QRIMOLE – March 2018

It’s time once again for Kpopalypse to answer questions from readers!  Welcome to the March edition of QRIMOLE!

Is your lexicon inspired by “The Devil’s Dictionary” by Ambrose Bierce?

I wasn’t aware of this text, so no.  The Kpopalypse Lexicon is just about demystifying some of the weird secret language of the blog as well as giving people a good introduction to what the fuck I’m on about.  It’s mainly for the benefit of new readers and people new to k-pop in general who might stumble across the site, to give them a clue as to what the site is all about and also what type of humour can be expected.  On the other hand I’m not sure what the aims of “The Devil’s Dictionary” are!  Note that the Lexicon has been updated recently, and readers should feel free to submit new terms for inclusion as it’s probably missing a few recent ones.

Do you think YG’s strategy of rarely giving Blackpink any comebacks is a smart one or is he just fucking the group over?

I had a lot of questions like this, it’s a hot topic for many of you.  Here’s another one:

ok so WHAT is going on with YG’s business style management? leaving aside YG’s pedophile ass, everyone says the company is a mess, with artists clearly underused and visibly frustrated at the inactivity, Blackpink only released one song last year, and yeah I know songs are not where the kpop dough is at but CFs instead and BP are apparently getting plenty of those, and kpop idols are already too prolific compared to western artists, but even YG said Blackpink releasing one song a year makes no sense (but who’s fault is it then lol??) and yet if they were such shit at managment then YGE would’ve been bankrupt ages ago because SOMEONE has to be out there making a profit to at least pay all the employees. There’s also the shady business regarding CL’s US career in which she has songs and videos ready for years, but for some reason they’re unreleased, she got scolded for trying to “leak” one of her videos, and when a magazine tried to interview her to know more about the bizarre delay, it was nipped in the bud by YGE (why couldn’t she just do it by email or skype then?), but why would YG try to sabotage his own artists’ careers? regardless of what we feel about CL’s image and sound, she could find a decent niche on the industry…if only she would actually begin promoting and releasing shit. It’s not the lack of connections either because she clearly knows people that could help her. So what is the truth?

My theory with Blackpink is that he knows he needs an absolute killer comeback song to compete with Twice etc and nothing that’s been submitted by songwriters yet is really cutting it.  The previous song that they came out with was actually a 5 year old song written for 2NE1 that was never used, so that strengthens my theory that his songwriters are currently having writer’s block.  I doubt very much that he’s holding Blackpink back just to fuck with people.

As for CL – who knows.  But there would be a reason, it’s not just random.

Why do companies have gigantic groups like Seventeen (13 members)? Wouldn’t it make more commercial sense to debut, in this example, two smaller groups of six and seven members each? In this scenario the two groups could have different concepts/core sounds, appealing to different market segments and netting more profit overall. And in the event that one group becomes significantly more popular, the company could toss the other one in the dungeon and only have to fund 6 rather than 13 members.

Thirteen members means thirteen chances for one person in that group to capture someone’s heart.  When I play FPS games I don’t aim very precisely, because I can’t aim that well anyway, I just try to fire as many bullets as quickly as possible so there’s a greater chance that one will hit the mark.  Sometimes I get lucky!  I think that’s the thinking behind it, and it seems to work.  If you look at the groups who have gone huge over the last few years, they tend to have a lot of members.

Thoughts on parental control apps?

I’ve never used any, I don’t know how well they work, but I know that when I was a kid I was far more computer-savvy than my own parents, but then there also wasn’t an Internet to get onto and download JAV on back then, the most erotic thing I had access to on a computer while growing up was the dismal Samantha Fox Strip Poker.  I’m not a parent so I don’t feel qualified to talk about how useful any parental control apps are.  However I certainly prefer the thought of control over access being administered by parents than by the government!

I am a 27 years old man that never had real interest in fucking, sucking, kissing or even staying in a relationship with a person (man, woman or whatever else). BUT I am turned on by porn, of almost every type (hetero, homo, bi, latin, asian, caucasian, amateur, pro, hardcore, BDSM), in a daily basis.
Besides never being close to somebody, I don’t feel the urge to connect to people even to make sex. I prefer just a healthy friendship with people, never entering their intimacy with second intentions.
I feel that I don’t really “suffer” by having this way of life, I actually feel happy about myself. But when I try to explain to curious people close enough to me to I actually give a shit about their opinions, they say or that I’m sick or that I’m living in negation of my true orientation.
I would label myself “assexual” to them so they could stop pissing me off, but it seems rather inadequate, judging my regular fapping routine.
Mr. Kpopalypse, in your opinion, what the fuck am I, some type of defective human? Or should I just get new friends who don’t mock me for what I feel that I am?
Additional info:
I have born with a really strong sense of smell, most of the time I feel quite annoyed with human natural odor, including mine. It’s really unpleasant to me. I’m even used to hear people saying that I have a really good hygiene, since I try my best to at least wash my dirt away.
Sometimes I feel like I’m doing wrong in not make sex with people, but can’t really understand if this means that I want it or is just a fear of missing out.
I don’t give a shit about religion or religious people. All of them could criticize me and I wouldn’t still give a damn about what they say. Hardly believe that some cultural aspect like this one could be interfering in my perception about myself.
Please help me!

