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Jay Park: What does Korea mean to him?

Jay Park recently had an interview with Sports Seoul, revealing his thoughts on Korea after his return to the Korean entertainment business, especially answering the question: What does Korea mean to Jay Park?

September 8, 2009, 6:30 pm. At the height of popularity, 2PM leader, Park Jaebum (Jay Park) without any notice, puts himself on a plane to Seattle. After the spread of his remarks about Korea as a trainee, criticism was spreading like wildfire, so in just 4 days, Jay announced his departure from the team and, feeling like a fugitive, left Korean soil.

Even after this, news about Jay Park rocked the Korean entertainment world. Personal issues (relationships with other 2PM members and JYPE artists), black list (similar to Korean military service “dodgers”), management changes, and other rumors ceaselessly spread through the news. In one moment Korea was cheering on Jay, in another, Korea shot him with an arrow that was too difficult for Jay to bear. Just letting this situation fill your mind, this place could easily become a place you wouldn’t want to see again. Yet, Jay Park returned, like going to Korea is “fate.”

First Knowledge of Korea; Korea that Sent Jay Back to Seattle, and Korea Now

Jay first knew of Korea as his mother’s country. So, although his own nationality is American, from a young age, he was attracted to Korea. Then, in 2005, at the age of 18 (Korean age), his first experience of the mother country proved that Korea is very different from he had originally thought.

Jay said, “When I [first] came to Korea, I realized that I live a completely different life from my [Korean] colleagues,” saying, “I wanted to enjoy it, because I liked dancing and rapping, but I didn’t understand why I had to learn while going through so many hard experiences. That situation was really hard on me,” reflecting on his trainee days. “Even the curriculum I was learning was different then I expected; separated from my parents, inadequate in Korean, just understanding was difficult,” Jay expressed his thoughts.

No one would expect that something written on his personal page from that time would come back like a cyclone four years later. Feeling confused by the differences in culture, “I want to come back,” and “Korea is whack,” written in messages to his friend, later came to spread widely. Because 2PM was at the top of popularity [and some mistranslation of American vernacular, often translated to Korean with the feeling, “I hate Korea. I want to leave.”] the news spread even more quickly. Soon, reactions rushed in like a downpour, filled with criticism, “Leave Korea.” [And more serious requests to “Disappear” and “Just end it,” wore heavily on the young singer.] In the end, Jay, escaping the bullying, packed his bags and left for America, 4 days after the news first hit.

To this, Jay felt, “I was young and stupid, so I said some dull-witted words. I thought that [Korean fans] could really be hurt,” he continued, “Little-by-little, my Korean got better, I started liking the food, I was making a lot of friends, so I liked [living in Korea], so it was a little heartbreaking [for the news to come out like that]. I felt that I disappointed my parents and was really depressed.”

It would be 21 months until Jay would perform again. Stating “fate” as his reason to return to Korea, soon questions of “How do you feel returning to Korean soil?” or “Don’t you feel sore about your return to Korea?” have all become null. Jay asserts, “It’s nothing like that. I proud to have Korean blood.”

[Photo: Sports Seoul]

“Breaking contact with 2PM… I would be happy to meet them again!”

Jay Park is on a new start with a new song and album that benefited from Jay’s personal touch. Filled with excitement for his first solo performance, Jay says, “My heart always skips a beat when I go up to perform. Even though it’s been a long time since I’ve come to the broadcasting station, it doesn’t feel awkward at all.”

But, the six friends and members with whom he shared so much pain and joy are no longer at his side. Jay expressed, “It’s burdensome thinking of performing by myself.” As for now, Jay hasn’t been able to stay in contact with his former 2PM members. “I would be really glad to run into them again and have some activities together, even if it’s by accident,” it seems like Jay is waiting for the opportunity. The 2PM of the past and those memories still remain in the corner of Jay and the fans’ minds.

This album is a big change for Jay. It’s not that he’s 2PM’s former member, but this time, it’s the real Jay. He didn’t have to search very far. The “Take a Deeper Look” mini album’s seven tracks’ lyrics were all written by Jay. Not only that, Jay also shouldered the responsibilities of producing for the complete album. For six of the songs, Jay even displayed his talents as a musician.

