Psy, whose real name is Park Jae-sang, was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea.
As far as I can tell, Psy hasn’t said anything about his religious views. About half of South Koreans don’t identify with a religion, so based on that fact and his silence on the topic, I’d say it’s a good bet he’s non-religious.
But that didn’t stop a Brazilian man who claims to be the reincarnation of Jesus of making a parody of Psy’s viral hit video in order to attract more followers to his church. No word yet that the rapper has converted to Christianity and moved to South America to join the new Jesus, but who knows. Weirder things have happened.
Psy’s global hit, “Gangnam Style,” is a comment on class and wealth in his hometown of Seoul. The Gangnam District is a wealthy area of the city, and Psy said his song was a satire of those who idealize the wealthy and pretend to be from the area. So even though the song would almost appear to be a parody of the rich and possibly a comment on class divisions, it doesn’t seem to be that poignant. In the end he’s just making fun of posers.
But long before many Americans had heard of Gangnam, Psy was using his music to protest the United States’ War in Iraq. Back in 2004, shortly after two South Korean schoolgirls were run over by an American tank during a training exercise in that country, Psy recorded a video of a live concert where he rapped these lyrics:
Kill those fucking Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives/ Kill those fucking Yankees who ordered them to torture/ Kill their daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law and fathers/ Kill them all slowly and painfully.
As you would expect, once reporters got hold of the video, it caused a little stir among his American fanbase, causing Psy to issue an apology saying he appreciates the work that the American military does around the world to protect freedom and democracy, and that although he appreciates freedom of speech, he’s sorry if his words offended anyone:
The song I was featured in–eight years ago–was part of a deeply emotional reaction to the war in Iraq and the killing of two Korean schoolgirls that was part of the overall antiwar sentiment shared by others around the world at that time.
Apparently the apology was enough for the Obama administration, because Psy performed at the White House not too long after the story broke. What do you think about Psy’s video and apology? Let us know in the comments.