Great M Entertainment boy group 82MAJOR just made their debut on October 11 with the new song “FIRST CLASS” and album ON. The group consists of six members: Sungil, Sungmo, Sungbin, Seokjun, Yechan, and Dogyun. Previously, they released the pre-debut single “Sure Thing.”
Despite just debuting, one member has already been called out by netizens for cultural appropriation.
Cultural appropriation takes place when members of a majority group adopt cultural elements of a minority group in an exploitative, disrespectful, or stereotypical way. To fully understand its consequences, though, we need to make sure we have a working definition of culture itself.
The music video concept for “FIRST CLASS” is hip-hop. While members wear various accessories, such as caps and bandanas, it appears that Yechan is the only member styled with a durag on his head.
The durag was created as a protective tool for Black men to protect textured hair from damage and to maintain hairstyles and curl patterns. Yet, its history can be traced to the head wraps worn by enslaved Black Americans, which society originally viewed as “signs of poverty and subordination.” In the 1990s, the Black community transformed the durag as an accessory of empowerment, reclaiming it as a symbol of pride.
Due to the durag’s cultural history in the Black community, most netizens agree it’s cultural appropriation for non-Black persons to wear it. So, many K-Pop fans were disappointed to see Yechan in a durag the moment he debuted.
now why is yechan (82major) in a durag pic.twitter.com/ICapryOy8s
— sav 樂☆ XIKERS d-17 (@onlymins_) October 10, 2023
added 82major to my stan list just to see yechan ass in a durag on tiktok…IMAGINE HOW TIRED I AM. pic.twitter.com/6UXl0V6OQP
— dawn ☆ (@twicesego) October 10, 2023
yechan w a durag … god kpop is not doing well rn every other day i see stuff like that and it makes me want to log off pic.twitter.com/fTC3UVS3mz
— liv / 이비 ✿ (@sangricluvr) October 10, 2023
ITS THE DURAG MF APOCALYPSE pic.twitter.com/yPlLlvwpen
— mikey ☆ snorting zolu (@kerokerobeom) October 10, 2023
What do you think?