QRIMOLE – August 2018

It’s time for reader questions with Kpopalypse!  Welcome to another episode of QRIMOLE!

Note that QRIMOLE now features a funky new header courtesy of fan artist Qridoodles!  While I certainly never minded cribbing bits out of Qri’s Instagram for the headers, it’s always felt a bit lazy to me, and Kpopalypse is all about determination so laziness just won’t do.  Kpopalypse of course only employs the very best outside assistance for this blog, so naturally Qridoodles was a logical choice.  Qridoodles worked with existing images of Qri until she found just the right fit for the QRIMOLE series.

Qridoodles does a lot of commissions at quite reasonable rates (although Kpopalypse always pays independent artists extra by choice) and she doesn’t just do Qri, either, so you should definitely get in touch to discuss your fanart needs.

Qridoodles on Twitter

Qridoodles on Artstation

Qridoodles on Instagram


On with this month’s questions!

Before you got into kpop what kind of music did you listen to? And after finding kpop for you completely abandon listen to it? Or do you listen to a mix of both now

A lot of people, if you ask them “what do you listen to?” their answer is often “a bit of everything”.  What they really mean is their taste goes from pop music to rock music, and that’s about it.  On the other hand I really do listen to a bit of everything.  You can find more details plus lists of albums I like etc here.

I never stopped listening to other music when I started listening to k-pop, however I would say that at the moment k-pop is the only genre that I follow the development of very closely, whereas other music I just sort of stumble on.

What gets you to listen to an B-list song? Aren’t they ways for a kpop group to try different styles of music, so even if the title track sucks, the b-lists wouldn’t be as bad. On the topic of b lists, what is your favorite b list song?

Often it’s people making requests on the Kpopalypse radio show which gets me listening to non-feature tracks, as album tracks are often not played on my show by default.  As a result album tracks get requested by listeners quite often, and I’ll play them if I have them!  My favourite non-feature track is T-ara’s “One & One”, it’s such a kick-ass punchy album-opening song and it’s absolutely mindboggling that T-ara have never used it as a live concert opener.

Do you think there will be a time when K-pop composers make their own sonic trend that the West will in its own pop music? Or is K-pop, by definition, just a survey of Western pop genres?

I think k-pop already has a few sonic trends of its own, but I don’t think that western pop is all that interested in copying them.  For instance there really isn’t anything that sounds like Girls’ Generation’s “Gee” in western pop, or certainly nothing of note anyway.  Also Korean pop has a much greater focus on melody and harmony being the driving factor of songs rather than rhythm.  But generally speaking I’d say that k-pop is very risk-averse which means that they’re very reactive – songwriters writing for the Korean market will usually look at what works in western markets and then try and do “Korean style versions” which basically means a more harmony/melody-laden version of pretty much the same kind of thing.

Listen to Marshmello and Anne-Marie’s Friends, but skip to 1:46 on that video (dont worry I got that). Notice there are like brass parts in the mix just before the chorus?

Doesn’t it sound like the brass used on the chorus of Pentagon’s Can You Feel It, but slower?

There actually isn’t any brass at all at 1:46 in the Marshmello song (what a shit song from the music right through to the concept, absolutely worthless).

If you mean the actual chorus of that song, where there is some brass, I guess maybe they’re a little bit similar?  But not much.  I mean, all brass sounds more or less like brass, and they sound as alike as two different brass melodies on any two songs might sound alike, but there’s certainly no huge similarity that I’m hearing.  Nothing worth caring about.  Not that it would even matter if there was.  I think people should care about these sort of similarities as little as possible, which is one of the reasons why I get so sick of doing plagiarism posts.  If you actually like k-pop, why even care what generally inferior western pop is doing?

When I try to help someone with depression, do I have to put his needs before mine? It gets really difficult when my friend (more than friend) shuts down from everything and ignores me, but I really like him. I feel like I’m doing all the efforts in the relationship while he’s doing none. I’m hurt by this and feel that while I accept his apologies everytime, he doesn’t think of me and what it puts me through. I know that it is symptomatic of depression to be kinda self-centered and I really want to help him but it’s really wearing me down. Should I follow through, put an ultimatum on our relationship (“next time you ignore me we are over”), part our ways..? I have no experience with depression and would appreciate any hindsight from someone else. Thanks for everything!

I’ve suffered from depression in the past as well.  It can make a person want to withdraw and focus on themselves more, however it doesn’t automatically turn them into a complete dick.  What I would say is that this person’s depression isn’t your responsibility.  You can offer to be there for them, but you shouldn’t feel like you have to do all the emotional hard yards.  If you do want to continue the relationship with them, my advice would be that rather than issue an ultimatum (which he won’t respond well to), just pull back emotionally a bit.  Stop investing so much of your emotional energy and pouring it down a hole – then one of two things will happen.  Either he’ll also withdraw even more (in which case breaking up is probably the best bet) or he’ll respond to your backing off a bit by coming forward a bit (in which case the strategy is working so keep it up).  That’ll allow you both to get to more of an equilibrium.  Try that and see how it goes.

Ok so this goes way back in time, but I suddenly remembered the music education trufax quiz and the answer regarding the sound format, where CD was superior to mp3. Since I own some kpop albums as a physical release, but I already downloaded the songs previously as an mp3, this got me wondering. Would the file from the CD (when downloaded onto itunes) provide superior sound to the itunes download I already have? Or is it the same because it’s now been turned into a digital file?

Depends on the quality of the MP3 file, but as a general rule the CD (or a file ripped straight from the CD in an uncompressed format such as .wav) will almost always sound superior to MP3s which generally involve some compression and hence fidelity loss.  Digital files are not created equal, the format matters a great deal.  There are a number of different factors here, and I could list them and go into a big technical thing about them, but all that really matters is this – can you actually hear a difference?  If not, then it doesn’t matter.

What the fuck is up with NCT and their members?

I don’t fucking know, go ask an NCT fansite.

Hi oppar! I hope you’re doing great!

Not a kpop question, but I just want to rant a bit and hey, other people are doing it so it should be fine.
I’m a 2nd year uni student, going to be 3rd year in 2 months and I absolutely despise what I’m studying. Before I actually started studying it was something that I was very interested in and something I really wanted to be good at, but it took like 2 months for me to start hating it.

The professors don’t help at all – I swear most of them are completely fucking useless and I’m not the only one who thinks like that. They teach their subjects in a way that doesn’t make any sense, skip a lot of important material that we can’t get by ourselves, brag about their academic achievements all the time and blame us for being shit when it’s the other way around. One of the professors (what a cunt) spent an entire semester telling us that we’re dumb, that we can’t get anything right and that we’re worthless (her words, not mine) and everyone brushed it under the rug because she was pregnant at the time, like that’s giving her an excuse to act like a bitch all the time without consequences and still get paid. The others at least don’t insult us this much but they’re not much better since almost nobody bothers to actually teach their subject in a semi-functional way. It’s a wonder only half the people dropped out and me and the others are seriously depressed and on the edge of suicide most of the time. Most of the conversations are something like “Hahaha what a great morning friends, I wish I threw myself on the subway rails” and the others replying “Hahaha same”.

