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MusicLyrics: Lets Talk About Sex Written by Pat On November 11, 2015 Sex is a part of life. Thanks to Western media, one can become desensitized to the topic because it can be found everywhere – songs, television shows, movies, wherever. On the surface, K-pop is very different. There are a lot of ‘innocent’ and ‘cute’ concepts. Crossing the line can easily get one banned from performing on weekly shows or their music video rated 19+, making it harder to score broadcast points. That is not to say that sex is a completely taboo subject. In fact, there are a lot of songs that do reference and talk about it. Which is why, today, we are talking all about those songs.
Talking about such a topic always comes with warnings. While I will try to keep this as clean as possible, there will still be references to sex and, potentially, sexual acts. If you are, in any way, uncomfortable with the topic, then please hit the back button back to safety.
With that warning out of the way, let’s get comfortable and talk about sex in K-pop songs.
Usually, there are two categories of songs regarding the mentioning of sex or anything sexual. The first are the songs in which sex is covert and subtle. The second category is songs where sex is openly talked about in either unabashed references or shameless innuendos.
For the first category, some can be very muted – maybe just one or two lines thrown in that makes someone double back, before going back to safe ground with the usual romantic theme. But what differentiates these songs from the run of the mill vague songs is that the way they are put together makes no room for the song to be about anything else. Often, these types of songs are sung within the frame of a romance. Songs that come to mind are f(x)s Rude Love and Nine Musess Wild.
Another example is Sunmi’s “24 Hours,” with plenty of lines to choose from. Theres the chorus with “24 hours are not enough/ When I’m touching you and you’re touching me,” but there’s also this bit during a verse:
The more I drink, the thirstier I get
The more I take, the more my body seeks
When Im looking at you, I forget everything
You fill me up all the way
This is where it becomes very clear what she wants: she wants her lover to stay with her for more than the time they have. It works perfectly with Sunmi’s vocals, making the want in the lyrics more real. It also gives a more active voice to the song, as if she is also explaining why she is so addicted to her lover.
From the covert, we then have the overtopenly, unapologetic and shamelessly sexual songs. And there is nothing wrong with it. For the overt, they can further be divided into two types: there is the blatantly sexual, and then there are songs that swim in playful innuendo.
How can I name this article after a line from “Let’s Talk About Love” and not talk about the song? From Seungri’s 2013 mini-album, Lets Talk About Love features G-Dragon and Taeyang in a song that almost delights in talking about sex. It starts off innocently enough, and then G-Dragon’s rap comes in.
Dont be scared, I wont hurt you, I know you want me
Ill be your guide on this lonely night, so call me
Now youre my master and Im your G-nie, now tell me your wish
Past the stage of ecstasy, were trembling
From your head to your toes, I wont miss a single part
Scream louder, I want to fly
You want to climax, Ill be your thriller
The rap verse is almost self-explanatory. It starts with getting the woman to give in and trust him for the night just for pleasure. It describes G-Dragon’s promises for the night: unfiltered pleasure where he will pay attention to every inch of your body. It is not only his end that he seeks, but also delights in his partner’s, wanting to hear his name screamed at the pinnacle points. And with the G-nie line, it is also clear that he considers her sexual dictates as well.
Here, we can clearly see the difference between the overt and covert. While Sunmi’s seeks to seduce you into a peek of that relationship, “Let’s Talk About Love” is abundant with metaphors for climaxing and other sexual acts.
In fact, the song also represents the usual modus operandi of most sex songs, and is also similar in format to Western counterparts. Males promise to bring delight to their sexual partner, to make her tremble, to make her scream his name. It’s him bragging, and often there is little to no romance involved. The sexual act is there for what it is, and nothing else.
Another example of an openly sexual song is B.A.P’s “Body and Soul.” In a way, the song is just as intense as the previous.
The song is sexual from start to finish – it is undeniable from the first beat, which is instrumentally in the same vein as songs such as “Wet” by Chris Brown and “Neighbors Know My Name” by Trey Songz. From the first line (“If you will be mine, I don’t need no more/ We just ride tonight”) to the very end, it is clear what the song is about.
In fact, the song is more upfront and blunt; there is little time for sweetness or flowery words.
“Very slowly and with great detail, I’ll touch you.”
“Tonight, I deliver my heart into your ears.”
The lyrics leave little wiggle room to explain the song away, and the lyrics with the instrumental makes it obvious that the song is about sex. Probably the most unexpected song to come from the groups first album, it talked openly about sex in a way very reminiscent with plenty of tracks from Western artists: the little water drops that may just be something else, to the subdued nature to contrast with the delivery of the song.
From the openly sexual, there are the songs that delight in using playful innuendos all throughout. In case you were thinking that it’s just the males that openly talk about sex, there are females as well, and who else better exemplifies this but Brown Eyed Girls. The, rightfully, adult leaning group does not hold back. From “Abracadabra,” to their latest outing with “Warm Hole,” to solo songs (“Bloom” anyone?) and unit tracks such as “Tonight,” the group is not embarrassed to talk about it. Another example is Recipe.
I want to peel you like a tangerine I want to unveil your secrets
Sometimes fresh, sometimes sweet, I want to satisfy you
What I want from you is after you take everything I prepared for you
I want to make you cry my name
The innuendos used are all food based, because it is very easy to be playfully seductive with a bunch of items you see on an almost daily basis, especially if they happen to look very phallic. The chorus basically translates to dressing oneself up, either as “sweet” or “fresh.” Seasoning roughly is the different products such as body oils that enhance the experience. All combined, it is a recipe made just for their partner.
Another track that is jam-packed with sexually charged innuendos is VIXX’s “Secret Night.” In this song, it starts somewhat innocently enough but the intention becomes clear in Ravi’s rap.
