Psy, the South Korean rapper whose viral pop hit “Gangnam Style” has been viewed more than 900 million times on YouTube, participated in two anti-American performances about a decade ago, a story that finally trickled into English-language media this week. Although the K-Pop star quickly issued a public apology, the controversy could build, as Psy is slated to perform Sunday night at “Christmas in Washington,” the annual holiday concert held at the National Building Museum, with President Obama and his family in attendance.
The concert is an annual charitable event benefiting Children’s National Medical Center, and it is a longstanding tradition for the president and first lady to attend. As of Friday evening, Psy was still scheduled to perform, according to a publicist for the program.
“Kill those f------ Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captive / Kill those f------- Yankees who ordered them to torture / Kill their daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law, and fathers / Kill them all slowly and painfully,” Psy sang at a 2004 concert in South Korea, held in protest of the United States and its military. The lyrics are not his — the song, “Dear American,” is by South Korean metal band N.E.X.T. — but the performance is in stark contrast to the smiling, good-natured pop star that Americans have been introduced to over the past six months.