PSY Apologizes for "Kill Those F--king Yankees" Rap, "Gangnam" Star "Will Forever Be Sorry"

South Korean rapper says statement was "deeply emotional reaction to the war in Iraq and the killing of two Korean schoolgirls"

By Erik Pedersen Dec 08, 2012 12:52 AMTags
Psy, AMA'sJason Merritt/Getty Images

PSY is backtracking on that invisible horse of his.

The hugely successful "Gangnam Style" rapper shocked many earlier today when anti-American statements he made at a protest concert in 2004 came to light. Among the incendiary lyrics: "Kill those f--king Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives/Kill those f--king Yankees who ordered them to torture/Kill their daughters, mothers, daughter-in-law and fathers/Kill them all slowly and painfully."

But now the rapper, who has performed for U.S. troops and is scheduled to perform later this month for President Barack Obama, is ready to set the record straight, releasing a statement to E! News.

"Gangnam Style" rapper Psy explains his name

"As a proud South Korean who was educated in the United States and lived there for a very significant part of my life, I understand the sacrifices American servicemen and women have made to protect freedom and democracy in my country and around the world," he said.

The 34-year-old pop star said the words came at a heated time, following the killing of two Korean schoolgirls.

"The song I was featured in—eight years ago—was part of a deeply emotional reaction to the war in Iraq and the killing of two Korean schoolgirls that was part of the overall antiwar sentiment shared by others around the world at that time. While I'm grateful for the freedom to express one's self, I've learned there are limits to what language is appropriate and I'm deeply sorry for how these lyrics could be interpreted. I will forever be sorry for any pain I have caused by those words," he added.

The rapper, whose goofy video became the most-watched YouTube clip ever, continued his attempt to make amends.

"I have been honored to perform in front of American soldiers in recent months—including an appearance on the Jay Leno show specifically for them—and I hope they and all Americans can accept my apology. While it's important that we express our opinions, I deeply regret the inflammatory and inappropriate language I used to do so. In my music, I try to give people a release, a reason to smile. I have learned that thru music, our universal language we can all come together as a culture of humanity and I hope that you will accept my apology."

He will soon find out. A White House spokesman said that the Obama family still plans to attend the Dec. 21 Christmas in Washington concert where Psy is scheduled to appear.

(Originally published Dec. 7, 2012, at 2:52 p.m. PT)