KPK Seeks Members for Its K-pop Music Research Accelerator!

FeaturedKPK Seeks Members for Its K-pop Music Research Accelerator!

Are you outside of academia yet do research on K-pop music or related topics? Are you an advanced undergrad or grad student researching K-pop music, but lack a research community? Do you want an opportunity to hone your analytic skills and publish on K-pop music? Consider applying to HWAITING! The K-pop Music Research Accelerator!

HWAITING!: The K-Pop Music Research Accelerator cultivates and produces public scholarship on global Korean popular music (K-pop). Managed by KPK: K-pop Kollective, the oldest and only aca-fansite for K-pop, HWAITING! houses an online research community that also publishes small-scale music analyses. Its mission is to generate comprehensive, well-informed discourse around K-pop music that contributes to an understanding of its content, history and impact. The HWAITING! Accelerator functions as a: 

  • study group that reads scholarly writing and discusses topics related to K-pop music to keep members current with K-pop music discourse
  • listening group that shares music recommendations to expand the knowledge base of its members and help them find music beyond their favorites  
  • writing group that publishes music analyses accessible to a general audience to provide opportunities for members to share their knowledge

Criteria. Ideal applicants come from within or outside academia, work on K-pop or related topics, and would benefit from being a part of an active K-pop research community. This includes advanced undergraduates, current/former graduate students, bloggers, journalists and podcasters. Knowledge of or familiarity with multiple K-pop artists/groups is required.

Expectations. Generally, members can expect to spend 1-2 hours a week on HWAITING. They will be expected to:

  • write a 150-200-word musical analysis of at least one K-pop track bi-monthly, to be published on KPK: Kpop Kollective. (For an idea, see What We Are Listening To: ‘Rising Sun’ by TVXQ!)  
  • recommend at least one K-pop track to the group every two weeks 
  • participate in weekly discussions about scholarly writing and critical topics relevant to K-pop music
  • provide progress reports on individual projects as needed

To apply. Complete this short form, which will also ask you to provide a reference, someone who can confirm your interest in K-pop. References will be contacted. Deadline: Oct 18, 2021. Questions? Contact Dr. Crystal S. Anderson, csaphd5@gmail.com.

For Your Reading Pleasure: A Hallyu Bibliography, Part 15: FANDOM and FAN ACTIVITY

Kaetrena Davis Kendrick, M.S.L.S.

Winthrop University

Welcome to Part 15 of my ongoing series of bibliographic entries about Hallyu.   These entries are listed by year, not by author (TIP: If you know about a title or author and you want to see if it’s included in this listing, use the CTRL + F function).

To learn more about my searching parameters, information-gathering processes, and your ability to access these items, see my earlier essay titled For Your Reading Pleasure: Introducing A Hallyu Bibliography.”  Click for Part 1 , Part 2, Part 3, Part 4,  Part 5 , Part 6, Part 7 , Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, and Part 14 of the bibliography.

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Photo credit: Brandon Bolendar, Pixabay.

This is a working post, so if you would like to submit items to this list or to the bibliography, please contact me directly at kaetrena@mailbox.sc.edu.

Fiske, J.  (1992). The cultural economy of fandom.  In  A. Lewis  (Ed.),  The  adoring audience:  Fan  culture  and popular  media  (pp.  30-49). New York:  Routledge.

Leonard, Sean. (2004). Progress against the law: Fan distribution, copyright and the explosive growth of Japanese animation. Accessed 8 April 2020 from http://web.mit.edu/seantek/www/papers/progress-doublespaced.pdf

Leonard, Sean. (2005). Progress against the Law: Anime and Fandom, and the Key to the Globalization of Culture. International Journal of Cultural Studies 8.3 (2005): 281-305.

Yuk Ming Lisa Leung. (2005). Virtualizing the ‘Korean Wave’:  The Politics of (Transnational) Cyberfandom in 〈Daejangguem>. Asian Communication Research Volume 2 Number 2, 2005.9, page(s): 65-90. Abstract accessed 2 November 2011 http://www.dbpia.co.kr/view/ar_view.asp?arid=1030479&A=

Shim, Hyunjoo. (2005). Antifans and the internet: An ethnographic study of participatory drama fans in Korean websites. Thesis, Georgia State University.

