Yes, I know. I posted an article last month about f(x) and how we f(x) fans beg SM to give us more f(x). I ranted and raved (well, not really) about how f(x) is being ignored in favor of their juniors.
I also had a peeve about their talents not being conveyed to the fullest potential possible…which I still have a qualm with.
But this time, I’m going to take a new approach to this whole matter. Squash the old article. Squash it like a bug.
I’ve been thinking a lot and doing more research lately. I was once one of those people who just couldn’t fathom why, after 5 years, a group like f(x) never had a concert tour. Was it…
1) The fact that f(x) isn’t very popular?
2) The fact that SM is just ignoring them for newer, fresher, younger groups?
At one time, in my two-month fandom life, these things were brought into question. But after evaluating both questions thoroughly, I realized that my original conclusions were sorely missing the bigger picture. I decided to do what most people can’t trust themselves to do without feeling naive. I decided to put myself in SM Entertainment’s shoes and f(x)’s shoes. Suddenly, I was no longer a fan, but a true idol…in my mind. In fact, I pretended, in my mind, to be each member.
I found that the first concern holds no base. F(x)’s popularity has been proven. After all, even I, a simple American, know about this group. Many of their music videos on youtube have millions of views. That’s called popularity. Their albums have made millions. That says popular. Imagine if thousands of people were in your house. That would be a lot of people. Millions of people would be even larger! Artists with half of their popularity have had concert tours, such as Puffy Ami Yumi. F(x) IS popular enough to have a tour. So that’s squashed.
Second Concern: While I will admit that SM is always looking for newer, fresher faces, I can see why they consider EXO a good candidate. I can see why because there is ONE MAIN REASON I think SM is supposedly “ignoring” f(x):
THERE ARE TOO MANY FOREIGNERS.
Now, before you strike, let’s consider this. I’m not here to let SM get away with anything. I’m not the hugest supporter of companies, neither do I have blind belief in any business. I know that there are some things that SM has to take responsibility for. BUT humans are irrational sometimes too, and that goes for fans of K-pop as well. When I say that f(x) has too many foreigners, I’m not out to make SM into a prejudice company. When I say that f(x) has too many foreigners, I realize how this affects the way things are done and how much progress the group makes. Here are common complaints:
1) F(x) doesn’t have a concert tour, but juniors like EXO do.
2) F(x) doesn’t have a fan name.
3) F(x) only has one comeback a year.
4) F(x) gets less promotion than other SM artists.
Let’s address issue #1.
Issue #1-No Concert Tour, but EXO has one?
Now that everyone has heard the news about EXO’s tour, f(x) fans go into a frenzy. It seems completely obvious that EXO is getting the “royal treatment” and f(x) is being treated like a second-class citizen. EXO has only been out three years and has a concert tour on the way and an official “fan name”.
But there is a solid reason. They have a slight advantage.
EXO has TWO Versions of itself: EXO-K and EXO-M
EXO has an all-Korean boy version: EXO-K. EXO-M doesn’t even have to work that hard. F(x) is splashed with foreigners, including foreigners who struggle with the Korean language, and they don’t have an all-Korean version of themselves. Creating music takes time, contrary to what most people believe. But imagine a foreigner trying to make Korean music. Songs have to be written, translated, understood, and then MEMORIZED by the members so that they can be performed for all of us to enjoy, which holds the other Korean members back. THEN, after memorizing at least ONE song, they can finally match some choreography with it for a video or performance. This only includes one set of dance moves and one video, by the way…
Now imagine having to memorize new Korean songs AND remember all the old Korean songs for a long, city-to-city TOUR. That would not only take a long time for someone who is clumsy with the language like *cough* Amber *cough*, but also it would slow down promotion.
We have the all-Korean EXO group, whose members were all born in Seoul, who help promote EXO-M. EXO-K speaks the language, they understand the culture, they are hot boys… And we have the quirky, multi-cultural f(x), whose members barely know how to eat with chopsticks *cough* Amber *cough* and aren’t the “hottie” types. Who would you promote in Korea if you were SM?
American companies do it all the time. We have popular foreign artists in America, but the ones that speak excellent English obviously get more attention. Why? Simple. Because Americans understand the language, and companies don’t have to work as hard to assimilate them. EXO-K takes half the amount of time to get an album off the ground in comparison to f(x). They don’t have to translate each song and try to understand it. Memorizing is easy for them because Korean is their first language. So, what do we get? Album after album, music video after video, and a major concert tour. Lucky natives. EXO-M can easily just promote themselves in China…or feed off of EXO-K’s success.
While I would think this would be obvious, most fans don’t see it this way. They often forget that Korea is across the globe and not in their backyards, considering how convenient it is to access K-pop. Some remember how far Korea is but they’re not aware of the foreigners in the f(x) group. Well, I’m here to inform you. At the end of the day, Koreans are Koreans, and they will support their own kind before they support a foreigner. Let’s not live in a bubble. I have to even admit that what drew me to f(x) was the fact that my ears perked up when I heard Amber’s English and realized that I could understand it…It’s going to be the same for Koreans.
If anyone remembers that Korean Festival that was mentioned in Invincible Youth, you remember that they mentioned that the festival was to weed out western influences…To “save their culture”…
AND GUESS WHAT? BoA Kwon, the Princess of K-pop, didn’t HAVE HER FIRST KOREAN TOUR until LAST FREAKIN’ YEAR, and she’s been under SM Entertainment since her debut in 2000!
