K-pop group Monsta X offered support for social justice and the Black Lives Matter movement at Wednesday’s TIME 100 Talks.
“As U.N. ambassadors for sustainable Goal 16 we stand for peace and justice,” rapper I.M said, referencing one of the United Nation’s seventeen Sustainable Development Goals that address global challenges from poverty to inequality. “As such we have supported Black Lives Matter activism, and we believe that it’s time to acknowledge the issue and fix it.”
The message of solidarity was delivered along with the performance of two songs—“FLOW” and “Someone’s Someone”—at the TIME 100 Talks. The event also featured former U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, tennis star Naomi Osaka, Bollywood actor Ayushmann Khurrana, AI pioneer Kai-Fu Lee.
The musical act from South Korea, consisting of Shownu, Minhyuk, Kihyun, Hyungwon, Joohoney and I.M, has previously shown support for the Black Lives Matter movement on Twitter. A week after the killing of George Floyd, Monsta X made a short but emphatic post: “We stand together for equality, justice and dignity,” the group wrote, followed by the hashtags #NoRacism, #NoViolence and #BlackLivesMatter.
As protests against police brutality and systemic racism continue in the U.S. and around the world, K-pop fans have emerged as a formidable online force supporting to Black Lives Matter movement. Their strategies ranged from flooding the #WhiteLivesMatter hashtag on Twitter with K-pop memes and fancams to drown out racist messages, to refraining from using K-pop related hashtags around new music releases to avoid trending ahead of #BlackLivesMatter posts.
During the TIME100 Talks on Wednesday, Monsta X also recognized essential workers who have been on the front lines of fighting the coronavirus pandemic. “With this COVID-19 going around a long time, we truly appreciate and respect all the medical workers and related staff who are sacrificing themselves during this difficult period,” vocalist Kihyun said.
Like most music acts around the world, Monsta X has had to make significant changes to their 2020 activities. The group’s U.S. and Canada tour, originally scheduled for June and July, was postponed as social distancing measures and stay-at-home orders remained in place across cities. But COVID-19 did not stop the six members from releasing new music. On May 26, Monsta X dropped their mini album FANTASIA X. For TIME 100 Talks the group performed rapper Joohoney’s self-produced track “FLOW.” At an earlier online showcase, the artist said the song compares Monsta X’s lifestyle as celebrities to the behavior of swans.
The group also performed “Someone’s Someone,” from their album ALL ABOUT LUV released in February. ALL ABOUT LUV was not only Monsta X’s first all-English album, but the first all-English album released by a K-pop group in more than a decade.
The members of Monsta X did not end their time without a message to their fans—“Monbebe,” whose name comes from the French term for “my baby.”
“We love you Monbebe, and we pray for peaceful days of love, justice and health,” leader Shownu said.
This article is part of #TIME100Talks: Finding Hope, a special series featuring leaders across different fields encouraging action toward a better world. Want more? Sign up for access to more virtual events, including live conversations with influential newsmakers.