QRIMOLE – May 2020

It’s time for another episode of QRIMOLE, as Kpopalypse tackles more reader questions!

 

1) You’ve mentioned before that Dynamic Duo are the two best rappers Korea has ever produced although their music is mostly garbage. However, I’m a little confused on how you evaluated them as Korea’s two best rappers because in your rap primer post, you mentioned that it is almost impossible for someone who doesn’t speak Korean to evaluate a Korean rapper’s true skill/ability. With that in mind, did you come to that conclusion based on their rap delivery (or how they sound like, cos that’s all I really care about when it comes to Korean rap or rap music in general personally) or is it based on their rap flow (the rhythm aspect not the lyrical part)? I don’t know jack shit about rap (or music in general) so I apologise if this is some dumbass question

2) The reason I was curious about the Dynamic Duo thing is because I’ve been recommended a lot of rap songs by friends recently but the 2 that have really grabbed me so far are Public Enemy’s ‘She Watch Channel Zero?!‘ (I wish the guitars were a little louder but that’s probably just me) and the Anthrax version of ‘Bring The Noise‘ (which I like a little better than the original but you probably disagree with me there). I was reading the genre introduction post, would these songs be considered as Nu-metal? Could you recommend me some other Nu-metal/similar songs that you enjoy? The only one I really know is B.A.P’s Power that you recommended and it’s good but doesn’t quite grab me as much as the 2 aforementioned songs.

1. By talking to people with fluent Korean language skills who were able to break down the lyrics for me point by point and the meanings therein.  Obviously I would be lost without this.  Keep in mind that “rap delivery” and “rap flow” are much the same thing, “flow” isn’t strictly about only rhythm but also about how the words fit within that rhythm as well as word choice, which is essentially “delivery”.

2. I wouldn’t call “She Watch Channel Zero” nu-metal just because the guitars (sampled from Slayer, btw) are so far back in the mix that it’s really the drum machine beat that dominates, it still “feels” unequivocally like a rap song with a guitar sample in it, rather than anything else.  There’s a stronger case for the Anthrax/PE version of “Bring The Noise” being nu-metal because the guitar rhythm is what dominates, and Anthrax dabbled in rap/metal crossovers many years before this sound trended.  However modern nu-metal tends to have very specific kind of guitar and drum rhythms that are favoured, and to me that defines nu-metal more than the actual rapping.  For instance Rage Against The Machine’s “Killing In The Name Of” is certainly nu-metal but there’s actually no rap verses in the song at all, the few vocals that are repeated are done in a more thrash metal talking/yelling kind of style rather than rap.

I like very little nu-metal overall, but for Korean nu-metal, try this:

Or if you want to go international, here’s one I like:

Its no secret that you think modern mainstream rap is mostly shit. The question I have is: when do you think it started to become shit? Can you point out a particular artist’s (or albums’) successes that led to today’s outcomes?

Rap has been on a gradual softening decline ever since the “go hard” days of Public Enemy’s second album “Nation Of Millions” which was the peak of rap having abrasive backing tracks.  It’s an album that will probably never be topped in this regard, and there’s a reason for that – not a creative reason, but a legal reason.  Public Enemy got their uniquely abrasive sound through copy-pasting a chaotic collage of other people’s recordings, and that was more or less legal at the time but became somewhat less legal afterward as the music industry moved to catch up to the technology and respond to the new wave of sampling with new laws.  In 1985 sampling was just “collage” but by 1990, 30 samples on a track meant 30 potential legal problems, and not many creative artists were willing to expose themselves to this.  Rap had to simplify and become more minimalistic to survive, and this basically meant “toning it down”.  Suddenly people who were only used to stealing music were forced to make their own (or at least, “steal less” of it), and most producers simply didn’t have the motivation or the skill to put something together on the sonic density level of Public Enemy’s producers.  Rap was forced to “do more, with less”. 

A highly influential album was former NWA member Dr Dre’s solo album “The Chronic” which basically was the template for the “non-sample dense” rap sound, and it borrowed heavily from the 1970s Parliament/Funkadelic style, which meant softer tracks and more R&B influence.  The album itself was actually great, but it was also a huge commercial success which led to a ton of weak imitators and the sound of rap overall trending in a weaker direction due to the wave of shit it inspired.  Most of the more modern weak rap can be traced back to influences from that album.  The inventors of the trap style were actually Three 6 Mafia, but they were less relevant, as they weren’t all that popular when they appeared and it took a long time for their sound to gradually filter through into the mainstream.  I’ll talk more about that when I do the inevitable “Things Kpopalypse dislikes in music: trap” post.

I was reading this roundup where you said IOI’s very very very was ripped off on a song superior to this but without telling what song, you cunt! Ive been thinking the past five minutes and can’t think of any solutipn to this empty cliffhanger, so whats it?!