Society gives us the impression that relationships are all great, wonderful stuff, that we should all strive to be in relationships, and that if you’re in a relationship then the quality of your life is obviously better than if you are not.  However this isn’t strictly true.  I’d say for anyone who isn’t in a relationship, that the intimacy part of their life is not “down in the dumps” but instead on a good neutral kind of level, and that a relationship could either improve this level or make it a lot worse.  Also, to keep a relationship on a level so it’s actually better than not being in one, over a consistent period, is actually a lot of work, that’s why so many relationships don’t tend to last very long – one party or the other just doesn’t want to put the effort in, for whatever reason.  I think it’s fine to not bother with any of it if it doesn’t interest you.  Maybe one day you’ll meet someone and suddenly it will appeal to you… or maybe that won’t happen and you’ll continue as you are.  Either of those outcomes are okay, as long as you’re okay with them.  What other people think about it doesn’t really matter.

So, I was searching for kpop on youtube and stumbled in this:

I was actually quite impressed with this ballad (a type of music that I generally hate) but the dude’s Dramatic Baritone voice has scared the shit out of me like a dick that goes in the wrong hole!
Oppar, do you know some other music that introduce unexpected things like that in the k-pop world, like this (kinda) lyrical singing in the aforementioned MV?

Baritone voices are unusual in commercial pop, because pop music is made for young girls to sing along to, and most young girls struggle to sing along to a lower voice.  If the target market was men, you’d see more lower voices, but someone in the past worked out that women prefer to do the big spending on pop music, so that’s what we’ve got.  I don’t really like this opera-style singing at all, or the song itself, but I guess some people might dig it, maybe K-pop’s vocalfags will latch onto this and then take the next stepping stone over to opera and leave k-pop alone forever, that would be a good thing for all concerned.

Lol. I’ll be honest, as a MooMoo and an avid reader of you AND someone who rarely use twitter nowadays, I’m so surprised at how you rant about MooMoo twice in a week. I always thought that most of MooMoos understand satire or most of us don’t even know Kpopalypse exists. This is pretty weird to me lmao. Anyway, I just want to ask an advice to be able to handle a lazy group when I got a group project assignment. I’m that bitch who’s really hate when my willingness to work being taken advantage of, like being expected to do the whole task or take the biggest part of the project. Not to mention I’m also a really quiet and shy person. So please, give me one or two advice to handle this:(

Also, I don’t know if you really hurt or just make satirical post about that MooMoo accuses to you(it most likely the latter tho, that’s why I don’t feel that bad). But I hope you have a great day after that, you’re too old for things like that anyway. *pat pat*

Just to keep readers in the loop here: what actually happened is that a few MooMoos (Mamamoo fans) found my post about Mamamoo’s latest plagiarism accusation, and got very upset about the fact that I don’t like most of Mamamoo’s songs.  They also didn’t read the article properly, or didn’t care about the content of the article, because they failed to notice or care that I was actually siding with Mamamoo as far as the dumb allegations went.  So anyway of course they watched the attached tabs video, found out that my skin was white and that I wasn’t a young person, and posted stuff on Twitter about “look at this 50 year old cracker who hates our girls” etc, which I thought was an interesting response that said a lot more about them than it did about me.  To contrast, fans of Momoland and Sunmi were both actually really happy when I debunked similar claims about those artists, even though I was equally open about the fact that I don’t like about 50% of Momoland’s songs and about 80% of Sunmi’s.  I don’t really give a fuck about what anyone thinks of me, but I thought it was worth having a little fun and exposing the general stupidity of these particular fans, because that’s just how I roll.

Of course these fans took the bait and instantly filled my Twitter with all sorts of racial abuse, while I naturally remained calm and put forth my position in a polite manner.  Some readers of my blog also got involved in defending me, and there were a few Twitter fights with people playing the Oppression Olympics etc. and then some other Mamamoo fans also got involved with some #NotAllMooMoos type stuff because they saw how badly their fellow fans were representing the fandom.  The abuse was then deleted by Twitter admins and harmony in the universe was restored.

As far as group projects go, I would say don’t worry about it and do your best anyway.  If your teacher is smart, they’ll notice that you did most of the work, you won’t even need to say anything.  Teachers do empathise with people in your position and you’ll probably find yourself rewarded for it somewhere down the line.

Don’t know if you’ve already answered this question on your blog, but I’ll ask it anyway (lol).
Is there any Korean R&B song you like?

Not strict R&B but I do like a few that have R&B influences, and honestly most Korean pop songs do have some R&B influence.  More info here.

Hi kpopalypse:

I am actually not a kpop fan. I only found you because some people were talking about “Mi mi mi” by Serebro being plagiarized by this group called Momoland and I found you when I searched this matter up. Anyway, I fell in love with your blog in no time. I enjoyed your explanations and opinion pieces about music composition in general, which I found incredibly interesting.

I’m thinking of dabbling a little into music composition (not as a career, just as a hobby), but I have zero musical training. I occasionally hum snippets of melodies and add words to them, but don’t have the skill to record them on paper or evolve beyond that. How do you think I should start with this? Do you think it’s important to take a class in music theory first, or something else?

