Tag Archives: pop music

Got7, The Korean “New Kids On the Block” + Jackson Wang in the Spotlight

16 Jan

got7 3

Last year, f(x) pulled me into the “Hallyu Wave”, the Korean “wave” of interest from countries all over the world. The “wave” introduced many nations to Korean dramas, music, and culture. It’s literally a modern trend. Last year, I found a new obsession with Korean culture.

I was seriously obsessed with that K-pop group, f(x), in the year 2014. I had an f(x) month, an f(x) summer, and too many f(x) articles to count.

Click to find out more about it here: f(x), the Korean “Spice Girls” +Amber Liu in the Spotlight

This year, my latest fascination is with the all-boy band, Got7.

Usually, I dislike boy bands, with a passion. Check my archives-You won’t find me talking too much about boy bands. Don’t we have enough of them in the world? I guess, I don’t hate the boy bands themselves so much as the concept or “idea” behind boy bands. Even though I’m a female, and I like attractive and talented men, I just have a hard time being drawn to the phony “glitz and glam” of boy bands. I just couldn’t believe that men in boy bands hardly had any creative freedom, so I disliked the fact that many were made to be something they weren’t. Those expectations are hard to live up to for imperfect humans. It just always felt like I was being deceived, and it felt that the men were being drained by the constant…well, objectification. And I just didn’t want to be one of those girls who liked boy bands just because of their looks. In my heart, I WANT to see a man for who he is and his abilities. Though, honestly, I’m just always trying too hard to be different. 😛 I would appreciate them more if fan girls didn’t act like maniacs over them. Screaming over them and supporting them is one thing, but death threats when their “idols/favorite celebrities” are dating someone else? Ridiculous.

EXO fans stop supporting member after he dates

I also dislike the fact that boy bands in Korea get so much more attention than girl bands. I want to promote more female acts in Korea, especially the unique female groups.

It’s also hard to find unique boy bands, too. Again, there are too many around the world.

But Got7…I honestly couldn’t ignore them for too long. Got7 celebrated the anniversary of their debut on January 17, 2015 KST, so I thought this would be the perfect time to create an article about this group. So, here goes!

Got7 is a seven-member, multinational group, brought together by the label JYP Entertainment. JYP is known to be one of the more well-known labels. Got7 got much attention for their amazing flips and cartwheels onstage, as well as their handsome individuality, diversity, and strong charisma. As a group, they each work well in a team effort and support one another, giving dynamic impressions on any audience.

Their CEO, Park Jin-Young, also known as J.Y. Park, was the first Asian producer to cross over into America successfully. He did music for Cassie, Will Smith, and even Mase. He was the first Asian song-writer to hit the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. His resume gives the label a good reputation. He is also known to be the more “ethical” boss among all the CEOs in charge of the other Korean labels, as he is often seen showing more concern for his artists. Part of the reason he’s so kind to his artists, and so personal, is because he was once a back-up dancer and in an idol group himself. Park met rough spots during his time as an idol, so he understands his idols in ways other K-pop label CEOs would not.

Just like with f(x), the title of this article was meant to compare Got7 to a popular 1990’s group that was similar called New Kids on the Block. I will tell you, just as I told readers last year when it came to f(x), this comparison is in no way meant to be offensive. New Kids on the Block were one of the few boy groups of the 1990s that I actually liked. Got7 reminds me of them in many ways. I love the fact that they do. The same things I loved about NKOTB are the same things I love about Got7.

New Kids on the Block was an R&B, Pop, and Hip-hop group with an urban style. They were the first Caucasian American boys to be recognized with this image and style, and they were the first to gain fame from it. They were the first Caucasian males designed to have the appeal of “boyfriends” and designed to show their “visual appeal”. Like New Kids on the Block, Got7 exudes that same urban, “boyfriend” charm. New Kids on the Block had a boyishness about them that made them appealing to youth. They were meant to be the “white” version of New Edition. Got7 is also similar to New Edition as well. Got7 presents themselves as “normal city boys”.

It’s also a bit clever to call them the “New Kids on the Block”, don’t you think? 😉 Many of you probably thought this is what I meant when I put it in the title…Got7 just debuted in January 2014, so they are still a “rookie” group. They are sort of the “new kids on the block” in Korea…Honestly, though, they are so talented and natural, they hardly seem like rookies.

Got7 is a group that was designed to convey an urban style. They are known for their Pop, R&B, and Hip-Hop genres, just like New Kids on the Block. Their name reflects their members and the “appeal” they want to have with women. Many of their sayings reveal this image. For instance, “instead of having one handsome guy for a boyfriend, she’s ‘got 7’.” Their fan club name is IGOT7.

got7 2

Though the group reminds me of NKOTB, Got7 has quite a few differences that make this group individual and helps them stand out. Some of these differences create challenges that New Kids on the Block never had to deal with.

Got7 has to deal with huge cultural differences. In fact, Got7 has to deal with the cultural boundaries that most groups around the world would never have to deal with…Not even K-pop groups EXO-M and Super Junior-M (because their Chinese groups are distinctly separated from their Korean groups, so they speak the same language among their own peers). f(x) is probably one of the only groups that go through the same thing.

Out of the seven members in Got7, three of the members are from different countries. Between these members, there is an exchange of, at least, SEVEN languages! Two of the seven members can speak a different dialect. Many Asian languages have several dialects that sometimes reflect the unique region they come from within their own country. It’s the same language, just a different style of speaking it. Usually, the words are spoken with a different term, wording, or sound than what is commonly heard in the language.

The seven members in the group are: JB, the leader, from Seoul, South Korea. He is known for his vocals. He and Jr. were originally a part of the JJ Project, a pop duo. Both ended up in Got7. Jr. is also from Seoul, South Korea. He speaks a different Korean dialect. Yugyeom, the “maknae” or youngest member in the group, though he doesn’t look it, is also from Seoul, Korea. He is of high school age. Youngjae, the fun-loving member, is from South Korea and also speaks a different dialect of Korean. He was the last member to join, and only trained for seven months before debut! Mark, Jackson, and Bam Bam are from different countries. Mark is the oldest (though he doesn’t look it) and one of the most handsome members. He was born in Los Angeles, California, USA. He lived in Brazil for two years. He speaks English, Chinese, and Korean. Jackson is one of the oldest, and is considered the “vitamin” of the group. He is from British Hong Kong. He attended an international school, which is why his English is impeccable. He also speaks Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, and French! Bam Bam, the cutie who looks like the “maknae”, is from Thailand and speaks Chinese, Thai, some English, and Korean! There really are many languages flowing through this group. This is why they reach a diverse group of fans. Their communicative abilities make them a gem in K-pop.

Jackson

Mark

Bam Bam

Youngjae

@17:20

Jr.

Of course, all of these languages make it hard to be understood. Misunderstandings may have come up all the time. The group has a hard time relating to a Korean audience, as a result. Cultural mannerisms probably clash. Many of the international members suffer from loneliness, as some are far away from their friends and family. Their personalities are different, too, even among members from the same nation.

Still, despite the challenges, Got7 has received significant popularity in less than a year! Last year, they were considered the biggest rookie group to debut according to many polls online. They are probably one of the most successful multinational boy groups in the world. I mean, multinational groups are hard to find, but they are even harder to find among males….

FIVE REASONS YOU SHOULD LOVE GOT7:

got7

1) Got7 has a diverse mix of abilities and talents

Got7 has many members who can sing and dance well. JB has amazing vocal abilities, and never misses a chance to use them, on or off stage.  Youngjae plays piano and writes his own songs. In fact, many members have said they like to write their own music. Jackson has expressed interest in producing music. Some of the members also have some awesome rapping abilities. Mark, Jackson, and Bam Bam are known for their rapping abilities.

New Kids on the Block was like this. They were probably the first pop group to have a “rapper”. Each member had a role. Got7 is very similar.

Their most distinct talent is their martial arts contribution. In their performances, Mark and Jackson are in charge of providing the martial arts, but lately JB and Bam Bam have jumped in with the music video “Around the World”. They do cartwheels and back-flips on stage and in MVs flawlessly. This obviously enthuses the crowd and draws new interest in the group. There are no other K-pop boy bands that do this.

2) Got7 can speak so many languages

Again, Got7, as a group, speak over 7 languages. This helps them bring their charm to many fans all over the world. As an English-speaker myself, this is also why I’ve shown interest in the group. They can seriously bring their music to more than one nation, which could expand their popularity. Multilingual abilities are seriously an asset to any business venture.

Kpopstarz Korean news outlet and blogging website made this interesting statement about the group:

“Global fans are able to engage with the group in unique ways because of this.”

http://www.kpopstarz.com/articles/148372/20141215/3-reasons-why-got7-deserves-the-hallyu-special-award-at-the-2015-seoul-music-awards.htm

“This” was in regards to the fact that they speak so many languages.

3) Got7 has many experiences, backgrounds, and personality traits

Got7 is very diverse in background as a result of being a multinational group. Many of them have resumes that are inspiring, such as Jackson’s fencing abilities. Because of their individual backgrounds, you can imagine that they have some of the most colorful personalities. Even the Korean members are very diverse in personality and characteristics.

4) Got7 is physically attractive

Let’s face it. Got7 is attractive. The moment I laid my eyes on Mark and Jackson, I recognized that this boy band had some eye-candy that would please the hearts of many fan girls. As much as I hate to objectify anyone, I have eyes, too. After watching Real Got7, I’ve gotten to know the members really well. They definitely know how to entertain a crowd, and this makes them attractive as well.

5) The group has SWAG

There are a lot of K-pop groups that try to exude “swag” or a hip-hop image. But Got7 is one of the few that successfully translates that energy in a charming way on stage. B.A.P. and Big Bang are two other groups that have successfully exuded a significant “swag” factor. However, those other two groups are missing the nice combination of “swag” and “charm”, which helps Got7 relate to those who like both a tough energy and a soft energy.

There really should be a 6th reason. The 6th reason you should love this group is because of member, Jackson Wang. That’s right. I’m about to put Jackson on BLAST.

Jackson Wang IN the SPOTLIGHT

Jackson muscle shirt

All About Jackson

Jackson is the “vitamin” of the Got7 group. He is called the “vitamin” of the group because of his high-spirited energy and “wild and sexy” presentation. He literally brings “health” or “life” to the group. When he’s not around, something seems very strange. In fact, when he’s not around the group, it feels too quiet. Jackson adds the “fun” aspect to the group. Jackson is not afraid to be himself. Jackson shows an “alpha” personality at times, but there are other times he shows a charming, cute, and sweet side to him.

Many have noticed that Jackson shows the most interest in his fellow members. In Season 2 of Real Got7, Jackson won the challenge of showing “secret care” for one of his fellow members frequently during their promotion of the song “A”. Jackson never expected to win, but Jackson was always there when one of his members needed him.

Jackson has a high-pitched laugh that reaches the ends of the room he is laughing in. His laugh is distinct, and his fellow members didn’t hold back from imitating him in Real Got7.

5:00-5:01

Jackson’s boss, J.Y.Park, described Jackson as someone who “tries too hard”, but is “affectionate” and easily “attaches himself to people”. Out of all of his members, Jackson gets the most frustrated when he can’t get something right the first time. Jackson has the hardest time practicing for long hours. J.Y.Park is very hard on Jackson because of it.

all about Jackson

As you can tell, he enjoys dancing, rapping, and beatboxing. Basically, he loves music. He’s also quite athletic, and has an Olympic and Martial Arts fencing background. His mother was a gold medalist at the 1982 World Gymnastics Championships. His father was a former coach in a Hong Kong fencing team. He also once won the Asian games in 1978. So, he comes from a pretty accomplished family.

Jackson has an older brother, who is also athletic. He and his brother won the men’s pair category at the Acrobatic Gymnastics Championship. Jackson was only 9 years old! It’s no wonder he’s such an excellent acrobat.

Jackson mentions that his specialty is “fencing”, and most know him from his Junior Fencing team, though he is also a good gymnast as well.

Jackson was born in British Hong Kong. He attended American International School, which is why he speaks English so well. While in fencing matches, he often had French partners, so he learned some French as well. He’s a pretty “international” guy.

Jackson loves his family and worries about them often since he’s so far away in Korea.

At first his parents did not want Jackson to start training to be an idol. His father cut him a deal. He told Jackson he would only let Jackson go to Korea if he became the best fencer in Asia. Jackson eventually won 1st place at the Asian Junior and Cadet Fencing Championship.

Jackson likes to skateboard and also plays basketball.

He also likes animals.

got7 jackson and dog

Got7 is still new, so we may learn more about Jackson in the future.

 Jackson, A K-pop Star

Jackson is a normal guy usually, but he is a K-pop star, too. As a K-pop star, as was mentioned before, Jackson presents himself as “Wild and Sexy”.

Jackson wild and sexy

Jackson lives up to this presentation. He is known as the loud, competitive one. He has an extroverted personality, and brings a lot of boyish charm to Got7. And it’s pretty evident he has most of the “swag”.

Jackson presents himself as an “alpha male” type, but he has a sensitive side that makes him appealing.

The guy is absolute scrumptiousness. You can’t deny it. I’m about to Jacksify you:

Jackson bites lip

Jackson flexing

portrait of Jackson

Someone is talented!

Jackson in redJackson in marine hoodieJackson kisses the cameraJackson cute peace signJackson posingFans-and-netizens-are-amazed-at-GOT7-Jacksons-WangJackson with glassessophisticated jacksonstage performance

Scrumptious, doe. It’s hard to deny this man’s sex appeal. He surely lives up to his label.

But just how “wild and sexy” is Jackson?

Looking at many videos with Jackson, he seems to love attention. This gives him the “wild” streak we know and love. Jackson is not afraid to “strut his stuff”, so that makes him sexy as well.

Watching Jackson, you probably wouldn’t be able to see him as anything but confident. But fans know better. Fans who have been following Jackson’s work can see right through his actions.

Actually, Jackson is also known by fans as sensitive and a bit shy, especially when he’s around a girl he likes and respects. Jackson has stated that he likes “healthy, athletic girls, with a tan and charm”. When Jackson was around Ga Yeon in the Korean reality show Roomate, a girl who fit his ideal, he revealed another side to himself. He was very nervous, shy, and extremely polite.

Then, there are those other times when he gets competitive around a girl that he likes. He has mentioned that one of the girls he is most close to is Amber Liu from f(x). He showed an intensified competitive spirit on We Got Married Global when Amber was posed with a question that made her choose between him and fellow members Bam Bam and Mark. And even when Amber rejected him, he continued to fight to win!

We Got Married Global: Bam Bam or Jackson?

Jackson also shows himself to be very protective and nurturing.

Jackson is generally known to be competitive. I would say he likes to challenge himself. He is always “involved” and tries to put his heart into everything he does. He is enthusiastic and colorful.

