BTS’ Rap Monster and American rapper Wale released their highly anticipated collaboration track, “Change”, but it’s now being overshadowed by a controversy caused by anti-fans and a person named “Venny“.
The collaboration track began after Twitter user @DarthVenn, also known as “Venny”, tweeted Wale with Rap Monster’s cover of “Illest Bitch”. When looking through Twitter‘s search history, it’s clear that Venny was the first user to tweet Wale directly with a mention of Rap Monster’s cover.
— // Venny // (@DarthVenn) October 27, 2016
Less than a week later, Wale responded to the original tweet with a simple message, “Collab???!” and BTS fans went absolutely crazy. The original tweet now has over 4,500 retweets with Wale’s response at 11,700 retweets.
Wale’s confirmation of the collaboration came just two days after his initial response. It appears that after the initial tweet, either Wale’s team or BTS team reached out to one another. They connected and the collaboration was officially underway.
ARMY continued to send messages of support and love to Wale in the next few months, constantly keeping his attention on BTS. When he released his track, “Flolarin Like” on December 6, 2016, fans flooded his Twitter with encouragement after finding lyrics in the track mentioning BTS.
“Foreign features from South Korea
BTS be the shit, we about to see it
I am not North or South, I am just DMV”
— Wale (on Folarin Like)
The collaboration was not brought up again until February 15, 2017 when Wale responded to one ARMYs request for information. Wale revealed that he would be traveling to South Korea and meeting with BTS in order work on the collaboration track.
Soon afterward, on March 2, 2017, Wale arrived in South Korea and was greeted with thousands of messages from ARMY sending support. From here, Wale would meet with BTS and Rap Monster to create their collaboration track.
Throughout this entire process, his account would be flooded with messages from ARMY, encouraging the collaboration. It’s impossible to state as fact, but it seems clear these messages and consistent reminders on the size of BTS’ fandom helped contribute to taking this collaboration track to the finish line.
It’s not uncommon for artists to send support or tease tracks with one another but be forgotten about as the attention drops. While Venny was the one who initially brought the track to Wale’s attention, it’s fair to say that a collective effort by ARMY ensured the collaboration was kept alive.
— Koreaboo (@Koreaboo) February 19, 2017
ARMYs have helped BTS gain the attention of mainstream celebrities like Tinashe, Charlie Puth and even Chef Gordon Ramsey. It’s become almost routine for ARMY to begin sending love, support and a massive audience in the direction of any celebrity that the BTS members are fans of.
In each of these situations, no one fan has taken credit for successful campaigns. They have always been recognized as a collective effort by ARMY and celebrated as such. Except, in this latest collaboration with Wale, user “Venny” has focused attention on herself and made clear she played a role in making it all happen.
At first glance, this doesn’t seem to be a big deal. It would make sense that a super-fan would take pride in helping their bias’ dreams come true. However, this super-fan is no ordinary fan. Venny has an extremely controversial history and has received mainstream media attention for her extreme racism, sexism, and sexual objectification of men. This is why ARMY are upset.
“However, this super-fan is no ordinary fan. Venny has an extremely controversial history and has received mainstream media attention for her extreme racism, sexism, and sexual objectification of men. This is why ARMY are upset.”
The unbelievable history of Venny begins in 2012 when she became famous on Twitter for her racist remarks and rape apologist behavior. Her numerous tweets have been documented online by K-Pop fans who were aware of her past, before becoming a BTS fan. Some of the most offensive tweets are regarding women, rape and Asian men.
While these posts were originally made in 2012, Venny continues on to make light of rape and sexual assault up until late 2015. In her tweets, she consistently jokes about rape, fetishes rape and does not appear to have remorse for her past actions. Her tweets have since been deleted but the evidence still remains with retweets and responses from outraged Twitter users.
While some may excuse her tweets, it’s hard to ignore her past history and blatant racism. It seems almost comical to claim a change of heart and continue to tweet as aggressively as Venny still does to this day.
“Twitter never gets tired of talking about rape all day.”
— @DarthVenn (December 30, 2015)
The most hypocritical tweets by Venny were made between 2011 and 2013, where she shares her obvious hatred and racist attitude towards Asians. Her discrimination is clear in the offensive messages where she degrades Asian women and men with seemingly no remorse.
“Japanese women are the prettiest of Asian women. The rest are so weird looking.”
“Filipinos are the [n-word] of the Asian race. LOL”
“Filipinos are Asian [n-word]”
— Venny (April 12, 2013)
In less than one year, Venny suddenly changes her tone and does a complete 180 on her views of Asian men and women. She tweets in January 2014, “Asian men comin up” and later in October 2014, “Can Asian girls stop being perf?”. She begins to follow BTS and turn into a hardcore K-Pop fan, tweeting almost exclusively about the two and has tattooed Rap Monster’s name on her wrist with Korean words tattooed below it.
