So, while everyone is losing their fucking minds over Alex of RaNia:
I’m over here like…’Have y’all ever HEARD of Insooni?‘
Does no one remember Lee Michelle?
TASHA AKA YOON MI RAE, ANYONE?!?!?!
She also isn’t the first African American in a K-Pop group. Again, Insooni debuted in 1978 in the girl group, Hee Sisters. 10 years later she debuted as a solo artist and 19 albums later she’s still rocking it.
Watch the music video to my favorite song, “Fantasia” here:
Lee Michelle hasn’t been super ‘in your face’ active, but she DID comeback recently with her album, “I Can Sing.”
Watch the music video here:
Yoon Mi Rae has been active in MFBTY since its inception, has been a solo artist since 2001, and debuted in Uptown in 1997, forming the sub-unit Tashannie with Uptown member Annie Lee.
Here is the song, “Black Happiness,” where she reveals her struggles with diversity throughout her life:
Roo’ra included a black artist in their song and video, “The Lover.” However, after multiple tries at research (in English AND Korean) I can’t find his identity T^T
But here is the music video:
D.O of Deux released his solo album, “Do It” in 1996, featuring Jinusean and the singer Tracy Williams, who is African American.
Watch the music video here:
Let’s not forget…yeah I know, get over it, the white people in K-Pop. So besides background models and YG love interests, where are the white people?
Like Brad of Busker Busker. Watch their music video for “Cherry Blossom Ending” here:
Next would be rookie group…and now disbanded (as far as I know) girl group, The Gloss.
The Gloss is/was a three member girl group featuring Korean members Grace, Liz, and French white member, Olivia.
They released several covers, but they only released one official single before having a debut showcase in France and falling off the face of the planet, and that was “Fantastic” in 2013.
Currently, according to their official Facebook, the group is pursuing solo activities for now.
Watch the lyric video for “How Many Times” here:
You knew this was coming…I don’t care if you don’t like it…you’re gonna have to admit it at some point…
Chad Future‘s “Rock The World” featuring Ravi of VIXX is the last video I will share with you today.
Yes, from David (aka Chad)’s days in that one boy band (Heart2Heart, I remembered it) by Lance Bass to his cringeworthy solo debut, he too, is technically a K-Pop artist.
Does he sing in Korean? Sometimes, but Aziatix don’t sing in Korean all the time either.
Even if he isn’t your favorite foreign K-Pop artist, you still have to admit that he IS in fact one of the people breaking down barriers for international K-Pop hopefuls like many before him to come into the industry and change how we listen to and watch K-Pop.
Also, check out “Famous” featuring HOTSHOT‘s Sungwoon, now that I think about it. (click the green words I’m too lazy to embed any more videos)
My final thoughts on this are that, go ahead and celebrate Alex. I am, my friend Morgan is!
I’m super excited for Alex and the other two new members of RaNia to debut!
I love the fact that K-Pop is coming to be more diverse, and I hope that one day it is as diverse as J-Pop.
But don’t say that she is first. Don’t look past those who came before her.
The people who came before her paved the way for her to do what she’s doing now. They are the reason she can make her dreams come true in a K-Pop group.
When you ignore that simple fact, you’re shitting on everything those people worked so hard to accomplish.
Think about it.
6 thoughts on “Diversity In K-Pop”
…actually she is the first African American in kpop. Now don’t get me wrong the women you listed have black roots but they are also korean. Alex isn’t. Lee Michelle and Insooni were both korean raised, and while Tasha was born in the states she has korean ancestry. Alex is not korean at all, and that is why this is so monumental. That’s why people are talking about it. I don’t see many people insinuating that she is the start of diversity in kpop, because everyone knows about the people you listed. What they are talking about, and excited about, is how a girl of a darker complexion with no korean ancestry was able to break into the industry.
People all over my Facebook are crying ‘diversity’ when there was already diversity to begin with. When I pointed out insooni and the others I was told ‘they are part korean, they don’t count.’ As if their hard work and struggles didn’t make it possible for her to achieve her dream. THAT’S what really made me upset. Like I said, I’m glad she’s living her dream and that she as an African american can be in kpop, I just wish people wouldn’t downsize the other people’s struggles that allowed her to get there.
Have you heard of Coco Avenue? They are also American Kpop artist who actually sing in Korean. They are black as well.
I think I might have heard of them awhile ago, but I’ll look into them more, thank you.