Oh, and also, do you know any other blogger like you that talks about music composition in laymen terms?


While it’s not essential to know music theory to be able to do music, I would say that it’s definitely very helpful.  Any sort of musical instruction doesn’t tell you anything that you can’t find out yourself through experimentation and investigation, but what it does do is speed up the learning process by telling you where other people have experimented before and what those results were, and giving you some good processes to follow, thereby saving you a lot of time fucking around.  However be aware that music theory textbooks tend to be exceptionally dry, so it might be worth having a chat to a music teacher.  I’d consider learning some basic piano keyboard skill to supplement the songwriting that you’re doing in your head, because it will give you more of a system by which you can explore those ideas.  There’s no need to try and be a concert pianist or anything, but learning how to construct major and minor chords, learning about key, melody vs harmony, transposition, etc that sort of knowledge will be useful to you as a composer, even if you never become “technically good” as a player, because it will help you work with your voice and with other singers as well, if you want.

I’ve never encountered a blog that deals with music theory quite like mine does.  All the stuff I’ve read about this online is very dry, technical and humourless.  Readers have been asking for more technical and theory posts so a regular music theory series on Kpopalypse will probably happen.

How can one state that “song X doesn’t sound like it’s from group Y” when song creation is often outsourced, there is no consistency, groups don’t make their own music and the only constant thing is the member’s voices (exempting ghost singers)? Is there something like distinct Shinee style or April style or is all of this wishful thinking of fans. (Assuming that not the whole discography is made by the same people).
And if a distinctive style is possible, how does it work?
Would somebody who is tasked to make a new song for group X listen to all of group X’s previous stuff and imitate it + add some variation?

The other consistent thing besides the members themselves is the manager, CEO or whoever is making the musical decisions for that group.  Someone running April will decide “I want April to have songs that sound like X” and then commission a bunch of material.  Then once a sound is determined, they have an example “can you write a song that sounds kind of like this, with the same kind of vibe, but different”.  So yeah there are stylistic similarities, even between different songwriters, when working for the same group – sometimes.  It just depends on what the people who control things really want for that group.  Twice is a good example of a group where all the feature tracks do sound a bit similar, even when different people write them, there’s no doubt that it’s a deliberate decision to fit into what is seen as the image of the group.  I can’t really see Twice doing something like miss A’s “Touch” for example, at least not in the near future.

Recently, our school has had a scandal where a student swore at our guidance counsellor, saying “shut the fuck up” or something like that, and they were suspended for a day because of it. Many people are complaining about it and demanding justice for the student. Apparently what happened what that the student in question had been bullied prior to going to the guidance counsellor, and the counsellor said something to trigger her while she was already in a very emotional state. Please share your thoughts on this situation? I’m not quite sure who to side with here, perhaps your POV will give me some perspective.

It’s hard for me to judge anything here if I don’t know exactly what the guidance counsellor said or any other context.  However I think it’s pretty obvious that a student shouldn’t be rude to someone who is trying to help them, it’s fairly counterproductive.  But “demanding justice”, really – come the fuck on, it’s only a one-day suspension, if it were me I’d take the day off and be happy personally.  People these days act like “being triggered” is an excuse for any fucking thing, which is huge emotional vanity and actually insulting to the minority of people who do experience mental conditions.  Yeah it sucks to be bullied but it sucks just as much to get that negative energy from being a bullying victim and use it as an excuse to act like a cunt.  If someone seriously wants help for their issues, they need to get serious.  The exception I’ll make here is if the counsellor tried to push religion or something else completely inappropriate on the student, in which case I’d probably tell the counsellor to get fucked too and collect my free day off.  So that’s why I say that I can’t really judge.

oppar, I’m coming to you since I know you have a level of knowledge on the subject from your previous kpop writings, but would you have any advice about getting into 60s girl groups? (musically I mean, I’m not looking for my bias in The Ronettes). I tend to love modern songs, kpop and otherwise, which are influenced by the sound in some way but when I try to track down the best songs from different sources that discuss more than “this song was a #1 hit”, (so I’m not just overly validating one person’s opinion) it never really goes beyond The Supremes and Leader of The Pack by The Shangri-Las? Also, the situation seems different with albums back then, and most “albums” tend to be compilations of different songs released years after the groups disbanded, so are 60s girl groups mostly single focused like k-pop?

Thank you for sharing your time and knowledge, and I wish a good day to you

Well to be honest, like just most k-pop these days is poop, most of the 60s girl groups didn’t have consistently great songs either.  For my money The Shangri-Las were the best one, and their greatest song wasn’t “Leader Of The Pack” but the amazing “I Can Never Go Home Anymore” (thank Douglas P. of Death In June for turning me onto this).

It’s true that in the 1960s there was a bigger focus on singles, especially for commercial pop groups, whereas albums were more commonly released by artists in other “more mature” genres.  This changed gradually throughout the 1960s and by the 1970s there was more of an alignment between pop music and other styles.  That’s why there are so many compilations of lost and rare singles etc, which should hopefully turn you onto more stuff.  Also like nowadays many groups wouldn’t last long, so sometimes one or two songs was all the lesser-known groups survived to put out.  You’d need a whole 60sgirlgroupopalypse blog to cover the many many songs and artists here!

