K-POP 101: 8 Groups You Need to Add To Ur Playlist
Getting into K-Pop can be very overwhelming.
If you’re coming from listening to predominantly solo artists, or independent rock bands, it can be pretty confusing when you’re thrown into the never-ending K-Pop abyss. There are boy groups, girl groups, mixed groups, sub-groups and that’s not even getting into the solo acts. But to help get you started, here are what we think the hottest acts right now are, and a (very) brief run down of the legends.
So Who’s Hot Right Now?
Arguably the biggest K-Pop group at the moment, there is so much to like about BTS. With seven music videos over the 100 million mark on YouTube and a Billboard music award for “Top Social Artist”, you’ve probably heard of this global supergroup. On top of being incredible dancers and phenomenal singers, these boys have dipped their hands into writing and producing their own politically charged music. Also, one superfan got a hammer stuck in their mouth to show their love for them. No we’re not joking. Tracks to check out include: Not Today, Dope, Blood Sweat & Tears, Fire.
BLACKPINK may only have 5 songs out at the moment, but boy did they manage to rack up a following. Their latest single As If It’s Your Last racked 13.3 million hits in just a day, and is now one of the most viewed K-Pop videos of all time. With a carefully balanced level of sexy and sweet, swag and class, the foursome take any music trend and make it their own. To top it all of half of the group grew up in New Zealand. Tracks to check out include: Boombayah, Playing With Fire, As If It’s Your Last, Whistle.
Whether they’re tackling dubstep, EDM or slick R&B beats, these boys can do it all. What started out as a half-Korean, half-Chinese squad, this K-Pop group has undergone some changes to their line-up. Although they’ve lost some members over the years, they haven’t lost an ounce of their popularity. Their last album “The War” topped 41 on the iTunes album charts worldwide and got Vogue begging the question “Is EXO the most stylish K-Pop Band of All Time?” Also, they’ve had the best selling album in South Korea for the past 4 years in a row. Pretty crazy stuff. Tracks to check out include: Growl, Overdose, Call Me Baby, Monster.
Born out of a Korean reality TV show, these girls have the most charismatic personalities in the genre. Over the years TWICE have been pumping out the bubbliest, catchiest bangers that’ll get put you in the best mood no matter what you’re doing. Also, they’ve managed to rack the top two spots for most viewed music videos by a K-POP girl-group of all time. And tbh with their aegyo forefront, good luck not falling in love with all nine of them. Tracks to check out include: TT, Like Ooh-Ahh, Knock Knock, Signal.
Now It’s Time For The Legends...
With reportedly over 140 million records sold worldwide, and the most views of a korean boy band on YouTube, these boys are the true legends of the genre. With over a decade of number one hits under their belt, these boys have slayed in their group efforts and their solo stuff. In 2015 they played to over 35,000 people on their Australian stop of their world tour. Let’s just hope these boys don’t stop delivering the goods, because they just keep getting better and better. Tracks to check out include: Fantastic Baby, Bang Bang Bang, Loser, Blue.
GIRLS’ GENERATION (SNSD)
Girls’ Generation are arguably the most iconic Korean girl group of all time. Nabbing the longest running number one song on Music Bank, the girls have been pumping out hit after hit with each album and EP the’ve put out. They’ve reached massive success in Korea and Japan, and even performed on the David Letterman show in America. With their 10th anniversary coming this month, there hasn’t been a better time to look into the legacy they’ve left behind. Tracks to check out include: I Got a Boy, Gee, Genie, Mr. Taxi.
In 2011, 2NE1 were seemingly at the forefront of girl-power with the release of their infectious banger “I Am The Best”. The thumping bass and their braggadocious attitude paved the way for groups like BLACK PINK to exist today. With over 66.5 million records sold and multiple collaborations with will.i.am, their way too short career has left us only with electronic perfection. Tracks to check out include: I Am The Best, Come Back Home, Falling In Love, Fire.
With thirteen music awards from the MAMA awards, an MTV Europe Music Award and a few Teen Choice Awards, the discography of this boy band will never be forgotten. Although their popularity has dipped in recent years, the once-13-membered boy band has left us with an abundance of hits throughout the years. We must warn you though, the amount of sub-groups within this band will keep you up till the early ours of the morning. We wish you luck. Tracks to check out include: Mr. Simple, Bonamana, Sorry Sorry, Sexy Free & Single.
- Haydn Hickson.
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