So as the otaku I am, it was inevitable that I would make a foray in to the world of K-pop and K-hiphop. Needless to say, I loved it. It may just be the novelty of listening to music with an infectious beat without care for lyrics(as I don’t understand Korean), but there is something undeniably talented about Korean artists-which is not true of all English language musicians.
That said, most of the super-candy-coated music of the female artists* and girl groups don’t agree with me. Nor do the over risque type(in Korean terms anyway), which tend to freak me out. The boy bands, however have the right amount of sass and innocent, not to mention overall music quality to stick it out for me.
Having obsessed over this, like many other things on this blog, for a long time however, even this music is starting to sound the same. That is until I found BLOCK B. Signed by Brand New Stardom Entertainment(apparently now Stardom Entertainment?), created by Cho PD, the boys bring a genuine hip hop vibe to a K-pop dominated market.
Not only is Welcome to the Block, their second studio album, chock full of awesome beats and synth sounds, but the rap provided by team leader Zico is amazing. Zico also composed several songs on the album, which seems to be highly unusual in the Korean music industry. Speaking of – the lyrics actually make sense, INCLUDING the English phrases used in the music. They mostly focus on girls or reputation, without the sex seen in English language rap. This is a huge plus for me.
Block B hit their highest popularity with the single release of Nalina(Go Crazy), a song about “causing a commotion” which is definitely something they do. Block B is one of the only Korean idol groups that allow themselves to joke around and be themselves in interviews and when on television(i.e MTV Match Up). Most fans love them for being such trolls, but it’s this that got them in big trouble. Unfortunately, they took their light-hearted attitude to an interview in Thailand and wound up disrespecting all of Thailand. A huge controversy followed, including a reprimand from follow Korean artists and international criticism.
Block B formally apologized numerous times but that did not stop the backlash. In fact, some people went so far as to petition for the suicide of Block B members, which sent the youngest member of the group, P.O into shock, for which he had to be hospitalized for. It seems if Block B is going to come out of this controversy, they will be much more careful. I for one hope they don’t lose their playful, honest edge and I know a lot of other fans would agree.
Here’s to hoping that “if” will become a “when” because Block B is a talent that would be a shame to lose!
*though I think IU is an exception based purely on her amazing voice