Recently you have criticised two songs (Starry Night and Touch) for having a straight melody over swung backings or vice versa. In your opinion, are there any examples of polyrhythms in kpop that work? If so, what makes them work?

Actually I talk about this in a reasonable amount of detail when discussing Yves’ “New” in my 2017 favourites list.

Oppaaaar, wats ur favourite girls day song and wats ur favorite nine muses song?

(Btw, I heard someone at work call one of his clients a caonima and I felt so happy I knew wat it meant, thank you for teaching me useful life skills)

I won’t bother with the favourite songs question because you can just trawl through my favourites lists and find out the answer yourself, but just wanted to give you a shout out anyway because I’m glad my language education posts helped improve the quality of your life!

1.- I ‘ve read that the order of the credits doesn’t matter, Have you heard any company putting the an idol as the composer when they only wrote 1 line?
2.- Does benefit the group putting an idol name as the composer?

1. Due to the very nature of this process it’s impossible to confirm how much this happens without insider info, but there’s no law against it.

2. It may mean that the idol gets paid royalties.  Or it may not.  Depends on what’s in the contract.  It’s mainly just used for hype purposes, that seems to be the main benefit, so people can say “ooh look my bias did a thing”.

I am anxious and moody and watching kpop vids is my way to relieve from it. Yet everytime i start watchjng, i can hardly stop,even during day-offs, i spend whole day watching each vids offeres by youtube. I know it is only wasting my time and it only helps me avoid my anxiety twmporarily. But i dont think i have strength to do anything else. Have you ever been like this? Psw help me,suggest what I can do so thaf i wont waste much time like that ;( thannks

If anything doing nothing but being glued to YouTube is probably increasing your anxiety.  I think you should give yourself a rule that you can only watch videos for a certain time amount per day, and spend the rest of your time engaging in some other activities that can broaden your physical and mental state, this may in fact help you control your anxiety.  Might I suggest a spelling course?

Hello hello. In a previous QRIMOLE, you discussed what to do if you were the best player in an ensemble. But what do you do if you’re the most skilled/knowledgeable person in a music class?

My music class has a huge range in ability. Some people hadn’t learnt any Western music theory before the course started, whilst on the other hand there are some people who are Grade 8 in their main instruments and have a good handle on music theory. There are also some people caught in the middle between these extremes. As a result, we move at an excruciatingly slow pace. Even so, most of the class don’t seem to be absorbing the material and don’t really answer questions, which means that I have to look like an annoying teacher’s pet and answer questions constantly. The teacher has called me out for this before, scolding me for ‘not giving the others a chance to answer’.

Another point of tension in the class is that one of the more skilled people just plays on her laptop during the entire lesson. However the teacher doesn’t seem to notice/care, instead preferring to pick on the other students for not knowing things/getting them wrong. For example, last lesson, he asked a student, “What words can you use to describe melody?” The student replied, “What aspect of melody?”, a pretty valid question since that was quite vague. The teacher proceeded to get annoyed, and only ask that student questions for the remainder of the lesson.

Please Oppar, give me some advice about how to cope with being bored but also not turn into a jerk.

(Transferring classes/quitting is not an option for anyone involved, as this is an in-school thing and we all will have to take the same exam at the end of next year.)

Questions – easy, don’t answer them unless specifically addressed.  If you’re asked why you don’t put your hand up, say you want to give others a chance, but you don’t mind answering the questions if need be.  See how that flies.  I mean, it’s not like you’re going to get in trouble, after all you do know the answers, and your teacher knows this.

Laptop person – why would the teacher give a fuck as long as this person can answer the questions.  Teacher is probably happy to leave this person to their own devices.

Also, your teacher sounds like a dick.  Sometimes that happens, not much you can do about it except ride with it.  As a good student your life will be easier than as a bad student.

I know you find Mamamoo to be boring, but can you give the betting odds for the title “Rude Boy” being a wolf-whistle of “Lewd Boy” pronunciation-wise?

I doubt it, I mean both phrases mean almost the same thing.

i just got into my top college and i had to tell someone!!! rolled the die and picked you, oppar. may the luck pass on to you (in a different form, obviously)!!!

now, if only american college tuition didn’t suck…

I feel luckier already.  I just got my first squad win in PUBG without anyone on the squad dying so maybe this helped.

So do you think Siyeon is just waiting for dreamcatcher to hit this point

Also I know your not jpopalypse but thoughts on this group?

I’d be happier for Dreamcatcher to go as heavy as possible.  Yes I think Siyeon wants it.

I won’t give my opinion on the song because it will open the floodgates of j-shit and I don’t want to get asked about j-pop constantly, but wow that constant Autotune on absolutely everything in it is really annoying after a while.  The engineer should be switching the Autotune off for the talking parts rather than letting it hang there, that’s something that k-pop never fucks up.

Hi Kpopalypse!