Issue #2-F(x) Doesn’t Have a Fan Name
Why this is important to anyone is beyond me. Britney Spears doesn’t have a fan name, and she is the Princess of Pop music. I get that most Korean groups have nicknames for fans, but f(x), to me, isn’t just a Korean group. They are an international group that doesn’t need to belch out a cheesy nickname like they’re some baseball team. This is the very thing that makes f(x) unique. Nothing HAS to be official with them, we can call ourselves anything we want to. Now isn’t that more fun?
Issue #3-F(x) Only Has One Comeback a Year
This goes back to what I was saying about the concert. F(x) has to write, translate, and memorize the Korean songs. While three of the members may catch on quickly, two of the members will need more understanding. To sink this in people’s brains, I’m going to post a recent interview with Amber on April 1, 2014. She put it simply: It’s a tedious task. Go on, watch and listen for yourself.
Let’s think about the song “Good-bye Summer”. That song was originally written by Amber. But notice the English title is “I Just Wanna”. More than likely, this song was originally written and sung in English. It had to be translated, re-written, sung, and fit with the Korean language and music sound.
Now, if f(x) members had to go on tour, they would have to memorize a song like this one, along with many others. So now Amber and Victoria would have to learn the pronunciation of this ONE song, and then, once they pronounce everything right, they would have to memorize it, and then see if they can perform it with the choreography… If they had a tour, they would have to go back into the archives and remember old songs, songs that they had a tough time memorizing to begin with! Do we see why they only have one comeback a year? I hope I’m making this clear.
It’s also clear why Amber didn’t sing in “Good-bye Summer”, though she wrote the song herself…
Issue #4-F(x) Gets Less Promotion Than Other SM Artists
This one makes me laugh until I crap all over myself.
We have Amber as the MC on We Got Married Global Edition. We have Sulli, Victoria, and Krystal filming for dramas and posing for ads. Luna has been on Immortal Song 2 how many times? Everything that f(x) gets involved with has millions of views because they have so much personality.
They just finished a photo shoot recently!
We definitely can’t say they get less promotion individually, but maybe not enough promotion as a group.
But again, promotion as a group requires there to be a song that is written, composed, translated, and memorized in order to be performed over and over again at select venues. How can this happen often at a rapid pace when some of f(x)’s members can barely read Korean, let alone write it? Personally, they might have better success in China! Then again, that’s where Sulli and Luna would struggle. Krystal has been around, and she seems to catch on to languages quickly.
That’s like when the non-English girls came to America. People were so angry that none of the girls interacted with fans except for Amber and Luna. But Amber was born and raised in America. Luna was Amber’s roommate, so I’m sure she’s learned more English than the others. Krystal speaks English well, but she’s been living in Korea since she was six! She was raised there! Her culture is still different. But fans couldn’t wrap their minds around the fact that sometimes the idols weren’t being rude, they just have different ways of displaying manners. In this case, they also can’t wrap their minds around the fact that f(x) has foreign members that won’t adapt easily to a new culture.
Look at how BoA was treated when she came to the USA. BoA had a thick accent and barely understood the culture or language. She came out with a USA movie, but how many years has she been working on her American impact? FIVE YEARS. The same amount of time that f(x) has been working on their music. In fact, most of the foreign artists have a harder time coming out with music at a rapid pace and having tours as frequently. Look at Super Junior-M and Electro Boyz. Look at Ailee. Let’s keep it 100% real. EXO-M may eventually suffer the same fate. I don’t honestly think they would be able to stand without EXO-K.
I’ve been watching anime RAW for 12 years now. I’ve learned a lot of phrases, but have I mastered the language? NO. My friends have been taking a foreign language for years, and I have a family member that has lived in Japan for 2 years. Has that family member mastered the language? No. One of my friends is just starting to get the hang of writing the language in it’s actual form rather than with Latin lettering!
So please, before we burst with conspiracy theorizing and flying off in a tangent, let’s step back, and look at the bigger picture.
THE BEST PART
While f(x) may not come out with tons of singles, albums, and concerts every year, we get the satisfaction of knowing that they will take their time to come out with QUALITY work. What matters most? The quantity of how many albums, singles, or tours every year? Or quality work, where they have months to find inspiration for great albums like Pink Tape?
I would rather take the latter. I also have full faith that when f(x) finally does come out with a concert, they will all be fully confident in their abilities, ready to take on the challenge of traveling from city to city, and it will be BIG news considering how long f(x) fans have been waiting. It will also be a concert that is amazing to see because there will be so many songs to hear and so much time and effort will be put into making it an entertaining time. Just look at the bigger picture, then the present doesn’t seem as bad.
So f(x) fans, this is just some words from Generation Next for you to think about. Okay, maybe EXO does get better treatment. But EXO has a Korean group. F(x) is a bit foreign and strange. But isn’t that what we like about them?
The one thing SM IS guilty of is not allowing the girls’ talents to shine. The girls all have amazing talents that aren’t being conveyed. I posted some articles meant to put some shine on f(x)’s talents.
Even though some of the girls struggle with the Korean language, hopefully, the girls’ talents will speak for them. After all, music is a universal language.
Leave me a comment and let me know what your opinions are!
And don’t forget to help me trend #bfx2us on twitter, instagram, facebook, tumblr, reddit, pinterest, wordpress, or any other website you can think of…heck, I’ll even go with Myspace if that’s still around.
Still going crazy over Exo-M member Kris and his decisions? Read a good article on it:
Still going crazy over Baekhyun dating? Read an article about that: