I don’t mind admitting it – I liked Gangkiz. The “Lovey Dovey” rip off “Honey Honey” was great, and the spaghetti western-influenced “Mama” was even better – it actually captured underrated pop/soundtrack producer Ennio Morricone‘s melodic and harmonic choices instead of just lifting his most well-known sound effects and square-pegging them into the round hole of k-pop melody and harmony (most recent example of the latter: BEG’s “Kill Bill”). Sure, they were just a bunch of models, they sunk like a stone commercially, their CEO is nuts, but like I give a fuck about any of that stuff if the songs are this good. All that other shit is their problem, not mine. Maybe no-one else bought that “Mama” mini-album but I SURE DID (ask me to show you on the stream next weekend, you know you want to), and I was sad when most of the members then (understandably) flew the coop.
Oh look, I just typed out a whole paragraph about Gang Kiz without mentioning Haein’s boobs. What was I thinking.
It’s a tough life being a k-pop fan and also
a boobs pervert an appreciator of female upper-body aesthetics. The genre doesn’t really give me a lot of material to work with, so when I heard Haein left Gangkiz, I lamented the departure of one of k-pop’s few genuinely busty ladies and wondered if I was ever going to see that mousy-haired trashy-looking girl on my computer screen ever again.
FEAR NOT, CORE CONTENTS MEDIA TO THE RESCUE
By now you’ve all heard that quite acceptable but definitely-not-a-Sistar-Loving-U-beater song by T-ara, Davichi and Skull, and seen the accompanying video, but here it is for the three of you who haven’t:
Of course all the T-ara and Davichi fans are having a whine because their favourite girls actually aren’t in it, and some are looking on the positive and saying maybe that’s a smart move because of netizens’ hatred of anything sexy and blah blah… but hang on, since when did CCM ever factor netizen hate into anything in a non-stirring-the-pot kind of way? That would seem very uncharacteristic of them, wouldn’t it. No, I think there might be a different reason and as per usual I’m going to use my insider knowledge about how shit actually works in the world of music to take you through a little scenario and tell you why I think the way that I do. As usual with my posts, it’s time to do some reading, folks (and hey wading through all this text will give time for the gifs to load).
For those of you who don’t know, like most big companies, music labels outsource like a motherfuck. Distribution is outsourced often – why do you think Loen’s YouTube channel has like almost every k-pop artist on it ever that isn’t in the biggest four or five labels. All that merch you buy is made by some other company too, not the label themselves (that’s why they get certain details that a fan would notice but a factory employee wouldn’t wrong sometimes, like correct anglicisation and name-spacing). The CDs and books are printed by someone else too, and you see fuckups in those all the time – I’ve got a Sistar book where Hyorin’s name isn’t even spelled correctly. Even stuff like payroll is outsourced, would you believe. SM probably don’t even make those big “boxes” for their dance artists to dance in, there’s probably a special company that does that, and maybe you hate the boxes but SM has a contract with that company to produce x amount of semi-unique boxes per artist per year so tough shit if you don’t like “Groan” or “Screech” or whatever the new EXO thing is called.
When things start to get really interesting here is when the main company and the outsourcing company don’t have the best business relationship in the world. This leads to two things:
1. Employees at the outsourced company start giving less of a fuck (more mistakes get made)
2. Employees or even the company themselves start actively fucking with the program for a laugh (subtle sabotage)
Anything can strain that relationship. Maybe the main company isn’t paying the bills on time. Maybe the CEO is just a douchenoz. Or maybe the artists are annoying to deal with and when they turn up on the outsourced company’s video set all the employees groan “not this bitch again, what a pain in the ass she was on the last shoot”, so they talk her into dyeing her hair bright red and singing in front of a bunch of backgrounds that all look like the inside of a woman’s cunt, so at least they can have a laugh about it later over a beer while watching the end result.