It’s Girls’ Generation’s “Gee”.

Hi oppa!
So I need some advice: I was dating this one guy for a little over four months and I’ve known him for three years. Three times already, he’s done this thing where he didn’t text me back for days and left me hanging without any contact and his excuses were always garbage and something that he could’ve taken a second to tell me to avoid worrying me. I did love this guy (and to an extent I still do) so I’ve given him numerous chances however, recently, he did the same thing again and I got fed up with getting hurt by it so I blocked him. He messaged me from a different account telling me “my brothers lost a few phone chargers in my house so we’ve been sharing one between the five of us and that is why I haven’t been replying to you. Im not ignoring you” and I find it to be complete bullshit. I know I should end things with him permanently and I should just go back to being friends with him but it hurts me so much to think about finally closing things off. What should I tell him and how do I cope with not being in romantic relationship with him?

He seems sketchy as fuck.  If you really love someone you’d go out and buy a fucking $10 charger if the lack of one was preventing you from keeping in touch, right?  Is he living in a war-torn country where he might catch bullets while going to his local mobile phone accessories shop?  No?  Then I wouldn’t tell him anything, seems like a waste of energy.  He’s been leaving you on read, so why not do the same thing to him, for like a month, and then say “sorry my phone wouldn’t charge”.  You cope with this by telling yourself that you’re worth the attention and time of someone who actually gives a shit.

Hi Oppar, I really like this song but I have tried searching for more jazz songs like it but most that I come across are slow and boring. Is there a certain genre this belongs to that I should be searching for to find more of it?

I’m not nearly enough of a jazzfag to give you the proper answer to this question that you probably deserve but this is basically 1940s big band style jazz so go search that up, I guess.  I don’t have any specific recommendations because to be honest I don’t really like this style much.

How can I become a good songwriter and producer? I don’t want to make shitty music.

Read Kpopalypse blog.

When you were reviewing “Future” by Girlkind, what were you referring to when you said “they’ve gone for /that/ sound.”?

Scotch snap, described below.

Hola kpopalypse. So he other day i was on reddit in a conversation about rap in kpop, i remember i heard somewhere that all the rap nowadays were triplets so i just assumed that was true, i wrote that and some one replied my with this video (really interesting for me cuz i do like music even though i know just the very basic stuff)

Then what would be the classification of most of the “rap verses” in kpop? if its possible to make a generalization like that. Since korean seems to be so different than english and spanish (my first language) i want to ask you if you have noticed a trend that most of the groups follow wheter is tresillo, scotch snaps triplets…. or any other. Would it be correct to assume that it depends of the composer, like the native language of the producer can influence a composition in a “sub concious” way. Gracias

Most rap isn’t actually triplets at all, triplets are just really noticeable when they’re used in rap.  A lot of the more nu-school stuff has some triplets in it just because “scotch snap” is a lyrical trend (essentially a triplet with the third pulse silenced, or a quadruplet with the third and fourth pulses silenced, depending on how quickly you spit it out) but rap doesn’t traditionally use triplets as the primary method of delivery.  Absolutely zero triplets in this for example:

Zero in this, too:

None here either:

There’s some “scotch snap” in here but it only starts at 1:10 and doesn’t last very long:

Nu-school stuff isn’t any different.  In this song there’s not much triplets until the last guy raps, and he mixes up triplets with a lot of other non-triplet stuff and doesn’t “scotch snap” in it hardly at all:

This song is entirely triplets, even the singing, however the “scotch snap” is absent, with Bewhy mainly doing the opposite (first word long, second short):

The earliest rap I ever recall hearing with any sort of triplet action was – once again – Public Enemy’s “Bring The Noise“, and even then it’s only for a small section of the second verse.  (As you might be gathering it’s almost impossible to discuss anything at all about rap without discussing Public Enemy at length.)  It’s a really arresting part of the song precisely because triplet style vocal rhythm was definitely NOT the norm in rap music and it DOESN’T fit well with everything else.  That’s how it’s generally used still to this day – as a gimmick to grab attention, before returning to something else more listenable.  A whole song of “scotch snap” sounds weird, it just sounds like shit usually, because giving LESS rhythmic space to the more stressed syllable is just weird-sounding and off-kilter, in anybody’s language.  Nobody actually says “teenage mutant ninja turtles” like “teen-aaaaaaaaaage mut-aaaaaaaaantt ninj-aaaaaaaaaa turt-lessssssssssss” when speaking naturally, so I don’t actually agree with the analysis video’s argument, the fact that he has to say it unnaturally to make it sound like a rap song sort of disproves his point that the “scotch snap” is dialect-based (even though the video is still really good and educational in other ways).  So it tends to be used in dribs and drabs but is broken up with other things, it’s hardly ever the “main course” in anything except the shittiest rap songs.

