This Week in Kpop, saw an absurd week of unexpected viral videos, our MV of the month, and Apink's latest comeback. This week also coincided with Thanksgiving, for our American Kpop fans, so we had to wonder what Kpop fans had to be thankful for this tumultuous year. And really, even with the bad, there's a lot of exciting things happening in the world of Kpop. Why don't we take a look at some of those things now?
MV of the Month - AOA, "Like a Cat"
AOA's "Like a Cat" won our MV of the month for November. There was very little question of who dominated the month, and who is going to truly be the next big thing (some would argue that they already are). It's fun to see a group slowly rise to the top, just on the cusp of elite status. Don't know what we mean? Read our thoughts on AOA's rise to the top here.
How G-Dragon and Taeyang Taking Over the World with "Good Boy"
Okay, okay. If their video had been more impressive, "Good Boy" very well could have won our MV of the month too. But don't cry for Taeyang and G-Dragon. While AOA is just entering elite status, these guys are taking a step towards world domination. Read about that here.
Kpop #trending: EXID's Strange Viral Video
EXID's "Up and Down," after months of release, is finally shooting to the top of the Kpop charts. And that's strange. But what's stranger is that it's all because of a fancam. Confused yet? We'll break down this crazy story for you here.
We'll be taking a closer look at this developing story, but for now what's significant here is that B.A.P, as a united front, is suing their agency, TS Entertainment, over their terrible slave contracts. With this and Megan Lee's Soul Shop lawsuit, and everything that's happened with Exo, among other lawsuits, we're seeing a definite change in how Kpop idols are perceiving themselves and their worth. And that's a good thing, because maybe now we'll start seeing some change.
Sometimes, we have to admit, we don't quite get Apink. They've been around how many years now? Since 2011. And really, they haven't changed much, stylistically, from "Mollayo." Sweetness reigns supreme in Apink's world, an almost naive, bittersweet and somehow nostalgic realm of songs that would fit perfectly as themes for Japanese RPG's. If anything, the one real aberration would have to be 2012's "Hush," which seemed like the girls were beginning to transition to a more mature fare. But we've seen a turn back to sweetness with every subsequent song, and even with "Luv" and its melancholy, the sweetness remains.
It's entirely admirable that Apink remains true to their roots, instead of transitioning to the sexy concepts a more impatient group would jump to. Much like SNSD, a significant part of Apink's popularity may lie in their inherent wholesomeness, their ability to be all-ages in a increasingly sexualized Kpop world.
And their songs happen to be good too, sometimes very good. And "Luv" happens to be good, enjoyable, catchy - if not not very good. We're always happy to hear Apink's latest songs. But we're never surprised by them. Which has done wonders for their popularity. Will this continue? We think that Apink wouldn't risk messing with their success. And maybe Kpop needs some wholesomeness, now more than ever.
T-ara's "Little Apple"
T-ara came back this week with this collaboration with Chopstick Brothers, in this fun video for "Little Apple." It has the same T-ara ridiculousness that you know and love, sans a few members (maybe they couldn't sing the Chinese parts?). T-ara actually has had a pretty good year, and while they remain Kpop's guilty pleasure, they've embraced that niche with style. Check out our list of every Kpop music video ever, for this new addition.
Sunny Hill's "Here I Am"
Sunny Hill came back with a slower song this week, one that you'll probably have to watch a few times to understand what's going on. While we don't like their more-ballad inspired songs, this one actually got our attention. It probably won't make much of a scene on the charts, but it is a beautiful song, and one you should give a chance.
Hello Venus' "Wiggle Wiggle" Dance Cover
This dance practice from Hello Venus already has double the views of their "Sticky Sticky" MV. We'll give you clue as to why, and it's in the screenshot. With this and EXID's viral video, Kpop groups may be attempting new, unconventional ways to get some attention. And we're not sure how we feel about that (yet).
Five Reasons to Love Mamamoo's "Piano Man" Comeback
Remember how we said that a lot of exciting things are happening in the world of Kpop? Mamamoo might just be at the forefront of all of that, especially with their amazing "Piano Man" comeback. Here's five reasons why you should be loving this comeback as much as we are.
What are Kpop Fans Thankful for this Year?
'Tis the season here in America, so it's appropriate that we ask: What are Kpop fans thankful for this year? We've asked some of our contributors, past and present, and we were thrilled with their answers. Why don't you take a look and provide some of your own?
November 23-29, 2014
And that was This Week in Kpop! A loaded week with scandals and surprises, but also a lot of big new songs as we begin to close out the year. Hopefully you're having a fun and safe Thanksgiving weekend, American fans, and everyone else in the world, we're hope that your weekend will be wonderful too. See you next week!