The South Korean hip hop superstar’s contribution to this year’s School Rapper4 – Team Battle:Textbook Rap Battle2, the compilation album to the latest season of popular rap show High School Rapper where Park is a mentor, brings together one of the most high-profile releases—and a latest controversy—in Korean hip hop this year.

Enlisting 9 of some of the industry’s most exciting names, YLN Foreign, D.Ark , 365LIT, pH-1, Lil Boi, Lee Young Ji, Ourealgoat, Choo, and OSUN, the track was intended as a statement of pride in their Korean heritage, especially in light of the uptick in Asian crimes during the pandemic.

Jay Park writes, “H1ghr music always shows love. From constantly being invaded. Being suppressed and oppressed. Being murdered and causing divide amongst our own people because of opposing ideologies. Going through war with the city being wiped out and people living in slums with no food. To now being one of the most popping countries with tremendous influence all over the world the more I learn about Koreas (sic) history and how much this small Peninsula has been through the prouder I am to be Korean and have this blood run through my veins. I was born for this. Its (sic) in my DNA.”

The video, however, was set to private on YouTube following allegations of cultural appropriation.

It has since drawn mixed reactions from viewers, with some commenting on some of the rappers, including Park himself, sporting braids and dreadlocks, and accusing them of “cosplaying as Black American people.”

Park responded with a lengthy comment and said that his PR team told him not to post the video but that he “didn’t wanna hide the Korean hip hop culture,” and ended it by saying, “don’t have to support but hope y’all can at least let us live our lives and give us room to grow and progress.”

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