Do you like Bjork?

Yes.  Saw her live in “Debut” album days, a great performer.  Was always a fan of her way of writing melodies, that gave The Sugarcubes plus her solo stuff a unique flavour that sounds like nothing else.  You can tell immediately when hearing Madonna’s “Bedtime Story” that Bjork wrote the vocal melodies for it – even though Madonna is doing the singing, Bjork’s compositional style is so distinct and stands out hugely.

Hi oppar! Hope you’re well when you read this. Recently, since there was a guitar lying around my house from when my grandpa tried to learn it and gave up, and I have much more time in quarantine, I’ve been trying to learn a bit of guitar. The way I’ve been going about this is looking up the tabs for songs I like and trying to play them. I’ve also tried to learn some riffs by ear. In your opinion, are there some really essential basic techniques that I’m missing out on by using this approach or is this fine? Also, I don’t have a pick and have been using my thumb to strum. Is it very necessary to get one?

I think any learning is better than no learning!  Trying to learn by ear is definitely a great thing to do.  There’s also no rule that says you have to play with a pick (even quite a few pros don’t), but playing with a pick sure as hell makes some things a lot easier.  If you’re just strumming for now it doesn’t matter much but if you want to investigate faster playing then learning pick style is very important.  No rush for this however, starting slow is wise.

Hi kpopalypse whats your favourite iteration of gfriend time for the moon night and could you share a little bit why. Since i have been locked down i’m having lots of free time so i was wondering wich one from the trilogy is the best and why, in my opinion crossroads is the most “sentimental” or sadder and i dont, do you think the sudden modulations can give that effect or its a more minor melody? Maybe im just overthinking it, so i would love to hear your thoughts about it, thanks.

I think “Time For The Moon Night” is the best “Time For The Moon Night” out there.  It’s certainly the “Time For The Moon Night” that sounds the most like “Time For The Moon Night”.

I think it has better use of dynamics than the songs that came after.  The lows are lower, so when the highs hit they’re punchier.  Having said that there’s a bee’s dick worth of difference between it and the others, so like whatever I guess.

Hi kpopalypse hows the quarintine? Here is beyond boring and kinda uncertain about the future tbh

So i’ve been listening a lot to apink comeback and searched for the chords to play it in my guitar but i realized that (according to the person of that channel) the song is on g#minor and borrows a couple chords from g#major, not a big deal, but the guy puts a G diminished seventh at the end of some phrases, how does that make sense? Is there a musical explanation or just ‘sounds cool’ and thats it. Thank you

Right so I found the guitar cover and it’s probably the one that you also found, I suspect:

The thing about going from F# to Gdim7 to G#m is it’s a melodic stepping stone for the bass – F# – G – G#.  Meanwhile the rest of the notes barely change.  This is what’s called a “passing chord” and it doesn’t sound that great on its own but it sounds cool in context because of its relationship to the chords around it.

The next music theory post will be all about how chords don’t exist and it will go into this more.  Coming soon (ish) I promise.  I was actually going to write it tonight but then I realised QRIMOLE was due, so it’ll be the next post after roundup unless IU jacks off Shindong and I have to defend her again or something.

In your interviews (which are awesome!) when asked about their daily schedules, the kpops that you interviewed say they also had acting classes time to time. I’m really curious what’s going on in these classes and what they learn there but this was sadly never elaborated upon in the interviews! Are these k-drama acting classes or classes how to be netizen-approved during tv-shows? Is this the place where they get beaten out any spontanity and re-enact ‘Let’s dance’ series? Learn how to introduce themselves synchronously at interviews and smile all the time?

At tv-shows there are a lot of these ‘forced jokes’ where the host asks one of the group members ‘do something funny/cute/sexy’ and then they come forward and proceed to do some ‘quirky animal screech’/quirky face/hip twirl and then everyone overreacts and it gets replayed 3x times as if its the funniest/shocking thing ever. Or they introduce themselves even with it ‘I’m [name] with the pretty aegyo eyes and you’ll fall in love with my [funny/cute act]’ *proceeds to do act*. Nobody would ever do these cringe inducing introductions naturally. The total lack of spontanity and their acting must be learned but I haven’t seen any source of a kpop artist admitting it or elaborating on it.

Your interviews/site covered already a big deal of the insides of the industry but I’m curious about this side of media personality fakery/construction :p

Do you happen to have any inside information from kpops?

(p.s. just wanted to say your content is an oasis in a dessert of all these shitty kpop fan coverage on youtube or reddit where theres social censorship/where the ‘reddit netizens’ get butthurt if you have a different opinion/not a hivemind way of talking/take things that seriously)

Thanks for your support!

I honestly didn’t ask about any of this stuff because I don’t really cover acting content that much as it doesn’t interest me, but given that it’s called “acting” you can bet your ass they learn it.

