Battle of the Jae Bums: Park Jae Bum (Jay Park) vs. Yim Jae Bum


A funny moment happened on last week’s KBS “Music Bank.” Park Jae Bum, better known as Jay Park, and Yim Jae Bum, a 25-year veteran singer, were the two finalists for the top K-Chart Award. Jay Park has sold over 70,000 copies of his comeback album “Abandoned” lately, while Yim Jae Bum has made a surprise run with “For You,” his hit single from 11 years ago.

Over 50,000 copies of Jay Park’s comeback album were sold in the first week and another 21,000 in the second week of its release. His title track, “Abandoned,” has swept most online charts—so his nomination looked rather obvious.

But Yim Jae Bum was different. He’s been making waves with his recent performance on MBC “Survival: I am a Singer,” but he hasn’t released a new album or anything—in fact, the album containing the “For You” track was released 11 years ago. Plus, the live “For You” version was recorded during an MBC show—main rival of KBS—which made it more surprising to see KBS “Music Bank” name him one of the two finalists. Hyun Bin and his hit single “That Man” from SBS drama “Secret Garden” never made it to the top of other music shows; largely because it came from SBS, one of their main competing broadcasters.

But Yim Jae Bum is a true professional. On the stage of “Survival: I am a Singer,” he gave emotional performances of “For You” and “Empty Glass.” MBC first produced “Survival: I am a Singer” to find “real professionals” that rarely get publicized, and Yim Jae Bum perhaps best fit that concept.

That as a result put Yim Jae Bum’s “For You” at the top spot of various online charts. His remake album “Memories” from 2000 sold out all of its reserved copies and now it is being reprinted due to heavy demand. His current popularity is explosive; and perhaps it’s because the public has grown so tired of star singers being created through manipulative marketing or media campaigns. Yim Jae Bum’s popularity is a fresh reminder to fans who forgot about the strength of pure singing ability and the influence it could have on public opinion.

The two Jae Bum’s have totally contrasting singing styles and careers, but they find common ground in the fact that both went through controversies that almost ruined their respective careers. Yim Jae Bum has a cancer diagnosed wife who helped him overcome his embattled youth. Also, the story behind his birth was a much talked about story a few years ago (it was revealed that he’s half-brothers with actor Son Ji Chang).

Jay Park likewise was at the center of controversy a few years back at the peak of his career when he was basically forced to leave the country and withdraw from his former group 2PM. But now he’s made a dramatic comeback. And the two Jae Bum’s, ironically, met each other on the same stage of KBS “Music Bank” as the final two contestants for the top K-Chart Award. Yim Jae Bum, however, didn’t appear on the show and the award went to Jay Park.

During the encore performance of Jay Park somewhat reminiscent of other K-Pop artists, one was constantly reminded of Yim Jae Bum’s soulful and strong performance on “Survival: I am a Singer.” Regardless of the musical ability, ratings and charts get determined based on many other factors. But true singing talent only becomes conspicuous through shows like “Survival: I am a Singer.” That’s the main reason for the existence of “Survival: I am a Singer” and why so many talented singers compete in the show—and we hope the production crew would remember that too.

Written by [email protected]; Translated by [email protected]

Source: Soompi Korea