Article writing: WhatCulture

The following is an article I wrote on a topic of my choice: K-Pop (Korean pop music)

5 K-pop songs that should be bigger than ‘Gangnam Style’

In September of 2012, a viral phenomenon took over our social networks, the radio, the television, our lives. With an infectious beat and comical lyrics which few of us understand, Gangnam Style was indefinitely the most popular song of the year. Receiving over 1 BILLION views, the viral music video has broken a YouTube record as it defeated Justin Bieber’s own record of 800 million views for the music video to ‘Baby.’

And to this day (and probably many days to come), none of us can walk into a club or the local corner shop or probably even a residential home without hearing that hilariously awful song. Everyone in the world probably knows this song, yet they don’t realize that Gangnam Style is just a small figment of something spectacular known as K-pop.

PSY himself is known in Korean pop music to release cheesy and silly songs such as Gangnam Style, and another Korean favourite called Right Now. However K-pop has much more to offer than ridiculous sparkly suits, embarrassing dance moves and nonsense lyrics (I suppose). There are many hidden gems within K-Pop that were probably much more deserving of those 1 billion views on YouTube than PSY’s viral success and here are a handful of them for you Gangnam Style fans to listen to.

5. Lipstick – Orange Caramel

Orange Caramel. A talented, young girl group. Doesn’t that already sound more appealing than a 35-year-old man thrusting his hips whilst singing ‘hey sexy lady?’ When listening to Lipstick, you can probably hear something familiar within the song. I suppose, like Gangnam Style, that’s why it’s so easy to listen to even though most people (who aren’t Korean) don’t understand what any of these artists are actually singing.

Lipstick is definitely a song that I can imagine being played in UK clubs. Orange Caramel are almost like the Korean Girls Aloud except… a lot better. The beat is just as infectious as Gangnam Style, and the melody even more. Orange Caramel also comes from a much smaller record label than PSY’s, which I think adds to why this song should have been more popular. A smaller record label, yet a much catchier song to listen to. To be honest, the video isn’t anywhere near as entertaining as Gangnam Style’s, but this doesn’t take away from how much better Lipstick is musically.

4. Like This – Wonder Girls

 

Like This is pretty much the Korean equivalent to the Cha Cha slide. The music video is almost similar to The Slide Man’s as it features a lot of people in a public space following a specific and simple dance routine (except the dance moves for Like This are much slicker. And the Wonder Girls dress better and look better and are just better in every way.)

Almost every K-Pop song has a specific dance routine to it. And if we’re going to compare Gangnam Style to Like This then I will have to admit, PSY’s moves are much more entertaining to watch and copy. Homwever, the Wonder Girls are just so effortlessly cool and cute, I don’t understand how Like This hasn’t even made it to the UK charts. It’s an extremely addictive song. However, I find that to be true about most K-Pop songs and making this list is pretty damn hard.

3. Freeze – B2ST

 

The first boy group on our list. Boys 2 Search for Top (that’s what B2ST stands for by the way). Most people just call them Beast. Now if you need a song to make you feel 100 times happier than you did before you listened to the song then listen to Freeze. It’s catchy as hell, and I know I’m saying this about every song on this list but listening to Freeze is like listening to two rainbows making love. It’s just an explosion of amazing synthetics combined with the happiest melody you will probably ever hear in your life. It’s the perfect K-Pop song that definitely should’ve been bigger than Gangnam Style.

 

2. Trouble Maker – Hyuna & Hyun Seung

 

Oh, Trouble Maker: a combination of probably the most desirable people in K-Pop. Hyuna actually featured in the Gangnam Style music video and also teamed up with PSY for You’re My Style (which was basically Gangnam Style but with silly sounding, forced vocals from Hyuna. Some of you may know her as “Pikachu Girl.”)

Now, the reason why I have put this song at number two is for several reasons. The whistling in this song is insanely memorable and I find myself whistling for days after listening to it. Of course, Hyuna and Hyun Seung ooze sex appeal, and to this day they are still winning collaboration awards for this particular single. Fans still wonder and question whether the pair are ‘dating in real life.’ It’s all really superficial stuff, and the two of them milk it for all it’s worth and it’s amazing. Oh yeah, and the song is actually pretty great too.

1. I Am the Best – 2NE1

 

Pay attention now because you have reached the holy grail of K-Pop. 2NE1: pronounced ‘to anyone’ or ‘twennie one.’ The NE in the name actually stands for New Evolution (K-Pop groups like to give us a number of ways to pronounce their names. How sweet of them).

I wouldn’t be surprised if you hadn’t already heard of 2NE1, and if you haven’t then you will definitely hear about them within the next year or so. There are about a million and one reasons why I Am the Best is number one on my list of K-Pop songs that should’ve been bigger than Gangnam Style. First of all, this song isn’t shit. Also, 2NE1 are practically the Queens of K-Pop and that isn’t opinion. That is a fact. I can’t even think of a British or American equivalent to this group. No one can compare. It wouldn’t have even mattered what song I picked by them to be number one. Any 2NE1 song is a K-Pop song that most definitely should have been bigger than Gangnam Style.

 

What I love most about I am the Best is that it’s easily one of the most arrogant songs ever written but because it’s sung by 2NE1… it’s okay. 2NE1 are allowed to be arrogant. Imagine this song playing in a club, how could you not want to dance to it? It makes you want to be arrogant too! And it’s not just this song I feel passionate about; (well as you can see I feel passionate about the group as a whole) I Love You and Can’t Nobody are also songs that should’ve been bigger than Gangnam Style. Everyone should forget about PSY for at least 2 seconds and focus on 2NE1. 2NE1 are the Queens. All hail the Queens.

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