As many of you all know, I’m a huge kpop fan. I discovered kpop back in 2018 at a local laundromat where they were playing Twice’s “Knock Knock” on their television set and was instantly hooked to the catchy song. Soon afterward, I went down the rabbit hole that is kpop; different boy and girl groups, watching survival TV shows to debut new groups, and the most expensive part of it all: collecting.
I officially got into the kpop community during the pandemic in 2020. During this time, collecting wasn’t as intense as it has been for the last year. The community definitely was a lot smaller when I first joined it, and since then it has expanded to be this phenomenon that can be intimidating at first glance.
While kpop has become internationally known and wildly popular, many of us enter the community not really knowing that in any community, there are just things that are problematic as you dig deeper into the subject. I specifically want to talk about two things that have been on my mind as I’m writing this; to say the least, I think many kpop fans can agree that some of these things are problems that we just condone because there’s nothing else we could do, unfortunately.
The Curse of Pre-Order Benefits:
In the kpop world, a pre-order benefit (POB) is typically a photocard that you get when you order albums during its pre-order period. A pre-order period typically runs until the album release date, or on the date that is provided on certain sites. Before the pandemic, POBs weren’t a big deal; in fact, many people didn’t collect them! It was just a nice thing people got when they ordered their albums in their pre-order period. When I first got into collecting Victon, I didn’t even know what a pre-order benefit was! I bought my first POB on eBay when I realized it was a card I didn’t have, and when Victon announced their Mayday comeback during the summer of 2020, I bought my albums under the one website that was had a POB with the album. Since then, it’s nearly tripled. For their full-length album comeback, there were way too many to even sit here and count! If I had to guesstimate how many photocards were for that last comeback, I have to tell you that it’s pages. Tons of money went into getting these photocards, and even then I still don’t have all of them! The thing about collecting is that many collectors want to have completed collections of their favorite members. Again, another toxic mentality to have within the community; collectors think that the more you have in your collection, the better “stan” you are. Also, it feels better to have everything than to have missing slots in your collection, which again is crazy to think, but it’s a mentality that many of us have in collecting and somewhat tolerate in the community. The thing is when a group makes a comeback and pre-order details come out, sometimes it becomes more stressful than fun to collect, and a lot of people who were once in the community aren’t in the community anymore because of the stress collecting can be and has become.
The fact of the matter is, pre-order benefits became a big deal during the pandemic because entertainment agencies weren’t making their money through concerts and offline fansign events. Collecting became this huge thing during the pandemic, and companies hopped on that bandwagon and made it a battle of all battles to collect them all. So, in order for consumers to buy through specific sites, they include their own special pre-order benefit, which in all reality look the same like they are no different whatsoever. I hope that in the future, POBs doesn’t happen as often once the pandemic is mainly in control, but knowing that these sites and companies have already seen success in doing things like having lucky draws or POBs, I highly doubt they will just stop doing so. It’s just the new norm of collecting and as collectors, we just condemn it.
Line Distribution in Songs:
A little backstory on what inspired this part of the post: so back in August, a new survival show aired called Girls Planet 999, which if you’ve been a fan of the now-damned Produce series, you would know this was just another way for Mnet to make idol survival shows again without bringing back the Produce series. The network definitely had to be careful that there weren’t any scandals happening behind closed doors (i.e companies bribing their trainees to the debut lineup) so when the final lineup was announced back in October, it wasn’t that surprising that certain members were in the final lineup. For a show that had 33 Korean, Japanese, and Chinese trainees, only 2 Japanese members made it to the lineup, as well as 1 Chinese member. But, when 50% of the votes came from Korea, it was suspected that most of the final lineup would consist of Korean members, of which 6 of the 9 members are. Anyway, after the uproar in the community wondering how Huening Bahiyyih (TXT Huening Kai’s younger sister) got to be in the final lineup for Kep1er (which speaks for itself: she has a huge international fanbase), people anticipated their debut album release, which was finally released on January 3rd. While their title track is the most catchy song of 2022 thus far (and probably will be because, well, go listen to it), many people are upset about the line distribution of the title track and the rest of the album as well. Specifically speaking about their title track, one of the non-positioned yet members got a huge fraction of the lines while others literally had as little as 7 seconds of lines in the song.
Unfair line distributions have always been a problem within the community. If the member isn’t the center, main vocal, or main rapper, you most likely won’t hear much from other members. It’s common for the main roles of a group to have the most lines in songs, but for larger groups (I would say 9 members and more), line distributions can get a little tricky and borderline unfair. Line distributions (unfair ones) have been in the community for generations on end, but with kpop being a more internationally known genre (and Korean companies creating new groups and advertising them as a “global group”), fans all over the world demand for more even distributed lines in songs. It definitely pushes the agenda of companies when things like that happen: while some fans will argue that certain member’s voices just “fit” certain concepts more than others, but when there is a major distinction between a member and their lines and the other members, there’s typically a “favorite” that the company has. Again, this is an issue we as listeners can’t control; it’s a company-level thing and we as listeners don’t typically have a say. But, it influences our liking to certain members and even our dislike of the members with the heavy screentime and/or most lines in the songs. It definitely makes it a competition against the members in the community when in all reality, the members just want their fans to support them as a group because they all deem each member a major important part of the group.
But yeah, I just wanted to discuss some of these issues now that we entered a new year, and kpop already made January its “unofficial comeback season”. I wonder if there are kpop listeners and collectors who feel the same way!
So, the year is coming to an end, thank the high heavens. Although 2020 as a whole was not the greatest (obviously), the music that came out of it has been someone of the best in a really long time! While there are plenty of albums that I enjoyed as a whole that didn’t come out this year, here are my top 5 favorite albums that have musically made 2020 just a little bit more bearable.
5.) “Positions” by Ariana Grande
I wasn’t expecting to like this album as much I did, but man, this album was good in such an interesting way. While many people didn’t like the album for it’s sexual innuendos, I think it’s an interesting blend of what Ariana Grande’s music was when she was younger and the maturity of her growing the fuck up. I definitely enjoyed hearing her go back to some of the sounds she once had in her music, but it was also interesting to talk about natural topics like being in love and having sex and being sexy and all that. The lead single, “positions” was an interesting choice; while the sound was extremely different than her previous stuff, the lyrics to me just felt subpar and not greatly developed like the rest of her lead singles for her previous albums. The b-sides though are so fucking good though! Find me listening to “my hair”, “love language”, and “34+35” on repeat.
4.) “BE” by BTS
So, this BTS album came out late last month and when I first heard it through, I instantly fell in love with it. This album, compared to their last album Map of the Soul: 7, felt extremely personal. Many of the songs were written with the thought of the pandemic in mind and how life really came to a halt due to the pandemic within this last year. BTS were gearing up for a world tour this year before the pandemic happened, and their sorrows for that not happening were expressed through this album. It just had a chiller vibe than what they usually put out, but nevertheless, it’s still such an amazing album and one of my top favorites. Besides their title track, “Life Goes On”, my favroite b-sides from the album is “Fly To My Room” and “Dis-ease”. And of course, “Dynamite”.
3.) “Continuous” by Victon
Can’t be a top favorites without my boys! Victon’s 6th mini album, Continuous was underappreciated at the time but so fucking appreciated as time passed. The title track, “Howling” was amazing, but not my favorite at first. My favorite track was their b-side, “Nightmare” at first, but as I started to listen to the album as a whole, I started to find myself really enjoying the concept and the music as a whole and it’s honestly an amazing album to listen to if you’re ever interested in getting to know Victon! Besides those two tracks, I think “Petal” is going to forever be that song that makes me the absolute fucking happiest… and by that I mean ugly cry some confusing tears; am I crying of sadness or happiness; who knows?