These tweets and her past play a direct role in why some ARMY fans are upset about this incident. It’s struck a nerve with the extremely diverse and international fanbase that BTS has gathered. While Venny seems to have shifted away from her racist tweets and offensive messages, she remains a loud and public figure on Twitter.
Throughout the collaboration, Venny has been teasing other ARMY fans with alleged screenshots of her conversations with Wale. Venny began teasing a “special present” that she received from Wale and Rap Monster, telling her friends about the gift via group chats. In one chat, she reveals the video to her friends and tells them not to leak it, as it would harm Rap Monster directly.
With the knowledge of this “special present” having the potential to damage Rap Monster, Venny released it to a group of her friends online. The gift, which is revealed to be a shoutout video, is instantly leaked and immediately creates controversy amongst BTS fans.
— #? || Yoonjimin (@meanyoongi0309) March 19, 2017
This video created the perfect opportunity for anti-fans to begin spreading malicious rumors of alleged sexual relations between Venny and Rap Monster. They begin spreading rumors that the two have contact with each other, encouraged by photos posted by Venny alleging that Rap Monster knows who she is.
The same anti-fans went to Twitter to begin sharing false rumors and malicious rumors about Rap Monster, attempting to ruin his career. These anti-fans pretended to be ARMYs and began tweeting and spreading lies about Rap Monster and BTS.
These same anti-fans began e-mailing both international and mainstream media to bring the issue to attention. While some media reported simply on the information contained in the e-mails, others decided to completely ignore them.
Koreaboo received numerous e-mails from these anti-fans, attempting to disparage ARMYs reputation and create a false narrative. The e-mails claim sexual relations between Venny and Rap Monster and attempt to mislead media by falsely claiming to be BTS fans and ARMYs.
“The same anti-fans went to Twitter to begin sharing false rumors and malicious rumors about Rap Monster, to attempt and ruin his career. These anti-fans pretended to be ARMYs and began tweeting and spreading lies about Rap Monster and BTS.”
These anti-fans have taken the opportunity to spread misinformation in a campaign to attack BTS’ reputation, specifically amongst Korean fans. They seem to believe that if they are able to create controversy within International fans, it will eventually spread to Korean fans.
However, in typical ARMY fashion, the message of anti-fans and attempts at discrediting international BTS fans are being drowned out by a more positive message.
Brazilian ARMYs are being praised by Korean ARMYs for loudly cheering on Rap Monster at their recent concert. In his song, Rap Monster’s lyrics state, “I wish I could love myself”. In response, fans scream back at him, “We love you!”, and a clip that captures the entire moment is spreading like wildfire.
Namjoon: i wish i could love myself
B-Armys: WE LOVE YOU!
— ABRATASAS (@jinjjarevil) March 20, 2017
Rap Monster responded to the loving fans with one of the most memorable acts of fan-service an idol has arguably ever done. He changes his lyrics in response to his fans and sang , “Yes, I do love myself” live during the concert.
first was the “we love you” and now namjoon changed the lyrics to “yes I do love myself”, b-armys you’re the best pic.twitter.com/6lacyrKHlx
— cata (@mynephilim) March 21, 2017
In the end, ARMYs do not seem to be upset that a random fan is receiving attention from BTS and the credit for an entire fandoms hard-work. They seem upset that someone so controversial is accepting all credit for years of pushing BTS forward internationally. That she is being recognized and treated as a special fan when her past actions suggest she may be the least deserving of such treatment.
Venny seems to only be encouraging the flames and controversy, retweeting extremely volatile users who defend her with ferocity. Her tweets are written as near-demands for users to forgive her past actions and words when no sincere apology seems to have been made.
Everyday I pray some know the true heart of me, and not my past or the words people say to drag me back to it. I pray YOU know my heart.
— // Venny // (@DarthVenn) March 21, 2017
In the end, ARMYs and other K-Pop fans seem to have a hard time swallowing Venny’s adamant claims that she has changed when she tweets so aggressively in her defense. She does not seem humbled by her past extreme racism but even jokes about it with GIFs and images.
While it seems that this “controversy” will not be disappearing, it is clear that Rap Monster has no idea about Venny’s past or her racist remarks in the past. With that, it’s also clear that he is not to blame for sending her a video or thanking her for the collaboration.
When I think back on my past pic.twitter.com/ulJznxYe1c
— // Venny // (@DarthVenn) December 27, 2013