If you read my last blog on What It’s Like In Korea, then you probably know that I had a fantastic time and that I also got to experience this Korea Pop Phenomena (or at least that’s what I think it is) up front and centered. I always feel like people have negative views about Kpop whether it’s “Why you listening to that?” “That’s Korean music, quit it,” or “How can you understand them?” Well, until you actually been there and experienced it first hand, it is a whole different story.
My first ever Kpop exposure was to Big Bang’s song Haru Haru, which in this case I threw up a “WTF” on my face. Yeah, I get it, it was 2008. Anybody exposed to foreign music for the first time might do that, but this wasn’t the first time. When I was young, I experienced Kpop myself listening to what would be a no-longer existent group called S.E.S with the song Dreams Come True. After their era passed, I began listening to my Hip-Hop, RnB, and Rap thinking yeah these are the songs! until Miley Cyrus jumped on board…..Joking about that.
When I came to Korea, I had no knowledge of Kpop except that Big Bang and 2ne1 was pretty cool. I digged their music and maybe you couldn’t understand them, but it was almost as if you could. I met a lot of international students who were in love with them! and would do anything just to see them! and I mean anything. I wasn’t like that though. I did however want to see Ailee, but never got the chance.
I did have the opportunity to attend the Sky Festival Kpop concert located all the way at Incheon International Airport which was like an hour away from where I lived. This was only thanks to my two friends Yankee and Jacob who were able to get us two free tickets to see groups such as Sistar, B2st, EXO, APink, Mad Clown, BTS, F-ve Dolls, and other groups that performed for free! Yes, I said it, it was free. So if you’re ever in Korea and want to see Kpop groups perform, there are always free concerts to attend year-round with maybe some few exceptions. Just got to look into it. With that being said, since the concerts are free, expect long lines and fan girls and boys from all over the world to be screaming in your ears.
The longer I stayed in Korea, the more I found myself listening to Kpop. You couldn’t go anywhere without hearing it. Whether I was working out in the gym or walking around my district, I heard it. It never bothered me, it was just a part of accepting where I was. Of course that means that I came back listening to much more than just Big Bang and 2ne1. I still listen to my everyday Justin Timberlake and T.I. but sometimes it doesn’t hurt to listen to some Kpop because honestly, it’s fair and decent music.
When I came back from Korea, I heard my brother play G-Dragon on his iPod and was like “Is that G-Dragon?” In my opinion, I felt like my brother was almost ashamed to tell me he was listening to Kpop, but I really didn’t care. I actually told him I had G-Dragon’s latest album and guess what? He darted to my room for it. Like I said earlier, it’s fair and decent music and not everyone will like it. You shouldn’t let someone judge the type of music you listen to unless it got curse words here and there, then you’re on your own. Kpop may not be for everyone, but give it a shot and you might like it if you give it a chance.