K-Pop Stan confessions: Part 2

If you’ve read any of my album reviews, you’ll know that I am a huge fan of Korean Pop music. Not just Korean Pop, but also Korean Dramas, Japanese Pop and Dramas and a lot more.

Also, shout out to Leah Crowley who wrote an amazing article about being a K-Pop stan about two years ago. I might “steal” some things from your article, Leah, if you read this. Call it inspiration. 

Now, I have felt very insecure about talking about this with other people before because I assume that I will be automatically judged for liking K-Pop. Everyone has their own opinion on K-Pop, and a lot of people believe that it’s either weird or just childish.

A majority of people that I have introduced to K-Pop have really enjoyed it. Others have questioned my taste and claimed that “I don’t understand what they’re saying” and “there’s so many members in that band that’s dumb.”

I understand that everyone has their own taste, but when “Despacito” came out everyone loved it, and it’s primarily sung in Spanish. 

Not just Spanish songs, but there are people that listen to songs in Portuguese, Italian, Arabic and more. I myself listen to some songs in Portuguese because my mother is Portuguese and I actually speak a little bit of it too.

My fellow editors asked me that since I listen to K-Pop and go to their concerts, do I sing along in Korean. They were all shocked and impressed when I said that after listening to the song for a while, I can sing the Korean lyrics. But, I really don’t know what I’m saying to be completely honest. I do actually know some words in Korean, thanks to K-Pop songs and idol interviews.

I just love a lot more things about K-Pop than just the music. I love the intense and unique choreographies that go along with songs, and I love a lot of the outfits that K-Pop idols wear in their music videos, and also on stage, at events and in everyday life.

But, the choreographies are so cool and interesting to me because I love dancing and watching people dance. I myself am not a very good dancer, but seeing these idols dance and move like lightning bolts is so awesome and intriguing to me.

I got into K-Pop with BLACKPINK and their hit song “DDU-DU DDU-DU.” From there, I then got into BTS when I just wanted to hear one song by them. From there, I got into a whole bunch of other bands, over 30 I think, that I know stan and own a bunch of albums from and possibly have a collection of over 500 photocards from too.

Something Leah mentioned in her article is how people will say that male K-Pop idols “look and dress like girls” because of their makeup and clothing. She used Harry Styles as an example, and that’s a great one. 

I like Harry Styles, I’ve been a fan since One Direction thanks to my sister. However, while he wears “feminine” clothing and gets praised for it, male K-Pop idols have been doing it for years and are perceived a lot differently to Harry.

Now, when talking about K-Pop, you have to acknowledge that it is derived from and inspired heavily by black culture and music. There was and still is a problem with cultural appropriation with some K-Pop groups. However, since K-Pop has grown immensely over the past years and has gained more fans, a lot of accountability is held for some older and newer groups by K-Pop fans.

That’s something else Leah mentioned in her article and something she, I and other friends of ours that our K-Pop fans have talked about.

Something very interesting and to note is that during the Black Lives Matter movement, BTS donated $1 million. Within 24 hours after making the donation, their fanbase called “Army” matched that donation pooling together another $1 million. Leah mentioned this in her article too. And it’s not just BTS’s fans, fans of multiple groups have done things for a multitude of charities ranging from Black Lives Matter to donating to children’s hospitals in their names or in the names of the band.

It is also important to mention that there are a lot of issues within the industry itself in terms of mistreatment. Some companies have “slave contracts” with idols that are unbreakable. Some idols, primarily women, are forced to wear uncomfortable and revealing clothing. 

Dieting is also a huge thing in the industry because idols are meant to be thin and fit, and sometimes idols go without eating and they end up passing out. So many fans have talked about the problems of the industry to spread awareness and possibly help their favorite idols so they don’t have to suffer. 

K-Pop is split into generations, and we are currently in the fourth generation of it. First generation K-pop was from 1997-2002, second generation was from 2003–2011, third generation was from 2012–2017 and the current generation started in 2018.  

I am a huge fan of artists from the third generation and some from the second and fourth generation as well. My favorite bands are Seventeen, TWICE, NCT (All units), Red Velvet, Stray Kids and ITZY. The first four I listed are from the third generation, the last two are from fourth.

My favorite songs that I would recommend to everyone are “I CAN’T STOP ME” by TWICE, “DON QUIXOTE” by Seventeen, “Magic Carpet Ride” by  NCT 127, “Maniac” by Stray Kids, “Psycho” by Red Velvet.

If you like more bubblegum pop, definitely listen to TWICE, Girls’ Generation and NMIXX. If you like hardcore techno songs, Stray Kids, NCT and ATEEZ are the bands to listen to. If you like amazing vocals, Seventeen and Red Velvet are the bands for you.

This genre of music is something that I love so much and it has made me so happy on days where I feel really down. I have also made a lot of great friends through this community.