This isn’t a question but i just wanted to say thanks about how you write on beauty in the korean idol industry. I’m around 66 to 68 kgs and growing up, I’ve always been told that I’m fat directly by my family or indirectly through media. Didn’t make me feel good about myself even though I know looks are superficial and all. The fact that you’re very open about your visual preferences that are quite different from the norm, is encouraging to someone like me who doesn’t fall under perfect beauty… Your post on Kyla helped me see that I’m really not fat and if anything, I’m healthy. I’ve been rapidly losing weight recently because of stress and I realized that I actually miss looking fuller.. that made me feel good about myself hahaha. So thank you! And keep writing the way you do please.

Gload you liked it.  The exact purpose of the Kyla post was to reach out to people like yourself and let you know that beauty is subjective and physical health is more important than fitting into some idealised image.  Media and society really fucks with people’s heads, often to the point where they don’t even know what their own preferences are.  When I was growing up I actually took a while to figure out that I specifically preferred bigger girls, just because it never occurred to me that I would.  It was actually discovering that there was a “BBW” category of porn that opened my eyes up to the idea that yes this might be a sexual preference that I have.  For all the misguided complaining that some feminists do about porn, the types of female body image that is permissible and considered desirable in porn is far, far greater than what is considered attractive in fashion magazines aimed at young women, or in American TV shows where everyone has that weirdly bony, chiselled appearance.  Women’s magazines are actually the worst, because they’ll take the moral high-ground with articles about improving your self-esteem while at the same time photoshopping every single image in there so the girls look skinnier.  Dirty fuckers, don’t give them a penny.

A subject for Kpopalypse Interview, perhaps?

Maybe.  However what I find is that the best interviews I get are the ones where people actually seek me out rather than the other way around.

Why so you think companies don’t put out more coed groups? Wouldn’t they benefit more? They have boys for the fangirls to fantasize and girls for the fanboys to fap to so wouldn’t the sales increase??
The only answer I can think of is that it destroys the fantasy like ‘omg boys and girls actually interact and are close proximity of each other’ so fans can’t really commit to it and be immersed
I know that kard is flopping in korea but overseas they got some recognition Most of the coed groups until kard had shitty and forgettable songs and weren’t pretty by idols standards but maybe if big companies like sm or yg would do this with attractive idols and good songs maybe it would work.Ik I just kinda gave an answer but I wanted to hear your opinion!

I think your opinion is pretty much on the money and I don’t have much to add.

You better use this as the header image for the next QRIMOLE you cunt.

Okay then.

Sup, oppar?
UZA have said that your support for her has definitely delivered some prosperity (financial maybe?) to her.
I just wanted to know how do you feel right now, after being capable of dealing some impact in a k-pop/k-indie singer’s career.
Off-topic: Have you ever heard New Pop, by Aseul? It was my favorite album from 2016 and, since UZA herself has mentioned her, I was wondering if you would listen it, maybe even write some review about it.

I feel pretty good about it.  It’s not a new feeling for me, I’ve been playing unknown artists on the radio for many years before starting the Kpopalypse blog.  I’m sure that my impact on her career wasn’t all that huge, but I also know first-hand how much independent artists struggle with the financial side, so anything I can do to help someone out there making quality material that I enjoy, is a good thing.  I’m just glad she not only got some new fans but also agreed to the interview and was a good subject, not everyone wants to do interviews.  I don’t think it’s “me” or my reptutation (most interview subjects have never heard of me), I think rather it’s the fact that most people who do interviews don’t do it with much of a sense of responsibility toward accuracy, respect and fact-finding, but rather for prurient purposes or just to make money, so when approached for an interview request a lot of people are very cautious.  It worked out well anyway for UZA and I’m happy with it.  Interested readers also may want to check out the interview she did with Korean Indie, which is here.

I won’t review Aseul’s album but Aseul is good generally and I’ll probably find an excuse to write more about her in future.

Could you give some background on kpop’s appropriation of Western culture and it’s simultaneous distance from the racial context in which that culture was created? I know you don’t necessarily give a shit about it, and honestly the appropriation doesn’t really bother me either, it does bother a lot of people and maybe it’s worth discussing.

and this question:

I don’t know if you’ve answered this before and I’m too lazy to check but what do you think about westerners (mostly Americans) claiming that kpop stole everything from black folks? This is a very widespread opinion among english speaking internet users and it’s kinda confusing bc IMO when I think of kpop, I think of bubbly ggs, flashy performances and quality dance music. NOT boy groups with their tryhard hep hap concepts… Do you think it’s fair for westerners to put down another country’s entire pop music scene like that?

Well it’s actually kinda true BUT it doesn’t just stop at k-pop.  Almost all western popular music comes from black music, because it’s almost all blues-based to a greater or lesser degree, or it incorporates rhythm patterns initially derived from African rhythms.  The original rock and roll of the 1950s was literally black blues music sped up, with rock drummers mimicking the sound of African drums on a jazz or big-band drum kit.  Most of what we listen to now (that’s any good) is derived from that.  Mind you it is a very long derivation path, there’s several steps to go back through in a lot of cases so Little Richard can’t really claim credit for Twice although he might be able to claim some credit for Elvis Presley.  I wouldn’t say it’s a “put-down” either.  Mimicking is just part of what humans do, and we do it well, and we change things as we go along, which is what the creative process is.  All music style evolved over time from cross-pollenation of different aspects, and music really exploded in a whole lot of new and cool directions when air travel meant that people from different cultures could more easily work together.  It’s even better now with the Internet.  People need to get out of this preciousness of “stealing”, “appropriation”, etc of culture being a bad thing – it’s not, it’s a positive thing for everybody, it brings cultures together to experience part of the “other”, and musicians sometimes get their best results from drawing inspiration from something completely alien to their culture.  I mean look at T-ara’s “Yayaya“… wait, okay, maybe that’s a bad example.  But you know what I mean, right?

