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 fromrockandpoptorap. In 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
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:
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.”
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.
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:
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”
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.
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.
Over at my Academia.edu profile, my analytics place my Hallyu Bibliography posts in my top ten. Since the bibliography posts are helpful to KPK readers, I want to further assist Hallyu scholars and those working in the Digital Humanities (DH) field. To that end, I’ve been working on a project to make even more items (books, mainly) discoverable. As a result, I’m happy to presentKPK’s Digital Library, housed in Tumblr using a cool theme called Otlet’s Shelf.
Otlet’s Shelf is a theme that displays books in Tumblr, and it’s also a bookmarklet that allows me to mine Amazon.com for books and insert them into KPK’s Tumblr page. The application pulls book abstract information from Amazon and allows me to add keywords as needed. The keywords help users locate books that cover similar topics in the KPK Digital Library. The theme displays most recent entries first – when you click the “Next” button, you are accessing older entries. By the way, the first book that had the honor of inclusion is Hallyu: Influence of Korean Popular Culture in Asia and Beyond by Do Kyun Kim.
In accordance with KPK’s mission, the KPK Digital Library includes monographs that discuss Hallyu from all of its interdisciplinary aspects – from music and media studies to politics, sociology, and of course fandom research. Because we are also interested in the development of the DH field, books covering DH are also included. At press time, there are 108 books in the KPK Digital Library, and more will be added as items are published.
Keep in mind that the KPK Digital Library is a discovery resource, not an access portal. Your ability to access items will depend on several factors, including your proximity to and ability to use your local public, academic, or special libraries and their services (don’t forget the glory that is Interlibrary Loan). Additionally, some items may be available electronically via databases or downloadable for use in e-readers. If you want to find out if an item is available for checkout within a certain mile radius, try outWorldCatorWorldCat Mobile(for Android and iPhone)!
To keep up with what’s being added to the KPK Digital Library, login to your Tumblr account and add us. When a new book is uploaded, you’ll see the book cover and its abstract appear in your dashboard. You can also stop by the KPK website anytime and click on the “Resources” link at the top of the page to see the latest activity. And of course, you can always just go directly to our Tumblr page and click on any book to get information.
Consider using the KPK Digital Library as a complement to the Hallyu Bibliography posts. Together, the bibliography and the library are robust tools designed to help scholars develop and expand the Korean Studies, Hallyu Studies, and DH fields.
Please send your feedback to me – I hope you find the KPK Digital Library “pop”-sitively useful.
BTS, also known as Bangtan Boys, stands for the Korean name of the group (Bangtan Sonyeondan), which translates to Bulletproof Boy Scouts. The members include leader Rap Monster (Kim Nam Joon), Jin (Kim Seok Jin), Suga (Min Yoon Gi), J-Hope (Jung Ho Seok), Jimin (Park Ji Min), V (Kim Tae Hyung) and maknae Jungkook (Jeon Jeong Guk). The group debuted on June 13, 2013 with Big Hit Entertainment.
BTS is a group that draws heavily from hip-hop but is also extensively involved in the production of the group’s music. As the group released music, “the sound started to morph from the clear underground hip-hop influence that the rappers brought in to something with more balance and depth. And as the boys experimented, they all started to become more comfortable with writing their own material” (The Daily Dot). Some have characterized the group as being more outspoken than the average K-pop group: “BTS isn’t the first Korean act to speak about substantial topics, but it is one of the acts doing it in a clever, shrewd way–and it’s only getting more popular by doing so” (Fuse).
The fandom is called ARMY, an acronym for Adorable Representative MC for Youth. ARMY signifies the military in English, as the body and the military are always together, so too are BTS and ARMYs.
Homme | Lee Chang-min | Lee Hyun | Rap Monster | 8eight
BTS X GOT7: 2015 MAMA | 2PM X VIXX X BTS: Power Performance MV | MFBTY X LE (EXID) X SUGA (BTS) + Rap Monster (BTS) X Baro (B1A4): 2014 Letv Dream Concert | Zion T X Jungkook: KBS Collaboration | SoYou X Rap Monster X Sandeul X CNU X P.O X Kyung: 2014 KBS Song Festival | BTS X Block B: 2014 MAMA | BTS X GFriend: Family Song MV
Jeff Benjamin. “K-pop’s Social Conscience.” fuse. 4 Dec 2015. (8 Dec 2016). Evernote.
Colette Bennett. “How BTS is Changing K-pop for the Better.” The Daily Dot. 12 May. (8 Dec 2016). Evernote
BTS X GOT7: 2015 MAMA. Fatima Aliriza Aguil. “ BTS and GOT7 Collaboration (Intro) + If You Do for MAMA 2015.” YouTube. 8 Dec 2015. https://youtu.be/bjZLVU-lmLE, (25 Nov 2016).
