On the July 2 broadcast of MBC’s talk show “Radio Star,” rapper San E appeared as a guest and talked about the difficult life his parents lead in the US.
During the show, MC Kim Gu Ra asked San E what kind of work his parents do in America, to which he responded, “My father cleans at a school and my mother works at a kitchen.”
The rapper confessed, “Most people think that those who immigrate to America are well off, but there are many cases where people immigrate because they can no longer live in Korea. My family was practically forced to immigrate due to the IMF (financial crisis in 1997) making life in Korea too difficult.”
San E shared, “My parents work every single day of the week. When they come home from work, they briefly watch Korean shows like ‘Radio Star,’ go to sleep, and then wake up early again to go back to work. Watching Korean TV shows gives them comfort.”
When the MCs complimented him for being a good, hardworking son, San E expressed, “Doesn’t everyone want to be good to their parents? I want to earn a lot of money to buy my parents a new car. They continue to drive a used car that always breaks down. Shortly after immigrating, I wasn’t proficient in English so when I went to get the car fixed, I couldn’t understand [what they were saying] and just kept saying ‘Yes,’ and the repair cost came out to more than 1 million KRW (~$1,000 USD). I went home and cried because I felt sorry that my father had to work so hard to make that much money,” as he teared up at the memory.
San E also said, “There are many times when my heart broke. One night, my younger sibling and I were sleeping when our father came home late from work. I could hear him rubbing/massaging his hands but I couldn’t get myself to open my eyes and greet him. My father cooked ramen and I heard him turn on the TV, but I could hear that he turned down the volume really low in case we would wake up. That’s when I thought to myself that I’m going to really succeed and be good to my parents.”