Daebak! The Top 10 Best Kpop Music Videos Ever, #10-8

Troublemaker is chemistry done right.

You don’t need to know Korean to appreciate the wondrous, absurd, glamorous, and, yes, dangerous world of Kpop. But not all Kpop music videos are created equally, friends.

We countdown the 10 best Kpop music videos ever, and what we like best about them. But, please, feel free to disagree in the comments section. Here we’re presenting #8-10 on our list.

Check out the rest of our Top 10 List here.

10. Trouble Maker - "Trouble Maker"
HyunA of 4Minute and Beast’s JS team up in their first collaboration, this monster hit from 2011.


Why We Like It
Tim

This is an iconic video. Two huge Kpop stars that became even bigger with this union. This video is sex and violence and slick and is sex. In many ways, it’s truly ridiculous and over-the-top, but that’s why I love it so much - that’s what is so quintessentially Kpop about it - the video’s service to image, its adherence to pop, its inherent absurdity. This video takes from many western tropes - JS’s dance moves are reminiscent of an early Michael Jackson, HyunA has never been more glamorous. And then there’s the guns. This is western pop without the western cynicism, without the pretension. After so much from the east has been re-purposed by the west, it’s interesting to see the opposite come to fruition here. Interesting, cool, and surprisingly fun.

Zander

“Trouble Maker” is the model for all other would-be Kpop collaborations. Not only is the song catchy as hell, but JS and HyunA have an obvious chemistry that brings the video to life (the near-kiss around the one-minute mark could jump-start a car)! Sure, HyunA is good on her own. But paired with JS, she exudes sexuality. And JS matches HyunA with strength, confidence, and one of the better male voices in Kpop. Ultimately, the video showcases both of their talents, while still having all the classic elements of a Kpop music video: close-ups, costume changes, a geometrically-interesting box to dance in, and a pretty decent story. It’s no wonder that the video was popular enough to warrant a second collaboration (though “Now” went somewhat awry).

9. PSY - "Right Now"
Forget “Gangnam Style” and “Gentleman,” Psy’s best music video is 2010’s Right Now.


Why We Like It

Tim

You thought we’d pick “Gangnam Style,” didn’t you? Well, if you know anything about Kpop, and Zander I know a thing or two about Kpop, you’ll know about this gem that came out years before PSY became an international sensation. Long before “Gentleman” made PSY a thin spoof of himself, “Right Now” proved that PSY was best when he used his sly humor for subversive ends. You don’t have to know Korean to understand the call to arms against soul-sucking societal conventions. In the beginning of the video, PSY is stuck in traffic, a bored lifeless businessman. But when the song begins, PSY can’t control himself. His body compels him to move, to sing, if only by instinct. As if he’s rediscovering how to be a human again. By the end of the video it’s like he’s started a new populist movement. And, in many ways, he has. PSY makes delirious fun into a form of rebellion. That feeling is universal, and, in any language, tremendously powerful.

Zander

Forget the rush-hour traffic jam. Throw away your boring office job and get on your feet for Psy’s anthem, like, right now! Yes, Psy makes the list, but not for “Gangnam Style.” Park Jae-Sang, better known as Psy, has been making hits for years, but “Right Now” is his real masterpiece, a playful romp through streets of Seoul. Unlike his more famous hit, “Right Now” ignores the gimmicks and unclear social commentary and goes straight for fun. This is a song everyone can relate to, and therein lies its brilliance. If you aren’t inspired to get up and dance like the man in the fake-abs, you might need to go see a doctor!

8. NS Yoon-G - "I Got You"

If you thought “Call Me Maybe” was the song of the summer in 2012, you didn’t see NS Yoon-G’s “I Got You.”


Why We Like It

Tim

I’m having a hard time justifying my feelings for this video. But the fact of the matter is, "I Got You" is just insanely watchable and rewatchable and rewatchable. This upbeat song just does pop right, and whatever it’s doing, it’s doing it better than it even means to. And it’s not just because NS Yoon-G is sexy here, but let’s face it, she is. She’s also dancing and singing her heart out, and she’s not doing that with a guy, nor is she fawning after a guy as many Kpop idols do in their videos (there are no guys in this video, in fact). NS Yoon-G is a badass in this video - she is a rock star, she is a diva, she is a dancing queen. Not quite a feminist icon, but still, she stands proudly, and loudly, on her own.

Zander

Step aside Madonna, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, and make room for NS Yoon-G, the diva of Kpop! “I Got You” is exactly what pop music strives to be: fun, catchy, and sexy. Part of pop music is the sale of sexuality, and NS Yoon-G does the hardest of all things: she dominates the screen for three and a half minutes all by herself. It’s the simplicity of the video that works most in NS Yoon-G’s favor. The traditional box is replaced by an all white background. The backup dancers double as her band. And what “I Got You” lacks in storyline, it more than makes up for in upbeat entertainment. I blame its mysterious unavailability on YouTube to the backup dancer’s bedroom eyes on the two minute mark (you’ll never unsee it). But seriously, just watch how effortlessly the video transitions in the first thirty seconds from rock band to dance hit. This is pop music at its finest! Kpop wannabes, take note.

Check out the rest of our Top 10 List here.

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