But Jackson isn’t the bravest member, though many would be shocked to know it. Aside from Jackson being completely terrified around his favorite female idol, he also showed slight fear of an amusement park ride in Real Got7 Season 2.

Jackson really has many layers to him, which is why he grabs so much interest from K-poppers. He’s really not afraid to be himself, and is often being bluntly honest to a fault. But there are many things in him that he probably doesn’t notice. If one looks hard enough, they could find those hidden gems in Jackson.

Jackson’s Talents

It’s time to get to the main deal. After all, he is an artist. Jackson has many talents, both well-known and hidden, even from himself.

Jackson is the rapper of the group. He likes the rap group G-Unit and Dr. Dre. Rap is one of his favorite genres, and it’s the genre he is most comfortable with.

But Jackson is also a pretty good singer, even if he doesn’t feel as confident with singing as he does rapping. He once sang a lullaby to JB, and it was really nice. According to his boss, J.Y.Park, Jackson is very good at breathing even though he has not trained his voice to sing just yet. Perhaps, in the future, he will get more moments to sing.

Jackson is also good at beatboxing. He did say it was one of his hobbies, so I’m sure he practices all the time. He’s really good at it.

And it’s pretty obvious Jackson is an excellent dancer. Jackson adds martial arts to his dancing abilities, making his dance routines even more powerful. Jackson also gives facial expressions when he dances, adding character to every performance. He is a very charismatic performer, both in a group and solo.

Jackson may not be aware of this talent, but Jackson is a good television personality and excellent with comic timing. This is probably why he is a favorite among fans and why he won the Newcomer of the Year award.

Jackson’s Personal Challenges

Jackson may seem all smiles and confidence, but as an international star, there will always be challenges in a foreign nation. Jackson is far away from family and friends. His mannerisms are different, and often times it clashes with the more reserve mannerisms of Korea. Jackson just doesn’t fit that small box.

Jackson Misses His Family

Jackson has been away from his family ever since he began training. Even though he and his group debuted in 2014, he’d been training with JYP years before his debut. Jackson left everything he knew and loved in order to become a K-pop star. He sacrificed a lot, even if he didn’t initially realize the sacrifices he would have to make at the time he decided to train.

I know. Many people will say, “But he chose to be an idol. He’s sad but he made the choice”. Many people get jobs that are not in their own countries, especially when the opportunities are lower in your area. Sometimes, people have to travel for work. It doesn’t mean he won’t miss his family.

Jackson showed how much he missed his family on an episode of Roommate. J.Y.Park, his boss, surprised Jackson with the best Christmas present ever: Jackson’s parents. He arranged for Jackson’s parents to fly all the way from Hong Kong, just so they could spend Christmas with their son. (Talk about a kind boss!) The scene was quite emotional.

Jackson is often worried about his mom. His father often works overseas which leaves his mother at home alone and lonely. This is Jackson’s sensitive spot and one of his greatest challenges.

I think he is pretty strong to leave his old life to start a whole new one in Korea. Could I have done it? Probably not…Unless I could bring my loved ones with me. He has to be strong in order to deal with a different culture and language.

Controversy

Yep, a bold and flamboyant man like him won’t always come across easy to deal with to people. It’s never easy to be a foreigner, but it’s even harder when your personality is so strong and dominant.

“Jackson is so rude. He gets on my nerves.”

I hear this comment at least once on almost every Youtube video that deals with Jackson (excluding the episode with his parents).

True, Jackson likes a LOT of attention. True, Jackson often interrupts people when they talk. True, Jackson is competitive when someone else gets more attention than himself. True, he appears to think too much about himself. And sure, Jackson is blunt.

But aren’t these what make him stand out among, not just his fellow members, but ALL OF THE OTHER boys in other groups? Korea likes to put a lot of emphasis on “aeygo”, or “cuteness” in the public media. It’s a “selling tool”. Korea also designs it’s boy bands to have some of the most chivalrous personalities. Korea encourages a reserve disposition.

Jackson is one of the rare gems that doesn’t fit that perfect “Korean” mold people like to place on idols.

I’m sure these comments must offend and hurt him. In We Got Married Global, Jackson gave kudos to one fan who actually described Jackson as sensitive and caring, qualities he feels people don’t often recognize in him.

Koreans can be very detached, or are expected to be. Jackson is easily attached, as was mentioned before, very friendly, and assertive. It’s not hard for him to hold out his hand in friendship. To some people, especially Koreans, Jackson comes on a little strong.

Yet, despite what anyone says about Jackson, he makes the whole group stand out in his own special way. He gives the right spice. His presence makes him feel like a leader, even though he is not the leader of the group. People will always have their perceptions of other people, but as they always say, “It doesn’t matter what they say, as long as they know my name”. Jackson brings a lot of promotion to the group. His distinct mannerisms are what make Got7 likable to nations who are not so reserved, or to more extroverted personalities. I’m sure there are some Koreans who are not so stereo-typically reserved.

Well, it doesn’t matter who hates Jackson. Jackson is making his mark as a K-pop star, even winning the Newcomer Award this year.

Well, that’s my spin on Got7 and the amazing Jackson Wang!

Check out their latest albums on Youtube!

You can also watch Got7’s Jackson on Roommate Season 2!

Check out my other articles featuring Got7:

Got7’s Mark, BamBam, Jackson on We Got Married Global

Generation Next’s Top 20 Asian Artists; Got7 made it among the 10

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15 of the Most Powerfully Unique Girl Groups Ever In Music History

22 Dec

girl band

There have been dozens of music groups formed around the world, and there will continue to be music groups out there for centuries to come. Each new act brings in a new wave of interest, and music groups bring us more than one entertainer at a time.  The early heart of the USA began with bands and groups. With the rise of interest in bands, the U.K. made it a phenomenon. Just recently, Japan and Korea have brought that phenomenon to the modern age.

Read my article on Hallyu.

Girl groups tend to be of particular interest, as mostly women dominate the music industry today. Since the 1910’s, the days of vaudeville, females have always managed to grab attention to themselves in catchy musical numbers. Groups were the easiest way to do this, as harmonizing in sync was always a challenge. Those who did it right easily impressed an audience. Of course, in most female groups, a heavy amount of emphasis is usually put on a group’s physical appearance. There’s nothing more attractive than a ton of women with beauty and talent, right?

girl group

And yet, ever so briefly, one female group would rise out of the ashes like a phoenix. A group that just didn’t seem to fit into the box designed for them. Those are the women that are making it on my list as 11 of the Most Powerfully Unique Girl Groups Ever in Music History.

This article is not about fame particularly. Fame is a general description. Fame could mean anything. Many female groups out in the world might be bigger than the ones I’m covering in this article. But “power” to me does not equal record sales alone. “Power” comes in the form of the differences one has made or how one has contributed to the industry. I can tell you right now that many of the most popular girl groups in the world, from the USA to Japan, have all been extremely famous for none other than their good looks. There are three things that usually define girl groups:

1) Enhanced good looks and trendy clothes

2) Melodious, seductive vocals designed to draw in physical attention

3) Relate-easy music that is missing a “personal” touch or any real depth

While all of these traits are not bad, many of them are cheap selling tools and don’t necessarily make a group…Well, unique. Isn’t it better to have high record sales and unique traits?

This is not to say anyone I’m listing is ugly, can’t sing, or doesn’t have music that people relate to. But the groups I’m listing have so much more. I want to give them the shine they deserve. The groups I’m listing are hard to imitate as a result of what they have done for our music industry. With just good looks and melodious voices, it’s easy to make carbon copies in a matter of minutes. In fact, groups have been that classic since the vaudeville days. I’m reviewing those girls that just didn’t fit that standard, capish?

The following list will cover these genres: Rock and Roll, Pop, R&B, Hip-Hop, New Jack Swing, Rap, Dance, Electronic, Heavy Metal, Rock, Punk Rock, Pop Urban, and Country.

This list is in order from the first group to the last group to debut. It’s hard to rank these groups because they are so unique.

1) Goldie and the Gingerbreads

goldie and the gingerbreads

With a name like “Goldie and the Gingerbreads”, you wouldn’t think this group made much of a difference. But they did. Goldie and the Gingerbreads may not be anything special today (or maybe they are), but at the time they arrived on the scene, there were no girls in the Rock and Roll scene. Female bands never attracted a large audience neither were they ever signed to a major label before this group. Yes, the four to five ladies of this band were the first to be signed to a major label. They were the first to break into a genre that was mostly dominated by men. If that doesn’t make them powerfully unique, I don’t know what does.

Even to this day, Rock and Roll is a genre that is notorious for its male artists. But for all of you who don’t know, these women stood out among all the other women who were mostly soloists and sang mostly Pop music, Showtunes, and Soul. They were the first women to be visually seen on live television with instruments in their hands. These women were not dolled-up like the Supremes, but they shined because they took a chance on a genre most women wouldn’t have even dared to try.

They weren’t million-dollar sell-outs. I don’t think the world was truly ready for a female Rock and Roll group at the time. But you rock-band girls can thank these leading ladies for their unique contribution.

The 1960’s was a time when women were really starting to make an impact on the music industry, and the era is considered the Golden Age for female artists.

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2) Fanny

Fanny

Fanny is recognized as pioneering the female band identity and “sound”. It’s a sound that has traveled down even to modern bands like Paramore and The Dirty Youth. They were the first female band to release an album on a major record label. Just like Goldie and the Gingerbreads, these ladies paved the way for future female bands. The difference is that they helped female Rock stars gain the respect they deserved in an era where female Rock bands hardly got any attention or respect. Even David Bowie was a huge fan of their work. These women were the first to be considered full-fledged rockers. Before this group, women hardly played their own instruments, and when they did, they hardly played very well. This group played just as well as all of the other male rock bands.

This band carried controversy wherever they went. Even their name carried controversy, as many people thought of it as a sexual term, though the group insisted it meant to reflect the “female spirit”. This group was also outspoken and hard in vocal sound, which was so unlike the “lady-like” women of the era. Because of their unique traits, these women were said to have conquered even “male chauvinists” charts.

Two of the four members were from the Philippines, so they were probably one of the first major female Asian rock stars in American history. Two members of the four were also some of the only female artists of the time to openly express themselves as lesbian and bi-sexual. They were thus thought of as a “Lesbian” band. This also made them very unique. One heterosexual member stated that even though two members weren’t lesbians, “men didn’t know how to take them” at the time, and many lesbians were attracted to the band.

This group of women were really some of the first ladies to openly express their sexual desires in general. Their song “Butter Boy” was banned from some radio stations because most stations thought the song was “too explicit”. We can definitely say this group had the unique power that no other group showed in the early 1970’s. This group showed that they were more than pretty faces with melodious, sweet voices. They were a power machine ready to chart new territory.

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3) The Pointer Sisters

The Pointer Sisters, moved from duo, to trio, to quartet, were the first black group ever to create a Grammy-Award winning Country song. Many Country lovers may know of their song “Fairytale”. Even to this day, many consider this song a Country classic.

Now, they were by no means a Country group. That’s what made this win such a random experience. It was surprising that a R&B and Soul group would break through the industry with one Country song. I think it was the unique way this Country song was sang. They combined the “soul” of the group with the authenticity of Country music, giving Country music the “soul” many artists have adapted today. This Country song ended up being their first Grammy win ever!

The Pointer Sisters were lovers of Country music, and were country girls at heart, even if that was not their main genre.

They made themselves known as a group that was willing to try many diverse genres and styles, which was considered unusual for black group artists at the time. They tried Soul, Funk, and Bebop, but also Rock and Electronic!

This set them apart from other African American groups, and helped pave the way for African Americans to try more diverse styles of music. For all of you African American Country stars, you can thank their contribution to the Country world. The world may have been closed-minded when it came to four African American girls singing Country, but at least they stole a Grammy for that Country song. I couldn’t ignore this group and saw fit to add them as one of the most powerfully unique girl groups ever in music history.

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4) The Runaways

the-runaways-xx-the-runaways-band-27467906-1024-768

If you don’t know The Runaways, you don’t know Rock. The Runaways were said to be the first hard-edged, female Heavy Metal band to ever step into the music scene. Sure, Fanny gave us pure Rock. But The Runaways gave us the edge and the female Rock image. When it came to music charts in the USA, sadly, this group did not do any more than the other two bands, but they became a phenomenon in Japan.

This group is widely known for their unusual Rock song “Cherry Bomb”. It has the catchy hook “ch-ch-ch-ch Cherry Bomb”. This song made them stand out on stages throughout the USA. They did not have the usual image for women. They gave wild performances on stage that were similar to their male counterparts, and they wore the raciest outfits. That was something hardly done in this era in time. They were not standard, that’s for sure. They didn’t portray themselves with the “flawless, feminine” images handed to so many women during the “Disco Era”. Their music lyrics were bold. They didn’t mind being called “Bad Girls”. There is no question about it. They had to make this list of powerfully unique girl groups.

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5) Salt-N-Pepa

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Salt-N-Pepa is a notorious female Rap group that became popular at a time when men dominated the Rap and Hip-Hop scene. In fact, they were one of the first female Rap groups. Salt-N-Pepa influenced the female image in Hip-Hop culture and Rap culture. Anyone into Rap knows Salt-N-Pepa. Many female rappers and Hip-Hop artists to this day are still heavily influenced by the Ladies of Rap, including the notorious TLC and Lil’ Kim. Even Nicki Minaj and Iggy Azalea get their sexy image from Salt-N-Pepa. Without Salt-N-Pepa, there would be no sexy female Rap songs.

Many feminists disliked Rap and Hip-Hop because many of the lyrics were sexist and many of the music videos objectified women’s bodies. But when Salt-N-Pepa came on the scene, they gave women a new perspective about Rap and Hip-hop. And they gave women and Hip-Hop a new image.

Salt-N-Pepa was no different from the men in Hip-Hop…But that’s why they were so unique. Salt-N-Pepa turned the tables around on men. Salt-N-Pepa were not afraid to wear sexier-looking clothing and were not afraid to talk about sex and men. This took away the “innocent, conservative” image so many modern women were portrayed as having at the time. They were not shy of men, that’s for certain. Thus, Salt-N-Pepa stood out as bold, confrontational women that were worthy of respect in the Hip-Hop community.

They were also one of the few Rap groups that had a female DJ. Even today, most DJs are male. They certainly proved that women could hang with the boys. This makes them perfect for the list of Powerfully Unique Girl Groups Ever in Music History.

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6) Dixie Chicks

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Very few Country bands get recognized as it is, let alone, female bands. But Dixie Chicks are a name worth mentioning, and they are probably the only female group that gives a respectful nod to the Country music scene. In fact, they are considered the top-selling female band of all time, selling more than 30 million albums around the world! They are also currently the biggest selling Country group in the modern world. They have won 13 Grammy Awards. They are still the only Country band to have two certified RIAA diamond albums one after the other. This is a far leap from the bands before them. You can honestly see that they have made people notice female Country bands.