2.) “Fame” by Han Seungwoo
When it was announced that Seungwoo was making his solo debut this past summer, Alice’s were excited and ready for this masterpiece to drop! When it finally dropped and the title track, “Sacrifice” came out, I was instantly hooked, as well as the rest of the album. As a person that discovered Seungwoo during PDX101, I was really happy to see him do some solo work outside of Victon and being the first person out of the group to make a solo debut. The sounds on that album feel very Wooya; a lot of sing-along rap and vocals that showcase that he does both extremely well. My favorite tracks off of his solo debut mini album is “Reply” and “I Just Want Love”; one very cute song and the other… extremely sexy.
1.) “EQUAL” by WOODZ (Seungyoun)
This album was no doubt my favorite album to come out this year! When I tell you I fell in love with every single song on this album in the first listen, I mean that shit! Seungyoun (another person I discovered through PDX101 and stanned during his X1 days) released his first solo mini album back in June with EQUAL. He din’t come to play when releasing this gem, you guys! The high notes in both “LIFT UP” and “Accident” literally took my soul away from me when I first heard it, the single “Love Me Harder” was something I haven’t heard come out of Kpop before (personally), and “BUCK”is just that one fun song that makes anyone milly rock or twerk to (I’ve done both). Everything about this album was just amazing, and I can’t recommend this masterpiece any more than I have. This album, in a weird way, doesn’t even feel like your typical Kpop songs; I sent this album to my IRL friend, Anthony (a casual Kpop listener) and instantly loved the vibes of the album. Seungyoun as an artist just feels so different than other Kpop artists; I don’t know why but I think when being first introduced to WOODZ as a solo artist, the music just… felt different.
And that’s that! I’m excited to see what instantly become my favorites next year *coughVictonFirstFullAlbumcough* 😉
So, I originally had something else planned for this first day of December…
Back in November, Play M announced that Victon would be making their comeback with their first full album, “VOICE: The Future Is Now” on December 1st. I was so fucking excited and ready for this comeback, like was mentally preparing for this comeback for months; we knew that they were getting ready for their first full album!
Look at Seungsik in the center with that platinum hair looking just… a m a z i n g.
Anyway, two weeks prior to their comeback date, it was revealed that a staff member at a production company the group was filming in was positive for COVID-19. The boys got tested and all came back negative, but they are required to self-quarantine for 14 days, which overlaps their comeback schedule. Their album was delayed until January 28th, 2021. All I’m saying is that I better listen to this album before my surgery or literally in my hospital afterwards because like… I need to hear it whatever the circumstances are!
TLDR, we are deciding to use this post to talk about music still!
So, my best friend, Ro (I feel like I mentioned this already but here is a retelling of it) is currently writing a really interesting book that started out as fan-fiction. 300+ pages in and a second book in the works, homie got a real juicy story happening. Their process of writing it has been with the help of some Spotify playlists! In numerous playlists named after the main characters of the story, Ro adds songs that relate to these characters and what they’re going through and writes along to the playlists. I felt really inspired to do something similar to that process, and created “the something series” playlist!
So, just as a simple thank you to those who’ve been keeping up with the lives of Grace and Jamie, I’m sharing some of the music that I listen to when writing them and brainstorming the universe as a whole!
Enjoy listening, happy reading, and I hope you find some new cool music in this!
Although we love and support celebrities and idols in the media, we also have to be aware that they aren’t perfect and they are allowed to make human mistakes. Just because they are well known and have to upkeep this image, it doesn’t mean they can’t slip up and make mistakes.
Especially if they are kpop idols.
This isn’t something that many kpop groups and idols haven’t dealt with before; Kpop as a genre of music is now on a worldwide scale which comes with the responsibilities of being more aware of the things they say, post, and do in the media. Fact of the matter is that South Korea isn’t the United States. They aren’t as open and vocal about the things that we are here. There are some topics an subjects that are not widely known in South Korea; to the commoner, people may not see what these kpop idols do wrong when they do or say insensitive things. If it directly doesn’t disrespect their own culture, why bother? Well, Kpop idols are not just commoners. They are people in the spotlight, they are targeted to a larger audience, and no matter what – people are watching them, even across the world.
I think a lot of kpop groups don’t realize just how big they really are sometimes. That includes Victon, a kpop boy group that slid under the radar for the first three years of their career. They are slowly but surely being a household name in kpop, and although for them as people may not see that, their fans see that, and because of it, it’s about time they start to take in for consideration that they now reach a larger audience outside of Asia.
For context: about a week and a half ago, Sejun posted a video on his Instagram page of him, Seungsik, and Subin dancing with a choreographer.The song they were dancing to was Toby Nwigwe’s “I Need You To”, which is a song about Breonna Taylor, an unarmed Black woman that was fatally shot in her own home earlier this year. It has caused an uproar in the media with people demanding justice for her death by convicting the police officers involved. This story was a big thing here in the United States and it’s something that is still happening here.
When Victon’s Sejun posted the Instagram video, he had taken it down immediately hours later, on the same day. Of course, the internet still had opinions and thoughts about it, how insensitive and ignorant it came across for these boys to dance to a song that had such a deeper meaning to it and no doubt many people had emailed Play M, Victon’s company, to express their outrage on this matter. Days later, Sejun came onto VLIVE, the live-streaming site for Kpop idols and K-related media, and spoke briefly about the situation and how sorry he was for not being more aware on the meaning of the song. It wasn’t greatly executed since the atmosphere of the VLIVE was more chill and laid back, which made the apology more so lackluster.
Two days later, Sejun posted a proper apology video on his personal Instagram page, Subin (who was also in the video clip) apologized on his personal Instagram story, and Seungsik apologized on the official Victon Instagram account.
Here you can find the original posts and translations of the posts:
Here is the real issue behind this whole thing, in my opinion…
These boys, were present with their choreographer when this video was posted; you can tell this was their choreographer because this person was the one counting them down before dancing, the one that was looking over their dancing while they did it, and if you know the group, they are clearly not one of the members of Victon. Now, I totally understand and respect that people were upset that these boys would willingly dance to a song that was made for awareness, but we have to realize that this song is in English, which these boys are not fluent in. Also, the subject matter (although some idols spoke out about the BLM movement during this time) was most likely not advertised in Southeast Asia, so even if they knew what the lyrics meant, I don’t believe they would’ve put two-and-two together and realized this song was about an actual event going on.
While as idols that are being widely popular and well-known throughout the globe (meaning they now have a solid international fanbase in a place like the United States), it is their job to now start thinking about their actions and their words on a universal scale. They are now being observed by more people; it’s not just Asia that knows their existence. Personally (and this is outside of Victon because although they are getting bigger, they aren’t on a BTS/ATEEZ level of popularity), companies need to realize that if they want to target larger audiences with their groups, they need to become aware of the issues and the culture difference that is across the world. I’m not saying that they have to know every little thing happening here in the U.S (it’s simply impossible for kpop groups to know everything happening in the countries that have huge fanbases in), I’m simply saying that in circumstances where they are given something to dance or sing to or even wear, they need to be more aware of the message they are sending to their international fans. We’ve been here with Jihyo’s Halloween costume back in 2018. We’ve been here with Hongjoong’s hairstyle in ATEEZ’s comeback during the summer. We’ve been here with so many other kpop groups and while some of them are the idol’s responsibility to learn and be more sensitive to what they say and do, we need to realize just how constructed the kpop industry is.
