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  • The 20 Best K-Pop Videos

Ever since an October 2011 New York Times account of an absolutley ridiculous-sounding sold-out K-pop showcase at Madison Square Garden, I’ve been spending altogether too much time chasing the feeling that I got watching my first K-pop video. SHINee’s “RingDingDong.” I’ve been able to get that feeling pretty often. South Korea, see, has figured out pop music pretty much perfectly over the last couple of years. Throughout Asia, and in pockets of the West as well, the music coming out of a few different management companies in Seoul has become absurdly popular, and it’s done it by taking the musical and visual vocabularies of late-’90s American teenpop and amping them up into Blade Runner pleasure-bombs, looking and sounding like an optimist’s idea of the future. The clothes and hairstyles and camera-angles and cheesed-out CGI effects are all cranked up way past 10, and so are the songs’ hooks. If you have any love in your heart for willfully weightless, blissed-out, shame-free pop music, there is a whole lot to love in the 20 videos below.

K-pop is a genre in its relative infancy, really only coming into its own in the last three years and pushing itself to giddier heights every couple of months or so. Though many of the stars do help write their own music, the K-pop assembly line is a very serious thing, one that puts even Nashville’s pop-country industry to shame. These management companies find talented kids, spend years training them, and then debut them in boy- and girl-bands that have all been assembled in the least organic way possible. There’s very little pretense at artistic expression here; instead, these groups are hook-delivery systems polished to a blinding sheen. But that all-surface craftsmanship, in its way, can be just as moving as anything else; it’s humbling to watch people so insanely good at what they do.

I should point out, at the outset, that I am no kind of K-pop historian, and almost everything I learned about the genre comes from clicking the YouTube links that appear after a video ends. That means I’m probably missing a ton of stuff, and actual K-pop aficionados will probably get annoyed with me for ranking some things higher than others and for leaving out classics. I’m a total neophyte, and if I’m leaving out anything important, then by all means set me straight in the comments section. Anyway, this list is less about ranking and more about the sheer abundance of awesomeness that K-pop is giving us right now.

20. SHINee – “Lucifer”

A pretty good indication of what you’ll find futher down this list: Flashy choreography, haircuts that seem like they leaped straight from a William Gibson novel, hooks so efficient and powerful that they almost hurt your brain. I don’t think that anyone on earth knows what “love-a-holic, lovertronic” means, and none of us will probably find out either.

19. Girls’ Generation – “Oh!”

A massive hit, and a song that a lot of fans consider to be the defining high-water mark of the entire genre. I’m not as nuts about it, but it is fun in a frothy, sunny way. The video is practically a K-pop take on Saved By The Bell; I can’t seriously imagine what a football helmet even means to Korean culture.

18. Kim Wan-Sun – “Be Quiet”

Wan-Sun has been a star in South Korea since the mid-’80s, and this is the comeback effort that introduced her to the current K-pop wave. Naturally, it features dancers with speakers for heads, a bleach-haired rapper who stomps on a computer keyboard, and a backing track that veers awfully close to early-’90s rave. Fun!

17. TVXQ – “Keep Your Head Down”

In this one, the members of this boy band shoot fireballs from their fingertips, lip-sync in rooms riddled with bulletholes, and swing bits of rubber tubing around like nunchaku. Also, one of them wears a cape and acts like that’s not even a big deal, and there are at least three points where I was convinced that a couple of the boys were about to start making out with each other.

16. f(x) – “Nu ABO”

Everyone’s favorite member of this girl group is Amber Liu, a Taiwanese-American rapper from L.A. who’s probably the single butchiest person, male or female, in the entire K-poposphere. The fact that she can become a teen idol in Korea, a place not exactly known for fluid sexuality, is some kind of testament to K-pop’s power, or to her own charisma, or something. And even though “Hot Summer” has a pink tank in it, the infernally catchy “Nu ABO” probably has their best video.

15. B.A.P. – “Warrior”

DMX-influenced K-pop, it turns out, is a thing that exists. B.A.P. is a new boy band whose name stands for Best Absolute Perfection, which is so awesome but which doesn’t have anything to do with their hardcore persona. And I think it’s pretty great that all the members of K-pop’s most thugged-out boy-band have bleach-blond hair, like they were the evil gang from Meteor Man. Also, the members keep pretending to shoot each other in the head Reservoir Dogs-style, and there’s a guy in a Deadmau5-looking light-up rabbit head who smashes car windows with a sledgehammer.