Apart from that, 90% of the subjects are useless and won’t help anyone who graduates with anything at all and nobody pays enough attention to the other 10% that are actually helpful most of the time. At the end of my 2nd year I couldn’t go to classes without wanting to slit my throat every single day. It went beyond being a chore – it’s mental torture. The only thing keeping me sane is getting shitfaced once or twice a week and gaming (top/adc main here!).

I don’t want to quit because way too much money went into my education and it’s going to provide good job opportunities if I manage to somehow graduate but I can’t find any motivation to study and go to classes because I hate it and I’ve never hated something so much in my entire life.

If you read this – sorry for putting you through my whining and thanks a lot, venting like this to a stranger actually took some weight off my shoulders and sorry if the English is off – not my first language. You’re doing great on this blog, keep up the good work and thanks again!

University lecturers being shit is definitely a problem, and you can’t control that.  What you can control is what you get out of the course.  I had a few waffling-ass lecturers in my music university including one dude who was about 135 years old and would just talk about World War II all the time even though the class wasn’t actually about that.  So I just took his lectures with a serious grain of salt, figured out what he probably wanted from my coursework, then did all my own research and handed in a thesis that scored 93/100 which is the highest mark that he ever gave anyone.  University isn’t like school – these people won’t tell you what to do or how to pass, they’ll just tell you whatever they want to tell you and then you’ve got to figure the rest out yourself.  You’re the one who teaches yourself the subject, not them – they’re just a guide to give you some Kpopalypse-style “thoughts” that you can process and then apply to whatever else it is that you’re doing.  Look at it that way and you’ll get a lot more out of it.

Hello oppar!

I have a question about chart manipulation/sajaegi. Apparently it’s common, and there is a whole business going on that’s about making songs chart higher. Now some platforms like Melon were responding to people being angry about this happening. I think that even if they make it a bit harder, nothing is impossible and sajaegi will continue to happen because .. well since there are companies who specialize in this, they will not give up their livelihood easily.

However, I don’t quite follow how might the streaming platforms benefit from this (unless someone actually pays them to make a song chart high)? Or what other entity might have interests in keeping this “illegal” activity going? Besides the distributor/label who essentially sees this as investment into advertising since seeing your song high on a chart brings exposure. I would like to see a bigger and clearer picture about this.

Thank you in advance!

It’s fairly obvious that both artists and labels have something to gain from chart manipulation, as you’ve pointed out.  Streaming platforms however definitely do NOT like chart manipulation, because it makes their own models look silly, and they actually spend significant investment trying to stamp out those outliers who manipulate charts, with varying degrees of success.  Where the waters get murkier is when there’s a direct business relationship between the streaming service and the agency who profits, say for instance that a streaming service is part-owned by an agency (hypothetical example of any number of business interests that could coincide).  Now the streaming service has a potential motive to manipulate the chart, or at the very least, not be so proactive about certain types of chart manipulation, as long as those things don’t break the grounds of credibility to the point where people stop believing the chart.

All sorts of charts are manipulated in Korea, not just the obvious ones.  Ever look at those “brand rankings” that come through k-pop media every so often?  Ever notice that certain new groups with only one or two songs to their name are placed oddly high in those charts at times despite having virtually no brand value yet and very few people even knowing who they are at this stage?  Now what is the actual source of those brand rankings and how are they determined.  Something to think about.

Hi Kpopalypse.

Just like how there are some people who don’t need makeup or photoshop to be beautiful, are there some singers that don’t need the vocal fakery and audio engineering to sound good? Are there singers that can sound presentable while performing without any electronic help? If so, is there some type of technical trait that allows this to happen?

Thanks!

The entire genre of pop music is built around electronics being used to enhance voice, this has been the case since the first half of the 20th century when people would record in specially reflective rooms to get that “hip” sound and rooms that had just the right amount of “echo” became prized recording locations (until later when people eventually learned how to synthesize the echo effects).  Yes some singers certainly can sound good without any electronics at all, but as soon as you remove the characteristic electronics from a pop singer’s voice, they’re no longer making pop music, at least not pop music in the sense that we know it today and not pop music that would be heard on the radio or find its way onto a k-pop stage.

To be clear, I’m not talking about Autotune here necessarily, I’m just talking about basic “audio engineering”.  The modern pop music voice is an electronic creation.  Before the advances in electronic recording technology, vocals in popular music sounded very different, and the quality of a vocal recording that was considered acceptable from an engineering perspective in the 1930s would not pass muster for even a nugu’s pop single today.

Oppar OPPAR oPPaR~ or should i call you hyung? lol whatever

anywyay, i used to be in the school choir back then (3 years) and I was a total vocal pedagogy nerd haha. up until i read your opinion on vocals, i randomly remembered something. it reminded me of one negative critique on mariah carey’s ‘soulless but amazing (in a technical pov)’ voice, which i didnt understood back then up until reading this blog. RN, im not sure if i wanna blame you or thank you for my impractical voice techniques (which idgaf at all) but im glad i dont feel restrained when i sing at karaoke bars and scream my lungs out haha i love it~

so i guess this is a thank you… not anything serious but i owe you one also with the identity politics, and other political correctness bs thats been bothering me since the rise of the internet age.

in a nutshell, thanks for helping me stop being a stuck-up bitch :3

You’re welcome!

I’m not against technique overall but I’m against people taking the emotion out of music and replacing it with bean-counting and performance-grading.  Just like I’m not against people speaking nicely and respectfully to each other but I’m against people taking the rawness out of language and replacing it with a bunch of stupid rules.  Sure, it’s “not nice” and maybe even “problematic” to insult people, say mean things or say something offensive but sometimes someone needs or deserves to hear certain things and they have a function depending on the context of what is being said.  Likewise, screaming might not be “correct” but it sure can be “appropriate” depending on context, and a karaoke bar is a good “anything goes” place to do such a thing.  So is a punk group.  An opera stage, maybe not so much… but who knows?

Do you like any of Epic Highs songs (or at least don’t hate them)? If yes, which ones?

This line of questioning is really boring (someone could do this for every and any group) and it’s good thing that this post kind of answers your question so I don’t have to.  Remember in future that the search bar of Kpopalypse blog is actually really powerful and will show you where I’ve talked about certain groups and artists before.

