I don’t even know how to start this post. This month has been so miserable in the world of K-Pop for so many reasons. Obviously, not trying to be a ‘self centered jerk who makes light of incidents’ – the worst thing happening being Ladies’ Code accident that took the life of EunBi and RiSe. While the lives of two girls are obviously much more important than the music industry, considering they were K-Pop figures, it’s not harmful, in my opinion, to state how it affected the industry and fans of the industry. When you’re attached to a public figure, their passing obviously can make you upset.
It seems as if this tragic event set a cloud over the month to come.
While both Dahee and Kim Hyun Joong’s issues both began in August, it seems as though both of them really picked up pace in September. Dahee was involved with blackmailing actor Lee Byunghyun in August, and will probably face jail time as the case begins to move to trial. Obviously, according to every Netizen ever in Korea, it’s even worse than beating your girlfriend, which is what Kim Hyun Joong did, and even admitted to back in August, but girls are just as stupid as they were with Chris Brown, and want to get beaten just cause he’s apparently attractive – his girlfriend did drop the case, but he’s still being charged. While personally I don’t understand why she dropped the case, or why the DA(?) is still prosecuting him even though she did drop the case – it’s good to see him actually be held responsible for his actions. Luckily I don’t really follow or care too much about either of these individuals or their groups, so I couldn’t care less what happens with either of these people – although 10 years for blackmail is a bit much. Oh, and on the note of things I don’t care about – 2PM had a flop comeback, and one of the members is accusing Teen Top of sajaegi, which is the same crap SM started earlier this year about B1A4 just because they were pressed a group from a small company beat them on music shows. Uh maybe your song is horrible and that’s why you didn’t win?
As for individuals, groups and companies I do care about: Seungri was in a car accident shortly after Ladies’ Code’s, and he ended up hospitalized in the ICU. Super Junior’s Sungmin is dating a woman, which means obviously all of the KyuMin shippers have thrown themselves into the Han River by now. Finally, some kid from Z:EA who has more names than Wu YiFan formally known as EXO’s Kris, staged a coup against Star Empire’s CEO, and essentially owns the company now – also seemingly through blackmail, but is not facing 10 years in jail. Go figure. Granted the former Star Empire CEO seems like Human Trash, considering he hit members of 9Muses, and may or may not have sold another member of Z:EA to a death match, but blackmail is still wrong, Dude With 10 Names.
And now let’s move on to the mostly crap music releases we’ve had to endure this past month.
Let’s start with Super Junior. Yeah, yeah, “Flopacita (YaYaYa)” was released in August, but it feels like it was released in September. Lyrically the song reminds me a lot of “Don’t Don” – but musically it’s a mess. It has some good parts, and some parts that make me want to puke. 30 year old men singing their stage names? Vomit inducing. The music video concept totally ripped off B1A4 (as did Ailee‘s new album cover), and I swear if I see one more ELF say how original the concept is, I’m going to scream. I still haven’t even listened to the album yet. I’ve had….wait, I’ve only had one better album to listen to.
And that’s obviously T-Ara’s And&End. This is actually my favorite album by T-Ara probably ever. “Sugar Free” – aka the biggest Flop of T-Ara’s career, is an amazing retread of “Number 9” with EDM influence and popping soda cans throughout the song. “ORGR” sounds like a track meant for Lily Allen, which is never a bad thing, and “If I See Her” has a melancholy influence that sounds like a it was composed by the same dude that did “Day by Day” – only I actually prefer this song to “Day by Day.”
“Too Good To Let Go” (or “I Don’t Want You” or “남주긴 아까워” – the English title is a bit iffy because nobody actually knows what it is) sounds like the track Duble Sidekick wrote for A-Pink that they actually were supposed to release instead of “Mr. Chu” to branch into the adult world, but for some strange reason CUBE pulled it. The song suits T-ara, and they all sound really great on the track. Not to mention the production, when you really listen to it, has elements of Lindsey Buckingham’s “DW Suite” – and Lindsey’s Go Insane era + K-Pop = flawless. Basically if you like music, download And&End, especially as I find it to be the only K-Pop album that was worthy of being paid for this month.
Dal Shabet’s sister group Minx debuted this month with “Why Did You Come To My Home” AKA The Longest Song Title in K-Pop Ever.
I’ve seen people complain about how they’re so unique and aren’t getting enough attention (mostly Bandwagoner Girl Group Fans), but honestly while the song is pretty good, it isn’t even original in the slightest. “WDYCTMH” (because fuck writing that out again) is essentially a mashup remix of Blady’s “Blood B Type Girl” and Dal Shabet’s “Be Ambitious“. So while it’s not original like people are insisting, it’s still decent. Plus the members are pretty cute, and you can tell they’re trying, so points for them. I’d be interested to see what they do next, and they’re probably the second best debut of the year after Mamamoo.
I was absolutely not impressed with Nasty Nasty‘s Troublemaker rip off “Knock” – it has way too much Kevin (whoever that is) in it for it to be worth me talking about any further. I won’t waste my time talking about what crap 2PM‘s new song was, nor have I heard the supposed ‘sajaegi’-related Teen Top song, because like with 2PM, I can’t bring myself to care about the group whatsoever. And despite that I actually like BTOB quite a lot, I didn’t care for their new release much either. Overall, September was sub-par, save for T-Ara, who slayed everyone so hard, that everyone who listened to “Sugar Free” must have died which is why the song flopped so hard.
Finally, of the actual prominent songs released, I guess I have to talk about SNSD-TTS‘ “Holler.” Again, I haven’t listened to the full album, because 1) the pre-release single was a boring ballad- NEXT, and 2) “Holler” is a boring Ariana Grande-wanna be song, which I predicted would happen based upon Seohyun’s fail performance of “Problem” at SMTown Seoul, and the cover art of the album. I tried to watch a live performance, but gave up 2 minutes in, since the song is really boring.