Pease, Rowan. (2006).  Internet, fandom and K-wave in China. In K. Howard (Ed.) Korean pop music: Riding the wave. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.

Hayashi, Kaori and Eun-Jeung Lee. (2007). The potential of fandom and the limits of soft power: Media representations on the popularity of a Korean melodrama in Japan. Social Science Japan Journal, 10(2): 197-216. doi: 10.1093/ssjj/jym049 (see also, Politics and Soft Power)

Siriyuvasak, Ubonrat & Hyunjoon Shin. (2007). Asianizing Kpop: production, consumption and identification patterns among Thai youth. Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, 8(1): 109-136. 

Lee, Soojin, David Scott and Hyounggon Kim. (2008). Celebrity fan involvement and destination perceptions. Annals of Tourism Research, 35(3): 809-832. 

Mori, Yoshitaka. (2008). Winter Sonata and cultural practices of active fans in Japan: Considering middle-aged women as cultural agents. In C.B. Huat and K. Iwabuchi (Eds.) East Asian Pop Culture: Analyzing the Korean Wave. pp. 127-X. Aberdeen: Hong Kong University Press.

Iwabuchi, Koichi. (2010). Undoing inter-national fandom in the age of brand nationalism. Mechademia, 5:87-96.

Lee, Hyangjin. (2010). Buying youth: Japanese fandom of the Korean wave. In Black, D., Stephen Epstein and Alison Tokita (Eds.) Complicated Currents. Clayton, Victoria, Australia: Monash University ePress. Accessed 8 April 2020 from http://books.publishing.monash.edu/apps/bookworm/view/Complicated+Currents/122/xhtml/chapter7.html

Rembert-Lang, LaToya D. (2010-2011). Reinforcing the power of Babel: The impact of copyright law on fansubbing. Intellectual Property Brief, 2(2): 21-33.

Jung, Sun. (2011). Fan activism, cybervigilantism, and Othering mechanisms in K-pop fandom. Transformative Works and Cultures. Accessed 8 April 2020 from http://journal.transformativeworks.org/index.php/twc/article/view/300/287

Jung, Sun. (2011) K-pop, Indonesian fandom, and social media. Transformative Works and Cultures,8. Accessed 8 April 2020 from https://journal.transformativeworks.org/index.php/twc/article/view/289/219

Gatson, Sarah N. and Robin Anne Reid. (2012). Race and ethnicity in fandom. In R.A. Reid and S.N Gatson (Eds.) Race and Ethnicity in Fandom special issue, Transformative Works and Cultures, 8. Accessed 23 August 2012 from http://journal.transformativeworks.org/index.php/twc/article/view/392/252

Lee, Seung Ah. (2012). Of the fans, by the fans, for the fans: The republic of JYJ. Presented at the Nam Center for Korean Studies’ Hallyu 2.0: The Korean Wave in the Age of Social Media Symposium. Accessed 8 April 2020 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwBKXybAXJQ

Park, Shin-Eui and Woong Jo Chang. (2012). The Korean Wave: Cultivating a global fandom (unpublished). Accessed 8 April 2020 from https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/view/23620889/the-korean-wave-cultivating-a-global-fandom-by-shin-eui-park-

Kim, Andrew Eungi, Fitria Mayasari, and Ingyu Oh. (2013). When tourist audiences encounter each other: Diverging learning behaviors of K-pop fans from Japan and Indonesia. Korea Journal, 53(4): 59-82.

Sung, Sang-Yeon. (2013). K-pop reception and participatory fan culture in Austria. Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture Review, (9): 90-104. Accessed 16 June 2016 from https://cross-currents.berkeley.edu/e-journal/issue-9/sung

Jung, Soo Keung. (2014). Global audience participation in the production and consumption of Gangnam Style. Thesis, Georgia State Unversity. Accessed 7 April 2020 from https://scholarworks.gsu.edu/communication_theses/106/

Jung, Sun & Doobo Shim. (2014). Social distribution: K-pop fan practices in Indonesia and the ‘Gangnam Style’ phenomenon. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 17(5): 485-501.

Nissim, Otmazgin & Irina Lyan. (2014). Hallyu across the desert: K-pop fandom in Israel and Palestine. Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture Review, 3(1): 32-55.

