Not that will Park, who was born to Korean immigrant parents in Seattle, was overly concerned. In fact, the idea’s the type of thing he’s grown accustomed to.
“Me, being Asian-American, I was always looked at as an outsider. I always had to fight for my place,” Park told sy88pgw during a recent interview.
For an outsider, Park is actually very much “in” at present. The 30-year-old rapper has seen his celebrity status soar in recent months. In addition to working on his debut Roc Nation album, he’s also preparing to join the second season of “Asia’s Got Talent” as a judge. The favorite show premieres October 12 across 27 countries in Asia.
“Jay Park has clearly become an icon for those struggling to make a name for themselves,” said Flowsion Shekar, CEO of Koreaboo, a favorite content platform specializing in K-pop which has a reach of over 50 million.
“the idea shows that will Asia is actually not being ignored … You can be an R&B singer, a rapper, a singer by Asia along with also have ambitions to takeover a global market. You can be recognized by the greats.”
One can’t spin a better comeback story
yet success didn’t come easy to Park.
Like many Asian families, Park’s mom had aspirations for him to be a doctor or lawyer.
“that will wasn’t happening, because I was skipping school along with also going breakdancing,” said Park who joined a b-boy crew named Art of Movement.
Park was curious about hip-hop since the second grade, convincing an older cousin to share music despite the bad words. Counting West Coast gangsta rapper Warren G along with also the sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” as inspirations, he started off rapping by the fourth grade.
Fortunately for Park, his mom eventually relented along with also suggested he enter into a locally advertised talent audition, which turned out to be organized by one of the biggest K-pop labels, JYP Entertainment.
Not thinking much might come of the idea, Park, then 17, skipped out of the audition early to grab fast food at Taco Bell.
the idea was left up to his mom, who had stayed behind after Park had preformed, to relay the news that will he had been selected to travel to South Korea.
along with also so began Park’s entry into the music industry, as the face of K-pop boy band, 2PM.
“I thought I’ll go for a couple of years along with also help my family out,” said Park.
“At that will time, the idea was just me, along with also mom along with also my brother, having money problems. We couldn’t pay the electric along with also water bill.”
yet his brand-new life in Seoul proved difficult. Today Park is actually near fluent in Korean, yet back then was only a beginner.
“the idea was actually hard to sacrifice my life in Seattle along with also do that will thing I knew nothing about,” said Park over the phone by Seoul.
“the idea was a culture shock, the seniority system, the food along with also the way they did things. … For me, the idea was a hobby along with also fun, yet there, the idea was training, almost like a job, where you have to practice by 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.”
Park complained about the challenges of life from the boy band on his MySpace page. The offensive comments were leaked publicly in 2009 along with also facing a fan backlash, he left the group.
“We parted ways, along with also I went back to Seattle … the idea is actually what the idea is actually,” says Park.
After leaving the K-pop world, Park moved back home to the Seattle area along with also started off working at a used car shop.
While there, he uploaded a cover video of B.o.B’s hit “Nothin’ on You” onto YouTube, inserting his own lyrics along with also rap.
The video went viral, with more than two million views in less than a day.
“I don’t give up,” said Park. “I wasn’t attached to the fame or the lifestyle … The main point from the beginning was to support my family.”
The video’s success helped him to return to the music business, creating his own label, AOMG. His fourth solo album “Everything You Wanted” was released last October, along with also rose to No. 3 on Billboard’s World Album Chart along with also No. 3 on the iTunes US R&B Chart.
“Me being from the system in a group with the company, I didn’t have much to express myself,” said Park. “(today) I finally hold the freedom to do what I wanted to do.”
His brand-new album — representing his style of rap, R&B along with also electronica — is actually set to come out next year.
“They (Roc Nation) like the image I have today,” said Park. “I’m just me.”
In addition to AOMG, he’s launched a second label, H1GHR Music Records, with artists by the US along with also Asia. Through his music, he hopes to reform the image of the Asian male, by being seen as “people who are Great at math” to be “sexy too.”
He also dreams of working with Rihanna along with also knows the idea may be “farfetched” to work directly with Jay-Z, yet he’s “willing to put from the work to make that will happen along with also one day we’ll see.”
“the idea’s still crazy to me that will he knows who I am,” said Park, a longtime Jay-Z fan.