cultures? For example: When a person learns one new language, it is easier to learn another. Therefore, when a person learns one new culture, it is easier to learn another?
I don’t know. You decide. Luckily this isn’t a term paper, so I don’t really have to prove anything. (It would be an awesome term paper to write… if difficult.)
Today: I wrote this three years ago. As this is neither a K-pop or Motown-based Blog, I did not publish it. I felt the argument too weak. In the Buzzfeed Kpop Edition of the Try Guys, Kelvin says another thing about K-pop’s popularity.
I will quote based on memory, so it will not be exact: When he grew up in America, he was considered the ugliest of the ugly. Just because he was Asian. Now K-pop has young girls lusting after male K-pop idols, and he thinks that is cool. In that now Asian men are being considered sexy. (Might have to re-watch to get the exact quote. I often say I will post a link, and forget too.)