David Lehre or Chad Future most notably was introduced to kpop fans through a boy group by the name of Heart2Heart. This group was brought together by N'SYNC's Lance Bass and showed their kpop skills and influence in their debut music video "Facebook Official". The initial response from viewers was a mix of confusion, amusement, and negative criticism. The whole thing seemed like a parody like MTV's 2gether, but far less entertaining. To this day, I'm not completely sure if it was a joke or something serious. My mind is leaning more toward a joke. Although I heard initially from Lance Bass that this was a serious effort, but was later taken back by stating that it was a parody when the overwhelming response to the video was negative. Way to go by sticking to your product, Lance~
I guess I missed the memo that Chad Future was coming to Koreatown, but when I saw DailyPSA promoting him this past week or so, I was confused who this kid was. With a dumb name like that, I thought it was another talentless solo Korean guy. To my surprise, it was that American guy with the funky haircut in "Facebook Official". His first solo video was posted last week and the same response from Heart2Heart flooded the comment section of YouTube. It took me a while to realize that kpop's true colors were showing from the viewer reactions to the actual video.
Overall, I didn't like it at all and my dislike has nothing to do with his race or nationality. The rapping was nonsense, the choreography was silly, and some parts of the video felt unnatural. If you're wondering if it stacks up to typical kpop videos, then I would say yes. It follows your generic formula of kpop artists today with a little more racial diversity. But will this bridge the gap in the music scene, I highly doubt it as kpop fans are very harsh judges to outsiders and Chad lacks the talent to convince them otherwise. Although, he is equally if not slightly more talented than some male kpop artists with his same skill set. But because he is non-Asian, he has to go beyond the standard...unless Chad Future is actually trolling the industry with everything they dish out on a daily basis with better English.
Not only does this video point out the true low standards of the industry, it also points out the weakness in the fanbase. A former top comment explains it well:
"When you think about it, if this same concept was done by [a Kpop group], they would be sucking his or her dick and digging deep into the recesses of their soul to find some ridiculous connection that makes the song infinitely more meaningful than it actually is. Yet, because this is a white dude doing K-pop, people are either angry at the idea of it or just straight insult the whole concept."
This is the reason I had to explain my feelings toward it in such a different way. I don't care what nationality or race he is, I still wouldn't enjoy it. His take on Big Bang's "Bad Boy" was painful to listen to and I couldn't finish it. But like my previous post concerning foreigners in jrock, I find it contradicting how kpop fans label him as bad or whatever because of his race/nationality, especially when they believe that kpop is so "international". Kpop boys dish out poor choreography, unnatural music video choices, and nonsensical English and rap lines all the time, but fans eat it up without harsh criticism.
If Chad Future is a serious character, then I'll give him props for trying to bridge the international gap and being brave enough to face the rabid kpop fans alone. I won't be supporting his music anytime soon, but apparently he does have some musical supporters who can look past his race which is good for others who want to try in the future. Otherwise, I think Chad has a lot of things to work on to be taken more seriously by the rest of us.