Inspiration in form of colorful K-pop MVs. Here are five of my favorites.
Hallyu is important to me. Before the so-called Korean Wave, Asians in US pop culture and thus in Germany were sorely under- and/or misrepresented. And they still are. So for most of my life, I was actually unawares that Asians could be considered attractive by anyone but their own kind in their own country. But South Korea changed this, and finally presented an alternative to US pop culture in which Asians tend to get marginalized and pigeonholed. So although Korea does not equal Asia, Hallyu still helped me feel proud of my Asian features and heritage. For that, I have the Korean Wave to thank.
But of course, I also love K-pop simply for being fun and easily digestible! Here are my favorite K-pop music videos in terms of style and styling from 2015, enjoy!
4Minute – 미쳐 (Crazy)
When Crazy by 4Minute came out in March, trend followers around the world were still scrambling to adopt the 90ies comeback head on. But 4Minute already went all the way sporting tight crop tops, personalized fisher hats and cornrows. It proved once again that South Korea is lightning fast at adopting trends. Also, the song is catchy and absolutely danceable.
SHINee – View
Personally, I hate almost everything SHINee has come out with since the Lucifer album. But I always look forward to their “comeback” to the promotion cycle anyway because SM Entertainment usually makes sure the boys are spot on in terms of styling. So frankly, View is one of their most terrible songs to date. But I like the “concept” which is an odd but aptly modern remix of American 80ies culture: jocks + rock. Also, the whole Europop vibe of the song and dance scenes make me think the video would do really well in gay bars.
Big Bang – 뱅뱅뱅 (Bang Bang Bang)
In Bang Bang Bang, Big Bang partly revive their British hooligans “concept” from Loser. But for the rest, there’s really a little bit of everything and then some. Plus glitter! But the whole over-the-top-ness and incoherence of the video and looks is what makes this one particularly great. Also, I find Bang Bang Bang to be one of Big Bang’s better and definitely most fun songs.
Wondergirls – I feel you
I can’t help but love this song and MV from top to bottom. First of all, 80ies synthesizer pop is just my thing. And then for the video, they really pull off the look for it completely, too. The decorative handling of the keytars and sexy banging on the drums in skimpy leotards are such iconic touches, it makes me both laugh out loud and rejoice in the whole hyper-retro vibe. It helps that the song is groovy.
Jay Park ft. Okasian – 뻔하잖아 (You know)
The thing I like about Jay Park is that he takes his American B-Boy and Hip Hop background, and seamlessly transplants it to Korean pop culture by switching up old tropes to fit a new, globalized world. So in the above video, it’s not Poker and popping Champagne, but Chinese Mahjong and booze being sipped from fine China cups at what looks like an illegal Hong Kong gambling den. And it all makes total sense for them to do that!
What are your favorites from this year? Share in the comments!