Were Winner’s Mino’s Snow Me The Money 4 lyrics really that offensive? The Korean Communications Standards Commission has finally revealed the amount Mnet will be fined for excessive swearing and profanity, including Mino’s lyrics during the recently finished season. The fine is a massive 30 million Korean Won, roughly 16.5 thousand pounds sterling.
Show Me The Money is a rap competition aired via Mnet in the 11pm slot on a Friday night, the latest season ended on August 28th. The late broadcast time accommodates for the shows content, so is profanity and controversial lyrics anything but expected?
Winner’s Mino found himself the centre of controversy as one of his Show Me The Money 4 raps contained the lyrics
Open your legs like you’re at the gynaecologist
These lyrics sparked a complaint from the Korean Association of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (KAOG), their official statement, along with a threat of legal action towards Mino himself, Mnet’s SMTM4 and YG Entertainment were no apology released, had this to say:
Mino not only gave offense to women in Korea, but also Korean obstetricians and gynaecologists who work 365 days a year, 24 hours a day for the health of women and future generations. It’s regrettable that his actions have damaged the honour of the 4000 doctors in the organisation.
They also stated that
OBGYN offices are places of healthcare, and not a place to be degraded as somewhere women spread their legs for men.
One can see why KAOG may be disapproving of his implications towards their profession, his lyrics imply a sexual element to their medical procedures, one that is not going to be at all welcome given the work being undertaken to encourage people not to forgo their cervical exam.
But did KOAG really need to demand an apology for all women? Probably not.
KOAG’s actions may be considered a feminist response to misogyny, but I don’t need an OB/GYN doctor to tell me how to react to the ingrained misogyny in hip hop.
Whether you believe that the misogynistic lyrics of hip hop are a product of it’s environment, a tool for commercial success, or an assertion of masculinity you’re probably not under any illusion that it will cease soon.
Even when we are presented with female rap artists who should oppose the portrayals there is little resistance. Take a look at Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda, there you’ll hear lyrics of living a life funded by a man, using her sex appeal as a tool, she actually proclaims she isn’t a ‘dumb shit’ because she uses sex to get designer goods, and lays down her own negative connotations about particular kinds of women. Is using sex as a tool really they way to show strength and independence in females?
Mino’s lyrics were simple sexual implication, the misogyny that runs through hip hop. I can choose to think his lyrics were in ill taste, but I can also accept that it is hip hop. If we are making Mino apologise, are we going to make Jay Park and Ugly Duck apologise for comparing women to animals in Mommae, or Primary and Beenzino for objectifying a woman behind the guise of a well meaning visual concept in Mannequin? No, we’re not, because it is hip hop.
So should the complaint makers and the KCSC have expected the profanity? The simple answer is yes.
Especially considering the judging panel for the show consists of artists such as Jay Park, one of the few Korean mainstreamers to openly write sexual lyrics; Block B’s Zico whose solo track Tough Cookie came under fire for the use of the work faggot; and veteran rappers whose back catalogues have more profanity and sexual references than 50 Shades of Grey.
One wonders if this fine could see stricter guidelines imposed on Show Me The Money and it’s sister show Unpretty Rapstar.
Yes, Mino’s lyrics were offensive, but in the grand scheme of things don’t we expect rap to be controversial?
We live in a world where Blurred Lines can stay at the top of the charts for five weeks in the UK, and have 413 million YouTube views despite including lyrics such as ‘I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two’.
Mino’s lyrics could have been much worse.