J-Hope’s “Chicken Noodle Soup” Is Raising Concerns About Cultural Appropriation

He has been criticized for appropriating black culture, but fans are coming to his defense.

“Chicken Noodle Soup”, a new song by BTS‘s J-Hope and Becky G, is getting lots of love from fans, but its music video has raised some concerns about cultural appropriation.

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For most of the video, J-Hope rocks blonde-highlighted hair worn loose and parted down the middle: a style reminiscent of ’90s boy bands. Toward the end, however, his locks are rolled into gel twists that resemble dreadlocks.

Both fans and the general public began voicing their concerns about J-Hope’s ‘do when these promo photos came out, just ahead of the MV’s release. Many of these concerns rose from K-Pop history of appropriating black culture through fashion.

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Some fans came to J-Hope’s defense by pointing out that his hair is gelled, not styled into true dreadlocks.

Others, however, called out J-Hope’s defenders for being “hypocritical”.

J-Hope’s critics feel that he needs to be educated on the matter of cultural appropriation and held accountable for his choices.

“Gel twists” (locks of hair twisted into sections using gel) and dreadlocks (ropelike locks of hair made by matting or braiding hair) are not the same, but some netizens claim that J-Hope’s hair is purposely styled to look like black hair.

This, they feel, is what makes J-Hope’s hair problematic; emulating dreadlocks (and by extension, the people who wear them) while sampling from a hip-hop song created by black artists. The track originated in Harlem in 2006 and features AG, aka the Voice of Harlem.

 

Many fans, on the other hand, are praising J-Hope and Becky G for bringing the original “Chicken Noodle Soup” back into the spotlight, while providing multicultural POC representation.

Watch the music video here:

Source: Teen Vogue
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