Hi Kpopalypse,

I don’t know if someone already posted it, but apparently there’s a UK K-pop girl group called Kaachi. And these are what they managed to come up with:

I get it, a K-pop group doesn’t need its all members to be Korean or Asian, but at the very least you have to sing the damn song in Korean right? Despite my best efforts, I can’t confirm if the song even had more than three Korean words in the lyrics. Also, their debut song reminded me a lot about the Chinese christian songs I sung before when I was still a middle school student at Hong Kong. (Chinese christian songs are notorious for being more like reading things out than actually singing.)

I can’t help but to wonder if this is an attempt of money laundering, the agency behind them is one of those “z-tier agencies that exist only as fronts for prostitution and human trafficking” you mentioned before, or their management are just too stupid to realize this is not going to work.

Back to Josh. After the COVID-19 pandemic, I sincerely hope someone would drag him to see a psychiatrist……

I just tried your Annoying Violin Etude No.1, and bloody hell, it’s like someone keeps scratching a foam food container right next to my ears XD (To be fair, I also have the same feeling whenever a TWICE member is doing aegyo.) Maybe you should license it to the ASIS or ASIO as a torture technique, then start collecting royalties from them.

I’ll wait for roundup itself to throw down on what I think of the song itself, but any “international k-pop” attempts are almost guaranteed to be actual passion projects driven by the singers themselves, rather than some kind of scam.  The people who do these things do them because they fall in love with the style and are really passionate about making their own version, and they’re very often far more in control of their own product than even the most legit Korean versions are.  That’s actually why it often doesn’t work out that well, because if you’re driving a project like this but coming from completely outside, you’re not going to know what’s involved or have the connections and resources to make it work as intended.  Your personal preferences are also going to colour the artistic choices quite a lot, which will also set you apart in weird ways, because with the Korean groups it’s purely company-driven creativity and the performer’s personal preferences aren’t even considered.

Hi oppar! Last september I was in a really dark place. I had just gone through a break-up, lost a friend to suicide and attempted suicide myself. I was just feeling really lonely, depressed and unsatisfied with where my life was going and didn’t have any motivation to do anything about it anymore. After I recovered from the attempt I still felt really down but at least people close to me started trying to help me feel better. One of the things that cheered me up a bit during those times was your writing (I like your sense of humour and have taken a lot of your advice, including your advice on how to survive college which has really helped me a lot!), so I wanted to thank you for that. Apart from all the awful things that are happening right now, my life has been on the up & up and I’ve been feeling much better. I dropped out from journalism, which I hated, and am now studying psychology, started going out with friends more and found a partner that is great and cares for me a lot. Can’t help but think that if I haven’t survived then I would have missed out on all these things. I guess I just wanted to share this here because you were part of it in some way, and to spread a bit of positivity (I guess we all need it right now). Don’t give up, cao ni mas!

Great to hear!  Hopefully your story is inspiring to other caonimas out there!

Hi oppar!
Beyoncé was quite popular in Brazil some years ago (like 2013). Yeah I know, you don’t give a shit about popularity and hate anything that Bey touches, I promise my question is not that bad, so don’t skip it please.
Back in the day she broke up from her fear from appearing next to an taller woman than her and made a music video with Alicia Keys, that was also filmed in Brazil. Some bullshit happened and the video was never released to public. Time passed and most of brazilian and other international fans who knew about that marched on with their lives.
In other instance, it seems that, even nowadays, there’s a lot of K-pop fans really butthurt with YG Entertainment fuckery over similar situations with their artists (annoucement and cancelling of Taeyang’s “Body” Music Video from “Rise” Album, Winner’s “EXIT” 4-part project stopped at letter E, 2NE1 & LeeHi scrapped alledgedly finalized albums) also that happened quite some time ago.
1. Considering that Beyoncé is an artist that relies on idol iconography as much as an K-pop artist (most Beehives think she is a Godess), what else do you believe that could explain such disparity between the fans’ attachment with such events?
2. And what do you think they can do to move the fuck on from this mishaps with their faves career, perhaps leading then to a better and more fruitful fan life?

Wishing you a nice job with loads of cash!

I don’t really follow Beyonshit fans closely enough to know the answer to this, but I’m going to guess that her fans aren’t of the same mindset as the ones in k-pop where there seems to be a trend where everyone thinks they’re a fucking business expert.  While I think YG is a dick just as much as the next rational person, there’s generally really really specific reasons why projects don’t come to fruition that are generally a lot more precise than “CEO oppar is being an ass again”.  Some common reasons are here.

My question:  this chick has not one, but three different PRS guitars! I noticed another video you commented how cool they were, and now I noticed N Flyings guitar player has one too and a lot of other artists. Anyways what makes these guitars so special or playable?

