Last week KHH proved again its tendency to sexism through the despicable San E’s diss track. But SLEEQ and JERRY.K are here to prove that there’s hope.
As some of you already know, San E thought it would be a good idea to release a song called ‘Feminist’ and, as expected from a man who uses this word to name a song of his, it wasn’t actually a good idea. San E pleas in the song involved not only misogyny but also a lot of male tears and he was wrong to think that he would be the only voice to speak about the matter.
“I made EQUALIST to send people who was shocked like ‘wow, is there a person that think like that, still??’, just like me, not for San E to listen”, SLEEQ said in interview to K4US. According to her, part of the reason to ‘EQUALIST’ (the term refers to the belief in gender equality but not considering men’s privileges) get that much of attention was the fact that people could sympathize with the fear she declares in the end of the song.
“I feel fear for real, so I wrote like that. After the ‘EQUALIST’ thing, I feel more fear when I ride public transportation. I heard that sexists criticize that my lyrics are not realistic, but that criticism is the reason to release this song”, she said.
The rapper wasn’t the only artist that, just like the K-Pop and K-Hip Hop fandom, got pissed at San E’s position. Her friend JERRY.K and fellow DAZE ALIVE labelmate also spat out through the diss ‘No you are not’: “His ignorance about the issue made me upset. I just couldn’t stop writing lyrics”, explained the rapper about his motivation to write the rhymes.
The Korean musics listeners from Brazil could not know the two rappers until now, but something good actually comes with the bad. The disappointment at an artist brought us to talented, respected and including voices. Even in a sexist ambience such as K-Hip Hop scene, SLEEQ, who debuted back in 2013, released two albums. One of them, ‘Colossus’, received the “underrated album of the year” award on the Korean Hip Hop Awards 2017 – the award doesn’t include different categories according to gender, so she was competing amongst other men and was the only female artist to win lady year.
“I receive displeased reacts among listeners and artists, because I talk about minority. But I don’t care. I don’t want to belong this scene, and there are many fans out of it. For example, you guys K4US are my precious, unexpected supporters for me” SLEEQ said. “I don’t have to sell my songs to who avoid my messages”, she continued inspiring us to say the least. She says she gets support from a lot of women and people who belong to other social minorities and that the support from these groups is getting more powerful.
JERRY.K tho is a veteran in the music field. Working in the industry for 15 years already, the rapper had albums and a song nominated for the hip hop categories in the Korean Music Awards. He worked with great names such as Oohyo, Paloalto, The Quiett and Dok2 and also Zion.T. Their collaboration, ‘You’re not a lady’ is criticized by the very own JERRY.K in his new diss due to its sexist content.
Evolution is needed. From ‘You’re not a lady’ to ‘No you are not’ we can see the change on JERRY.K’s perspective of women. According to him, this change has a lot to do with SLEEQ’s influence: “She recommended some sources such as TED video and book”. The rapper tells that his support towards women made him lose fans and even a friend, which proves that South Korea’s society, specially men, has a long way to go.
JERRY.K goes on telling us that even though the number of feminists and progressive minds in Korea isn’t big, it’s increasing. According to SLEEQ, age, sex and social class also play a role on one’s world’s perspective and the new generation of women is the one opening their minds about feminism, while men chose to stick to conservatism.
Other than the importance of feminism, the duo also recognizes different social minorities’ relevance. In their instagram you can find pictures showing them on a Queer Parade. This matter is as natural as the nature can be according to SLEEQ: “Gender identity and sexual orientation are not be supported, but just being, like I can’t support or oppose the being of 4 seasons”, she explained her point of view, which doesn’t differ from JERRY.K’s. “LGBTQ+ rights are human rights. What more can I say?”.
SLEEQ and JERRY.K conclude the interview by recommending some artists that might give us a similar point of view and lyrics. “HAT:FELT gave us heart on Instagram for mine and JERRY.K’s song. I want to say thanks for real, and recommend her solo album. I really love her song ‘위로가 돼요 (Pluhmm)’” SLEEQ said. As to JERRY’K’s rec you might give a listen to “A fellow traveler”by J-Clef.
The K4US team thanks DAZE ALIVE, SLEEQ and JERRY.K availability to answer our questions and grant us such a nice and important interview. We wish you all the best.
Interviewees: SLEEQ and Jerry.K
Post and interview by Bea | Review by Deska | K4US Team