Dear Kpopalypse,
(Not gonna address you as oppar because I can feel my ancestors cringing upon hearing that word)
I recently watched the movie “Black Swan” and really liked it. As someone who aspires to be a script writer, I tend to analyse movies a lot and upon seeing the psychological turmoil Nina goes through whilst having to “break down” her “good” personality completely, I wondered if idols tend to go through this too. Since having a cookie cut image is more essential in Korea than it is in the West, isn’t psychologically damaging to always have put up a front since the cameras are always up in your face? To “turn on the sexy” on stage and in videos but suddenly having to act all shy and cute almost immediately after? Its like being two people at the same time. And going through all of this mental damage with almost no peace, only to be thrown away once you’re not popular anymore and be replaced by the agency’s new toys. And then having to cope with not being relevant anymore. Just wanted to know your thoughts on this

Thanks

I haven’t seen the film you’re referring to (it’s been on my “must watch” list for a very long time, as I really like some of that director’s other films) but I get the general idea of the question.  There’s a phrase for this – emotional labour – and it’s a recognised aspect of jobs where being nice at all times regardless of how you’re feeling or how you’re being treated is an aspect of an employee’s character that has a premium value, such as an airline flight attendant for example.  Obviously k-pop performers have to be in a different mode to their true personality all the time.  I think that faking it might come more naturally to some than to others, some people might be able to swallow it and get on with the job, others it probably just breaks them down mentally especially when they’re not allowed to express things like discord within the agency or dissatisfaction with how they’re being treated behind the scenes – which is partly why Kpopalypse Interview exists, so get in touch, all you pissed-off ex-k-pop idols!  Venting is healthy and will do you a world of good, just ask Melanie!

Hi,
I stumbled upon your website a couple months ago, and have really enjoyed reading your content. Some of the more interesting articles in my opinion were the ones you posted about the Kpop industry from an economic standpoint (ex. 1 and 2).

Since it has been about 4 years after you initially wrote these, I was curious about your thoughts on whether the economic situation has changed for the Kpop industry and the idols involved? Has it changed for the better or worse, and what factors (if any) have been driving that shift?

Nothing much has changed.  The biggest change is that Korean music industry has expanded somewhat to the point where it is now actually in the top 10 of global music industries whereas it wasn’t before.  However I hasten to add that it’s still pretty far down the fucking bottom of that top 10 and once you get past the biggest players (USA, Japan and Europe) it really is small fry from there on down.  You’d still be an idiot to want to break into k-pop if you’re an American and have the world’s biggest music industry right in your home country that everyone from other countries wants to break into.

There are no other significant changes.  Aspects that actually affect people’s lives, I haven’t seen any real shifts there.

What tf is trap?? Why tf is it so famous when it sounds like literal horseshit? Is there anything such as good trap? Why are so many American artists obsessed with horseshit and why do so many people like it?

I enjoy some rap and hip hop i just don’t understand what the hell trap is and what is so good about it. Like am I missing something??

Thanks in advance

You’re not missing anything, it’s garbage.  Let’s move on.

Do you think E-dawn is dating the real Hyuna or one of the Hyunabots down in the Cube dungeon?

Good question.  Anyone who hasn’t done so yet should read my take on this important issue and make their own judgement.  There may be questions later.

Hello kpopalypse oppar!
First of all, how are you doing?
Second of all, whats your opinion on kpop fandoms ? Am I the only person who can’t stand them, or ?I can’t get passionate about anything unless it deeply moves me or I think it has amazing quality. Kpop doesn’t have that most of the time. It should be basic knowledge that kpop idols aren’t treated like people, so the emotions and situations never come across as anything more than superficial.
Thrid of all, what is your actual opinion on BTS and their music?
Anddd Last question, is it just me or is the whole e’dawn/hyuna thing pushed down everyone’s throats a bit too much to be just out of love.

I’m good!

I’m not really into k-pop fandoms, they seem infected with crazy.  Unconditionally liking everything that a group does musically regardless of song quality is something that I just can’t get behind, so in terms of being a traditional k-pop fan I fall at the first hurdle.  Then there’s the matter that I don’t buy into the bullshit personality stuff because I’ve worked in the music business and know how everything is just designed for consumption.

BTS have “War Of Hormone” which is actually a really good song (discussed more below), and their latest “Idol” actually isn’t too bad.  Apart from this I find their entire output pretty average, certainly not worthy of the hype given to it.  I’ve discussed this in every single roundup where BTS is featured so I’m actually surprised that this question came up!

News makes money.

I’ve got a problem. I’m off to Japan in November and my friend wants to follow me there. The problem is that he’s a bit childish and culturally insensitive. He’s 29 years old but he has no sense of navigation so I doubt he’ll be able to navigate around Tokyo without me babysitting him. He speaks no Japanese unlike myself (even though mine is still shit) but he’s someone who won’t bother to learn any because he believes everyone there should speak English. I don’t think he actually knows much about Japan at all but he’ll follow me there because I’m going.

I really feel that he’ll ruin my holiday but I doubt I can talk him out of going. What should I do?

Unfriend this clingy creepy son of a bitch before November seems like the shot.  That might involve you being a bit of a cunt to him, but just keep reading my blog, I’ll indoctrinate you into the ways of cuntiness soon enough.  Allow me to demonstrate being a true cunt with the answer to my next question, hopefully it will inspire you.

Favourite or most hilarious diss/insult you’ve ever received?

I’ve had so many that it’s hard to pick a favourite.  I’ve got to say however that I have a special fondness for this interesting individual who commented the following about the lack of actual musical criticism on my worst songs of 2017 post in Reddit/kpop specifically when talking about DGNA’s “Lucky Man“:

Now there’s nothing wrong with this reader’s actual point, I mean they’re right – there isn’t much actual musical criticism in my worst-of lists – that’s by design.  If they wanted more musical analysis and didn’t get it, well too bad I guess but hey it’s a valid enough complaint and I thought it was worth taking seriously and addressing this person’s concern by advising him or her why I write the way that I do.  However the whole acting like they were unfamiliar with my writing and had suddenly been “turned off” was just a bit fucking silly.  Silly because trying to make me feel bad for losing a potential new reader is a lost cause because it’s well documented that I give no fucks about my own popularity, but even sillier because it was actually a lie.

What my haters don’t realise, and probably consistently will always fail to realise, is that not only do I genuinely not care about my own popularity, but I actively enjoy it when I get hate.  In fact I have an extremely good memory when it comes to all the hate that I receive, precisely because it gives me so much pleasure.  You see, I remembered this person a few months previously trying to paint me as a pedophile when I posted my “Healthy Porn For Women” post just because I dared to write about how disturbing the subtle sexualisation of NCT Dream is.

