Audio: Here’s the anti-American song, ‘Dear American,’ Psy sang in 2004

December 7, 2012

English-language media is discovering that Psy, the South Korean rapper world-famous for his hit "Gangnam Style," participated in two anti-American performances before he hit it so big. His first, in 2002, included him smashing a model U.S. tank against a stage in protest of the U.S. military. His second, two years later and after the beheading of a South Korean missionary in Iraq, featured Psy singing along to a song called "Dear American." Here are the anti-American lyrics and an audio embed of the song, plus more info below:

Kill those ------- Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives
Kill those ------- Yankees who ordered them to torture
Kill their daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law and fathers
Kill them all slowly and painfully

The song is not actually Psy's. It's by a South Korean metal band called N.EX.T, which performed the song along with Psy and several others at a 2004 concert meant to protest the Iraq war. As I wrote here in-depth, that concert and Psy's earlier anti-American performance were part of a much larger wave of anti-Americanism in South Korea, driven by complicated regional politics and cultural forces.

N.EX.T is overtly political in a way that Psy is not. One of their songs is titled "Komerican Blues," the lyrics for which are here. (They're in Korean; let me know if you want to volunteer a translation.) The cover of their 2004 album, displayed in the SoundCloud embedded above, features a Korean peninsula divided by a yin and yang where the north separates from the south.

This song is probably not on the set list for Psy's upcoming charity performance in Washington, which President Obama and his family are still scheduled to attend.

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Max Fisher | December 7, 2012