Hyuna’s “Red” is Full of Western Flair

Within a five second span, both Hyuna and BESTie released their highly anticipated comeback videos. Both Queen Hyuna and BESTie have been promoting their songs on music shows this week, but I wanted to wait to judge the songs until I heard the official audio of each, since Hyuna is a performance queen which means her vocals suffer while she performs, and BESTie’s song sounds like a mess. I’m going to give each a separate post, but since Hyuna is more of a hot topic, and I love her infinitely more, I’m going to start with her.

So Hyuna’s comeback song is called “Red” and I don’t have the patience to write out the hangul title right now, so please forgive me. The first teaser has already surpassed 1 million views on YouTube, and based upon the teasers, I could tell the song would be a hip-hop style. The buildup of the track almost reminds me of Nicki Minaj’s “Stupid Hoe”. I was hoping for a bass drop and then a trap sound a la Hyosung’s “Goodnight Kiss’ afterwards, but I was not treated to such luck.

The track itself plays a bit like “Bubble Pop” with the musical intro, subdued speaking intro, verses, quick singing break, chorus, repeat, dance break, and final chorus. Don’t forget all of the bubble popping in this video too. The song is definitely not as messy as “Ice Cream,” which I can appreciate, but the song is really not my style, though overall it fits Hyuna well. If it were more like the singing bridges (which instantly reminded me of the chorus of “Bubble Pop”), I would have been much more enthusiastic about this song.

Red,” according to Hyuna, is about branding herself. It’s a no wonder, since she says ‘Hyuna’ at least 20 times in the track. Honestly, one of my biggest pet-peeves in K-Pop is when the artists namedrop themselves. I get if you’re a rookie who needs to establish themselves, but at this point, Hyuna is one of the biggest female soloists in K-Pop – she doesn’t need to continue singing her name at this point in her career. It really detracts from the rest of the song, and the strong image she’s trying to project.

The video however, is another story because it’s 99% flawless. I have many thoughts on the video, as is the norm with Hyuna videos.

The first thought being the monkeys in the video. Apparently 2014 is the zoo year of K-Pop, first with Zico and his ostrich, and now Hyuna and her monkey. I don’t think the monkey was cute, nor did it add anything to the video. The song doesn’t have an English translation yet, but from what I’ve seen, apparently there’s something said in the song about a ‘monkey’s butt being red’ or the like – which is a very childish lyric. If so, that explains the monkey (more so than the ostrich in Block B’s video). From what I’ve seen, the ‘monkey’s butt is red’ lyric is in fact true, and it stems from a Korean rhyme. It makes much more sense, but as an International fan – as many fans of Hyuna are – it seems frivolous until translated and explained in a cultural context.

The second thought I had was how parts of the video remind me of Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop” video – particularly the scenes of Hyuna wearing the blue sweatshirt with her red panties out, and then later partying with some of those same people while looking like a total goddess. It’s a shame that one can’t help but be reminded of Miley when you see Hyuna twerk as well, but Hyuna is most certainly a better dancer than Miley, and can pull it off significantly better. Finally, there’s also a very similar ‘assgrab’ scene in Hyuna’s video as to what garnered controversy in “We Can’t Stop.” Not to mention they have a monkey swinging on a disco ball, just how Miley came in on her “Wrecking Ball.”

The third thought I had was that I really cannot wait for PC people to rip her apart for her ‘appropriation of Egyptian culture’ as seen in the scene of her fabulous dance break, and then a few shots afterwards. I really don’t feel as though this should be a big issue, because aside from the architectural structures (which I think have other regional influences as well) and Hyuna’s outfit, I don’t feel as though anything ‘sacred’ or specifically related to any particular culture are being used inappropriately here. But, leave it to Stupid K-Pop Fans to complain about everything and blow everything out of proportion, so I’m sure something will be said at some point. It was less offensive than Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” video anyways…

I particularly love the scene where she’s around a cage filled of photographers while she holds a microphone. The not-so-subtle commentary on paparazzi (or even crazy fans) was random in this particular video, but as Hyuna is South Korea’s Queen of Controversy, it fit seamlessly, as did the scenes of Hyuna with monkeys drumming behind her. Queen Hyuna continues to win the award for most costume changes in her music video, with at least 40 in “Red.” In the opening scene of her sitting on a throne, I was instantly reminded of the set Lana Del Rey had when I saw her live back in May, and throughout the video, Hyuna’s wardrobe grew more and more fabulous.

Hyuna never fails to amaze me with her visuals. The way that girl can dance in those heels – which are likely about 6″ high – is really something. I cannot even express how in awe I am of the way she moves. While I wish the dance would have been a bit more challenging for her to show off her skills, considering what her coordi-unnie (stylist) dressed her in, I say the choreography is perfect, since anything more challenging could result in injury.

Even with a few gripes and thoughts about the video, it’s as visually stunning as you’d expect a Hyuna video to be. It shows off her gorgeous looks, womanly curves, professional dancing, and perfect style as all of her videos do. I honestly cannot say she’s ever looked better – aside from maybe in the “Is It Poppin?” video from last year. Hyuna ages like a fine wine, and as someone who is the same age as her, I demand to know her secrets.

The video is just quirky enough to stand out, and make it unique in the grand scheme of K-Pop videos – which all of Hyuna’s videos have been since “Bubble Pop.” They’re sexy with a bit of fun. While this video definitely leans more on the sexy side of the spectrum, there’s enough quirkiness in it to avoid becoming trashy, and to also show off the cute side of Hyuna’s personality.

There’ll be a mini-album release today as well, called A Talk. The cover is so American. I’m going to buy it on iTunes.


You should all buy it, too. Not to mention she’s wearing the best outfit from the video on the cover.

Anyways, I really like the video much more than the song. I wish her songwriters would work a bit harder to give her a better title track. She can dance, she can rap, and she’s not a horrible singer. While this track does feature all of her talents, I just feel underwhelmed by it. Of course the song is going to grow on me, but the video is so stunning, it’s a shame that the song doesn’t match the high quality that the video has.


3 thoughts on “Hyuna’s “Red” is Full of Western Flair

  1. hi, seems that no one responded, but thats the problem about k-pop in general. they have awkward and stupid lyrics most of the time and over the top and flashy music videos. the up-beat-song is why songs sell seconded by the good look of the k-pop idol.

    trying to be so serious about it is the biggest problem. as concerned people about music or as a person who is a fan you should show the musician if they have made an mistake.


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