For the third and final part of our MAMA Predictions, we are examining Special and Daesang awards. According to the official MAMA website, the only “Special” award is for Best Music Video. And for those that are new to Kpop and MAMA, the three “Daesang” or “Grand” awards, Album, Song, and Artist of the Year, are considered higher than the rest. This is where Kpop’s bigger players come in — it is often the most controversial part of the ceremony as well. With MAMA only a few days away, let’s take a look!
|Image Credit: HNGN|
Special - Best Music Video - f(x), “4 Walls”
This explanation will be prefaced by the fact that it is possible that BIGBANG will win, simply because “Bae Bae” was innovative both musically and videographically, and because MAMA loves giving awards to YG artists (and they will probably give more this time around, just to stay in YG’s good graces after all the drama between YGE and Mnet that took place when iKON debuted). So a BIGBANG win is possible; we wouldn’t be surprised if Wonder Girls won with their retro-style “I Feel You,” either. “4 Walls” is one of the most beautiful pieces of cinematography to come out of Kpop this year. The video is incredibly hard to decipher — a sequence of actions is repeated and distorted between what is seemingly two different dimensions. In the end, Victoria breaks the cycle by catching the teacup Amber drops. Have you figured out what this video is trying to say? I haven’t, but the theories are definitely interesting. Not many other Kpop videos get you talking specifically about the plot and dynamics of the video itself. Considering MAMA has a history of rewarding videos that simply stand out among their competitors in quality and popularity, we say f(x) has a good shot at bagging this award.
|Image Credit: AllKpop|
Daesang - Artist of the Year - Girls’ Generation
It’s kind of weird how MAMA nominates 1,000,000,003 artists for this award, despite the fact that usually only one or two can really contend for the coveted title of “Artist of the Year.” That’s a big name to have, and it will probably go to none other than the queens Girls’ Generation. With digital single, physical single, and full album releases this year, SNSD has been relevant for the entire year. Even now, their “Phantasia” concert has made some domestic and international headlines despite comebacks from EXID and Dynamic Duo on the charts and in the news. In addition to group activities, Sooyoung has been acting, Taeyeon debuted as a solo artist (and is confusingly nominated for this award, too), Hyoyeon released a book, Tiffany is working on her own solo debut, TTS is preparing a comeback, and much, much more. GG has been on the grind non-stop this year — their unceasing activity and continued success easily gives them the award.
Daesang - Song of the Year - BIGBANG, “Bang Bang Bang”
Another category with 50 million nominees. You don’t really have to work too hard, however, to figure out that this award will probably go to BIGBANG. This situation is reminiscent of 2011 — 2NE1’s “Lonely” was the top-selling of their releases that year, but it was “I Am the Best,” the hard-hitting club banger, that was nominated and won the award. Here, we have a similar situation with “Bang Bang Bang” and “Loser,” except the former has actually outsold the latter by about 30,000 downloads, making it even more apparent that “Bang Bang Bang” should be the Song of the Year. While some of this year’s other megahits are on this list as well (Baek Ah Yeon’s “Shouldn’t Have,” Zion.T and Crush’s “Just,” JYP’s “Who’s Your Mama?”), “Bang Bang Bang” is the only one with such sustained relevancy — it is essentially 2015’s “Fantastic Baby” in terms of success. Also, Mnet is probably still begging for YG’s love — after all, they did have to have a private meeting with the label to convince its artists to attend. BIGBANG bagging some big awards like Song of the Year is therefore even more likely.
|Image Credit: SBS|
Daesang - Album of the Year - EXO, “EXODUS”
This one is absolutely obvious. BIGBANG could have won if they had actually released the complete version of their MADE album, but they pretty much disqualified themselves by pushing it back into the void of anticipated YG releases. Therefore, with combined album sales totalling above the one million-mark in Korea (not to mention being the best-selling Kpop album in America), EXO wins.
So that concludes our series on MAMA predictions! Make sure to let us know what you think, and make sure to keep up with the MAMA coverage. It’s an exciting time of year for Kpop fans!
Kushal Dev is an Indian-American writer based in New Jersey. He discovered K-Pop through friends and YouTube, and has been an avid follower of Korean entertainment for 4 years. He biases 2NE1, Girls' Generation, f(x), MAMAMOO and EXID.