People dress them. People make their music. People come up with the dancing of said music. People do their hair and makeup. These idols, as sad as it many seem, are just programmed to follow the rules and their agency because it’s how they were brought up in this industry. They were trained and trainees to be this way and as debuted idols, they follow the same lifestyle.
While people are upset at Sejun for posting, Seungsik & Subin for being present in that video, and all three of them for not saying anything until people said something, it’s not their fault. I’m not even saying this because these boys are my absolute everything in this group, I’m saying this because it was the job of the choreographer to not let shit like things slip up and make their people look bad. As a company, you would think they would whatever it takes to not make their talent slip up like this, y’know?
But no one is on this choreographer for listening to this song, coming up with choreography, giving it to the boys to learn, have the boys learn it, and then thought it was a good idea for someone to come in and record it for them. No one is literally talking about how as a choreographer and a person who works within the company, it is their responsibility to know these things before they give these things to their idols.
We can’t expect kpop idols to be fully aware of the things that are happening around the world, just how we aren’t “expected” to know things that are happening in other places outside of the United States. While yes, we we do have people that can inform us and we have social media to keep us inform of the things that may be happening around the world, we may not know every little thing happening, and we aren’t expected to as shitty as that sounds. So, why do we expect those in non-Westernized entertainment industries to know? They need to be respectful and aware enough that sometimes their actions have consequences, but in this situation, it was more of their choreographer’s responsibility to have that awareness before they decide to teach their idols a lesson.
I’m in no way giving my boys in Victon an easy pass just because they are my favorite kpop group to date. I think that something should’ve been said as soon as that video was taken down and I think Sejun shouldn’t have tried to apologize through VLIVE the other day without proper PR guidance. I’m glad that these boys came out and apologized for what happened, and I really do hope that in the future, they become more aware of the fact that these things exist in the world and as someone in the public eye (whether or not they understand to what extent their popularity expands to) and that as public figures in the entertainment business, you should be cautious about the things that you post and allow yourself to do.
No, we shouldn’t cancel them, because cancelling people for having a language and cultural barrier doesn’t solve the issue at hand. What does, though, is educating their idols that there are certain songs, styles, and situations that are simply not meant to be interpreted in song or dance and are not meant to be expressed by them. Allowing your idols to educate themselves on issues like the Breonna Taylor tragedy is not just an “American” thing. It’s a human rights thing. At the end of the day, no one’s life should be jeopardized due to the color of their skin, their culture, or how they identify. This isn’t something that just happens here in the U.S; this can literally happen to anyone.
Those are the type of things our kpop idols need to be educated on.
This has been a summer of a lifetime for me, let’s just say that.
If I had to sum up my summer 2020 in one word, it would be KPop. I started my collection during this time, I’ve made some really great friendships in this community, and a ton of new music came out. My wallet was crying, y’all.
But the most exciting thing I was looking forward to was Victon’s Seungwoo and his solo debut! It was announced back in June that he was releasing his solo album in August and well, it came out yesterday and wow, I have some thoughts on this bad boy.
*Also note that the English translations for the titles written in Hangul could be inaccurate!
So, the album starts off with this banger, first of all. If you followed Seungwoo’s documentary-style series on the Victon YouTube channel, we were teased with the hook of this song during it’s lyric-making process. A common theme I sense in this song and in a lot of the other tracks was that want for need for comfort, which homie was not lying about when he said that this album is those who need comfort. “Fever”, in my opinion, felt like the second title track; I felt like this song could’ve been the more pop-style title track that I believe would’ve been okay as a title track, but I’m glad it’s not for reasons we will discuss in the next song! This is definitely a song I’ll have to listen to more and grow with, but for now – she’s a strong start to a highly anticipated album.
When I tell you this title track is possibly the strongest and well distributed songs on the album! “Sacrifice” is the title track that shows Seungwoo’s abilities to rap and sing and do it flawlessly in a track. People who were introduced to Seungwoo through X1 and PDX101 (like myself) didn’t get to see much of Seungwoo’s rapping skills, which is what he occasionally does in some Victon’s songs following Hanse, their main rapper. So lyrically in this song is about needing to give up something that you love, but ultimately it will always be a aprt of you… I suck at translations but that’s the gist of it, haha. This song has a nice balance of both the rap side of Seungwoo and vocal side because, oof the high note he hits at the end is deadly. Also, the rap part will forever be stuck in my head because it’s just so fucking catchy and good and UGH – this is such a strong title track, especially one that is considered a debut.
This song is the song you listen to in your car, driving down a street on a hot summer day with your shades on and top down. It’s typically a song not waiting to wait around for a reply but feeling uneasy about being alone, which I could be This has such a summer feel, and it instantly makes me smile. It also has a nostalgic sound, to both 2000’s R&B music and even to some earlier Victon music with some hip-hop flare to it. It’s definitely much the sound that Seungwoo would come out with, it’s classic Seungwoo and I think it was a good idea for him to have a on this debut to showcase that sound that we’ve been familiar with in a lot of his Soundcloud related songs.
If there was a genre (which there probably is) that was called “Kpop baby-making music”, this song would fall under that genre. This song is definitely my favorite b-side of the album. The beat instantly gave me some 2000’s R&B Usher vibes, and I mean it’s a hell of a sexy song. The lyrics mimic that whole sexy vibe that clearly is saying like… oof I’m hella feeling you and your vibe right now. If there’s one thing Seungwoo can do well, he does sexy extremely well and this song showcases that. To his breathy tone and his falsetto and the infamous moan-like singing he’s known for doing, this song will get you hella flustered. I know it did for me. I feel like Seungwoo really shines in this song and the chorus… first of all he opens the chorus with “baby, melt me in your arms” and then ends with “I just want love!” And his high notes like, what?! This song is just everything and a certified bop.
“forest” is the first slow/ballad-like song on the album; he teased that this song was meant for his fans that those who feel like they need comfort, he will provide that by being our forest, which is really beautiful. The lyrics (in the best translation possible at the moment) speaks directly to someone; a friend, a loved one – or in this case – his fans, and let’s them know that if they every feel lonely or need some comfort, he’s there to “be their forest”. I like the very chill melody behind this sing; it still carries a momentum like the other, upbeat songs have, but this song does carry this comfort and chill vibe that is even soothing at some points. Seungwoo has a very soothing voice, even when it’s in a higher pitch and falsetto-like. I really enjoy this song and I honestly think it’s a great song (in my opinion) that can help calm people down and ease their mind. It does for me.
I love the guitar playing in the track! It’s so simple with just Seungwoo’s vocal and the guitar playing; you can definitely tell there’s some influence behind this song to Dean’s “Instagram”. It mimics that energy, but is also so different in its own way. It also has a very similar sound to Seungyoun’s music, which I mean, I always believed that they had a very similar musical taste, but yeah! I really enjoy the calmness in this song as well! Lyrics wise, I can honestly relate when he still feels like a child in the world despite being an adult and like, honestly that’s a big mood.
As someone who’s followed his journey for a year now, I am immensely proud he got the opportunity to make his solo debut because he’s fucking talented and it needed its own album to showcase that. Seungwoo has been showcasing some of his skills behind the scenes for awhile now; he’s been helping write lyrics and rap verses for Victon songs ever since their debut in 2016 and this album proves that he’s able to do that for himself, and on his own. You can tell this project meant so much to him and it extraordinarily shows through the final product. Wooya, fighting (or Sacrifighting!)
So, July was a very interesting month for “favorites”! I say favorites because, well, these things have so much potential to be favorites possibly this time next month!