My entire body has hardened, shes cooking her own recipe
Make it stronger, yes, mezzoforte
We don’t need to elaborate on what gets hard, and the recipe analogy has been discussed above with “Recipe.” Mezzoforte, for those who don’t know (or have forgotten their music classes), is a musical term that means moderately loudto increase in volume in moderation. Ravi is basically saying to yell louder, to “make it stronger.”
As for “Shocker” which is repeated all throughout, it refers to a hand gesture that is filled with sexual connotations (Google is your friend, everyone). And in case it wasn’t clear, there’s an additional line of Two will become one, filled with secrets, you and I.” So yes, they had sex, if there was any doubt.
With these songs, there are several observations that can be seen. One is that male artists have the opportunity to be more blatant, while women have to resort to vague language. This is due to the social construct of virginity that, from an outsiders view, is a thing in South Korea.
This explains why most of mainstream female acts veil any talk of sex in their songs, unless if they are purposely going for a sexual concept. That is not to say that young women don’t have sex, for there are studies and documentaries that touch upon the prevalence of the act among those in their 20’s. But this, and other differences in view, is a topic for another time.
A second observation is that as female artists grow, they become bolder with their words. This can be clearly seen in the lyrical growth of Brown Eyed Girls. While there were already sexual themes in their breakout hit, “Abracadabra,” they group has grown bolder with each release, possibly hitting their climax with the no holds barred “Warm Hole.” But the question is: are they, perhaps, an exemption to the rule? While it is true that Hyuna has been doing more sexually charged concepts, her lyrics do not elaborate as much. Currently, it remains to be seen if any female artists decide to have comebacks so consistently charged such as Brown Eye Girls, and to a certain extent, Hyuna.
Are there any other observations you have regarding K-pop and sexual songs? Any particular favorite songs or lines that comes to mind? Comment and tell us down below!
(ColorCoded Lyrics, pop!gasa, Images via YG Entertainment, Mystic Entertainment, Star Empire Entertainment, Jellyfish Entertainment, GQ)
MusicLyrics: From Predator to Prey, Exos Evolution Written by Laverne On September 2, 2015 Exo, the group you love to hate or hate to love. SM Entertainments cash cows are almost always under some sort of controversy whether its member departures, fan club drama, or songs that the world just isnt ready for. But while non-Exo fans may not be able to see it, the group has matured both musically and lyrically since their debut.
While their title tracks have often divided K-pop fans, Exos B-sides showcase much better talent and genre choices. Of course, this isnt a Seoulbeats Side B. Instead, with this edition of MusicLyrics, well take a look at Exos title tracks and their growth through lyrics.
From the inception of the group, it has always been hard to define Exo because they have drastically changed musical styles with each comeback. Their debut, Mama, features a haunted chorus that mirrors the dark lyrics:
Why people have changed
a beautiful time before?
And lost their heart to care
They’re busy living with their
backs turned on each other
This hopeless tone continues through the song and laments the lack of human connection seemingly due to technologyironic since technology is what has allowed Exos fanbase to grow so dramatically. This dark undertone carries into Exos next title track, Wolf, as well as the overproduced music that threatens to overtake the singing. But while Wolf retains a shout-y chorus, it adds romantic love into the lyrics.
In an in-your-face parallel, Exo compare their dating life to being a wolf. Exo is the hunter, their girl, the prey. As if asserting their masculinity, Exo chants:
I’m a wolf and you’re a beauty
The lyrics take a disturbing turn with the bridge, however, emphasizing their beastliness. These menacing lyrics add to the underlying danger of getting involved with Exo and further demonstrate Exos threatening nature.
then shake her so she’ll lose her conscious
Hey, do it with a style you’ve never used,
get rid of her before that full moon sets
Luckily, despite the continuing wolf theme, the lyrics in Growl begin to tone down and represent the beginning of Exos departure from disturbing, predator-like lyrics. The most ominous lyrics in Growl reference Exos earlier wolf parallel, this time in the form of jealousy.
A black shadow awakens in me,
fireworks erupt in my eyes that see you
Everyone get away from her side
because I’m getting a bit more ferocious
However, Exo also showcases a protective nature as demonstrated by the following lyrics:
Other wolves might see you
because you’re so perfect
I will softly hold you in my arms,
for you, I will get violent
So even though Growl does contain lyrics that show the darker side of human nature, the entrance of love and desire into Exos lives begins to soften these emotions.
This romantic sense continues into Overdose in which Exo proclaim themselves lovesick. Instead of the posturing and manliness from the previous songs, Exo finally admits that they are no longer in control. While this furthers Exos transition from predator to prey, Overdose, though a fun, catchy listen, is lyrically barren.
Thankfully, Call Me Baby takes Exo out of their lyrical desert with sentimentality echoed by the upbeat music.
Hey girl, that one moment felt like eternity
When you pierced into me in just one moment
(like lightning, in this world)
You called my name and came to me
You make me exist as myself,
you’re the only one in my world
This softer approach not only demonstrates their ever-changing musical style but also how much their lyrics have transformed. Although most of Exos title tracks focus on love, they express it in different ways.
And often, the focus of these lyrics have been on Exo and Exos feelings, but with Call Me Baby, they begin to focus on the love interest as an individual instead of as an accessory for Exo to possess.
Which brings us to Love Me Right, Exos latest comeback. Love Me Right retains the electronic backbone of Exos sound but, like Call Me Baby, tones it down. And although Exo is not at the mercy of their love interest a lá Overdose, they are not in control either, beseeching their love interest to love them right. Its this vulnerability which finally puts Exo into the prey category.
