Is K-pop Fandom Becoming Less Visible and More Fragmented?

Online platforms have been a major force propelling the spread of K-pop globally, but are shifts in how they are deployed contributing to a more insular fandom? When you ask K-pop fans about their journey into K-pop, YouTube usually features prominently. Over the last few years, K-pop fans have been treated to content by companies…

Let KPK Introduce You To…D’Angelo

Kaetrena Davis Kendrick, M.S.L.S. University of South Carolina Lancaster Song: “Aurora” Artist: Jonghyun (Kim Jonghyun) Album: 좋아 (She Is) Album Release Date: May 24, 2016 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3WjWXDBlq8 Caption: Press Play to Hear “Aurora” by Jonghyun. “Aurora” echoes… Song: “Lady” Artist: D’Angelo Album: Brown Sugar Album Release Date: July 4, 1995 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmdUMwlrezs Caption: Press Play to hear…

What We Are Listening To: “You Don’t Know My Name” (Prod Mokyo), pH-1

pH-1 (Park Jun-Won, also known as Harry Park) is a Korean-American rapper on H1GHER Music Records, which also houses GroovyRoom and G.Soul. While people want to make harsh distinctions between K-pop and K-hip-hop, I actually found out about pH-1 from the K-pop sub-Reddit. From the 2019 release Summer Episodes, this is one of those songs…

How We Get Down: KPK Documents Your Stuff!

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…

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

  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”…

K-pop Was Not Born Last Night

K-pop is old enough for us to recognize that it has a bonafide history, and the way we divide up that history affects the way we see K-pop. Some scholars place K-pop within a larger history of Korean popular music. In the article “Mapping K-pop Past and Present: Shifting the Modes of Exchange,” Keith Howard…

The Multiple Meanings of Manufacturing in K-pop

Media coverage and scholarly writing about K-pop often negatively characterizes it as a manufactured mode of music. However, there are other connotations of this term that more comprehensively address  the process by which K-pop is made. It is common for stories about “idol”-based K-pop (singers and groups who sing and dance, appear on television shows…