'Gangnam Style' singer PSY's anti-American rap sparks controversy
"Gangnam Style" rapper PSY is facing controversy this week for anti-American lyrics in a rap song he performed during a concert in South Korea in 2004 and a 2002 incident in which he smashed a model of a U.S. military tank.
The singer is still set to perform at the "Christmas in Washington" concert special scheduled to take place in Washington D.C. on December 9, according to ABC News. The White House does not have a role in choosing performers for the event, but President Obama and his family will be in attendance at the concert, which will air on December 21 on TNT.
The South Korean rapper, whose real name is Park Jae-sang, issued a statement on Friday, December 7, after reports surfaced that he performed a song with lyrics about killing "Yankees" "slowly and painfully" in 2004.
The performance occurred at a concert in Seoul during the war in Iraq after a Korean missionary was decapitated by Islamic militants in Iraq. The event spurred an anti-U.S. military movement in South Korea. In addition, during a 2002 concert, PSY smashed a model of a U.S. tank on stage.
PSY did not write the lyrics to the song -- called "Dear American" -- which is by the Korean band N.E.X.T, The Associated Press reports. According to ABC News, a part of the lyrics are, "Kill those [expletive] Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives/Kill those [expletive] Yankees who ordered them to torture/Kill their daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law and fathers/Kill them all slowly and painfully."
"As a proud South Korean who was educated in the United States and lived there for a very significant part of my life, I understand the sacrifices American servicemen and women have made to protect freedom and democracy in my country and around the world," PSY said in his statement, according to ABC News. "While I'm grateful for the freedom to express one's self I've learned there are limits to what language is appropriate and I'm deeply sorry for how these lyrics could be interpreted. I will forever be sorry for any pain I have caused anyone by those words."
The 34-year-old explained his protests were part of a "deeply emotional" reaction he had to the war and the death of two Korean school girls that were killed when a U.S. military vehicle hit them as they walked alongside the road.
"I have been honored to perform in front of American soldiers in recent months -- including an appearance on the Jay Leno show specifically for them -- and I hope they and all Americans can accept my apology," he added. "While it's important we express our opinions, I deeply regret the inflammatory and inappropriate language I used to do so."
PSY came into popularity for his video for "Gangnam Style," which went viral and is currently YouTube's most watched video. The video has nearly 1 billion views on the site. Last month, PSY appeared on the American Music Awards and danced alongside MC Hammer.
The video for "Gangnam Style" can be seen below.