Updated: Mar 1
Alright, I know I probably look the age where I could be an aunt, and technically I am, since my cousin has a son, but that does not mean I don’t know about the phenomenon sweeping America right now. In fact, it would have come much sooner, if certain artists were given the support they needed (cue angry screaming in the background).
Oh, I’m sorry, I forgot to mention, yes, I’m talking about…
For those of you who don’t know (because who doesn’t?), K-Pop is the international sensation that has come from Korea. It actually started long before the last few years. In fact, you could say it started in the early 2010s, when Gangnam Style (2012) was released. From there it just escalated.
First it was the revolutionaries of K-Pop, like BigBang, Shinee, Super Junior, and 2NE1. Then came the second generation, like Twice, 4-Minute, B2ST, and 2PM. Now, we’re down to the third generation, and they’re the ones that are taking America by storm. So, if you don’t know the names BTS, BLACKPINK, GOT7, Day6, or (G)-IDLE, then you’re probably living under a rock right now.
Why Are You Talking About This Now, Feather?
I am talking about this, because there are those that should also know about these other bands. While it’s great everyone is talking about bands like BTS, or BLACKPINK, but there are some people who would do well to remember where these guys started.
You see, in my opinion, if bands like BigBang and 2NE1 hadn’t tried to break into America first, then the way for BTS and BLACKPINK wouldn’t have already been paved for them. I think it’s important for new fans of K-Pop should understand that, if bands like BigBang, or artists like PSY, hadn’t revolutionised the world of K-Pop, then none of the songs you hear now would have existed.
Before BTS Came The BigBang
When I was still at school, I was a major Japanese Anime fan, I would even watch the obscure ones like Princess Tutu, or La Corda D’Oro, but at the same time, my interest for Korea had begun to grow. I was suddenly watching dramas like You’re Beautiful or Beethoven Virus and even Goong. Soon after that I started getting into the music.
That was when I was introduced to BigBang. Actually, I think it was because of SHINee that I started getting into K-pop. They released the song Ring Ding Dongin 2009, and I was sort of obsessed with the laid-back beat contrast. So, they’d have a sort of “rolling beat” but it was still fast enough for them to make it intense, when it came to the chorus.
Now, BigBang was the hot ticket at the time, and I remember my cousin obsessing over them. She still listens to them every now and then, but not so much in recent years, of course, but it’s still testament to how brilliant they were, back in the day. So, if you’re a big fan of BTS, I highly recommend listening to BigBang, you’ll see where the guys are coming from, and where they took their inspiration from.
Backtrack BLACKPINK, 2NE1 Still Holds The Crown
Alright so, this is a very sticky point for me, because 2NE1 was my favourite girl group from Korea. They weren’t the standard candy pop, you would have found back in the day, because they added an extra element to their songs. They had a rap included in their songs, and that was the major turning point in K-pop. It’s probably why you get so many rap pieces included in major songs, like Boombayah and Du-Du-Du.
CL and Minzy were the trailblazers of the new wave of female K-pop songs, and I absolutely love them for it. They were edgy but sophisticated at the same time, and I am still angry that their managing company didn’t do enough to protect those women. They would have been great on the world stage, hell, they were one of the first girl groups to try and dominate America (let’s leave Wonder Girls out for the moment).
That is why, I recommend, encourage and suggest everyone, who is a fan of BLACKPINK to check out 2NE1. Their beat, and the messages in their songs still resonate today, especially their single Ugly. They not only deal with how to be an independent woman, but how to be able to accept and appreciate yourself, before anyone else.
Ok, so I’ll leave this here, before I start ranting on, because I could write an essay about all of this. All I will say for now, is that if you start following K-pop, don’t just look at those that made the business worldwide. Look at their origins too, because one way or another, you’ll bump into fans who had been there since day one, and if you start to talk about a recent band, as if they were the break-outs, then you will be in for an earful.
Well, that’s it from me today guys. I’m off to listen to some 2NE1 and maybe a bit of CNBLUE. So I’ll see you guys soon!