Category Archive KPop Observations

Shedding the Light Where Needed #3: NCT Performs on James Cordon, CLC Comeback

NCT 127 seems to be taken up the news these days, too bad not the INDUSTRY dab. Anyways, they just recently travel to Amurica and perform on James Corden. Of course, it didn’t generate that much hype like the last KPop band that went on James Corden, they failed to convert James from his wrong fandom, the toxic BLINKS.

Anyways in other news, pure nugu group OMG has won a their first show win on “The Show” with “Fifth Season”.

The girl group CLC also is planning an upcoming comeback, again with this summer. It’s about to be lit with Korean music, maybe you can even catch it on your radio.

In the debut news, We in The Zone (an upcoming boy group) from Choon Entertainment is going to drop a debut song sometime in May. They started a GoFundMe-ish crowdfunding campaign where the goal was 5K in USD (which equates to several million wons) and somehow most of their money came from the US

Crowdfunding Campaign. Unknown groups for now like TRCNG and BOL4 are all planning on releasing an album pretty soon.

Here are today’s “unknownish” band recent clips/songs.

Shedding Light Where Needed #1: New Feature

Alright you know what, all of these trainees are HARD AT WORK, and STUFF. I think I want to do something like this. I will try to do this everyday where I just want to comb through different sites (youtube/reddit/vlive) where I just show videos of groups or artists or just average koreans or trainees doing Kpop. So many KPop groups are form and so many just fall flat, so I just want to give them more exposure here. If there is a KPop video that you like and want it to be posted, just comment below and I’ll get to it next spotlight.

Cherry Bullet by the way is making a “comeback” they literally debut several months ago I don’t think this is a come back at all….

From KBS’s Immortal Songs 2:
IOI’s Chungha and Kim Jae Hwan:

N. Flying:
Sohee:

Music Core Last Night (here’s a bunch of Fancam videos that I gotten). “Boy With Luv” by BTS won

Trainees (Thanks Reddit, I’m just digging through)

Other

Hard to find Trainees video, most if they are making videos are near debut…. Oh on that note, Producer X 101 Episode 2 is out! It’s somewhere on the internet, just search you probably find it.

Mnet’s Producer 101 produces a Five Year Contract

Mnet’s “Producer” might possibly be the most popular and watch survival shows to find new idol groups. The fourth season of this survival show just premier like two days ago. The first season established the IOI team who stay together for only like 6 months, the “third season” was unique in that it was in collaboration with Japan’s AKB48 and only 96 people were in competition to be on the band Izone. The second season was arguably the most sucessful, the band Wanna One was very popular inside Korea, even beating out TWICE in Forbes Power List 2018 and beating out Red Velvet and EXO on this year Forbes Power List 2019. But after Wanna One explosive success, Mnet seems to be getting a little greedy. Wanna One contract was only like one year together, this time around though the winning team will get a 5 year contract instead! To me, after reading some comments online, I now think that’s it actually a horrible idea that can ruined idol dreams for a couple reasons.

1) Producers was meant to find a “temporary” group to expose the trainees to the public so that they can have successful careers for themselves and for their agency when they are back

The five year contract is basically almost like a regular idol contract (although those are usually 7 years+). I guess it’s not absolutely “5 years” because after 2.5 years, the group can split and have a rotation in which let’s say 5/11 members go back to their agency and “redebut” and then switch with the remaining 6 after a few months. In the meantime the remaining 6 will still promote the group. That’s still a longtime, espcially if the group is not the second coming of Wanna One. You might say that’s the same if they were to debut for their company and not make it big, but that’s a tad different because this Producers show is suppose to be a “side project” a way for you to get name recognition. Spending your whole career on a side project is not really, worth it. Not only that, it’s a tad unfair to the entertainment agency who spends a lot of time and money training these trainees to then lose them and the money they “will make” to CJ E&M. At least that’s what IOI contract stated when it was leak to the public, that while entertainment agency share the production cost, trainees will not get paid. CJ E&M also gets the 50% profit of every song made from IOI group. If this remains true to this season contracts, the trainees will barely get any money. Usually the trainees are already making little when they debut within their companies because most of the from songs goes into “paying” back the entertainment industry for training them. If you get to be big, that’s when you actually begin making some money. So the fact that Producers take 50% and then the remaining 50% is split between trainees and their agency? Prepare to make absolutely next to nothing. Take Kang Daniel from Wanna One, probably the most iconic trainee that this show has expose to the public so far, he has a net worth of 400 thousand won back in 2017-2018 which was the years that Wanna One was big. Take TWICE’s (huge group) Nayeon, she has a networth around $1 million won by the end of 2018 (according to “ranked wikia” so I don’t know how trustworthy the site is). Take BTS’s RM, he has a networth of $8 million (Source take it with a grain of salt I don’t know how trustworthy the site is). Put that into perspective, I mean Wanna One was BIG, IOI probably didn’t make too much I mean it’s fair if it is like for 1 year. I mean exposure to public means a massive increase in %sucess to your career although it could still very much fail (ayo IOI members where you at? I only know Somi cause TWICE is my bias. I heard some of them are now in “small time” girl groups). 5 years is a tad too much, and I guess if you become as BIG as Wanna One you can take $400000 for 5 years. IF