Of course he’s right once again: the sexualisation definitely isn’t a normal image to take away from NCT Dream’s “Chewing Gum”.  THAT’S THE POINT.  That’s why it’s so fucking creepy, like those horrid underage beauty pageants in the USA, that’s kind of the awkward feeling I get when I watch that video (a pity, because the song itself is one of their better ones).  I’m not the one forcing an inappropriate sexual image onto NCT Dream, SM are doing that all on their own, I’m just showing it to you and saying “look at this creepy shit, don’t you see how fucked up this is?  Doesn’t it make you want to be a bit careful about engaging with this industry and stop just lapping up everything uncritically?”  But no, rather than face the issue that pop culture might have a problem with forcing people into sexual roles a little too early for their mental health and physical safety, just continue to support this industry which endangers the welfare of children while trying to paint me as some sort of pedophile for actually recognising that there’s subtle and creepy-as-shit sexualisation of young teenagers going on:

Sheesh.  It’s a bit like when IU started calling out her early creepy image for what it was and everyone instead called her out as a pedo or “lolita fetishist” or whatever for daring to discuss it, instead of actually looking at the problem she was deliberately exposing.  That’s because some people are fucking stupid and can’t think past the surface level of anything, especially when they’re blinded by the rays of k-pop’s marketing shit machine.  So anyway, all this transpired a fair few months before this person’s other comments above about the DGNA review, and of course, I remembered all of it.  So in response to the criticism at the top, I dropped a comment that addressed not only why I talked about “Lucky Man” in the way that I did, but that also addressed the “gosh what is this horrid site I’ve never seen before” cosplay:

And of course they denied that they had a history of hating my site, and edited their original comment with the following (while also ignoring the point of everything else I wrote about, of course):

Now that’s pretty fucking funny.  If it’s not the funniest insult I’ve ever received, it’s certainly right up there.  No doubt this person just serial-downvotes everything with my name on it these days like a bunch of people at every other site except my own, not that much of my stuff ever even gets on Reddit/kpop anymore because people just file false rule-violation reports when readers post my stuff there now and then Reddit’s autobots take it down.  That’s fine, I don’t care about Reddit/kpop anyway… but they sure care about me.  I still get a large chunk of my traffic from there even though links to my site very rarely appear so clearly they’re obsessed with me.

(I’m fair though – and to this Reddit user, I’ll be fair to you, too – I’ll delete all of this and 100% forgive you if you sincerely apologise for your misdeeds above and promise never to be so superficial again.  Not that you will read this – you’re “staying off this site” after all, and we know that you always tell the truth, right?)

So like why is YG not allowing CL to release anything? I mean they’ve already got songs (costs money), recorded them (money spent there), and made MVs (loooots of money there) for her. Wouldn’t it be a loss if they don’t recover any of that (at least from crazy fans)?

Well yes it would be a loss.  Who knows what’s going on.  There’s a good chance CL herself doesn’t even know.

If I were to take a wild guess, I’d say that CL did something to give YG the shits and he doesn’t want to deal with her because he decided for whatever reason that it’s too much headfucks.  Who knows what it was.  It could be anything, real or imagined.  In the music business, stopping someone’s career is as simple as not answering their phone calls and emails, and people can do that for really interesting reasons.  Sometimes the financial penalty is considered to be worth it in the balance of things.  I dumped a group off my record label ages ago when one of them spoilered a key scene in a Tarantino movie, I did it simply by cutting off all communication with them.  They still owed me money too, and still do, but I’ve written it off as a bad debt that will never be repaid – I’d rather take the financial loss than have to deal with those clowns ever again, it’s less pain in the long term.  That might seem petty, but if you knew which scene it was (and I can’t tell you, it would be a spoiler) you would have done the same.

The other possibility is that maybe after four or five failed attempts even YG was starting to sense that he was looking like an idiot for trying to make CL happen in the USA.  Sometimes it’s just not meant to happen, folks.

Hey kpopalypse,
Recently I stumbled across a description of how Korean female idol life was in 1999 – it strengthens your argument that the entertainment industry is shit:

Six months later [in 1999], another similar tape was circulated, this time of Miss Baek, a top female pop singer.

„Fans of Miss Baek tried to paralyze Internet sites offering the video showing Baek and a former producer having sex… The Internet site built new firewalls in defense… The video clip multiplied and raced across the Internet, reportedly at a rate of 200,000 copies in one day.“

According to a show business columnist, „the manager has a tape like this made in order to get leverage,“ and it is not uncommon for managers or producers to insist that aspiring starlets make such videos, which are held in case the women try to dump their old associates after they enter stardom. In other words, sex before marriage is still a reliable basis for threats and blackmail.

In: Chang, Pilwha (2005), “Talking about Sexuality,” In Chang Pilwha and Kim Eun-shil, eds. Women’s Experiences and Feminist Practices in South Korea, Seoul: Ewha Womans University Press, p. 134.

So, my questions: Do you think this practice of blackmailing stars with forced sex tapes is still done today? Assuming this happened regularly in the past, should the producers of these videos now be afraid their shit will come to light with the #metoo movement?

First question – yes.  Certainly not in all cases or even most, but I have no doubt that this continues to happen.  Reason why idols won’t talk to Kpopalypse openly about k-pop #572.

Second question – Korea is pretty hostile to feminism in general, mainly thanks to fringe radicals hijacking a lot of the debate.  Here’s a video about it.

So I don’t think much is going to change in the near future.  Maybe things will slowly get better eventually but I wouldn’t be too hopeful about it.

You said in a roundup (i think it’s this one) that you couldn’t stand songs, especially when it’s about rain, and even worse realizing that it was supposed to be sunny in Korea.

However, when you reviewed GFriend’s first flop in a while, you just complained on being a Sistar song disaster waiting to lose out, and not knowing how ‘sunny’ it is.

Were you distracted or something? Maybe Eunha wasn’t MRS?

Actually I think all the girls look pretty good in “Sunny Summer”, and the song, while horrible, is still better than most of Sistar’s versions of the same thing.  But comparing it to a Sistar song disaster is pretty much saying that it’s a “sunny” song anyway because that’s most of what Sistar’s songs were.

Have their ever been a song from Sweetune that fell flat for you? There were responsible for making Snuper and Stellar in your best-of lists time and time again.

Do you think they are better than Brave Sound when it comes to a consistent portfolio of great songs?

This may surprise you, but I don’t actually keep track of which composers write what songs.  This is because composers in k-pop write to templates often – it’s not always strictly up to them how good or bad the result is, so following around one particular composer expecting consistent brilliance is a recipe for disappointment because eventually they’ll get commissioned to do that horrid Sistar summer comeback or whatever.  So honestly I wouldn’t even know how to answer this question, because I’d probably forget a few songs down the line that either of these producers had a hand in, due to not following this at all closely.  The main reason why I do have at least some small knowledge of who produces what is because my readers often tell me!

So l’ve watched a lot of korean variety shows and I’ve noticed that a lot of the jokes revolve around food…They have questions like when are they gonna eat,how much they are going to eat,how long until they eat,how food is so good.Also one of idol’s go to phrases to fans when they have nothing else to say is ‘Did u eat today?’ So I was wondering why do u think korea has this obsession with food because for all of the times these people are pressured by society to look perfect it seems that they eat a shit ton And it’s not only idols that starve and then they’e hungry to eat whenever they get a chance on variety shows,the actors,mcs,comedians do it too even if don’t have to be sickly thin . Is it a cultural thing I’m not getting ?? Or because S.Korea’s economy was so bad one time that they couldn’t eat so now they have ingraved in their mind that they have to?? Why do they want to eat so much all the time ?

