Whatchu Know About K-Pop?

One night, maybe 4 or years ago or so, while on one of my YouTube all-nighters, I decided to check out videos by Asian hip hop artists. (The backstory to this is that I went to college in Paris, and got into French hip hop, as well as global hip hop in general) I somehow came across a video of a female Korean singer named BoA, and the rest of that night was spent checking out many of her videos. She was considered the Asian version of Britney Spears in her heyday, and I was impressed by her stylized videos and choreography. BoA was my first introduction to K-pop (Korean music which is a mesh of pop, hip hop and R&B), and recently my interest in this genre experienced a rebirth.

Beyond the brown hair, stylized sets, fashion, choreography and songs sprinkled with a bit of English is a marketing machine that garners this artists MILLIONS of YouTube views and album sales. They are “trained” for years before being presented to the masses, and it looks like all their hard work seems to always pay off. I’ve always said I like what I like, regardless of genre or whether or not I fully understand the music, and it’s the same way with K-pop (or J-pop, the Japanese version)

One random night, I wound up in Times Square and went into McDonalds to grab something to eat. If you’ve ever been to this McD’s, you’ll know they have a ton of TV screens showing videos from all over the world… I happened to look up while waiting for my order and peeped a video from this Asian artist – choreography was SICK. AND he could sing? AND he was cute? I was instantly fascinated! Problem was, I didn’t know who he was… Another time I went and saw another video from the same artist – by now I couldn’t forget his face – and developed a bit of a crush just off watching his touching video of love lost. (I know…it’s sad.) Yesterday I literally Googled something to the effect of “asian singer video mcdonalds times square” and came up with links to someone named TaeYang. It was the artist I had seen in the videos in McDonalds! I checked out some more of his videos and came across a girl group called 2NE1 (pronounced “21” or “to anyone”) who I also think are dope.

Check out some videos from the artists mentioned above, and step your global music game up.

BoA – “ID; Peace B”

BoA – “Eat You Up”

TaeYang – “Where U At”

TaeYang – “Wedding Dress”

Big Bang introducing 2NE1 – “Lollipop” (TaeYang was part of Big Bang, where he went by the name Sol)

2NE1 – “Fire” (Space)

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