My aunt recently passed away. Do you have any tips for supporting my grieving cousins?

Remember their life and what they gave to you as a gift, but don’t dwell on it endlessly – take the lessons and move onward and upward.  We all die eventually, but we hope to make a positive difference to others along the way.  If your aunt did this, she would want you to accept those gifts in good spirit and forge a new path, not mourn endlessly.

Ok so this is my first question ever after binge reading your blog for like a week. There’s a shit ton of entertaining stuff on here, kudos to you for that. Around a month ago though, I stumbled upon an article talking about how in an interview with Bang Shihyuk, CEO of Bighit Ent and overlord of BTS, was planning on debuting a new boy band. Here’s the link (Ik it’s on koreaboo, not the most trustworthy website, but whatever). The thing that really irked me about this, though, was his use of the term “Success formula”. Like, I know that in the music industry there’s always some sort of formula used in creating/promoting a group or idol, but does it really always work? Or is it more of an increasing your chances of success thing. And if all acts are following some kind of formula, how do breakout acts happen if everyone’s the same as everyone else?? Also I’d like to hear your opinion on how social media affects a group’s popularity and success. Going back to the article, I honestly doubt that BTS’s followup group will have the same amount of success as long as they’re copycats, but idk. Sorry for the onslaught of questions, hope you have a good day!

If there was one simple formula that was proven to always work, then everybody would be pop stars, it would just be a matter of finishing a University course.  What the “success formula” really is, is a little bit more like guidelines for people playing poker.  You can’t change the strong luck element of poker, the cards are going to be what they are, but you can change everything around that luck in order to maximise your odds and manage the game as efficiently as possible.

I’m interested to see how you would rank the LOONA solo releases in terms of quality.

and this question:

So I’ve been a frequent visitor of your blog ever since that interview with the ex-member of Chocolat. I noticed we share a very similar sense of humor.

I’ve seen you talk about LOONA releases once in a while with usually positive reactions to their music. What is your honest opinion on LOONA’s discography? Do you think it stands out from the rest of kpop? I read your post on Yves’ “New” and it made me appreciate the song even more. Are there any other musically interesting solos from them?

I would go on but I don’t want to bore you to death. I’m a huge LOONA fan and I haven’t been this invested in a kpop group since the legends T-ARA and SNSD. I wanted to know your opinion on this. Thanks for taking the time to read this…if you actually do.

I don’t do individual rankings for one group or artist, with the exception of the plagiarism posts where I quickly whizz through their careers to give the reader an idea of my general opinion before I get stuck into the issue of what the post is about.  So let’s hope that Loona has a plagiarism controversy so I can directly answer this question for you!  But for now I think Loona’s discography is definitely way above average, and it’s pretty rare for me to think that about any group.  That’s not to say they always get it right, but even when they get it wrong it’s not in a completely unlistenable horrible way but rather like something that could have been good but where they fucked up something specific.  Generally they are on point with the songs, it’s just a pity that their fans are starting to approach BTS levels of fever pitch insanity, which just goes to show that their company know exactly what they’re doing with all that social networking marketing I guess.

I’ve been reading your blog for years and always wanted to ask one of these infamous questions but never had interesting enough material, so here it goes:


Hahahaha I like it.  It’s even better knowing that her other stuff isn’t like this.  Also I’m here for that hair, the blue reminds me of my girlfriend when we first met (although my girlfriend is hotter, but still…)

Good day oppar!

Thanks for reply some of my questions before! I really appreciate you to post quality contents, like Kikami Yua’s drama few days ago.

I have question about how soon-debuted Loona budget. You already enlighten us how to support them properly, but I still interested on how their budget/financial thing managed. What is their expectation for giving expensive/luxury predebut for them?

I am not an accountant, nor have any economics-sorta-background, but I never want to give money too much to an experimental promotion like Loona does. It’s okay if you have five members or six, but 12?

With many people kind of pessimistic/optimistic opinions towards this issue, maybeee … , you have more rational and intriguing ideas that might give new approach to see Loona strategy.

Thanks for your reply! (if any)

Loona seems to me like a pet project of someone who is very rich.  Someone wanted to make a k-pop group, so they are doing this, because they can.  Explaining how the whole thing works financially is a bit beyond the scope of this blog – you might as well ask me to explain Samsung’s accounting – but the main thing I think you should take away from it is that what good is money if you can’t spend it on doing something you like.  Now imagine a very rich person with that attitude, who really likes k-pop, and is in a position of power to realise his wildest k-pop dreams.

Hi oppar!

I just make YouTube playlist consists of these color-coded lyrics videos from different channels. After play it for few times, I realised that most of their videos are have ads. I don’t have any objection towards ad, but isn’t this practice basically make money from other party creative products? How actually copyright policy in Kpop works?