On this highway, it’s a runway
Your eyes that look into mine are the milky way
Come to me, don’t hesitate
You’re alluring, you’re my universe
My entire universe is you
Obviously, prey is used lightly as Exo is not a victim of their love interest, and demonstrating their love is not really a weakness. However, a predator-prey analogy is fitting as Exo did take their wolf theme to another level. Their earlier aggressive lyrics have finally mellowed out into romantic pop lyricsparalleling their musical journeythat have led me to declare complete Exos evolution from predator to prey.
Enjoy this comparison? Have a different analogy youd use? Lets discuss in the comments below!
MusicLyrics: Sexism, Entitlement and the Devil Written by Morgan On August 7, 2015 It was recently brought up in the comment section of our Super Junior’s Devil MV review that there could be possible sexist connotations to the song’s devil metaphor. I mean, there couldnt be any chance that equating a female to the personification of evil is perpetuating sexism, right?
The character of the ‘Devil’ is present in a lot of religions as the embodiment of sin. For instance, Christianity depicts the devil as ‘Lucifer, an angel that fell from heaven after going against God. This character has been used in many stories to inspire fear among those who come across them. You only have to watch Insidious once to be afraid of falling asleep at night. So when do females come under the ‘devil’ category, and is it sexist?
I want to start by outlining a few concepts that have blended into each other or have been misconstrued. First of all, sexism and misogyny are different. Sexism denotes the systematic prejudice or discrimination against a gender whereas misogyny is the hatred of women. While misogyny is an example of sexism, it is not the same in reverse. Though it is generally accepted that females take the brunt of this sexism, due to the perceptions of a woman’s place in society.
Female sexuality is a big part of the debate over what is acceptable and what isn’t for females. For instance, the group Stellar is known for their provocative concepts, often labeled ‘too sexual’ for the public. A lot of the criticism surrounds the female and how she should present herself; there is a lack mainstream recognition for criticism about the attitudes of those who judge females.
The first song is from rookie group UNIQ, as their song “Listen to Me” links the temptation of a woman to that of a devil. Being a generic dance track, the song unsurprisingly focuses on the sexual aspect of things from the very beginning.
You aimed for my heart, I’m a gambler,
But you’re not easy, you’re a sexy devil, alluring me
You turn me on, a dancing magic flow (hey yeah)
While this lyric excerpt is a bit ambiguous in detailing sexism, the song as a whole exudes male entitlement. It starts off detailing that from the first look the man wanted her and confidently says he will have her. While confidence is definitely a positive when approaching someone, there is no respect for what the girl wants. It doesn’t have to be spelled out to you to see that she might not want to be in this situation as UNIQ go on to say ‘don’t try to go away. If you have to say this to a girl, then there is clearly something wrong. UNIQ is treading into the territory of the ‘I know you want it’ mentality, expertly depicted by Robin Thickes Blurred Lines.
Though the sexist tones are more ambiguous compared to “Blurred Lines, especially when they start to talk about wanting to move to the music together, hints of male entitlement can still be seen in this song. Consent is the key here, but UNIQ are not interested in the word no at all; they have no regard for the girl as a human. They find her sexy; therefore, she is theirs for the taking. In UNIQ’s perspective, we start to see the normalization of rape culture, where consent is completely disregarded.
So how does the devil metaphor tie into this?
In the song, the girl is called a sexy devil when she seemingly tempts a man and then eludes his grasp. This negatively portrays female sexuality as it links to the idea that a female can only be sexual for a man. This couldnt be further from the truth as females are first and foremost sexy for themselves, as a form of confidence (Example: Spicas I Did It). Basically, at no point should a female or even a male be justifiably called a devil for denying someones advances.
“Devil” is a great example of Super Junior killing it as one of the older K-pop groups by pulling together a more mature sound. It had me thinking that maybe I had been missing something by not paying much attention to Super Junior. However, their use of ‘devil’ may raise a few eyebrows.
You’re cold and hot, devil
Like a midsummer rain shower
After drenching my hot body,
You burn up my throat again
There is no denying that the chorus is incredibly sexual, making reference to Super Junior being denied the sexual relationship they want. This heavily contrasts the perfect gentlemen theme Super Junior has in the verses, especially when they promise to wipe away tears when the girl is sad. This is the first hint at the nice guy mentality in this song. While this mentality seemingly promotes good behavior, it has its roots in entitlement; the idea that I am being nice to you so you should accept my advances. This is female objectification because it completely ignores the female opinion.
There is no mention throughout the song of her opinion of their relationship, only that she is hot and cold on the topic. While there is a chance that she is toying with them, there also is the possibility of her not wanting a relationship or being indecisive, a common trait. In fact, the girl doesn’t really seem interested as she avoids the topic of a relationship despite them ‘begging’ for it. So does this make her a ‘devil’? No. Just because she refutes or is indecisive about their ‘romantic’ advances does not mean she is a devil; this is the vilification of a female for saying no.
One example of a song where the phrase is used appropriately is one of Beast’s new releases, “Gotta Go to Work. It once again makes reference to a female as a temptress; however, the female in question is in a happy relationship with someone.
That sexy face you’re making is so bad
Woo don’t tempt me, you’re a pretty devil
I’m sorry baby Gotta go to work Gotta go to work
I gotta go to work, for you
This makes a load of difference to the devil metaphor because it is paired with consent on both sides of the relationship. Devil is actually turned into an endearment rather than an insult. I mean, who doesn’t have one friend that they jovially insult, as long as the friend knows you aren’t serious?
