R&B vocalist ALi has recently come under fire for her self-composed and written song, “Nayoungee,” which is based on an actual rape victim.
In 2008, a man named Cho Doo Soon raped an 8-year old girl in the bathroom stalls of a church. The case was blown up by the media back then and it is still one of the most famous rape crime cases in Korea. The case was actually dubbed as “The Nayoung Case,” coining a pseudonym for the rape victim.
ALi had included this song in her newly released album, “Soul-Ri.” She wrote the song “Nayoungee” in hopes to give hope and comfort to the victim and to take preventative measures for these kinds of things to never happen again.
However, criticisms began to rain down, starting with the tweet of an actress, Kim Yeo Jin. Kim Yeo Jin tweeted, “Singer ALi, I hope you’ll change the title. This isn’t a song of comfort – it doesn’t even have the basic etiquette.” Afterwards, netizens began to follow and tweeted criticisms about the song, saying, “Why did you have to title the song, ‘Nayoungee,’” “You were short on your thoughts,” “That is not a good idea to name a song in that way,” and so on.
Eventually, ALi and her agency, Trophy Entertainment, decided to delete “Nayoungee” from her album, online and offline. Sources from Trophy Entertainment said, “We are deeply sorry and we apologize for this disgraceful happening. We will be deleting the song, ‘Nayoungee’ on all online music portals and from the offline albums starting from December 14.”
The singer herself also apologized, “First, I would like to sincerely apologize to Nayoung (pseudonym) and Nayoung’s parents. Regardless of intention, it pains my heart to think that this brought up the pain and scars of the past. While preparing for my album, this song was very precious to me but at the same time, I was the most cautious about it. I tried to portray the dark issues of society that aren’t really addressed. And like the part in the song where it goes, ‘Trust your mind,’ I wanted to tell Nayoung to trust herself and to never lose hope.”
ALi continued to say, “Many people have pointed out this particular line of the song, ‘You threw away your youth, selling your body, selling your soul / Your pitiful life has been taken away from you.” I wanted to clarify that this is not about the victim but about the rapist and his shameful criminal mind. However, it is my fault that the lyrics weren’t expressing it’s true meaning.”
Finally, ALi mentioned, “Nayoung, Nayoung’s parents, and all of those who loved me and my music, I would like to hang my head in apology once again for causing a commotion because of an immature mistake on my part. Through this, I have learned many lessons. I will take on these lessons and try to become more mature and develop into a better person in order to make better music. Thank you.”
For those who are curious, here are the lyrics to the entire song:
The sound of the light and wind, falling from the sky
It rides the leaves and it rides the snowstorm
The deep sounds of the ocean from the ends of the earth
It shines on the sun, it shines on the sky
It’s hard even to be alive and to breath
So she waits for the sun to set
She doesn’t try to run away anymore
She stands there and waits for the moon to rise
The gray light that seeps out of a young girl’s wet eyes
You threw away your youth, selling your body, selling your soul
Your pitiful life has been taken away from you
In this dizzy world, when you hope for a warm and brilliant love
Can you feel – can you feel it?
In the soiled heart, when you want a true and pure love
Can you do that – can you do that?
Looking here and there but you still can’t believe in this world
Even if the world flows by so quickly, even if time leaves us
Trust your mind, trust your mind