July was a month that I got the pleasure to listen to a lot of new music and meet a lot of new people through the trading community who recommended these new songs to listen to!
Shall we get straight to it?
So first, I’ve met an amazing person this past month that has become literally one of my closest friends in the community alongside Amy and Ella; their name is Ro and they’ve been making my days so great lately by either spamming my DMs with pictures of my ult, Seungsik, and crying over the fact that Sejun is a literal masterpiece. Just recently, they’ve put me onto a boy group that I’ve occasionally heard through the KPop community but never really checked out: WayV!
WayV is the fourth and most recent sub-unit in the whole NCT mega-group in SM Entertainment. What makes them different than the other NCT groups is that this is the first NCT-related group to be based in China; so technically they aren’t Kpop, but instead Cpop! This is also the first group under that is fixed, meaning they don’t change members for every comeback like most of the other NCT-related groups which, for me at least, I like. I don’t really much like change, especially when you’re researching a new group trying to get into them and know who the members are and all of that. For WayV, there are 7 members: Kun, Ten, Winwin, Lucas, Xiaojun, Hendery, and YangYang.
Anyway! These boys are, like, crazy with their duality. One minute you’re sweating over their very sexy dance moves and songs, and the next minute you’re uwuing over their cuteness. They have a very similar familial energy that Victon has, which clearly I’m a complete sucker for groups with crazy-ass chemistry. But yes, after getting educated on WayV by Ro, I’ve started to realize just how much I was about to double-bias in this group. I instantly was hooked on Ten, possibly my favorite dancer ever, and who’s vocals are like butter. Honestly, that man took all the damn talent. He has a duality that I guess is my type in Kpop biases because he’s oof one minute and then smiling like the baby he is. Ugh, such a talented man! My second bias is Kun, the leader and eldest in the group and someone who has the prettiest vocals ever. He sorta came in out of nowhere, like I was not expected to bias him but like… the bias is real and I’m not complaining.
Honestly y’all, just stan WayV!
Hi, my name is Liz and, like, I’m getting into BTS?! Who would’ve thought that me, LIZ, would get into BTS in any way! I still have a long way to go to learn about them, but from what Ro showed me and exposed me to, they are a talented ass group that although get so much love, needs to be recognized for their productions behind the scene. Hah, BTS…
Anyway, if you don’t know who BTS are, they are a 7-member group under BigHit Entertainment that debuted… I believe back in 2013? Do not come for me, Army. They gain international success a couple of years ago and have been the most known Kpop group in westernized countries. So these 7 members are RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook. They also carry such family energy that makes it hard to not like them. After a couple of research videos and performance videos, I’m definitely also double-biasing. First of all, J-Hope is such a fucking cutie like, his personality is so 4D and he’s completely the most chaotic one in the group. He’s one of the rappers in the group, but like his dancing is what got me; it’s incredibly clean and so animated like, wow, we stan talent. Also, Jimin and his pretty ass vocals wrecked me; it’s funny because Victon’s Sejun is a huge BTS fan and he has a bias just like the rest of us and his bias is Jimin so like, talent stanning talent; we love. But yeah, gimme a couple of weeks to fall head over heels for BTS, like I already brewing inside my Kpop heart already.
I adore ACE for so many different reasons, let’s be real. They are a very different type of Kpop group; they aren’t your typical “we just do cute and sexy concepts” type of boy group, they are very different in their styling and aren’t afraid to come off as too feminine, especially Byeongkwan: our crop top king! So ACE is a 5-member group under Beat Interactive and they debuted back in 2017! Their names are Jun, Donghun, Wow, Byeongkwan, and Chan. When listening to their earlier stuff, it’s definitely so unexpected like if any group knows how to switch up genres, it’s them for sure. What i like about this group is that they all are some serious all-rounders; they all can dance insanely well and their vocals… like, stan a group where every member in the group can hold the main vocalist position. I definitely have to do some more research on them, but like I’m already so in love with them and their vocals so I’m excited to get into them a little more!
That’s it for now! I know for this month there’s going to be a ton of favorites because, well, so many comebacks and albums are coming and like, we are living for it. Until then!
In all honesty, this blog has become a third of Overexposed series, a third of scenes, and a third of Kpop music-related things, and I’m honestly not complaining whatsoever. If there’s anything that I’ve gained during this time of self-discovery, it’s that I’ve accepted my trash for KPop, and I started to do some album collecting. At first, I tried to avoid buying albums because I know myself well enough to know that I would want to buy every album for the groups I liked, so at first, I was only going to collect the albums of my ult groups, and only one version of the album as well. Kpop loves doing this thing where a group makes a comeback and wants to realize 7 different versions of the same album and like the trash community we are, we buy all versions… I’m talking about you, BTS! Although I started to listen to Kpop in 2018, I didn’t start collecting until the end of 2019, and even then it took me a while to finally get the courage to buy some albums after my ult group suddenly disbanded.
But without further ado, here are the things on my shelf!
Allure Korea’s 200th Edition (feat. Seungyoun)
After X1 disbanded suddenly at the beginning of the year, I was devastated that I wouldn’t be able to see those boys together for future comebacks. Also, I wouldn’t be seeing this one interact with the other members and being my whole bias in X1 anymore. I told myself that whatever Seungyoun does in the future, I will support him and his journey because I like him as an idol. Although he’s back doing his music thing and his solo album is finally here, he started his year doing some magazine spreads. This magazine, in particular, has some of my favorite photos of Seungyoun ever in it, so it was a must-have.
1st Look V.191: “Youth Blue” (feat. Seungyoun)
If I knew that 1st Look magazine was actually the size of a damn newspaper, I would’ve found a more productive way to store it rather than folding it and paper clipping it. Again, I just wanted this magazine in my collection of Seungyoun things, and from what I remember it was only like 3 dollars, so I said: “Yeah, why not?!”
I feel like because Twice is so wildly popular in the Kpop scene, they do more than just release some albums and eras and then call it a day. Ladies and Gentlemen, these girls come out with monographs. It’s basically a photobook of behind-the-scene photos of shooting the music video and the album photobook, or “jacket making”. Twice was the group that started my Kpop trash obsession, and although they aren’t an ult group (like ITZY is) they still make fire ass music and I’m always excited for their comebacks. This particular comeback was my favorite one thus far; all of the songs were different for the group and unique from each other. The only reason why I didn’t buy the album was because sadly the physical album wasn’t my favorite, but the monograph was beautiful. I’m glad to have some sort of “Fancy” physical thingymabob in my collection.
This album holds a special place in my heart because it was my first ever album I got. It’s kinda funny; when I started my job at the bookstore, the only thing I wanted to use my money for was to buy this album. It took me about 2 months after it was released to finally buy it, but I definitely knew this was the version I wanted out of both. For my pulls, I got the Seungyoun bookmark and the Dongpyo standee. I also was able to snag Seungyoun’s AR card later on because Seungyoun will forever be my X1 bias. But yeah, not bad for a newbie collector.
This album was the main reason why I started to stan Victon and decide to collect all of their albums. Out of all of their albums, their debut one is my favorite track-list wise. For a rookie group at the time, I like that this was a very fresh concept and I believe it made them stand out from the rest of the boy groups at the time. With this album, it came with Seungsik’s first photocard and this Byungchan photocard whereas the other Seungsik photocard in the came with my signed copy and the Seungwoo photocard I bought on eBay because I have bad luck when it comes to pulling Seungwoo in my own purchased albums.