What made the Dixie Chicks so unique? Well, they came out at a time when the only female bands gaining popularity were either cute, lively girls jumping around in leotards and pigtails or were hardcore women trying to make their name in the Heavy Metal scene.

The Dixie Chicks were originally a Bluegrass genre group. And they used to dress up as cowgirls in their performances. They were certainly a bold, quirky girl group then. Well, someone decided they needed an image change. They were transformed into the Dixie Chicks we know today.

The Dixie Chicks were one of the few successful group acts of the modern age to write and co-write their own music. Many of their song lyrics brought a lot of controversy to their generally conservative fan base. Two such songs, “Sin Wagon” and “Good-bye Earl”, were both controversial.  “Sin Wagon” openly talked about sex. The song popularized the phrase “mattress dancing”. “Good-bye Earl” was a song about the premeditated murder of an abusive husband. Many radio stations removed this band from their playlists as a result. These girls’ bold words didn’t just stop there.

After 9/11/2001, the world was very sensitive when it came to the words “terrorism” and “war”. In 2003, President George W. Bush decided to invade Iraq. One of the Dixie Chicks members boldly announced at a performance in the U.K. how much she disagreed with America going to war with Iraq. She expressed her disappointment with Bush, and even said she was “ashamed he came from Texas”. Many Americans may not have liked what she had to say at the time, but you have to admit, that was pretty gutsy of her to boldly announce an unpopular opinion.

And it’s all of these traits that make them one of the most powerfully unique female groups ever in history.

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7) TLC

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TLC, to this day, is the best-selling American female group of all time, and the second most successful girl group in the world. They were the first female group to be certified RIAA diamond. They have sold more than 65 million albums worldwide. They have had TEN Top 10 singles, four multi-platinum albums, five Grammys, and many other honors. They have recently had a critically acclaimed direct-to-tv movie based on their success, where two of the members had a hand in the movie direction. You may know this group as the opening vocalists for the Nickelodeon TV Network’s  1990’s sketch-comedy show All That. They’ve even managed to pick up some Nickelodeon blimps along the way.

Now that you know their awards, let’s get down to what made this group so unique.

They were really the first of their kind. Their sound is timeless and define what modern music is today. They were the first females to take a Hip-Hop image and apply that image, normally seen on female rappers, to the New Jack Swing and R&B genre. They spread Hip-Hop to all genres outside of Rap. They exuded all of the sass of Rap, but also the class of R&B.

TLC were tomboyish, unlike the other girls of the era. In fact, they popularized the “tomboy image” most of us know: The cropped tops, the baggy jeans, and the wild hairstyles. They were certainly not afraid to be different.

Best of all, their music. TLC did not pull punches when it came to the messages they spread in their music. They weren’t like Salt-N-Pepa, who talked about how much they loved men and sex. They weren’t like En Vogue or any former pop girl groups, who brought a sweet, seductive imagery to love and break-ups. They talked about real-life situations that most people were afraid to discuss. They didn’t care about using profanity, either. TLC was “playful” lyrically, but “empowering”. The most striking part of this group was the rapper, Left-Eye. She was notorious for her unique raps. That gave their music a personal stamp, and set them apart from other girl groups in the R&B and New Jack Swing genres. Most vocal girl groups did not have a rapper in them until TLC.

TLC never concealed their weaknesses from the public. Many times, they conveyed their weaknesses in their music. But they never made excuses for their weaknesses. TLC encouraged being better and doing better, and unlike most female groups, they talked about social issues that really mattered. “Waterfalls” was one song that comes to mind. The song criticized drug dealing and unsafe sex. It also had a Rap segment that revealed Left-Eye’s own battle with alcoholism. Their music always had a personal touch that made them reach out and touch their fans in ways no group before or after them has.

This group even highlighted the idea that some women DON’T feel pretty in the pop song “Unpretty”, and they were probably the first group to ever make a song like that.

And hey, they knew how to call a “Silly Ho” out when she was acting like one.

These girls also stood out with their colorful music videos and outrageous style, which was not usual among female R&B groups.

TLC was such a big sensation, they were the only female group in the 1990’s that had a member start her own production company! In fact, how many women are even doing that today?

Their success only came to a halt after the untimely death of Left-Eye. If that had not occurred, this group would still be bumping the charts to this day.

TLC set the stage for many Pop, R&B, and Hip-Hop female groups and solo artists who came after them, such as Aaliyah and Destiny’s Child. They even inspired a J-pop group, Speed, and a K-pop group, 2ne1, all the way across the globe! TLC pushed racial boundaries, appealing to all kinds of cultures and backgrounds. You shouldn’t even wonder why these leading ladies made it on the “Most Powerfully Unique Girl Groups Ever in Music History” list.

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8) Bikini Kill

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Known as the Pioneers of the “Riot Grrrl” Movement in the 1990’s, an underground feminist hardcore punk movement, Bikini Kill was considered the most radical feminist group of them all in the 1990’s. With their fiery performances, hard-core imagery, and in-your-face lyrics, this group stood out in a sea of Rock stars in the 1990’s. This group was not even completely female. 3 of 4 members were female. They had a MALE feminist in their group as well, who was the lead guitarist. And yes, there is such a thing as a male feminist!

Even though they had a male, I still think this group should be considered, considering over half of the members were female. In fact, I think because they had one male, that makes their group even more interesting! One male…In a group with female radicals? No wonder they stood out!

This group didn’t only support feminists, but they were also highly against racism and spoke out against “White Supremacy”, despite the fact that they were an all-white band. This band was against injustices of every kind.

This group pulled no punches. Their music is harsh and hardcore. Even the titles are a little offensive to some, so I apologize if I offend anyone reading this article…They definitely melted away any stereotypes left of women, and they were not afraid of what anyone said about it. They have the sound that flipped right over into the 21st Century into modern-day punk rock groups, especially with songs like “Rebel Girl”.

They weren’t as big as they could’ve been. It was partially by choice. Bikini Kill shunned major labels and the mainstream Rock press. So, you can already tell they were pretty controversial. They are the description of “bad girl”.

This band worked with one of the members of The Runaways! So their sound was inspired by one of the Queens of Rock. It’s no wonder they are just as powerful as the ladies that started it all. Yet, Bikini Kill makes their own impact on the industry, and they continue to stand out in a sea of mainstream carbon copies.

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9) Spice Girls

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The group that made “Girl Power” happen, taught us to “Spice Up Our Life”, and became the icons of the “Cool Britannia” wave, I introduce to you the Spice Girls, the reigning Queens of the Pop Group industry. Spice Girls is the most successful female group of all time. They are still the best-selling female group of all time. They are the biggest British group since the Beatles. They have sold more than 80 million albums worldwide.

These figures do not include their huge marketing profits. Actually, their global grosses estimate up to $800 million a year in US dollars!

The Spice Girls have broken many records, started many trends (such as the Jack Union dress Geri Halliwell wore), and have pushed international boundaries. Even their Reunion Tour in 2007 was a success!

What made this group unique? Question is, What didn’t make this group unique? This group was unique in all the ways you can describe unique. If you set this group in a pile of group artists, it would not be hard to spot them. Trust me, I did this.

The Spice Girls were originally designed to appeal to young girls. Shocking, right? There were five girls that were marketed as having five distinct personalities so that each consumer could relate to at least one of the girls. The Spice Girls pulled off a sense of individuality and diversity that most groups fail to pull off. Not one member out-shined the other, as a result. This became a strong group in the industry.

Through this diversity, the group introduced the idea that women are diverse creatures. Before the Spice Girls, many women in Pop groups were portrayed as one-dimensional. In this group, we had your girly “Posh” Spice, but we also had your “Sporty” Spice, too. There were enough representations to please every kind of woman, and thus the Spice Girls was also appealing to an older female crowd as well.

These distinct personality traits were specified with matching attire. Melanie C (Sporty Spice) wore sporty outfits, mostly cropped tops, sweat pants, and sneakers. Emma Bunton (Baby Spice) mostly wore baby-doll dresses and her hair in pigtails. These are just examples of the outrageous fashion statements made to create perfectly distinct images.

Their lively, upbeat personalities brought the already infectious music to life. Their music was really unusual when you get down to it. “Wannabe” was the Spice Girls’ break-out song. The song was anything but normal, and it made this group stand out from the very beginning. From the music video down to the lyrics, the Spice Girls conveyed a free-spirited, youthful nature that was often missing in women of the 1990’s and before the 1990’s…Until these women stepped on the scene, of course.

Another part of the group that was unique was their racial diversity. Particularly, they were the only  female group in the 1990’s to include a woman of color in a majority-white group. It showed that two races could play and sing along in harmony. The Spice Girls emphasized friendship and loyalty among women, and including a woman of color made this message stronger. It made the group even more popular around the world.

Unlike most artists, the Spice Girls showed a love for the media-driven industry and they had fun with fame. These girls were all confident and extroverted.

The Spice Girls had multiple talents that made each member stand out. Melanie C could perform a smooth back flip, as you might have seen in the video “Wannabe”. Melanie B was a pretty good rapper who added her Rap stamp whenever she could. Others, like Emma, could sing very well.

The Spice Girls were open-minded women who did not fit the mold of the usual Pop group. But their bold take on Pop culture is something that made the unconventional girl group stand out. Many groups from all around the world tried to imitate them. Many failed to live up to the same height of fame as the Spice Girls. They are just, well, too unique.

You should have known they would make this list. They are definitely five of the most powerfully unique women in the world.

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10) SPEED

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SPEED is the most successful girl group in all of Asia. They have sold more than 20 million copies in just three years. They were the only female artists in Japan to achieve the Dome Tour. They were introduced as the younger sisters of the Queen of “Hip-pop”, Namie-Amuro. Over the last two decades, J-pop music had become a global phenomenon. Due to the rise in interest in Japanese animation, Japanese Pop and Japanese Rock music became of interest, and eventually became a sensation all on their own. Japan is currently the second-biggest music empire in the world. The “group culture” traveled over to Asia in the mid 1990s. As a result, group artists have become the biggest trend in Asia throughout the current 21st Century.

SPEED was one of the groups to come out of the popular J-pop craze. But there was always something different about SPEED in comparison to other girl groups in J-pop. SPEED brought Hip-Hop and R&B to the J-pop group scene. They intertwined hip-hop with pop, popularizing Hip-Hop style in Japan and used more “solemn” expressions on their album covers in comparison to other J-pop female groups, displaying an “attitude” not commonly associated with Japanese girls. Their huge contribution to J-pop is the reason many people call them the “Japanese Spice Girls”.

However, their main inspiration was TLC, so you can probably already guess what kind of image they portrayed. Unlike the girlier Morning Musume and other groups like Morning Musume, SPEED presented a more confident, tomboyish image. In fact, though they performed upbeat songs, they didn’t over-emphasize their cute traits, unlike the other female artists in Japan. These girls expressed themselves in ways that gave Japanese girls, and Asian girls, a fresh empowering image. In some music videos, they even mirrored boy groups from the 1970’s and early ’80s (with the suits and microphones).

They also didn’t fall into the number of female J-Rock groups sprouting in Japan.

At the time, it was uncommon to hear Japanese girls rapping. Today, it’s probably nothing special, but back then, it was very different. They introduced a new style to the Japanese Pop world.

This is also one of the first girl groups to disband and come right back together like glue. In 2008, the members came back together after disbanding in 2000, and vowed to stay together and grow old together. They demonstrated a group loyalty that is uncommon in the “group industry”.

Their fresh, urban image and their undying loyalty is why I added them to this list of Most Powerfully Unique Girl Groups Ever in Music History.

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11) t.A.T.u

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t.A.T.u is a Russian duo that sang within the Pop and Rock genres. Their music is multilingual, and they have recorded many songs in both Russian and English. t.A.T.u has sold over 15 million records for both their Russian and English albums, and has had one of the “best selling albums by a girl group”. They are considered the most successful Russian act in the world. They are one of the most successful female acts of the early decade. They were the first group ever to be awarded the IFPI Europe platinum award “for the same album in two different languages”.

The group garnered much attention with the song/single  “Ya Soshla S Uma“, which is “All The Things She Said” in English. Music journalists and critics praised the song, and it is considered one of the best songs of the early Y2K era. The video to the song garnered even more attention and controversy. In the video, it showed two girls in school uniforms kissing one another. At the time, it was something unusual, even in the Y2K era, and it was even more scandalous in Russia. The song focuses on a young girl being tormented by society for being in love with another girl. At the time, there were very few songs that focused on outright lesbianism, and there were very few songs like it that garnered the same success. The video received a lot of harsh criticism from the public. Many even considered the video a promoter of “pedophilia”.

This was not their last controversial video. Many videos that followed carried intense messages. In fact, all of t.A.T.u’s videos were bold and daring.

Despite their success, many adults did not deem their “image” appropriate for children.

Their name is an abbreviated form of another Russian word that means “This girl loves that girl.”

t.A.T.u shocked the world in other ways. NBS advised the duo to stay away from “kissing” or commenting on the Iraq War in one of their performances. The girls mocked NBC by wearing songs that said “Khuy Voyne!” across the front, which translates as “F*** the War!” During a break in their performance, they also decided to kiss, blocking their faces with their hands.

Many other controversies followed the group, but one thing was certain: this group definitely was one of the greatest stamps on the pop world. With the controversial image of a Rock star, the group redefined Pop music, and brought a more “rebel girl” energy to the genre. They produced one of the first Pop songs that focused on “lesbian love”. Though the girls have openly stated they are not actual lesbians, their presentation left a unique impact on the music industry.

Yet, even with all of the scandals, their debut album, 200 Po Vstrechnoy, became certified Gold by RIAJ in Japan and still sold over 2.5 million copies worldwide. The album, also named 200 km/h in the Wrong Lane in English, reached the top 10 spots in many Western countries.

Their powerful impact on the Pop world is why they made it on this list.

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12) Tsu Shi Ma Mi Re

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As mentioned before, Japanese music has influenced the world. Japanese animation brought attention to many artists in the nation.

Tsu Shi Ma Mi Re is an eclectic J-Rock band. They have garnered attention in the USA through Texas’s SXSW and from performing at Anime Conventions. They are known for their unusual sound. It’s really hard to call them “Rock”, as they are known for their blend of many different genres within one song.

They are sort of punk Rock with some influences of Noise and Pop. Yes, “Noise” is labeled as one of their genres; it’s not meant to be a joke. They combine their sweet vocals with guitar riffs and drums. They have been described as deliberately “ironic”. One example of this irony is “Tea Time Ska”.

