Welcome to another episode of Kpopalypse Nugu Alert! Let’s take a look at some more nugus!
On Kpopalypse Nugu Alert I do my best to broaden the horizons of listeners. I figure that the odds are good that anyone bold enough to check out k-pop nugus probably has an open mind plus fairly broad music taste overall in a general sense and therefore I’ve used this series to expand the genre palette of Kpopalypse blog into less traditional musical areas that other k-pop websites don’t cover (even Korean Indie doesn’t really touch on trot or extreme metal much, for example). While I make no apologies for these genre adventures and will certainly continue on the course of discovering exciting new musically-linked nugu content, I also feel that as a pop music site, there’s always going to be a place for catering to popular demand. The most common request received on ask.fm relating to Nugu Alert is succinctly summarised by the following asker:
I originally became interested in k-pop through girl groups so I can certainly relate to the predicament of the individual asker above, as I’d like to see more new k-pop girl groups as much as anybody. It’s hard to find and keep track of some of the more obscure girl groups however. A “what’s related” search on YouTube plus the random press-release-cum-articles that flood k-pop “news” sites might be able to help you find some of them, but only up to a certain extent. There’s such a high volume of this type of content that it’s inevitable that a lot of it isn’t going to get due coverage. Fortunately, Kpopalypse Nugu Alert is here to fill this shortfall and redress the balance issues that plague k-pop media content!
The usual Kpopalypse Nugu Alert rules apply:
- Less than 20,000 views
- Your friends who all stan BTS and EXO don’t care
- Relevant to Kpopalypse
Let’s get it started!
Bu – Heotdari
Bu is actually one of the least-nugu nugus that I’ve featured on Kpopalypse Nugu Alert for quite some time. Bu was even well-known enough to get picked up by Omona who charmingly called Heotdari’s video “not gross“, presumably because they didn’t realise that somebody was supposed to fap to it. I guess the music video didn’t trigger any of their barely-repressed disgust with their own sexuality despite the presence of multiple mature-age girls cosplaying in school uniforms, I think someone over there needs to get familiar with dog-whistle concepts. Of course Bu is a solo artist and not a group, but I’ve put her here anyway because the visual presentation of “Heotdari” is very “girl group-like”, with the constant presence of backing dancers AND a live backing band. I barely even looked at Bu herself while watching this, and spent my entire time eyeing off the band members in the group behind her, who I’ve determined are sitting at roughly Wonder Girls levels of miming authenticity (i.e not bad) so there’s a good chance that they’re actual musicians. Mind you it wouldn’t take a great deal of effort to mime convincingly to this limp R&B/funk/pop hybrid which never really does anything musically interesting.
You Tube views at time of writing: 16625
Notable attribute: left chair wobbles at 1:36, the backing dancer probably lost her balance and fell off and it was edited out. Pay attention to OH&S compliance, girls!
Nugu Alert rating: high
Awesome – Topping Girl
It was tough to decide whether to write about “Topping Girl” or the equally innovatively-titled “Drop Your Bass“, as both songs and videos were released simultaneously and possess similar qualities.
- The videos start off with black and white and then contain an exciting explosion of colour that coincides with the beat drop
- Each edit of the dance was shot with different clothing, imparting important visual variety
- Videos were shot with the exciting, edgy stairwell backdrop and multicoloured lights
- Both songs are similarly musically forgettable and will vacate your memory shortly after listening
“Drop Your Bass” even had the slight advantage of that “techno, techno” intro which I thought was really nifty and easily the most fun musical moment of either song, but eventually I had to go with “Topping Girl” just because of the fashions. “Topping Girl” definitely has the girls dressing with Kpopalypse fap value in mind, with cute and cuddly jumpers in one cut, and svelte tartan emsembles in the other, with the black top and white cuffs one of the blonde girls is rocking a definite highlight. On the other hand “Drop Your Bass” has the girls showcasing more of a Blackpink-lite “sporty” kind of vibe which isn’t by any means ugly but certainly isn’t anywhere near as interesting as we all know how I feel about sport. In such spartan videos, it’s the little things that matter. Make the most of that studio time, girls!
You Tube views at time of writing: 1848
Notable attribute: room heater thoughtfully left plugged in, it’s good to see k-pop agencies looking after their artists’ health and wellbeing
Nugu Alert rating: very high
Hashina – Fighting
Released back in 2011, you may be wondering why you haven’t heard of Hashina or their agency SB Music Entertainment all this time, and so was I until I read the YouTube comments where some people were claiming that Hashina was a “Christian k-pop” group and that “Fighting” is actually a worship song. Could it be true? It certainly seems like the case, as even without being able to understand the lyrics, the occasional praying gestures worked into the dance routine kind of gives it away that there’s more than just singing and dancing going on here. Christian performers also tend to have lower standards for physical appearance, as discriminating against someone just because they’re ugly isn’t considered to be “what Jesus would do”, which is why you get some butt-ugly performers with viable careers in western Christian music that wouldn’t stand a chance in the secular side of the industry. In Korea beauty standards across the board are higher, but Christian musicians would be no doubt a little more relaxed about physical perfection than the regular k-pop scene, so that’s why we’re seeing a lack of double-eyelid surgery, relatively frumpy clothes and one of the girls even look a bit like F-ve Dolls’ Eunkyo. The geometrically-challenged modern-art structure behind the girls also appears to meet Christian requirements of bland inoffensiveness. Of course the music is garbage, but then it’s Christian music so that’s a given – as Christian music globally is essentially based on emotional fraud, you can write off quality as a factor pretty much straight away (and if you don’t believe me on that point, take the word of Christians in the music industry). I wish Christianity would take a leaf out of Islam’s book and actively try to prevent people from singing about their religion, then we wouldn’t have to put up with crap like this half-baked Z-grade template of Year 7 Class 1’s “Oppa Virus“.
You Tube views at time of writing: 7524
Notable attribute: surprising amount of boob-bounce for a Christian video
Nugu Alert rating: extreme
Thanks for reading another Kpopalypse Nugu Alert! The series will return soon with more nugus!