Wiz Khalifa Insists He’s Not Racist Despite Controversial “Eyes Lookin’ Korean” Lyric
On Tuesday (July 17), the rapper responded to claims that a lyric on his new album, Rolling Papers 2, mocks the Korean community. In an interview on Power 105's The Breakfast Club, the Pittsburgh rapper denies the lyric in question is offensive and insists he's not racist.
The controversy surrounds the song "Hot Now," in which Khalifa raps, "Smoke got my eyes lookin' Korean." In the track's comment section on YouTube, many listeners have pointed out that physical stereotypes like slanted eyes are commonly used to demean individuals of Korean descent.
"You made more to ppl have this stereotype Wiz," one user wrote. "I hope you will speak to the crowd that you didn't mean to offend ppl and apologize about what you did. Korean fans are hurt because of you."
When asked about the reactions, as summarized in a Korea Times article cited by The Breakfast Club host Charlamagne Tha God, Wiz argues that other lines referencing stereotypes about other groups of people prove that he loves everyone.
"I also say, 'I smoke like a Jamaican,' and I also say, 'I live like a White man,'" he says. "So chill out. I'm not a racist. I love all races."
Charlamagne asks Khalifa whether he'd like to apologize for the lyric, but the Taylor Gang leader declines. "I have Korean friends that are not offended. I don't know those people that are saying that," Wiz states.
After an odd back-and-forth in which Wiz argues that co-host Angela Yee, whose mother is Montserratian, not being offended by his line about Jamaicans proves his point, the rapper ultimately concludes that he doesn't care how people perceive his music.
"My art is up for interpretation," Wiz explains. "So if it pisses you off, cool."
Rolling Papers 2 dropped on Friday (July 13), as did a video for the title track. You can watch Khalifa's full interview on The Breakfast Club below. The exchange regarding the "Hot Now" controversy starts around 13:57.
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