Their name even hints at this genre blend. Their name blends the family name of the bassist, the name of guitarist, and the name of the drummer. “Mamire” also means “mixed up” in Japanese, giving a nod to their unusual mix.

This group is also known for their strange lyrics. They have been labeled as “quirky” and “idiosyncratic”. They mostly talk about death, food, and sex, sometimes blending all three within one song! Their biggest irony is their sweet vocals hiding their dark messages. One song that reflects this is the song “No Miso Shortcake” where the listener is invited to eat the brain of the singer. Another song, “Kamaboco (Fish Cakes)”, have all the girls playing the role of food ingredients in a pot, with one ingredient being left out of the pot. “American Hamburger” focuses on a girl who is fat and loves to eat, but is “still beautiful”.

Many of their strongest songs express the inevitability of death.

Their songs about sex carry a unique image, which separates them from the other more “innocent” J-pop/Rock groups that exist in Japan. They are certainly not afraid to talk about a man’s genitals. They even often talk about the consequences of teenage sex and the hard reality of teen pregnancy, such as in the song translated as “Pregnant Fantasy”, which is also the title of one of their albums.

Their strong music style and strange story-telling make them a compelling group that is worthy to be on this list.

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13) Hang on the Box

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Hang on the Box, shortened to HOTB, is a Rock band that formed in Beijing. This band stood out in Beijing because they were so unlike all of the female artists existing in China. China is known as a conservative country by most foreigners, but these ladies put their own stamp on the nation. They have stepped out of the “feminine” roles usually placed upon women in the nation. Honestly, Rock itself is still an underground genre in China, among males and females.

Hang on the Box is the kind of band that sings about sex and relationship issues in a straight-forward way, also often described as “politically forward”. You probably wouldn’t find too many females recording or performing the songs they do without getting banned. Heck, you probably wouldn’t see too many notable Chinese girls in a Rock band! Because of their bold impression, they were the first Chinese Rock band to appear on the cover of Newsweek’s magazine.

Hang on the Box has been known to talk bluntly about their resentment regarding the Chinese music industry in their songs. They often talk about the “cuddly pop idols”, who are deemed “nice” and “suitable”, and their distaste with such “ordinary” girls. They have stated, “The nice girls don’t play rock, so we don’t need more nice girls.”

The band singer/songwriter has often stated her opinions on the Chinese industry itself. She has insinuated that she deems the Chinese music industry “inferior” to the Japanese industry, mentioning, “The Japanese work hard and keep improving on their music careers, that’s what I admire a lot. In China, people are still conservative.” The band also greatly admires the Western industry, and hopes to tour in Europe. The band has stated, “We feel we don’t suit in Asia”. Despite efforts by the government to snuff the band out, the band continues to make music and tour.

Their music has been described as “cheerful and hilarious, deadly serious, and personally political”. Though they speak fluent Chinese, they prefer to speak English. They are not a band that is afraid to use profanity, which is highly unusual among women in China. They could really be described as one of China’s strongest feminist bands.

This group packs a punch in the Chinese music industry and breaks all stereotypes about China. They are definitely one of the most powerful female music groups in the world.

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14) 2ne1

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K-pop group 2ne1 is considered a “top-tier” group in Korea, selling 27 million digital downloads in 2012 alone! This group is not just a household name in Korea, but are also well-known and respected among their many global fans in the K-pop community. Their fans call themselves “Black Jacks”. They were YG Entertainment’s break-out group and are considered the second most popular K-pop female group in the world.

What drew people to 2ne1 was their fluency in English. Many of the members have studied in western countries and were able to communicate with western audiences through mainstream western sounds and flawless English, something most westerners were not used to hearing from eastern nations.

Since the Hallyu wave, mentioned above, K-pop has taken over the “group music scene”. “Gangnam Style”, by rapper and entertainer Psy, also made K-pop an even bigger phenomenon.

2ne1 stepped on the scene before Psy became a sensation. In fact, when 2ne1 stepped on the scene, many girls were following the “cute, aegyo” trend started by SM Entertainment’s Girls’ Generation. All of the girl groups were competing with one another to be the next to produce an even better image of “innocence”, something some people felt was missing in the music industry in western countries.

Then 2ne1 burst on the scene. 2ne1 represents the “21st Century” and a “new evolution” of K-pop music. 2ne1 was not “sweet and girlish”. From debut, 2ne1 portrayed themselves as Rap/Hip-Hop idols, which made them more compared to fellow YG boy group Big Bang than to any female group out at the time. These women did not wear the girly school uniforms or the sweet “melon-drop” outfits, neither did they sing with “lighter-than-normal” vocal pitches or with “puckered lips” to emphasize their cuteness. While all of the other girls dressed like twins, 2ne1 was known for their strong individuality. While the other girl groups sang with light, melodious vocals, 2ne1 had powerful vocals. Eventually, 2ne1 grew to express more feminine qualities, but they kept a mature, sleek edge about them. As a result, 2ne1 helped the world take female K-pop groups seriously.

2ne1 showed confidence, edge, and a unique identity. 2ne1 wore bold, bright fashions. They often tapped into even edgier styles by trying Gothic and even Cyberpunk looks. This group brought “swagger” to the modern-day K-pop industry.

This group is also not afraid to use profanity in their music, which is literally unheard of among most female groups in Korea. This group emphasizes “female empowerment” and “standing out, no matter what anyone says”. 2ne1 is one of the groups that have the most creative freedom, and have had more of a “hand” in their music than most other groups. 2ne1’s lyrics have the depth that most K-pop songs are missing. One such song that expresses the depth that other girls are missing is “Come Back Home”. The video reveals a darker side to Korean life that most foreigners may not even be aware of. In the video, the male lead seems to be addicted to a drug. It appears to cause trouble with his girlfriend, played by member Dara. This kind of imagery is hardly seen in most female K-pop videos, trust me. It brings out a burning truth that most people would rather ignore in favor of the innocent bliss found in other videos. The overall video captures people living in a virtual cyber world. It really is a deep video.

In another video, 2ne1 combines a “Gothic” style with R&B, two styles usually not combined.

2ne1 changed any misconceptions foreigners had of Asian girls.

2ne1 gives it hard to K-pop. Is it any surprise that two of their inspirations are two of the most powerful leading ladies, the Spice Girls and TLC?

For those of you who weren’t aware of their huge influence on the Pop world, now you know. 2ne1 was definitely going to make my list of the Most Powerfully Unique Girl Groups Ever in Music History.

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15) f(x)

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“Powerhouse” label SM entertainment (known as the biggest Korean label in Korea) introduced f(x), the multinational, quirky, unconventional group in 2009. f(x) is an extremely popular K-pop group that debuted just months after 2ne1, and their popularity has seen significant growth in 2014, being labeled as “Hipsters” by American Fuse TV Channel. They are known for having one of the highest number of sales for their physical album copies in Korea, a feat that is challenging in the “digital world”. Music critics usually praise the quirky group for their bold contemporary sounds. Like 2ne1, they were also different from the other “twin-like” groups. Instead of debuting with a cute song, f(x) debuted with the song “Lachata”, a Funk-Pop song, and with a retro-boyish image. Since then, however, f(x) has tried everything…

f(x) is known for their distinct characteristics and strong individuality, similar to the Spice Girls. The only difference is that f(x) doesn’t have to try too hard to be distinct. One member of their group particularly stands out the most: The androgynous member, Amber Liu. f(x) is the most widely known Pop group in the world to have an androgynous member. Sure, there are many groups that try a more “boyish” look as a theme, but this member’s main style is “comfortable” and “boyish”, even in her everyday life! She is often compared to China’s S.H.E. member Ella Chen. Unlike Ella, however, Amber does not often act “girlish”. Tomboyish girls are rare in Korea, let alone, the ones that actually dress more similar to the boys. Amber Liu’s boyish charms stole the hearts of many Korean and global fans, something no one predicted would happen. Some K-pop fans even think she is more handsome than some males in K-pop boy groups! This gave the impression on the K-pop world that f(x) was a group that wouldn’t fit into the “cookie-cutter” K-pop industry, where women were mostly designed to appeal to the eyes of men.

Another similar trait f(x) has to the Spice Girls are their multitude of talents. In fact, f(x) has an even longer list of talents than anyone on this list! Some play guitar, piano, the drums, dance, sing, ice skate, act, and can perform acrobatic flips, to name a few. Victoria is seen performing her famous, flawless flips onstage and in the MV “Chu”. When f(x) debuted, they were advertised as “Asia’s Best Female Dance Group”, emphasizing that this group would have strong choreography. They received a lot of praise for their complicated dances.

The biggest trait that makes f(x) stand out in Korea is the fact that over half of the members are…Well, not Korean! Amber Liu is Taiwanese-American, born and raised in Los Angeles, California, USA. Krystal Jung is Korean-American, born in San Francisco, California, USA, though she has lived in Korea mostly her whole life. Victoria Song was born and raised in China. The two other Korean ladies, Luna and Sulli, are not even from the same city! With this mixture, there were many language and cultural barriers the group had to overcome. f(x) was one of the first well-known female multinational groups in the world.

This strong multinational reputation was made even stronger when Victoria, the Chinese member, was placed as the leader of the group!

At one time, the girls had a hard time communicating with one another. Krystal spoke both English and Korean, so she helped Amber understand the other two Korean girls and helped the Korean girls understand Amber. Amber spoke a little Chinese so she communicated with Victoria. Still, two of the girls struggled to adjust to a completely new country. It was especially overwhelming for the leader, Victoria, who was expected to speak on behalf of her group, but wasn’t as fluent in Korean as other members. Yet, f(x) overcame this obstacle. They managed to convey a “chemistry” that would usually be challenging in a multilingual group. This makes f(x) appealing to many nations outside of Korea, as they have three completely different national influences, and are least likely to be biased or prejudiced when it comes to foreigners.

Even their debut song, “LaChata”, reflects their international influence.  The title of the song is in reference to the Portuguese word “Chata”, which translates as “boring”.

f(x) is known as a group that changes styles all the time. They are known as a group that “never follows the trends”. I would rather say they are a group that steps into new styles comfortably and with ease, even when they are following the trends. They are unique most of the time without even trying.  Mostly, they are not as deliberate as other unique groups. f(x), their name, is a mathematical function. If you insert a number in place of the variable “x”, it can become anything. f(x) is the kind of group fans always expect the unexpected from. f(x) changes their image every comeback. They are known for their eclectic sense of style and their “experimental, boundary-pushing” sound.

Their music is anything but normal. They are, in fact, avant-garde, which makes them stand out not only in Korea, but among groups around the world. And not just with sound, but lyrics. f(x) is known for their strange metaphors, like in the song “Rum Pum Pum Pum”. The song compares first love to a growing wisdom tooth.

What really helps f(x)’s album sales are their creative album covers. The cover of their 2013 album, Pink Tape, drew attention to itself because it was designed to look exactly like a pink VHS tape. From front to back, the boxed cover could easily be mistaken for a 1990’s VHS, and many people bought the album just for decoration.

f(x) is also known for sounding more like the boys than the girls, and have been compared to “brother” group Shinee in sound.

f(x) really made a statement when they underwent another transformation for the song “Red Light”. f(x) was known for their colorful MVs and quirky fashions. The “Red Light” video showed the girls as fierce, dark, and sassy. They were noted as not following the “feminine, sexy” girl group trend that has been emerging in Korea. They had a distinct military-style, and started many fashion trends with their MV and teaser photos, such as the bowler hats, the eye-patches, and the “one-eyed” make-up. The video itself was controversial. It was meant to be a social-conscious song with a deeper meaning “other than love”, as member Luna pointed out. Between burning books, ringing phones, two-colored-eyed cats, and strange mannequins, the video garnered much attention, gaining 2 million views on Youtube within two days! It is possibly one of the most unique pop songs in the world. The strange chorus transition also made it stand out, as it gave f(x) that unique quirk they are known for. To add, the song received controversy when KBS, a broadcasting station in Korea, deemed the song unsuitable for broadcast because the song used the word “Caterpillar”, which was in reference to an American diesel-fueled organization of the same name, also abbreviated to CAT.

f(x) is also a group that is known for having a little more creative freedom than the other girl groups, especially when it comes to style and music. There are just certain things f(x) can pull off and get away with that other female K-pop groups can’t.

f(x) certainly knows how to keep their fans on their toes, and it is this “element of surprise” that helps them make it on this list of 15 of the Most Powerfully Unique Groups Ever in History.

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So, that’s all folks. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think of the list. Do you agree with the list? Are there any other powerful groups in the world that you feel should be added to this list? I will be updating as I discover more unique groups. Were there any artists you were introduced to because of this article? Please share your opinions in the comments’ section below.

Five Songs, Female Empowerment, Three Messages: Destiny’s Child, Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, Little Mix, and Fifth Harmony: Which do you think carries the STRONGEST MESSAGE?

18 Jul

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Here comes “Ms. Controversial” here, with another controversial topic…

Wow. Just came across five songs that seem to all represent the same theme: female empowerment. They didn’t all debut at the same time, yet the message they send is equally strong and relevant for today.

From first glance, you might think these songs are “feminist songs”. But that’s not entirely true of all of them.

Lesson #1: There are three ways women represent female empowerment : 1) Through Feminism 2) Through Chauvinism 3) Through Misandry

What’s the difference?

Definition of Feminism: the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men

With Feminism, it brings out the idea that women are EQUAL to men, are capable of the same opportunities, whether they try and succeed, or try and fail. It is the idea that women have the same feelings, wants, desires, and need for freedom that men have. It is the idea that women can take care of themselves much the same way a man could.

It is NOT the idea that women don’t NEED men at all, that women are BETTER than men, and that women are exclusively different from men in the fact that they’re prettier, stronger, and have their own interests, desires, and feelings. It is not the idea that women have better thought patterns and views of the world. These ideas are more closely associated with female chauvinism.

Definition of Chauvinism: the denigration, disparagement, and patronization of either sex based on the belief that one sex is inferior to the other and thus deserving of less than equal treatment or benefit

And outright hate for men for any other reasons, a deep prejudice, is more likened to Misandry.

Definition of Misandry: A hatred of men

Dictionary.com’s definitions

Angry feminists, exasperated with the lack of equality, can often turn into female chauvinists in their life-time. Women suffering from break-ups, rape, or other socially harmful relationships often become misandrists. They end up HATING men. Many end up feeling women are superior in what they can do, or rather many result to over-emphasizing their importance in a hetero relationship out of frustration because it may seem like the men in their lives don’t “respect” them as equals.

