Singers overcome parents’ misgivings about hip-hop pathThe last words Nam Hun’s mother heard from her 10th grade son before he disappeared was that he was “just stepping out” to meet friends.
She was happy to hear from him a month later but did not expect to hear him say, “I’m in New Zealand now. I will be here for a while longer.”
He had boarded a flight to New Zealand in search of his girlfriend who had left him to study abroad.
All his mother could do was sigh.
“You should have at least told me first,” she said.
The surprises did not end there. Nam did come home ― two years later. He then announced he was going to become a hip-hop singer. His father was angry. But his mother, again, could not stop him. Instead she eventually told him that if that was what he really wanted, he should go for it.
Nam, now 27, is the lead singer of SuperSTA. He and his band released a hip-hop album but it took them eight years.
Progress was slow, members of the band agreed. But that was because the other parents were not as lenient as Nam’s on hearing they wanted to start a band.
Park Jang-geun, 25, was the only son in his family in five generations. He was one of the top five academically talented students at his school. But his grades dropped when he became interested in music, according to his strict parents, who blamed Nam for being a bad influence on their son. Park dropped out of high school and flew to Canada to study music. His father followed and brought him back to Korea to finish high school first.
Kim Woo-jae, also 25, was determined to go to college only because his father had promised him he could be a singer “once he went to college.” He had met Park and Nam who persuaded him that they should form a hip-hop group.
“My parents used to be embarrassed of their son,” Kim said. “But they are starting to open up toward what I am doing, and there is peace in my family now.”
SuperSTA may appear to be a new face on the hip-hop scene but have been working toward the release of their first album for the past eight years. They participated in the hip-hop compilation album “2000 Dae Han Min Guk,” which was a big hit six years ago, have featured in a rap single for MC Mong and worked with numerous other rappers, including Jang Woo-hyuk and Hyun Jin-young.
Years of experience in the hip-hop world have taught them a lesson. They titled their album, “Love,” not in the sense of expressing love for girlfriends, but to point out that they love their parents very much.
One song, dubbed, “May 8,” the date of the Parents Day holiday in Korea, talks about the love they feel toward parents who must have been hurt by their sons’ behavior in the past.
by Lee Kyong-hee
More in Features
[Shifting the Paradigm] With one epidemic under control, another is threatening Korean society
Kakao TV launches this month, takes on Netflix
[TURNING 20] In a sea of hate, change flourishes
Criticism of sex ed books for kids raises more questions than answers
When it comes to sex ed, this Danish author says just talk about it