As a Caucasian who was born and raised in an Asian country, I know how difficult it is to be embraced by a country, even your own country, when you are ethnically different from a very homogenous nationality. Even if you are embraced (think Lee Michelle), a lot of it rests on your novelty factor for being “different,” but there is a constant awareness that you are outside the norm. People easily identify that Chad Future’s talent in rap and dance compared to their idols is a bit lacking… This will do more to hinder non-Asians trying to make a break into Asian music industries than anything else. It paints a picture of Western entitlement, something I think many K-Pop fans are wary of… the Western tendency to sort of suck in anything likable or profitable and subsequent attempts to Westernize it.
My issue with Chad Future is that his foray into K-Pop comes across as less than authentic when, after two years, he has barely taken the time to learn the language or the culture and instead “buys” guest artists and big budget music videos to make waves in social media and blogs. In an industry where those native to it spend years as a trainee in order to perfect their vocals, dancing, foreign language skills, manners, etc., it is insulting to act like you can toss money around and purchase your own career without making any of the initial efforts of other artists.. That isn’t bridging gaps between Western music and K-Pop, it trivializes K-Pop by promoting a message that any Westerner or Caucasian can throw money around and rub elbows with whatever big names in the Korean music industry they want to associate with. Meanwhile, it also comes across as very apparent that he couldn’t make it in the US as a solo artist (and that is disregarding the failed venture into boy bands), further pushing K-Pop as a backup or second choice. Even if this is not the case, it is still Chad’s responsibility to maintain his own image and part of that is clarifying your own goals and purpose.
Another thing to point out is that David Lehre has never really claimed to love K-Pop as much as he loves the production values and distribution methods in the mainstream Korean pop industry… those are two different things. As someone who has become independently wealthy through the production and spread of viral videos, it is easy to see why David/Chad would be attracted to K-Pop in the post-Gangnam style era… K-Pop music videos have a huge viral potential (as we have already seen). Is it really Korean music (and Korean pop music) along with its culture and people that he wants to embrace, or is it K-Pop’s tendency to lend itself very well through music videos and promotions to video streaming sites like YouTube?❞