It is clear that it is actually the conditions one is in that determine whether the use of ‘devil’ is sexist or not. Those specifically that refer to a female as a devil in a sexual sense tend to be at risk of being sexist. It all comes back to consentwhen no means no and yes means yes. Attitudes that deny a female a choice in a sexual situation promote the idea that a female is an object, rather than a human. While none of the songs make it up to the Hell Fire level of objectification, there are still hints of entitlement.
A lot of the ambiguity on whether a song is sexist or not comes from marginalization of the female point of view in these songs; it makes it hard to make that judgment. However, the lack of a female point of view does allude to the fact that it is not valued in these situations, tying it into the objectification of women.
In the Western pop music market, songs with messages like these are produced rapidly. Most become desensitized to this type of sexism, so much so that it seems normal. In fact, I myself battled with giving judgment to some of these songs because, as an Australian, this is normal to me. However, I will make this very clear: A woman does not deserve to be called a devil at all simply for refusing a persons advances.
I really encourage the debate of this topic whether you identify as a feminist, don’t, or detest it. Sexism is an important issue in today’s society, and a constructive debate is important. So I put it to youdo you think these are examples of sexism? Where do you draw the line?
(YouTube , Images via SM Entertainment, Cube Entertainment, Yuehua Entertainment, The Guardian)
MusicLyrics: Apologetic Songs Written by Cjontai On July 22, 2015 Remorse and regret are common themes in love songs. Someone always feels sorry about something. Perhaps a missed love connection, or ignoring your significant other until s/he inevitably dumped you out of frustration.
Ironically, despite some of the scandals that call for a real apology, it seems that its far easier to express repentance through song than any other platform. While we may not hear Im sorry for actual issues, we can take some joy in hearing it for fictional heartache.
Obviously, this post has to include one of the most iconic K-pop songs known to all fans Super Juniors Sorry Sorry. Unlike a lot of love songs using sorry as a means to convey remorse, this one focuses on being unable to deny feelings of attraction towards someone.
Sorry, Sorry, Sorry, Sorry
Fell, fell completely baby
The repetitive chorus and electro-pop synth beat made this an infectious ear worm thats impossible not to like. Fans can probably relate to Super Juniors expression of being unable to ignore these feelings of attraction because of how catchy the song is. Fans have a tough time denying they love this song, so its not surprising for them to sing, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry to any of their friends who arent into K-pop.
MYNAME turned up the drama in their MV for Baby, Im Sorry. Although there was no love interest in the video, the lyrics told another story behind the scenes. The group sings about how they dont deserve all of the love and attention theyre getting because they dont reciprocate it as fairly as they should:
Dont ever worry about me
Im sorry, Im so sorry, Im so sorry
Those words that make you sad
Its not easy to admit that youre the one who allowed the relationship to falter. Sometimes, you must swallow your pride and acknowledge your faults. The songs climatic build-up matched perfectly with the video, but it couldve added more suspense if we saw a glimpse of their love interest waiting patiently for a phone call that would never come.
I cant think of anyone who is sorry about the growth of Teen Top. From fresh-faced adolescents to fine, young men, their ascent into adulthood has come with a welcomed maturity as heard in Im Sorry.
In their case, they plead with their lovers to work things out. They know they can overcome their issues if they simply talk things out. Teen Top wants to communicate their feelings instead of keeping them bottled up. The funky pop song blends just the right amount of RB into the mix for a smooth jam that might make one reconsider giving Teen Top another chance at love.
Oddly enough, it feels like the ladies give more apologies for neglecting their diets or dating someones beloved oppa than they do for anything else. Still, Gummy repented for letting her lover down in Im Sorry, begging for one more chance to see him. T.O.P features on this track, lending his deep, raspy voice to this apologetic song:
I was so sorry I ripped up all the letters
I just have something to say, give me a minute
Perhaps there are things that cant be said in text and its best to confront the issues in person. Could that be why its so tough for idols to apologize in public? Do they feel some kind of displeasure in putting out a blanket statement that feels impersonal? Whatever the case may be, Gummys song still resonates strongly through her velvety vocals layered over a light pop beat.
Finally, this couldnt be helped because of the sheer irony of the situation. Of course, we must add Just One Day by BTS. To be fair, this song doesnt really belong here since its about a desire to spend a magical day with someone special more than regretting anything. However, it was far too tempting not to include this because Rap Monster gives us all the apology we wish to heartoo bad its only at the beginning of his rap and has nothing to do with previous events. We can pretend it counts anyway!
Im sorry, I think Im too rational
But please give me a smile if you meet me someday
You will blame me a little, or a lot maybe
Regardless of whatever drama may befall our favorite idols next, lets bear in mind that they are human and prone to mistakes. Despite what excuses fans will make on their behalf for shutting down when they screw up, at least its good to know that idols can express these emotions musically. Im actually all for musical apologies, so if they can only do it in this form, then lets start this trend!
Whats your favorite apologetic K-pop song?
(YouTube , kpopquote, bigbangviplyrics, Images via H2 Media, SM, YG Entertainment)
MusicLyrics: Is There a Line Between Love and Hate? Written by Morgan On June 10, 2015 We all probably know how volatile relationships are; no relationship is completely perfect – sort of like my relationship with K-pop. Yet, a majority of songs portray one side of a relationship: either I love you or I hate you. But, what about blending those two together? Many dramas use love-hate romances where characters tease, annoy and challenge one another to create an interesting dynamic between the two. So, is this a more realistic representation of romance?
Love and hate has become one of those perpetual titles for albums, used to make all the songs relevant or connected. Many of the songs are opposites to each other whether pertaining to budding relationships or break upsits love or hate. f(x) challenges this with “Love Hate” which pertains to a relationship at its beginning.
I hate you, I love you, my heart keeps changing
I love you, I hate you, the clock hand goes back and forth
Isn’t love and hate the same thing anyway?