14. Trouble Maker – “Trouble Maker”

Male/female duets are pretty rare in K-pop, for whatever reason. This is a total event-song, a collaboration between two big stars in Hyunseung of the boy band Beast and Hyuna, a member of the girl group 4Minute and the singer of the awesome “Bubble Pop!,” which you’ll find further down. Naturally, it’s a sexed-up James Bondian fantasy that proceeds according to a logic that I’m pretty sure nobody understands.

13. BigBang – “Love Song

The track itself is a better Coldplay song than anything Coldplay themselves have done since A Rush Of Blood To The Head. The video, meanwhile, is one long Children Of Men/Touch Of Evil-style tracking shot (with sly edits, sure) that takes place entirely a post-apocalypic wasteland full of flaming debris and exploding car husks that fall from the sky for no reason. There’s nothing about this thing that I don’t love.

12. T-Ara – “Roly Poly”

The song’s Euro-club bounce is so relentlessly catchy and direct that it gives me Abba vibes, but for some reason it comes couched in this 12-minute period piece mini-movie in which some lady discovers her old photo album and then flashes back to the days when she and her friends would execute big nightclub dance routines to this song. I have no idea everyone’s saying during the storyline bits. But the part where that stops and the song starts is absolutely glorious, and the dance bit, with a whole ton of moves stolen from John Travolta’s Saturday Night Fever throwdowns, is adorable. (It starts around 4:25 if you want to jump right there.) For some reason, T-Ara love making these long-ass videos; the mini-crime movie that they made for “Cry Cry” is even more ridiculous.

11. miss A – “Bad Girl, Good Girl”

Sometimes, the language barrier is no barrier at all. This video, where the high school’s black-clad tough chicks take over the ballet-practice room and stage their own elaborately choreographed routine, is one of those times. Also: Good lord this song is catchy.

10. SHINee – “RingDingDong”

This was the first K-pop video I ever watched, and it turned out to be a pretty perfect introduction. Those haircuts! Those nonsensical English baby-talk hooks! The part where they all inexplicably sprout angels’ wings at the end! What really grabbed me, though, was the beat: A tense and rubbery electro-house thing that managed to be utterly accessible and totally punishing at the same time. Nobody in Europe or America is using those Euro-club tropes better than the producers in Seoul are doing right now.

9. Girls’ Generation – “The Boys”

“Oh” may be this group’s genre-defining classic text, but I prefer the robotic turbo-sass of “The Boys” to that song’s over-the-top cuteness. This one reminds me of Writing’s On The Wall-era Destiny’s Child, if they had nine members instead of four, and the video seems to take place in some supremely girly version of Superman’s Fortress of Solitude. It sounds like pure urgency. It’s also the first modern-era K-pop song to get any kind of serious American push, with its English-language version getting an Interscope release and everything.

8. Hyuna – “Bubble Pop!”

This seems to be the American indie-dork massive’s favorite K-pop song, and, I mean, I can’t disagree. It’s practically a fucking Junior Senior song, except with actual good singing, and that chorus sounds like a Fluxpop manifesto brought to glorious life. The video is just an awesomely sunny and flirty good time, with those Roy Lichtenstein comic-book title-cards occasionally turning it into a Monkees clip and that inexplicable dubstep breakdown at the end coming out of absolutley nowhere. The entire comments section on this YouTube video, at least the comments in English, seem to be one vast argument over whether Hyuna is a slut or not.

7. GD & T.O.P. – “Knock Out”

Probably the first non-English rap song I’ve ever managed to enjoy. (Second if you consider “Gasolina” a rap song.) G-Dragon and T.O.P. are the two rapping member of BigBang, and their all-rap side project is reliably just awesome. G-Dragon’s also one of the musical masterminds behind his own group, exceedingly rare in K-pop, and if I’m to believe Wikipedia, he started rapping after the first time he heard Wu-Tang. But he sounds nothing whatsoever like Wu-Tang! This song was apparently banned in South Korea because “Knock Out” is Korean slang for being drunk, which is awesome. And the video itself takes place in some Bugs Bunnified alternate universe that reminds me, more than anything else, of a prime-era Missy Elliott video. The part where they dance under the tank turret is the best. Also, this one is probably the most immediately Stereogum-relevant song on the whole list. Diplo produced it, swiping a big chunk from Cajmere’s Chicago house classic “Coffee Pot (It’s Time For The Percolator)” in the process.

6. 2NE1 – “Ugly”

Rest assured: You will see 2NE1 on this list again. They are awesome, and they’d probably take up a third of this list if I wasn’t limiting things to two songs per artist. But this one gets special consideration because it’s their emo-ballad moment, their obvious take on TLC’s “Unpretty,” and they still dress like refugees from a Hot Topic explosion. Also, if any American emo song in the past five years or so has brought this kind of dizzily positive energy, I haven’t heard it.

5. Super Junior – “Mr. Simple”

There so many people in Super Junior! 13 members! That’s like two and a half American boy bands! Can you imagine the sheer volume of hair product at work here? My favorite member, naturally, is the kinda-fat late-20s guy with the dyed-red pageboy haircut who looks perfectly awkward every time he’s on camera. A friend pointed out that he imagined someone at SM Entertainment looking at an old picture of Joey Fatone, shrugging, and pulling the trigger. This video is almost lo-fi by K-pop standards, built entirely from its choreography. But that choreography is great, and so is the song. Between this, “Sorry Sorry,” and “Bonamana,” Super Junior are the kings of direct, unshakable earworms; good luck getting any of those songs out of your head all day.

4. GD & T.O.P. – “High High”

It took real restraint to keep myself from populating the top five entirely with stuff from the BigBang/2NE1 braintrust, and I just couldn’t help myself here. This one doesn’t have the cartoonish avant-garde force of the “Knock Out” video, but it does poppy American club-rap better than any American has done it in many years. I love the way T.O.P. manages to look like Don Draper even with this goofy spaceman clothes, I love the way way G-Dragon says “like ninja,” and I love that dance they do with their hands on the “high high high high” part. More than anyone, I love how these two guys appear to be having more fun than anyone else on the global pop-music landscape. Also, I hope Slick Rick is making so much money from that sample.

3. Brown Eyed Girls – “Abracadabra”

K-pop videos do future-shock extremely well and cute probably even better, but they don’t often go for sleazy. From what I’ve read, South Korea has pretty stringent rules about anything the tiniest bit explicit, so videos like this one are rare things. But this giddy dominatrix cheesecake confection shows the sort of thing that might happen if those restrictions got lifted. And it’s all incredibly well-done: A merciless electro pulse set to a story that, as far as I can tell, concerns a gigolo figure who gets tortured via shock-treatment. And the hips-rocking dance that the group does on the song’s first verse is pure steely-eyed badassery.

2. BigBang – “Fantastic Baby”

This one is only a few weeks old, so it seems faintly ridiculous to be putting it so high on a best-of-all-time list. But in K-pop, the groups that last do it by pushing their shit to new extremes every time they’ve got a new single out. And right now, BigBang, a dominant commercial force throughout Asia, are Lady Gaga circa-”Telephone.” I mean, look at this thing. It’s a post-apocalyptic Daft Punk adolescent Tumblr fantasy, and nothing about it makes the tiniest bit of sense, the haircuts especially. I can’t tell you how happy I am that it exists. Amrit will tell you: I kept myself awake enough to write all my SXSW coverage stuff by watching this video every 15 minutes.

1. 2NE1 – “I Am The Best”

Images that fill me with an immediate and visceral sense of joy: WWE title belts, spiked gauntlets, futuristic sports cars with gullwing doors, bustiers with nails sticking out of them, CGI trains, CGI pyramids, leather jackets with Misfits backpatches, Westminster-ready poodles, jewelry that spins, cartoonish machine guns, chainmail, designer straightjackets, spinning chairs that quote Scarface, haircuts that look like Viking helmets. The song is ridiculously catchy and propulsive, and everything about the video — the editing, the choreography, the sheer volume of what-the-fuck imagery — works to support it. In the past few months, I’ve watched this video at least 100 times, and I’ve convinced myself that it’s the greatest music video ever made. I refuse to budge on this. I mean, “Thriller” was great and all, but did it have a crew of ’80s-movie punks smashing walls of platinum plaques with baseball bats for no reason? No. No, it did not.

Comments (127)
  1. I knew it! I knew the video with the WWE spinner title would be number 1! My fav as well.

    Also, if there were ever a thread to say this, it would be here: WHO ELSE IS EXCITED ABOUT THE S CLUB 7 REUNION?