Thank you oppar!

Ps. Back in my Jpop days, lots of music shows uploaded in YT with zoom and high or lower pitch, anyway to make they can’t detect the videos.

What happen in this case is kind of explained in this post.

  1. A person uploads a lyrics video
  2. Automatic detection algorithm runs, detects copyrighted material
  3. Program says to uploader “copyright detected, original company wants to monetise this – cool?”
  4. Uploader clicks yes
  5. You see ads when you play the video, the k-pop agency gets the money from this, not the uploader

you said you liked black dress by clc, but i spy tropical shithouse in the prechorus! am i wrong, or have you changed your ways

It’s true that it’s in there but it’s in tolerably small portions where it’s reasonably drowned out by the vocal and moves onto something else quickly.  I can handle it in this context.  There are other documented instances where I have also enjoyed the style because of the way that it has been implemented, AKMU’s “Dinosaur” is probably the best example, discussed here.

Why is pop genre looked down upon than other genres of music??

Because pop is mainly enjoyed by really young people, who are looked down upon by other people.

When and how did the music industry start relying on CFs more than digital and physical sales of the music itself?

I’ll let JYP answer.

Damn that video is useful!

[A question about a trot singer’s song]

It’s a great song, isn’t it.  The next Nugu Alert is going to cover trot again, so if you’ve got any videos like this, throw them at me via Qrimole or ask.fm and I’ll pick the best ones for the post.  Usual Nugu Alert rules apply.

After listening to Dreamcatcher, I’ve gained an interest in rock music. What are some specific bands, songs or albums I should check out?

X Japan.

1. While making (or trying to make) music, I feel guilty of being just a music producer and not having much musical knowledge. It feels as if it will be a disgrace to the actual musicians. To what extent does having musical knowledge help in making (good) music?
2. When I start making a certain song with something in my mind, I’ll hold on to it. But after some time, I lose interest and start making something else – nothing is ever completed. Any advice for “maintaining the flow”?

Also, what DAW/software/tool have you seen/worked on? Which one do you recommend & why?

Sorry for asking so many questions, but can you recommend songs with that epic key (tonal?) change in the last chorus? You know, like the 2000’s stuff.
Thanks again!!!

  1.  It’s not essential but it does help.  Having said that a “good ear” and the ability to communicate insight to musicians without ruffling feathers is still more useful.  In some ways, as someone not musically skilled, you have the advantage, as anything you say is unlikely to bruise an ego and being careful around egos is important.
  2. Write quicker!  And don’t be a perfectionist.  Resist the temptation to go over and over something, get it out so it’s 100% and done, then move on.

Professionally I have both seen and used ProTools far more than anything else.  I know there are cheaper alternatives now and some may in fact be a lot better but I haven’t used them so I can’t really say.  I don’t keep up with changes in music tech much, believe it or not.

Not sure exactly what you mean by the last question, perhaps you’re referring to what one of my friends calls the “Eurovision key change”, in which case Orange Caramel’s “Magic Girl” is an example, relevant change at 3:08.

Which boy group do you think produces better music, EXO or BTS?

Hard to say.  BTS have one really good song (“War Of Hormone“) and everything else is super-average and boring, but nothing is really genuinely horrible.  EXO on the other hand have a few really good songs, a few really bad songs, and the rest is somewhere in the middle.  I’ll call it about even for now.

Does globalization lead to simple pop music?

Language is just one of the behaviors that humans pass along to each other culturally. It’s possible that the same processes apply to non-linguistic culture like music, too. There’s less evidence available on that question, but “new and structurally complex, and difficult to acquire, cultural forms develop in small, tight-knit communities who interact intensely, as in the birth of bebop in 1940s New York,” Reali and colleagues argue.

This contrasts with the general melodic and harmonic simplicity of widespread popular music, they suggest. “Perhaps an increase in community size might be associated with a reduction in the prevalence of complex dances, music, rituals, myths, or religious beliefs, but an increase in the prevalence of simpler variants.”

But our current global interconnectedness also allows us to self-organize into small, tight-knit groups, and Reali and colleagues point out that these are the kinds of groups that “innovate and propagate cultural forms of high complexity.” So, for every inescapable piece of simple pop, there’s an intricate piece of black metal—along with a community of fans developing their own language to describe it.

Cut from a longer article. Is this true?

It seems to make sense that to appeal to more people you need to find the lowest denominator of commonality.

ahh… first, i wanted to say hi! this is my first QRIMOLE question! even if it doesn’t get answered, it’s pretty cool to participate in something i’ve spent months reading.

second, i just wanted to tell someone– i’ve been accepted by my first college! i also got like $25,000 in aid but since the U.S. school system sucks that doesn’t even cover half of it. it’s… frustrating.

now, my question: throughout this last year of high school, i sometimes feel… like i don’t fit in my body? that is, everything feels kind of chaotic and sometimes i feel like my mind is moving faster than my body. i just became an “adult” in the eyes of the law and with college coming up and getting a summer job, it feels like time is moving really fast and really slow all at once. tl;dr even though i know i should relax and just take it as it comes, what are some tips for when my demon brain starts banging a pot and refusing to calm down?

thank you! i enjoy your snark and advice. have a nice (or at least non-shitty) day! : )

Congrats on college, do well!

