The Korean Explosion – Culture, K-Pop, etc

2013 August 15
by Chris Hernandez

A heat wave just came to New York City however; the Korean Wave has taken the world by storm.  What makes it even more amazing is that it took less than 20 years to happen.  In less than 20 years South Korea has come full circle and is again ready to fight his east Asian brothers know as China and Japan for supremacy.  To some people this sounds like a joke.  How could South Koreans even dream of competing with these two powerhouses?

South Koreans cannot compete with the shear population of China that has business owners drooling at the mouth just to get a piece.  Learning Chinese is also a no brainer for most people since it is the world’s number one language.  Then you have Japan who has capitalized on the youths of the world through anime and manga.  The love for both
anime and manga has led to universities using them to help their students in learning Japanese.  It seems nearly impossible for the Korean culture to get any momentum going right.

You would be wrong for sure.  Through their genius intellect, the South Korean government chose a road to salvation that utilized the strengths of both Japan and China to their advantage.  Stardom and idolization was the key to the success of South Korean.  It has allowed the Korean culture to flourish with the rise of K-drama stars and K-pop idols.

With breakout stars like BoA, Rain, and the Wonder Girls the United States Korean pop culture started the slow rise of awareness.

BoA DIGITAL SINGLE  ‘그런 너’                   

BoA DIGITAL SINGLE  ‘그런 너’                                          Rain is Officially Discharged from the Military                                                        Like Money -Wonder Girls ft. Akon

Release Date: Jan. 18, 2013                                                                                                                                                                                                              Released: July 10, 2012

The first inkling that the Korean Wave was surging was when Rain was ranked first in Time magazines 100 most influential people and got a pseudo “Colbert Bump.”  They may have opened the doors for many that have followed in their footsteps.  However, there is only one man that has assumed the title of King of K-pop.

This man, for the general public at least, has literally become the face of K-pop.  With the use of YouTube, his music video went viral with over 1.5 million views and he became an international superstar almost overnight.  If you guessed Psy’s “Gangnam Style,” you are most definitely correct.  ­ Psy may be very atypical compared to most other K-pop idols but has allowed a wider audience to come in on the wave and enjoy some amazing music.

Whether you like rock, rap, or pop K-pop will always find a nice fusion of many different musical genres. It is most likely one of many reasons that fans are drawn to K-pop bands. The second reason, probably tied with how fashionable each band member is, are the performances that K-pop bands give. Like Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj they know how to ensnare our senses and they have to.  This is because of shows like MBC’s Show! Music Core, SBS’s Inkigayo, and KBS’s Music Bank that will book the latest and hottest artists.  New Yorkers, do not feel deprived because you cannot be in audiences of these pseudo concerts because you too will get a change to meet or see your favorite bands in concert.

Though a majority of K-pop tours will obviously be centered on Korea and its surrounding countries there are concerts here in the U.S.A.  If that is not enough for you can always start learning Korean.  Though a majority is held in L.A. do not worry because Verizon pulls through.  During the month of May you may be able to see a Korean K-pop concert hosted by Verizon for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.  If not you can always check with KpopConcerts to find out when a concert is coming to the area.  If all else fails just save up for Kcon in the summer to having an amazing experience that will last a life time.

 

 

 

 

 

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