  2. No Gee? Seriously? We’re probably talking about the greatest k-pop song/video/single in history.

  3. I have listened to love song by big bang over 100 times since you linked it on twitter 2 weeks ago. It’s bafflingly infectious!!

    • their discography is huge since all members are successful soloists…search them up on youtubedotcom/BIGBANG, there’s plenty more to watch/listen

    • That was my second Big Bang song & it had such a universal appeal….it’s just the song & them!! No crazy hairdos, outfits, crazy set, & complicated dance sequences. Also, I love that they experiment w/ different genres and just aren’t the hip-hop group that they started out as.

      I dunno if you’ll find their Japanese tracks on their YT channel but here’re a few: Beautiful Hangover, Tell Me Goodbye, & Koe wo Kikasete

      • i agree on this, not because i’m pretty much BigBang/GD&TOP/YG-biased kind of fan. it’s just that they’re really on a whole another level, higher than any other kpop idols these days.

        and they sampled old songs too in their own songs. check GD&TOP’s “Intro”..it’s a sample of Freda Payne “It’s Yours To Have’, and if you listen carefully to Big Bang’s “Alive (Intro)” song, there’s this Bee Gees “Staying Alive” feel in it. Very good.

  4. That Bubble Pop song is really sweet until the terrible dubstep breakdown. Why dubstep, WHY!?

  5. Um… Wonder Girl’s “Tell Me” needs to be on here as does Girls Generation’s “Genie” as does the TARA butt dance.

    Also, KPOP goes back way further than three years ago AND I’m going to be pedantic and say that actually “idol group” is more accurate in describing these KPOP than “boyband” or “girlband,” which are Western terms and more appropriate for acts like O-Town. Though you could flip it and call a boyband like NKOTB an idol group.

    • I’m going to be more pedantic and point out that the butt dance belongs to Kara (fun fact: that song didn’t have a video and it still became their breakthrough hit).

      • You’re referring to KARA’s “Mister”, right? well, yeah, it’s a cool song and dance, but I think filmigirl means T-ARA’s “Bo Beep”. You know, the “Bo beep bo beep bo beep, Ahh!” cat dance )) I love to dance to it

  6. this article has made my life. thanks.

  7. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  8. Bubble Pop is WAAAY too low on this list! I mean, that’s gotta be a top spot contender, no?

  9. Wow, this fucking rules. Girls’ Generation is awesome,

    and I wish so much that Four Get Me a Nots were K-pop, but they’re neither K…nor pop.

    Enjoy anyway: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxG8lGdj2zU&feature=fvst

  10. eyes and ears bleeding

  11. I went through a heavy J-Pop phase in high school (still hold Utada Hikaru and Shiina Ringo close to my heart), but I haven’t kept up with any Asian pop since.

    If anything, this collection of tracks shows that Korean producers are getting a much, much greater variety of styles from their soundboards than American producers. When I go out dancing with friends all the tracks, the Katy Perrys, David Guettas, Flo Ridas, etc. all sound like they came from the same factory. It’s fun to dance to, but after a half-hour I’m pretty bored.

    I don’t know if I’m rushing to my nearest Asian import store to buy any of these kids’ singles, but as much as Koreans have borrowed and re-interpreted 30+ years of American pop music, it’s time our big-name producers start borrowing back.

    Also, that Bad Girl, Good Girl song/video is great.

  12. Girls Generation is playing a gig in my town this weekend. On the same night my band is playing. Man I sure hope we’re sexy enough to pull in some audiences

  13. I live in Korea and have such a hatred towards K-pop, but only because it’s EVERYWHERE. It is inescapable to a degree that no Western genre or band has ever been. That said, I think I appreciate this list all the more because I can sit back and objectively consider what makes these songs and acts so endlessly ‘hummable’, something that is considerably harder to do when faced with 4 different songs blaring from 4 different stores while you’re walking down the street.

    • I feel your pain. When I lived in Korea all my American friends loved the KPop and it IS pretty inescapable. I sort of made peace with Miss A and a few. However, I saw a great Korean band in Busan that played basically Irish inflected punk music. There were some western expat bands there too. I can’t remember the name of the club, in was in the Gwan go li beach area but they have live bands all the time. The only landmark I can give you is that it is close to where the Turkish kabab truck sets up. A friend that’s been in Korea for 4 years or so told me there’s a pretty thriving scene there in Busan and in Seoul too if you know where to look.