Probably because they’re idols and so their diet is usually one chicken breast and a can of mushy peas per day.  Although there may be more to it than that.  The very first thing I noticed when I started following Japanese punk band Shonen Knife in the 1990s is that about 90% of their songs were about food.  Then I got into weird-ass Japanese trip-hop group Cibo Matto shortly after that and 90% of their songs were also about food.  So maybe it’s just an Asian “we like food” thing?  I really have no idea, but yes it’s something that I’ve also noticed.

Hi Kpopalypse-oppa. After reading that very insightful first draft, I’d like to extend my congratulations to Hyuna for pissing off Cube and Pentagon fans by being happy and in love! At the same time, I wish for all fangirls to dry their tears and continue fapping to budget Hyunseung without worry. Nothing’s changed, Universes! Use ‘this situation’ as a means to learn that the only thing that matters is the song, nothing and no one else. In a way, I sympathize with y’all, you have fallen for the equivalent of an over-hyped anti-aging cream that promised to brighten your complexion, tighten your jowls, make your pores disappear and your wrinkles vanish, and instead your skin started peeling by the bucket, crinkled everywhere, broke out all over, culminating with an allergic reaction that got you hospitalized. You have learned that there is no such thing as anti-aging, nothing in this world can stop the passage of time, and anything that claims to be able to do so in any shape or form is obviously lying (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1933-1592.2007.00092.x) to get your money. Darned false advertising everywhere.
What is your foolproof skincare routine, oppa?

I recommend the one that Maria Ozawa uses in RCT-168.

Hello Kpopalypse. I hope you’re doing well. Two questions:
a. With over 40 debuts this year alone and a plethora of audition/survival shows to boot, if it is common knowledge that many groups do not make money despite the apparent glamour, why are people still vying to become idols? Do they want fame and are thirsty for attention? Do they want a chance to get into the ‘inner-circle of celebrities/high society’? Are they being pushed by their families? Are they passionate about music and believe they have no other option?
b. In big groups with many members, where there are 2 or more competent vocalists (so not counting the sub-vocalists/visuals/rappers), why is it that only one is given ~50% of the song to sing and the others are left to divide the scraps? Wasn’t the group built with so many members as a means to cater to as many tastes as possible by offering multiple choices of different vocal color & contrasting visuals? If they can sing well, why not utilize them, why just one? On a similar note, why recruit altos/baritones in a group that has songs fit for sopranos/tenors when you are forcing them to sing in a range that is not their natural one and thus not giving them the possibility to access the real extent of their voices, and making them and implicitly the group as a whole sound lousy?

A. All of the above.  Plus also not wanting to work a job in the “straight world”.

B. Because it doesn’t matter how they sing.  It’s just not important to be able to sing that well in a form of entertainment that for most people is 90% visual and where most people are barely even listening to the music at all.  People say it’s about the music but for most people it really isn’t, the giveaway is how much people care about superficial aspects.  Awards, vocal technique, biases, charts, scandals, the business, dating etc etc… anything but the actual songs.  Plus it’s all machine-generated anyway.

I don’t know Kpopalypse oppar, lately I feel as if 90% of kpop fans were really stupid, that they can’t get their heads out of the ass of their biases, i mean, I’ve always known it but it’s the first time I had to see that imbecility up close. Now I feel like wanting to go back a couple of years ago when listening to kpop was just for fun and although many do not believe it, for the music.

All this arose from two incidents, the first of them, the fact that I discovered three people who liked kpop after a couple of months of working with them and being friends, but the hope of finally having a space to get out of the kpop-closet and finally have someone to share at least one video lasted me about three minutes when the girls started saying they had just gone to Kim Hyung Joon’s concert, how can someone still be a fan of that asshole? so they told me that he was innocent, that it was proven that the bitch of his ex-girlfriend, had been the one who had blackmailed him all the time, fabricated lies and that such a beautiful man deserved to attack your butthole whenever he wanted and that’s it, before things got intense for the sake of our friendship and for mental health I decided to simply never talk about kpop with them again.

And it’s not that I think that people should share the same opinion as mine, it’s just that is really that difficult to have a bit of critical thinking and not swallow everything you’re told. is it so difficult to recognize what this industry is about? … which leads me to the second incident, just a couple of hours ago many were on twitter disgusted by an article published on an argentinean page about some group’s last concert, the first thing I read were the comments that said the article was crap, it was insulting and they demanded it to be deleted, apparently they declared that these artists lack originality, they don’t really love their fans, that kpop is just a trend, that they do not sing live, they’re just pretty faces(which is indeed never mentioned), the assholish title is, to be true, written in a condescending tone and a little misleading.

So I went and ACTUALLY read it and in the end it turned out to be quite good, (kind of remind me of you in the apparently cunt/caonima factor) after all it shows that the writer is not very fond of the kpop world. I checked other news in the site and all seems to have that little raw tone. He says things that most people, outsiders but with more than two neurons will noticed in a first approach: in this industry where is everything produced with millimetric precision how much is it manufactured and how much is real? How true is love for the fans? how much they are signing live? Also he says tickets are more expensive than the average for what little they offer, which is true…at least in Latam, and what the hell, not even the ticket for Roger Waters and the whole Wall in the stage cost me as much as one of kpop and those little pieces of paper in scarcity falling down near the very end of the event…

Whatever in the end I, as an actually spanish NATIVE SPEAKER went and explain that they weren’t dragging there biases, because even though all the criticism he seems to understand the game between artist and audience and kind of respect their work. I told them that I was indeed greatly surprised for an honest review in the vast ocean of hipocrite media ready to jump in the bandwagon of whatever trend that secure them likes, views, rts, etc. I even offered myself to translate (even with my poor eng skills) the whole article for them to get to know the writer intention and dig in what was actually being said. But nothing, I did’t get response, now I’m seeing more rts all over the world all freaked out for this hater covered as writer and I’m convinced that people is dumb, they don’t know how to read and that after all this rant I’m probably the dumbest. 😦

Thank you oppar, love you!
You are becoming the only safe place to stay within kpop.

I don’t have much to say about this as there’s no actual question here, but thank you for your support and enjoy your stay!

What do you think of Hillsong? My sister has been listening to them (specifically Worship and Y&F) for the past three years, and for me, while their songs are nice, they tend to go past the usual song duration of 3 to 4 minutes, just because it’s a worship song. Not to mention, one of my classmates just found them a few weeks ago, and while impressive, it’s starting to annoy me. Even my parents are starting to jump into the Hillsong train or what-not.

Their ‘music videos’ are just too much for my eyes especially the one below this comment:

It looked like it came from a cut scene from Camila’s Havana, but going further to the chorus, it was ecstasy.

I promise I don’t hate them, but I assure you do, especially when you made a post knowing that Jesus would be a bad K-Pop artist, and while interesting, it’s a bit offensive to me, since I’m a Roman Catholic.

To shorten all that down, here are three questions:

1. Is Hillsong shit or not shit?
2. Do you recommend them to my family and my friends, much to my chagrin?
3. What religion do you belong at? (and I’m confirmed to say that question since Raina’s lost her chipmunk face)

Hillsong is shiiiiiiit.