This album is so overlooked for everyone that it’s even one of the albums I don’t really go back and look at (which I should). This concept and album weren’t my favorite; I don’t go back to this album to listen to it that often because it just has songs that are just okay to me. For this album, I pulled our maknae, Subin’s photocard.
This was the second Victon album I purchased because out of all of the concepts, this one is one of my favorites. It’s fresh, it’s summery, and the music video to the title track is unique and weird, which was cute for them to do! The B-sides of this album were also really good and I always go back to it every now and then. During the time I got this album, Sejun was totally a major bias-wrecker, so when I pulled his photocard, I was really happy.
I wish I was able to showcase this album better because out of all of them, this concept is my favorite. This album, in particular, felt personal; it was more so a gift to their fans rather than a mini album. The photobook and even the mini book of journal entries from the members were really cute to get with this album, so I tend to always go back to this album just to look at it. I was also very lucky to get this Sejun photocard; he lived on my phone case for a really long time after pulling it. These are some of the hardest photocards to find on the internet, so my journey to getting at least one From. Victon era Seungsik card is still on.
This is their first single album, and even though it’s not my favorite physical album because of its simplicity, the concept is just so fucking pretty and angelic; I look through it every now and then. Seungwoo’s curly hair in this era was such a fucking look, as well as Sejun’s pitch black short hair. All these boys looked so fucking good in this era! When it comes to pulling photocards, I seem to always pull Byungchan’s photocards, so that’s exactly who I pulled for this album as well. In addiction, I’m also getting Seungwoo & Seungsik’s photocards, as well as Seungsik’s broadcast photocard which is rare af.
This was the first album that was different from the other Victon albums. This was more so a box of goodies than an album! This concept for the boys was so fucking good and majestic and mature; the concept was everything, the outfits were on point, and the album as a whole is so fucking good. Because this was the era that came after Seungwoo and Byungchan’s appearance on PDX101, this was the era that I started to listen to them in and didn’t appreciate it when it first came out! This is the nostos version, and the goodies I got was a Seungsik/Chan mini-poster, Subin’s message postcard, and Hanse’s “nostos” photocard. Also, I had to get Seungsik’s nostos photocard because it’s the cutest ever.
This is their recent mini-album release which I pre-ordered once the album was put on selling sites. I was completely excited for this to be Victon’s first comeback as a 7-member group and with 3 versions being out for this album, I decided to get the middle one, or the Blue version. This album was really strong; all the songs on the album were co-written by the members and they are all so mature and pretty. Personally, for me, Subin owned this era, hand down! He definitely is going into his own and he’s just not our maknae anymore! Regarding pulls, I got the Seungwoo x Hanse lyric book, the “back of the head” transparent card, Byungchan’s AR photocard, and Chan’s photocard. As time passed, I decided I would get at least one of each member for this album because some of them were just too cute to pass!
VICTON 2nd Single Album “Mayday” (Venez & m’aider Ver.)
Fire off a Mayday, but I can’t wait! Seriously, this title track is one of my favorites because it’s so catchy and so different from their previous comebacks. Of course I’m 100% Victon trash and I bought the pre-sale copies (5 actually, don’t ask why) once it was online to buy and the photos in both these versions are so fucking pretty. Personally, my favorite concept is the Venez (the colorful version) just because the scenery is breathtaking and Victon with flowers are everything. For my first two pulls, I got Subin’s Venez card (which was on my Mayday PC Wishlist), Sejun’s Venez card (which I traded for Seungsik’s Venez card) and then Byungchan & Hanse’s m’aider card, which I might keep for myself. Of course in true collecting fashion, I seeked and bought most of my Mayday wishlist!
The biggest mistake JYP Entertainment made was to not release a proper single album for this debut because it’s undeniably one of the best debut tracks of 2019. Y’all. When ITZY first debuted with their first title track, “DALLA DALLA”, it was nothing like a girl group has done before in my opinion. Describing ITZY’s concept is always hard because it’s rather unique for your typical KPop girl group. I was happy that then they released their first mini album, they put together the photobook portion of their single album as a pre-order benefit. This concept was one of my favorites of theirs and for a rookie group at the moment, it was everything!
Shortly after seeing ITZY in concert earlier this year, I decided that it was only right to collect their albums. I always liked them and their music, but having seen them in concert and perform live during their U.S tour, I fell in love with this group even more, and once I finished my Victon collection, I would start my ITZY album collection. It wouldn’t be that hard to do since they only had this album from last year. This album was a good little summer thing; it wasn’t my favorite out of their discography but they rocked it when they performed these songs live in concert. For this album, I got two little ITZY freebies that the website sent with the album, as well as Ryujin and Chaeryeong’s photocard. As for the cover, I was blessed with Chaeryeong, who was once my bias at some point.
This album I pre-ordered, so I was also sent the pre-order benefits; the postcard set and the “Paris et. Itzy” book of pictures that they took when they were in Paris last year. This album was so fucking strong, it’s ridiculous. JYP blessed us with 7 songs, and all of them are so different from each other. Out of the three versions, I got the WANNABE version. Besides the pre-order benefits, I got Yuna’s album card, the Ryujin & Lia’s unit photocard, and Yeji’s photocard (which is my bias!)
This album was a strong one for a debut, y’all. These rookies are going ham in the Kpop industry these days. Anyway, this is the first version of Cravity’s debut album. It didn’t take me that long to stan these boys; four of them were introduced to us through PDX101 last year, and the other 5 boys just mesh well with the boys we already grew to love. Although they aren’t my ults and I don’t have a fixed bias in this group, I already find myself stanning Serim and Wonjin just a little more than the rest. For this album, I got the sticker sheet of all 9 members, Minhee’s standee and photo strip bookmark, the Woobin, Taeyoung, and Minhee polaroid thingymabob, and Hyeongjun’s cute ass photocard! In addiction, purchased Serim & Wonjin’s photocards as well because they are my two biases in this group.
Wooseok’s first solo debut album was so fucking good, I had to buy it for my collection! Every song on the album was so different and yet Wooseok was able to suit them so perfectly. There were three versions of this album, but I felt like the red one fit the overall concept the most (I mean, the title track is called “Red Moon”) but yeah! Very proud of Wooseok for such success in his solo debut! One-It forever!
My first ever physical Twice album! I wanted to buy their current comeback album because of the b-sides. Don’t get me wrong, the title track is getting catchy the more I listen to it, but what really got me was the b-sides of the album. They are all so uniquely different & they are certified bops! Honestly, these girls know how to write some bangers. Nayeon wrote my favorite track on the album, “Make Me Go” and Jeongyeon & Chaeyoung wrote “Sweet Summer Day.” I knew I wanted to at least own one Twice album in my lifetime, so I decided that it would be the C version of their new comeback, “More & More”. Twice always has goodies when they make comebacks; this album came with pre-order benefit photocards, nine postcards of the members, “The Most” photocard, and 5 in-album photocards. (Oh, and a coaster that I totally forgot to insert, but I pulled Mina’s!)
VICTON 1st Mini Album “Voice to New World”
I was going on an eBay rabbit hole when I found this signed copy of Victon’s 1st mini album floating on the internet. I impulsively bought it but I definitely do not regret it now that it’s on my desk. It’s my favorite album and it was only right that I got it. With this album, only one photocard came with the album and it was Seungsik’s (the one pictured on the unsigned copy). Seungsik is my bias for this group anyway, so I was happy to at least have both of his photocards for this album!
VICTON 5th Mini Album “nostalgia” (algos Ver.)
