I’m back! 🙂 Other than work keeping me busy and draining me of any creative energy, I have had some doubts about doing another K-Pop post like this. This was going to be my attempt at catching up on some new music from my favorites. But with some of the drama that’s popped up recently, I’m on the fence about giving this genre any attention.
In the News!
Fan video surfaces of K-Pop/ K R&B artist Crush touching fans’ hands but skipping the only black girls in that section. The apology seemed very disingenuous and caused even further discussion on social media. Also, BTS’ J-Hope like the apology post on IG, causing some black fans to question his intentions. Some are even claiming it was a all a misunderstanding.
More cultural appropriation… Mainly a new K-Pop girl group called CocaNButter where a member or two has box braids. Their recent song uses (tries) the Patois language. Their whole aesthetic is disrespectful and makes no sense for a group like that.
So, just a lot of disappointed but not surprised, on my end…
Keeping It About the Music for a Second…
Wonho Drops New Single Album Bittersweet
Even though I have been feeling a little different about him lately, I still love to hear new music from him. I never know what he’s going to do, but it seems like he’s found a sound, and it fits him. The first track on this single album is a breakup song called “Don’t Regret”. He tells a story of going from loving someone and expressing all of his feelings to telling them he doesn’t love them anymore; not regretting that decision.
Yes, it’s sad, but it still such a pretty song, and I really like the video for it, especially the part with the band at the end. The next song has more of an upbeat, R&B, Dance sound, and features singer YUNHWAY. I’m really into this one as well, and it’s completely different from the first track, living up to the album title. Not sure what’s next for him… More live shows or is it time for his enlistment?
NU’EST’s Baekho Releases First Solo EP!
This is another one of those situations where even though I am a fan of the group, I didn’t know what we would get with solo Baekho. I was pleasantly surprised. The whole album is a mix if Pop, Dance, and a little R&B mixed in, of course. I do like the lead single “No Rules” but it’s not my favorite song on this EP and the video is… interesting.
One of my favorite songs, as of right now, must be “Bad 4 U”, the more Pop/ R&B track. I just really love his vocals on that one. Another favorite is “Wanna Go Back”, minus the Sik-K feature *shrugs*. This song has a bit of a Soft Rock vibe to it. And his voice is a bit raspier on this one, which I love.
The Rose is Back with New Album HEAL!
Now, I’ve been waiting for this comeback for a while, especially after Woosung dropped his most recent solo project. I’m sad I won’t be able to see them on tour but it’s okay 🙂 But, back to this album… For anyone who kept up with all of the content that came out prior to this one, you would know that this was a special project for them, hoping to bring the world together, in a sense. So, this was an emotional one for sure.
It’s hard to have favorites from this album but I will list “Definition of ugly is”, “Cure” (absolutely love the music on this one), “Yes” featuring James Reid, and “Sour”. “Yes” is in English and such a cute, upbeat track. And “Sour” is kind of the same, but I really love the lyrics and their vocals, of course. The Rose are more of a band than just another K-Pop group, so it’s refreshing.
EXID Makes Comeback with New EP X!
EXID was one of the first girl groups that I really got into. They were so different other girl groups, who were super girly and “cutesy”. Their lead single and video for “Fire” proves that point perfectly. I love everything about it and was so excited that they were back.
There are only 4 tracks on this EP, with one of them being the English version of “Fire”. I do really like “IDK (I Don’t Know)” too. It’s just such a fun Pop/ Dance track. The last song, “LEGGO” kind of grew on me the more I listened to it. This one is a faster paced song with the same Pop/ Dance feel to it, with a small hint of R&B when it comes to the vocals.
Monsta X “Late Night Feels” Remix
Finally, we have my Favs Monsta X. I’m a little late with this one but they dropped 2 remixed to their recent English language single “Late Night Feels” featuring Sam Feldt. Now, this is not a favorite of mine by them. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very catchy but it just didn’t do it for me, especially when they such a large catalogue of amazing music, Korean and English. I do like the Ownboss remix better, though.
Being a K-Pop fan is accepting that it can never just be about the music. Some of the groups I really like aren’t really “problematic” but that’s just from what we see. We don’t know what these Idols are really like, or what they really think of their fans, especially their international, non-Korean fans. Even American artists show their distaste with fans, whether purposely or not, so you can’t really depend on our fan to artist relationships.
A lot of POC K-Pop fans are slowly getting away from the genre, including myself. Other than my favorite group, who isn’t really doing much right now, the others just aren’t putting out a lot of attention-grabbing music or content, in my opinion. And a lot of recent behavior is making it difficult to just stand by and watch more dedicated fans get heartbroken over that behavior.