I do not recommend Hillsong to anybody.

I’m currently looking for a new religion, as I had to leave Rainaism due to Raina Jisooking herself beyond recognition.  Open to suggestion.

Honestly just had a fucking weird dream, what does it mean? I was in some random place and then this lion cub came up to me at first it tried to attack me but as it was a lion cub it couldn’t really do much damage. It then went away and came back but this time it started licking me playfully. Somehow over the course of the dream the lion cub became human and for some reason began to like me romantically. There was one part where the lion/human came in to my room and shut the door and initiated sex. I was initially going to play along and I climbed on top of her, but I couldn’t shake the thought ‘Hey didn’t you used to be a lion?’ and I ended up waking myself up from the dream because I couldn’t do it knowing this person used to be a lion.

This dream means that you’ve been playing too many of those furry eroge games on Steam.

I realized time and time again throughout your roundups starting at 2015 that there were a few groups that managed to stand out, even if those songs are not that great.

Specifically, I’m telling you about two groups.

The first one is HALO. They’re just as nugu as over 85% of boy groups in Korea, yet in your opinion, you thought they were fine, and at a review for Here I Am, they would be a replacement for History. O.M.G. was their latest song, saying it was typical, but not bad. Do I see a bit of bias from you to them?

The other one is VAV. Their songs are great imo, but they have yet to strike gold for you, yet they managed to take your words, and deliver it. Seeing your thoughtless reviews post, when they did She’s Mine, you said it was okay, but when VIXX was next, you said they should stop copying VAV.

A similar thing happened with another, the same week when Jonghyun released his posthumous title track, Shinin’. It was a disaster for you. When you went towards VAV, who released Spotlight, you said they had a better SHINee track than Jonghyun, even though SHINee are shit iyo (in your opinion).

My final piece of proof was you giving them header image (instead of Zagmachi) when they came back with Gorgeous (song below paragraph). You said it wasn’t great, but they’ve improved. Do I see a bit of bias on them as well, or are they just good at not doing bad?

I put about ten seconds of thought into each review on Kpopalypse roundup.  The more considered reviews happen in the end-of-year lists after I’ve had time to fully absorb the year’s songs.  By that time my opinion often has changed.  I just take each song as it comes and with these boy groups they’re mainly fairly interchangeable and I couldn’t tell you off the top of my head which one has the best songs this year.  Whatever you’ve noticed might actually be accurate, but I’d have to go back and check, which I’ll do when I compile the year’s shortlist.

I came across this video on Reddit (I think she posted it to her IG too). It’s about that dinner she had with one lucky fan.

But like am I wrong in feeling that she is unnaturally thin? I like Taeyeon and I don’t mean to shame her. But is this honestly how thin most idols are???? How fucking malnourished are members of Blackpink then?? Holy shit this is brutal.

And on that note, why oh why does the camera make people look bigger than what they appear in real life? I feel this about myself too. Like Taeyeon does not appear that thin in any of the music videos. Nor do most idols. IDK why they appear like they’re normal.

That is honestly how thin most of them are.  That’s why Kyla seems fat when she’s actually not.  People who consume k-pop are so used to looking at unnaturally skinny people, that someone at the lower end of a completely healthy weight range actually seems fat.

The camera making people look bigger is true and it’s to do with physical depth perception ratios when people see themselves in various contexts.  I’ll talk about this more in a future post so I’ll save the explanation for then, but in the meantime there’s plenty of stuff on the web which talks about this.  But that is the reason why skinny people are preferred on TV.

In the last Qrimole someone mentioned staggered enlistments and you replied that “three years of silence is fatal.” However, Highlight has been suggesting for months that they’d enlist at the same time, going so far as to media play it (likely for the “we’re a family/brotherhood and we stick together” image), announcing it on broadcast/interviews, and even breaking the fourth wall in a fictional show (you’ve probably guessed it by now but my superfluous knowledge on this subject has to do with me being an obnoxious fan)–one of the member’s lines as a drama character literally makes a nod toward this: “We’re thinking of joining the military together.” Is this commercial suicide, or is the agency so confident in the idea of the fandom holding that they’re willing to risk a joint enlistment? In the case that the fandom is pretty much guaranteed to stay, would a joint enlistment be a more advantageous marketing tactic, seeing as how it promotes the “their bond is so deep that when they fulfill the mandatory giving up of 2+ years of their lives they do it TOGETHER” theme, and anything pertaining to the military that seems remotely positive is 230923842x amplified (e.g. Taecyeon, Chanhyuk, Joo Won) when it comes to public image?

Beast/Highlight have been around for ages though.  They could probably survive a longer hiatus than most groups.

Omg oppar did you see that Shannon called out [the great satan] for talking bullshit about her? I’m starting to like her more and more everyday

I’m telling you, she’s woke.  People are thinking I’m making that shit up but no.

What even is the subtext of your big boobs articles?

You should get together with the students in this comic and discuss this important issue.

Have you ever listened to Italian songs? Have you an opinion about them? I’m refering to songs composed by italians like Moroder but also songs sang by italian singers, if you’ve ever listened to them.

Not really, except a few Ennio Morricone pop songs from back in the day.  He had some seriously good pop songs.  I tried to find some videos of them that I’ve previously seen for this post but I couldn’t.

do you collect vinyls? i’d love to one day so i’m wondering if you have any decently affordable record player recommendations

I have a fair few vinyls, mainly ones that I’ve been given for free over the years from DJing.  Not tons and tons though, I’m not one of these people with a whole room of them, perhaps about 50 12″ records and a few smaller sizes.  Vinyl is an annoying impractical format and the bigger art is really the only advantage.  As for record players, you can get any old cheapo one from a department store these days.  Don’t spend big money, you have to drop a ton of cash on turntable equipment for it to get to CD quality, it’s not worth it.  Records are best as souvenirs only.

What are your thoughts on female domination porn? Would you watch a pegging scene or is that too extreme? I think it’s probably inevitable that we’ll one day see Yua MIkami do one. Would you watch that scene or skip it?

It’s not really my preference with porn but I’d probably watch it anyway because why not.  Watching pegging scenes is honestly funny, I always feel sorry for the “peggee”, whether male or female.

Hello oppar! Thanks for responding the questions that other people never seem to care about!
Why all microphones are so tiny? Even the big ones are just about a baseball bat diameter. Wouldn’t a bigger one be able to capture sounds with more quality?

No, not really.  It doesn’t really work like that.  Microphones are small because if they were any larger they would be inconvenient as fuck and there’s no worthwhile improvement in fidelity with a big microphone.

Hi oppar! I’m a Brazilian caonima and I would like to know what Brazilians songs you like besides Sepultura and CSS you’ve already mentioned. Most well know abroad Brazilian songs are things you’d probably consider boring, like bossa nova and samba.

Ratos de Porão!

Hi oppar!

I found many Loona fans associate their bias with homosexual-like behavior. Like Chuu’s MV for example (I read somewhere the song even used in SK’s gay pride). While I found this issue interesting, what do you think about a newly debuted girl group that always associated with such kind of sensitive topic (in their country)?