Is it possible to love and hate someone at the same time and still have a romantic relationship? f(x) definitely portrays it as the same thing in this upbeat romantic release. As this song is set at the beginning of the relationship, the love and hate have more to do with confusion at whether to want someone romantically. This leaves the Facebook status of the relationship at its complicated. Though the dynamic between love and hate makes the person intriguing. The blend of the pulsing beat, techno backings and vocals make this song completely addictive from start to end, matching the songs message. Hate is a temporary aspect of the relationship in f(x)s Love Hate, something that enhances and also needs to be overcome to continue with it. The only question is do they overcome it or not?
2am’s “Love You, Hate You” off their first album, Saint oclock, is a surprisingly upbeat song far from the soulful ballads associated with the group. The majority of the song is rapping and the vocals use auto-tune which pushes the contrast further. The song speaks of someone whose relationship has become unsteady, but they are still in love the other person.
We’re attracted to each other because we’re opposite ends of magnets
But we’re still clumsy about understanding each other
Girl, at the smile you make like you’re sorry
Again, I decide to trust you “It’ll be different this time”
Love love love U but I hate U
Hate hate hate U but I love
Romance seems synonymous with understanding in this song; Even though someone does something they hate, it doesnt mean they hate your entire being. Instead it provides to be an obstacle, one that 2am will wither have to overcome or run away from. This leaves the status of the relationship is still up in the air.
In BTSs I Need U, despite the negative toll the relationship is taking on someone, they still are unable to let go; it is definitely twisted romance.
The power is put into the girls hands with the boys proclaiming I need you, leaving her to make a final decision. They are holding onto hearing her decision, suspended with not knowing her answer. Its torturous and makes them hate the girl they love. So basically the moral of I Need U is to never fall in love, it is not worth it and you will most certainly die.
The presence of love and hate in a relationship seems to place it in limbo no matter if it is the start, end, or after it. BoA’s new self composed album, Kiss My Lips, has been the birthplace of many dynamic songs and “Love and Hate” serves as a simple acoustic ballad that laments the exclusiveness of the two extremes in a relationship that she ended.
I hate you as much as I loved you
It was a lie when I said it was okay
Telling myself that I knew
We were together but it didn’t feel like it
Pain is better than the deepened loneliness
If only we were honest with each other
The combination of love and hate in BoAs relationship is portrayed as incredibly one sided. It is clear that BoA is unable to let go of the love she had even though she hates the person she was in love with. While in the other two songs pertained to a relationship that was in limbo, BoA’s pertains to herself being left suspended instead.
The combination of love and hate in a relationship always seem to indicate that it is in limbo, whether it be at the start or at the end of one. While definitely a frustrating time, it proves to be a challenge that must be overcome for the relationship to continue. Though love and hate relationships may start off interesting as two people get to know each other, they ultimately lead to tension (and definitely not the good kind of tension either). There should be a warning on the box, love and hate relationships can lead to the end of a relationshipthis is definitely K-pop tested. Though, what suits someone in relationships definitely varies per person. So, what do you think? Is it possible to sustain a love-hate relationship? Know any songs that portray it positively?
(YouTube , Images via SM Entertainment, JYP Entertainment, Big Hit Entertainment)
MusicLyrics: The Goods On Bad Boys Written by Lo On May 14, 2015 On the whole, I dont like to make generalizations. No matter how prominent an attitude or idea is among a group, theres always one person who disagrees. That said, I have one exception: anyone who likes boys likes bad boys.
Even sensible people who wont date them still see the attraction. As such, they permeate dramas, movies, books, manga, comics, and anything else. Music, though, is an odd duck. Bad boys are certainly present, but rarely are bad boys given the appeal in song that they have everywhere else.
The ur example of bad boys in music is Big Bangs Bad Boy. Where most of the time, the bad boy is presented as the desirable choice, risky but full of excitement, Big Bang points out the other resounding truth: bad boys make bad boyfriends.
Me, whom you love, sorry I’m a bad boy
Yes, just leave me, good bye, you’re a good girl
The more time passes, the more you get to know me,
only disappointments will remain but
Why, yes, I’ll tell you the truth,
The chorus is a full declaration that they know theyre bad for their girlfriends. They blow off dates, pick fights, and always expect their girlfriend to come running back to them. That said, Big Bang is genuinely apologetic for how they treat their ladies, and want them to be happy, but theyre too selfish to end things, and they know their girlfriends wont end things either. The whole song is a vivid portrayal of a relationship that is slowly becoming toxic nobody will leave, and they resent each other for staying.
The above lesson is given a gender-flip is Sunny Hills Bad Boys. Unlike most female-biased songs about bad relationships, Sunny Hill fully concedes that bad boys are very attractive.
That crazy, manly, lethal charm
In just one glance, I fell for you
Through your sweat words like lollipop
I became your prey and I was baited by it
I guess I fell for it again,
though they call me crazy,
That is, until you start dating one. Bad boys are charming, but, as shown by Big Bang, not usually willing to change. The take-charge, I-do-what-I-want attitude that is so magnetic wears thin when youre the one constantly getting pushed to the bottom of the priorities list. The mystery becomes secrecy, which breeds distrust, until something gives, and that something is the relationship.
Such a bad boy, so like you
That oath, that promise, that hard-to-hear apology –
With your words you play with me
every time you open your mouth, it’s a lie
I can’t trust you, so just go play alone
And yet, there are songs that show why the bad boy keeps seeming like a good idea, even though we know theyre not. LedApples Bad Boys is one such song. Here, we see the bad boy as someone sexy, free, and single. Theyre not angling for anything serious, they just want to get drunk, get laid, and have a good time.