2) This is banking on the fact that there will be the second coming of Wanna One

Although many people expect that this new upcoming group will be “better or equal” to the hit boy group “Wanna One” many people forget that top groups are very very rare. For Westerners who don’t really get this concept because well we don’t have an idol groups here I would like to paint an analogy. Imagine debutting in a group in South Korea as qualifying for the NBA draft and getting pick. You might have heard that getting into the NBA is harder than winning lottery because well it is. Imagine that and now add another layer to this analogy. Not only is debuting in an idol group = someone getting pick by an NBA team, becoming a big idol group to the likes of BTS or even Blackpink = becoming a superstar in the NBA. Maybe not equivalent to becoming the next Lebron James, who is a future Hall Of Famer, but like Chris Paul/Paul George level who is a superstar but necessary will be in the hall of fame (so far I think Chris Paul can make it). Now Producer 101 does give the future group a large exposure with the public (Season 2 of Producers actually got 10 million votes for the finale that’s around a fifth of the South Korean Population!) but still that is not any guarantee that a second coming of Wanna One is imminent this time around. Even though Producer 101 is popular, it only has a low 2.3% (Producer 48) and a high 3.01% (Produce 101 season 2) ratings (yes Mnet is a “cable” station which has lower ratings than public broadcast like SBS, MBC or KBS. Even then at least 7%-8% is needed to give something on cable a “good rating”). So while Producer does give debuting groups a huge boost in public noteriety (unlike people debuting in groups that’s own by relatively small agency) it is still not a ticket to superstardom. Producer 101 is not like a rich parent trying to get their kid into a Top 20 college, which is almost guarantee unless colleges discover that the kid is actually not a rower.

There’s another problem with this show this time around that I don’t really like. They have remove the “F” grade, so I guess trainees can’t “FAIL” this time around. They have replace it with an “X” grade, which mean you are excused from the dancing/training studio. If you get an X grade, you are basically NOT allow to train within the studio anyways. Nice way to encourage second chances, you know if my dog just died and I am feeling sad leading to a subpar performance to earn myself an X grade, I don’t even get time to recover and train.

What are your thoughts on this season of the Producer 101 show if you watch it? Who (which OPPA) are you hoping to be in the debut group?

TWICE’s Fancy, a Very Late Review……..

Wow I literally wanted to do a review of the song the instant it came out, 4/22/2019 at 5:00 AM because Korea is 13 hours ahead of the US. TWICE is my favorite KPop girl group of all time and you know this past month have been lit up with Blink’s and ARMY’s news that I wanted to review TWICE 2019 comeback the instant it came out. Needless to say I fainted at 5:00 AM on the 22nd and haven’t gotten to written it until now. I must say I’m glad I waited because I have a clearer perspective of things now that TWICE literally didn’t win any music shows, sunk in the Forbes Power List (I unironically think “Boy With Luv” is a better song but “Fancy” is better than literally “Kill this Love”).

Let’s start with the song, we the fans know that TWICE is a “cute/innocent” concept group, why the heck did they NOT STICK TO THEIR CONCEPT THAT GOT THEM BIG. I get it, people mature and change the concepts but like I need some sort of SIGNAL first. If let’s say a baby one night he is like 5 inches and the next day he is like 6 feet, I would be like what did I miss. Girl Crush, which is what I suspect what TWICE was going for with all black uniforms and such is fine! Really they have grown up, yeah I agree sure, but like if you going to change concept and explore something you haven’t done before, just put the song on the Side-B tracks, and put a cute song as the “main song”. Then like slowly you can later release a purely girl crush or other concept song! Why did you need to do something so drastic so quickly, like Yes Or Yes was not really girl crush, it was more cute and that was like 5 months ago. I really do half blame the netcitizens, there has been talk on how TWICE sucks and how all they know is the “cute concept”. Well eff you netcitizens, I am sorry I would rather stick to the stuff I know. What do you go to your doctor and complain “why you always be a doctor man, just like be a chef or something”. I feel like if TWICE had just wrote a cute song and make it the title songs, it could actually win some shows.

