The K-Pop Chronicles – Table of Contents:
I. Introduction – Korean Music: The Beauty of Understanding Nothing
II. The J-Rock Phase: Miyavi, Gackt, and more L’Arc en Ciel
III. Intro to K-Pop & The Rise of DBSK
IV. The Legend of H.O.T
V. The Legend of Seo Taiji
VI. Seven vs. Rain
VII. Big Bang vs. the Pretty Boys
VIII. A Foray into Dir En Grey
IX. The Tragedy of NRG
X. Anime Rock – Uverworld&Orange Range
XII. Big Bang Explodes
The K-Pop Chronicles – A 13 Year Love Affair
By Rock Kitaro
When I was in college, everyone told me that my love for east Asian music was just a phase and that it would pass. Thirteen years is a long time to simply call it a phase.
Ever since 2005 I’ve been listening to popular music from the countries of Japan and South Korea. This was back before everyone else heard of “Gangnam Style.” Back before BTS took the Billboards. Back before Twitter and Instagram determined one’s prestige.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I’ve watched the rise of Big Bang since they were still trainees. I rocked out to Dir En Gray. Witnessed the fall of DBSK when they were near untouchable. I went back and explored the history of legendary groups like Seo Taiji, H.O.T, NRG, Turbo, and stumbled upon gems like Clazziquai, Epik High, Drunken Tiger, and Dragon Ash.
But…as you can imagine…we’re talking about a span of thirteen years. The music has changed. I’ve grown up.
Since this journey of mine has come to an end, I thought I’d take a moment and tell you my story. In these memoirs, you will see me as an impressionable college freshmen who lived out his twenties dishing on some of the best kpop and jrock ever produced. It’s been an honor, really. You’re going to see what real diversity looks like. Hint: it’s not about race, it’s about taste. Back when the charts weren’t saturated with artists who look the same, all producing the same thing.
That being said…fair warning. You might read some things that strike a nerve if you’re a hardcore fan of certain groups. Mind you, this is just one man’s opinion, the perspective of one who’s been watching the scene since 2005. So if you just discovered kpop in 2016 and get mad talking about how so and so is the greatest when you haven’t even heard of H.O.T or Seo Taiji…yeah, you’re in for a bad time. This is my journey. My discovery of musical groups and the evolutionary effects they had on my life. Sit back and let me show you what I saw…starting in the middle of 2004.
Here’s a taste with a music video I edited in 2013, compiling some of the most impressive kpop dances I’ve ever seen.
Dance Appearances in Order – Song “Jiggy Get Down” by the Untouchables
1. :10 – Yunho of DBSK
2. :37 – Xiah of DBSK
3. :52 – Hyunseung, formerly of BEAST
4. 1:02 – Kikwang (AJ) of BEAST
5. 1:12 – Rain (Bi)
6. 1:31 – 2pm
7. 1:50 – 2NE1
8. 2:10 – Untouchables
9. 2:30 – Taeyang
10. 2:50 – DBSK
11. 3:09 – Big Bang
12. 4:08 – Block B
13. 4:17 – BEAST
14. 4:27 – Big Bang