Everyone here, put your glasses up, one shot
Till the night is over put your work behind, nice shot
Worry only for a moment, time passes quickly
I will give you my everything tonight, say ole
Nananana you will scream
Shout out loud viva la loca loca
I’m a man who is crazy for love
In this environment, its easy to get lost in the allure of a night of fun. People loosen up, throw back a few, and decide they want to feel good, damn the consequences. Who cares that a guy like this wont remember your name in the morning when right now feels so damn good?
Of course, while most artists will only take on the label of bad boy for a song or two, some have made that their image. Most successful at this is Jay Park, whose laid-back style and music has earned him a permanent reputation as a bad boy. Park, though, uses this to his advantage, by crafting a duality that few others can pull off, Hot being one of the prime examples.
Come to me if you want a good time
I’mma bad boy but at heart I’mma good guy
This is Jay Park in a nutshell. Hes got the charm and attitude of a typical bad boy, but a recurring element in his music is that when he falls for a girl, hell do his best to treat her right. Even with his one-night stands, his not interested in sex with a girl, but with that girl.
Just let it flow, the atmosphere is like water
You’re not grilling anything but baby you’re fire fire, hot
Don’t be timid and even if the music turns off
Should you go home? Hell no
There is a level of respect in Hot for the girl in question that most bad boys just dont have for the women around them. Instead of only thinking about himself, Jay is just as invested in making sure the girl hes after is having fun. Hes a bad boy, but unlike Big Bang, LedApple, or Sunny Hills boy, not a bad guy.
The bad boy is omnipresent in pop culture. There will always be the choice of safety or risk, the sweet guy who treats you like royalty or the wild one who gets your blood pumping. And that means that the bad boy wont be leaving our playlists anytime soon.
How do feel about bad boys, readers? Are there any that are your favorites?
(images via YG Entertainment, Starkim Entertainment, AOMG)
After making changes to the lyrics, KBS announced that they have lifted the initial ban on Dal Shabet"s comeback title track, "JOKER," and the group will be able to perform on their music shows.
In previous reports in regards to the issue, KBS revealed that the lyrics to the track were inappropriate for broadcast as it suggested physical intimacy between man and a woman.
Since then, Happy Face Entertainment re-submitted the song with modifications to the lyrics from "Hey Mr. Joker, why are you shaking me," to "Hey Mr. Joker, you"re a bad boy," and "I want it" to "I love you." They also made changes from "It"s getting hard to breathe, baby good night," to "Come a little closer, baby tonight."
Seeing the efforts to make the lyrics less provocative and suggestive, KBS has granted the group permission to appear on KBS music shows such as "Music Bank" and it was reported that Dal Shabet will be performing their comeback stage on April 24.
MusicLyrics: Sherlock, Mysteries and Unsolved Crimes Written by Morgan On March 21, 2015 From Agatha Christie, to Sherlock, to Cluedo, to the abundance of crime shows, the world has always been obsessed with mysteries and unsolved crimes. Dealing with the mysterious, intriguing and dark aspects of life, it only makes sense that the K-pop world would draw inspiration from this genre too.
SHINee, Dynamic Duo and NUEST are three artists that have taken something from the genre and developed it further than the ordinary Who done it?’ Each song becomes new and intriguing as they develop their own stories, with the final product coming out different each time. Will follow the usual dark route, or do something more light hearted with the genre? We will have to see!
In Crime Scene, Dynamic Duo overlaps the story of a person leaving a relationship without a word, with that of a murder. They have adopted the roll of the victim in their song, filling it with mystery, desperation and heartbreak. The metaphor of a “crime scene” permeates through the entire song, painting the strong picture that the girl that has left is a murderer. With lines like ‘My tears were red like blood’, it is clear that this is a dark look at relationships and their outcomes. To put it simply, this song is serious; the atmosphere of the song and the almost lifeless voices of the artists creates a feel that is almost soul crushing.
The loneliness of the scene is the only clue to solve this
Follow the traces of the crime with no beginning
I am chasing it even though you left me
I empty my place but I can’t empty you
I do the dishes but I can’t erase the happy times with you
Where are you, where are you
The blame entirely lies with the girl in the eyes of the artist; To them, they have done nothing wrong in the relationship. Yet, they are still searching for answers as to why she leftas if answers could help. This song fully embodies the concept given, choosing a dark premiss to add extra emphasis on the heartbreaking end of the relationship. Dynamic Duo has chosen the expected route based on the inspiration and the final product came out perfect. I mean, who ever heard of a happy murder?
SHINee chose a different route than Dynamic Duo by playing the role of detectives that are in pursuit of a girls heart. They seem to be on top of this case; They have already identified their main suspect and found the evidence that ‘incriminates’ them. Living up to the name of the song, these super sleuths are as good as Sherlock.
“Sherlock” is a bit of mystery itself, as it always keeps you guessing. As it is two songs put together to make one, Clue + Note this sort of makes sense. This was SM Entertainments style from 2011 to 2013. Also, shout out to Girl’s Generation’s “I Got A Boy” as it may not have anything to do with mystery or crime, but it sure did keep you guessing because it changed so much. But enough of that, let’s bring it back to Sherlock.
The mystery in “Sherlock, of course, revolves around the girl. The lyrics encompass the tentative interest that blooms into an ‘investigation’ when boy meets girl. By studying her body language such as her ‘trembling breath’ when they talk, the boys try to find ‘evidence’ that the girl likes them. What more could we expect from these guys, after all they are definitely ‘curious’. It is a cute and heart warming introduction, if ever I heard one.
I will certainly find you
After collecting enough ‘evidence’ the boys decide that it is time to ask the girl about her feelings in an ‘investigation. Let’s just hope, they don’t use ‘Bad Cop Good Cop’ tactics on the girl; They want her to like them, not completely traumatize her. Every lyric of this song has been connected to the detective theme to create a new and interesting progression of ideas.