When I was a guitar student my teacher once brought in one of those fancy high-end PRS guitars with the bird inlays, in fact back then I think that was the only type of model that they made, they didn’t even have a budget range at that time.  I just really liked the look of it, and then a while later I read an article about the PRS factory that talked about how the guitars are made.  I was amazed that they used 25 layers of finish which seems incredible like overkill.  Later I learned that some people think finish affects vibration (horseshit but anyway) and that many guitar purists didn’t like PRS for that reason.  I like lots of workmanship though, and I remember liking the PRS that my teacher had a lot for the five seconds that he let me play it.  So like with everything to do with guitars opinion is divided, I just think they look pretty and I’d love to own one at some point but I really gotta pay off my house first before I can justify that kind of expense on another electric guitar when I already have over half a dozen (readers can help here). 

Hey Oppa! ehehehe

I love writing questions here. I love that you leave this open space for us, your fans (lolz)

Anyways, I’ve been felling shitty this past couple days. Do you think it’s possible that some people are just born stupid. Like, inherently incompetent? As if there’s no point trying because you’ll never be good enough, you’ll always suck?

No.

hi hope you’re doing well and staying safe and healthy!

if you’ve got nothing better to do i wanted to see your thoughts on this song (since i love seeing whether a group will surprise everyone by putting out a song you enjoy or continuing to be “eh”):

small company and i think the group had a rebrand at some point? didn’t even know abt this group until like a week ago. the MV was dropped like 4 months after the song itself was out which says a lot… go figure? bc of all that i don’t think i saw it in any of last year’s roundups/search results lol

if you end up not listening to this song then it’s cool too; keep vibin and tell your cat i say hi

Thanks for this.  I’ve decided to remove the song from here and address it later in Nugu Alert, it’s great material for that series!  Expect it fondly!

Hi 😀

I came across this film that’s really just a long anime music video to the songs of the album Discovery by Daft Punk, called “Interstella 5555“.
Have you ever watched it? If not, I recommend it, that is if you enjoy repetitive electronic music (as I do).
The story is kind of a critic to music industry in general (I can see some characteristics of the kpop industry in it) while doubling as an animated acid trip.

Anyway, not really a question, more of a recommendation.
Stay Safe!

Daft Punk suck.  The only good music they’ve ever done is the Tron soundtrack where they actually sound quite okay.  Did you know that Daft Punk have created the scientifically most boring song of all time?

Hope you’re staying safe! I know the entertainment industry is taking the biggest hit right now.

I’ve noticed watching recent music shows that performances actually feel eerie without the live audience there. I never realized that the loud shrieking actually enhanced performances (at least these ones). Like the performances feel much…hollower?
Anyway I wanted to ask: who do you think is the best performer in the kpop scene? I feel like Boa is definitely one of the best who turns out a performance even if the audience is dead silent, but I like hearing others thoughts.

Laura.

Hiya oppar, I have two completely unrelated questions for you this month

With the recent global pandemic I’ve really been sinking my teeth into music production from home, and so far I can say that I’ve really been enjoying the experience of just being able to make shit music 24/7 so I can haunt your existence. One thing that really surprised me was actually enjoying the mixing and mastering process, so I’m in the market some better gear. I’ve heard constantly that I should invest on studio monitors before I go for headphones. The thing is that I live in an apartment with kind of thin walls, so I’m reluctant about getting monitors that’ll get me evicted. I’ve never really used studio monitors in my life, so I don’t really know how loud those things should be. At what volume should one be mixing at? Is it possible to get monitors for a small, cheap apartment?

Second, this is something that I happened to come across in Twitter. Some creep said that they “can’t wait for (Loona’s) Yeojin to turn 18”. Needless to say I instantly reported that shit. It got me thinking about old men perving on 18-year-olds. Why do we think that, because an arbitrary wall we’ve put up has been crossed, all of a sudden it’s okay to instantly sexualize a kid? What happened inbetween the minute at midnight between the ages of 17 and 18 that gives everyone that “legal acknowledgement”? I honestly find it kind of disgusting now when I see porn vids advertised on the fact that the models are 18. It’s like saying “we’re absolutely willing to go lower but this is as far as we’re legally allowed to go.” This is something I haven’t really been conscious about since I’m about that same age, but this thought has been hanging over me for the past few days.

Mixing – it’s actually better to mix at quiet volume than at loud volume.  Something that sounds great at quiet levels will often kick even more ass when cranked, but something that is only ever mixed at jet-engine volume will often lose a lot on small speakers.  Remember that most people listen to music on absolutely crap sound systems, so mix on what the majority of your listeners will be hearing it on.  Where studio monitors are useful is not for volume levels but for what’s called “flat response”.  Most speakers are designed to permutate sound in some way (usually add more bass and treble and cut mids), but when mixing you want to ideally listen to music before it hits that process, not after.  However in a small apartment it can be hard to set up studio monitor speakers in an optimal way so you get a good stereo image – in which case headphones will do.  However for pro mixing once again you want “monitor” headphones with a flat response, NOT stuff like “Beats By Dre” which colours the audio to make the bass really jump out etc.