    • I too live in Korea and while I realize that finding this weird futuristicy teen idol sensation from the other side of the world is a fun novelty, you waeguk-in have no idea what you are unleashing.

  14. I think Nothing’s over by Infinite should be somewhere on the list.

  15. In South Korea where boy bands have the balls to release a video where they beat the shit out of each other.

  16. Always have loved J-Pop and K-Pop but I am wondering if the appearance of this list has anything to do with those Elite Gymnastics mixes that popped up fall last year…

    http://fortyounce.co.uk/elitegymnasticsmix

  17. some of the songs on this list are definitely very popular in korea (and overseas) but i have to say that 2NE1 and BigBang are by far the best, most mature, and accessible. I mean…these are great songs. If any of them were in english and released in the US they would be instant radio hits.

  18. “Shampoo” by After School is a great song, surprised it wasn’t on here.

  19. History by EXO is possibly the best thing I’ve ever heard in my life. Honestly I’m a little bit worried, I’ve been listening to it non-stop for weeks and I don’t normally like pop music.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdejiaoEhFc

    It has these sleek, cold ableton live synths and faux tribal percussion. The production is just like better than any Neptunes or Kanye track. Also, every vocal part sounds so perfect, like no other kpop song makes me think “Korean is the coolest language in the world” just the way the words sound is so cool. The rap bit also works really well and doesn’t sound forced like in many kpop songs. And I just love all of the boys and how there voices sound.

    The video is set on some kind of cold desert planet and there’s no real story line. The choreography is the main focus which is pretty good but not any different from most kpop videos. The song is so good though so like any video would have worked fine.

    Also some people are talking about Infinite and I feel like undoubtedly their best song is Come Back Again with a really enjoyable homo-erotic video to match.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hi54WjHr-DA

    I’ve just commented on what I think the best songs are but this list is about best videos so it does it’s job very well and I can’t find much fault.

    • You should listen to TVXQ’s “O” and “Purple Line”. You’d get from there why EXO is being branded as TVXQ 2.0 with a bit of SHINee (vocals-wise)..

      • You might also check out the Mandarin version of “History” by EXO-M (the Korean is done by EXO-K). One thing the pop-factory system can produce is group concepts that wouldn’t grow organically, but are interesting nonetheless, like EXO, with 12 members in two 6-man teams, one performing in Korean, and the other performing the same songs in Mandarin.

        My Mandarin being weak as it is, I still have yet to figure out exactly the reference to “Meiguo” in “History”. I noticed it because the Mandarin version is subtitled in Simplified Chinese.

  20. Well thanks for the miss A introduction, I’m really loving their album.

  21. Better version (HD) of BTD where the Infinite member’s wail on each other. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikPRIJeA0gM&hd=1 Lots of fighting and wire work, definitely my favorite, but I’d also like another commenter suggest Nothing’s over for a more surreal abstract video. Even though Infinite is from a smaller entertainment company, they churn out better videos than two of the big three companies jyp&sme. I agree with YG being top dogs in the music/video dept, YG knows how it’s done.

  22. Oh! is definitely not Girls’ Generation’s defining song. Gee is. By far. Could even say that Gee defines the genre more than any other song

    • I definitely agree. What a ridiculous hook, my god.

    • And the song is versatile: there’s a very credible slow take commonly done by Kim Tae-woo, and a more traditionally-instrumented version done by Sorea (another non-mainstream but interesting group that makes modern music with traditional Korean instruments).

  23. Pretty much as expected, BIG BANG and 2NE1 topping the list with the western appeal, and rightfully so, the productions look way more elaborate. It’s also hilarious to see these k-pop fans name dropping their favorite groups to recommend, as delusional and crazy as they might be, they sure are dedicated.

    To comment, BEG and BIG BANG are the exception to the “lack of artistic expression” rule. BEG are hardly considered idols since most are nearing their 30s. Although they’ve never hit it big, and maybe because of that, they have more control over their music.

    As for BIG BANG, when they first started out, YG was still very much a underground hip-hop company, they basically shaped YG, not the other way around; also the aforementioned fact they write their music, it’s actually not just GD, the others write on their solo albums as well. 2NE1′s image is for the most part fabricated, the same goes for all the rest.

    I’d recommend anyone: Dear TV by Tablo
    This song is in english to just give you a taste. The dude produces lyrical mindfucks. Although for the rest of his songs you have to search for translations.

