A K-Pop Primer for Olympic Listening

Seo Taiji and Boys, ‘Nan Arayo’ (1992)

Seo Taiji and Boys – “Nan Arayo (I Know)” Video by piugames

A new jack pitch anthem from a organisation widely credited with commencement a innovations that would eventually lead to what is now accepted as K-pop. “Nan Arayo” has it all: proposal essence harmonies, rat-tat-tat drum appurtenance beats, a Flavor Flav representation and a video that sets hip-hop dance routines to a hard-rock guitar riff.

H.O.T., ‘Candy’ (1996)

H.O.T – “Candy” Video by gganpoongi

Just as a Backstreet Boys were honing a thought of a contemporary child rope in a U.S., H.O.T. was substantiating a manners in South Korea: chipper melodies and concurrent outfits we could see from space. Though a organisation was famous for rebellious critical topics in a music, this early singular was pleasant fluff.

Diva, ‘Yo Yo’ (1999)

Diva – “Yo Yo” Video by 0381000

A midcareer strike from Diva, that done a symbol as one of a initial successful womanlike swat outfits in a country. By this point, a trio’s song was polished, and some of a punch of a early singles had been quelled, though “Yo Yo” still had animation and snap.

g.o.d., ‘Lies’ (2000)

g.o.d. – “Lies” Video by GrooveOverSubs

By a spin of a millennium, child bands were a banking of K-pop, though g.o.d. flushed that structure with grace and romantic grounding. “Lies” is one of a group’s biggest singles, a stroke ballad with a slow-burn song video that’s unerringly sad.

Rain, ‘It’s Raining’ (2004)

Rain – “It’s Raining” Video by RAIN’s Official Channel

A solo statue rising from an epoch of child bands, Rain was magnetic, an considerable thespian and a glass dancer. “It’s Raining” was one of several chart-topping hits he had in a 2000s, a firmly tranquil brew of Michael Jackson-influenced pop, bar music, RB and stone theatrics.

BoA, ‘Everlasting’ (2006)

BoA – “Everlasting” Video by SMTOWN

Since removing detected during a talent hunt during a age of 11, BoA has turn one of a many durable and versatile K-pop stars, dabbling in RB, rock, cocktail and more. This is one of her some-more required songs, a tortured ballad that showcases her sad voice.

Girls’ Generation, ‘Gee’ (2009)

Girls’ Generation – “Gee” Video by SMTOWN

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There can be a cloying benevolence to K-pop, and burble resin is an cultured a genre doesn’t bashful divided from. This is mostly found in a purest form in lady groups. In a final decade, few have been some-more renouned or successful than Girls’ Generation. The aerobic “Gee” is one of a early hits.


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2NE1, ‘I Am a Best’ (2011)

2NE1 – “I Am a Best” Video by 2NE1

A postcard from a impulse when K-pop, that had been reliably gladdened to other countries’ sounds, was commencement to welcome additional as a possess style. The girl organisation 2NE1 was a manly force, roughly ruthlessly modern, and “I Am a Best” encapsulated a high-grade attitude.

G-Dragon, ‘Crayon’ (2012)

G-Dragon – “Crayon” Video by BIGBANG

Witness K-pop as postmodern theater. G-Dragon — a member of a essential child rope BigBang — is one of a good cocktail synthesizers of a 2010s, and also a pivotal figure in tethering K-pop to high fashion. “Crayon” is like Southern hip-hop on creatine, brought to a racetrack, afterwards struck by lightning.

BTS, ‘DNA’ (2017)

BTS – “DNA” Video by ibighit

Peak hypercolor cocktail from a stream child rope kings. BTS has had a most poignant crossover into a American mainstream of any K-pop artist, carrying collaborated with Desiigner and Steve Aoki, and won a Billboard Music Award final year, a initial for a Korean act.

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