Another signed Victon album because I’m absolute trash. When starting my album collection at the beginning, I told myself I wasn’t going to buy other versions of the same album because I just don’t have it like that, but I caved in when I saw this version of the album being sold online and it was signed. I saw this listing and immediately purchased it because it was an all Seunsgik set (I’m Kang Seungsik trash), signed by all members, and it was the version of the album I didn’t have yet. I’m very excited to have this in my collection because out of Victon’s discography, this has become my second favorite album (track-wise) of theirs, but this concept remains my favorite of all. In this album, I pulled Seungsik’s “algos” photocard, the same Seunsgik/Chan mini poster as my other version, and Seungsik’s message postcard which happens to be my favorite picture of Seungsik… ever.
X1 1st Mini Album “비성: Quantum Leap” (비성 Ver.)
I was so happy to find this signed copy of my first ever ult boy group, X1’s debut (and sadly last) album! Their QL version was the first ever Kpop album I purchased, so this album holds a very special place in my heart. I thought about buying this version of the album for a very long time due to the fact that this is their only album they’ll come out with, so when I found their promotional signed copy, I had to buy it. She’s probably one of the rarest pieces in my collection just because this album will soon be out of print in the future and there are only so many signed copies out in the world with all of the members. In this album, everything Eunsang was in it: bookmark, AR Photocard, and standee.
Victon 1st Concert: New World DVD
This DVD packaging was so unnecessarily big, but the contents were so beautiful! I ordered this bad boy the day it went on pre-order because I’m Victon trash for the 1,109th time. I remember when they first did the concert and how happy I was for those boys. They had accomplished so much in such very little time and for them to have their very first concert in Seoul was exciting! Of course, this was also around the time that X1’s agency announced their disbandment, so I’m hoping that in the future, Victon are able to have a concert with OT7! This DVD thingymabob comes with a photobook, a film bookmark thing, a photocard set of the boys (which happen to be my favorite set of all time), 3 CD-DVD things, and some really cute stickers!
And that’s it… for now! This post took forever to put together because I was just waiting for all of my junk to arrive in the mail within the last month and knowing me, this isn’t the end of my album buying. Seungyoun’s 1st Solo album that I’ve been anticipating for is finally coming to me as well! Oof, we’re excited. But yeah, thanks for dealing with my trash mess once again!
So, there’s something that’s been currently going around within the Kpop community that I wanted to discuss because, well, I’m very much a part of that community and I’ve been seeing non-stop discussions on this topic.
So, let’s just get straight into it: KPop has become one of the biggest genres of music in the last couple of years; with BTS making their ground-breaking debut in the U.S a couple of years ago to now having more and more Kpop groups exploring and touring for their international fans, it’s safe to say that Kpop is this huge thing now.
With that being said, the Kpop industry is so incredibly competitive now that it has become this huge thing around the world. The big entertainment agencies are competing to stay on top, while smaller agencies are hoping their groups within their agency make their company more well known. Sadly, some of these groups go unseen for years; one example is my favorite group, VICTON. They debuted as the third official act in the company; the first (I believe) was APink, then a solo artist that I can’t remember his name, then it was VICTON back in 2016. Because they come from such a small agency, they weren’t as successful as they should’ve been back then, and there were talks of them disbanding in 2018 after releasing their single album, Time of Sorrow. It was then Seungwoo and Byungchan went to Produce X 101 for one last chance and well, the rest is history.
It’s stories like that and the unfortunate stories of other Kpop groups that sadly disbanded due to lack of success that makes this story just a little bit more frustrating for me. So, let’s get to it:
Within the last month, there was a new “Kpop” group that debuted with their single, “Your Turn“. The Kpop group (and we’re saying Kpop as lightly as possible) goes by the name of Kaachi. Kaachi is a four-member girl group under FrontRow Entertainment; the members are Nicole, Chunseo, Dani, and Coco. The difference between this group and other Kpop groups is that this group is based in the United Kingdom and only one of the girls in the group is Korean. In other words, they are the first UK based Kpop group; westernized Kpop group.
People in the Kpop community are upset that this group exists. This project (from what I’ve seen) seemed to be quickly put together just so that their company can generate money out of a genre that wasn’t meant for them in the first place. These girls are talented and driven to be successful, but they don’t match up to the same level as rookie debut groups have these days. Their vocals aren’t sharp, the dancing is lackluster, and it doesn’t look like a professional girl group that debuted in the industry, but more so a school talent show performance performing their favorite Kpop song.
I don’t want to be harsh, but we got to call a spade and spade and talk about how wrong it is to appropriate a genre of music that was created and established in another country. In a sense, it’s like how white westernized artists are being criticized for dressing and performing music that comes from the Black community and makes it a trend or their own when it’s been underappreciated and misunderstood for decades.
For me, it’s even more than that. Being a fairly new Kpop stan in this community, I realized the difficult times these idols go through and just how different the standards are in that industry compared to ours in Westernized countries. In South Korea, you have to follow a certain lifestyle, maintain a certain weight, sacrifice their adolescent years, and train for years in hopes that their company sees them and thinks they are ready to debut in a group. That opportunity comes easy to some, but sadly most of these trainees (and even idols) never feel like they are enough, and that’s fucking sad despite how many people support and love them.
It’s just unfair to get four girls (who didn’t train with each other and had the line up for this group change a couple of times before debut) and create a Kpop group out of girls who don’t live in that industry 24/7. Sure, Kpop is just a genre of music, but the process behind the music is far more different than your typical music artist in westernized countries. I get that they are being experimental by trying to fuse the two sounds together, but with girls who are just “Kpop fans”; it doesn’t sit well with me. For them to just know basic Korean, be “Kpop fans” and interested in singing and dancing doesn’t qualify them to be Kpop idols.
I don’t wish bad on these girls and I know they aren’t the ones responsible for this, it’s the people who decide to put them together and produce their songs and just go on with this idea that it was going to work out. With the negative feedback the group received, the people who run the social media accounts disabled comments, masking the issues that the formation of this group brings into the industry.
Let’s cheer for the groups that are struggling to make it within the scene because their small agencies can’t afford to promote them properly on their own. Let’s cheer for the rookies that debuted and are worrying if their debut stage is going to be the last stage that they perform due to the lack of recognition in the industry. Let’s cheer for all of the trainees that are working hard towards their dreams of being a Kpop idol. Let’s not try to take away the hard work and dedication these people have for something “new” and “shiny” that isn’t right.
I wish nothing but success for these girls in Kaachi, but please – showcase your talents and passions in another way that not only strips away the integrity of the industry but also strips away your own identities.
So this time last year, I completely indulged in the fact that I was complete Kpop trash, and although I was still very shy about speaking about it, she’s fully exposed and she has some groups to talk to y’all about.
Last year, I introduced some veteran girl groupsand girl group rookies that I was into, and a lot has changed since then. This girl went from “I only listen to girl groups” to “I literally listen to everything that’s Kpop related.” In this post, we’ll be talking about some veterans, some rookies, some updates to on who my ultimate bias groups are, and all that jazz.
These boys deserved better, in all honesty. These 5 guys are (were) UNIQ, a Chinese-Korean idol group under Yuehua Entertainment. While Yuehua Entertainment was mostly a Chinese idol agency, UNIQ’s Korean members were originally from YG Entertainment. By age order, the members were Yixuan, Sungjoo, Wenhan, Seungyoun, and Yibo. Both Sungjoo and Seungyoun were Korean trainees under YG Entertainment, while the rest of the group were solely under Yuehua Entertainment. UNIQ debuted back in 2014 with their debut single, “Falling in Love“, and then “EOEO” following it. UNIQ gained some commercial success in Korea, but more so in China. Because the group was under the Chinese idol agency, many of their promotions were in China, as well as their success. With a couple of comebacks here and there, the group quietly disbanded as the years went on, and the members of the group went their separate ways. While Sungjoo, Yixuan, and Yibo went on to acting, Wenhan went on the Chinese spin-off show of the Produce series, Idol Producer and went on to debut in the project group to come out of that show. As for Seungyoun, well, I think we all know what happened after his days in UNIQ.
