12:31 am - 08/16/2018

7 K-Pop songs with questionable lyrics

While browsing Youtube late at night I came across a video by user SinB Ssi, which listed several songs by various artists with more than questionable lyrics, such as sexism, body shaming or cheating. I'm re-posting some of the songs mentioned in the video, more are at the source. This post should be a friendly reminder to not blindly sing along to your fave songs, but to actually look up the lyrics (if you don't speak Korean). Also, most K-pop artists don't get to choose their songs, so instead of critizing them for the lyrics we should blame their company and the songwriters for making them sing such lyrics.

Sexism/Misogyny



Artist/Song: Infinite - Inconvenient Truth
Written by: Sweetune
Lyrics: This song is about some insecure guy trying to control his girlfriend, telling her not to wear short clothes because other guys might stare at her and that's a no-no. "People are stealing glances at you / I's embarrassing, what's wrong with you? / I like it if it's only in front of me / Do this only in front of me / Stop being so stubborn, I'll try to trust you more / It's way too low-cut, what's up with showing all that skin? / Be careful when you stoop down low / You're gonna show everything underneath / I can see everything, what's wrong with you? / Who are you doing this for?"




Artist/Song: BTS - War Of Hormone
Written by: Pdogg, Supreme Boi, RM, Suga, J-Hope
Lyrics: A song that objectifies women and basically says that boys will be boys, they just can't help it. In BTS' defense, their label has apologized for the lyrics after the release. "Girls are like an equation, us guys just do them / Girls are the best present / I don't care about girls, I'll play once & say goodbye / Her hair, body, waist, legs / Even her other unspeakable parts / Saying I don't care would be ridiculous as a guy / Girl, your temptations keep me away from my computer every night / Because of who? Because of girls / Because of what? Because of hormones / Because of what? Because I'm a guy / Because I'm a guy? Because you're a girl"




Artist/Song: JYP - Who's Your Mama?
Written by: JYP, Jessi
Lyrics: I think everybody knows what the song is about. JYP himself, a guy in his 40s, is singing about butts and lusting over some very young girls in his MV, with more than one close-up of their behind. "No matter how pretty she is, if there isn't enough back / She didn't catch my eye / If she has long straight hair / Skinny enough to be blown away by the wind / I can't give her my heart / Waist so thin but hips so big / That it's hard to find pants that fit"


Cheating



Artist/Song: DIA - My Friend's Boyfriend
Written by: Shinsadong Tiger, Polar Bear, Monster Factory, LE
Lyrics: The song is about a girl being in love with her friend's boyfriend and stealing him away from her. "I'm sorry but I took him from you / I love it ah ah ah ah / I'm your, I'm your, I'm your another girlfriend / Between you and me / You're my just friend, you're my boyfriend"




Artist/Song: Taeyang - Only Look At Me
Written by: Teddy
Lyrics: This song is about a guy telling his woman that even if he cheats on her, even if he falls in love with another woman, she should never forget him and only care about him. "Even if I cheat, don't you cheat, baby / Even if I forget you, don't you ever forget me, lady / If once in a while I don't contact you & I go out to drink / Even if I ever meet another girl's gaze / Only look at me"




Artist/Song: B1A4 - Baby Good Night
Written by: Jung Jinyoung, Baro
Lyrics: This might sound like a fun and cute song, but the lyrics basically are about a boy telling his girl to stay at home and not to worry about him when he goes out and cheat on her, because he will come back to her the next day. "I will deceive you just for today / I will go back when the day passes / Even if I don't respond or respond late / Even if you hate me, please overlook it / Tonight I'm a bad boy / I'm allowed to play like this sometimes / Because I can go back to you tomorrow / Sorry"


Body image



Artist/Song: Hyomin - Nice Body
Written by: D.C. Kang, Loco
Lyrics: According to the lyrics, a nice body is not a healthy one, but one that is skinny and hot. "Any women goes on a diet at least once / My body is a nice nice body / Legs are very slim, with my hot waist / Any man would wish for such a woman / Any man, as if they're all the same, love pretty women / Every man thinks about sex at least once"

sources: youtube SinB Ssi, MBK Entertainment Official 1, 2, BIGBANG, 1theK 1, 2, Kyotaegisub, jypentertainment
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scionofawhisper 15th-Aug-2018 11:36 pm (UTC)
Teen Top's 'No more Perfume on You' is another song with crap lyrics, I can't even believe they released something like this tbh... xD He tells a noona not to wear perfume or wear glitter cause his girlfriend will find out.
goshipgurl 16th-Aug-2018 12:22 am (UTC)
It's mentioned in the original video, I just didn't include it here!