“Not just plain idol Park Jaebum, I want to show my true colors, my true life,” he explained, “I didn’t particularly study song composition, but I wrote what I was feeling by myself.” The title song “Abandoned” took 6 months to complete, but after that, pushing down the accelerator, he gathered over 20 songs. Amongst these songs, there are a few he will give to other artists.

Finally, Jay Park brightly smiles, “Aspiration? Plan? I haven’t made one yet. I’m just going with the flow. While doing the things I like, dance, rap, hip hop, R&B, I want to live naturally and honestly. If I can share this feeling with many people, it would be nice.”


53 Comments on “Jay Park: What does Korea mean to him?”

  1. chaimoon says:

    The bad incident and what it has become today, and what it has made of Jay Park proves that there are really second chances. Way to go Jay!

  2. JaeAngie says:

    Life is a cyclone, make us more mature with the things we gone through & Jay did prove that if one can bear the challenge of life you get what been dream… & Jay …. NO MATTER what, just remember JayWalkerz owez with you …. HWAITING!!!

  3. eboy07 says:

    I kinda respect Jay Park more than any other kpop group.

    • ashley says:

      but he is a solo artist so I think u should ahve said “then any other solo artist” not trying to sound like a teacher but…yeah I just though u could rephrase your statement.

  4. Dan says:

    I used to hate on him, but after knowing his real story, it kind of reminds me of my younger self in high-school–young, dumb, and arrogant. I can totally see how he might have felt so alone when he didn’t know the language that well. I still feel like that sometimes.

    I’m glad he has come back even stronger than before. His debut album is really solid, and I’m sure he will go very far.

    Jay Park’s story seems to be a story about growing up, and it hasn’t ended. Good luck Jay.

    • peace & love for jay! says:

      Wow, nice! Thank you for your kind words (on behalf of Jay) :).

    • dwilliams says:

      how was he dumb and arrogant hell if you don’t like something you don’t like it. props up to jay for expressing how he was feeling rather being fake ass pretender speaking nothing but great things about korea when that is not the case.

  5. eris2 says:

    Going over Jay’s interviews lately, he seems to have matured a lot, as a person and as an artist. Just want to point out that working with dok2 and Prepix, in itself, shows Jay’s dedication to (real) Korean music and performance. The work that he put into this album is something that should be expected of an artist (not considered special). I like to think of it as “raising the bar” for other idols to follow. Even though this song is pretty good, I’m hoping he continues to mature into a respectable Korean artist and can show us some new individuality in K-pop.

    • KayBee says:

      (real)??? Korean music…..

      • eris2 says:

        haha, yeah, as much as it’s good that Jay is going this path (as opposed to boy band), he did kind of get a free ticket with his idol status. most songwriters have to put in a lot more work than 6 months to get their first song okayed, you know what i mean.

        so, still on standby for the “real.”

  6. lollipop says:

    u guys retarded.. you’re falling for his LIES… He came back to korea cuz he had no where else to turn to.. america? no success there. .and he never kept in touch with his 2pm buddies? wth?? that’s a lil suspicious… were they even friends?? maybe he hasn’t kept in touch with them.. but i don’t think they were that close if that’s the reason… but he makes it sound like they were close.. he’s obviously lying in this interview dumbass ppl!!!

    • ashley says:

      Actually only Nick really like him but the rest of them didn’t I don’t really know why though I forget, but I know Junho really hated him and after the whole myspace thing Junho turned the rest of the guys aginst him execpt of Nick they are still friends even though they don’t talk has often becuse of JYP.

    • jnyarcalas says:

      You obviously haven’t kept track to about Jay. When Jay went back to America, he still had his friends, He’s in a Dance Crew called Art of Movement, and he did some performances with them. He also shot some videos on youtube about his life.
      It would be understandable if 2pm wasn’t able to contact them, because of certain circumstances, and Jay Park and 2PM schedule.
      Jay and 2pm have known each other in their trainee days, There was a Korean show called Hot Blood Boys, and practically all the 2pm and 2am were in there. How could they not be close to 2pm, when Jay was in 2pm he was with them practically almost ever hour of every day? That wouldn’t make sense.
      We all make mistakes and say stupid things. Jay is one of the lucky ones and learned from his mistake and ready to show Korea that he really loves Korea.

