Hip hop heavyweight Jay-Z has teamed up with South Korean tech giant, Samsung, to release his upcoming album Magna Carta Holy Grail, TIME reports.
The first million Samsung cellphone users who download a special app made for the album’s launch will receive the Brooklyn-bred rapper’s latest for free, 72 hours before its wide release. Samsung, which spends an estimated $10 billion annually on marketing strategies, is paying Jay-Z $5 per album.
Samsung is only one of many companies turning to the music industry in hopes of promoting their products and bringing in a younger crowd. Mountain Dew and Converse shoe company have launched their own record labels, and Google, Apple and Microsoft are trying to steal the music-streaming crown from Spotify. Continue Reading »
Korean American veteran screenwriter and producer Elaine Ko was promoted to supervising producer on the wildly popular sitcom Modern Family earlier this month, according to news reports.
The Hollywood Reporter stated that Ko signed a two-year deal with 20th Century Fox TV, the studio which makes the ABC comedy, which will begin its fifth season next September.
Ko previously worked on the show as a staff writer and then producer and received a Writers Guild of America Award for an episode she wrote called “Virgin Territory.” Continue Reading »
Go With It
On her latest record, L.A. DJ and beatmaker Jennifer Lee, a.k.a. TOKiMONSTA, urges us to do just that. It’s a strategy that’s worked for her so far.
by EUGENE YI
On an unseasonably warm, early spring night in Brooklyn, a fight broke out before the TOKiMONSTA show—one of those elaborate displays of competitive temerity that took 20 minutes to, finally, ignite. It started with a photographer trying to sneak in a bottle of wine, leading to the predictable pas de deux, and ending with a bottle of water being thrown from a passing car at the bouncer. There is no rage like bouncer rage, and as I watched him dash to his car, rev his engine and sear skid marks onto the pavement, I wondered aloud how any show could possibly follow what had just happened.
“No, you can’t go. TOKiMONSTA is sooo good,” said a blonde-bobbed woman behind me, dressed in what could be described as post-hipster understated Americana. I couldn’t help but wonder if it was mere coincidence that a female fan would happen to be doing the exhorting outside a performance by TOKiMONSTA, née Jennifer Lee, from Torrance, Calif., an Asian female DJ/music producer in the largely non-Asian, decidedly male world of L.A.’s beat scene, and electronic dance music at large.
This, of course, raises the usual questions that have framed the majority of the press coverage about TOKiMONSTA. It’s all about the music, and race and gender shouldn’t matter, except, of course, when they do. No one wants to be just a Korean American musician, or just a female musician. But in the reams of coverage she’s garnered over the years, the most common questions have been about the toki (it’s the Korean word for rabbit), and “how does it feel to be a female,” she said during a recent phone interview. There was a hint of weariness when answering the old questions about gender and race—which is completely understandable. Continue Reading »
After School made their way back to the K-pop scene after a year-long hiatus with a “polarizing” new routine that accompanied their title track of their new mini-album, First Love. The music video, which was released earlier this week with the single, features the girls pole dancing as they sing about their first love.
The members of After School, whose ages range from 18 to 29 years, join several other girl groups pushing the limit in their routines and performances to differentiate themselves from the competition. From HyunA’s sexy girl to 2NE1’s bad girl image, the experiments have resulted in a wide range of results, from being banned on TV to finding their niche. After School’s pole dancing, however, could arguably be the most physically arduous — but perhaps the most engaging for audiences.
The Wall Street Journal reports that After School spent seven months in intense rehearsals. Before the broadcast of their first live performance on Mnet, the girls showed the calluses on their hands which came as a result of their training. One of the members, Lizzy, ended up injuring her right leg during practice, forcing her to sit out the live performances. Continue Reading »
Five of Your Favorite Non-Korean Koreans
by NARAE SON
As the popularity of Korean cuisine and culture expands globally, interest in visiting or living in South Korea—beyond short-term English teachers—is also growing. But did you know a number of foreigners have been living there for decades, with many opting to obtain Korean citizenship, and some emerging as famous figures in pop culture and politics?
Here, we rank the Top 5 most popular “foreigners” in Korea.
Place of birth: Manila, Philippines
Length of stay: 17 years
Occupation: Saenuri Party congresswoman, actress in two films
Spouse: Lee Dong-ho (deceased)
What brought her to Korea? She met a Korean sailor in the Philippines and married in 1995. She dropped out of college and moved to Korea in 1996.
Korean-speaking ability: Fluent with slight accent
What she is known for: She appeared in the Korean films Punch and Secret Reunion. She was lauded for her role as the mother of a biracial student in Punch. She is also a proportional representative in the National Assembly.
Her greatest challenge: In 2010, her husband died in a drowning accident when their daughter fell into a river.
Place of birth: Normandy, France Continue Reading »