It is extremely believable that one or all members of SHINee could be exactly like Sherlock, especially with the assumptions based on a girls body language. Though, sometimes the wording can seem a bit forceful, especially when they are using the word interrogate to symbolize asking a girl if they like them. However, within the context of the song it is understandable and adds to the aesthetic.
While SHINees Sherlock was light with the blooming of new love, in NUESTs Beautiful Ghost the pursuit of a girl is a little harsher as they express frustration towards a girl who is like a ghost.
I can’t take this game of hide-and-seek
Like Sherlock Holmes, I will find you
Rather than portraying a mystery, this song portrays a chase or pursuit. It describes the frustration that occurs when a girl isnt clear with her feelings. Though NUEST shouts I like your everything it seems that the girl tauntingly doesnt give a reply back, which encourages NUEST to give chase. They describe themselves in many different ways, including the example of Sherlock. I dont think the girl will get away in this case, though, as NUEST further describing themselves as ‘hunters’.
They sound like criminals more than detectives if you ask me, though Sherlock Holmes has toed the line a few times, too. That said, I think they would get a lot further if they took the time to investigate more about the girl, through maybe a conversation. Or maybe, shes just not that into them?
With SHINees super deductive abilities and NUESTs talents in pursuits, Im sure Dynamic Duo could get some help with their mystery. Pretty sure SHINee would be Sherlock Holmes and NUEST would actually be John Watson, though. However, Im sure together they will get to the bottom of this!
Readers, do you enjoy themes and storytelling in K-pop songs? Which of these releases was your favorite? Know anymore K-pop mysteries or crime related songs?
(YouTube , Images via. SM Entertainment, Amoeba Culture)
MusicLyrics: Shout-out to Shakespeare Written by Lo On March 12, 2015 Without a doubt, William Shakespeare is the most famous playwright who has ever lived. His body of work has been translated into nearly every language from this planet, and even some that arent. His works have been staged as plays, musicals, films, music, porn and even a vlog series.
This is possible because his talent with crafting words and characters is nearly unparalleled in human history. Seriously, Romeo and Juliet are almost as famous as their creator, as their charactersalong with almost all his otherscan be adapted to fit in any place and in any time. Is it any wonder that some of those characters worked their way over into K-pop, taking their personas and themes with them?
Lets start off with the most famous and most inspiring of Shakespeares plays. The thing that most people fail to understand about this play is that Romeo and Juliet are morons. This isnt me saying that. Shakespeare was saying that. The whole point of the play is that teenagers make bad, impulsive choices. Romeo is a serial monogamist that constantly falls too hard, too fast. He starts off in love not with Juliet, but her cousin Rosaline. Yet, the moment he sees Juliet, he finds a new target for his overly intense passion.
Shinees Juliette perfectly captures the mentality of Act 2, Scene 2 Romeo. The language used immediately brings to mind the famous balcony scene, specifically before Juliet starts talking. For one, Shinee is addressing Juliette directly, pleading with her to love them, just as Romeo did then.
Juliette, I’ll give you my soul
Juliette, please accept me
Juliette, sweetly, a little more sweeter
There are many other references to the work within the song, some a bit less obvious. This refers to the above-mentioned monologue, where Romeo states that Juliet is the sun, outshining torches and the waning moon.
The moonlight, as if it’ll spill, is definitely dark
Including the almost exploding torchlight
I need to learn how to shine like she does
If I look at her, I’ll be blinded
Of course, Shinee is not alone in taking on the role of Romeo. Infinite also invoked that tragic romance in their song Last Romeo. However, they are much more Act 5 Romeo, believing their love to be gone. They open alluding to Romeos choice of death.
I don’t care if it’s poison,
The chorus itself is rife with the passions of Romeo, once again referring to Juliet as a source of light. The finality also evokes Romeos single-minded determination to commit suicide, as does his blindness to anything but her.
the decision has been made
I will put everything at risk
I will protect you no matter what hardships come
I can’t see anything else but you
Infinite has many other bits of Shakespearian shout-outs. They refer to kissing as sinfulin the play Romeo and Juliets first kiss is followed up with Romeos classic pick-up line Sin from my lips? Trespass sweetly urged, give me my sin again. Juliet as the sun makes a reappearance with Sun, rise and give me strength. And, of course, we cant forget the evocation of star-crossed lovers.
Listen destiny, don’t block me
to fight against the world over one love
Helena and DemetriusA Midsummer Nights Dream
A Midsummer Nights Dream is arguably the best-known of Shakespeares comedies. It features tricking people into love, shotguns weddings, a very misguided fairy and the aphrodisiac juice of a hermaphroditic flower. Its that last one thats relevant here. Helena is in love with Demetrius, but he doesnt give a single fuck about her until the love potion makes him.
San E and Rainas duet A Midsummer Nights Sweetness is obviously a reference to Midsummer Nights Dream. The whole play takes place in a fairy world, where reality doesnt count. Similarly, the two had an unreal feeling night.
On a hot night, I can’t fall asleep
Thinking about this and that, I finally call you,
I didn’t know you’d come out
The tickling wind, us laughing
The stars in the night sky, you seeming a little drunk
Refreshing beer, cheers, what more can I ask for?
In the garden of memories, the story flowers,
Laughter flowers start to bloom
The evocation of a garden also brings to mind Midsummer, where the garden of Titania plays a huge role. Both San E and Raina are caught up in the spell of their midsummer night, enjoying the night, and here, it could be argued theyre the much more stable Hermia and Lysander, but the details point to the more destructive Helena and Demetrius.