Oh, Ingyu & Chong-Mook Lee. (2014). A league of their own: Female supporters of hallyu and Korea-Japan relations. Pacific Focus, 29(2): 284-302.

Williams, J. Patrick & Samantha Xiang Xin Ho. (2016). “Sasaengpaen” or K-pop fan? Singapore youths, authentic identities, and Asian media fandom. Deviant Behavior, 37(1): 81-94.

Habieb, Adnand. (2017). The influence of K-pop in Indonesia’s students behavior. Proceedings of  ISER 50th International Conference. Pp. 47-50. Retrieved from https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/f944/67c0b42a7b40eba57d91f7e1ca93ff7af9ea.pdf

Swan, Anna Lee. (2017). Situated knowledge, transnational identities: Place and embodiment in K-pop fan reaction videos. Thesis, University of Washington. Accessed 8 April 2020 from https://digital.lib.washington.edu/researchworks/handle/1773/40004

Dwiyota, Sylvia. (2018). The use of code mixing in Tweets by Kpop fans in Twitter. Lingua Litera, 3(1). Retrieved from http://116.251.210.75/index.php/stba1/article/view/9

Hubinette, Tobias. (2018). Who are the Swedish K-pop fans? Revisiting the reception and consumption of Hallyu in post-Gangnam Style Sweden with an emphasis on K-pop. Culture and Empathy, 1(1-4): 34-48. Accessed 7 April 2020 from http://www.tobiashubinette.se/korean_popculture_1.pdf

Sari, Dorottya. (2018). The rise of Hallyu in Hungary: An exploratory study about the motivation, behavior, and perception of Hungarian K-pop fans.

Swan, Anna Lee. (2018). Transnational identities and feeling in fandom: place and embodiment in K-pop fan reaction videos. Communication, Culture and Critique, 11(4): 548-565.

Sutton, R. Anderson. (2018). Tracking the Korean wave in transnational Asia: K-pop and K-pop fandom in Indonesia. Asian Musicology, 28: 9-39.

Abd-Rahim, Atiqah. (2019). Online fandom: Social identity and social hierarchy of hallyu fans. The Journal for Undergraduate Ethnography, 9(1). Accessed 7 April 2020 from https://ojs.library.dal.ca/JUE/article/view/8885

Capistrano, Erik, Paolo. (2019). Understanding Filipino Korean pop music fans. Asian Journal of Social Science, 47(1): 59-87.

Crow, Teahlyn Frances. (2019). K-pop, language, and online fandom: An exploration of Korean language use and performativity amongst international K-pop fans. Thesis, Northern Arizona University.

Cruz, Angela, Seo, Yuri, & Binay, Itir. (2019). Cultural globalization from the periphery: Translation practices of English-speaking K-pop fans. Journal of Consumer Culture, In press. (See Also, Language)

De Kosnik, A. & Carrington, A. (2019). Fans of color, fandoms of color. Transformative Works & Cultures, 29(1): 1.

Jansen, Kine Fjeld. (2019). Pop culturally motivated lexical borrowing: Use of Korean in an English-majority fan forum. Thesis, University of Bergen. Accessed 7 April 2020 from http://bora.uib.no/handle/1956/20363

Kang, Jiwon, Lee, Minsung, Park, Eunil et al. (2019). Alliance for my idol: Analyzing the K-pop fandom collaboration network. CHI EA ‘ 19: Extended Abstracts of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. Pp. 1- 6.

Utami, Evi Farsiah. (2019). Social media, celebrity, and fans: A study of Indonesian K-pop fans. Thesis, Taylor’s University. (See Also, Internet and Social Media)

Liu, Chih-Chieh. From ‘Sorry, Sorry’ to ‘That Banana’: Subtitling of a Korean music video as a site of contestation in Taiwan. Accessed 8 April 2020 from https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/media/5312/04_sorry_sorry_liu.pdf

Vinco, Alessandra & Mazur, Daniela. (n.d.). Fans, hallyu, and broadcast TV: The case of the K-drama “Happy Ending” pioneering in Brazil. Accessed 8 April 2020 from https://congress.aks.ac.kr:52525/korean/files/2_1478846583.pdf

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Writing the Book I Wanted to Read – Soul in Seoul: African American Popular Music and K-pop

Image: University of Mississippi Press

Soul in Seoul: African American Popular Music and K-pop (September 2020, University of Mississippi Press) is a scholarly book that examines the ways that Korean pop (“idols), R&B and mainstream hip-hop of the Hallyu (Korean wave) era incorporate elements of black popular music and how global fans understand that influence.