Edited at 2018-08-16 12:23 am (UTC)
pikapika217 15th-Aug-2018 11:56 pm (UTC)
that's what only look at me is about? fucking GROSS

Another worth mentioning is Big Bang's Baby Baby
goshipgurl 16th-Aug-2018 05:29 pm (UTC)
which version of the song are you talking about, the english or the korean one?
typhlogirl 15th-Aug-2018 11:59 pm (UTC)
Great post OP - I don't speak Korean and never bother to look up the lyrics to songs I like, oop. I might check some of my faves!

I kind of like being able to make up my own lyric meanings when I ~sing along lmfao
ironicmustache 16th-Aug-2018 01:16 am (UTC)
yeah i dont look up lyric translations because 1. they always seem awkward and dont make listening anymore enjoyable for me and 2. i'd rather live in ignorance about my fav songs lmao
glider 16th-Aug-2018 12:08 am (UTC)
this is a great topic for a post OP! it kind of blows my mind that a lot of people who listen to foreign language music just don't have an interest in the lyrical meaning of the songs they enjoy. to me, esp if the singer(s) wrote the lyrics, it's a way to connect to your faves and (in the case of songs in this post) know what they're actually singing about bc you might find it disagreeable/gross and lose interest in supporting them. conversely knowing what they're saying might make you appreciate the song more.
dior_chic 16th-Aug-2018 12:59 am (UTC)
I understand what you mean. I had a song I liked from San E quite a bit but I found out his previous lyrics in songs were fucked up and his behavior really bothered me, so I avoid him now. Overall I’m pretty proactive about finding English lyrics, but there are songs I like that I don’t know the message too, and I think it’s because It gets overwhelming mentally and I need a break.

I think about often how If types of music have consistently objectionable content, I shouldn’t listen to it...but that means I’m left out of a lot of different genres (from all types of music scenes globally) because it’s so prevalent :( I guess why not buying is a big deal to me, I need to know at least I’m not financially supporting fucked up shit

Edited at 2018-08-16 01:05 am (UTC)
dorawa 16th-Aug-2018 12:09 am (UTC)
I love Baby Good Night so much but the premise / lyrics are awful lol

Not surprised most of the groups are boys -_____-

But I will say, Twice's "BE A REAL MAN" always pisses me off
dior_chic 16th-Aug-2018 12:36 am (UTC)
Yea I really dislike Cheer Up’s overall message. It can be perceived that the girl acknowledges she and her crush like each other and want to think about their feelings rationally and not rush things...

...but nah, the other verses encourage one to play games when it comes to flirting because being honest with your feelings can mean you look fast and easy :/ and that Be a Real Man chant is one of my least favorite gg group lyrics everrrr. Also the the fear of appearing ‘easy’ or waiting for the right one is in Like Ooh Ahh and Knock Knock. LOA is awesome with how cocky the girls get and are looking for someone worthy of their time, which is a great message! But the lyric literally says ‘I’m not a girl that gives it up so easily’, and Knock Knock focuses a lot on waiting and idk not my favorite...obviouslyyyy these lyrics can be perceived it a much more favorable light/understanding, but with men writing the lyrics - don’t really trust them.

Edited at 2018-08-16 12:46 am (UTC)
jasmineakaiumi 16th-Aug-2018 12:10 am (UTC)
I always say that I enjoyed kpop a lot more before I learned Korean lmao
nana_the_dwarf 16th-Aug-2018 12:28 am (UTC)
EXO's Monster has some rapey lyrics: I’ll flip you over, break you down and swallow you up I’ll steal you and indulge in you I’m gonna mess you up/Accept me for who I am, put away your fearful worries, enjoy the pain that you’re able to endure, all deeper inside. I couldn't enjoy the song as much after reading the translation; same with a few words of Moon: I'm gonna do what I want, even if you say no. Since the song is quite sexual, it didn't sit well with me.

f(x)'s Shadow is also hella stalkery.

