Can a Kpop boyband of white Americans still be considered Kpop?

11 August 2017
Just their mere existence caused one of the biggest outrages in the Hallyu world. How dare these Americans try to take over the Kpop market too?

EXP EDITION was not born, but bred in Korea. All of the American boys were recruited by a Colombia graduate student, who used the boys as an academic experiment. She wanted to explore the gender, sexuality, business, culture fandom and cultural appropriation of Kpop.

Bora Kim explained in an interview with Columbia about her I'm Making a Boy Band project, "I wanted to see what would happen if I made American boys into K-pop performers, by teaching them how to sing in Korean and act like Korean boys, and complicate this flow/appropriation even more, since I'm in New York, where so many talents are just one online recruitment ad away."

The boys have even moved to South Korea to record music, study Korea and train for their debut. The only difference between them and Kpop trainees is their race.

Their first-ever music video for 'I Feel Like This' has since racked up over 500,000 views, but has more downvotes than upvotes. If you only heard the song without seeing their faces, you wouldn't have guessed that the group was not ethnically Korean!

The guys have as many haters as fans, but it just goes to show that as long as you try hard enough, you might just make it. I mean, a company did an experiment to highlight how easy it is to become an Instagram influencer as long as you have the cash. How hard can it be to become a singer?

But just because they can doesn't mean they should. Will the Internet allow EXP EXPEDITION to continue existing?

– Michelle Ng
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