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Psy Changes Tune on ‘Assarabia’ to Avoid Upsetting Middle East

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Sport & Culture

Psy Changes Tune on ‘Assarabia’ to Avoid Upsetting Middle East

Psy has pulled back on the title and lyrics of his next single to avoid offending the Arab world.

Psy has done it again — this time with a single that that hasn’t even released:  “Assarabia.” After Voice of America’s Northeast Asia bureau chief Steve Herman pointed out that the name and lyrics could inflame Muslims or others living in the Middle East, Psy changed his tune.

Herman tweeted: “Not sure how this will go over in Middle East: #ROK's @psy_oppa says next possible released song might be titled "Assarabia."

To clear things up, Herman quoted Psy’s reply: “Received DM from @psy_oppa (he adds OK to quote): It's Korean slang & should be spelled assaraVia & "that's not gonna be a single anyway.”

The South Korean rapper explained that the intention was not to inflame the Arab world, but simply to find a rough Romanized way to say the South Korean phrase for “excitement” or “Oh, Yeah!” as GlobalPost senior Korea correspondent Geoffrey Cain put it.

As Fuse points out, Psy’s sensitivity to political concerns is understandable. Last December MTV News reported that Psy made inflammatory anti-American comments in October 2004. Psy made the infamous comments, which he has since apologized for, alongside other Korean artists on stage at a concert put on by Korean rockers NEXT during the performance of their song “Dear American.”

Snatching the microphone, Psy said: “F—ing Yankees” and their families should be killed “slowly and painfully.”

While those lines weren’t so difficult to discern, Psy chalked up the name change to pesky pronunciation issues. A spokesperson from his record label YG Entertainment told the Wall Street Journal as much.

No further information has yet been released on Psy’s anticipated next single, but it should be coming soon. In the meantime, the curious can head to YouTube where ‘Gangnam Style’ is still racking up page views, which have now topped 1.4 billion.