Yes it’s back – the music video series that you all know and
love feel somewhat ambivalent about but at least it’s a post, Kpopalypse Nugu Alert! Let’s check out some more nugus!
While it’s not easy being a k-pop nugu, there certainly are some benefits compared to being a household name. One of the most rewarding benefits is that nobody is envious of you, so you don’t have to worry about whether the people who are your friends are close to you because they really like you, or if they’re just trying to scoop up some of that precious reflected “clout” as it radiates off your very super famous body and into the atmosphere. This gives you the freedom to go on about your creative business without having to worry about compromising any aspect of your personal life. Still, if you’re appearing in any k-pop video, you’re still taking a very slim risk of possible fame, after all nobody predicted the success of “Gangnam Style“, “Rollin” or “Gang“, did they? All of a sudden you could be that guy in the elevator waving his crotch and becoming a meme in 150 countries and having every loser want to hang out with you not because they like you but just so they can say to their friends “I hung out with the crotch guy”, so it pays to be as careful as you can be and keep the risk factor low, even if you’re appearing in some complete no-name trash that almost certainly isn’t going to go anywhere, because it just might.
This episode of Kpopalypse Nugu Alert is highlighting participants in music videos who considered all of this in advance, and therefore went to great lengths to hide their identities with innovative yet budget-conscious face-obscuring ideas. You can’t be too careful! Usual Nugu Alert rules apply:
- Less than 20,000 views on official channels
- Maybe someone cares about these artists, but your friends sure don’t
- Relevant to Kpopalypse
Let’s go with the first Kpopalypse Nugu Alert of 2021!
Golden Brief$ – Sexy Lady
One of the most well-known yet also still anonymous music celebrities in Korea is producer Primary, who is often seen in music videos as a person wearing an oversized cube-shaped mask. One of the members of Golden Brief$ seems to have taken a leaf out of Primary’s book, and has donned similar headwear for “Sexy Lady”, albeit without the characteristic beak shape at the front which would presumably attract a plagiarism controversy (although it would be a novel one for Primary to be the one doing the litigation for a change). At least he’s added a funky racing stripe for some extra flair, which also happens to match his tracksuit, now that’s a nice touch. It’s just a pity about the song being some super-lame slow R&B jam not much higher on the quality tier list than the notorious IceJJFish but at least he’s not going to be shamed for it and the only people who’ll have their reputations truly affected are the two guys in this with their horrible crooning plus the token “sexy lady” who does her best to cover her face with her fringe whenever possible and probably wishes she had a cardboard box to hide in of her own, just to stop the camera from awkwardly zooming up on the pores of her skin. I guess having a box-head appearance in a music video is “producer privilege”. However, why does box-head flinch at 3:24 when the alcohol starts getting sprayed? He’s already wearing the perfect protective clothing. Jisoo wouldn’t flinch for that, so he’s got no excuse.
Youtube views at the time of writing: 5583
Notable attribute: dancing in a trailer park – the destiny of the ultra-nugu. I’m surprised we haven’t seen this activity in more nugu video submissions.
Nugu Alert rating: high
Gila – Shimmer
By now you’ve probably all seen the awful monstrosity that is Eternity’s “I’m Real“, a video truly from the pits of hell featuring who knows (or cares) however the fuck many girls with hideously ugly AI-generated faces slapped on them. I’m sure that no matter how bad the girls actually looked, they didn’t look fugly enough to justify the horrible AI-face treatment that they received, which I’m sure was also not a particularly cheap endeavour given that this horrible please-burn-it technology is still in its infancy. However I guess if you really do feel that worthless and insist on hiding your face electronically but don’t have an Aespa-sized bank balance to throw around on getting those pixels just right, you could instead just strap a TV screen to your face and call it a day. That’s what Gila does and the results actually look reasonably good, even though he seems to be having a bit of trouble navigating his surroundings with them on, and after nearly being hit by several motor vehicles eventually falls over and cracks his head open, ruining his anonymity (but I guess that’s okay because he’s also dead so he won’t care). Then some girl picks up the headset thing and tries it on and she seems to have no trouble walking around properly like a normal person so I guess maybe it was just him drinking too many sojus while recording this weird mumble-pop that did him in.
Youtube views at the time of writing: 3915
Notable attribute: backpacker walking away quickly at 1:46 did definitely NOT sign up for this nugu cameo appearance
Nugu Alert rating: very high
Park Bench Club – Say You’ll Be Back Again
When it comes to depicting the supernatural in fiction, before the advent of TV the most popular supernatural stories used to be ghost stories, because ghosts are a scary concept that fires the imagination. Once television started penetrating the houses of billions the most popular supernatural figure then changed to zombies, and ghosts fell out of favour – and there’s a reason for that. You see, anybody can do zombie effects on the cheap – just spray some stinky garbage stains all over some old falling-apart clothes, get a bit on your face and arms as well and you’re done. However to get a ghost actually looking good on a camera requires a budget of some sort, you can’t just throw a white sheet over yourself and call it a day. Well okay, actually you can do exactly this, as Park Bench Club have done here to accompany their actually-not-horrible song, but you’re always going to look like a cross between a KKK member and that Sigur Ros video instead of something actually scary. In fact I’m not even completely sure that ghosts are even what’s going on here, as I haven’t quite figured out what happens in that David Lynch-lite moment when the drink gets spilled and everything changes, but wearing a bedsheet for a music video is still a good way to get away with creepily spraying some girl with mist on TV without having to embarrass your parents or have your appearance pulled from TV completely when #MeToo finally reaches Waterbomb festival and making people wet is punishable by complete cancellation, after all it could be anyone under there.
Youtube views at the time of writing: 2433
Notable attribute: unlike most Korean MV ghosts, this one still casts a reflection in the vending machine at 0:44, I guess it really is actually a Klan member instead
Nugu Alert rating: extreme
That’s all for this episode of Kpopalypse Nugu Alert! The series will return in the future with more nugus!