      • ashley says:

        Just because he was with them 24/7 that deosn’t mean they had to be close, same thing can happen with your family, u can see them all the time but are they your best friends?

        • dwilliams says:

          exactly ashley umm taecyeon has been gunning for this boy’s spot since 2pm began and was more than happy when jay was booted not only from the group but korea as whole. the rest of the members excluding nick followed taec’s lead.

      • ashley says:

        oh, and I know u weren’t talking to me but I just wanted to point that out…..

        • jnyarcalas says:

          I see my family and 24/7 and I’m close with them. It just doesn’t make sense because when 2pm came back with their comeback they won with heartbeat and they thanked their former member Jay Park.

          • Blehhh says:

            Lollipop, how the fuck would you know if he’s lying or not?? Have you personally met him? talked to him? DONT FUCKING THINK SO! So who’s the dumbass making stupid assumptions? YOU! Haa lols you’re freakin pathetic! && @Ashley, how can someone not get close with people they’ve been around with 24/7? You must have some socialising issues, i cant think of another reason why you would say such things??

    • peace & love for jay! says:

      Well, he may be lying or whatnot, if you say so. But frankly speaking, with all your hatred towards Jay, you fail to realise one IMPORTANT thing. That Jay Park by himself is much bigger than any 2PM members. I agree as a group 2PM is big, but I don’t think individually they can be as successful as Jay. And without sounding so bias (well, maybe I am :)), this proves that he is special. He co-wrote his own song/ lyrics, he won 2 already (did you hear the fans chants? Fantastic!) and many more to come.

      Seriously, I don’t care what people like you say anymore. He suffered worst abuse for months/ year (left, right & centre) before, and now he’s back I just want to enjoy it.

      And you, Miss lollipop, is just one noisy little mosquito…

      (P/s: On a different note, I’m sorry if I sound like I’m bashing 2PM. Truthfully, I am really happy that they’re successful and able to move on as well. I wouldn’t want to wish the worst for them. They always have a special place in my place & I do wish them well.)

    • dwilliams says:

      bingo absolutely the truth and he could have went to japan and been successful. the one thing i didn’t like is him not standing by what he said and trying to excuse it away, he mean it then and probably still does now considering the korean folks damn near derailed his career over speaking the truth.

    • Zack says:

      After the initial shock of the news, you need to dry your tears and learn how to be there for a dying friend. … not just left him alone
      Jay park we all love you so much

  7. lollipop says:

    oh it says he was young and stupid.. well he’s still stupid

    • zhia_aala says:

      lollipop – shut up!!!!!!

    • roxyisferox says:

      lollipop… you’re and obvious 2PM avid fan. better shut up and go to 2PM’s related galleries where you can spaz and fap upon!

      Sorry dearie, it’s Jay Park who is a REAL MUSIC ARTIST. 2PM, on the other hand, are just mere STRIPPERS/AV STARS!

  8. johyn says:

    His 2pm buddies never did like him and they wanted him out. Jay had too much swagger. They couldn’t compete so they whined and whined!! Haven’t you ever watched the variety shows? Jay always stole the show.

    • ashley says:

      Yeah that was what I just said to lollipop, and I know Taec was really gealous of him to because Jay was so popular, so he was actually happy when Jay left because he got more popular after that.

      • ashley says:

        oops I mean ^ *Jealous*

      • zhia_aala says:

        ashley…I agreed with you…non the less….once JP gone..Teac name suddenly storm up!!!!!

        • peace says:

          I think Taec is popular because he started taking off his clothes for performances of Heartbeat….and his drama stint after that…but even before that, he was known for being geeky and having no fashion sense…

      • says:

        NOO it’s not taecyeon!!
        It was Wooyoung! Wooyoung was sad cuz he was doing win-win and ppl still didnt know who he was. Havent u notice Wooyoung’s cold face everytime jay popped a joke? Everyone in the group would laugh, but wooyoung is always pissy faced. And even when a reporter ask a question about jay, wooyoung was like “Who?” and the reporter had to repeat the question.. and he was like “OH…” There was this clip on youtube of jay filming wooyoung, and wooyoung was his pissy self and jay said “wooyounggieee smile for the camera!! common u dont wanna show the viewers your sad face” Even Chansung said out of the group, the most different person is Wooyoung who acts playful and cute on camera but he is the most reserved and quiet and the one that thinks too much in his head off cameras.

