This Week in Kpop was again marked by tragedy, with the news of Baby Kara's Sojin's apparent suicide. The show, apparently, must go on. There were no stoppages of releases or promotions (Sojin was not technically a Kpop idol, having been released by DSP Media a month ago), and though there is much speculation over the "cause" of her suicide, we feel as though it's probably more complicated than any one reason. Sojin's family and friends should receive respect and privacy right now, but there is one thing that can and should be addressed before this story falls in yesterday's news:
We Need to Talk about Suicide in Kpop
And not just in Kpop, but suicide in general. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people ages 15-29 years old. Read that again. It may be difficult to register. In Korea, the situation is especially dire. We take a look at suicide here, and will continue to examine suicide in the next few weeks.
Even with the tragic news, Kpop continues. We have to continue, don't we? That's why we're here, ultimately. To continue. So let's continue.
Like with Shinwa. They've been continuing for a very long time. Their "Sniper" MV was a must-see this week for being the sexy, smooth, and catchy (with an irresistible whistle) song that we need and (at this point) deserve. There's a maturity to this song and video that is appropriate for a group that's been around as long as Shinwa (Debut: 1998!), who prove, with "Sniper," that they absolutely still have it. The undefinable x-factor. We're just happy to see another boy group (or at this point, is it man group?) as February comes to a close. Maybe they can even teach these younger boy groups a thing or two.
Rainbow's "Black Swan"
Okay, we admit it. We were a bit disappointed at first at this strange release from Rainbow, especially with how much we hyped "Black Swan" up with ourselves and in our cover story for last week. But "Black Swan" has a way of growing on you. Maybe not in the explosive way that 4Minute assaults you with "Crazy" (and just doesn't let up until you're devoted to the song forever). But "Black Swan," with or without an effective hook, or a really cohesive concept (besides: vaguely creepy), prevails. It just requires multiple listens and some patience. Maybe that's too much to ask of Kpop fans. While we were hoping for something more fierce and aggressive, a return to "A" perhaps, we'll take this more adult Rainbow, shunning their colors and their aegyo, for something darker, more compelling, sad even.
Review: Vixx's Aegyo Comeback
Speaking of aegyo, we had some reservations last week at Vixx's aegyo shift (fearing our arrival in some alternate universe), and you still might too. But Boys' Record is more than that, friends. You can check out our review here.
King and Queen: Episode 8
The hits keep on coming as does the mystery of King and Queen, our fan fiction epic. This episode delves into JYP, missing envelopes, and more conflict that we should even fit in one episode! Read episode 8 here!
February 22-28, 2015
And that, friends, was This Week in Kpop. We're cutting it a bit short this week, as Sojin's suicide weighs heavily on her thoughts. We give our condolences, but we'd like to give more. You can read more about suicide prevention and seeking help at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. No one should have to deal with this alone.