One of the strangest things about living in Seoul is the onslaught that is Korean pop music, or K-Pop. K-Pop is everywhere you go; playing outside the millions of cell phone shops on every block in the city, blaring from the headphones of the passengers on the subway, and blasting from CD players in the parks. No matter where you go in this country there is no hiding from it. Bars even have projectors set up that play the elaborately choreographed music videos all night.
The most successful (and most inescapably ubiquitous) K-Pop songs are all by boy and girl bands, much like the ones that dominated the Billboard charts in the US circa 1999. The biggest difference between these boy/girl bands and the Western ones like the Backstreet Boys or the Spice Girls is that it is not just teenagers who like K-Pop. Everyone, regardless of age, seems to love it and because K-Pop has been such a big part of living in Seoul, I thought I should introduce everyone in America to the pride and joy of Korea. Below are my personal favorite selections I’ve come across. Keep checking and I’ll keep updating as new songs creep into and won’t leave my mind.
Lollipop by Big Bang and 2NE1 is my favorite K-Pop song and will be stuck in your head for roughly 24 years after your first listen.
Bubble Pop by Hyuna is one of the few popular songs in Korea that I’ve noticed is by one singer and not a group. It’s fun, catchy, and one of my favorites.
Hot Summer by f(x) really has been the song of the summer. It’s been more invasive in Korea than the Japanese were before World War II.
Itaewon Freedom is a parody of 1980s videos and I think it’s supposed to be more funny than good but I actually think this is my favorite song I’ve posted. Other than Lollipop of course.
Sorry Sorry by Super Junior is one of the most quoted songs in my classes. If someone says “Sorry” someone else will usually immediately follow that up with “Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry.”
If there was one song that could challenge Hot Summer as the most overplayed song of the summer it is 2NE1’s I’m the Best.
Nobody by the Wondergirls is apparently the most successful K-Pop song ever. It came out a little bit before I got to Korea but it was the first Korean song that managed to break the American charts.