x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Gangnam Style's Psy apologises for anti-US protests and lyrics

Psy replied to reports that he had participated in concerts protesting the US military presence in South Korea during the Iraq war.

The South Korean rapper Psy says that he is grateful for the freedom to express himself and realises there are limits to what is considered appropriate. Sakchai Lalit / AP Photo
The South Korean rapper Psy says that he is grateful for the freedom to express himself and realises there are limits to what is considered appropriate. Sakchai Lalit / AP Photo

The South Korean rapper Psy is apologising to Americans for participating in anti-US protests several years ago.

Park Jae-sang, who performs as Psy, issued a statement on Friday after reports surfaced that he had participated in concerts protesting the US military presence in South Korea during the early stages of the Iraq war.

At a 2004 concert, the Gangnam Style rapper performed a song with lyrics about killing "Yankees" who have been torturing Iraqi captives. At one point he raps: "Kill their daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law and fathers/Kill them all slowly and painfully". During a 2002 concert, he smashed a model of a US tank on stage.

"While I'm grateful for the freedom to express one's self, I've learnt there are limits to what language is appropriate and I'm deeply sorry for how these lyrics could be interpreted," he said. "I will forever be sorry for any pain I have caused by those words."

The 34-year-old rapper attended college in the US and says he understands the sacrifices US military members have made to protect South Korea and other nations. He has recently performed in front of servicemen and women.

"And I hope they and all Americans can accept my apology," he wrote.

Psy's Gangnam Style video became YouTube's most watched video, making him a millionaire who crossed cultural boundaries around the world. Much of that success has occurred in the US.

It remains to be seen how Psy's American fans will react. President Barack Obama wasn't letting the news change his plans, though.

Earlier on Friday, the White House confirmed that Obama and his family will attend a December 21 charity concert where Psy is among the performers. A spokesman says it's customary for the president to attend the Christmas in Washington concert. The White House has no role in choosing performers for the event. - AP