The World's Most Controversial K-Pop Group

We met up with the members of EXP Edition, the world’s first non-Korean K-pop group, to find out why they’re trying to become the genre’s next breakout stars—and explore the backlash they're facing from people accusing them of cultural appropriation.

We're getting very up close and personal with the love for Korean pop music love in India, and its surrounding industry. Let super fans power your soundtrack, tell you how to talk and walk K-pop style, in the best that K-pop fashion has to offer. Read more here.


Korean pop music—better known as K-pop—has grown into a $5 billion industry and its sounds, stars, fashion, and lifestyle have taken the world by storm. But while K-pop’s fanbase has diversified, most of its stars haven’t—so what happens when non-Koreans try to become K-pop idols?

On this episode of 'MINORITY REPORTS,' VICE sent Lee Adams to Seoul, South Korea, to meet the four members of EXP Edition, the world's first non-Korean K-pop group—Koki Tomlinson, Frankie DaPonte, Hunter Kohl, and Šime Košta—who believe you don’t need to be Korean in order to do K-pop. When they debuted, EXP Edition faced harsh criticism from some K-pop fans—most of whom weren’t Korean—who argued that the group was appropriating Korean culture. But in EXP Edition’s view, that kind of pushback happens to anyone trying to break into a new genre of music that’s picking up a global following. In conversations with EXP Edition, its managers, fans, and critics, we go inside the wildly popular world of K-pop, and explore questions of where the line between cultural appreciation and cultural appropriation is drawn—along with who should actually draw it.