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PSY, the South Korean rapper behind the most watched YouTube video of all time, is making headlines again after it was discovered that he rapped about American military members and their families being killed "slowly and painfully" during a 2004 protest.
Before his success with his "Gangnam Style" video, which has collected more than 901 million plays and launched PSY onto shows like "Saturday Night Live" and "Ellen," the former Berklee and Boston University student added his own verse to a song called "Dear American" at a demonstration following the beheading of a Korean missionary captured in Iraq. The lyrics were first translated into English two months ago on "iReport" on CNN.
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
The lyrics have caused somewhat of a stir on Twitter, which was noted by the conservative aggregation site Twitchy, and the news is breaking at a time when PSY is set to perform Sunday in Washington, D.C., at the Christmas in Washington concert. A White House spokesperson reportedly confirmed that President Barack Obama and his family will be in attendance.
What do you think of this controversy? Will it sink PSY's fast-rising star? Should it be left in the past or should he be held accountable for his remarks?
UPDATE (Dec. 7, 6 p.m.): PSY released an apology for the song in an exclusive statement to MTV.com:
"The song I was featured in -- from eight years ago -- was part of a deeply emotional reaction to the war in Iraq and the killing of two innocent Korean civilians that was part of the overall antiwar sentiment shared by others around the world at that time ... 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." Read the full statement on MTV.com.
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ContributorsSarah Rodman is a staff music critic for the Boston Globe.
James Reed is a staff music critic for the Boston Globe.
Jonathan Perry is the Globe's Scene & Heard columnist, covering local music.
Michael Brodeur is the assistant arts editor for the Boston Globe, covering pop music, TV, and nightlife.
Julian Benbow is a staff writer at the Boston Globe, covering sports and music.
Katie McLeod is Boston.com's features editor.
Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at Boston.com.
Glenn Yoder is an Arts & Entertainment producer at Boston.com.
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Emily Wright is an Arts & Entertainment producer at Boston.com.