But what we must understand is that female chauvinists, misandrists, and feminists are not the same thing. In fact, there are differences. Feminism benefits MEN. It encourages men to stay home for a change, cook, clean, sew, wear nice clothing, enjoy ponies, and anything else, even if it’s not stereo-typically “male”. Chauvinism, sets out to make the “lesser” gender look bad, weaker, evil, or just useless. It builds up one gender above another, and encourages the “lesser” gender to be more like “it”. Misandry is just outright hate towards men, and it’s very clear. It is usually evident which message is which by the opposite gender’s responses…

Most men respond to feminist material as “this is cool and dope”, much like the responses towards Mulan and Hunger Games. Men usually end up respecting the women to some degree rather than feeling resentful. However, the response towards chauvinist and misandrist material is usually “I hate women, femi-nazis”…etc.

Misandry just produces an outright war, a complete battle of the sexes, and makes the genders bitter foes.

Which brings me to my views on these five songs by Destiny’s Child, Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, Little Mix, and Fifth Harmony. All five songs represent female empowerment. But tell me, which ones represent feminism and which ones represent chauvinism and misandry?

Destiny’s Child-Independent Women

This song is how many years old? 14 years old! And yet, the message is still strong and clear. Destiny’s Child has always been known for their strong “female empowering” messages. In fact, they created a trend of it, and it just followed Beyonce into the next chapter of her career.

This song focuses on a woman buying everything for herself and working hard for what she gets. It encourages women to contribute 50/50 in a relationship. It even warns women about the sacrifices you have to make in order to be independent by stating that independence is not easy, but emphasizes how women still should strive to rely on themselves, even if the road is difficult. And even though the beginning of the song creates the picture that women don’t need men, it focuses on creating a relationship that is fair and equal, working hard for what you want, and even treating your man to a “watch” every once in a while for a change, though they are reminding the man to appreciate it. I say this song is for Feminists.

Beyonce-Who Run the World (Girls)

Beyonce continues the Destiny’s Child tradition of female “empowerment” in this next song “Who Run the World (Girls)”. Only this time, the language is stronger, the beat is more intense, and the feeling is even more powerful than any she ever created with Destiny’s Child. You can’t ignore the point with this song. It is very controversial in it’s direction.

From the introduction, “We run this Motha”, to the bridge line, “You’ll do anything for me”, it is apparent that this song is showing the world just how powerful women are. This song emphasizes how women can use their power to easily strip a man of his. The “persuasion” a woman has (that apparently, a man doesn’t have) can melt a man’s hate for a woman, even if women come “at his neck”. This song presents the idea that, in fact, men can only admire the strength of women as they bare the children (something a man is incapable of doing), and STILL get back to doing “business”, just like men. Basically, women can have children AND work, while men can only handle ONE of the two.

Gentlemen, doesn’t this song make you a bit uneasy as you listen to it? It’s almost as if someone is trying to threaten you, take something from you, and make you feel weak or powerless. You know what that uneasy, insecure feeling is? Intimidation. This song feels like it is for Chauvinists.

Christina Aguilera-I Hate Boys

Christina Aguilera carefully saved this song for her album Bionic, and quietly slipped it in the music industry without a music video. With a catchy chorus hook, anyone would ignore the hidden message…unless of course, you got wind of Youtube and lyric videos. Well, you can’t ignore the “I hate boys” part. Her other song, “Vanity”, off of the same album, carries the same tone…

The song carries some strong controversial words: “I hate boys, but boys love me” alone states that Christina hates boys, but they just can’t seem to get enough of her. She says she’s just a “tad” bitter towards men in this song. She states that men are only good for “fruit” and not “bananas”. The chorus repeatedly says she thinks boys “suck” and that her “friends agree”. She expresses how happy women would be if men weren’t around, and how boys are so immature, they rarely turn into men, but then again, they are “dogs”. “Inflated Egos”, “Little Dicks”, “Spit-em-Out”, the insults hardly end. She even states that we should “pack them up and ship them out”. WOW. The tones give a slap to the male face. I wonder how many men think she’s so hot now…Probably plenty of men do.

This song feels like it’s for Misandrists.

Little Mix-Salute

Little Mix’s “Salute” has a sick drop and pumping beat with a message that encourages women to stand together in numbers. This song is a chant that can get any woman’s day started.

While the song flows nicely, simply encouraging women to do their best, not really mentioning men at all, aside from the one chauvinist line “we don’t need no man”, which can be taken in any way, this song repetitively encourages women to be like strong, fearsome warriors. It states that women are more than pretty faces, which women are. The song could’ve been categorized in the feminist category if…

…the video wasn’t so derogatory. Having men on leashes? Snapping their harnesses like whips? Let’s reverse roles and put women in those leashes. Oh, what an outcry it would bring! The video is in the chauvinistic category. While the song itself is neutral, the video can and does distort the message. We, the viewers, are left unclear.

This song carries both messages.

Fifth Harmony-Bo$$

Fifth Harmony’s name-dropping song is one of the popular songs of the summer. Their hit adds to the “female empowerment” trend that’s taking over music and movies, one mission at a time.

Fifth Harmony swings between feminist and chauvinist. The song exposes the fact that most people confuse feminism with chauvinism, and it shows how that confusion influences what women expect from the world. The song encourages women to be strong and hard-working, like “Michelle Obama” and “Oprah”, to get paid, and to be confident, which all support feminism. However, the song contradicts it’s air when they ask to be treated like a “lady”, which is not getting the same equal treatment as men (because men can vary in the way they treat each other, and as Susan B. Anthony said to the “bulls” breaking up her organized movement, “Beat me and throw me in jail like you would a man!’), when it says they “run this house”, and when they say they “ain’t thirsty for no bae”, which is different for men. Most men feel like they need girlfriends, and often sing songs about trying to get the girl of their dreams. In fact, name one man who doesn’t have a woman in his video. Lightly, it creates an exclusive difference between men and women, creating a light image that women are slightly better than men in the way they think, which serves to their advantage. When they state that they “run the house”, they paint the picture that the home is not run by two equal partners, but one dominating the other, the dominating partner being the woman.

I’m sorry, it makes it difficult to know what girls want when they demand to get treated like a traditional “lady”, but also expect to be treated equally by men. Do you observe how men treat each other? Can we really have the best of both worlds?

So, tell me what you think. Which song carries the strongest message? A message you won’t ever forget? Can you tell the difference?

Read My Frozen Examination Below if You’re Interested:

Is frozen a feminist movie?

Who is your f(x) ‘bias’?

3 Jul

VOTE FOR F(x): VOTE Click!

VOTE FOR F(x) ON M!COUNTDOWN!

Vote f(x) for Summer Song on Fuse TV

This is a question that floats around the f(x) fan base. In my five-month time as an f(x) fan, I’ve become used to this question.

The true definition of bias isn’t so pleasant. It means ‘to be prejudiced’. To be prejudiced means to have a preconceived opinion that is not based on reasoning or experience.

But in the f(x) fandom world, bias simply means your favorite f(x) member, the member that you just can’t stop loving no matter what.

So, I’m going to ask all of you, “Who is your bias?”

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There are five lovely girls in f(x). Fans have sided with their favorites since their debut. I’m going to go into detail about the five girls, and I’m also going to share with you what  I observed about their fans. I’ve noticed that there are some distinct characteristics that each girls’ fans carry. I’m going to review…

I’m going to start with the oldest member: Victoria.

Victoria

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Victoria is the flexible leader of the f(x) group. She can do back-bends, flips, leg stretches, and whatever “bends” you can think of. She’s a great dancer. She studied at the Beijing Dance Academy. Oh, yes, did I mention she is Chinese? Yes, she is the only Chinese member in the K-pop f(x) group. Victoria is youthful, dorky, and full of energy. She is the “big sister” to the other members.

Here are other articles that focus on her charms:

f(x)’s charm and Venus

Just how Talented is f(x) Victoria?

Now to focus on her fan base. These are some definitive characteristics of her fan base that I noticed:

True or False?

*Most of her fan base comes from overseas, particularly China.

* People who love her have an affinity for dance and acrobatics.

*There are some people who think Victoria’s body is perfect, and so they support her.

*People who love her may have been impressed with her limbs in earlier performances.

*Fans may have been introduced to her through dramas.

*Fans of 2PM are fans of Victoria. (Khuntoria 😛 )

*Fans were drawn in by her cute, babyish antics. (Pororo The Little Penguin 😛 )

*Perhaps many of her fans are older in some way (maybe the oldest sibling in their homes, at their school, on their job, etc..).

*This fan base is lively and perky, and they never usually have anything mean to say about other fanbases.

*This fan base wants Victoria to have more lines in f(x)’s songs. They complain a lot.

*Her fans are foreigners in their own countries.

Amber

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Amber is the charming tomboy in the f(x) group. She is most distinct for her androgynous fashion and boyish demeanor. Amber also has a wide network of Korean celebrity friends, and is multi-talented: she sings, plays guitar, plays drums, writes music, and dances. She communicates more with her fans via social media than the other members do. She is from Los Angeles, California, USA. She’s of Taiwanese descent. She speaks three different languages: English, Chinese, and Korean. She has an older sister.

Here are other articles that focus on her charms:

f(x)’s charm and Venus

Just how talented is f(x) Amber?

Characteristics of her fan base:

True or False?

*Amber has the most fans from English-speaking countries.

*Most fans who meet her, fall in love with her.

*It takes males a long time to warm up to her, but when they see her personality, they love her most.

*She has a huge group of fans who are gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, tomboyish girls, girlish boys, transgender, or otherwise having gender and/or sexual affiliations that aren’t traditional.

*Most of her fans are underdogs in their own communities.

*Her fans tend to like edgy music, particularly rock music.

*Her fanbase tends to single Amber out from the group.

*Amber has the hugest female fanbase.

*Her fans are hip to popular American social media (instagram and twitter 😛 ). They are most up-to-date with everything f(x), thanks to Amber.

*This fan base is dorky, a little urban, and give funny nicknames (Llama 😛 )

*Fans are sometimes a little critical. They argue with people a lot. Maybe a bit hot-tempered? Or just defensive?…They will defend Amber and make you feel like scum if you even sound like you’re talking bad about her.

*She has the strongest fan group. (2010, hiatus, conniption 😛 )

*Fans of boy groups and 2ne1 also like Amber.

*The largest shipping happens in this fan group, from Kryber, to Sulber, to Keyber, to Henber, to Jackber…

*Most of her female fans would hope she is bi-sexual. She has been noted to make even heterosexual female fans feel like lesbians…

*It is very easy to become her fan because she knows so many other idols that give her special attention. Being a fan of hers, you get to know other K-pop idols.

*Most of her fans focus more on her unique looks and her funny personality than they do anything else. They’re always watching her instagram videos…

Luna

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Luna is the “fire-power” of the group, the “vitamin” of the group. She is the best vocalist, and a powerful one at that. She is also a great dancer. She is truly talented. She is the most personally interested in her members and her fans. Luna is known as the “sweetheart”, the kind and compassionate one. She is sensitive, and cries easily. She works the hardest of all the f(x) members. She also loves to talk, and does most of the talking. She was born in Seoul, Korea. She has a twin sister and a brother.

Here are other articles that focus on her charms:

f(x)’s charm and Venus

Just how talented is f(x) Luna?

Characteristics of her fans:

True or False?

*Luna’s fans were drawn to her powerful vocals.

*Her fans are less superficial than other fans, but they like girls with a little “meat on their bones”.

*Her fan base thinks Luna is the cutest and sweetest.

*Most people who meet Luna become fans automatically. Even if people don’t become hard core fans, it’s hard to hate Luna.

*She has an impact on international fans, as she always strives to communicate to different people.

*Most people who like her respect real music more than anything.

*Most people who like her also like R&B and Hip-hop.

*Her fan base is the smallest, but the most dedicated.

*Her fan base is very kind and helpful. Her fans are just as cute as she is. But they are also sassy and fierce (in a good way). I’ve run into many, online and off-line…

*Her fans are very down-to-earth. They are very “normal”. They are the least critical. They are extremely humorous.

*Many of her fans like her sense of style.

*Fans of solo artists like IU, Ailee, and BoA are also fans of Luna.

*Many Luna fans drew to her after Amazing f(x), Hello f(x), and Koala f(x) where people got to know her more.

*Hip-hop dancers also respect Luna.

*Luna’s fan base is shy. They are quiet during performances, and only cheer when Luna reaches a key moment. I think they are trying to listen intently to her vocals…

Sulli

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Sulli is the “Giant Baby” of the group, and is often confused as the youngest member (she’s older than Krystal by a couple of months). She is the tallest member. Sulli began her career as a child actress in Ballad of Seo Dong. She acquired a desire to dance and sing when she attended an SM audition. She plays piano, guitar, and dances Rumba really well. She has nothing but brothers. Sulli is always noted for her unique features, and striking beauty. IU made a song, “Peach”, inspired from her beauty.

Here are articles that focus on more of her charms:

f(x)’s charm and Venus

Just how Talented is f(x) Sulli?

Characteristics of her fans:

True or False?

*Sulli fans were drawn to Sulli’s beauty more than anything.

*Most of her fans are into K-dramas. Many have been introduced to her through K-dramas.

*Many Sulli fans are also fans of Shinee.

*Sulli fans are extremely supportive of her, and will defend her to the ends of the earth.

* Sulli has a huge male fan base.

*Sulli fans are cute and friendly, but a bit too superficial.

*It’s easy to be drawn to Sulli’s charm and cute-ness. Most people can’t help but become a fan of Sulli.

*Sulli’s fans are possibly the youngest (in their families, in their schools, etc…) or just youthful in general.

*Her fans want her to have more lines in f(x)’s songs, but they are happy when Sulli is happy.

*Her fan base is positive and always sees the good in a situation rather than the negative.

Krystal

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Krystal is the beautiful “maknae” of the group, which means she’s is the youngest. Krystal is known as the younger sister of Jessica from Girl’s Generation (SNSD), a wildly popular all-girl group in Korea. But she has formed her own identity. Unlike her sister, she is known for her chic fashion sense, beauty, and her mysterious personality. Krystal plays piano, sings, and dances really well. She is also quite the ice skater. Krystal is naturally shy, cool, and doesn’t like too much attention. She doesn’t interact much with fans. She’s not phony. She was born in San Francisco, California, USA, but was practically raised in Korea.

Here are other articles that focus on her charms:

f(x)’s charm and Venus

Just how talented is f(x) Krystal?

Characteristics of her fans:

True or False?

*Most of her fans consider her the prettiest member. They may have been drawn to her because of her beauty. Fans consider her to have an enviable body.

*Most Krystal fans are also fans of Girls’ Generation. In fact, they are usually fans of most K-pop girl groups. They are hard-core K-poppers.

*Krystal fans focus on her appearance more than anything, though they will support any event where Krystal displays her talents.

*Most fans push Jungsis (Jessica and Krystal) as a sub-unit.

*This fan base is large, and very powerful.

*She has the hugest male fan base, but the girls aren’t far behind in numbers, either.

*Some fans consider her the “face” of f(x).

