An Anti-Semitic Music Video

Alana Jollevet, Staff Writer

Recently a South Korean boy group, Epex, came under fire for their latest single for what appeared to have Anti-Semitic allusions in both the song and music video.

Epex is a boy group under the South Korean entertainment company C9 Entertainment. The group came back with their third EP titled Prelude of Anxiety Chapter 1. ‘21st Century Boys, with their single titled “Anthem of Teen Spirit”. The song and video came under fire for the constant mentions of Cyrstal night and military uniforms that seem similar to those of the Nazi uniforms of the 1940s. According to Newsweek, the lyric translation from Genius, more than once the song mentions Crystal Night. Crystal Night is the English translation of the German word Kristallnacht, which is the night of broken glass and is when Nazi officials along with citizens burned and destroyed Jewish buildings, businesses, Synagogues, and Jewish people. While there were no direct antisemitism lyrics in “Anthem of Teen Spirit”, according to Newsweek the song seems to use the phase of Cyrstal Night in reference to the night of broken glass. Fans also seemed to think that the uniforms worn in the music video were similar to Nazi military uniforms. 

According to NME, Albin Nordqvist, one of the songwriters of the song has come out and explained that he only worked on the English demo and had no idea about the song’s lyrics now. Two days after the problems with the song and video came to light the entertainment company made a statement confirming that Epex’s single is based on the novel, 1984, by George Orwell. The company claimed that the occurring references of Cyrstal Night were in reference to the glass paperweight in 1984. C9 Entertainment apologies for the misunderstanding of the lyrics. The company also clarified the military uniforms in the music video. All outfits shown in the video were based on content from the novel, 1984. The song lyrics have been changed and the Epex has since re-recorded the song. 

The original song lyrics before the company made the change, according to a Genius translation from Newsweek, the lyrics were  “ Before you become pray, yes pull the trigger…” and “ I see them burning raw, Crystal Night is coming…chase and flee.” Epex has changed and rerecorded those lyrics.