Edited at 2018-08-16 12:36 am (UTC)
teatarishidaiko 16th-Aug-2018 12:42 am (UTC)
I rarely look up lyrics, but I just looked up Monster and damn... not remotely subtle. Those lyrics are really... something.
dior_chic 16th-Aug-2018 12:31 am (UTC)
I just watched this video this morning! I really liked it, I knew most of these were problematic but I didn’t know that DIA song existed, yikes. And I’m not innocent, I like Your Body despite knowing the lyrics and the MV are not ok. I haven’t listened to the song in a long time though, so that might show it’s not aging well.

I overall agree the majority of the scrutinity should be directed to the companies and the songwriters, which is majority men. But this does show why I’m not really keen on listening to Boy groups/male artists as a whole and don’t want to give them money typically, as if I listen to a song I like, I look up the lyrics and hope they’re not degrading or objectifying my gender. And tbh I don’t want to give the artists the benefit of the doubt that they don’t believe some of these misogynistic messages as it’s so ingrained in their society. Can only hope they rise above it...
sub_divided 16th-Aug-2018 03:02 am (UTC)
One thing I really like about Nice Body is how she uses the tape measurer as a prop in her dance... it's not a good message and it's a fairly tragic choice for a first solo song, like, is this how you want to define yourself as an artist? But I bet it's accurate to her experiences.

Edited at 2018-08-16 03:04 am (UTC)
ashdevilrun23 16th-Aug-2018 12:40 am (UTC)
Only look at me was such a jam then I saw the lyrics and was like whom the fuck does this guy think he is hah
sub_divided 16th-Aug-2018 02:42 am (UTC)
Big Bang were called out for their "poisoning" lyrics at the time, I remember Kim Shin-young calling GD out on her radio show back then ha.

A lot of their early relationship songwriting is twisted and manipulative, including many of the songs they became famous for... over time the lyrics became less personal and more generic in their depictions of love, romance and sex.
dior_chic 16th-Aug-2018 01:04 am (UTC)
Oh I have one, it’s not in the severity of some of the topics above but it’s damn well questionable

Oh My Girl - Banana Allergy Monkey. All about liking bananas...and banana milk. C’mon. I mean c’mon.
goshipgurl 16th-Aug-2018 01:09 am (UTC)
If you think about it - the girls sing about a monkey who is allergic to bananas, and that it's crazy and weird. So they're basically saying that girls who don't like men's bananas are weird... Their lesbian fans must be in joy

Edited at 2018-08-16 01:09 am (UTC)
goshipgurl 16th-Aug-2018 01:05 am (UTC)
If you guys know more songs with questionable lyrics let me know and I might make a part 2
lightframes 17th-Aug-2018 12:36 am (UTC)
Can we do videos too?
rainstormraider 16th-Aug-2018 01:32 am (UTC)
Those Infinite lyrics are just straight up bad. Who thought that was a good idea?
myrrhcat 16th-Aug-2018 01:39 am (UTC)
not to be That DIA Stan but honestly, the dissonance between the cheery music and the message of "my friend's boyfriend" is exactly why I love it so much. it's a joyful, silly, rambunctious song about stealing your friend's bf how can you not love that.
same with songs like fx's "shadow", the whole point is that they're playing a character who is creepy. criticizing the lyrics for being creepy seems to be missing the point.
songs like twice's cheer up or girl's day's female president are another matter. they seem to be earnest with their problematic messages ("girls shouldn't be forward with their crushes" and "female empowerment boils down to being able to kiss a guy" respectively)
dior_chic 16th-Aug-2018 01:46 am (UTC)
Female President is a lame song and with everything that went down with their female president, yeahhh that song is definitely not aging well lol
psychedelico_ 16th-Aug-2018 02:03 am (UTC)
regarding body image, one more chance by csjh dana and sunday makes me wish i never learnt korean.

"They said Adam's rib was taken out?
I'm the one who needs mine removed, though
My big-boned waist won't do like this
Don't laugh, I said I'm being serious"

some people have argued that the song's lyrics are actually criticising standards of beauty but i don't see it tbh!!!
premonitioner 16th-Aug-2018 12:03 pm (UTC)
i always felt that the verses were them being critical because they sang it in such faux-aegyo voices compared to their deeper voices for the chorus where they sing about being independent. also they do talk about stealing adams ribs and flying away with them at the end of the song lol

Edited at 2018-08-16 12:07 pm (UTC)
takemydream 16th-Aug-2018 02:04 am (UTC)
.......only 7

honestly I feel the majority of songs have some questionable or offensive/shitty lyrics
belintuchiha 16th-Aug-2018 05:40 am (UTC)
this is true, no one is safe lol
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