“I became a BTS fan on Jan. 6, 2017,” said Siti Mariam Sulaiman, a 38-year-old government official from Malaysia. That’s an oddly specific date, but she says every ARMY, an acronym for fans of the K-pop boy group, remembers the exact date of one’s induction into BTS fandom.
Don’t worry, it has nothing to do with the N-word. Niga (니가) in Korean literally means ‘you.’ More specifically, 니 (ni) means ‘you’; 가 (ga) is a particle that indicates the noun attached to it is the subject of the sentence. K-pop, which stands for Korean popular music, is
How do we find the optimal balance between our right to information, and the risks inherent in broad dissemination of sensitive information? Around 24 hours have passed since 27-year-old Jonghyun, a member of the popular K-pop group SHINee, took his own life. It’s already a huge story, both within
In an interview with Esquire magazine in April, Jonghyun of K-pop boy band SHINee shared the following story: “A few years ago, I cried in front of my mother and older sister. I was super drunk…. I woke them up late at night and asked them if they were happy.
“Adding Memories” is a cafe in Jongno, Seoul, catering mostly to the elderly crowd, who remember the days decades ago, when people crowded around the jukebox or vinyl records. “Their song requests have a different level of longing,” the DJ said. Read more about Jongno, a
Every morning when Kim Eun-ji gets up, she looks at her desktop computer, iPad, and smartphone to see if they are streaming music without problems. Although all sounds are muted, there are six digital music platforms streaming music 24/7 on her gadgets. She checks to see whether any of
While I was surfing the web I came across an image making fun of Korean hip hop: “Typical Korean hip hop.jpg. Rapper gets pissed at nothing.” (Source: User “Gaedrip” via online community Clien) Of course, this is a joke. Hip hop is mainstream in South Korea.
In the fifth track of his latest album, Big Bang’s leader G-Dragon raps, “Right, wrong, I don’t understand…. I’m not the problem, I’m the solution to the problem.” The 30-year-old rapper has long traversed a fine line between the so-called problems and solutions, simultaneously defining
“We are recruiting beautiful freshmen.” This shamelessly explicit phrase on its website says everything about Idol School, an institution that aims to nurture K-pop girl group members. In the video, girls in lolitaesque school uniforms (the skirts barely cover their thighs) vow to follow the school’s curriculum so
In an online video clip, Yerin, member of the K-pop group GFriend, sits behind a table with a neck pillow perched playfully on her head. In front of her sits a man in a black jacket who leans forward slightly, removes his eyeglasses and hands them to her. She looks
Four girls in skintight pink bodysuits march into a surgery room. One of them lies down and closes her eyes, as blinding white light gleams from the surgical headlights above her. Then, a long beep and brief silence, followed by a catchy beat with these lines: “I’m
For approximately $35,000, you can plant 27,500 trees to help preserve the Brazilian rainforest. But this isn’t just the work of environmentalists — it’s also the work of K-pop fans. It’s a legendary story in K-pop fandom. 2012 marked the 20th debut anniversary of Seo Taiji