Idol groups are no strangers to controversy and scandals. If it is played right, the scandal can even lead to even more fame and support. Rookie Idols NewJeans has had a lot of popularity these days which usually means controversy is sure to follow. And at just over a month old, the group faces its first controversy over the lyrics of their chart-dominating song, "Cookie".
Fans have commented and debated on whether the lyrics for "Cookie" are a bit inappropriate for the young group. The lyrics are about the girls singing about a cookie that they made that you cannot get anywhere else and will always want. It's an R&B Pop song with seemingly sexual undertones to anyone who speaks English. In America, the term cookie is a slang term for ladies' lower regions and sex in general. It comes up often in lyrics, like Doja Cat's "Cookie Jar", as well as in everyday conversations. Therefore the lyrics, "If you want it, you can get it" can seem overtly sexual in English.
To Korean speakers, the lyrics could have more of an innocent feel of making love or music that people cannot get enough of. ADOR, the group's label, said "The underlying message of the song is the value of NewJeans’ attempt to make new and original music." They claim that the song is about making music for their fans and has a Korean play on words for burning CDs.
The company seems really confused by the controversy altogether. Fans feel bad for the members caught in the middle of this controversy. Though, Korean netizens have also claimed to see the sexual connotations, even saying, "I think there is a bit of sensual underlying vibe but I think they stopped just right." You can listen to the song below and read the lyrics to judge for yourself!
While songs with sexual undertones are not new to K-Pop, the problem arises with the ages of the members. The members of NewJeans are all teenagers ranging in age from 14 to 18. As they are mostly minors, singing a song about sexual things, if that was their intention, is inappropriate. The members can have love lives and experiences at their ages, but they're broadcasting their singing to people of all ages across the world. People can sexualize the girls or develop a bad of image of them in Korean's conservative society before they're even adults.
What do you think about the lyrics? Do you think they should be free to sing what they want? Or do you think the song is inappropriate?