The crash course: Shinsadong Tiger? Is he okay? (Yes.)

First, an update from an entry we wrote three months ago: Momoland’s “Bboom Bboom” has become a legitimate hit. (Just when I got cautious in making that prediction.) It never quite topped the official Gaon charts (they were held off by Ikon) but it lingered in the top ten for months. And, in a scene where songs have a relatively short lifespan, it finds itself stretching its arms out around the world, a feat usually reserved for groups from bigger agencies. I’ve just seen two cousins of mine, who’d otherwise not post about K-pop, talk about how “Bboom Bboom” is stuck in their heads – and they’re just among many others on my feeds. So, we’re reacting to that by featuring five songs from famed Korean producer Shinsadong Tiger, he who’s responsible for that earworm – and many others across this wave of K-pop success.

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How to collect Korean pop music, part two: the essentials course

How to Collect Korean Pop MusicLast week we kicked off this seven-week series of blog entries exploring the Korean pop scene, under the pretense of (more or less) curating a K-pop playlist for a trip to Seoul at the end of the year. The reaction we got was… well, there was some confusion as to why we’re devoting all this time to K-pop. It wasn’t a lot, thankfully. But we’re here now, and we have to continue. After looking at Seoul’s intricate musical ecosystem, part two of seven will focus on five acts who should be on your K-pop playlist, no matter what – as recommended by this blog’s resident K-pop expert, Rainy.

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“니가 뭔데 내게 이러는지?”

“I Don’t Want You” by T-ARA | This group has been around for ages, and I’ve been a fan ever since “Lies”. And, yes, I like girl groups, as you might have noticed already. They were on a steady rise; every single they released was pretty much a success. An anti might say otherwise but I’m talking about market accomplishments here. What I definitely love about T-ARA is how each song on their album is well-made. They’re not just filler. I find myself liking an entire album after one listen. Black Eyes and Again are my favorite EPs so far, but “Sugar Free” is the bomb. And then there’s “Number Nine”. See how I can’t choose! It was so sad to see them hit the bottom when the bullying rumors began. This new member Hwayoung was apparently being treated differently by the old group members. So-called evidence appeared from out of nowhere: avideo of Hwayoung being force-fed rice cake, tweets from a member or two. They haven’t really recovered since. Now, articles are appearing from out of, well, nowhere, refuting the bullying scandal. Hwayoung was the black sheep, blah blah. She’s a good rapper, that girl, but the other members did a good job kicking her out. Eunjung is doing pretty good vocally anyway, what with her rapping skills and improved vocals. [SY]