    • Even though you snidely razzed on me for name dropping infinite (Who can blame me with a bloody mean video like that from a boy band) lol I agree with you, and I wholeheartedly agree with your name drop of Tablo, and recommend “Bad” (another mean bloody/heartbreaking video) and raise you a Verbal Jint, “You look good” or “Thank You” Hell, let’s go king of Korean hip hop and throw in Tiger JK “Monster” fuck show me a dark gritty video with a damn good song, I’ll be a crazy delusional fan……fuck if we’re talking dark and gritty Epik High’s “Breakdown” …..sorry I like violence…..

      • Hehe, I’m basically a hypocrite and did the same thing though. Yeah, those were the good old days, can’t blame the writer though, his timeline began in 2009, ironically the exact time kpop started heading downhill(personal): when quality went down and quantity went up.

  24. Where’s G-Dragon’s “Heartbreaker” MV??

  25. you HAVE to check out the following awesome sexy, badass video by Brown Eyed Girls

    Sixth Sense http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdH1GwyZJuY

    and these two are part 1 and part 2 of T-ara’s music videos that are basically a mafia movie. think The Professional but with a hot chick and a younger, better looking lead. plus a great twist in the storyline.

    part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ju79e8rM0c

    part 2 http://youtu.be/_sa1GWrN6eQ

  26. Sorry to say, but i think SuJu’s MV Mr. Simple is nothing than the others, it shouldn’t have been on 5th, i mean i’m kinda awkward to see an ordinary MV on that high rank (what i am talking about is about MV, not its song or its group) no offense

  27. Nicely done, Big Bang!! :D Since BB’s & the individual member’s discography is quite extensive I wanted to rec GD’s ‘A Boy’, Big Bang’s ‘Haru Haru’ & ‘Lies’….these are beautiful tracks w/ MVs that are quite good!

  28. I wish MBLAQ was on this list. Or even Seungri’s (of Big Bang) solo stuff. Or even Itawon Freedom?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3N8c1t1QTDI

    And though off on a kpop tangent, this is a perfect little song featuring a guy from 2PM.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCYOTV92rpE&feature=player_embedded

  29. well i think this list is too mainstream

    i mean no epik high, leesang, UV, and sunny hill?
    and out of awesome BEG release you choose abracadabra which is the crappiest?

    it’s like comparing MJ’s Thriller with JB’s Baby
    and you only put JB’s Baby tier MV

  30. FUTURE POP purity ring lofticries video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpLDI5gwIaY

  31. I love the list, and it’s not only because you keep praising Big Bang & 2NE1.

    I would like to suggest some more MVs for your consideration next time you revisit or expand the list:
    - Wonder Girls – Nobody (yes, that’s a classic)
    - JTL – A Better Day (if you do older stuffs)
    - After School – Diva or Bang
    - Davichi – lots (you should check them all out, esp. 8282 & Don’t Say Goodbye)
    - Co-ed – Bbiribbom Bberibbom (it’s just too fun)
    - Sunny Hill – Midnight Circus & Pray

    • I bet the one who made this list already took a GLIMPSE of your MV suggestion..who would not know Wonder Girls-NOBODY? Its just that the list made where the ones who stand out from all other KPOP videos..=)

  32. Yea kpop world domination!!!!!! 2012 is the year of BIGBANG!!!!!!

  33. Really? Is K-Pop going to be the “thing” now? Are you just trying to be ironic? Stop taking the things I’ve loved before anyone else and making them cool :(

  34. That’s a pretty impressive list, got most of the classics in there, and the only video I’d never seen was ‘Be Quiet x 200′. Although I agree that Bigbang&2NE1 combined could easily take up more than half of the list, no complaints here. ;)

    I’ve been seeing more ‘Introducing Kpop’ articles and shows in western media lately, but your witty comments took the cake here. Not to mention the impressive name dropping – makes me feel so out of it man.

    “I don’t think that anyone on earth knows what “love-a-holic, lovertronic” means, and none of us will probably find out either.” HAH!! Nailed it there buddy – but might I mention, ‘loveaholic’ is actually in the urbandictionary?

    I get the feeling you’d get along really well with Simon and Martina from the blog eatyourkimchi.com. Heard of them?

  35. This list is ridiculous. None of these can even hold a candle to this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEaKX9YYHiQ

  36. thank you so much for creating this list and put it here so that anyone who has never listened to kpop before could now find out that there this other genre that they can enjoy. i’ve been a fan for less than a year (this May will be my 1st anniversary of being a kpop world resident..lol). i’m very much into Big Bang and GD&TOP (Big Bang’s “Stupid Liar” was the song that got me into kpop), so i’m happy to see that they’re on this list.