*The female fan base ships Krystal with Amber HARD. However, most of the male fans hope to marry her. (The boy in the red pants who stalked her… 😛 )

*This fan base can be very critical, perfectionists, and have high standards. I always hear these fans criticizing someone’s fashion, whether someone smiles or looks happy or not, whether an idol is nice to fans or not, etc…They often see Krystal as perfect, and expect her to be the perfect idol.

*The fans of Krystal are quite trendy and fashionable, just like Krystal. Some become fans of Krystal because of her stylish clothing.

*This fan base is a little “posh”, but very cool, much like Krystal herself. Some are also cute and dorky.

*The fan base can be a little superficial, but they always know what looks good on each member.

*Fans see two different things in Krystal: New fans see her as cute and adorable, older fans see her as cool and mysterious. She comes across as cute, confident, and friendly, but when you get to know her, she’s shy and quiet. She’s still lovable, though.

*Many fans appreciate Krystal’s grace and and her talents.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think, especially if you chose “false” on any of the above polls! After voting for your bias, let me know why you like that member! I will add it to this list.

Keep supporting f(x)! Their album dropped JULY 7, 2014! It is called ‘RED LIGHT’!

f(x) the Korean “Spice Girls” + Amber Liu in the Spotlight

f(x) Red light Review

f(x) Pink Tape Review

f(x) Summer on GN!

Which f(x) member are you? quiz

f(x)’s charm and Venus

f(x)’s Ideal Types by Sun and Mars

f(x) Around the World

f(x) in the USA

f(x) on Olleh: Korea’s most Unique Girl Group

Just how Talented is f(x) Sulli?

Just how Talented is f(x) Victoria?

Just how talented is f(x) Amber?

Just how talented is f(x) Krystal?

Just how talented is f(x) Luna?

GN’s Top 10 F(x) songs (so far)

Girls’ Generation vs F(x): Chocolate Love

Why does GN love f(x) so much?

Funny Reaction videos to f(x) “Red Light”

GN’s LEAST FAVORITE f(x) album?

EXTRAS

USA’s Nylon writes about Girls’ Generation’s Jessica and F(x)’s Krystal, Jungsis!

F(x) Amber and Got7 on We Got Married Global! Which man wins Amber’s heart (Natal chart reading)?

F(x) Gets treated unfair by SM? And EXO is treated better?

Make Your Move, SM’s first American movie has songs from F(x) and Girls’ Generation in it!

F(x) Amber, a part of androgynous inspiration!

The Korean Wave

Venus signs and Love Stories, F(x) Amber Liu is mentioned

Music Core, f(x) mentioned

Jackie Liu, Amber Liu’s Sister, Gets Hurt by Fan

f(x)’s Amber in a parody Korean drama for A Song for you!

SM TOWN WORLD TOUR 2014! f(x) will perform!

GN’s Top 10 F(x) Songs

7 May

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After listening to F(x) for months now, I decided to share with others my top ten F(x) songs. F(x) has some really great songs. They are very original, upbeat, and experimental. This K-pop group is always introducing a new concept.

So, here are my top 10 songs that I’ve been listening to:

10.  Hot Summer

This song is so catchy. I really just can’t get it out of my head. Anyone can enjoy this song, no matter the age, ethnicity, or gender. And it’s a song that comes to mind every time I think of summer. It’s a song that’s fit for a fun occasion.

9. Dracula

Edgy, cool, catchy, and amazing vocals. I ❤ this song.

8. Mr. Boogie

This song is sexy. The song is magnetic. I have literally listened to this song 10 times a week.

7. Red Light

This song is stuck in my head. It was awkward at first, but now, it’s stuck there in my head! I love the pumping sound. I love the Music Video! I love the deep meaning. I love this song.

6. Electric Shock

This song is powerful. It is different from most K-pop female groups in the fact that it sounds more like the “male” groups you hear in K-pop. It’s very lively, catchy, and not boring at all. Sex does not sell in this song, only their choreography and powerful sound. I bump this song loud in my car. I’m not ‘shamed.

5. Beautiful Stranger

Meaningful. This song makes me think. Amber wrote the song, so it really has a personal feeling to it. The sound is very good. The beat is sick. Luna and Krystal’s vocals do justice to the song, even though all the members aren’t singing in it.

4.  Airplane

This song is beautiful. I love the vocals. This sounds like it belongs on an anime. I love the lyrics, I enjoy the melody. The English parts I understand, so I enjoy it more.

3. Pretty Girl

I relate to the lyrics of this song most. I love the vocals in the chorus, the overall flow is excellent. This song has a sick beat, is really catchy, and I never get tired of it. Again, the English draws me to this song.

2. Butterfly

The vocals in this song mesmerize me! I absolutely can’t stop listening or singing to this song!

1. Ending Page

This song, to me, is honestly F(x)’s best. The lyrics are meaningful, the vocals are amazing and show improvement, the beat and melody are just amazing. This song is a piece of art.

For more f(x):

f(x) the Korean “Spice Girls” + Amber Liu in the Spotlight

f(x) Red light Review

f(x) Pink Tape Review

f(x) Summer on GN!

Which f(x) member are you? quiz

f(x)’s charm and Venus

f(x)’s Ideal Types by Sun and Mars

f(x) Around the World

f(x) in the USA

f(x) on Olleh: Korea’s most Unique Girl Group

Just how Talented is f(x) Sulli?

Just how Talented is f(x) Victoria?

Just how talented is f(x) Amber?

Just how talented is f(x) Krystal?

Just how talented is f(x) Luna?

GN’s Top 10 F(x) songs (so far)

Girls’ Generation vs F(x): Chocolate Love

Why does GN love f(x) so much?

Who is your f(x) bias?

Funny Reaction videos to f(x) “Red Light”

GN’s LEAST FAVORITE f(x) album?

EXTRAS

USA’s Nylon writes about Girls’ Generation’s Jessica and F(x)’s Krystal, Jungsis!

F(x) Amber and Got7 on We Got Married Global! Which man wins Amber’s heart (Natal chart reading)?

F(x) Gets treated unfair by SM? And EXO is treated better?

Make Your Move, SM’s first American movie has songs from F(x) and Girls’ Generation in it!

F(x) Amber, a part of androgynous inspiration!

The Korean Wave

Venus signs and Love Stories, F(x) Amber Liu is mentioned

Music Core, f(x) mentioned

Jackie Liu, Amber Liu’s Sister, Gets Hurt by Fan

f(x)’s Amber in a parody Korean drama for A Song for you!

SM TOWN WORLD TOUR 2014! f(x) will perform!

Just How Talented is F(x)’s Amber Liu?

25 Apr

By now, if you’ve been following my blog, you know that I’ve been f(x) crazy for the last two months, and my obsession doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. It won’t slow down until my big “promotional move” I have planned this summer. But that will be kept under my hat until then…

Just remember to #bfx2us and put your town behind it to show where your love for f(x) is coming from, if of course, you’ve fallen in love with this group as much as I have.

Well, this article is a part of that promotion. My goal is to push for an f(x) tour for, at least, next year.

To learn more about K-pop group f(x):

f(x) the Korean “Spice Girls” + Amber Liu in the Spotlight

f(x) Pink Tape Review

f(x) Red Light Review

Just how Talented is f(x) Sulli?

Just how Talented is f(x) Victoria?

Just how talented is f(x) Krystal?

Just how talented is f(x) Luna?

To all of you who have watched the music videos, and who doubt the talent of the f(x) members, I will be doing something similar to an artist “portfolio”. In this case, I will be showcasing the musical background and skills of each f(x) artist. This resume “portfolio” of sorts will show all readers why I think these girls qualify to be a part of f(x), why I believe them to be SM’s major female multi-national group, and why I think f(x) has what it takes to make it internationally.

Basically, this is why I think you newcomers should hire them as one of your new favorite K-pop groups. 😉

I will begin the first article with my ultimate f(x) bias, and the most popular f(x) member, Amber Liu!

Amber Liu

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Amber Liu is the charming tomboy in the f(x) group. You really can’t miss her. She stands out, not only in the f(x) group, but in the sea that is full of K-pop idols. Amber has a unique appearance, but she also has a very charming personality. She’s funny, friendly, and open-minded.

Amber is boyish, but Amber is also very beautiful, too. Anyone can see that she has striking features: beautiful eyes, lovely lips, a bright smile, and nice hair texture.

But enough about how pleasant she is and how unique her sense of style is. Let’s review her credentials. Let’s look at what makes her a true K-pop artist and musical icon.

Amber Liu Can Sing

If you were to just observe the f(x) music videos, you would mostly hear Amber rapping briefly in each song.

What you may not always hear is Amber’s vocal abilities. And yet, Amber passed through the SM auditions because of her vocal abilities. I would like to share with you a collection of Amber’s vocal abilities:

Amber sings the opening part of “Rocketeer” with Minho from SHINee.

Amber sings “We Belong Together” on Radio Star.

Amber sings “Sadness Guide” on Radio Star.

Amber sang the English version of “Good-bye Summer” that was originally titled “I Just Wanna”. Amber originally wrote this song, along with a friend of hers.

Amber sang Lee Seung Gi’s “White Lie”.

Amber sings Henry Lau (Super Junior-M)’s song “Weibo”.

Amber sang “Talking to the Moon” on Global Request: A Song for You episode 3.

Amber sang a solo song that was never released called “So Good” featuring Chad Future.

Click the link—>“So Good”

Amber sang “Tian Mi Mi” with her fellow members.

Amber sang a song called “Beautiful” for her solo album of the same name.

Amber sang a song called “Heights” for her solo album Beautiful.

Amber sang a song called “Love Run” for her solo album Beautiful.

Amber Liu has a knack for writing and composing music

Amber is a very expressive girl. She is always collaborating with other artists, and she seems to have her hand in many songs floating around in the K-pop world. She makes some pretty interesting songs. She also works with other song-writers, helping them translate English songs into Korean songs.

Amber helped in writing “Beautiful Stranger” for the f(x) EP Electric Shock. She personally re-wrote the song in Korean. The original song was in English.

Amber, and a friend of hers, wrote and composed “Good-bye Summer” for the f(x) album Pink Tape.

Amber, and a friend of hers, wrote and composed “Summer Lover” for the f(x) album Red Light.

She wrote, composed, and arranged the song “Beautiful” for her mini album of the same name.

She had a hand in the writing for the song “Shake That Brass” for her mini album Beautiful.

Amber also wrote the songs “Love Run” and “Heights” for her mini album Beautiful.

Amber wrote the song “I Just Wanna” for her mini album Beautiful and the Korean version for Pink Tape.

Amber Liu Plays Guitar and Drums

Amber has said she likes Rock music, her favorites being Linkin Park and Taking Back Sunday. So, it’s not surprising that Amber has taken up guitar and drums.

Facts about Amber

Amber plays around with drums alongside a Royal Pirates member.

Did y'all know lil llama could play???#llamapirates #part1 @ajol_llama

A post shared by James (@jamesjhl) on

In this song “Someday at Christmas” with Henry (Super Junior-M), Amber shows off her guitar skills.

Amber plays the guitar for the acoustic version of “Nu Abo”.

Amber played the guitar for “Good-bye Summer” on A Song for You.

Amber played the guitar for a song she made up with Eric Nam on One Fine Day.

Amber Liu Can Dance

Amber not only CAN dance, but she ENJOYS dancing as well.

Amber had a solo dance in the Mnet 20’s Performance “Hot Summer”.

Amber danced to “Disturbia” with her fellow members in pre-debut era.

Amber is involved in three “Harlem Shake” videos.

 

Amber Liu Can Rap

Despite the brief rap segments she has in the f(x) songs, Amber actually has some seriously amazing skills.

Amber rapped “Believe Me”.

Amber rapped “Me against the World”.

Amber rapped in the song “Baby” along with Henry (Suju-M).

Amber rapped “Where is the Love?” with SHINee’s Key.

Amber rapped “Lose Yourself”.

Amber raps “Caution” with CSJH The Grace members Dana and Sunday.

Amber raps in the song “Airplanes” with John Park.

Amber Liu works really well with People

Amber’s “people skills” are amazing. She not only works well with her fellow members, but she also works well with many other people. She has featured with many artists.

Amber has collaborated with Henry (Super Junior-M) on many occasions. “1-4-3 I love You” was one of the songs she worked on with him. They have a lot of stage chemistry.

Amber has also provided the rap segment for Yuri (Girls’ Generation: SNSD) in “1, 2 Step”.

Amber and Minho had an amazing short performance with “Rocketeer”.

Amber has also performed with Kris (EXO-M) in the song “Thrift Shop”.

Amber performed “Like a G6” with Key (SHINee) and Kris (EXO-M)

Amber was included in C-pop Danson’s comeback “I’m Back”.

Amber talks about her connections on Global Request: A Song for You episode 3.

Amber Liu Speaks 3 Languages

Amber’s first language is English, then Mandarin Chinese, and then Korean. She is also working on Japanese!

Amber can films, produces, directs Music Videos

Amber is also getting all kinds of experience with short film and video production! She has produced teasers for friends and even some of her own music videos! This girl is stretching her hand towards any skills and opportunities available.

She produced a comeback teaser for her fellow SMTown member KyuhYun!

She and her team filmed, produced, and directed several of her own work, including “Beautiful”, “Borders”, “On My Own”, and “Need To Feel Needed”.

SO, this is full proof of her musical skill and range of talents. I hope that I have shown you what she’s made of.

Amber also makes an amazing MC, as people have noticed on Show Champion and We Got Married Global. She’s also doing Youtube videos now!

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

f(x) the Korean “Spice Girls” + Amber Liu in the Spotlight

f(x) Red light Review

f(x) Pink Tape Review

f(x) Summer on GN!

Which f(x) member are you? quiz

f(x)’s charm and Venus

f(x)’s Ideal Types by Sun and Mars

f(x) Around the World

f(x) in the USA

f(x) on Olleh: Korea’s most Unique Girl Group

Just how Talented is f(x) Sulli?

Just how Talented is f(x) Victoria?

Just how talented is f(x) Amber?

Just how talented is f(x) Krystal?

Just how talented is f(x) Luna?

GN’s Top 10 F(x) songs (so far)

Girls’ Generation vs F(x): Chocolate Love

Why does GN love f(x) so much?

Who is your f(x) bias?

Funny Reaction videos to f(x) “Red Light”

GN’s LEAST FAVORITE f(x) album?

EXTRAS

USA’s Nylon writes about Girls’ Generation’s Jessica and F(x)’s Krystal, Jungsis!

F(x) Amber and Got7 on We Got Married Global! Which man wins Amber’s heart (Natal chart reading)?

F(x) Gets treated unfair by SM? And EXO is treated better?

Make Your Move, SM’s first American movie has songs from F(x) and Girls’ Generation in it!

F(x) Amber, a part of androgynous inspiration!