Bias: Within the group, even after being completely biased with Seungyoun, Seungyoun always stood out to me whenever I watched interviews and music shows of the group. Seungyoun is (and always will be) “the vitamin”. He always had a fun and bubbly personality and always mesh well with his members. It’s crazy to see him on the maknae line (the youngest of the members in the group) because in X1, he was on the hyung line (meaning he was one of the oldest members in the group) so it’s cute to see how much of a baby he was 6 years ago.
Bias Wrecker: Yibo, hands down. He’s just so fucking gorgeous; I can’t even fathom how fucking pretty he is. Also, as the main dancer, he transforms into a completely different person. Although he’s not so much in the idol scene anymore, from what I hear, he’s a pretty damn good actor.
My sad heart, anyway – X1 will always hold a special place in my heart because they were the first boy group I ever fully fell in love with. X1 was an 11-member group that debuted after Produce X 101 created the group from the final 11 rankings in the show. They were under Swing Entertainment, and they debuted late 2019. The 11-members were Seungwoo, Seungyoun, Wooseok, Yohan, Hangyul, Junho, Dongpyo, Minhee, Eunsang, Hyeongjun, and Dohyon. Their debut song, “FLASH” was one to truly remember not because of how good it was, but because it broke an immense amount of records on music charts, music shows, and literally if they haven’t disbanded so abruptly (seriously still so hurt by that) they would’ve been the next big Kpop group in the industry. What made this group so unique was that their chemistry was insane, and their talent was out of this world. Being a follower of what was the Produce series, I was never truly satisfied with the final line up of their groups because so many other talented trainees got robbed from it, and more so “visuals” were chosen to be members over talent.
X1’s choosing was definitely the best one they had which is crazy because they believe that the producer of the series rigged votes and whatnot? That’s another story for another day. Anyway, this group was a lot of my firsts: boy group, physical album purchase, an obsession really. As a One-It forever, I will always be sad about the disbandment but will support the guys in whatever they do within their own companies. As of now, Seungwoo is back with VICTON, Seungyoun is doing some solo activities (give us a mini-album; please and thank you), Wooseok and Yohan are doing some acting activities, Hangyul and Dohyon are now a duo group called H&D, Junho is in a pre-debut group called W Project 4, Dongpyo is in a pre-debut group called DSP N, Eunsang has done some solo things within his company and Minhee & Hyeongjun are debuting in a new group with 7 other members within Starship Entertainment called Cravity.
Bias:You know a group is hella good when you find your bias changing every other week. When X1 was just formed, I instantly gravitated towards Seungwoobecause his vocals on PDX101 were insane, his charisma and sexiness on-stage were oof, and he’s a 94 liner! In the show, many people didn’t notice Seungwoo at first because I mean, there were 101 guys in this competition, but what instantly got me was his performance of “U GOT IT” on the show. But then something happened…
Bias Wrecker: … CHO SEUNGYOUN WRECKED EVERYTHING. Seungyoun, like I mentioned earlier, has a very infectious personality. Even on PDX101, he was known as the person who lightened up the mood when things got too serious or whenever the other trainees struggled. When X1 started their promotions for their debut, he just always stood out to me, so when I started to dive deeper into his career prior to X1 and PDX101, I found out he used to be in an idol group called UNIQ and that when the group quietly went their separate ways, he began his solo activities under the name WOODZ.
So, one thing I like about Kpop is discovering rookie groups from smaller companies because, well, we need to give every group in KPop a chance! One group that stood out to me the most thus far was Cignature, a 7-member girl group under J9 Entertainment. They debuted earlier this year with their debut single “Nun Nu Nan Na“. The members of Cignature are Chaesol, Jeewon, Ye Ah, Sunn, Seline, Belle, and Semi and although they are fairly new and I don’t have a favorite or bias within this group, I look forward to their career because their debut single stood out the most to me thus far. A lot of people compared the song to a concept that Red Velvet would do because it showcases a lot of different genres within it, and honestly for this group to execute that concept so well as rookies and perform like season veterans already, I hope to see more of this group in the future!
These boys better become successful as their career goes on because they are super fucking talented! So who are these boys? Well MCND, or “Music Creates New Dream”, is a 5-member boy group that debuted earlier this year under TOP Media. The members of MCND are Castle J, BIC, Minjae, Huijun, and Win. Although they had a pre-debut single come out back in January, their official debut single is called “ICE AGE” and oof, it fucking slaps. This group is very hip-hop influenced, and if there’s one thing every single member of this group is good at, it’s dancing. For a rookie group, they dance more neatly and synchronized than most veteran groups nowadays, which says a lot about their work ethic and talent. They are the next boy group to come out of their company after UP10TION, a 10-member boy group that debuted in 2015, which PDX101 constant Lee Jinhyuk and former X1 member Kim Wooseok were a part of. TOP Media had a shitty way of promoting them, so I hope they don’t disappoint fans with their new group!
CRAVITY are babies, y’all. This 9-member boy group debuted just a couple of weeks ago under Starship Entertainment; they are MONSTA X’s juniors. The members in CRAVITY are Serim, Allen, Jungmo, Woobin, Wonjin, Minhee, Hyeongjun, Taeyoung, and Seongmin. Very much like Victon and UNIQ, I found out about this group because of some of the members of this group being both in X1 and on Produce X 101, the popular survival show that X1 was formed in. Both Minhee and Hyeongjun were former members of X1, while both Wonjin and Jungmo were contestants of PDX101, and both were eliminated on the finale of the show. Ultimately, I really liked Wonjin in the series, so I’m so happy he was able to debut in his own company. Their debut single, “Break All The Rules” is a certified bop. It’s kinda crazy how crazy their concept matches this group, but the group is full of babies? When groups are able to be versatile like that (which shows in their debut album), then you know they’re going to be crazy-successful. I’m already obsessed with these boys.
My Ultimate Bias Groups:
Last year, I included these talented ladies in my Kpop rookies post back when they were just a 2-month-old rookie group and only had their debut single “DALLA DALLA” out to showcase their talents. I will say this until the day I die: DALLA DALLA has been one of the greatest 4th-generation debut tracks I’ve heard thus far. They have a concept that is uniquely their own, and all these girls fit it so well. After their debut, they came back during the summer of 2019 with their 1st mini-album called IT’Z ICY with their title track, “ICY” and they recently came back with their 2nd mini-album called IT’Z MEwith their title track, “WANNABE“. Back in January, I actually went to see them live in concert when they were touring the U.S and if that didn’t seal the deal of them being my ultimate favorite girl group, then I don’t know what did.
Bias: When I first wrote about them last year, I really only knew Chaeryeong from being on Sixteen, the survival show that JYP Entertainment had in order to create (the biggest Kpop girl group now) TWICE. But as they made more comebacks and I began to follow them a bit more, my bias now is Yeji. She’s not only the leader of the group, but she has crazy dancing skills and amazing vocals. This chick eats CDs, y’all. She’s also an idol that has a duality in her; she could be very girl crush/badass on stage, but in interviews and variety shows, she’s very girly and very cutesy.
