For further context, see this article, and some of the other IU-related articles to see why the wave of hate towards IU is growing. Also see these articles by Asian Junkie for a more balanced perspective.
For those of you not in the know, people are pissed at IU for the following reasons.
- Her new single "Twenty Three" supposedly lacks clear pronunciation and she's dissing a bunch of people (which is uncool or something).
- Her song from Producers has plagarized material in it.
- One of the songs on CHAT-SHIRE, 'Zeze', contains references to pedophilia (??) and is disrespecful to the original work.
A few points:
- K-Netizens have been giving IU flak for ages and ages. I'm already disinclined to take their side based on how they've instgated witch hunts against Korean celebrities before (coughcoughTablocoughcoughcoughLovelyzco
- Twenty Three is a kickass song. It calls out all of the hypocrisy going around Korean search portals and does so elegantly. It's also a good song on its own. It's up to your own taste as to whether you like the song or not, but you've got to give props to IU for calling out all the hipocrisy-laden hate that she's been getting for years.
- IU had no part in producing/composing the song for the Producers OST (also called '23', confusingly enough), so giving her hate for that is stupid. It's not like Britney Spears herself had any meaningful role in writing the song netizens accuse IU of plagirizing.
My thoughts on Zeze are a bit more complicated, but I'll try to make my argument coherent:
My interepretation of the song with the English lyrics is as follows: IU is narrating as a tree where Zeze takes refuge (in the book My Sweet Orange Tree, the five year old Zeze is abused by his father). The tree loves Zeze, and encourages him to 'climb up', and is sad when he isn't there, but knows he will return. Some of the qualities that the tree likes about Zeze is that he is adorable and innocent.
The thing you should keep in mind about Zeze (and CHAT-SHIRE in general) is that the songs are meant to be based LOOSELY on various works of literature. In the context of the song, we don't know how old Zeze is. He could be a child, or an adult for all we know. Also bear in mind that the lyrics of Zeze don't say ANYTHING about IU wanting to perform sexual acts on children. This isn't Lolita (which is considered a classic and a work of art despite its content) we're talking about here, it's a pop song with almost no allusions to sex whatsoever.
I think this quote from Asian Junkie is very helpful:
"The entire album is built around references to herself and her past image and how that contrasts with how she really is or was. One doesn’t even need to infer anything to come to this conclusion since she mentions it in the lyrics over and over and over again.The fact that netizens keep mentioning things like her dressing up as a kid and continually post a GIF of her sucking on a baby’s bottle is the whole goddamn point. She’s not glorifying pedophila or the lolita image, she’s critiquing it and the people (like uncle fans) who wanted her to remain in a certain image and a certain way, thus boxing her in by only allowing her one image."
If anyone in the Korean music industry has the right to comment on lolita imagery, it's IU. With the Korean entertainment, if you're sexy, you're a slut and if you have a cute concept, you're copying SNSD. If you're younger than 20 doing a sexy concept, you're a whore that's addicted to sex. If you're older than 30 and doing sexy concepts, you're an old bag that needs to get married and have kids, because you won't be able to have children for much longer.
I'm also unwilling to put much stock into how Koreans critique each others' sexual proclivities given how sex-negative Korean society is. Lots and lots of slut shaming and double standards, not to mention a lack of support for LGBTQ communities as well.
Let's just say that injustice and hipocricy get to me.
In conclusion, IU needs to keep on doing what she's doing, especially if that means less ballads.
What do you guys think?