I know the same-sex issue seems already mainstream in Kpop culture, like with the fan-fiction or even the idol, but it’s so different when many English comments in a group
s music video are always about how gay they are. I wonder if there is any casual, conservative fan who refrain him/herself to stan Loona because of their fan culture is all about homosexuality.

Thank you Oppar for your reply!

PS. I hope this question doesn’t sound homophobic

I’m sure there are a few conservative fans who can’t handle the gay and thus don’t like Loona for that reason.  However I don’t think that’s a problem necessarily.  I think it’s good for groups to touch on sensitive topics, whatever they may be, because why not?  Why can’t we discuss anything we want?  These days it seems to be conservatives who are embracing freedom of speech (not sure why the fuck that’s happening, I guess it’s because the progressive people who used to be “I don’t agree with you but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it” have now become so uptight and cunty lately about “safe spaces” and “problematic words” that they’ve somehow dropped that particular ball) so if they’re going to do that, then they can also embrace gay concepts as part of a free speech ideology… and I think most do.  Especially with k-pop where the audience is mostly young, I don’t think there’s that many homophobic fans.  Let’s be honest, we all have to be a little bit fucking gay to like k-pop in the first place.

What is your opinion on manufactured ‘swag’ or ‘badass-ery’ that groups like blackpink and other groups show? I find it hilarious that they portray these fierce girls with attitude in their shows and mvs and then when you see them off stage they’re the same meek shy and polite girls like everyone Like what is the point?? Also the rapping bout stacking their millions when they probably make maybe higher than the average kpop group and nowhere near millions The only group that I genuinely thought was as badass as they were shown was 2ne1

Trust me, even 2NE1 weren’t.  Of course the “badass” image is silly, but since when is k-pop not all about image anyway.  One of the things I enjoy about k-pop is that it does kind of revel in this weird artifice, it’s the fact that people are dumb enough to take the artifice seriously, instead of just embracing the obvious artificiality of it all, that is the concern.

Hi Oppar, Az5he6ch here.
The “dumb-as-shit conservative fuckhead probably-religiously-brainwashed cunthole fake fans” line in your bias list update reminded me I meant to tell you about the stats on my Han Seo Hee live videos.

The majority of views came from Korea. There were about twice as many dislikes as likes in total. In Korea there were very few male viewers. The majority of Korean viewers liked the videos.
Outside Korea there were more male viewers though still a minority, mostly from the West who generally liked the videos. Female viewers outside Korea came from the west and SEA. The overwhelming majority of the dislikes came from females in the USA, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Any surprises there?

Nope!  Thanks for the update!

Han Seo Hee is so fucking adorable.  I wish she would do more videos.

oppar, how do i convince my asian mum that i’m never going to want to have kids? like, im p young so i understand why she doesn’t take me seriously but i feel like the sooner she accepts that im not interested in icky hell spawn, the happier she’ll be in the long run

Get a vasectomy/tubal ligation.  Only if you’re sure though, that shit is a pain to reverse-engineer.

So I just found out that the guy who owns the company that owns LOONA is the son of the guy (CEO of Polaris Entertainment and Ilkwang group) who harassed Clara. How much deep shit are the girls in LOONA?

Is shit like this EXTREMELY common? Like as common as needing to eat food as a human being everyday?

How many creepy dads have sons who turn out okay because they think their dad is kinda gross and they’re determined to not be like that.  Plenty, I’ll bet.  How would you feel if you had a dad who was a creep and people judged you by HIS actions instead of your own?  Not fair, right?  The CEO might be okay.  Loona could be doing just fine.  Also, there’s 12 of them, they could probably take him in a fight if they had to.

Sexual harrassment is very common in the music business though.  I would say it’s almost completely normalised.  Sexual culture in the music industry is totally different to outside, you would be amazed what is tolerated.  A lot of things that would raise red flags in other industries, in the music business it’s just “eh, whatever”.  Cuts both ways across both genders, too.  It’s a hard thing to explain, I’ve touched on it before but not in depth.  One for a future blog post.

Hi. You have stated multiple times that ‘Everything in k-pop is fake. It’s just like porn’. Since this is QRIMOLE I would like to ask where and how is everything fake in k-pop? And how are those instances related to porn in that you would see an equivalence between them? Forgive my naivety/stupidity. Thank you for your insight.

I don’t think I’ve ever literally said exactly that statement.

I agree however that everything is fake in k-pop.  The people are nothing like how they really are.  The companies are nothing like how they really are.  Nobody wants to get to the truth of anything.  It’s all very obviously fake.  I could write an entirely separate post on this so I probably will (again) at some point.

However “it’s just like porn”, yes in some ways, no in others.

Yes in the sense that it’s a tough industry and it will eat you alive if you’re not careful and prepared, BUT if you’re streetwise and not naive and know exactly what is expected and also have luck on your side it’s also possible to get really positive things out of it.  Also yes in the sense that the way people are presented (of both genders) is definitely a little knowingly porn-like, I mean producers have even admitted this directly.

No in the sense that porn actors have to put up far less of a fake front than k-pop performers!  If anything they have to fake in the other direction – porn actresses often have to pretend to hate stuff that they in fact enjoy, whereas k-pop performers are much more likely to have to pretend to enjoy something that they loathe!

Hello kpopalypse,

I hope you had a great day. I arranged my KPOP Album collection, since I moved to a different town and I had a thought.

Can you explain to me the “genre stigma” and how it works? For example, lots of KPOP-Fans claim that Dreamcatcher is “kinda a metal pop group”, but I am someone that likes to buy physical albums and I don’t quite understand it from a musical point. Due to the reason that they have more ballad songs. Doesn’t that kinda mean that they are primary a “ballad group” or “coffee shop group”? How does that work when they have performances and most fans are expecting “metal songs”, but in their repertoire, they have more ballad songs than metal pop songs. Is not that kinda unhealthy to their “metal pop” fans? It seems like that 80 % of the B-Tracks from the KPOP industry just exist to fulfill a quota due to contracts with producers.

Well I guess the songs that they promote heavily are the metal songs.  I mean, they’re not really a metal group, they’re a pop group with a metal concept, that’s probably a more accurate way to think about it.  That should reconcile all your other questions!

Do u know about this survey conducted by Bighit ent.? Does this kind of stuff play a good role in building the fandom and popularity? Shouldn’t BBC also do this?

Well, I know about it now!  However I couldn’t get it running in either Firefox or Chrome.  So I’m not sure about the market effectiveness of it, but points for effort I guess!

What do you mean by saying that Chuu is the next Boram? From someone not familiar with T-ara beyond their music. Also you’ve referenced War of Harmone as your favorite BTS song several times, what in your opinion makes it better than their other songs? It doesn’t stand out that much to me so I was curious.