Bias Wrecker: Ryujin will forever be a bias wrecker, just how Chaeyoung from TWICE will always be my bias wrecker in that group. They both actually give off the same energy; not only are they both main rappers in their groups, but they also have — how do I say this — big dick energy. They will steal yo’ girls, guys. While they both can be very girly and cute off-stage, they really have charisma and badass vibe that stand out from the group. In particular, I’m so glad that with their recent comeback, she got the recognition she deserves because oof, she’s killing it.
Favorite Comeback: ITZY’s most recent comeback is hands down their best yet. I feel like with this last comeback, they fully established their brand and their concept, so MIDZYS (their fandom name) are only gonna expect this level of legitness in the future. Next!
If you know anything about me, you know how obsessed I’ve become whenever it comes to Victon, y’all. Like UNIQ, I discovered VICTON when both Seungwoo and Byungchan participated in Produce X 101, and with the fans they had throughout that show, they were able to bring them along to their group which in all honesty VICTON won PDX101 over anyone else. Before the show, VICTON was rumored to be disbanding after the relase of their single album, Time of Sorrow because they were not getting the success the company hoped they would get. For VICTON, PDX101 was their last resort, and the number of fans and the amount of exposure they had from the show resulted in them becoming one of Kpop’s up-and-rising groups in the industry, with them breaking their own records and winning music shows with their comebacks. So, who are they?
VICTON is a 7-member group under Play M Entertainment, formerly known as Plan A Entertainment, back in 2016. The members are Seungwoo, Seungsik, Chan, Sejun, Hanse, Byungchan, and Subin. They debuted with their (amazing fucking) 1st mini-album, Voice to New Worldand were first known to be a boy idol group that was refreshing with some playful hip-hop influence in their music. If anything, they were not afraid to be a boy crush group rather than a sexy one. They’ve released 6 mini-albums and 1 single album in the duration of their careers; READY, IDENTITY, From. Victon, nostalgia, Continuous, andTIME OF SORROW.
Bias:Y’all, picking a bias for this group is nearly impossible; I’m literally up to my 4th bias change and it just rotates regularly. Of course, when I started to get more into the group, Seungwoo was my bias because he was also my bias in X1. But, once VICTON started to promote as a six-member group while Seungwoo was away, Seungsik became my bias. Then as I got more into the group, Sejun and Subin started to become my biases as well. So, I guess it’s safe to say I have 4 of them in VICTON. Even though it’s hard to choose, I do find myself going back to Seungsik. His duality is insane; he could be “Uwusik” one minute then “OOFsik” the other. He’s also the main vocalist of VICTON which says a lot; all of these guys could sing all crazy, but Seungsik can sing. If you wanna hear some Solosik, his single “I’m Still Loving You” is just all the chef kisses in the world.
Bias Wrecker: Out of all the wreckers in this group, Sejun is always the top contender to be my bias wrecker. Sejun is… eccentric. He’s definitely weird in his own way and he’s not afraid to be real on and off-stage. Many idols (I’ve noticed) are still very insecure not looking perfect 24/7 in front of their fans even when they are off-stage just chilling, but Sejun has proven time-and-time again on V LIVE that he does not give a shit and will just come as he is, which all idols should be like! Also, Sejun is a visual that is a lead vocalist, or what I like to call “second main vocalist”. We stan main vocalists, y’all.
Favorite Comeback: Although I officially became a VICTON fan when they came back with nostalgia, my favorite era of theirs has to be their 4th mini-album, From. Victon, which their title track was “Remember Me“. This title track out of all of them feels the most like VICTON; it still had that freshness that they had with their previous comebacks, but it also showcased a more mature side of the group as well. That mature side (to me) was the start of their more mature comebacks, which they all been since that. But everything to the music video to the album itself was just so personalized and well-balanced. She’s also the one song I know all the Korean lyrics to because, well, I’m trash.
And that’s it! Sorry for this post being literally so friggin’ long, but I really do enjoy writing and sharing my knowledge on the things I really enjoy in my life! But other than that, I hope you guys give some of these groups a chance; they’ve all worked hard and sacrificed their lives to make their dreams come true, so if you’re experimental with music genres, try listening to some Kpop, y’all.
Thank you for coming to your favorite Kpop-Trash writer’s TED talk.
So, it’s no surprise that I’m a huge fan of Kpop. If you follow me on any social media platform (particularly Instagram), you will see that my love for Kpop is pretty… visible to say the least.
To keep my Kpop story short, I started listening to Kpop and getting interested in it in 2018 when I was doing laundry with my mother at an Asian laundromat while they played TWICE’s “KNOCK KNOCK” on their TV. After listening to a couple of their songs on Spotify, the rest is truly history.
It took me a while to gain an interest in other Kpop groups; there were just so many to listen to and I didn’t know where to start my search for other groups. While watching Korean variety shows and browsing playlists online for other Kpop groups, I had a pretty intensive repertoire of artists that not only did I enjoy their music, I enjoyed them as a group.
In other words, I became a stan.
Once you get yourself into a world of particular interest, it could either be pretty supporting or pretty toxic, and it truly determines whether or not new people who are looking to join that world truly do it in the long run. When I started to watch and get really into the TV Show, The Killing, a couple of years ago, the community I joined were a very supportive and loving one; we joined together to fight for the 4th season of the show to be picked up by Netflix (which did) and it was honestly a community that saved my life back in 2013 when things in my personal life were rocky.
Although the Kpop community is a large one and supportive in their own way, there’s a reason why I like to stay in my own personal bubble of Kpop and not openly discuss my views or likings with other members of that community.
Truth be told: the Kpop community is toxic to those who are multi-fandom stans.
As I browse most of my day on Instagram looking at Kpop photos and things to share on my stories, the comments and some discussions I find on these photos are just… baffling to me. You have people tearing other people down because they don’t hardcore stan “their bias” or get into arguments about who’s the better singer, dancer, the prettiest – whatever – in the group when really the group is a group for a reason and are all equally talented? Don’t get me wrong, I have my favorites in my favorite groups: Seungyoun in X1, Seungwoo & Seungsik & Sejun (oh my) in VICTON, Yeji & Ryujin in ITZY, and Jeongyeon & Chaeyoung in TWICE, but I won’t ever go on social media and belittle any of the other members of these groups to make my “bias” look better. Also, I don’t try to force my favorite groups, or just Kpop in general, to other people because, newsflash: not everyone is going to like what you like.
As a community, we can do some amazing things. When X1 announced their disbandment in early January, K-One its and International One its have been actively trying to get the group to debut again and back together and by doing that, they have been raising money for events and protests in South Korea in order to show these agencies that X1 deserves another chance together after being completely innocent in the Produce series manipulation scandal. It’s been a beautiful movement to witness online and see just how much impact the X1 fandom is fighting for their beloved group. In times like that where a group has been mistreated and punished and treated unfairly, Kpop fans are hardcore and ready to call out the bullshit and protect their idols at all costs. That’s the type of community we should be, not the one that’s aggressive, mean to others, obnoxious and scary for newcomers.
Instead of attacking each other and trying to make our favorites superior to everyone else in the industry, our energy should be towards supporting the idols and their music, coming together to enjoy the music of these idols and their events. One thing I realized being an international KPop fan going to a Kpop concert in NYC, the best energy spent with these idols are ones where they feel like we are one, together, and connected like a family. Whether you’re a ONCE, One It, WIZ*ONE, Alice, or a Midzy, we’re all there for the same reason: for the love of music!
So as I wrote this to our Kpop community: let’s be more welcoming to newcomers, supportive for multi-fandoms, and kind-hearted.