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Best of Weekly Music Shows: 8/1 – 8/6
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Best of Weekly Music Shows: 8/1 – 8/6

As summer winds down, things liven up on the Best of Weekly Music Shows. Familiar faces trickle in as newer ones make their first appearance. Gfriend, Winner, N.Flying, JJ Project, Dreamcatcher, Raina, and CLC returned to the music show scene in fine form. ONF, Apple.B, Longguo Shihyun are among the newbies of 2017 making their debut. With such a large variety of idols, there was no shortage of entertainment.

Fetishizing Black Culture: Taeyang on Being Black
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Fetishizing Black Culture: Taeyang on Being Black

In a time when black bodies are still seen as dangerous creatures to be policed inhumanely; when segregation persists through discriminatory housing policies, and racial profiling chains African-Americans to lengthy prison sentences for possession of marijuana, Taeyang has revealed in Big Bang’s latest photobook:

“I’m not black, so I’ll probably have to have more experience and go through more pain if I want to express the sentiments, emotions, and soul that black people have through my music. That’s why I believe that pain and suffering will make my music richer.”

Samuel Paints an Image of Adolescent Idyll in Sixteen
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Samuel Paints an Image of Adolescent Idyll in Sixteen

Im not too familiar with Samuel Kim, but surely fans of Produce101 are. Around the time where ones life would ordinarily revolve around petty friend drama, crushes, pop quizzes, and homework, Samuel was busy making a name for himself as an idol, all while (presumably) facing those typical teenage troubles. He was trained under Pledis Entertainment at the ripe age of thirteen, debuted as Punch under the duo OnePunch shortly afterwards, competed in Produce101 as a sixteen-year-old a while later, and attended school at the same time.

She Was a Stunner: N.Flyings The Real
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She Was a Stunner: N.Flyings The Real

When N.Flying’s MV “The Real” opened on deck, in costume, I knew I was in for a treat. I knew pretty much nothing about N.Flying, wasn’t really specifically a fan of bands, but I saw potential. Theme or story? Check. Costumes? Check. Catchy guitar riff? Check. It was all aboard, and I was completely on board!

Let me open with my one criticism and get that out of the way: To the other members of N.Flying, good luck fighting Cha Hun or Yoo Hoe-seung to wedge yourself into that camera frame! While vocalists are often the recognised faces of bands, it felt like there was an opportunity for Kwang-jin, Seung-hyub and Jae-hyun to be characterised further. After the long scenes with just the vocalists, for me, some of scenes with the rest of the group were a bit too little, too late.

Reunited Worlds Ep. 1-12: Into the New World
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Reunited Worlds Ep. 1-12: Into the New World

At first Reunited Worlds appears like a typical fantasy romance following the popular trend which has produced a great number of hit dramas like Goblin and You From Another Star. Most certainly the basic plot makes it seem so: although originally born in the same year, two people end up 13 years apart, an 18 year old man and a 31 year old woman. In this story, there is the use of tropes much associated with the genre, the resurrection trope and the age reversal trope. But the first episodes set out that this is not your typical fantasy romance.

Winners Our Twenty For: Pleasant, Refreshing, but Lacks a Punch
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Winners Our Twenty For: Pleasant, Refreshing, but Lacks a Punch

Winner is doing themselves and their CEO proud with their latest comeback. YG Entertainment CEO, Yang Hyun-suk, has been enthusiastically spotlighting the boys on his Instagram account. These posts show Our Twenty For topping iTunes charts in more than 15 countries on the night of its release. Losing one member did not seem to have created a huge stumbling block for the boy group, though it certainly has changed the flavour of their music. Differing from their singles in Fate Number For, we see a vibrancy to Winner in both “Island” and “Love Me Love Me.”

A Comprehensive Guide to the Best X-Curves in K-pop
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A Comprehensive Guide to the Best X-Curves in K-pop

The standards for physical beauty in K-pop are endless as almost every part of the body has been incorporated into terms that define some impossible ideal that can only be achieved through intense dieting, rigorous exercise, and when those things aren’t enough plastic surgery. From the Ant Waist to the S-Curve and the X-Line, these type of terms used to police the Golden Proportions and upheld as industry standards seem to be ever evolving. Thus, Im coining a new term to describe this amazing new trend thats been popping up more and more lately, the X-Curve.

Samuels Sixteen is Spectacularly Insipid
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Samuels Sixteen is Spectacularly Insipid

At 16 years of age, Kim Samuel has been through quite a lot. He started as a trainee under Pledis Entertainment, then debuted under 1Punch alongside rapper One – which was disbanded after One joined YG Entertainment following the 4th season of Show Me the Money. Samuel most recently finished 18th in the second season of Produce 101. Following his surprise elimination, international fans started a petition against Mnet asking for his – and eliminated favorite Kim Jong-hyun of NU’EST – inclusion into upcoming group Wanna One. Whether as a result of the petition or by happy coincidence, Brave Entertainment seized the opportunity to reassure Samuel’s fans of an upcoming solo debut. Less than 2 months later, his solo debut, Sixteen was released, much to the delight of Samuel’s fans.

ONF Turns Up the Charm In On/Off
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ONF Turns Up the Charm In On/Off

WM Entertainments second boy group On and Off  styled ONF  debuts with a strong, fun concept. WM has stated that the group intended to show a combination of opposites and their first song competently achieves that goal. On/Off is cheery and uses contrast in sound and tone to present an entertaining first effort.

The MV uses space and technology to visually illustrate polarity while keeping to a consistent theme. The members interact with retro sets and props in the ONF Railway Station then dance in the futuristic, pristine space set. Stock footage of rockets taking off are scattered between the choreography and member solo shots. Sci-fi is a trendy motif, with AkMu and Twice already tackling space and retro fantasies this year, but ONFs take is still fresh.

Death of Jo Sung Min: Is this the end of the Choi family tragedy?
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Death of Jo Sung Min: Is this the end of the Choi family tragedy?

Jo Sung Min (40), former baseball player and ex-husband of actress Chae Jin-sil was found dead in his girlfriends apartment on Sunday, January 6th. Police investigations confirmed that he committed suicide after an argument with his girlfriend.

While all reports of suicides are tragic, what makes this story a family tragedy is that this was the third suicide that Hwan-hee and Joon-hee had to experience. The two lost their mom (Chae Jin-sil) in 2008 when she took her own life after suffering from depression. Hwan-hee was seven and Joon-Hee was five at the time.