K-Pop 101 (Guest Post by Ely)

9:44 PM

I recently developed a (healthy) obsession with K-pop, Korean pop music, and all the things that come with it like reality shows and dramas. :) I waste so many hours on it now (don't tell anyone I said that).

I regret nothing. 

When I started learning more about K-pop I remembered that Ely (whose blog I was already following) mentioned K-pop a lot and I was like *snaps fingers* She's an expert. I should ask her to do a post so my followers will know what I'm blabbing about. 

So I did and she did and wallah! She's an awesome person/blogger and you should totally go check out her blog and her twitter (because she tweets some hilarious/legit things). 


Ely is a sleep-deprived blogger who has been writing this post for like four weeks (and by writing she means staring at a blank page mentally headdesking at the lack of inspiration). She likes Oreos (but can't eat them), anime and kpop (obviously), and is currently attending Bible College because she doesn't do math (like, at all.). Check out her blog here

Welcome to the world of amazing dance moves and colorful hair, where everyone wears eyeliner (seriously, it's like the stylists went Oprah Winfrey on everybody--"You get some eyeliner! They get some eyeliner! Everybody gets some eyeliner!"), and where there are sasaengs and oppas and antifans and biases and weird things that you've never encountered before.

Welcome to Kpop 101.

It's going to be a fun ride.

First, a little about myself, your teacher. I'm a brand new college student named Ely, who sometimes scribbles at her own blog called 'what can I say?' Which is ironic, because I tend to ramble. And by tend, I mean, I always ramble. I got pulled into Kpop about a year ago, by a weird song called Bonamana sung by an even weirder group called Super Junior (seriously. SuJu's weird.)

see? weird.

One important thing you need to know about me: I use the word seriously a lot. Seriously.

So. Kpop. What is it? I like to think of it as a phenomena of music that is kind of like a bunch of bright colors, sugar, and pop music thrown into a pot and left to boil for a few hours, but Wikipedia says that "kpop is is a musical originating in South Korea that is characterized by a wide variety of audiovisual elements."

Wikipedia, has anyone ever told you that you're a killjoy?

Kpop kind of has a language of its own, so it's my duty to be a guide to you through this crazy mess. Trust me. It's crazy.

{five words/terms/names you must know to survive in the world of kpop}

1. Oppa

*shudders* Oh how I hate this word. I don't know why, but ever since I started learning Korean and getting into kpop, oppa gives me the creeps. Literally makes me cringe. The word itself is pretty okay; it's just the polite term a girl calls her older brother, older guy friends, or boyfriend. (heh, Wikipedia's being a killjoy again--'The term 오빠 is used by a female to refer to an elder male, often as a polite replacement for a second person singular pronoun ( (neo) or 당신 (dangsin)' *gags* ) So I guess it's not the word itself that gives me the heebie jeebies. It's the overusage of the word. I blame fans like this: "OMO MY OPPAS LOOK JINCHA DAEBAK TODAY OMO!!!!"

Yeah. That happens. One of the main things I hate about Kpop. Bleh.

2. Aegyo

My sister and I say this one all the time at home and my dear mother constantly thinks we're talking about egg yolks. Yes, mother, egg yolks are a crucial part of kpop. Along with chicken (all those SHINee fans know what I'm talking 'bout, yup they do.) Anyways, the aegyo or egg yolk, whatever you wanna call it, is that deep dark place in the human soul where the urge to act all cute and fluffy and almost painfully adorable comes from. And this isn't just for kpop artists or Koreans in general (although it is a Korean term). My sister is an aegyo-artist. However, I believe I was born without any, which probably confirms my belief that I was born without a soul. Whatever.

One example of aegyo is that of Jung Ilhoon's Gwiyomi or Cutie Player song. I always get confused because 귀 or gwi is Korean for ear, so I don't know how all that fits together. Anyhoo, this song is cheesy and makes my fingers curl up painfully. I can hardly watch it. And I'm an Ilhoon stan.

3. Maknae

Maknae on top! The golden maknae! Cute maknae! Our little baby!

All things Kpop fans will say about the youngest member of a group.

Also on the same list: evil maknae. Man-Hyuk. (he he) Satan.

Urban Dictionary sums up maknaes with this (it, unlike Wikipedia, is not a killjoy because I giggled for a good solid minute over this): "The youngest members of bands or groups in Korea. They are cute and sometimes shy and quiet. Other times they are loud and proud and attention seeking. The rest of their group looks after them since they are the youngest and therefore the baby of the group. Maknaes are very popular and fans love to grab at them because they are easy targets to capture and kidnap."

Ladies and gentlemen, my night has been made.

observe maknaes of the k-pop world:

4. Stan/Bias

Above, you might've noticed I said I was an Ilhoon stan. You might've just passed right over that because you assumed my middle name might be Stan (which would be weird, but hey! who are you to judge?) or you sat there and looked at that strange word and wondered what the heck it meant.

Fear not. I too was in your shoes less than a year ago.

Basically, stan means you're a little more than just a lazy fan and a little less than a stalker or a sasaeng. It's the gray middle area. I'm proud to stan multiple individuals (I would mention them in their entirity but you would probably pass out from trying to sound out the strange Korean names or from trying to figure out why anyone would choose to have the name Rap Monster (though I don't exactly stan RapMon....)

Bias is also a word that  is commonly used in the Kpop atmosphere; it basically means your favorite member of the group. *hypothetical conversation*  "Oh, my bias is Leo." "Really? My ultimate bias is Amber." Sometimes you bias a whole group, and that's how you know you're really screwed (aka me with VIXX.)

5. Visual

Going along with the maknae, we have the illustrious visual of the group. What, you say, along with a special term for the youngest member, we have a title for the prettiest one? Sadly, it's true, and that's not all. Sometimes, being the visual is ALL the visual does/gets known for. I know, it's sucky. I mean,  you look great, but your singing parts are mostly non-existent, unless you're really blessed. That makes me sad. Looks are one thing, but being known for your face isn't a fantastic way to live life.

So yeah. Have your horizons been broadened? Do you feel like you can take on the whole world of Kpop now? Can you wade through the waters of BTS, BAP, Block B, BTOB and all other B named groups? Do you feel the urge to memorize all the members of EXO--both M and K? (if you do, I'm thoroughly impressed). Even if you don't feel all this welling up inside of you, I'm very impressed you made it to the end of this post. Because reading all the way through this post completely about Kpop...that takes dedication. Like, a lot. So kudos to you, random blog-reader. You have all my respect.

Well, maybe not all of it. But a lot.


*applause* That was epic. :D And I'm very proud of myself for knowing about almost everything you were talking about, Ely. ;) Aegyo weirds me out too. A lot. I hope you enjoyed this look into K-pop everybody (with all it's weirdness and awesomeness). And if you're a K-pop fan too, you need to comment! You need to. 

Note: all GIFs, memes, and videos were inserted by mwuah. :)

kazam. kaboom. dance skillz.

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  1. This is so helpful! I've been wanting to start this whole K-Pop thing, but I have no clue where to begin and I don't know anything.

    Also, I've nominated you for a Versatile Blogger Award!

    1. My advice is to just jump in ;) K-pop might be confusing, weird...a little (or a lot) crazy at first but you'll love it the more you get into it :D

      Thank you so much Lizzie! I'll get on doing both of your tags very soon :)


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