Only San E is mentioned as being drunk, which will wear off and leave him feeling different, while Raina is content with shockingly little from him, as if he never pays her any attention at all. Then, of course, theres You End, and Me, Rainas solo debut and the spiritual successor to A Midsummer Nights Sweetness.
Our love was on fire but now I’m unhappy
The midsummer night’s honey-like times have come to an end
Apart from the obvious reference, this ties up the previous story. Just as Helena genuinely loved Demetrius, Raina genuinely loved her ex. He suddenly fell out of love and ended it, the magic haze lifting. The play might end happily, but the potion will wear off, and Helena will find herself in Rainas shoes.
BeatriceMuch Ado About Nothing
Much Ado About Nothing is one of the lesser-known comedies, revolving around tricking people into love, shotgun weddings, and a priest making people believe a young woman is deadhey, Shakespeare was good with character, not plot. Beatrice is a spirited young woman who refuses to marry, all the while keeping up verbal sparring with Benedick. Guess what happens.
2NE1 gives a great shout-out to her most famous speech in the B-side Pretty Boy. The speech in question revolves around why Beatrice wont marry. She says that older men are not for me, or not to her taste, while about younger ones I am not for them, as they couldnt handle her wilder side.
You’re not for me, I’m not for you
In Pretty Boy, 2NE1 are saying the same thing: pretty boys are not their type, and they couldnt handle these girls anyway. They want a man, and wont settle for anything less just so they wont be single. While there are no other references to Much Ado, the song is too perfectly in character for Beatrice, and the phrasing is too deliberate to be an accident. Theyre snarky, theyre witty, but most importantly, they are not backing down until they themselves decide to, just like Beatrice.
Shakespeare is omnipresent. Hes everywhere, even when no one recognizes it. What are your favorite Shakespearean shout-outs readers?
(Images via Woolim, Pocket Books)
MusicLyrics: Talk About Tonight Written by Lo On February 12, 2015 William Shakespeare once wrote, One man in his time plays many parts. People change who they are depending on what surrounds them. The funny thing is that its not just people that change roles; words do as well. Its rather astounding how many different meanings a single word can carry, and how much of that meaning relies on the other words its joined to. One perfect example: tonight.
The Merriam-Webster definition of tonight is on this present night or the night following this present day. Its a frame of reference for time. Yet, it carries so much more. Tonight can mean now, soon, sometime between now and soon, the end of a wait, the beginning of a wait. It can carry anticipation, dread, hope; it can mark a culmination or a new beginning. For this reason, the amount of songs with tonight in the title is stupidly large, especially considering that the word rarely carries the same weight twice.
Arguably the best known Tonight in K-pop is that of Big Bang. It details the miserable spiraling end of a relationship, with tonight standing in for now.
below that moonlight that illuminates me
I don’t know where the end is but hey
Tonight tonight tonight tonight
I still don’t understand love,
pitifully alone once again, tonight
Here, tonight is used as a mark of the present. The song as a whole speaks of pleasant memories in the relationships past, but the constant use of tonight hammers in that those times have ended. Big Bang has firmly entered a new phase of depression and loneliness, and all the sweet memories dont change the fact that, right now, they have no one.
Jonghyuns Beautiful Tonight also uses tonight as a stand-in for now, but with a very different connotation. It is not meant as a way to split the past from the present, but to mark out the present and extend it slightly.
We’ve been saying the same things for the past 30 minutes
let go of your hand or hug you
So I’m only looking at your pretty eyes,
nose and red cheeks and lips
Oh Say Oh Say, Oh Say Oh Say
Here, Jonghyun and his lady are doing that obnoxious couple thing where they cant actually manage to say goodnight. Their beautiful tonight has been going on for a while, but they cant seem to let it end. Instead, they revel, enjoying the wonderful feelings of their tonight, and letting them last just a bit longer.
One tonight that is distinctly not now is Tonight by Brown Eyed Girls subunit MN. They sing about needing their man to join them for the night. What sticks out is the use of tonightas in a song of this nature, its a bit unusual.
Tonight I’m a little bit lonely
I’m waiting for you to call me
Baby tonight just you and I
Normally, the sentiment in a song thats fairly obviously begging for sex is I need you now, but thats clearly not the case. A sweetly sexual song would be more inclined to say, I need you forever, but thats not what Miryo and Narsha are saying either. Tonight is almost painfully obviously a temporary thing. They dont expect him to come now, even though they need him. Hell, they hope, more so than expect, hell show up. The lack of a tomorrow is conspicuous in its absence. The song is more in line with an affair than a relationship: tonight is all they have.
A big problem in K-pop is just how sharp the cute/sexy split is. Girls are girls, and then they are women, with no evidence of an internal journey. Spicas 2013 song Tonight is one of the few that addresses the transformation people go through as they grow up. Their tonight is a culmination, the day they are set on the world as someone new.
Tonight, tonight is the night,
our time that we waited for so long
Tonight, tonight is the night,
the night when we will become one like a dream
They speak of acting on their internal transformation, embracing the person they now are. It has a sense of finally about it, as if they were waiting to become someone else, and, now that they are, theyre diving right in.
While the song has a serious, sexual undertone, its obvious that the internal change is what led them to feel ready for sex, as opposed to the sex triggering the change from girl to woman. It sounds exactly like what the culmination of an internal transformation should: grandiose and sweeping. Their tonight is the night, and its something Spica has clearly been growing towards for a while.
Tonight: one word, nearly infinite meanings. These are just four different ways tonight has been interpreted in K-pop, but there are many more. What are your favorite tonights, readers?
(Images via Nega Network, SM Entertainment, B2M Entertainment, Merriam-Webster)