KPOP: What Have I Gotten Myself Into?


If someone asked me if I listened to K-pop, I would have laughed and said no. I would never think in a million years that I would start listening to K-pop in 2015, ever. To be quite honest, I do not know how it started. Around the beginning of sophomore year, and my friend was showing me different K-pop videos. She showed me mostly boy bands, but I thought they were cute. I really didn’t think much of it back then.

Starting this year, I wanted to change my music style because I was starting to get annoyed with music that was being released in America, especially pop music. So I believe that my fascination with K-pop started when a Microsoft commercial featured a K-pop song last year. I figured it had to be that type of song because it was not in English.

The group that was behind the song was 2NE1, a K-pop girl group from South Korea. I decided to give K-pop another go, and watched their music videos. In the end, I became hooked.

I have to admit, I am currently a fan of K-pop music. I find it more entertaining than American pop music. Maybe it is the crazy clothes or the synchronized dance moves, but it is the music that makes it entertaining. I have no clue what they are saying, but I still find it very enjoyable.

Now, a lot of people may not know that there is so much more to K-pop than its crazy music videos and flashy clothes. The whole genre is like one big factory. It is just as manufactured as American music, but ten times faster, which is also scary.

In the K-pop world, the artists are a part of agencies. The three main entertainment agencies, S.M. Entertainment, YG Entertainment, and JYP Entertainment are known as The Big Three in South Korea. There are other agencies as well, but these three are the big bosses, especially S.M. Entertainment.

Like the music industry in America, there is a dark side to K-pop that I find really upsetting. These groups start off as trainees, probably as young as eleven or twelve. They are put through intense training at such a young age. They have to learn dance moves, music, how to communicate with media outlets and fans. They are almost like robots.

Don’t get me started on the fans. K-pop fans are so dedicated, even more dedicated than American fans. There are obsessive fans in K-pop called sasaeng fans, who stalk their favorite idol group through crazy methods. I remember reading several incidents where they will buy their idols gifts, and there would a camera in those gifts, so they can spy on them. There are other crazy stories like one singer was slapped in the face by a sasaeng fan so he would remember her, and stand out from other people. What? How does that even make any sense? I laughed so hard when I read this because it was so stupid.

Just when I think this genre couldn’t get any crazier and weirder, there are conventions for K-pop. Yes, you read right, conventions. I didn’t even know you can have K-pop conventions in America. From my knowledge, KCON happens every single year, where a lot of K-pop artists come over here, and meet fans. I really didn’t know there was something called KCON until a couple of months ago. Boy, don’t I have a lot to catch up on.

Even though I’m still new to this whole thing, I can’t help but feel fascinated about this. People think K-pop is just weird music that they don’t understand. Well, that’s half true, but like I said before, I still find it entertaining.

I’ve been listening to K-pop now for the past eight months now, and I already have a couple of favorites, but they’re mostly groups. 2NE1, 4Minute, and Big Bang are the groups that I’m currently listening to. 2NE1 and Big Bang are signed under YG Entertainment, while 4Minute is signed under Cube Entertainment. 2NE1 and Big Bang mix K-pop and hip hop together with their music and image, while 4Minute is more pop-oriented.

After eight months, I still my situation surprising because I didn’t think my interest in K-pop was going to last this long. I’m ready for more weirdness to come out of this type of music.

Aww man, what have I gotten myself into?