That’s right folks, it’s that time again! Welcome to yet another episode of:
Kpopalypse will yet again bring you fresh (or stale) nugus to enhance your life (or not)!
Nugu criteria as per usual:
* Less than 20,000 YouTube hits on the MV *
* Your friends who are all into EXO don’t give a fuck *
Let’s get the party started.
T-ara new song and video “Sugar Free” just came out, and of course it’s great. Naturally, this beacon of light from the k-pop heavens is suffering the usual slings and arrows from the small handful of haters still left who can’t deal with the fact that T-ara have put out yet another song that is really really good and better than anything their faves have done in years so they’ll have to listen to it secretly 6921 times so they don’t get busted and thrown out of their little imaginary Internet Kool Klub. One of the criticisms directed at “Sugar Free”, which is the same one always directed at all T-ara videos (even the ones that cost over $1 million USD) is that it ” looks cheap”.
Never mind the blatant incorrectness of this complaint in terms of CCM quitting drama MVs, or even T-ara themselves quitting drama MVs (not that it’s exactly up to them), or the laughable inference that the scandal did some sort of permanent financial damage to T-ara on a business level (hahaha nope). I’ll write the “692 reasons why people who clutch at weak straws to hate on T-ara are dipshits” blog some other time, let’s keep things simple for now and just focus on the word “cheap”. It’s pretty achingly obvious confirmation bias and/or shocking ignorance weighing in when someone calls a video by T-ara or in fact any of the well-known groups in k-pop cheap. Genuinely cheap k-pop videos are extremely rare – to get to the cheap seats in k-pop forget all the groups you know about and have heard of, you need to go straight to nugu town and search hard. It’s time to show you folks what a truly cheap k-pop MV really looks like, and as usual, Kpopalypse Nugu Alert will take you straight there. We will not pass Core Contents Media. We will not collect $200.
KISUM ft. RISSO – Like It
There are so many k-pop videos made every year, and so much competition out there, that a little bit of double-up of visual ideas is inevitable. Some are easy to spot – most people for instance know that GD&TOP’s tank in “Knock Out” was given a girly spray paint job and recycled for f(x)’s “Hot Summer“, and why not, after all who wants to build a fucking fake tank twice? It’s just good sense to recycle expensive materials when you can, and I’m sure YG appreciated SM buying the plastic tank off them so it didn’t have to sit around in the YG basement taking up space where they could store their hydroponics equipment away from prying eyes. However you know you’re firmly in broke nugu territory when you see video directors start to recycle things that really weren’t all that fucking expensive to obtain in the first place:
Girl group Tint are also nugu, but in no way nugu enough to qualify for Nugu Alert, after all this video here has nearly half a million views. Sure 50% of those hits are probably from angry EXO fans trolled into clicking it to see if it’s a sly EXO diss (which it is) and the other 50% are likely from masturbating fangirls hoping to catch a glimpse of Teen Top’s Chunji… but no such luck, girls (check the comments for some amusing tears)! He might be the one under the wolf’s head though, and observant viewers will notice that it’s exactly the same wolf’s head that’s in the Kisum video. Not even one that looks a little bit the same or another model from the same costume shop but exactly the same one – look at the creases and dents on the ears, they’re in identical spots. This was just sitting around in some storage room somewhere with a bunch of old furniture and other video props after Tint’s director used it, and Kisum’s crew found it and thought “okay this’ll be a good visual gimmick for Kisum and she can get all gropey with the wolf’s head without annoying any censors”. They went ahead and not only used the wolf head but brought in some camera lighting and shot the whole damn video in the storage room they found it in – look at the utterly random props lying around like the clothes dummy and the wall colours that don’t match (because these walls were probably painted different colours to shoot two separate scenes for different MVs with on two different sides of the room, a common practice in TV studios). This is gonzo shoestring MV making at its finest, the type that only true nugus can bring you.
YouTube views at time of writing: 6338
Notable attribute: Tint’s wolf mask actually still intact and not burned by angry EXO sasaengs
Nugu Alert rating: high
912 Crew – Roller Skate
One of the biggest and dumbest myths surrounding k-pop music video making is that the popular “box” and “indoor scene set” style videos used to showcase dance-based MVs are somehow the “cheap option”. Nothing could be further from the truth – these are actually some of the most expensive MVs out there of all, because fabricating an entire room inside another room to shoot an MV in is a royal logistic pain in the ass. Large k-pop labels go to extraordinary lengths to give their “scenes” and “boxes” a lot of detail and details cost money – it’s not unusual to see these type of MVs spend six-figure sums just on set design alone. CGI is also used a lot less often than you think – check any behind-the-scenes video for a box MV and you’ll be surprised how often the rooms are actually real.
On the other hand if you’re complete nugus with no money and I mean zero fucking money, you do what 912 Crew do – you go to an outdoor location on a day when it it probably isn’t going to rain and you hope for the best (and bring your umbrella – just in case). Consistent use of outdoor locations is a nugu MV signature, because nobody had to be paid to build any shit. If you then want some “box MV” action, go find a white box and do some moves – if it looks a little crappy because there are dark spots in the corners just throw some weird filter over the footage later. It’ll all work out in the end. It certainly won’t fuck up your totally cool 80s style rap song about roller skating – in fact it’ll probably fit really well because most music videos that had anything to do with skate parks, roller skates or skate boards from western countries were also about this cheap-looking so fuck it.
YouTube views at time of writing: 1884
Notable attribute: pudgy rap girl actually cuter than 90% of k-pop idols
Nugu Alert rating: very high
ROK KISS – ROK KISS
Rok Kiss seem to get everything wrong – terrible dancing, dodgy leather costumes, laughable group name, awful music (of course), horrid budget CGI, uncanny-valley makeup and styling, even a cheesy bas-relief logo… but despite all this there’s one thing that sticks out immediately from them as strangely up-to-par. These guys are as buff as any k-pop star… actually, maybe even more so because they’re a bit heavier than the usual lithe male k-pop physique. Why is that, I wondered?
Ahhh… thanks for clearing that up, channel owner! It’s easy to see why Rok Kiss exists. Imagine that you’re Nicole’s personal fitness trainer and gym coach (if you’re not into Nicole, substitute her name for whoever you bias is). Every day you get up early, you go to work, and you spend hours per day, every day, helping Nicole stretch and tone her abs and thighs correctly. Then at the end of each long and hard day of work only matched by the longness and hardness of your throbbing unsatisfied boner, you go home to Starcraft while Nicole skips along to the dorm of some guy in some k-pop group that she’s banging. Months of this and eventually the sexual tension becomes too much – why can’t you be that guy in that group? You talk it over at the local pub with your fitness-trainer friends who are all in the same situation, they’re also training girls they have mad crushes on who they will never get with because the girls don’t want to date “just the trainer”. The decision is made: time to start a group and finally release those fitness trainer blue-balls – the rest is history! That is, if starting this mega nugu k-pop group actually counts as a history-making activity.
Rok Kiss also earn themselves a special distinction of a type never before seen here on Nugu Alert, but which was probably inevitable someday. Those who have long memories will remember back in Nugu Alert Episode 2, I highlighted a Nickelbackesque female rock group called Amor Fati and their ultra-average “stadium rock that will never see the inside of a stadium” snoozer “Say The Word”.
Observant types will notice that Amor Fati and Rok Kiss are using exactly the same building! Sure, Rok Kiss have moved a few bits of furniture around and wheeled in some gym equipment, but it’s definitely the same rooms, same light fittings, same architraves, same pointless stairway to nowhere, same everything. This means that Rok Kiss are the first k-pop group on Kpopalypse Nugu Alert to recycle sets not just from anywhere but from another group that also made it onto Kpopalypse Nugu Alert, which earns them massive amounts of extra bonus nugu points.
YouTube views at time of writing: 13506
Notable attribute: I’ve actually seen some of these outfits on sale at Adult Superstore
Nugu Alert rating: extreme
That’s all for this episode of Kpopalypse Nugu Alert! Kpopalypse will return in the future with more nugus, until then try and listen to something that’s not from SM or YG for once in your life! You can do it!