Best of K-Pop (2016 Edition)

Oh, the end of the year! It’s such a good time to reflect on everything that went well (or wrong! *cough cough*) over the past 12 months. Now, I know what you’re thinking: ‘What is she talking about? The end of the year is long gone, it’s February now!’. And I am aware of that…slightly. It’s just with all these assessments going on I could barely notice that 2016 is over, and I’m pretty sure most will relate to this. So, I thought I might do a retrospection now, but then I realised I don’t want to make you cry. Just kidding, 2016 wasn’t that bad, but it certainly could’ve been much better.

Regardless, I know most people consider it to be ‘the worst year in history’, but I know someone who would disagree. Well actually, ‘something’, not someone. Ok, let me put it down another way. If the K-Pop genre was a person, she or he would certainly have said ‘2016 was a very good year for me!’. However, since it’s not a person and it can’t write articles about itself, I took the liberty to back up that affirmation by making a top 10 of the best K-Pop songs and videos from last year. Oh, boy, it took me a lot of time to get to the purpose of this article!

But, before we begin, I want to mention that the ranking that I made is based only on my personal opinions and it has nothing to do with any official charts. That being said, welcome aboard K-Bus, driven by yours truly. K-Bus will take you on a tour of K-popLand, so sit back and enjoy the ride! Now, let our journey begin! (Also, a quick observation that I do not own a bus driving licence, so you travel with me at your own risk).

  1. B.A.P – That’s My Jam

If you look on your right, you’ll see the six boys of B.A.P performing a very entertaining song called ‘That’s My Jam’. These boys have been in the music industry for quite some time now and they showed us that they can swing from tough to fun guys in a heartbeat. Even though I enjoy more their tough side, I think they really slayed with this release in 2016. And I think the video is very funny. It makes me smile every time. Now, keep your eyes open for the following attraction.

  1. Nct U – The 7th Sense

We are coming up to Nct U, which is a rookie group that debuted in April of 2016, so they are very new and, I think, a very nice addition to K-popLand. ‘The 7th Sense’ is their debut song and you can easily tell that it is different from your regular K-Pop songs. It’s not something I would usually call K-Pop, but it sounds very good and along with the video and choreography, I find the whole experience fascinating. Maybe it’s just me, but when I listen to this song it puts me into a trance. That’s why we’ll move on quickly. You don’t want your driver being into a trance, especially when they don’t even have a licence.

  1. Monsta X – All In

Now, if you look carefully on your left, you can spot Monsta X playing ‘All In’. I think the best thing about this song is the thumping beat that you can hear in the background in some parts of the song. Also, I love the rapping parts. Hey, do you know what happens when K-Pop meets the movies Hunger Games and The Craft? I’m telling you what. You get this music video! It’s awesome and I think altogether, the song and the video build some sort of anticipation. You feel like something is coming. And you know what that is? The next attraction, of course! You will be able to see it on your right in a few seconds.

  1. History – Queen

Although History is a boy group that’s been around for a while, I’ve never heard of them before the release of ‘Queen’. I don’t know much about them, just that they killed me with this song. It’s insanely good and catchy. And the choreography! Oh, the choreography is so good! Also, I love the part at the end of the video, when they all wear suits and they dance. They look amazing! And I think that’s enough praising for one boy group, so let’s move on!

Hey, you! I know they are very sexy, but stop taking pictures! Now, sit down and put your seat belt on! Oh, kids these days! They have no consideration for safety! Where were we? Ah, yes!

  1. Bastarz – Make It Rain

Our next stop is at Block B (lame joke, I know). Block B is a boy group of seven members and BASTARZ is a sub-unit of this group, which consists of three members out of the seven. Saying that this song is awesome wouldn’t do it justice. I admit I’m not the biggest fan of the video, but I think the song slays in the best way possible. And just as the previous one, it’s so catchy. I listened to it once and then I caught myself singing it in the shower. Of course, just the English parts.

Now, because we’ve done half of the tour, before we go to the next attraction we will take a break of five minutes for anyone who would like to use the restroom.

  1. Blackpink – Boombayah

If you made it back on the bus and we didn’t leave you behind because you were taking too much time in the restroom, chances are you’re hearing some awesome beats. That’s because we’re approaching the party that Blackpink is having. Also, that means you made it to number five on the list. Congratulations! So let me introduce you to the guests of the party. Blackpink is a group of four girls, the first one on this list and, sadly, the only one. These ladies debuted in August of this year and they were on tops ever since, including mine. This song represents perfectly the group which I think is very different from the typical Korean girl groups. Now, I know you’re having a lot of fun at this party, but we have to move on to the next attraction.

  1. Pentagon – Gorilla

We are coming up to the zoo, where you’ll see a gorilla (ah, another lame joke). You’ll actually see Pentagon performing their song ‘Gorilla’ which, I assure you, is more entertaining than seeing a normal gorilla. And, just as they say in the song, it their performance will probably get you ‘like a gorilla’. I love this song and it’s even better when you’re watching the video. In case you didn’t notice, at the beginning of the video there’s this guy running and his shadow on the wall is not a human’s but a gorilla’s. Well, after seeing that, I knew I came to the right place. Also, their choreography involves dance moves that imitate a gorilla. How cool is that!?

Kids, stop acting like gorillas and sit down! We’re almost at the end of the tour, be patient!

  1. Seventeen – Highlight

You can probably see in the distance colourful lights. That’s because Seventeen are having a concert right as we’re speaking, and if we’re lucky enough, we’ll get to listen to their best song which is ‘Highlight’. I have to mention that the four boys who are singing this song are only the performance unit of Seventeen, which has 13 members in total. As for their performance, what can I say? Song, outfits, choreography, setting, everything is on point! I think they are very beautiful in a very non-sexualised way. See for yourself.

  1. Exo – Monster

And, as we turn the corner here, you can see Exo performing their amazing song ‘Monster’. I think this is such a powerful song, especially when they say ‘you can call me monster’ and then the chorus comes. Their choreography is amazing – they move their feet so fast! I don’t know how they can do that, but I’d love to be able to dance like that. And if you were impressed by this song, wait till we get to our final destination, which is already visible on the right.

  1. BTS – Fire

And, here we are, at our main attraction. If you made it through the whole tour, you’re a hero, so congratulations again! I feel like I should say more about BTS, since they are the first in my top. 2016 was a very good year for them. They released their second full-length album ‘Wings’ which hit number one on iTunes in 26 countries. The album also made it to the UK Official Albums Charts, marking it as the first Korean album to do so. They won ‘Artist of the Year’ at MAMA (Mnet Asian Music Awards) which is a huge deal in Asia. They also won ‘Album of the Year’ at MMA (Melon Music Awards) with a previous album. ‘Fire’ is on the track list of that album and even though it’s not their most praised release of 2016, it’s the best for me. You know when you see someone and the realisation that that person is so cool hits you like a fast train? Well, that’s what happens to me every time I watch this video. They’re so cool! And the song just can’t let me sit down. I can’t help it but dance to it. The choreography is so cool that I tried a couple of times to imitate some of their dance moves. It didn’t work out that well, but one should never give up, am I right? Anyway, enjoy the ultimate song on this list!

 

If you’re one of the survivors of this journey, we thank you for choosing K-Bus Services and we hope to see you again on our magical tours. Have a nice day!

Image Credits: Pixabay.com

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Miruna Radu

Music Editor, Experience Editor and Deputy Arts Editor 2017/18

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