The Korean Wave

Venus signs and Love Stories, F(x) Amber Liu is mentioned

Music Core, f(x) mentioned

Jackie Liu, Amber Liu’s Sister, Gets Hurt by Fan

f(x)’s Amber in a parody Korean drama for A Song for you!

SM TOWN WORLD TOUR 2014! f(x) will perform!

“Make Your Move” Movie Review–SM Entertainment’s first U.S. film

19 Apr

 

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Make Your Move was definitely an SM Entertainment movie, and the first one they released in the USA.

At first, I was a little skeptical. Lionsgate dropped this film, so my thinking was that they probably didn’t think this movie was a good one. So, I didn’t come in expecting too much. But after watching it, I was surprised. It was actually pretty good! It was better than the last two Step Up sequels honestly. It got the same reviews…so I don’t understand why Lionsgate dropped this film. I know they merged with Summit, but Summit is doing Step Up: All In, which is due to come out this summer, and I’m sure they’ll be working the same material. The only difference is this dance was unique. I don’t get it…It’s not like critics will be any easier on that movie, and people would’ve enjoyed this movie.

From the director Duane Adler, we get a movie that follows her resume. This movie is very similar to Save the Last Dance and Step Up. In fact, it’s a combination of the two. Combine a classic dance, racial conflict, and some sexy, hip-hop footwork (along with bumpin’ club music) and you get Make Your Move. So if you’re a fan of those movies, this one won’t disappoint.

Make Your Move is the story of a young woman named Aya (BoA Kwon) and a young man named Donny (Derek Hough) who both love to dance. But they both take on very unique styles of dancing: Donny tap dances, and Aya mixes Taiko drumming with tap dancing.

The two meet at Donny’s brother’s club one day, after Aya sabotages the performance on the stage at the time and takes over. Donny then joins Aya in a hot and sexy bar dance. Donny instantly falls for her.

But there’s a problem in paradise: their brothers own rival clubs, and this rivalry is VERY intense. To add, both clubs are threatened by some Wall-Street, rich-guy, douchebag who is obsessed with Aya.

This makes their relationship almost “forbidden” in a sense. This is aside from their own personal struggles and trials (Donny violates his parole in New Orleans to dance in Brooklyn and Aya has to find the money to extend her Visa so she won’t get deported back to Japan).

Inspired from Romeo and Juliet, this story proved itself to live up to former dance movies by the director.

Like I do often, I will review this movie in sections. I don’t want to give too much away. 😉

Story/Plot: I wouldn’t say this had the most unique and thought-provoking story in the world. It was simple enough for the young 10-year old behind me to understand the movie. This concept has been done before. Because it’s a pretty overtly done story, the outcome is pretty predictable. However, the story WAS engaging. You did wonder what would happen next. You did wonder what the two brothers, the rivals in the movie, would do to screw up everything and make matters more challenging. I wasn’t bored watching the movie, but I didn’t leave the movie in contemplation the whole night.

I also applaud the story for being smooth, and not leaving any plot holes. I could keep up. Things didn’t move too fast, but things also didn’t move too slow. I wasn’t confused.

This movie was like a musical, only instead of breaking out in singing, they broke out in dance, often randomly.

The best part of this movie was the dancing. Both BoA and Derek Hough have some SERIOUS professional skills, and it was evident in this movie. BoA and Donny showed off their strong choreography. But hey, this is a dance movie, that’s what they’re supposed to do…though many movies fail in this regard.

This movie definitely brought a new generation of dancing. I learned about a new dance, and saw something that peaked my interest. So I wasn’t disappointed. I was always eager to see how this dance would play out throughout the movie.

This movie seemed catered to tweens and teens, like most dance movies.

Some may be disappointed that the ending isn’t stomping out an opponent, but I think the final outcome of the movie drifts from the way usual dance movies in this day-and-age end…

But honestly, overall, I went in not expecting too much. But the movie was actually better than I thought it would be. Much better.

Characters: While Derek Hough played a very typical romantic interest (an ex-con, homeless man who dreams of dancing), Aya was somewhat different than what I expected of her. For starters, Aya was sexy in a NON-SLUTTY way. I don’t once remember her wearing skimpy clothing, or the camera focusing on her butt, breasts, belly, or anything below her face, though she had some nice outfits in this movie. In fact, she was quite the tomboy. But she owned that tomboy. She made that tomboy look VERY sexy. A new side to BoA stepped out.

Aya was very “gangster” to me. She stood up for herself. I wouldn’t call her a feminist-though those themes seem prevalent in the film. I connected with Aya. She was confident, smart, funny, and daring. She wasn’t sweet and innocent, like I expected her to be.

On the flip-side, I was at first confused as to why it was so difficult for Aya to “find the money” to pay off her Visa. There were easier ways than dancing, but I think that was the point. Aya wanted to get it by finding a job dancing instead of doing something she hated…well, that’s what I got out of it. Maybe Aya couldn’t get jobs easily because she was foreign…But her brother didn’t think it was such a smart idea either, so…

Surprisingly, BoA’s English has gotten REALLY good! Or maybe, it was just the dialogue that was good. But the script was well-suited to the characters’ personalities, and it wasn’t cheesy. Many times when we think of singers acting in movies, we’re often prepared for some poor acting. But BoA was really natural, I have to give it to her. You could tell she was comfortable with Derek.

There were no random filler characters (you know, the random person put in the story for no other reason than to make it funny). Every character served it’s purpose. I wouldn’t call all of the characters unique. The brothers were very typical rivals. I don’t even remember their names, but they served their purpose: to make the two lovers’ lives miserable. I do remember the douchebag Michael, but he’s kind of the main antagonist. Then there are the two ladies who support the brothers’ roles, and they merely serve as people who move the story along.

This story basically focused ON the story and focused on the point: to show a new side to dancing.

I was a little disappointed that Yuhno from TVXQ only made a small appearance, but he danced well, so I wasn’t too disappointed…

Setting: The setting begins in New Orleans, where Donny lives. I wish we could have seen more of him in this place, but I suppose it wasn’t necessary. We see him do his cool tap dance, and then it’s off to Brooklyn…

There were basically two main scenes: the two rival clubs and the abandoned church. Donny was homeless, so he didn’t have a house we could see. Aya lived with her extended family, so I’m sure she didn’t spend too much time at home. Aya did work in a coffee shop…

Of course, the main focus was on the clubs.

OST: The original soundtrack was AWESOME. Yes, we heard songs from American artists, but we also heard songs from some k-pop artists like  f(x), Girls’ Generation, and a nice collaboration with Krystal from f(x), Jessica (SNSD), and EXO-M’s Kris in the song “Say Yes”. So we heard a few SM artists in the mix.

My only disappointment was that we only heard f(x)’s “Nu Abo” over a computer. 😦 I was so hoping they would play it at the end or in a club scene. That song is too smokin’ to just be hiding behind a computer!…

But overall, the OST is fabulous for fans of K-pop and pop or hip-hop music in general.

Overall, on a scale from 1 to 5, I give this movie a 3/5. 1 awful 2  Ok  3 Good 4 Very Good 5 Excellent

On a scale from 1 to 10, I give this movie an 8/10. 1 DON’T WATCH 2 Bad movie, but should watch for laughs 3 had a few good moments 4 I liked just one part of the movie 5 ok 6 It was different and unique 7 Interesting 8 Pretty Good 9 Really Good 10 Go WATCH NOW

This movie was good, it wasn’t boring. It wasn’t the most unique story told, but it wasn’t utter garbage. It was a good movie that I would watch again. Mostly, this movie is good for a DVD release. I wasn’t disappointed, in fact, the movie was better than I thought it would be. The dancing was killer, the story kept my interest, the characters didn’t suck terribly, though many weren’t extremely developed. BoA shined in this movie. This dialogue was to-the-point and not stuffed with crude humor. Every scene was necessary, every character moved the story along. This movie was just like the usual Duane Adler movie.

So, all you lovers of K-pop and dance, this movie is one of the best. I rarely see a good film staring a foreign actor/actress. But this one isn’t disappointing.

Because this is an indie film, I was informed that this movie is NOT showing everywhere. So, check the listings in your surrounding area, particularly, major cities. I had to drive 30 minutes away to see this movie. But that’s better than what others may have to endure to catch this flick…

Leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts!

 

The Korean Wave “Hallyu”

17 Apr

I first heard the coined term on an article about f(x) being the first K-pop act to perform at Texas’s SXSW South By Southwest.

f(x) the Korean “Spice Girls” + Amber Liu in the Spotlight

f(x) Brings the Korean Wave to Texas

I know you’re wondering why I suddenly have this inspiration to create an article about the Korean Wave. Well, the other day (as in last week), I was watching Crayon Pop’s song “Uh-ee” and “Bar Bar Bar” when I heard the news that Lady Gaga wants to have Crayon Pop open for her Live Concert Tour. If anyone knows Crayon Pop, they are an all-female K-pop group that went viral awhile back due to their quirky dance moves, bike helmets, and wholesome attire entirely. They are definitely unique, and they seem like they would be Lady Gaga’s taste.

But just hearing how even Lady Gaga is into Korean pop music got me thinking: Just how many people listen to K-pop?

So, I did some research on this subject.

The “Korean Wave” reminds me of the Tulip Era in Turkey in the 18th Century…for all of you historians who are interested…

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What is the Korean Wave?

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It is a sudden “wave” of interest in South Korean “pop” culture. Yes, not just any Korean culture, but “modern” and “popular” Korean culture. And it has developed into a sub-culture with some cult followers in the mix…

The term “Korean Wave”, also called Hallyu, was said to have been coined by Beijing journalists who noticed a growing interest in South Korean culture in China. More and more Chinese people were exporting Korean merchandise, and supporting Korean music and film.

The Korean Wave shows a huge thrust toward entertainment media mostly, but many foreigners are more aware of the lifestyle in Korea as a result, such as the food (I learned about Kimchi), fashion, language, and even literature. The only thing excluded from this category is history, but that may come soon with the rising popularity of Korean dramas.

Due to increase internet availability and usage around the world, and the Technological Revolution of the early 21st Century, K-pop and Korean dramas are more available to people all over the world! So, Korean pop culture is spreading quicker and easier.

The Korean government hopes they can use this “wave” of interest to gain “soft power”. Not the kind of power where you take over other nations, but the kind that introduces Korean beauty, culture, and art to the rest of the world. They hope to make peace through this “wave”.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_Wave

Where Did the Korean Wave Come From?

After World War II, Japan put a limit on entertainment that came in and out of the country. Once Japan lifted restrictions on international imports (and exports) in the 1980’s, entertainment could be distributed more freely worldwide. This brought about a “Japanese Wave” that was at a much smaller scale than the Korean Wave (mostly due to the fact that internet was a newer concept and not available everywhere around the world), but still, relatively large.

With the “Japanese Wave” came an increased interest in Japanese animation and comics called mangas. Japanese cartoons were fed to children in the 1990’s (I was one of those children). My first Japanese anime cartoon was Sailor Moon. Every day before school, I watched this show! Of course, at that time, the show was butchered so much because they wanted the animes to “relate to American children”. Later, Cartoon Network’s popularity increased as more and more people had access to cable channels in the late 1990’s.

Then came the Pokemon phenomenon, the first major Japanese animation to make millions in the West. It even had a very successful theatrical release! Pokemon is still being aired today.

Cartoon Network began to band together with the popular American animation company Funimation, a company that translated Japanese anime to make it more understandable to American audiences. Toonami, a segment of the day that mostly aired anime, was born afterwards. My next favorite anime to watch on that segment was Dragon Ball Z. This was the start of Japanese influence seeping into the minds of children.

There was also an increased interest in Japanese role-playing games. Sony, a Japanese company, made Playstation and Playstation 2, which made characters come alive on the television screen. The graphics were more real-looking than they had ever been before on any console, controls were easy to use, and Japanese game-makers began to sell their games to the world using this console.

Square-Enix was one such company. They are known for making the popular Final Fantasy series as well as the phenomenon Kingdom Hearts.

Japanese anime brought a wave of interest from the generation exposed to it. Interest in animes like Inuyasha and video games like Kingdom Hearts led to a growing interest in J-pop music (as you can hear an artist at the end of every anime or video game, particularly the legend Ayumi Hamasaki), Japanese food (teriyaki and goyza), Japanese language (Kawaii, Sugoi), fashion (cosplays and lolita came out of this wave), holidays, festivals (like Hinamatsuri), and destinations (like Osaka and Tokyo).

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An interest in Japanese culture, thus, led to an interest in all modern Asian culture.

This is where Korea comes in.

Korean Dramas and Manga

Korean film producers banked on this rising interest in Mangas and Animes. Korean drama adaptations of these animes spurred a fascination for Korean dramas in general. One of the biggest dramas a part of the “Korean Wave” is the drama Boys Over Flowers, based off of the popular Japanese manga series Hana Yori Dango. Meteor Garden, a Chinese version made in Taiwan in 1999, was the first live adaptation of the popular manga series. It was big in all of Asia. Since most southeastern Asian countries speak Chinese, other people were exposed to the drama. The Korean Boys Over Flowers had come out a decade later in 2009, updating the original adaptation and giving a modern feeling. Other Asian countries remembered Meteor Garden and heard about the new adaptation, which exposed many people to Korean culture.

Winter Sonata was Korea’s own major masterpiece, and it equaled the success of  Meteor Garden. This drama was said to have been the drama that launched the “Korean Wave”.

These Korean dramas were popular because of two factors as quoted from Wikipedia:

  • Emotional engagement of the audience with particular emphasis on forging an emotional bond with the protagonist
  • Explicit attention to female sexual desires — Departing from conventional dramas that tend to eroticize the female body, these dramas market the sexual attraction of the male actors, giving women a certain freedom of sexual expression.

 SM Entertainment

“Powerhouse” label SM Entertainment brought Korean music to the world for the first time. H.O.T. was the first all-boy Korean group to perform a sold-out Concert outside of Korea. This group particularly targeted teenagers and were the first of their kind. They were the pioneers of what we know as the “idol group trend”. They were meant to bring K-pop to the younger generation. Their debut was in 1996.

Then came BoA Kwon, the reigning Princess of K-Pop. BoA was the first Korean artist to sell over a million copies of her albums outside of Korea. She was Korea’s first international superstar. She was an extremely young artist, and the youngest artist to debut at the time of her debut (2000 at age 14).

My first taste of K-pop was also through BoA. I was first introduced to BoA after my favorite doll brand, Bratz, did a collaboration with BoA and Howie D (Backstreet Boys) back in 2003. It was my second taste of foreign music (my first was Utada Hikaru from the Kingdom Hearts series, but she sounded so “American”, I didn’t realize she was a Japanese superstar at the time).

