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North America got a sample of Korean pop back in 2012 when Psy’s “Gangnam Style” broke through to the mainstream market and flooded the radio with the catchy tune. Now, the western world is still dipping their toes into the genre, but the dip could quickly turn into a splash.
BTS or Bangstan Boys, just released their new album Young Forever, which earned them the 107th spot on the Billboard 200. This may not seem like a big deal, but for an international act that speaks in a different language, it’s pretty hard to break into an English-speaking market. This is their second Billboard 200 spot, as their 2015 album The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Pt. 2 peaked at No. 171. G-Dragon is the only other K-Pop artist to have two consecutive releases on the Billboard 200, which he achieved with 2012’s One of a Kind and 2013’s Coup D’Etat Pt. 1.
Clearly the love for this international sound has been growing over the years and Toronto Kpop Con, which comes to the city this weekend, is a perfect example of how it’s become popular outside of the East. If you aren’t sold on it yet, here are four reasons why K-pop’s going to be your new favourite genre.
No one would think K-pop/J-pop and Trap could become one, but on this song “It G Ma,” Keith Ape proves the East knows how to make great trap music. If the language wasn’t different, this could easily be mistaken for an OG Maco song. Many American rappers have remixed this track including Waka Flocka Flame and A$AP Ferg. If your favourite artists are already fans, you know this is going to blow up!
Singer-rapper CL is the leader of 2NE1, one of the most successful girl groups from South Korea. Her first single “Hello Bitches” premiered on Noisey as a teaser for her upcoming EP Lifted, which will feature Diplo and RiFF RAFF. This upbeat track is perfect for a workout playlist or to blast in your car with all your friends. With the amazing choreography, singing and rapping skills, and club-worthy beats, it’s safe to say CL may be the K-pop equivalent of Beyonce.
Having 12 members in one group, you would think getting dance moves perfectly in sync would be impossible. This video was done all in one shot and the boys of EXO didn’t miss a step. K-pop boy bands have some of the tightest choreography you’ll ever see. There’s a reason over 99 million people have watched “Growl.” On top of amazing dancing, EXO broke records in South Korea for being the first act to sell a million CDs in over a decade. Try to learn this choreography with 11 of your friends and you’ll understand how hard this truly is.
Boyish looks, endless swag, and infectious music are the ingredients that create Justin Bieber. Multiply that recipe by a gazillion and you have the whole K-Pop genre. Just imagine it, a whole genre of music filled with Bieber-esque charm. No need to fight with your friends over who will marry the Beebs when you have a whole catalogue full of cute boys.