Also the video was girl crush-ish, but the lyrics was cute-ish concept. It seem like there was a mismatch between what I was seeing visually and what I was listening to audiotory. Unlike Blackpink their lyrics is always like “I don’t need love. Love bad, I’m foxy b****ches” but TWICE song it seem like they were stuck in between doing either Girl Crush (dark color) or Innocent (with the colorful clothes) and there was no clear direction. I’m actually scare that they are trying to turn more girl crush-ish because it fit with the Western Market more than innocent/cute and instantly along with Fancy TWICE announces that they were going on a World Tour that would stop in 3 USA location. I just HOPE THEY SUCCEED, unlike the first girl group that JYP brought over here, PLEASE DON’T BE THE NEXT WONDER GIRLS.

Anyways I was really bumped that TWICE Fancy didn’t even scratch 40 million views on Youtube (first 24 hours) while Blackpink who isn’t even AS FAMOUS got like 70 million somehow. I guess Youtube is more West oriented and many Asians prefer other method of streaming like Vline or something. Really hoping that TWICE fans are not FAKE FANS because I was here thinking at least it SHOULD be like 50 million or something (I guess it broke TWICE’s Personal Best).

KPop Idols vs. Singers (an important distinction)

In my time of following and listening to K-Pop, I’ve often heard the refrain: “[Inserts Name] can’t even sing, why is he/she even an idol” or “[Inserts Name] is in the group literally only because of his/her looks” used as insults for certain idols in certain groups. Here’s the thing though: even if these “insults’ were true, one can still be a valid and needed member of an idol group. As JYP puts it in the final episode of “Sixteen” (the show to choose Twice’s members), there is a distinction between idols and singers: “…singers, they have the freedom to unfold their music in serious subtle way. But idols, they need to quickly grab the audience’s attention.” In other words, a singer’s job is to sing, but an idol’s job is to entertain the audience. It’s a subtle but distinct difference. This is why there are different roles and different “personalities” in an idol group, because there are many different ways to entertain an audience, from dancing, to having good looks, to interacting with the audience, to singing, etc. Thus, there are many ways an idol can fulfill his or her job and bring success to the group. Entertaining an audience using singing skills is worth no more or less than entertaining an audience by being funny on a variety show. Even simply having good looks can be entertaining to an audience, as everyone likes to look upon good-looking people. In fact, one can argue that having variety show skills or other types of skills are more important than having singing skills for a singer. If the audience wanted to be entertained by singing, they would have gone and listen to an actual professional singer, not an idol group. They follow and watch an idol group to be entertained. That is not to say that singing ability is completely irrelevant to the life of an idol, but that there are many aspects to an idol’s jobs, and a member whose variety show skills is strong but whose singing skills are lacking is just as much an idol as another member who’s delivering pitch-perfect notes in a performance. A member who gives the group a better visual package is no less important than someone who’s in charge of choreography. An idol group depends on many things for success, not just singing skills, and this fact is often overlooked by many fans. It’s time to appreciate that there are many different types of talents an idol can bring to the table other than just “singing and dancing”.

Blackpink gaining some street cred after Coachella while Perfume…not so much

At least one band in from Asia is quickly gaining popularity again.

By now a lot of people who follow Coachella must know about Blackpink, the KPop idol group that perform 4/19 (AWWW NO 4/20!) and 4/12 with their first performance receiving comprehensive coverage from various entertainment newspapers in the US as a “historic moment”. Well Blackpink is at it again, making people BLINK everywhere, and the lastest BLINKERS are Ariana Grande (took some pics with the band), James Corden (who invited Blackpink to perform on his comedy show), Harry Styles (from the band many D formely known as 1D), Drake to some others. It remains to be seen if Blackpink will keep their popularity wave this time around like BTS or fade to the back of people’s mind (they were hip like 3 years ago too and just faded until now) or REPLACE BY TWICE WHO HAS RECENTLY ANNOUNCE THEIR OWN NORTH AMERICAN TOUR. I CHOOSE THE LATTER OF THE LATTER! They really benefitted from this music festival, good move by YG at least that will keep the entertainment industry up and running after it dropped out of the “Big Three” (Top 3 entertainment industry in Korea usually are JYP, YG, and SM) due to Seungri explosiveness!