And I suppose that brings me to SNSD, the latest casualty in SM Entertainment’s 2014 Downward Spiral.
This is going to be really hard for me to write. While Jessica wasn’t my bias, she was my second favorite member, and honestly I do feel she added more to the group than my actual bias. I’m ashamed to say that when I first got into K-Pop I was one of those obnoxious idiots who couldn’t stand Jessica, but she quickly shot up my bias list as I realized how adorable, perfect, and talented she is. People say she’s the Kim Heechul of SNSD, well Jessica is better than Heechul in every conceivable way.
And she is now no longer a member of SNSD. SNSD was SM Ent’s last group that debuted prior to 2008 that had every member actively participating in promotions, and without lawsuits. “Jessica” posted on her Weibo early on September 30 that she was essentially kicked out of SNSD, and alluded to the fact the other members had a hand in it. SM Ent took way too long to reply, but in the end confirmed it. If you’re interested in the whole story, please go here and read the articles, as I do not have the energy to link each individual article as I work full time and I also don’t feel like sifting through everything.
My first thought was that I did believe the Weibo post, mostly because it was written in perfect English – how many K-Pop hackers have that ability? After thinking all day today about it, I have decided I do believe Tyler Kwon, Jessica’s rumored boyfriend (ew), was the one who made the post. Why? By the sounds of SM’s statement (which we can again, only take with a grain of salt), it seems as though Jessica did want to leave the group in the near future. And the post made no mention of her getting kicked out of SM Ent – she, and the rest of SNSD, did just renew their contracts. Based on the statements, Jessica is still under SM and her contract has not been voided so they will be managing her in her future endeavors for at least 3 more years. Tyler Kwon is supposedly a business genius, and i wouldn’t doubt if he consulted his PR team, and decided that a sympathy card may turn out the best for Jessica and her future endeavors, especially as he has a stake in the BLANC company.
In a way, if she did want to leave the group, and if it is because she wants to either focus on her fashion line or her personal life, I’m glad that this was the solution instead of keeping the group in limbo. Nothing against the Wonder Girls but JYP handled that situation completely wrong. Fans still complain about how it was handled, and while the Weibo post (which I am sure Tyler Kwon posted), wasn’t ideal, at least a decision was made and the group is going to continue with 8 members unlike sitting in limbo for who knows how long. I fully support idols wanting to pursue their interests and personal life, but apparently most fans cannot be pleased.
Another reason – aside from fashion and personal reasons – that I think could have contributed to why Jessica wanted out, is because of her treatment in SNSD. When they first debuted, until about 2010, Jessica was the second vocalist after Taeyeon. At this point, she’s 4th or maybe 5th because SM is adamant on promoting TTS. It’s not as if Jessica’s lines were given to the dance line – they were given to other main singers who already had about the same amount of lines as her, essentially reducing Jessica to a backup vocal. I can see someone getting aggravated being pushed to the side in favor of less talented vocalists, especially where these members do have a subunit that is quite popular, and the main group does only promote once a year in Korea now.
Which makes me wonder exactly why SM (and possibly the rest of SNSD) had such an issue with Jessica launching her fashion company. SNSD members now have been more focused on their individual activities than group activities as it is. Sooyoung, Yoona and Yuri all act and have all missed SNSD promotions (concerts, fanmeetings) for their acting schedules. Sunny is on variety shows and MCing. TTS have their subunit. Hyoyeon does…something. Why is it a problem for Jessica to branch into fashion when the other members all have their own outside interests and endeavors?
Then the notion of her relationship was also brought up. Considering Taeyeon is dating Bacon of EXO, and Tiffany is dating Nichkhun of 2PM – both pieces of Human Trash, and Sooyoung and Yoona are also publicly dating, I don’t see why this is an issue for Jessica – despite that her boyfriend is totally busted. Hyoyeon’s ex-boyfriend has just been involved in assault cases, which obviously does not bring good PR to SNSD, and in terms of a possible marriage, Sooyoung has said she wanted to be married at 24 (her current Western age). Why is Jessica’s relationship so different? If it is because she wants to be married soon – whether that’s true or not – isn’t it better that she leave the group and focus on fashion or whatever she chooses, rather than leave the group in limbo like Sunye’s situatoin as I mentioned earlier?
Finally, the last reason I’m sure that played a part in Jessica wanting out of SNSD is that she’s sick of idol life. There’s a chance she wants to live normally. She’s been training or in the spotlight for 14 years total, and she’s probably ready to live more normally. She started training around 11, and obviously as you age, your dreams don’t stay the same. She may have wanted to be a singer then, but she found a new passion – fashion design.
As a fan of Jessica, as well as SNSD, I do wish her the best in her fashion endeavors. I’m going to save some money and buy a pair of BLANC sunglasses to support her. At the same time, I am also going to cherish my Jessica ver. I Got a Boy CD very much – I knew there was a reason I chose her copy over Sooyoung’s, and I’m very happy now that I did. I also can say, I’m very lucky to have had the opportunity to see SNSD perform live as 9 at the 2013 Dream Concert, and maybe someday I’ll even release the unseen footage of me screaming like a crazy person for Jessica. While I’m not happy with the SNSD group at this point, I’m probably going to give their first release as 8 a try before I truly judge and jump ship, especially considering the statement “Jessica” (I’m also feeling a very PR-y vibe in this message…) has just released stating that the members were the ones who decided to kick her out.
And that ends the miserable month of September. Here’s hoping October, and BEAST’s new song make up for this whole mess.