A seemingly neverending discussion among K-Pop fans is the ability of idols to cover other artists’ performances. Specifically, there are usually concerns raised when male idols cover female choreography. In order to better show off their skill sets, male idols sometimes change choreography to make it look more ‘masculine.’ Which, of course, can lead to some strong criticisms from fans.
the boyz! what is love! pic.twitter.com/RlUwodlQ2m
— ◡̈by.deodeok (@5liciac) May 15, 2022
i’m still not over this btw. chaewon and yeonjun, my le sserafim and txt bias, doing the fearless tiktok challengepic.twitter.com/XhvjolNn4N
— cha ♡ (@2kimchwn) June 8, 2022
But boy group WEi‘s recent cover of (G)I-DLE‘s hit song “TOMBOY” has garnered mixed responses from netizens for more than simply their changes to the choreography.
(G)I-DLE’s “TOMBOY” was meant to represent the group’s breaking away from traditional gender roles.
What we want to convey is that we don’t attribute our actions to gender or age. Because I’m me is why I am, and why I act the way I do.
Fans praised the meaning behind the lyrics of the catchy song and (G)I-DLE achieved their first Realtime All-Kill with the hit song.
It’s understandable that when looking for a recent popular song to cover talented group WEi would have focused on (G)I-DLE’s hard-hitting song.
WEi’s cover of TOMBOY may not be your cup of tea, but hey, at least they are, sort of, paying homage in their own way to a song that’s topping the charts. I think we can acknowledge that instead of focusing on the differences with the original (which will always be the best 👑).
— jo 🍒🍔 (seeing gidle in Aug) (@daisukiren) June 8, 2022
And while the members certainly gave their all to the cover, netizens are having extremely mixed reactions.
On one hand, fans of the group are praising everything from WEi’s excellent styling, strong dance moves, and talented vocals.
wei's outfits for today's tomboy stage are so good 🔥❤️ pic.twitter.com/Gi8lhww5Px
— 스타욯의 (slow) (@staryoui) June 7, 2022
WEi Tomboy cover is fantastic I don't know why some people don't like it, I honestly think Tomboy cover was their best one.
— KEP1ER OT9 Stan ❤ (@2ne1xRedVelvet) June 8, 2022
Thank you WEI for choosing (G)i-dle tomboy to cover in show champion and keeping the popular moves in tomboy choreo the stage is so good and the costume is really fit tomboy concept.🤟👏👏 pic.twitter.com/Mlgcrn171v
— Amari nicha (@Ellie90473181) June 8, 2022
On the other hand, while some fans are critiquing the changes that WEi made to the original choreography…
The dance… https://t.co/rXiuwAxb4Z
— 🌱ʇɐɥʇ ƃuıd¡ןɟ sı uıɾʎɐןs (@l_lorebit) June 9, 2022
Most of the criticisms for the cover are actually looking past the dance and focusing on how WEi changed the lyrics to the song.
whyd they change the lyrics Like did they even research the meaning of the song or like Anything… at all.. https://t.co/uQTYZJQXCW
— jun Day edit 📌 (@bylerflop) June 9, 2022
i dont have any comment about their skills or anything related. the main point for this argument is they changed the lyrics and pronouns. its such a disrespect to the original version. you guys have to know that if you change the pronouns, the meaning of the song will change too. https://t.co/lNWWocO4IU
— 豆浆 ʕ •ᴥ•ʔ #XtraOdEnaryDay (@zryuan_) June 9, 2022
Specifically, in the original version of “TOMBOY,” Soyeon raps “Your mom raised you as a prince, but this is queendom right.” The lyrics are intended to focus on female empowerment and an ability to overcome challenges in a world not necessarily intended for women to succeed.
But in WEi’s version of the song goes “My mom raised me as a prince, so this is kingdom right.” Which fans believe ruins the entire meaning of the song.
ok fine they changed the choreo i’ll deal with it but the changed lyrics are pissing me off… this song was made for female empowerment and saying shit like “my mom raised me as a prince, so this is kingdom right?” disregards the entire message 😭 https://t.co/8nW9KuWFlG
— bloss (@alreadyyoongi) June 8, 2022
“My mom raised me as a prince so this is kingdom right?” pic.twitter.com/56Dw5opNIH
— shon ♡ (@teokbokkiSoojin) June 8, 2022
And, according to some fans, makes the cover feel like it’s meant to focus on male empowerment.
we get it, people change the lyrics to covers and thats okay. but men changing the lyrics to a FEMALE EMPOWERMENT song to make a MALE EMPOWERMENT song just is not okay. https://t.co/7YBfqUUKOw
— fearless drea (@braveblackluv) June 9, 2022
However, other netizens are pointing out that, as Soyeon said, the lyrics are about defying gender norms, which they feel both groups represented.
tomboy is about a person who doesn't let them limit themselves according to gender norms and just be themselves as a person outside of the realm of being a female or being a male, hence the line of "it's neither man nor woman", and i think both idle and wei managed to execute it.
— karin (@yvhansdessert) June 9, 2022
And other netizens are pointing out that covers are never exact copies of the original song and that WEi was simply paying homage to a song they liked with their own artistic spin.
A cover is a cover for a reason, other wise it would be called "carbon copy". And all the comments on not having bg cover gg? You just limited the potential of your group's songs reaching a wider audience & getting more fans. Open your mind a little & don't embarrass your fandom. https://t.co/W2BehE7yuO
— Brooke 🐰 Stream #TooBad RUis!!! 💜💙💜💙 (@YohannieMelody) June 8, 2022
You can watch (G)I-DLE’s performance of “TOMBOY” here.
You can watch WEi’s cover here.