Creeps – I remember rehearsing with my band at a guy’s house one time and he said just offhandedly “we’re all pedophiles at heart” while talking about someone (can’t remember who, but not Yeojin) and that just made my skin crawl, after that I refused to even enter his house, which caused some friction and arguments in my band because it basically fucked our ability to use his free rehearsal space and cost us a lot of money but that was fine with me.  I probably felt much the same about him as you did about that Yeojin guy.  Also “OMG they’ve just turned 18!” porn is definitely marketed directly at creeps, regardless of the performers’ reasons for doing it… but hey young powerful women depriving assholes of their income, what’s not to like, I’m all for them raking in the cash as long as the girls are in control, and they often are – contrary to popular belief sex-work spaces are very female-controlled spaces a lot of the time.  Ultimately I think if it’s legal it’s legal, and you have to draw the line somewhere – what consenting adults do together legally behind closed doors is honestly none of my fucking business, and what people wish they were doing with them behind closed doors I care even less about.  What’s “creepy” and isn’t in this online age is usually subjectively dependent on who people want to shit on, and how much moral cache people want to give themselves while doing so.  Everyone likes to play the virtue card and say “gosh, I would certainly never do that” until… something happens, and then they actually would.  Usually their constant harping on about it is just them trying to prove to themselves how “totally un-pedo” they are because they’re secretly in denial and feeling very conflicted about the fact that yes they probably would rub one out over that photo of that guy from NCT Dream taken just before he turned 18.  Look at how many supposedly “moral religious people” get busted for being serial sex criminals, it’s always the same story, the people who go the “most moral and pure” path often have the most to hide.

So I saw some radio DJ’s imply they’ll never play certain kpop groups because of fan harassment online. How much of a hand in lack of radio play do you think fans have? And why do we even care

BTS fans have pretty much guaranteed that major media outlets will always ignore their group, because nobody wants to deal with the hive-mind doxxing people, coming after them and trying to make them lose their jobs etc just because they might have an opinion on something that the fandom won’t like.  Not that it will really affect BTS much anyway, the group will live or die with their own fans on their own terms (or rather BigHit’s terms), but ARMYs have essentially ghettoised themselves with their own toxic behaviour.  All that “fighting” they’re doing is actually biting them really hard and keeping them out of a lot of public influence, everyone can see it but themselves.  And no, nobody cares.

thoughts on this channel’s ideas of kpop marketing? she’s not an expert but these are a couple of things that i thought were interesting and i wanted to know what you thought of it

I totally don’t have time to answer all these questions AND watch a 25 minute video on some fan theories.  Writing every QRIMOLE takes literal days.  If you can briefly summarise the main points in the video perhaps I can tackle it next month!

I want to ask several questions related to Korean trot: 1. Why does Hong Jinyoung’s Boogie Man soar and her Thumb Up fail in your opinion? Is there any specific theoretical explanation about this case? Because they sound somewhat similar according to my untrained ears. 2. Any opinion about Jang Yoonjung’s songs? She somewhat rescued Trot from the brink of extinction. Is it good, bad, or just not bad and not good like Seventeen or BTS? 3. No reviews about Mr. Trot contestants’ songs. I think they create some new trot songs for the contestants of the show, although no MV, they can be considered as title track right??? Thank you so much Kpopalypse 😀

Boogie Man is cool, nice progression, smooth instrumentation and a really well-written melody that slowly builds with the song’s dynamics.

Thumb Up is just too far in the “restaurant music” direction, it’s too conservative and the melody is cheesy and stupid like a children’s TV show.  It’s actually one of the worst songs she has.  Do not want.

Jang Yoonjung – nothing I’ve heard has really grabbed me.  Of course I haven’t heard it all.  She sounds relatively dated.

Mr. Trot – I don’t cover TV shows as a general rule, however if songs come out after the show is over that are derived from it either directly (think: Jimin’s “Puss”) or tangenitally (think: Sandy’s “Teen Swag”) I will cover them if I’m alerted to them.  Probably.  Maybe.  Seriously I get sent SO MUCH FUCKING STUFF you have no idea.  There’s no way I can listen to even half of it.

Someone who’s not Eunjung directed a team who’s not T-ara to make a music from the coronavirus proteins.
1. Does coronavirus’s song sound better than any BTS songs?
2. What’s the best music to annoy people that doesn’t respect my interest in K-Pop: coronavirus’s song or Corona – Rythm of The Night ?
3. Will K-Pop ever be more viral than coronavirus?
Stay safe oppar! From the coronavirus, obviously.

