Korean Bands and Songs for Non-K-Poppers

Everyone starts somewhere. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for that fateful day that I discovered Big Bang’s Fantastic Baby. Now I’m a hardcore K-Popper. I love K-Pop, and given the choice, would probably choose it over American/Western pop. So I’ve decided to comprise a list of the best (in my opinion) K-Pop songs and bands to get your non-K-Pop friends into K-Pop. I’ll mostly be including title songs because of music videos and dancing, but I’ll also give at least one non-title track.

1.) EXO

EXO is huge internationally. They have a huge fanbase and following (EXO-L), and they promote in Korean and Chinese simultaneously as well as their recent Japanese release. They’re still a new band, and they definitely have room to grow, but fans were captivated by their vocalists (D.O, Baekhyun, Chen, Luhan, though I like them all), their handsome looks, and their incredible dancing. They definitely can improve on their live performances where they both dance and sing at the same time, but like I said, they’re still a fairly young band, so they definitely have room to grow.

a.) Overdose

b.) Growl

c.) Baby Don’t Cry

EXO 1

2.) Big Bang

Definitely the oldest band on this list, Big Bang is the perfect group for non-K-Pop fans. They’ve been around for a while and while they’ve played with their concept a lot, they’ve pretty much stayed down the hip-hop/R&B road. The individual members also have solo songs, which gives a glimpse as to what each member is capable of.

a.) Fantastic Baby

b.) Bang Bang Bang

c.) Taeyang – Wedding Dress (There’s also an English version)

d.) Daesung – Wings

Although there are many more, I’ve limited it to two, and I’ve feature two solo songs from two of the members.

big bang

3.) BTS

YES ARMY IN THE HOUSE!

(Ahem) Excuse my excitement. BTS is another really popular international band. Fans are captivated by their extremely talented members, their vocalists, and especially their rapper line. They’re all extremely handsome and the dancing is out of this world. They’ve stayed relatively true to their hip-hop/R&B roots, with the exception of their latest Dope, which has more of a pop feel.

a.) Bulletproof pt 2

b.) I Need U

c.) Cypher pt 2 & Cypher pt 3

d.) Hold Me Tight

e.) Rapmonster – Do You (from his mixtape)

BTS

4.) 4Minute

4Minute is kind of a hit or miss for me, but I know fans really love their grungier hip-hop feel. While I really enjoy some of their music, I don’t love all of it. Hyuna, the rapper of the group, also releases many solo songs, though she plays around with concepts, often ending with a sexy image.

a.) Crazy

b.) What’s Your Name

c.) Hyuna – Change

d.) Hyuna – Red

4minute

5.) BOA

BOA is one of those rare gems in K-Pop. She’s successfully made it as a soloist in a world dominated by pop bands. She even had an American debut, and though you may not have heard her songs, they’re amazing.

a.) Eat You Up

b.) Energetic

BOA

PS: It was brought to my attention that 2PM is another of these bands. Yes, 2PM is perfect for non-K-Pop fans.

a.) Hand’s Up

b.) Go Crazy

c.)A.D.T.O.Y (or as I like to call it A Dick That’s Only Yours) Watch the vid, you’ll get it.

2pm

Fighting!

Rapmonster

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