Now let’s do a scenario where we pretend that the main company is CCM and they’re organising elements of the video shoot for the Bikini MV. Oh boy, what could possibly go wrong here.
KKS’s personal assistant makes the call to the outsourced costume company: “the new song’s called Bikini, we need eight bikini swimwear costumes for the girls, here are their measurements, I need it by the end of the weekend, send it to this address who are the company making the video, now get it done”. She then calls the also-outsourced video shoot company: “look, they’re gonna send you some costumes on Monday, shoot a teaser on that day while the weather’s good, edit in the evening, then we clear it with the censorship people, we need the full thing in a week, okay go.”
The costumer guy is pissed off. Eight girls all with wonky anemic measurements that mostly don’t match a damn thing in pre-existing stock means he’ll have to design and make something special for each of them – on the weekend too, as if that’s gonna happen! It hardly seems worth the effort especially for someone who isn’t exactly a preferred client. “I don’t care if I lose the business, I have other customers who are better to deal with on the phone and actually pay on time”, he thinks, rips up the measurements he wrote down over the phone and just sends eight random bits of swimwear from off the shelf that kind of look like they might fit a sexy hot girl to the video people, because fuck it.
The video people get the shipment, open it and get pissed off too. “Fucking typical KKS” they think “none of these half-starved girls even have tits and he wants them in a bikini shoot, with THESE garments?” They try to pad up Hyomin a bit to do a video teaser but it just isn’t working – the pads keep falling out the side and it’s fooling nobody, plus you can see the ribs and it’s not really that sexy. Hyomin is nearly passing out just standing there for hours while they fuck around with this shit and really needs some rest. “Do you think he’ll be mad if we use another girl for the teaser instead?” someone asks. Shrugs of shoulders all round, who can figure out that KKS guy. Someone suggests using “that girl from that other group we shot last year, you know, the one with the rack, she’d fit into that red thing” and people start looking around and nodding their heads. Hyomin happily hands over Haein’s phone number, a phone call is made, and Haein, not particularly busy and eager for the employment, takes the bus down to the beach and does some poses for the crew. Everyone is happy with the result because it means they get paid and they get to knock off work, and Hyomin’s happy too because she can go back to the hotel and get some sleep instead of fucking around on the beach for hours.
The teaser gets sent back to CCM’s assistant on the email, who looks at it and thinks “damn that’s nice, but why is it that Gangkiz chick though, I thought we got rid of her, where are T-ara and Davichi?”. They make a phone call to the video people, which rings out and goes to voicemail – the video director went to the pub and switched his mobile onto silent mode when it became clear that he and Haein were actually starting to get along and he could realistically be getting some action soon.
The next day over breakfast after a pretty outstanding morning blowjob from a very gratefully employed Haein, the director discusses the main shoot. The crew likes the look of the teaser, especially T-ara who are tired and overworked and really don’t want to even be there at all. “Did KKS like it?” Haein asks. Nobody knows, the director has had his hands full (so to speak) and hasn’t even noticed that phone message, and on SNS there’s just a “looks great, but can we catch up and talk” or something from the company. Everyone comes to a mutual agreement: “CCM thinks it looks great, so T-ara and Davichi girls take the next few days off, Haein get some of your friends who need work too and we’ll get them in these bikinis, and let’s do this”. The main video is then shot, with Haein featuring in a good 50% of it as a token of gratitude, and everyone is proud with the end result as it gets emailed to CCM offices.
By the time KKS watches it, he’s like “jesus christ they sure fucked up here – but hey, we’ve spent enough money already on this shit, and this is probably what they were expecting anyway from the teaser, what the hell let’s just fuckin’ put it out there”. “But sir… Davichi’s name isn’t even spe…” “JUST GET IT OUT THERE DAMNIT, what am I paying you for?”.
And that’s how (I believe) the most fap-friendly k-pop karaoke beach MV of 2013 was created. Welcome back Haein!
(Thanks to Comekpop for the bikini gifs!)