2PM X VIXX X BTS: Power Performance MV. KBS World TV. “2PM & VIXX & BTS – Power Performance [2014 KBS Song Festival / 2015.01.14].” YouTube. 23 Jan 2015. https://youtu.be/ZaE4F8R9Hag, (8 Dec 2016).
MFBTY X LE (EXID) X SUGA (BTS) + Rap Monster (BTS) X Baro (B1A4): 2014 Letv Dream Concert. “MFBTY ft. LE (EXID) + Suga + Rap Monster (BTS) + Baro (B1A4) – Monster @ Letv 2015 Dream Concert.” YouTube. 30 May 2015. https://youtu.be/kvwT7Di957Y, (8 Dec 2016).
Zion T X Jungkook: KBS Collaboration. “2015 KBS 가요대축제 1부 – Zion.T&정국(방탄소년단) – 양화대교. 20151230.” YouTube. 30 Dec 2015. https://youtu.be/VzNCyL2Tydc, (8 Dec 2016).
SoYou X Rap Monster X Sandeul X CNU X P.O X Kyung: 2014 KBS Song Festival. KBS World TV. “SoYou & Rap Monster, Sandeul, CNU, P.O, Kyung – Collaboration [2014 KBS Song Festival / 2015.01.14].” YouTube. 22 Jan 2015. https://youtu.be/yuIyTuIMvL4, (8 Dec 2016).
BTS X Block B: 2014 MAMA. Mnet K-POP. “2015 MAMA [Boys In Battle] BTS vs BlockB (2014 MAMA) 151127 EP.5.” YouTube. 30 Nov 2015. https://youtu.be/fnjQB4xpYG8, (8 Dec 2016).
BTS X GFriend: Family Song MV. Jungkookie. “[ENG SUB] BTS X GFRIEND Family song MV smart school uniform.” YouTube. 6 May 2016. https://youtu.be/z3tfGe2HH70, (8 Dec 2016).
Newer male K-pop groups are increasing the complexity of their choreography. UP10TION, who debuted in 2015, features 10 members. This large group is gaining popularity for their execution of complex dance moves with precision. Find out more with the Revised UP10TION Dance Collection exhibit!
After several years of curating Kpop music and performers, there’s one thing I’ve learned: Kpop fans and scholars at all levels are talking about and presenting on all aspects of Korean popular culture in academia – from high school to postgraduate work.
A quick online search shows that students use several different presentation and design tools to fulfill assignments (with Korean popular culture as the topic) in many courses, including digital media, linguistics, and economics. These tools are great for longer presentations, but sometimes, you just need something not so lengthy to support a short talk. Other times, you may want to augment a presentation and give your audience an impactful take-away that they can revisit and share quickly with others.
That’s where the infographic comes in. Techopedia defines infographic – and its use – as “a visual representation of a data set or instructive material. An infographic takes a large amount of information in text or numerical form and then condenses it into a combination of images and text, allowing viewers to quickly grasp the essential insights the data contains.” (2016)
News and media distributed via the Internet have increasingly used infographics to support content. Soompi, DramaFever, and more recently, My Music Taste have used the medium to distribute information about Kpop trends. You will also find many Kpop fans and culture bloggers using infographics to promote their favorite groups or Korean food and language.
There are many tools you can use to create infographics, from Piktochart to Easel.ly; however, Canva rises to the top of the list for a few reasons:
It’s free (unlike Piktochart, which has a limited free version)
In contrast to Easel.ly, lots of “turnkey” templates and other drag-and-drop design elements are available in Canva, which means
There’s a low learning curve. A low learning curve means
You can distribute your unique content more quickly
If you need to collaborate on a design, you can easily share work with others to edit.
In addition to a lot of templates, Canva users also have broad color, font, photo, and icon choices. For those who want to be really fancy, for-cost design elements are just $1.00, and the cost isn’t applied until the final design is saved. Designs can be saved as images (.jpg or .png) or a document (.pdf). Users can also share their work on social media since Canva automatically invites users to tweet or post their work after a design has been saved.
I created this simple infographic featuring TVXQ’s Max (Shim Chang Min) in a matter of minutes (imagine all I could do with 30 minutes to an hour to spare!).
Canva also has lots of other uses – many users have created CD covers, website banners, postcards, and more using the tool. It’s easy to explore what other users are doing, too – users just click on the “Get design inspiration” link in their account dashboard to check out and comment on the latest designs in the Canva community.
Currently Canva is available foriPad for those who want to design on-the-go.
TIP: To get the most out of Canva, sign up using a .edu e-mail account.