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Blackpink's Jennie says K-pop rap is not like American rap, Black fans 'respect her'

K-pop idols in the past have come under fire for cultural appropriation while trying to emulate Black rappers and hip hop artists
UPDATED MAY 24, 2022
Jennie spoke about how rap and hip hop is different in Korea and not as 'rebellious' as their American origin (@jennierubyjane/Instagram)
Jennie spoke about how rap and hip hop is different in Korea and not as 'rebellious' as their American origin (@jennierubyjane/Instagram)

While rap has now become an integral part of K-pop music with even different genres of songs incorporating a rap verse, we have Blackpink’s Jennie acknowledging the origin of rap and hip hop. Blackpink appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone for the June 2022 edition and it is their first group magazine cover in almost a year. And during their solo interviews, rapper Jennie talked about how hip hop influenced her, what it means to her and why Korean hip hop and rap are different from the original American hip hop.

Hip hop and rap music originated from African and Caribbean Americans who lived in the Bronx in the 1970s as a musical outlet for oppression and racism. It became a part of the hip hop culture with the use of rapping, DJ-ing, break dancing, and beatboxing. And while rap has become diverse and been adopted all over the world now, there is a very fine line between appreciation and appropriation which K-pop seems to cross very often. From using a Black accent and AAVE slang to wearing protective hairstyles that are still looked down upon in the US, Black K-pop fans often struggle to educate K-pop idols on the sensitivity of hip hop and how to indulge without being offensive. 


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Blackpink’s Jennie talks about the different types of rap

In the interview with Rolling Stone, Jennie shared that Blackpink’s hip hop was something different because they came from different backgrounds and used that to mix K-pop and hip hop. But the idol also said, “Maybe if the really cool rappers in America who do ‘real hip hop’ look at us, it can seem a little like kids doing things. Our hip hop isn’t the rebellious kind, but we are doing something very cool.”


Some fans found it off-putting that Jennie initially used hip hop synonymous with "swag" and "cool" and compared Rihanna who majorly does pop and R&B to hip hop artists. One user tweeted, “Straight up assumed Rihanna as hip hop artist cuz she's black? And real hip hop is what?” Another commented, “They def dont know their history of hiphop nd just puttin words together bc why tf did i think this was a wattpad story at first.” One posted, “My sista in christ hiphop isn’t an adjective.”




'Jennie was respectful'

However, Black Blackpink fans appreciated that Jennie understood that there was a difference. One fan posted, “She knows the roots, she knows what real rap is and she's aware of ppl discrediting black people 💀 jennie was respectful too, this is the first time an idol talked abt rap in the realest way are u twisting this 😭 WHY? WHAT FOR?” Another commented, “And this is fine because she acknowledges that kpop rap isn’t rap. They’re just having fun with that part! I respect her for saying that.” One shared, “I’ll assume that anyone who is pressed about what she said is anti black idk she spoke real but it is also just what BLACK kpop stan’s have been saying for years.”




Another fan wrote, “Jennie ain’t say nothing new that black kpop stans haven’t been saying for years on here about how kpop is not real rap and hip hop and she acknowledged that.” One explained what Jennie was trying to say, “Blk Americans being “rebellious” with their raps made them go against the norm and created something that shifted the-Culture forever. Hence why Jennie said their raps aren’t rebellious because they aren’t really being oppressed to the degree that black ppl are. And kpop hip hop is PG compared to American rap anyway so.” Another fan added, “Lets be honest if it was another idol who said, they would be getting their praises from every fandom but since its Jennie.”




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