About two weeks ago, BTS member RM shared on Instagram that he was listening to Frank Ocean‘s song “Bad Religion“, a track off one of the best-received albums since its release back in 2012 (Channel Orange). It’s a song about unrequited love, as Frank narrates his experiences to a taxi driver, and also about religious views (hatred) towards his sexuality.
The controversy comes from a segment of lyrics from the chorus, which go:
“And you say ‘Allahu Akbar’
I told him, ‘Don’t curse me’
‘Bo Bo, you need prayer’
I guess it couldn’t hurt me
If it brings me to my knees, it’s a bad religion”
So, this pissed off a ton of Muslims and back then it was big enough that it trended all day on Twitter. Things got so nonsensical online that day that I posted the track myself, just cause normal people do the same all the time cause it’s a great song.
After everybody from Frank Ocean fans to “locals” to other K-pop stans to BTS stans to Genius explained what the song was about over and over, I figured it wasn’t worth covering as the controversy would die out.
Well, apparently I was wrong and things have been continuing on social media and what not. During a recent Weverse livestream RM did, he apparently saw people still coming to tell him to apologize, so he addressed it.
“Guys, I know what you’re talking about, and you keep telling me that I insulted a religion. I didn’t. There was no intention or purpose to insult a religion. I respect every belief and religion. That’s all I can say. Please don’t. I know what’s going on on my Instagram, I can see. But I never, there was no such purpose. I didn’t have even 1 % of my heart to intend to insult any religion. Guys. It’s a song. I’m not apologizing. I’m just saying. I have my own soul, I am 30 years old. I can express my true thoughts. Please, these words are words, it is what it is. Please believe my words from myself. Not just guessing, pretending, assuming, okay?”
Honestly glad he didn’t apologize. All of this is even more ridiculous because RM didn’t even write the song, and nobody addressed similar criticism to the probably literally tens of millions of people who shared it before.
Also, if you’re shocked and upset that a gay person is criticizing religion, then I dunno what to tell you, but the problem there isn’t the gay/bi/queer person suffering from rampant institutionalized homophobia.