South Korean boy band Epex becomes a hot topic with their latest single, Anthem of Teen Spirit. The song is the title track to the band’s third EP, Prelude of Anxiety Chapter 1. 21st Century Boys.” Epex, formerly known as C9ROOKIES, stands for Eight Apex. They’ve solidified their name as a competitive, talented boy group. However, their latest single caused controversy, especially with German KPop listeners.
Soon after the release of Anthem of Teen Spirit, German netizens spoke of the outline on the title track’s lyrics, “Crystal Night.” Korea JoongAng Daily reports that the Crystal Night implies a historical event of Kristallnacht. Kristallnacht is the pogrom Nazi forces forced on Jews in November 1938 in the city of Danzig.
The alleged lyrical reference was further solidified with the boys’ showcase outfit. The music video also seemed to reenact some brutal moments that reminded the international audience of the spine-chilling event. Netizens took to social media to express their sentiments, some harsh and putting Epex on blast. It became out of hand and attracted trolls.
Epex’s label C9 Entertainment released a statement that clarified the band’s new song, music video, and stage costumes.
The statement said Epex based its music, lyrics, and music video on various literary works and physics theories. Most parts of the latest EP are inspired by George Orwell’s 1984, published in 1949.
The report included a snippet of the letter that said,“‘Anthem of Teen Spirit’ is a song that points out and warns of the harm caused by the robotized education system that Korean youth are experiencing. In the lyrics, ‘the night in the crystal’ expresses the realistic life of teenagers, used as a metaphor for the images of children burning in competition in the windows of numerous academies that are lit up brightly like crystals every night, and another expression is from the ‘glass paperweight’ appearing in ‘1984.’”
C9 Entertainment explained that in 1984, the mc’s “glass paperweight” broke after party members arrested him. They clarified that the lyrics have no connection with actual historical events. The Korean name of the title would clear out this misunderstanding because the title track is “Hagwon-ga,” meaning “Academy Song.” The label did apologize for not being more careful in using the phrase as a metaphor. They apologized to locals and international listeners. The label would change the controversial lyrics for Epex’s future performances.
“The night in the crystal” will become “Myself in the crystal.”
“I see them burning raw” will be changed to “I see them running low.” With that, “Crystal Night is coming will become “Crystal Light is coming.”
C9 Entertainment shared the update that the boys have already re-recorded the song with the changed lyrics. Soon, they’ll change and register them with all music service companies as soon as possible.
The label clarified that the costumes used in the music video and performances were based on ‘1984’ as a motif. There is no connection to actual events, people, or groups.
With that, C9 Entertainment promises to take this opportunity to be more careful and pay serious attention to Epex’s works to avoid hurting anyone.