As a senior scholar in transnational American Studies and Global Asias and writer on K-pop for the past 10 years, I thought a book on black music and K-pop should be the follow-up to my first book, Beyond the Chinese Connection: Contemporary Afro-Asian Cultural Production.  It’s a labor of love and it has something for everyone.

What’s In It for Fans

It talks about people you know. It covers K-pop as a 20-year-old music tradition with genres that have developed over time and significant musical acts. It recognizes the development of “idol” acts ranging from veterans to their successors as well as the Korean and African American music producers behind the music, including Yoo Young Jin, Teddy, Teddy Riley and Harvey Mason Jr.  It explores Korean R&B singers and groups as well as mainstream Korean hip-hop artists. Musical acts covered include g.o.d., Shinhwa, 2PM, Wonder Girls, SHINee, TVXQ, Rain (Bi), Fly to the Sky, 4MEN, Brown Eyed Soul, Big Mama, Park Hyo Shin, Lyn, Zion T., Wheesung, Dynamic Duo, Epik High, Primary, Jay Park and Yoon Mirae.

What’s In It for Scholars

It critically engages K-pop through an interdisciplinary lens. Soul in Seoul draws on popular music studies, fan studies and transnational American studies to examine the intertextuality at the heart of K-pop music, an intertextuality that includes African American popular music and distinct Korean music strategies. This intertextuality sounds different through time, across genres and among artists because it draws from a variety of aspects of black popular music. At the same time, the book highlights the critical function of fans, who are responsible for its global spread and function as its music press. It places African American popular culture within a global context, thereby disrupting the homogenizing tendencies of globalization that obscure the impact of an African American popular culture with a complicated relationship to the West. The book is accessible to undergraduate and graduate students and suitable for courses in music and ethnomusicology, ethnic studies, Asian studies, African American studies, American studies, popular culture and media studies.

What’s In It for Everybody

Soul in Seoul is about the music, so it is for anyone who is curious about the ever-changing phenomenon that is K-pop.  Look for the Soul in Seoul Playlist leading up to the book’s release in September 2020 on KPK: Kpop Kollective to hear what all the fuss is about.

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Writing the Book I Wanted to Read – Soul in Seoul: African American Popular Music and K-pop by Crystal S. Anderson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

How We Get Down: KPK Documents Your Stuff!

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

As part of KPK’s decennial year, we are launching K-pop Commons, a repository of K-pop project ephemera – documents and artifacts that were not created for formal publication or commercial display (e.g., books, book chapters, galleries/exhibitions), but that are meaningful to the creators of the items and that reflect the impact of K-pop on those who know it best: fans. 

Continue reading “How We Get Down: KPK Documents Your Stuff!”

What We Are Listening To: “Rising Sun” by TVXQ!

 

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Photo by Chris Slupski on Unsplash

TVXQ! (also billed as Dong Bang Shin Ki/DBSK in Korean and Tohoshinki in Japanese) was a five member group from 2004 to 2010. In 2011, the group continued with two members (Jung Yunho – U-Know, and Shim Changmin – MAX). The group is known for their harmonies and sensual dance moves, and “Rising Sun” choreography is one of the group’s more dynamic musical and visual accomplishments. 

“Rising Sun” is from the group’s second Korean studio album and was also featured in an American film. In a review of the album, Pop Reviews Now asserts that “Rising Sun” “is one of DBSK’s most technically-challenging and most remembered songs and for good reason.” Every member’s vocal or rap ability is highlighted, with Changmin’s signature range/ note-holding on display. As a note to the longevity and importance of this song, the two-member group continues to perform it live.

View the visuals and hear the vocals of five-member TVXQ’s “Rising Sun”:

 

And two-member performance, as well:

Sources

DBSK – “Rising Sun.” Pop Reviews Now. 28 Jul 2014. http://popreviewsnow.blogspot.com/2014/07/dbsk-rising-sun.html (25 Feb 2020).