Chuu’s place in Loona seems roughly analagous to Boram’s place in T-ara.  All the other girls in Loona when they debuted with their solo songs have been promoted in fairly typical k-pop ways and they all pretty much look like typical k-pop girls, but Chuu is like this short, brassy chick with crazy eyes, a Stepford Wife grin and a lesbian thirst concept.  Boram likewise just sticks out like crazy in T-ara as “the one who is not like the others, there’s something real different about this one”, she doesn’t quite fit the k-pop idol mold in the way that the other girls do.  There’s nothing very specific that’s exactly the same between them, it’s more of a combination of elements that point in a similar direction.  Visual outliers in such a cookie-cutter genre are always very interesting to me so I’m looking forward to adding more Chuu content to Kpopalypse blog in the future.

“War Of Hormone” just fucking rocks, in a way that no BTS song has before or since.  Stomping beat, great guitar riffs, great production and even some vaguely reasonable melodies to cap it all off (fairly unusual for BTS ahem).  Even the lyrics are good, they dump their usual self-important persona and just sing a song about being thirsty for ladies which has a fun self-deprecating tone that resonates with Australian-style humour well.  Even better that in the video they look convincingly like a bunch of horny dickheads that would crash the milk bar and look up all the girl’s skirts.  It’s just a great song and a really well-put together package overall where all the jigsaw pieces fit neatly together.

Oppar, I want to start playing another instrument -beside drums- this year. I also want to learn music theory while playing this instrument. Do you think guitar would be a good choice? (I know piano is the best for this but I can’t afford one at the moment.)

Piano is a much better choice than guitar, because piano teachers emphasise theory whereas most guitar teachers have a more pragmatic approach where theory takes a back seat unless absolutely needed.  Obviously a piano is expensive, however electronic keyboards are cheap and the cheaper ones can be bought for around the same price as a student guitar.  Cheap keyboard models honestly aren’t very good but you can always upgrade later if you feel the need.  Mind you there’s no reason why you can’t also learn guitar, but I’d learn piano first, it’s more useful in the long term over a wider variety of applications.

Kpopalypse Oppar,

Since I honestly don’t know shit about music, I wondered if you could help me out here. These two songs sound very similar to me (and many others) but I can’t grasp the actual reason why. Have a listen if you give a fuck…

and if you don’t give a fuck, have a nice day. I love your blog.

A faithful Cao Ni Ma

It’s those keyboards, the chord progression they’re doing is exactly the same and even the keyboard patch used is the same.  The BTS song (which is rubbish by the way, the complete opposite of “War Of Hormone” above and a prime example of the type of song the group should NOT be doing) actually sounds like the producer sampled the EXO song, chopped up the keyboard riff a little with some cut and paste and then stuck it back together slightly different just to evade copyright.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the same person wrote both songs.

In produce 48 (I know I know, it’s a guilty pleasure) when they are training the girls to sing they are very specific about using chest voice or head voice or falsetto, apparently you can mix two techniques, and they are like nope this line you HAVE to sing in chest voice otherwise it doesn’t work. What is the difference between these things and do they really matter? We will hear a better sound if a specific line is sung in chest voice or whatever?

Without having watched this particular slab of entertainment TV cancer at all and thus being unfamiliar with the scene you’re referring to, I’m going to have a guess and say that this request is not really about the singing itself, but more about making it easier for the audio engineer to mix the result.  Generally speaking where vocals are concerned it’s easier to have a more full-bodied voice and strip parts away in the mix, than have a tiny thin voice and try to beef it up.  When equalising any instrument, when you have a clear choice between cutting something or boosting something, a cut is always preferable.

Hello Oppar!
What’s your opinion on kpop songs fully in english?? (For fully in english i mean stuff like SPICA’s I Did It, not just english versions of existing songs e.g The Boys english ver)
Is it that shitty?

It doesn’t matter to me what language it is in.  The only drawback with a song being in English for me personally is that if the lyrics are bad (and they usually are) it’s a little bit harder to contain the cringe.  I think overall pop music has very poor lyrics across the board and so the quality of my listening experience improves when I can’t understand the words.

To be honest, there is this trop shithouse song I can’t get out of my head, and it’s on 0:47 on this video.

What should I do about this thing?

Listen to something else instead, then you’ll have the new thing in your head and not this.  Suggestion below.

What’s the best song for this weekly roundup?

Wow, the amount of questions I got about this!

Firstly, the reason why I put Chuu in the header instead of the “best song” is because it was Radiothon week, and the roundup always relates to the radio show.  Special radio shows that don’t fit the usual format also don’t have the usual headers.  You’ll see more headers that don’t fit the format at the end of this year when I start doing the honourable mentions on air, etc.

Secondly, although the header image started off as “favourite song of the week” it’s sort of morphed away from that, as occasionally one group might have had a really good header image that I really wanted to use whereas another group might have had a better song but I couldn’t find a good enough image in time.  So the header doesn’t always reflect the best song that week in my opinion.

Thirdly, my opinion can change over time.

But to answer your question, the best song for that week (in my opinion, at this point in time) is easily Twice’s “BDZ”, which harks back to the glory days of JYPs songwriting such as all those fantastic early miss A and Wonder Girls songs.  It even has a great and hilarious drama video, the premise of which is beyond silly, but which also contains a lot of clever humour.

We’ll see if it gets on the end of year list.


That’s all for this month’s QRIMOLE!  This series will return next month, in the meantime stay safe out there!  Kpopalypse loves all of you!  (Yes, even YOU.)

Oh, and do you have a question that you’d like to see answered in the next episode of QRIMOLE?  If so, use the question box below, or if no box appears, click the Qri on the sidebar to open the box as a separate webpage!  Kpopalypse will return!

4 thoughts on “QRIMOLE – August 2018

  1. Loona are also labelmates with Iron, who conveniently got busted for marijuana use a couple months after their pre-debut project started. What a coincidence.

    And the BTS song was released before Exo’s, but they actually both sample a song called Deadroses by Blackbear. So it kinda was the same guy who wrote both songs!

  2. As a fellow artist, I love your new header! It’s completely cute and charming!
    But the total opposite: when someone forces girls before debut to make sex tapes so that later if the women get uppity, they’ll have “leverage” strikes me as totally manipulative, cynical and evil in the extreme! And I’m 64 years old, I thought I’d seen everything…
    Also, FOOD! Your reader is right to point out that Korea’s economy used to be shit, and recently, within living memory. So I think that culturally, SK is still in that heady phase where they’re happy to eat whatever they want now, but subliminally aware it could all disappear in an instant (like if Kim Jong-un throws a nuke at Seoul.)
    And the skincare regimen Maria Ozawa uses in RCT-168… too funny! …There were other things I’d like to comment on, but this is getting too long. Another good Qmirole!

  3. That advice you gave about being a relationship with a depressed person was really good. Simple and good.

    Thanks for answering my question about sajaegi. So if i understand it correctly, the streaming services ignore some sorts of manipulations when it’s in the same house so to say as the artists’ agency?
    I never actually look at brand rankings or whatever that is precisely because I have no idea how that is calculated.

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