Monday, September 04, 2006

More Korea --> Japan meme rap!


DJ Ozma is at it again. Scene from "Junjou," his cover of Koyote's "Sunjon"

I am still dreading the prospect of choosing from the 1,000 pictures or so I took in China (the other thousand were destroyed by a botched CD transfer in China). I spent the past few hours going over the final proofs of my book - it's way past the deadline, and already been advertised online. Right now, I don`t know how to start working on my China blog.

Shin Ji from the Korean group Koyote

So to procrastinate, I`d like to introduce you to a super-catchy song that has wormed its way into my brain this summer. DJ Ozma was at it again, once again doing a cover of a Korean pop song. This time, it`s from the hip-hop and dance group Koyote.

1) Koyote version
First take a look at the original song, "Sunjong" (written as 純情 in Chinese characters, 순정 in the Korean Hangul writing system) which came out in 1998. I was dancing on a tabletop in a restaurant to this song in Beijing of all places! (amazing what Chinese whisky and a little coaxing from sexy belly dancers will do to you):

Click here or on the picture above to see and hear Koyote.

2) DJ Ozma version
Now look at DJ Ozma`s cover of this song, which they use the Japanse reading of "Junjou" (純情 in Chinese characters, スンジョンin Japanese katakana writing). Same Chinese characters as in Korean, but different pronunciation . Note how he plays the disco kistchy aspect in his video. I love how he reinforced the "It`s disco time baby!" by appearing in disco clothing.

Click here or on the picture of DJ Ozma above to see and hear the video..

Now that`s what I consider pan-Asian music. Korean beats with a little bit of Japanese tongue in cheek humor added on.

3) Spread of the meme

Crowd at a baseball stadium chanting the tune from Junjou/Sunjong

And like a virus, the chant "wo-oh-oh...wo-oh-oh" started spreading throughout Japan! For example, check out this clip from a baseball game between the Yomiuri Giants (the Yankees of Japan) and the Chiba Lotte Marines (last year's Japan Series champion). Listen to the crowd chant in the back, and then notice how they start waving their white towels like in the DJ Ozma video. Click here or on the picture of the baseball stadium above to see this video. Of course, all this makes sense since the Lotte company is a Korean-Japanese conglomerate founded by Shin Kyuk-Ho a.k.a. Shigemitsu Takeo, a South Korean national who also lives in Japan half the year.

4) Need your help
What song is Sunjong originally based on? The background sounds quite familiar. Donna Summer's "I Feel Love" perhaps? Arpeggio's 1976 hit, "Love and Desire"? Any ideas?

1 comment:

Dana Y. T. Lin said...

You're posting more than once a month? Wow.