    Thanks again, because of this list kpop now has received much more attention from many many many more people.

  37. Where’s 셋, 하나는, 하나는?

  38. I know your new too kpop but I think a song you would like is “Wa” by Lee Jung Hyun. It’s an awesome techno song and video. The video can still hold it’s own today even though it was made in 2004.

  39. Some classic *mainstream* K-Pop suggestions for you because I think you’ll actually have something amusing to say about them:

    5-membered TVXQ were considered powerhouses of mainstream Kpop in Korea and Japan. A personal favourite is Wrong Number (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwagNDrh1DA) but most would probably recommend the fanservice-y Mirotic. Purple Line and Survivor are worth checking out. Some other ones are amazing songs but their fashion would require you to give them some slack, particularly earlier singles like Rising Sun and O.

    Wonder Girls – Tell Me and Nobody dominated back in the day and were responsible for the earworm trend. Girls Generation’s Gee and Genie were of much better quality than their more recent releases, as was Super Junior’s ‘Sorry Sorry’.

    Lee Hyori’s U Go Girl was pretty much the forerunner to Hyuna and just really, really fun. BoA and Epik High are also worth a listen.

  40. It’s a very good list and I agree with most of it, though I would have switched the first two :) I watched 2ne1′s only once and it was enough. I keep raping the replay button on Fantastic Baby, though. That MV is just the best I have ever seen in my whole three decades of years. :) Bigbang is seriously THE force in today’s K-pop, and if there’s a God up there, he’ll help them conquer this bloody *boring* pop scene worldwide. I have stopped lisrening to US/Anglo-saxon pop LONG ago, and I’,m so glad I discovered K-pop, because as cheesy and manufactured as they are, it’s *fun* to listen to, dance to, never bores you because it is so versatile in styles and genres. Especially Bigbang, I could do with listening to their discography all day long without turning the player off once!

    By the way, Steregum, maybe ou should do some more in-depth research on how K-pop works and what this industry is like, because behind the glitter you’ll find some pretty nasty stuff like, these kids (cause most of the idol members are still teens or arely out of their teen years) are worked to nosebleeding, and IV stands are literally part of the tour buses. I could tell some stories on how many times the Bigbang boys ended up in hospital for exhaustion. It’s just a pretty cruel world, that K-pop scene. If you don’t work 130% 24/7 you might as well just flush your career down the toilet. Would be worth a nice article IMHO.

  41. Those jackets are alright, but all these chicks look the same.

  42. By the way what I really love in Bigbang is their ability ON STAGE. They are simply hyper, and you can’t help but drool over the way they control the stage. Lady Gaga, please take a look and *learn* :) Fantastic Baby live on SBS Inkigayo. And those clothes, holy grace, it’s friggin awesome! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbUio-vt5Vk&feature=relmfu

  43. I used to be a lurker on your blog a few years back until kpop dominated my playlist. But BigBang brought me right back here! (Your post is currently trending and re-blogged in other kpop blogs). I do hope you post more about BigBang in the future because your comments hit all the right spots–not to mention, they are ridiculously hilarious. I think BigBang’s full album is coming out later this year and GD is also coming out with his solo album this August. :3

  44. Finally, slowly, the world is seeing that KPOP has become the new force in the Music Industry. Seoul is getting way ahead of even the US market.
    The artists that come out are not only singers, but dancers, composers, choreographers. It’s a whole packet – not just pretty faces :))

    P.S. BIGBANG hwaiting!

    • C’mon son. This music has 0% chance of succeeding outside of Asia. I like watching the sexy girls and some of the hooks are catchy, but K-pop will never be a big deal in the west. Why?

      Plagiarism
      Sexual abuse of trainees
      Racism
      Concepts of “cute” and “sexy” which won’t play well in the west
      A super-incestuous system of linked endorsements and media coverage which doesn’t exist in the west
      etc
      etc

      http://www.streetbonersandtvcarnage.com/blog/the-dark-side-of-k-pop/#comments

      • as if sexual abuse and plagiarism didn’t exist in the western entertainment world :) the only valid reason here is racism. The US will certainly not embrace kpop into mainstream trends very easily. I think Europe is more open.

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