I recently had a conversation in which I attempted to convince three grown men (all German) that K-Pop is extremely diverse and definitely worth listening to. As like most people, they were under the impression that K-Pop is only outrageously large groups of perfectly coiffed and almost identical-looking men and women who dance and sing in perfect synchronisation.
Whilst there is a fair amount of that (though I'm quite fond of it and would eagerly marry T.O.P. and/or half the members of EXO), K-Pop is not always technically 'Pop.' The term encapsulates any and all music originating from Korea, including Rap, Hip Hop, Indie, and Soul music, amongst many other genres.
You might be wondering why I, a black woman who grew up in East and Southern Africa am obsessed with Korean culture (and food). Apart from the fact that I live in Singapore (in which Korean culture is near-ubiquitous), one of my best friends here is Korean, and the other might as well be. That means over my two years I've been exposed to a lot, from The Infinite Challenge, to My Love From Another Star, to Dakgalbi to So Ji-Sub's very sexy um... acting skills. A few days ago I even got a lesson from Kaya (my Korean bestie) about the generation system in her family in Korea, which I still get confused about if I think too hard.
Anyway, the point is not to tell you how Korea-101 I am, but the point is to convince you that K-Pop is dope AF and you've been missing out your whole life. So, below, I have put a list of my favourite music videos that will hopefully change your perception of K-Pop and make you become as obsessed as I am. Also be sure to check out my ever-growing Spotify playlist: Dope Korean Music.
Pepper & Söl
*Cover photo by VISUALS FROM.