Psy announced he would change the title and lyrics of his potential “Gangnam Style” follow-up “Assarabia” over concerns it could offend Arabs.
The Korean term can be written as “Assarabia” and “Assaravia” in English. Equivalent to the term “Oh yeah!” in English, assarabia is slang used by Koreans to express excitement. However, the Korean term did not translate well globally ― separating the “Ass” and “Arabia,” some said it was insulting to Arabs.
|Psy (Yonhap News)|
The K-pop singer clarified the matter on Monday through a tweet in which he said, “(Assarabia) It’s Korean slang and should be spelled assaraVia and that’s not gonna be a single anyway.” He made his statement after a journalist, Steve Herman, chief of Voice of America’s Northeast Asia bureau, suggested it might offend Muslims or those who live in the Middle East.
On Wednesday, a spokesman for PSY’s agency, YG Entertainment, told the Wall Street Journal that the word was hard to pronounce for non-Korean speakers.
Psy will want to avoid having another controversy on his hands. Last year the rapper had to make amends when a video surfaced of him rapping anti-American lyrics before his success with “Gangnam Style” in 2004.
Meanwhile, Psy is preparing for his exclusive concert “Happening” at Seoul World Cup Stadium in Sangam-dong to celebrate his new release.
His concert will be as huge as his reputation, costing some three billion won. “Happening” will be bringing in “Possible Productions,” visual effects experts who were responsible for Big Bang and 2NE1’s world tour last year. Many special effects professionals from the United States and Japan are also going to spice up the event.
Korean press are speculating about what the rapper, notorious for making parodies of female idol groups in his concerts, will perform during the upcoming concert. He has already performed Park Ji-yoon’s “Adult Cermony,“ Boa’s “Moto,” Girls’ Generation’s “Gee” and Beyonce’s “Single Ladies.”
For those who can’t participate in Psy’s “Happening Concert,” YG Entertainment will be broadcasting the whole event through Psy’s official YouTube channel.
By Bae Soo-min (email@example.com