Kpopcorner2. “DBSK [Mirotic Concert] – Rising Sun.” YouTube. 10 Feb. 2010. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bLxrl5NRfM (25 Feb 2020).

laura bustamante. “TVXQ! – Rising Sun – Special Live Tour T1STORY in Seoul.” YouTube. 15 Jun 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEQ7ICbYhYg (25 Feb 2020).

Let KPK Introduce You To…The Use of (Gospel) Choirs

Kaetrena Davis Kendrick, M.S.L.S.

University of South Carolina Lancaster

The use or application of the (gospel) choir aestethic or sound is a staple in popular Western music, and the artists who have used the imagery or sound go from rock  and pop to rapIn an essay discussing how the African-American creative and cultural tradition of gospel music is preserved or transformed as it moves around the globe, Burnim links the original context of gospel music and its role in the African-American community to its unexpected introduction into American mainstream music (solidified by creative and consumer success markers):

As a genre that came to most strongly define the worship of the vast majority of African Americans regardless of denomination, gospel remained largely in the domain of African American congregants — that is, church folk — until the late 1960’s, when Edwin Hawkins released Let Us Go into The House of the Lord, with its ever-popular single “O Happy Day” unexpectedly hitting the radio airways, claiming unparalleled chart success and subsequent sales in excess of one million copies… (2016, 471)

While gospel music is primarily the vehicle by which African-Americans practiced aspects of their religion, it is also a form of music that has close ties to the continent and cultures of Africa. With those multitudes of cultures come expanded channels of creativity, and you can hear those elements in gospel music, including:

  • call and response
  • syncopation
  • cross-rhythms
  • improvisation (Rucker-Hillsman, 2014)

Noting links to commercial success and the musicality imbued in the gospel choir,  international artists have also incorporated the sound into their music.

Let’s take a look at the gospel choir’s entry into K-pop:

Artist: Jonghyun

Press Play to Hear “할렐루야 ” (Hallelujah)” from Jonghyun’s album Base (released January  12, 2015).

In a 2015 interview, Jonghyun noted that he did not originally intend to have a choir but that his interest in gospel music spurred him to update the arrangement. 

Jonghyun documents choir members recording the background vocals for “Hallelujah.”

Works Cited

Burnim, M. (2016). Tropes of continuity and disjuncture in the globalization of gospel music. In S.A. Riley & J.M. Dueck (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Music and World Christianities. Oxford University Press (pp. 469-488).

Rucker-Hillsman, J. (2014). Gospel music: An African-American art form. Victoria, BC, Canada: Freisen Press.

 

This Week In K-pop: July 20-26, 2019

 

Finding All Kinds of K-pop Stuff So You Don’t Have To

Crystal S. Anderson, PhD

Director, KPK: Kpop Kollective

New pop releases in K-pop this week include three title tracks from the new EXO sub-unit, EXO-SC, including “What A Life.” Woosung (of the band The Rose) released “Face,” while Kang Daniel finally debuts as a solo artist with “What Are You Up To.” Younger groups round out this week’s releases, including NCT Dream with “Boom” and Boy Story with “Too Busy” (ft. Jackson Wang). Additional pop songs were released by Monsta X, Mamamoo, GWSN, CIX, Taeyong, VAV, 1TEAM and Hyo.

Notable hip-hop releases include BewhY and the epic video for “Gottasadae,” the collaboration of nafla, Loopy, Lee Young Ji, and Pluma for “I’m the One” and the laid-back summer jam by ph-1, “You Don’t Know My Name.” Veteran rock group Crying Nut released “다음에 잘하자 [Let’s Do Well Next Time], while UHA (“dawn”) and Red Chair (Insomnia) bring more mellow sounds to this week’s releases.  Additional songs came out from Far East Movement, UHA, Perc%nt, Onsu, Shin Youme, Electric Pad, Kimhwol, Heera, Jungmo, The Electric Eels, Seoulmoon and Kizan.