1. No
2. Either
3. No

I’ll try and stay safe.  Doing okay so far, Australia has mainly dodged the worst of it because we’re a former prison colony so we’re used to having to do what the government tells us to do and stay home, and aren’t all that concerned about “muh freedom” cos we know we don’t have any anyway.

Have you seen this video? Thoughts?

its about JYP making ‘so hot’

This has been linked to me about once per week for the past year.  I get to hear it so much that I even did my own vintage version.

Kpopalypse, what is a “high note”? It’s a term I see in kpop comments all the time and have no idea what it means. imo, it seems like half of the “high notes” are not particularly high, just held a bit longer than usual

From a musical perspective, what is a high note for male and female performers? Are kpop idols really hitting them that often? And from a fandom perspective, what are some better terms fans could use to praise their favs (when they deserve it)?

Or should us non musically educated plebs just stick to praising visuals?

A high note (often also called the “money note”) is a long sustained note that’s high in pitch.  It’s mot any sort of precise technical term, so there’s no exact definition of how high a note has to be to be considered a “high note” – but “higher than all/most of the other notes that the same singer sung in the same song” is a good general guide.  On a more technical level every song that has singing has a “high note” (a note that is higher than all the others) as well as a “low note” (a note that is lower than all the others), but that’s usually not what fans mean when they talk about “high notes”, fans usually mean the note with the most emphasis that is high.

For example, some might consider the “high note” in Berry Good’s Angel to be at 2:59, but at 2:53 and 3:20 higher notes are hit, but with less emphasis.

It works quite well in the Berry Good song where it suits the context, but most of the time the “high note” is usually put in songs for showing off purposes, it’s all about “look at me, look at how long I can sustain this big high note, aren’t I so special, aren’t I so great, please love me and buy all the things with my name on it”.  In other words, the way it’s used in k-pop has nothing to do with making the music any better, and often makes the music worse because they’ll often insert notes like this into songs even if they really don’t suit the song at all.

Oh and most “high notes” (by most I mean 100%) in commercial pop music are done with the assistance of computers to stabilise pitch.  If you want to praise your faves, try their dress sense.

How do you base your decision on buying/listening to all the tracks from an album?” Considering you say that kpop bsides are 99% filler bullshit it still occured to me that you have lets say Pink Tape(which is the bible of kpop lets be honest) and many dreamcatcher/tara(?) albums as well? Is there a little bias in there or the title track just has to be THAT good for you to put time into an entire album?

Factors that determine whether I buy a k-pop album:

  • will I like the art
  • could I be fucked spending the money
  • If I don’t like it could I give it away on the radio show (not a factor since I quit the show though)
  • do I want to support the artist
  • would it be cool to have a CD with the title track on it so I could play it in my car (not a factor since my last two cars have cassette only)

So as you can see, quality of the other tracks doesn’t really enter into the equation.  If I like them that’s a bonus but it’s not really why I buy.

In the honourable mentions list of 2017 you wrote about Blackpink’s ‘as if it was your last’ that lot’s of elements don’t work in the songs, and than as an example the lame verses.

I think the verses are really fitting for a song and very characteristic and can’t even imagine what someone might consider lame about it. Would you mind sharing what you thought was lame about the verses?

(Don’t mean this as defending my taste, I really dont care about that, just asking out of sheer curiosity)

The verse melodies I think are really bad, they remind me of T-ara “Yayaya” or something with their sheer aimlessness.  Pathetic nursery rhyme shit.  The song gets quickly better at 0:48 when the pre-chorus starts and then a lot better again when the actual chorus kicks in.  Having said all of this Weki Meki’s “Crush” is a slightly better…

Actually wait, the verse melodies in this song suck donkey dick too (and it has horrible “scotch snap” in the raps too).  Both are saved from doom by great pre-choruses and chourses.

will you review Jessica’s book when it comes out?

also, what are your thoughts on Doja Cat?

Jessica’s book, yes.  We all know it’ll be a thinly veiled bio, of course I want to read it.

I don’t care about Doja Cat.  Never even heard of her before people asked me about her about once per month.  Boring music.

Hi! If you answered this kind of question before feel free to tell me to fuck off or ignore this. For the last 2 years i have been listening to japanese city/future funk/pop from 70s/80s and all that shit. I was so into this music i stopped listening to kpop for a year (a cultural reset of sorts since i wasnt seeing armys telling me to kill myself everyday bc i said bts didnt put out anything remotely good since 2015). My favourites being Taeko Ohnuki’s “04:00am”, Junko Ohashi’s “Telephone number” and Yumi Matsutoya’s “Man in the moon”. Is it really that different from your usual western music from that period? If yes, then what is it? Don’t know if this music is actually any good but i like it and it helps me a lot with anxiety. Maybe i was just a whiny little bitch in 80s japan in my previous life.

