Crystal S. Anderson, PhD Associate Professor of English, Longwood University
Sechs Kies is one of most popular 1st-generation male K-pop “idol” groups and contemporaries of H.O.T.Sechs Kies, means “six pebbles” in German. Original group members include leader Eun Ji Won, Lee Jae Jin, Kim Jae Duk, Kang Sung Hoon and maknae Jang Su Won. Former group members include Ko Ji Yong. The group is also one of a handful of 1st-generation “idol” groups to make a comeback after a multi-year hiatus, signing with Big Three Korean agency YG Entertainment in 2016. The group debuted on April 15, 1997 with DSP Entertainment. Attesting to the continued popularity of the group, “Hours before the 5 p.m. concert, Sechs Kies’ fans — many of whom were in their 30s and older and some accompanied by their children — swarmed Olympic Park to see their favorites stars of their youth” (Korea Herald). Before 2016, the fandom was called Dear SechsKies Friend. After 2016, the fandom is referred to as YellowKies.
One of the first rap groups in South Korea, 45RPM recall the music landscape in the late 1990s: “‘Back then, there was nothing like what we call pure rap. You know how they have some sort of bridge, and then a little rap here and there. But when I started listening to LPs, I liked that with just rap, pure rap, I can express myself and thoroughly speak my mind,’ J-Kwondo said” (The Korea Herald). Known for being staples in underground Korean hip-hop, they have collaborated with more mainstream artists, including K.Will (KpopStarz).
Name: 45RPM, 45 revolutions per minute, the speed of vinyl music
Associate Professor of English, Longwood University
GOT7 is a seven-member Korean male group, often compared to 2PM, their label mates at JYP Entertainment. The name of the group refers to its seven members. The group debuted on January 16, 2014 with JYP Entertainment. Original members include leader JB (Im Jae-bum), Mark (Mark Yi-Eun Tuan), Jackson (Jackson Wang), Jinyoung (Park Jin-young), Youngjae (Choi Young-jae), Bam Bam (Kunpimook Bhuwakul), and maknae Yugyeom (Kim Yu-gyeom). GOT7 has been prolific for a rookie group, with several releases before its first anniversary. JB, the group’s leader, describes GOT7’s sound as built on a “base of hip-hop and R&B” (The Korea Times). The group is also known for its unique choreography: “Got7’s dance performances display moves derived from martial arts combined with b-boying . . . . the boys are highly proficient in b-boying and martial art tricking” (KCrush). The fandom is called IGOT7, which signifies that their fans have “gotten” them.
Associate Professor of English, Longwood University
1sagain (Park Jin Woo), pronounced “once again,” is a Korean rapper who keeps a very low profile, generating very little media outside announcements about upcoming releases. He debuted in 2002 with Neuron Music.
1sagain and Heenain: Sick Of It All MV | 2. 1sagain and Illy: Love is Over MV | 3. 1sagain and Donnie J: Depressed MV | 4. 1sagain and Ju Bora: If You Leave Me MV |5. 1sagain and Park Sumin: Go Home MV
1sagain and Heenain: Sick Of It All MV. neuron music. “원써겐 (1sagain) – 이젠 지쳤어.. (feat.히나인) – Official M/V, ENG Sub.” YouTube. 14 Sept 2011. https://youtu.be/6gskjWWOOTo. (29 Nov 2016).
1sagain and Illy: Love is Over MV. CJENMMUSIC. “원써겐 (1SaGain) – Love Is Over (Feat. 일리) MV.” YouTube. 17 Jan 2013. https://youtu.be/in3Ss9CRkf8. (29 Nov 2016).
1sagain and Donnie J: Depressed MV. neuron music. “원써겐&도니제이 (1sagain&Donnie J) – 우울해 (Depressed) – Official M/V, ENG Sub.” YouTube. 10 Jul 2011. https://youtu.be/1HUJR7CUr_w, (29 Nov 2016).
1sagain and Ju Bora: If You Leave Me MV. neuron music. “원써겐&주보라 – 날 떠난다는 가정 아래 (New) – Official M/V.” YouTube. 16 Jul 2014. https://youtu.be/7KeeRwpFCj0, (29 Nov 2016).
1sagain and Park Sumin: Go Home MV. neuron music. “원써겐 (1sagain) – Go Home (feat.박수민) – Official M/V, ENG Sub.” YouTube. 12 Mar 2014. https://youtu.be/C_p-6zykSpY, (29 Nov 2016).
Battle debuted in December 2006 after being formed on the popular television show Let’s Coke Play! Battle Shinhwa!. The group consisted of five members: Ryu (Won Seung Jae), Ki-hyun (Shin Ki Hyun), Lio (Park Ji Woon), Tae-hwa (Jin Tae Hwa), Hwi-chan (Kim Tae Kwan), and Chris (Jung Hyung Rok). The group members were personally chosen by Shinhwa members, who were hosting the television show at the time. During the group’s short tenure (they are currently inactive), Battle toured Thailand and China. . . . Click here to read more at KPOPIANA!
Piggy Dolls is signed with LOEN Entertainment and debuted in early 2011 with members Min Sun (Kim Min Sun), Jiyeon (Lee Ji Yeon) and Jieun (Lee Ji Eun). The group’s name and unique concept was based on their looks, which went against the Korean beauty standard of maintaining a slim momjjang (good body shape) and instead focused on their strong vocals. Regardless of their original concept, within a year, the group revealed slimmer physiques. In 2013, the group was replaced with three new members (Kang Eun Young, Lee Eun Young ,and Lee Ji Young). . . . Click here to read more at KPOPIANA!
Byul (Kim Go Eun) is a solo artist known for her prolific work in singing ballads for Korean television and film. Her name, (별,) means “star” in Korean. While she was discovered by Jin Young Park (JYP) and was signed for a short while with JYP Entertainment, Byul is currently signed with Spring Entertainment. In 2012, Byul married Korean comedian and entertainer HaHa (Ha Dong Hoon). . . . Click here to read more at KPOPIANA!
New Radiancy Group (NRG) was a popular male pop/dance group that debuted under the Music Factory label in the fall of 1997. The group was formed out of the duo HamoHamo, whose members were Lee Sung Jin and Chun Myung Hoon. NRG was founded with those members and the addition of three new members:Moon Sung Hoon, No Min Woo, and Kim Hwan Sung. Known for their high-energy dance music, NRG was highly successful –not only in Korea, but in China as well. NRG is commonly recognized as one of the first groups to advertise in China, thus making them one of the first successful pioneers of Hallyu. . . . Click here to read more at KPOPIANA!
Wheesung (Choi Hwee Sung) is known for his penchant for R&B music. While he originally started his career as a part of the kpop group A4, Wheesung, debuted as a solo artist in 2002, signing with M Boat, a sister company with YG Entertainment. During his career, Wheesung won several awards for his soulful music. . . . Click here to read more at KPOPIANA!
B.A.P (Best Absolute Perfect) was formed in 2012 under the TS Entertainment label. The six-member hip hop group includes Yongguk (Bang Yong Guk), Himchan (Kim Him Chan), Daehyun (Jung Dae Hyun), Youngjae (Yoo Young Jae), Jongup (Moon Jong Up), and Zelo (Choi Jun Hong). The group had a very strong debut, showcasing their strong personalities through rap, dance, and an intriguing (and ongoing) Alien Bunny mascot/concept. . . . Click here to read more at KPOPIANA!