With the controversy over IU‘s lyrics of her track “Zezé” and her supposed interpretation over the character, YouTuber Heechulism underwent a reaction video project, showing her live performance to Americans.
Published on November 28th, he begins the video by explaining, “In Korea, the song ‘Zezé’ has been controversial and brings about the issue of an artist’s ‘Freedom of Expression.’ I showed some Americans this music video.”
Their first reaction was that the video (a special live clip released by 1theK and includes English captions) was very “colorful.”
While one comments that everything was normal thus far as IU sang and approached the chorus, the lyrics that read “stroking sounds with those little fingers” began to emit some reaction. During the chorus, one woman comments, “It’s trying to be innocent but seductive at the same time,” while the man agrees saying, “It sounds awfully sexual.”
Continuing, the lyrics “climb up me” the viewers react as they laugh nervously with one saying, “I’m not exactly sure what ‘climb up me’ is supposed to mean.”
They continue to comment with, “The music video seems really cute but the words are not good,” and “Is she the tree? Like, is she the only flower?”
After the music video was done playing, one thing everyone agreed on was that while the instrumental track and video themselves were fine, the lyrics seemed to have a lot of “sexual innuendos” in the undertone of the song despite the song sounding innocent. Another comments that even without knowing the translation of the Korean lyrics, the English phrase of “climb up me” is very sexual sounding just by itself.
When explained who Zezé is and revealing that IU has been at the center of controversy for sexualizing a 5-year old, the creator asks them, “What do you think? Should IU be blamed?”, one listener suggested that maybe this was done on purpose to create attention while another agreed that IU should take responsibility as well as her agency for allowing her to release a track that received negative attention. Another listener explained that while artist’s have a right for freedom of expression, there are limits to it and social taboos that shouldn’t be addressed such as pedophilia as there are those who have suffered from it.
Examples of IU’s teasers and what netizens said were allegedly lolicon concepts were also shown, the listeners agreed that it is up to IU if she wants to follow the concept as it is her right as an artist though they may not necessarily agree with it.
Take a look at the full video below:
Koreaboo has collected reactions from Netizens who commented on the original article from our Korean source. The below comments are the most popular comments at the time of this article being published.
[+105, 0] There is freedom of expression but you have to take responsibility for your expressions..
[+81, -2] They all know what they’re talking about
[+78, -4] Wow they said just what I was thinking
[+43, -1] She does need to take responsibility for her actions. But she’s so thick faced saying she still cherishes this song and sings it.
[+33, -1] IU fans will still say these foreigners are antis and stuff
[+17, -25] Foreigners think you’re a pedophile if you say you like IU they think she’s really young they’re so surprised when they hear that she’s an adult. They are so right in that people have the freedom of expression but they also have the need to take responsibility for repercussions. However I do think people are going too harsh on IU. She should be criticized for not taking responsibility for her actions and no more. If only people were as concerned about more grave issues than this.