Not a bit different.  I guess Japan was a little more willing to combine their 70s and their 80s, but there were western versions too of exactly the same thing, and I really do mean exactly.  Seek and you shall find.  Spoiler – the western versions sucked just as much as these j-shits which I haven’t even bothered to link because there has to be some baseline quality standards somewhere and no I will not talk about or link them ever.  However I appreciate your sheer bravery in asking this question and I sincerely hope you found this answer helpful and that it will spur you to investigate music from other parts of the world that sounds exactly like this shit.  You’re welcome, thank you for being very tolerant.

Is it really tough to get composition jobs in today’s k-pop industry? I tried to track big-name composers of the yesteryears.

Sweetune have not been very active since a group splintered from them to form MonoTree. They were last involved in forgettable B-tracks for Infinite and Lovelyz in 2018.

Shinsadong Tiger (a personal favourite) has been largely inactive since EXID’s final album in May 2019, though he did produce the unimpressive Violet – Pang Pang in September 2019.

I think k-pop has suffered badly due to the influx of foreign composers and weaker domestic composers, and the sound is generic pop now, as opposed to 2007-2014, during which korean composers applied their own stamp on the pop music style, much like Max Martin, Denniz Pop and their counterparts in 1990s.

So, why are these talented composers struggling to get work now?

Maybe they’re not struggling, maybe they’ve just moved onto other things and don’t care.  I’m sure they have enough money to experiment with it and do what they want instead of just churn out song after song for some label. 

Given idols are regularly sent to get IV drips in hospitals, are all very underweight, stressed, overexerted and sleep deprived, what % of idols do you think will die if they catch coronavirus? The lack of kpop is one of the worst things about being stuck inside in self isolation, but it’s still probably better than the rest of year being mourning posts for sick kids.

Very few, probably none or single digits at absolute worst.  They would all have excellent cardio health, which is the main risk factor.

What do you think of 8bit renditions of kpop songs?

If you wanna do 8-bit covers, every wanna do 8-bit covers.

I have a problem that I’ve been dealing with since an early age: I pick at my skin. I don’t know how to quit it. One minute I’m just listening to Kpop on youtube and then I get distracted and go after my skin. Sometimes I wake up, look at my arms, and go at it.

I’ve noticed this happens a lot when I’m by myself. And I’m by myself a lot more because of “staying home corona time”. Do you know how I can stop picking my skin? I swear I’m not on meth.

You need distractions that are more than just sitting there watching a thing – like actual physical activities that involve moving your body.  It could by gym, or yoga or meditation, or martial arts even, or something else, but something that gets you moving in a very deliberate, focused way.  Put your body in motion and you will start to think about the positive aspects of your body more and it will help you control picking at it.  Gradually, over time, you’ll get your habit under control.  One day you’ll look back and wonder why you even did it at all.

Agree about Han Seo Hee, Kpop fans don’t realize how toxic they can be.

Trufax.

I have her as my Twitter profile pic because it really helps weed out the idiots and general fuckwits, it’s like a ward that makes them out themselves.  I don’t necessarily agree with everything she says but she’s just a great symbol of being who you are, saying what you want, spilling the whole truth and giving no fucks.  So what if she’s sometimes wrong about political things, who the fuck isn’t wrong about world issues sometimes, especially when they’re her age.  Maybe she was a bit of a mole when she was in Gfriend or whatever, that just makes her more likeable because being in a k-pop group would turn me into (even more of) an asshole too.  Yeah she smoked some weed and gave out some blowjobs, who cares, she only has that in common with like 98% of my friends.  If you’re heavily invested in pointless gossip, “mess”, virtue wars and being PC then you’re probably bothered by Han Seo Hee, but if you care about the real shit that actually goes down behind the scenes you know that she’s about as woke as it gets in that aspect.  I’d be happy to talk to her and I think she’d have a lot to say about a great many things.  I hope she reads this blog, she should get in touch here.  In the meantime you’ll have to make do with the interviews with the excellent Kim Nayoon and equally excellent Cheska, these are just scratching the surface, but it’s a surface that needs to be scratched. Everyone who hates Kpopalypse hates me because they’re either jealous of what I do, or they’re the enemy.  I’m here to protect the interests of artists, and of those wanting to be artists, and I’m not here for bullshit, name-calling, or worrying about the trivial shit that concerns other k-pop sites.  Disregard the small shit and your life will be great.  Peace, caonimas.


That’s all for QRIMOLE!  This series will return in a month, in the meantime don’t forget to practice social distancing and keep at least 1.5m away from BTS fans at all times!

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 soon with more postings!

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