Traffic to Kpopalypse.com has been on a slight upward trend over the past two months, and we all know what that means – not enough Nugu Alerts! So let’s destroy all that fresh “engagement” and “c-word” with another episode of the series that nobody gives a shit about – Kpopalypse Nugu Alert! Read on to discover more k-pop nugus!
While Kpopalypse Nugu Alert is always happy to embrace unpopularity (after all the point of the series is to highlight unpopular artists), I also don’t mind giving the people what they want from time to time – and that’s girl groups. If there’s one thing that being the first k-pop writer in the English-speaking world to highlight Korean nugus in a regular series has taught me, it’s that Kpopalypse readers want k-pop girl groups in their area.
While I’m happy to oblige this preference, it has to be said that attention from k-pop fans towards girl groups is certainly not evenly distributed. At the time that I started writing this post, Blackpink’s “Ddu-du-Ddu-du” had 1,898,205,304 views. By the time I had finished this post a few hours later, the same video had 1,898,390,723 views. That’s an increase of 185,419 views which is more than all of the views on all of the videos in the last ten Kpopalypse Nugu Alerts over their entire life span since publication… combined. So let’s share the love a little and take a look at some k-pop girl groups which are definitely not achieving “the revolution”.
Usual criteria apply:
- Less than 20,000 views on official channels
- Not holding an arena stadium tour in your area
- Relevant to Kpopalypse
Diawings – Flow
Some of you with long memories who dare to plumb the lower half of my weekly roundups may be familiar with Diawings, who managed to scrape in on the tail end of a roundup in 2021 with their tropical house song and choreography video “More And More“. That song wasn’t particularly good, and to be honest neither is “Flow”, but I still think that Diawings are worthy of a Nugu Alert feature just for sheer effort, especially as they went for something more than just dancing in a room with vaguely matching clothing this time. The effort to get some random-looking Digipedi-style “still life” shots happening is certainly intriguing if not entirely successful, but the main draw here is the pole dancing which is honestly top-tier work that puts After School’s “First Love” video to shame as it’s achieved without the help of high-budget editing trickery or an entourage of makeup artists to quickly rush in and powder or henna tattoo over the bruises. Even better, the pole dancing is applied to a general concept which isn’t that sexually suggestive, which actually makes me happy because it rings true – I’ve met quite a few girls who pole-dance for fun or profit and trust me sex is the last thing on their minds when they’re doing that shit.
Youtube views at the time of writing: 10605
Notable attribute: Queen’s Greatest Hits in the shelf is a valid choice, pity there’s not enough room there to stand a vinyl record up properly, you can damage your vinyls over time by storing them diagonally like that
Nugu Alert rating: high
RooKie – Urichacha
If there’s one type of public institution that I feel is severely overlooked for sheer usefulness, it’s the public library. You don’t just get free books, free board games, free Internet browsing, the ability to borrow tech equipment, a neat social environment where you can meet other nerds who are probably not into the sportball thing either, and staff versed in public safety who can usually help if your asshole ex shows up trying to stalk you, you also get access to plenty of open areas that can be used as free sets for your k-pop video should you decide to make one. The team behind RooKie clearly realise it and have taken advantage of some pretty cool and unique looking areas in and around “Pungmc Library” to allow the girls to perform their dance routines, the highlight probably being the helpfully-labelled double-decker bus, which is definitely a double-decker bus, we know this because it says so on the side. I’m not so sure about those weird matching suspender strap things but I’m sure this very young group didn’t have any say in that, and at least any library always has a large private room that you can use to discreetly get in and out of your embarrassing k-pop pants.
Youtube views at the time of writing: 3645
Notable attribute: flat tyres on the bus means these girls probably won’t have to travel the highway for schedules anytime soon
Nugu Alert rating: very high
On Top – I Don’t Care
It almost wouldn’t be a girl group Kpopalypse Nugu Alert these days without an entry from Future Idol company, so let’s hear it for On Top, their latest creation. I guess these groups are designed to train up hopeful people who want to be a k-pop, before they then transition later to a “real” group (apparently one of the Everglow members got her start in one of these groups). While most of these Future Idol groups pass by on roundup without much comment from me these days as the music is usually generically bland and once you’ve seen one of their videos you’ve basically seen them all, “I Don’t Care” is a bit of an exception at least visually. Future Idol usually puts the emphasis on aegyo but here we have the girls training their bitchstares, eye-rolling, arrogant smirking and walking-somewhere-purposefully-for-unspecificed-reasons for later use in typical early 2020s “we are such bad girls who are bad to the bone when our agency says it’s okay” k-pop content. Enjoy this aegyo-free journey into the aesthetics of shipping containers, modern art and OH&S compliant high-visibility idol wear.
Youtube views at the time of writing: 3304
Notable attribute: best use of safety pins in a k-pop video ever award goes to the girl at 1:18, 2NE1 could never
Nugu Alert rating: very high
Luminous – Focus
Not to be confused with the B-tier k-pop boy group of the same name, Luminous is a girl group that also seems to be from some kind of Future Idol style k-pop learning regime, hence the low-grade video with atrocious contrast/colour-matching between scenes and the generally half-hearted appearance of the entire package. However there’s one exception here which is that the song itself is unusually good especially for a production on this level. I hasten to clarify that I mean “good” not “great”, there’s a pretty unfortunate squirtle-noise happening behind the vocals in some sections and the breakdown at the end really is leaving the song on a low point, but overall despite these weaknesses this is still far better quality musically than anyone had any right to expect from a project that nobody realistically thought was going to “make it” anyway. There’s plenty of A-list content out there that sounds like it’s had far less effort put into the music than this. So… stan Luminous, I guess. No, not that Luminous, the other Luminous. At least until they change their name.
Youtube views at the time of writing: 373
Notable attribute: the group couldn’t do the dances in heels so they just put a pair of high heeled shoes behind them in the video instead so the foot fetishists can at least imagine them in shoes, now that’s really thinking of everyone
Nugu Alert rating: extreme
That’s all for this episode of Kpopalypse Nugu Alert! The series will return soon with more k-pop nugus for your entertainment!