  9. jj says:

    Celebs, Jay Park, Music, news bites | Jay Park: What does Korea mean to him?

    MONEY & CAREER – He’d be nothing in the States. Lesson learned. Don’t bite the hand (country) that FEEDS YOU.

    • ashley says:

      thats what I was thinking too, I don’t hate him but if it wasn’t 4 those reasons I doubt that he would really want to be there.

    • dwilliams says:

      no lesson learned expand your horizon and not focus on one country that being us or korea.

  10. OOOOOOkay! says:

    what does korea mean to everyone? i’ve only heard these questions when foreigners want to be an American citizen. u can ask it as an interview question? whoa. that is something makes them sound insecure of their country. if u know its awesome dont get anyone elses opinion on it. 😛 that question just pissed me off!!! >:O ask another!!!!

  11. benny says:

    he’s gangsta. … am surprised nobody is demanding he remove his tattoos

  12. theblackcat1236 says:

    This is such a pessimistic community. If every time you hear an idol say something you assume it’s a lie, then how can you even expect them to say something honest?

    I find it ridiculous how they reacted so strongly to improperly translated messages that had nothing to do with his music. He’s an artist, he’s obligated to supply them with music, not good morals or an attractive character.

    • Dreaming says:


    • ashley says:

      but only one person here thinks he was lieing……so he actually has more support than anits.

      • OOOOOOkay! says:

        yeah. its like u read one comment and said that everyone think hes lying. i don’t want to be included in that group , everyone should know by now popseoul loves twisting translations to see the results they get. really popseoul? really? you should work on that.

  13. dan says:

    it means he can’t make it in the US b/c people aren’t down with a korean thinking he’s some black gangster

  14. JaeAngie says:

    NOT A BUDDIES WITH 2PM!!!!! WTH with that, living together for about 5/6 years (trainee & debut)….. What with the LIES?!! He 1 of the talented artists…. BUT i guess, it’s just that you hate his SUCCESS with what he want to have or dream….

  15. napster says:

    everyone made their own mistake.we learned from the mistake for a better day.all the best jay park.even thousands will hate you,there must be 1 person will always love you. 😀

  16. JaeAngie says:

    pass is pass whether it right or wrong, only they know the truth no need to be Mr/Ms Now How Everything…. but more important he had learned his mistake & if it’s true they gonna miss him as they had lost the most valuable person for them the LEAD’ja

  17. Ade says:

    Despite the negative comments about Jay, I kudos him for taking steps to establish himself as a solo artiste though I think he still needs to improve on his image to the media…So let’s stop bringing up his past mistakes and focus on him as an individual singer (sans 2pm) . Overall, I think he is really working very hard for his fans and music career.

  18. says:

    Jay saved my boy’s life.
    My son use to stay in his room play computer games all day.
    But he started watching jay a lot. And my boy started working out, lost 22 pounds.
    Stood up to bullies, and wasnt afraid to go back to school. Times when he didnt wanna get up out of bed… he remembered how jay at one point had the weight of the world on his shoulders… and he end up pushing himself cuz he was so inspired by jay and how jay didnt just go home and hide, but continued to live his life.
    I truely admire Jay. I think he is a really great person.

  19. Blehhh says:

    Haa! i love how you haters talk about him as if you know the guy!! Apishh, do the us all a favour n take your unwanted, unnecessary comments someplace else where someone will give a damn! we dont need your stupid comments on how he’s lying n shit on this. This article/interview was about Jay and you guys shoulda damn well known it was cause of the freakin title, if you dont like the guy so much then why waste your time on his articles? why bother commenting on it? bunch of LOW LIFE GITS!! We Dont Give A Fuck!! && to the people blaming 2pm member, whether it was taecyeon, wooyoung, junho you guys dont know the inside story so im just saying you shouldnt just jump to conclusions just because of what they’ve said in the past, or how they act in some videos. Im still a hottest && a jaywalker, its possible to love both of them at the same time 🙂 Just stop hating guyss 🙂

  20. Eva says:

    Well first of all I just want to say JAY I wish yuh the best in everytn..I am glad yuh hav become stronger…hpfly yuh do end up meeting 2pm again…

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