It’s pretty normal to feel weird in the last year of high school, I remember having similar feelings at that time because I was coming up to that awkward transition time and I really didn’t know what the fuck I was even going to do with myself (I didn’t have any University plans at that time and didn’t go to University until many years later).  I would just take some time to enjoy yourself and mentally prepare.  If you’re having a hard time mentally, I suggest stop focusing on the big picture, and just focus on the next stop or two you have to do.  Achieve the possible and move slowly toward the impossible (thanks Robert Fripp for that one).

Kpopalypse I feel like High.D from sonamoo kinda looks like raina a bit? Especially in the I Like U Too Much era. Of course, she’s slimmed down now, but she really does remind me of raina quite a lot back in those days.

People always tell me this and have done so ever since Sonamoo debuted but the resemblance isn’t close enough for her to interest me.  It’s something about the face shape that’s too much V-jaw and not enough chub, it just doesn’t work for me.  Sorry!

Apparently my friend thinks discussing Freddy Mercury’s sexuality or even thinking he’s not straight tarnishes his legacy and reputation. He used the reasoning that all rumors are bad-spirited and malicious, but I honestly don’t think most people look at his gender preferences as a negative, it’s just a discussion topic. I don’t know, but I feel like a lot of people get really defensive when people dare label their favs as non-straight, I don’t know why though.

I guess it’s down to people being far too worried about what others think.  “Will someone think I’m gay if I say I like Queen and they know Freddy was bisexual” etc.  Obviously they shouldn’t worry.

Why was Really Really so successful in Korea?

I really really don’t know… or care.  I don’t follow this sort of thing closely, I wouldn’t even know half the time how well or poorly my favourite songs perform on the charts.

what is the role of potatoes in kpop?

Good cheap source of carbohydrates.

Kpopalypse i have come back of the trenches of the Youtube comment section of k-pop music videos, here are the tales of my exploits:
1) Some rapper guy from BTS dropped a mixtape. I listened to the song and I didn’t like it.I went to the comments, where I saw one of those kind of comments that are like “everyone who dislikes this video is a nugu cuntface who fucks dogs for a living”, and I replied to them with something like “maybe they disliked the video because people have different musical opinions and thought the song sucked”.Tbh I’m not really sure what I was expecting in the first place when I typed out that response to a BTS stan of all people, because soon enough, a whole bunch of them started swarming me with replies, calling me a hater and anti and saying the rapper is some kind of god, bla bla bla. No caonima insults so I was a bit disappointed.

2) I went to Red Velvet’s Bad Boy music video.I didn’t personally like the song, but I felt that the girls were hot in the video, so I decided to comment: “these girls are fappable”.Once again, I probably shouldn’t have done that to trigger the snowflakes, as the response was just as negative, with people telling me to shut the fuck up and that I’m disgusting….shubidubi yayayaya….do they even know that I’m a woman? lol
I find this interesting of the fans, and very hypocritical, because there were plenty of other comments about red velvet lusting over them and how good-looking they are.The other people in the group chat I’m in for Red Velvet also post pics of the girls quite frequently, commenting on how hot they are.I’m literally just saying the same thing, but in a more direct way.They just got all pissy about it because they don’t say it outright.
So my question to you, kpopalypse, is how do we seek to inforce a positive change in kpop stan behavior? As you would have been able to tell by now, they’re cancerous as shit, so could there be any possible way to change their behavior?Any way at all?

A dedicated Caonima
(ps why don’t you play fortnite)

  1. You’re braver than me.
  2. You’re braver than me.

I don’t know the answer to your overall question.  My answer was “start a blog” and these fans are still completely insane so I guess that goes to show that I failed miserably!  However isn’t it nice to have a little enclave for the sane folks, yes I think so.

p.s Fortnite doesn’t have a first-person perspective mode.  It is dead to me until it incorporates this.  In fact it should be illegal to release any game in third person perspective.  I hate not being able to see where I’m going because I’m in the way, and I hate the cheesy camera-manipulation tactics that third-person encourages.  It’s clearly not appropriate for any competitive game.

K-Pop-groups are going to North Korea right now (end of March) to do who knows what. There is always the dark possibility that they may never return to Rich Korea again. I wish YG could be summoned there instead and his prisoners could finally be set free from his fucking dungeon.
If you could ban someone from k-pop (or k-dramas and shit) forever to Kim Jong-un’s latifundium, who would it be?
P.S.:to annoy you, snakes are ineligible, only real people allowed

Johnny Noh.  Let’s make the world a better place.

That’s all for QRIMOLE this month!  Do you have a question that you’d like to see answered in this series?  If so, you can ask it below, or if no box appears, use the Qri picture on the sidebar to open the question box as a separate webform!  Kpopalypse will return!

3 thoughts on “QRIMOLE – March 2018

  1. I have about the same theory about Blackpink, the can’t get hold of good enough songs and maybe also waiting out Twice to take a break. But just one song in 2017 sure looks like a odd tactic.

    • Feels like a risky tactic for me. Maybe it workds for already fans, but for the general kpop-fans and others it’s hard to see that it will work.

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