One band that didn’t receive much coverage from the event was J-pop Perfume, a group of three who are all in their early 30s. You barely see them on the news at all even though they were ALSO the first in their respective caterogy, the first girl JPop band to perform at Coachella. Maybe they are not as flashy as Blackpink or as young as Blackpink who can easily connect with a young adult fan base.

Read More on Perfume: Actually who are they really

Read More on Blackpink street cred: Grande a Fan, The Genie and his wife are fans

James Corden “CONFESSION”

Why I prefer Colbert Report

APINK celebrates 8 year anniversary with a song

Well one of the most popular girl group in Gen2 KPop just released a new single to commerate their 8 years of working together. We are in Gen3 now so only the veterans (fans since way back in the day like 3-4 YEARS AGO) were actually hyped and not many PINK PANDAS came out to view the songs eh? It has a meager 577K views on youtube (which is NOT bad nonetheless but compare to ahem BTS and others….). I guess they had their ride, and now the group is mostly making music for the fun of it and not really contending for any awards. In this music video they certainly look like they are enjoying the moment and the fun of music than having awesome/weird dance choreography/fashion that characterize most of KPop music. I guess it’s not so bad after all 🙂 🙂

Ranking of a Non Big-3 Girl Groups

We all know how much of an advantage debuting under a Big-3 afford. I was just wondering what people think are the top non big-3 girl groups of all time, based on musical sales, popularity (both the whole group and member-wise), peak/length of peak, music quality, CFs, other ventures, etc. Here are mine (with reasonings why):

1. Sistar:

the Queens of Summer need no introductions. Their physical sales might be lacking, but they’re a digital wall. At their peak, they arguably rival SSND and 2NE1 for the title of the most popular kpop girl group, pumping out hits after hits such as: “I Like That”, “Alone”, “Touch My Body”, etc. Individually, they’re each carving their own paths in solo music (Hyorin) and/or acting (Bora, Dasom), and are all v popular (with the possible exception of Dasom). Probably the banner-bearer for the sexy concept for girl groups.

Suggested Songs:

I Like That:

Alone:

I Swear:

2. APINK:

the longevity alone (8+ years and still promoting and pumping out music) in such a ephemeral and cutthroat industry elevates their status. At their peak, circa mid 2013-2015, they were on fire, going from “No No No” to “Mr. Chu” to “LUV”, and probably placing either the bottom of the top-tier girl groups or in the top of the next tier. Individually, Eunji has found great success as both a solo artist and an actress (Reply 1997 anyone?), while Na-eun and Bo-mi also dabbled in acting and doing variety.

Suggested Songs:

No No No:

Mr. Chu:

LUV:

3. Girl’s Day:

Everyday Girl’s Day! Famously took them forever to find their footings, but once “Expectations” gain them more widespread recognition, they took off on a brilliant streak, following up with “Female President” (which net them their first show win), “Something”, and “Darling”. At their peak, 2013-end of 2015/mid-2016 or so, they were mostly placed in either the bottom of the top-tier girl groups or at the top of the next tier. Individually, they probably have the most success of anyone here, with Hyeri (Reply 1988 is arguably one of the most iconic kdrama of all time) being one of the most well-known individual idol in Korea, landing lead roles after lead roles, Minah (Beautiful Gong-Shim averages double digit ratings for its run) making her inprints in acting, and Yura and Sojin MC-ing shows after shows.

Suggested Songs:

Expectations:

Something:

Darling:

4. T-ARA/GFriend:

a. T-ARA:

Before their 2012 bullying scandal that massively took down their popularity, T-ARA was a rocket on a trajectory for historical status. Rising in popularity with “Bo Peep Bo Peep” and “Neo Ttaemune Michyeo”, they broke to the top with the iconic “Roly Poly”. For the next year and a half to mid-2012 when the controversy broke, T-ARA was indisputably among the top girl groups. Sadly, they have not come even close to the same level of success since.

Suggested Songs:

Roly Poly:

Number 9:

Sugar-Free:

b. GFriend:

(I don’t follow third-gen as closely so please correct me here if I’m wrong on anything): GFriend experienced a meteoric rise to the top in 2015-2016 with “Me Gustas Tu” and “Rough”, in the process setting the world on fire with a record-breaking 29 show wins in one year, becoming the new darlings of the kpop world “Navillera” continued that success trend, albeit on a smaller scale. Since then, they have not had the same amount of success as they had earlier in their career, though they’re still one of the top 3rd gen girl groups.

Suggested Songs:

Me Gustas Tu:

Glass Bead:

Rough: