Taeyang took a moment in BIGBANG's newest photo book to touch upon the role of black culture in his career.

It is no secret that BIGBANG's sound and look are heavily influenced by black culture, specifically aspects heavily associated with the hip-hop genre. In K-pop and Korean entertainment, BIGBANG are less the exception and more the rule in this regard. The discussion around cultural appropriation in Western media has only grown in recent years, but Korean entertainers still struggle to discuss the issue when it presents itself in Korean entertainment

(Truedy from Unpretty Rapstar Season 2, EXO Kai in the "Wolf" M/V, comedians Lee Kyung Sil and Kim Ji Sun on MBC's "Quiz to Change the World.")

However, the most recent BIGBANG photobook, released with the full MADE album, provides a rare opportunity to hear discussion of the issue directly from the artist. Taeyang included the following in the photobook:

“I’m not black, so I’ll probably have to have more experience and go through more pain if I want to express the sentiments, emotions, and soul that black people have through my music. That’s why I believe that pain and suffering will make my music richer.”

Opinions regarding cultural appropriation vary greatly from person to person depending on their personal experience. Especially when it comes to K-pop, fans from around the world are entering the discussion with their unique perspective. As a fan of BIGBANG, what do you make of his comments?


2016 Mnet Asian Music Awards

Starring Lee Byung Hun and

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