I started looking up more about BoA. That’s when I found out she sang the ending song to the popular anime, Inuyasha, which also made BoA more popular. That’s when I realized just how popular BoA was in Japan.

Then I found out she wasn’t Japanese. Little did I know, at the time, I was a part of a movement that shaped the next generation.

She is still the only Korean artist to have six consecutive hits in Japan, and is considered a household name in many Asian countries.

Soon, other K-pop artists from SM began to pop their way to stardom.

The groups I remember distinctly popping up was TVXQ (DBSK), Super Junior, SHINee, and Girls’ Generation. With the Youtube phenomenon, these groups spread Korean pop music internationally. Many of those groups had international members in them. The male groups broke Asian stereotypes around the world, and gave Asian men a “beautiful face” in the Western world.

At the time, SHINee was the most unique. SHINee embraced their more “feminine features” and made it more attractive to girls! They also started the new generation of dance-pop music with complex dance moves. After their debut, the other artists started imitating their style. Originally K-pop boys showed more edge, but SHINee softened their blows, wearing eyeliner, long hair, and shaking their butts in “Ring ding dong”.

Girls Generation brought Asian beauties to international audiences, and paved the way for the female “idol group” trend.

My biggest sweep into the Korean Wave was with the group f(x). Amber was Korea’s first androgynous pop star! Ever since, I’ve been an adamant follower of K-pop “idol groups” rather than Japanese, and recently, C-pop (Chinese pop). I’m just so darn addicted to that group! Once you get swept into the ocean of K-pop, with your favorite K-pop artist, it’s hard to swim back to shore…rather, it’s hard to want to.

The rising popularity of these groups contributed to the “group” trend that is known in Korea today…

Adding these idols to K-dramas spreads Hallyu further.

Psy and Gangnam Style

Psy made K-pop a global phenomenon in 2012 to 2013 with his smash Youtube hit “Gangnam Style”, an upbeat, electro-dance pop/rap song, put to funny, satirical lyrics, and choreographed with humorous “galloping” dance moves. Psy made a statement in Korea, and brought Korea to everyone’s backyard. He was the first viral artist to have over a billion views! He broke a world record!

Unlike most idols, he wasn’t slim-trim, with a “Justin Bieber” haircut, skinny jeans, and hot dance moves. He was an “average” guy. His music also made a statement. He pointed out satirically about the lavish lifestyle in Gangnam, a district in Seoul, Korea, the center of Korean pop culture. This appealed to audiences worldwide.

Psy also put his label, YG, on the map. Korea hopes to use his fandom as a sign of diplomacy and “soft power”.

What Makes the Korean Wave Unique from other “Asian Waves”?

The Korean phenomenon wasn’t the first international fascination with Asian culture. Asian persuasion has been around since the growing popularity of Kung Fu films in the 1970’s and 1980’s, which put Chinese cinema on the map and popularized Chinese culture and history in many parts of the world. The growing popularity of Japanese culture dominated the 1990’s.

But what makes the “Korean Wave” unique is that it is getting popular in an era that is influenced by the “Digital Revolution”. It is spreading at a much faster rate and on a more universal scale than the other two phenomenons.

It’s also unique in the fact that Koreans are popular for their “modern” culture, and not stereotyped, historical depictions of them that may no longer ring true (like all Asian men learning martial arts). Koreans are looked at as more of an advancing society, as their modern culture is more popular than their ancient one, and that’s what makes this “wave” special.

Finally, what makes the “Korean Wave” unique from the other two “Waves” is the fact that the “Korean Wave” shows a huge support from the female audience. Kung Fu movies and the “Japanese Wave” mostly had male audiences wrapped around their fingers. Though, as a female, I’ve been into all the waves at one time…

This also helps to change the world’s views on Asian culture. It helps to diminish biases, prejudices, and stereotypes. It creates mutual understanding and peace between nations.

What are characteristics of those involved with the Korean Wave?

1) Lots and Lots of fan girls-Because of the increased female fan-base, men are more objectified in K-pop and K-dramas, and female sexuality is highlighted. This makes Asian men more desirable to women.

2) K-pop Group biases and fan wars-With the rising popularity of K-pop groups, you find tons of fans defending their favorite “idol” groups. My favorite is f(x) recently. They helped sweep me into this “Korean Wave”. But I hate fan wars.

3) K-Drama discussions-K-dramas can be so dramatic, you will find tons of message boards about them. Prepare to cry.

4) Eclectic clothing-Korean clothing can be trendy and sometimes downright eccentric.

5) A bunch of young college kids-While you might think mostly teenagers are into this wave, sources show that the biggest support comes from young adults in their 20’s. So, this is what the college kids are into. I sort…of…um…am apart of that demographic. :3

Well, that’s all for now folks! Leave me a comment let me know what you think about Korea’s growing popularity!

Which f(x) Member Are YOU?

9 Apr

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Yeah, yeah, I know. I’m f(x) obsessed. I can’t help it. I love this girl group. I can’t even explain why. Maybe it’s when I see them live, they just blow me away.

Or maybe when I see them interact with fans, I just fall in love with their personalities all over again.

Or maybe I just have ultimate respect from watching them in Amazing f(x) (bungee jumping and sky diving? How many females try that?).

Or I get entertained for hours watching them in Funny or Die

To my list of f(x) articles, I’m adding this one: the personality quiz! YAY!

f(x) has their own style

f(x) has their own style

F(x) is known for their individual charms, and their distinct styles. I find f(x) to be bursting with individuality. Each girl let’s her own light shine, which is what I like.

As the saying goes, “There is someone out there for everybody.” In f(x)’s case, there is someone for everyone to relate to. This is how I feel about their music, especially with the album Pink Tape. If you are an edgy, urban person, “Pretty Girl” would be your thing. If you like Dance Pop, “Airplane” might be your favorite. If you love meaningful ballads, “Good-bye Summer” and “Ending Page”. If you like a little whimsical and different, “Shadow” might be a favorite. If you’re into retro sounds, “Snapshot”, “No More”, and “Signal” gave that flavor. See? Just something for everybody.

This is also why this article was so much fun to do research for, and why I thought a personality quiz would be interesting.

So, give it a shot!

To Learn more about f(x):

f(x) the Korean “Spice Girls” + Amber Liu in the Spotlight

Just how Talented is f(x) Sulli?

Just how Talented is f(x) Victoria?

Just how talented is f(x) Amber?

Just how talented is f(x) Krystal?

Just how talented is f(x) Luna?

f(x) Pink Tape Review 

f(x) Red Light Review

Amber Beautiful Review

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Okay, on with the quiz!

So which member do you think you’re most like? This 7-question quiz is based on a series of interviews and biography profiles that have revealed some interesting things about the girls.

So are you a fun-loving leader, like Victoria? Sexy and mischievous, like Krystal? A sensitive cutie-pie, like Sulli? Soulful and romantic, like Luna? Or popular and charming, like Amber?

f-x

Take this series of polls I designed into a quiz to find out who you match!

I know right? Where are your results? First, “Return to Poll” for each question above. Highlight the “blank white space” below to find the results! Can’t Highlight? click the link below the space!

If you chose mostly the first answers, you are mostly like the proud Krystal. You are confident, detail-oriented, and you always put effort into everything that you do. You have a strong presence no matter where you go. You tend to work well with people on an intimate level, even if others don’t readily see it. You have a strong feminine side, or if you’re a guy into women, you may really be into feminine women. You are sensitive to your own thoughts. You might focus too much on things that you can “see” rather than things that are deep or hidden. Sometimes, if you can’t see it, you won’t assume or try to understand it. You can be quite the perfectionist. You aren’t the cutesy type, but you do like to look attractive to others. Others might find you to be cold, but you’re really just shy. You have quite the mischievous streak. It’s easy for you to get away with things because you are so quiet and secretive.

If you chose mostly the second answers, you are mostly like the sharp and boyish Amber. You are cool and you always try your best at everything that you do. You have a deeply serious and sensitive side, but you are always fun and playful. You are popular and it is hard not to like you. You have a lot of confidence and you love to challenge yourself. You are quite the rebel. You are honest, but easy-going. Because you like to be yourself, you may not like complex social situations. If you are a female, you are probably tomboyish. If you are a male, you are probably an alpha male! You may desire things that are more feminine (in a man’s case who likes women, perhaps he wants a more feminine girlfriend sometimes), but somehow, you just end up feeling more comfortable with more “masculine” pursuits. For a man who likes girls, you may want a girl who is a little loose sometimes, and not so girlish all the time. 

If you chose mostly the third answers, you are mostly like the beautiful and unique Luna. Respect is of utmost importance to you. You are super hard-working! You have the ability to look inside yourself, make changes, and you are always willing to grow to be a better person. You are open-minded and willing to to learn and try something new. You are someone who is beautiful inside and out! Compassionate, kind, and full of energy, you are the “vitamin” of your group of friends. If there is anyone who loves what they do, it’s you. Your interests may focus too heavily on external things, especially your appearance. You often have to be reminded to put more confidence in your abilities, and you often doubt yourself.

If you chose mostly the fourth answers, you are mostly like the irresistibly charming Victoria. You appear nice and innocent, but it’s hard to read you. People may take you at face value. You are honest, and you are truthful with others. You might be a bit simple-minded and young at heart. Full of energy, no matter how old you get, you maintain a healthy spirit. Despite your friendly nature, you are quite independent. You might have flexible limbs, but sometimes it’s hard for you to be a flexible person inside. You are very focused on what you see. Sometimes, you are so focused on the present, that you have a hard time understanding other people’s thoughts. You are mature, and are often called upon to lead others. It’s not hard for you to make compromises for those you love. You love to make others happy.

If you chose mostly the fifth answers, you are mostly like the “goddess with the feminine touch” Sulli. Even though you have a feminine side, you also have a casual and tomboyish side as well. You are joyful, bright, and were shown a lot of love in your life. You are very attractive and cute, even if you may not realize it! You are very honest, but you have a hard time listening to others. You defend your opinions strongly, and are quite blunt. You are very focused on the present, and you’re a bit moody. You’re sensitive and others’ opinions of you affect you strongly. You have a strong self-image. You know who you are. You may always feel treated like you’re in “last place”. You may look young for your age. 

Can’t highlight? Click me!

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to help us f(x) fans trend #bfx2us and put your town behind it on any website you can think of! We f(x) fans really want a concert! 

For more f(x):

f(x) the Korean “Spice Girls” + Amber Liu in the Spotlight

f(x) Red light Review

f(x) Pink Tape Review

f(x) Summer on GN!

Which f(x) member are you? quiz

f(x)’s charm and Venus

f(x)’s Ideal Types by Sun and Mars

f(x) Around the World

f(x) in the USA

f(x) on Olleh: Korea’s most Unique Girl Group

Just how Talented is f(x) Sulli?

Just how Talented is f(x) Victoria?

Just how talented is f(x) Amber?

Just how talented is f(x) Krystal?

Just how talented is f(x) Luna?

GN’s Top 10 F(x) songs (so far)

Girls’ Generation vs F(x): Chocolate Love

Why does GN love f(x) so much?

Who is your f(x) bias?

Funny Reaction videos to f(x) “Red Light”

GN’s LEAST FAVORITE f(x) album?

EXTRAS

USA’s Nylon writes about Girls’ Generation’s Jessica and F(x)’s Krystal, Jungsis!

F(x) Amber and Got7 on We Got Married Global! Which man wins Amber’s heart (Natal chart reading)?

F(x) Gets treated unfair by SM? And EXO is treated better?

Make Your Move, SM’s first American movie has songs from F(x) and Girls’ Generation in it!

F(x) Amber, a part of androgynous inspiration!

The Korean Wave

Venus signs and Love Stories, F(x) Amber Liu is mentioned

Music Core, f(x) mentioned

Jackie Liu, Amber Liu’s Sister, Gets Hurt by Fan

f(x)’s Amber in a parody Korean drama for A Song for you!

SM TOWN WORLD TOUR 2014! f(x) will perform!

f(x) TV #1: Watch f(x) as They Experience the USA!

30 Mar

fx-pin3.jpg

VOTE FOR F(x): VOTE Click!

VOTE FOR F(x) ON M!COUNTDOWN!

f(x) month is coming to a close. *cries* So, for the last two days of f(x) month, I’m going to be showing you some entertaining videos of some of f(x)’s adventures! So grab some popcorn, stuffed animals, and cozy under the blankets or on the couch.

Today, I’m going to be showing you f(x)’s adventures in the USA. Some really entertaining stuff here. I hope you enjoy! f(x) fighting!

And don’t forget to #bfx2us to twitter, facebook, instagram, and youtube. Thanks for supporting! 🙂

Look out for f(x) around the world!

Don’t forget to read:

F(x), the Korean “Spice Girls” + Amber Liu in the Spotlight

f(x) Pink Tape Review 

f(x) and Venus

f(x) SCOPES THE WEST COAST

f(x) has a NEW MEMBER: Actress Anna Kendrick! Watch f(x) on Funny or Die!

f(x), 1st K-pop group to Perform @ SXSW!

f(x) Performs @ SM TOWN New York and LA!

f(x) Performs @ M! Countdown What’s Up LA? 2013

I hope you enjoy! Thanks for watching! #bfx2us

f(x) the Korean “Spice Girls” + Amber Liu in the Spotlight

f(x) Red light Review

f(x) Pink Tape Review

f(x) Summer on GN!

Which f(x) member are you? quiz

f(x)’s charm and Venus

f(x)’s Ideal Types by Sun and Mars

f(x) Around the World

f(x) in the USA

f(x) on Olleh: Korea’s most Unique Girl Group

Just how Talented is f(x) Sulli?

Just how Talented is f(x) Victoria?

Just how talented is f(x) Amber?

Just how talented is f(x) Krystal?

Just how talented is f(x) Luna?

GN’s Top 10 F(x) songs (so far)

Girls’ Generation vs F(x): Chocolate Love

Why does GN love f(x) so much?

Who is your f(x) bias?

Funny Reaction videos to f(x) “Red Light”

GN’s LEAST FAVORITE f(x) album?

EXTRAS

USA’s Nylon writes about Girls’ Generation’s Jessica and F(x)’s Krystal, Jungsis!

F(x) Amber and Got7 on We Got Married Global! Which man wins Amber’s heart (Natal chart reading)?

F(x) Gets treated unfair by SM? And EXO is treated better?

Make Your Move, SM’s first American movie has songs from F(x) and Girls’ Generation in it!

F(x) Amber, a part of androgynous inspiration!

The Korean Wave

Venus signs and Love Stories, F(x) Amber Liu is mentioned

Music Core, f(x) mentioned

Jackie Liu, Amber Liu’s Sister, Gets Hurt by Fan

f(x)’s Amber in a parody Korean drama for A Song for you!

SM TOWN WORLD TOUR 2014! f(x) will perform!

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