This week’s playlist:

  1. EXO-SC, “Closer To You” | 2. EXO-SC, “Just Us 2” | 3. EXO-SC, “What A Life” | 4. NCT Dream, “Boom” | 5. Woosung, “Face” | 6. Kang Daniel, “What Are You Up To | 7. Monsta X, Breathe For You | 8. Mamamoo, “Gleam” | 9. GWSN, “Red-Sun(021)” | 10. CIX, “Movie Star” | 11. Taeyong, “Long Flight” | 12. Far East Movement, “Glue (ft. Heize & Shawn Wasabi)” | 13. Boy Story, “Too Busy (ft. Jackson Wang)” | 14. UHA, “dawn” | 15. Jun, “Switch” | 16. BewhY, “Gottasadae” | 17. Crying Nut, “다음에 잘하자 [Let’s Do Well Next Time]” | 18. Perc%nt, “9” | 19. Onsu, “The Rain” | 20. Shin Youme, “Wanna Be Ur Love” | 21. nafla, Loopy, Lee Young Ji, PLUMA, “I’m The One” | 22. Electric Pad, “Small Fruit” | 23. Kimhwol, “Down” | 24. Shin Youme, Nights Without You | 25. Red Chair, “Insomnia” | 26. Heera, “Fantasy” | 27. VAV, “Give Me More (ft. De La Ghetto & Play-N-Skillz) | 28. ph-1, “You Don’t Know My Name” | 29. 1TEAM, “Ice In The Cup” | 30. Jungmo (ft. Henry), “Peach” | 31. The Electric Eels, “Yacht” | 32. Seoulmoon, “Last Summer” | 33. Kizan, “Give Me The Star” | 34. Hyo, “Badstar”

 

 

 

 

 

On The Passing of Jonghyun

Like many K-pop fans, the members of KPK: Kpop Kollective are extremely heavy at heart about the passing of Jonghyun. Both Kaetrena and I are Shawols, and just saw the group in Dallas.  We know that for many, SHINee was the group that introduced them to K-pop, and Jonghyun was not only an integral part of the group, but shared his songwriting gifts with others.  He will be deeply missed.

Kaetrena has written “A Little Less SHINe(e), The Big Loss of Bling,” for her blog The Ink on the Page, which I believe is entirely fitting.

Let KPK Introduce You To…Black Greek Fraternity/Sorority Stepping

Kaetrena Davis Kendrick, M.S.L.S.

University of South Carolina Lancaster

Choreography and costuming for: “Maximum”

Group: TVXQ

Album: Keep Your Head Down

Album Release Date: January 5, 2011

Press Play to watch a live performance of “Maximum” by TVXQ.

“Maximum” choreography and concepts echo the traditional stepping performances of …)

Fraternity: Alpha Phi Alpha (AΦA) (the oldest African-American/Black Greek Letter Organization).

Founded: December 4, 1906 at Cornell University

AΦA’s signature stepping choreography: “Train,’” including synchronized hand or arm movements evocative of ancient Egyptian culture.

AΦA’s common performance elements, particularly for neophyte (new member) debuts: militarized or stealth-like costuming and/or masks/face coverings and hoods.*

Press Play to watch AΦA members perform a “train” step sequence (timestamp 2:51).

Press Play to watch AΦA neophytes (new members) debut on their campus.

ELEMENTS OF NOTE:

Introduction of individual members with ultimate group performance

  • Performer entrance is intense with high drama
  • All-male performers
  • Presentation points are to manifest gravity and high levels of athleticism, endurance, and self-confidence
  • Train step (footwork)
  • Synchronized and staggered arm movements
  • Hoods and covered faces, use of black military-like/stealth-like costuming
  • Songs or chants center on challenging others and overcoming obstacles, male posturing is performed (see English interpretation of “Maximum” lyrics)
  • Call-and-response performance

TRADE OFFS:

  • AΦA’s Egyptian hand formations vs. TVXQ’s mostly neutral hands or closed fists (TVXQ’s choreography includes general index-finger pointing throughout and a quick Kung Fu salute at 4:21)
  • AΦA’s call-and-response limited to fraternity members vs. TVXQ’s call-and-response with fans (who are not TVXQ group members)
  • AΦA’s militarized costuming evokes Black Panther significance in African-American culture vs. TVXQ’s stealth costuming evokes history of martial arts reconnaissance and stealth in Asian culture.

*KPK recognizes that masks are also used in Kpop talent training to disguise the identity of company trainees (those who are “pre-debut”). We also note that masks are worn by Black Greek neophytes to protect their identity until they are finally revealed at their probate (debut) show.

Learn more about Alpha Phi Alpha.

What is stepping?

See also: SHINee echoing Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated; Rain/Bi echoing Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.

Happy Watching!

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