The 5 Best K-Pop Videos of the Past 5 Years
Korean pop, or K-pop, has expanded its reach beyond Seoul, beyond Asia, and, slowly but surely, beyond the devoted international fans who refresh YouTube links and vote tirelessly on any online poll possible. The biggest factor in this is the music video, where boy bands and girl groups usually don impractical costumes and perform synchronized dance moves in brightly-lit boxes. Here are 5 of the best since the "Hallyu Wave" began in the late 2000s.
Girls’ Generation – “Genie” (2009)
Korea’s most famous girl group put cracks in their cutesy image with this sexy, candy-colored video, showcasing their long legs and sassy hip motions. Their military-inspired costumes were clearly chosen to appeal to and encourage the men who have been drafted to serve in the South Korean armed forces.
Super Junior – “Sorry, Sorry” (2009)
The 13-member boy band inspired a dance craze across Asia with their “hand-warming” dance in this stylish black & white video. Their slick suits and ties marked a departure from their previous mostly-pastel wardrobe and goofy demeanor. While they’ve had considerable success in recent years, “Sorry, Sorry” remains their best-known single in Korea.
Brown Eyed Girls – “Abracadabra” (2009)
BEG, already a good five years older than most girl groups at the time, could get away much more easily with a sexy image and video. This was their breakout hit, complete with an arm-folding, hip-swaying “arrogant dance” that PSY later worked into his “Gentleman” video.
PSY – “Gangnam Style” (2012)
No list of K-pop videos would be complete without the most-watched YouTube video of all time. Admit it, you’re still doing the horsey dance. PSY may be considered a one-hit wonder in the States, but this love letter to the women of Gangnam has probably cemented his place in Korean pop culture for the rest of his life.
T.O.P – “Doom Dada” (2013)
T.O.P, a member of the hip-hop-inspired boy band Big Bang, is famous among K-pop fans for his mysterious, introspective image. This video seems to unleash his id, equating his growth as an artist with the evolution of all mankind. He’s also seen enjoying the company of gorgeous women, deer, and a creepy overgrown baby.
PSY made the biggest worldwide splash, but Girls' Generation, YouTube Video of the Year winner, is nipping at his heels. We’ve only scratched the glossy surface of the even glossier K-pop world. Be sure to check out YouTube channels such as BIGBANG, SMTOWN and LOENENT for still more dancing in boxes, young men in eyeliner, and close-ups on beautiful girls winking at you!