[NEWS] Complex Magazine: The Complex Guide To K-Pop

22 Nov


Be honest. If you were asked about Korean pop, you’d probably mention monolithic girl groups, over-elaborate music videos, and Psy. And on all points, you’d be correct.

But look past the rampant guyliner and girls in boyshorts; K-pop’s got a lot of hidden gems. It’s not all manufactured teen idols puppeteered by multi-million dollar companies. Contrary to popular belief, Korean pop is teeming with sounds that are sexy, cool, and soulful.

On the following list, you won’t find stalwarts like Big Bang, SHINee, or Girls’ Generation (and if none of that makes sense to you, don’t worry). The aforementioned acts are certainly relevant as K-pop megastars, but we’re focusing more on artists who are less likely to be on your radar. Here, then, are the Korean pop artists you should know who are doing it right now.

(parts omitted)



Taeyang and former Complex cover boy G-Dragon (the two are affectionately referred to by fans as GDYB, combining G-Dragon and Young-bae, Taeyang’s given name), are at the pinnacle of cool.

Although they’re best known as two-fifths of the wildly popular group Big Bang, they’re the only two who spent their childhoods learning the craft together. And while their solo music always tops the charts (peep Taeyang’s dance version of “Ringa Linga” and G-Dragon’s beautifully schizophrenic “One of a Kind”), they are an even stronger force as a duo.

In fact, the appeal of GDYB is so strong that YouTube specifically tapped them to shoot a music video for the YouTube Music Awards. Which is perfect, because both artists flow so seamlessly across genres, including hip-hop, R&B, acoustic, rock, and traditional K-pop. They really represent what it means to be artists in an industry that rarely gives room to individual creativity. (They also may make you want to do weird shit to your hair and clothes, all in the name of art.)

Key Tracks: “Good Boy


via bigbangupdates


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