At Captain and Clark we love to travel the world to explore new cultures and then share those with you. So buckle up, today we’re taking a look at one of our favorite topics: K-Pop.
It should be no secret to anyone that I (Captain) enjoy K-Pop. Some of you may even remember my Pop 10. I’ve risen to the defense of K-Pop again and again. To the outsider it can seem straight up bizarre but beneath the electric color choices and pencil skirts, there leis the beating heart of Korea.
One thing in particular that I really enjoy about K-Pop is how quickly revenge escalates. Sure, we’ve all seen Carrie Underwood smash up her cheating ex’s truck, but that’s just one woman with a Louisville Slugger. When a Korean pop star goes for revenge, she’ll dress up like Halloween-on-acid, grab nine of her friends, and smash your whole world with a chainsaw. It takes all the cutesie sparkle of 3 year old’s princess birthday party and blends it with American Horror Story. For a country that has banned guns, their pop music can go from sassy to scary in 2 seconds. For me, it’s the juxtaposition of precious and precarious that makes me feel so alive.
Don’t believe me? Behold exhibit A.
Ailee – “(너나 잘해) Mind Your Own Business”
Ailee is not only one of my all time favorites but she’s a great example of what I’m talking about. Her ex treats her poorly so she corners him in a parking garage like the KGB then has her posse jump out with chainsaws and smashes up his PT Cruiser (I mean it’s a PT Cruiser, no loss.) She even goes to K-Pop jail for it. Not a care in the world.
Brown Eyed Girls – “Abracadabra”
This goes from 0 to 60 in 2.3 seconds. The Brown Eyed Girls, one of Korea’s long standing K-pop bands have always had a darker reputation. In this video they decided that the best way to get back at a guy who’s been cheating on all of them (dangerous) is to mess up his world. This guy, a bad cheating man, gets handcuffed to his bed and strapped to a bomb. This is in no way an acceptable stand-in for couples therapy.
2NE1 – “내가 제일 잘 나가(I AM THE BEST)”
This actually has nothing to do with revenge, it’s simply because 2NE1 is the best. And they want you to know it. They want you to know it so badly that they get all leather-clad and smash up all their Platinum Records and then shoot up the studio. Please take special note of the pastel ice cream helmet immediately before the sub-automatic machine guns come out.
Miss A – “Good-bye Baby”
This one takes a bit of time to get going, so if you want just jump ahead to 1:32. I’ll fill you in on what you missed. This guy, some producer/B-boy, is a misogynistic dick. He’s always show boating around, demeaning the hard working ladies of Miss A, getting their names wrong, and being skeezy. So, they bypass Human Resources and go straight to the obvious conflict resolution of drowning him. However, they get bored of that so they just blow him up. Problem solved. #girlpower
Lee Hyori – Bad Girls
Lee Hyori is a notorious bad girl in the world of K-Pop. She’s out spoken, strong, and sassy. In short, she’s amazing. She’s also got a record for being censored by the Korean pop media censor. That’s part of what makes this video so wonderful. I won’t ruin it for you, the story telling is masterful and about as subtle as Elton John wearing an air-raid siren. Have at it!
If you feel that I missed a classic example of K-Pop over reactions please let me know in the comments below. I promise I will look into it.