Destiny's Child: Profiling rapper & entrepreneur Jay Park's inspiring & game changing career in showbiz so far

Updated on Sep 24, 2021 10:00 PM IST  |  136.3K
Jay Park pose at an event
Jay Park pose at an event (Pic credit - News1)

The leader of one of the "hottest" (pun not intended) groups was forced to depart from the group overnight, following a major controversy. He returned to his home country a couple of years later and re-branded his stagnant career. Like a phoenix, he rose from the ashes and is now known as one of the biggest names in the K-pop and K Hip-Hop industries in the world! Sounds like the plot of a blockbuster movie, doesn't it? But, what if I tell you, it isn't? This is a real-life story! Yes, you read it right. The rapper and entrepreneur in question is none other than Jay Park! As a popular tagline reads "The man you know, but the journey you don't", we take a look at Jay Park's inspiring and game-changing career in showbiz so far!

Jay Park, known by his birth name Park Jae Beom was born on April 25, 1987, in Edmonds Washington, USA. Jay Park showed great interest in hip hop music and breakdancing from a young age, utilising his lunch break for dance practice. He started listening to hip hop and rap music in his early teens and spent time learning and writing raps himself during high school. In 2003, Jay Park became one of the first members of the Seattle-based b-boy crew Art of Movement (AOM). Often skipping classes to participate in b-boy competitions, his chosen career was a bone contention between him and his mother. But Jay Park was determined to not budge from his decision.

His mother finally gave in and suggested he try auditioning for a local talent show, organised by JYP Entertainment! Looking at this as a means to end his family's financial crunch, he decided to give his best, unbeknownst to him, the success of his audition would eventually lead to him being officially contacted and selected by JYP Entertainment to debut as a K-pop idol! He moved to South Korea where he underwent strict training under the supervision of JYPE.

He appeared on Mnet's 'Hot Blood Men', a documentary-style reality program that showed the future members of One Day, split as idol groups 2AM and 2PM, in training. Jay Park, finishing at the top spot with the most fan votes, became the leader of 2PM. The seven-member group debuted with the song '10 Out of 10' on September 4. All was going well until a life-changing controversy hit Jay Park and the group!

On September 4, 2009, the South Korean media dug out unfavourable comments about the country on Jay Park's personal Myspace account from 2005. The comments, written in English to a friend, were translated by the South Korean media, quickly spreading across hundreds of news articles. Jay Park expressed deep remorse and shame over his forgotten words and issued an official apology, reasoning that he was homesick and fatigued with the exhausting trainee life. The Korean public and the media was in no mood to forgive him and he announced on his official fancafe that he would be leaving the group and apologised to his fellow 2PM members as well.

He returned to South Korea in 2010 after the situation had cooled down and fans demanded his return to the group. However, in a classic plot twist, JYP Entertainment announced that Jay Park's contract with them had been terminated, citing a separate "personal mistake" that he had made in 2009. Fans protested but to no avail, Jay Park's destiny was leading him away from 2PM and idol life to something different!

Re-branding himself as a solo singer, rapper and performer, he charted his destiny in another direction, partaking in the underground hip hop culture in South Korea, a rarity for both active and former K-Pop idols at that time! Post his departure from 2PM, he launched his own YouTube channel releasing self-composed solo music and song covers and gaining momentum from fans, who were now seeing him in a new light.

He actively began working with talented, underrated rappers, singers and producers and collaborating with them on making new music, bringing fresh talent to the foray and building a legacy for himself! The next obvious step was, of course, entrepreneurship! In September 2013, he became the founder and CEO of AOMG, a South Korean independent record label specializing in hip-hop. In May 2017, he announced the co-creation with producer Cha Cha Malone of a new global hip-hop label, H1GHR Music!

Described as a "born entertainer" by legendary Korean pop singer Patti Kim, Jay Park's charismatic performances, incredible stage presence, undeniable music talent and a keen eye for talent makes him a true legend in every sense! He has been credited as one of the main figures responsible for the increased commercial acceptance and mainstream popularization of K-hip hop in South Korea. Over the years, Jay Park's labels have recruited and brought many talented known and unknown idols and artists to foray including JAY B (GOT7), Yugyeom (GOT7), GRAY, Hoody, Code Kunst, LeeHi, Devita, JMIN to name a few from the stunning roster of talents his labels' host.

They say the greatest gift of life is the joy of giving and Jay Park seems to practice that to the tee. It is heartening to see an exceptionally talented artist like him nurture young talent and give them wings to fly. Sure he has made mistakes, but he has owned them and rectified them to become a better version of himself! Against all odds and storms, Jay Park, rose from the ashes, paving way for other artists to walk the path. "Destiny's child" indeed!

We are happy to share some of our favourite Jay Park songs, that you must add to your playlist now.

1. Count on Me

2. All I Wanna Do ft. Hoody & Loco

3. Dank

4. Solo ft. Hoody

5. Mommae

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ALSO READ: PHOTOS: 6 times Jay Park made a fashion statement with his colourful clothing

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