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OP-ED, Original Features

[MVP OP-ED] - The death of a K-Pop generation

By AllK_Maknae   Sunday, February 5, 2017   394,794   30,055   0



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Just a little under 10 years ago, the names that were buzzing across allkpop and everyone's newsfeeds were Super Junior, KARA, 2PM, f(x), TVXQ, After School, B2ST, Brown Eyed Girls and much more. Now the individuality and sound of this era is dead and manifested into the talented but admittedly cliche-ridden, trend oriented groups such as TWICE, BTS, NCT 127, Red Velvet, Seventeen, IOI, ASTRO, etc. that we all know of today.

SEE ALSO: 'The Unit' confirms there are no idols from SM, JYP, or YG

While some of these groups have done amazing, respectable things in their own right, there is no denying that they are pushing a new generation of K-Pop that was bridged together by previous artists. Check out a sick mashup of some of 2009's hits below and take a trip down memory lane.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not trashing the current artists. I'm a big fan of TWICE, G-Friend, recently disbanded IOI, and NCT 127 just as much as the next K-Pop fan. However, I did experience a generation of K-Pop groups that started the initial push of the Hallyu Wave (especially internationally).

I worry half of the new readers and fans would not even have a clue that these groups existed. It is even quite possible that half of these current fans of K-Pop wouldn't be fans of the genre without the breakthrough groups such as Wonder Girls, 2NE1, Big Bang, KARA and Girls' Generation, who definitely paved the way internationally. 

A "Step" in the right direction!

During that era, new groups had made an impact on younger and older generations alike, paid homage to their veteran singers and styles, and really had an individual sound for each group. Not to mention a distinct image and characteristic that made the group stand out.

Beforehand, fans wanted to buy whatever the idols were wearing and imitate their style. Now, fans simply buy whatever merch has their logo on it (mostly from unauthorized stores). There is nothing unique to imitate since the image is becoming so obviously been-there-done-that. Alongside that, there are an overwhelming amount of nugu-groups, with good-looking but talentless members and plenty of debuts heading nowhere.

If these new groups are even successful, they are riding off of the efforts of a previous generation. Idols used to train for as long as 8-10 years but now rookies simply go on a show and become an instant success or are scouted off the streets. I'm not blaming these newbie's methods of achieving fame, but some artists haven't taken the time to mold themselves the way older generations did. That is what made K-Pop so different. They worked hard for their image, sound and attention-grabbing flair rather than jumping on the bandwagon that will sell them best.

Big named groups like Girls' Generation, EXO, 2PM, and f(x) spent years in the practice room and are some of the few surviving groups of the generation. But sadly these artists are even taking hits with the loss of some members. Fans can't get over the fact that some of these group's line-ups have changed and even created stagnant inactivity for groups. If members don't pick up solo activities like Amber of f(x) has, for example, they will (most likely) end up like Minzy from 2NE1. Dust in the wind.

Yea, I said it.

Some groups feel they can't even meet with today's sound and style because so many other groups have dominated the new generation's stage. Older groups are being pushed to the side or coming close to quits (I'm talking about Rainbow, Dal Shabet, and Nine Muses here). Poor agency management is a key factor, I know - but we can't ignore the fact that K-Pop's recent direction/style is pandering to the Western trends (Trap, Hip Hop, etc) alongside the new, fresh faces on stage. Mandatory military service for some of K-pop's biggest boy groups haven't helped matters as well but that's a story for another day.

The demand for music is changing and sadly our older generation groups can't (or simply won't) change with it. Music from 2006-2010 is starting to become an oldie-but-a-goodie rather than a, "Hey, that's my jam" sort of song.

Mortified by the fact their music is old now. T_T

Did a generation die? Frankly, yes it did. But how? Because K-Pop has evolved into something different than what it used to be.

New groups today are just handed silver spoon opportunities with numerous events and concerts abroad, thanks to the increased interest in Korean culture these days - which is making them a face/representation of K-Pop for many newcomers. But, many new groups pander to the trends way too much, often appearing as try-hards with no real sense of musical identity. 

With the disbandment of groups like the Wonder Girls, 2NE1, 4minute, and the like, that late 2000's sound and appeal we have grown to love has just vanished off the stage and become a memory.

If rookies aren't following the trends, the group's companies are pushing them to do something new and different, which in turn, loses that K-Pop element many older K-Pop fans fell in love with. It isn't the fact that it has "already been done," it is the fact that K-Pop is trying to be something it isn't in order to take advantage of their new found, worldwide attention. Don't go chasing waterfalls, K-Pop.

  1. misc.

Mina_Rose Wednesday, May 3, 2017

I feel like you're a new Exo-l/older groups fan. Very respectable and stated the truth in your blog/post. I'll be looking forward to future things like this.

artemist Tuesday, April 4, 2017

I started as a kpop fan in this generation. The only thing I have to point out is if you're talking about groups or solo idols paving the way internationally, specifically Japan, - how can you not mention Boa and DBSK? They literally broke into the Japanese market on their own, paving the way for literally all other kpop groups. They didn't even do it as kpop idols but started from the bottom and revamped themselves in a different genre of music.Unlike other groups who first tried to break into the market by half-assing it and doing Japanese versions of their tracks. Not to say that DBSK doesn't have Japanese versions of songs like say Mirotic, but they are widely considered to be artists, not specifically Korean artists. It seems like a gross oversight to not mention both.

TaijiGOD Sunday, February 12, 2017

The greed of agencies killed this generation of kpop, this is sad truth.

MayJeong TaijiGOD Monday, February 13, 2017


JohnnyJanJan Sunday, February 12, 2017

Some people said that this is nonsense and Fxxk or so whatever but that is the truth man! The author just wants to express the changes in most New Gen-Kpop Groups(I'm not talking on most groups) Groups like DBSK,2NE1,Wonder Girls,SS501,Shinhwa,4Minute,SNSD,B2ST and etc. must be respected. I talked to one Army and told them about DBSK,SS501 and 2NE1 but did you know what they said? "Lol,those groups has ugly voices just like their faces" then I'm like WTF? What about those Good-Looking untalented K-Idols? Do you consider them great ? Is that called respect ? Oh My God! I know that I sound stupid to other peps but "Truth Hurts Girl" And let me just add this(this is out of topic) When I scroll down to see the comments on Girl's Day's music videos, I saw a lot of people calling them sluts. Just Because they danced in a sexy and Saliva dropping way, it doesn't mean that they are sluts. How about the boys that stripping off their shirts and show their bodies ? You think it's just normal right ? I'm a Fanboy but I feel bad for most Girl Groups oh God.. That's all P.S: Sorry for the bad Grammar and wrong placing of punctuation marks :)

lynchingprinchy JohnnyJanJan Monday, February 13, 2017

what the heck! how dare them say that DBSK has an ugly voices!!! gosh!! seriously, they were legends!! they were one of the best of the best even if its acapella, and they always sing live!!! i think that person needs to clean his/her ears!!! uggghhhh!!!! and they are good looking people!!! 2NE1 were soo damn pretty!! can't believe they said that!!!! ugghhhh!!! i'm so mad!!!

JohnnyJanJan lynchingprinchy Wednesday, February 15, 2017

She's my diehard classmate! But seriously she's not pretty to judge them like that. I like BTS but the fans ? Nah, i don't think so. I always wanted to judge her but I learned to control myself because it won't even change anything. Whatever happens, I will always love TVXQ!!

lynchingprinchy JohnnyJanJan Wednesday, February 15, 2017

yes, don't judge her by her appearance.. you won't get anything from it.. but they don't have the right to judge other kpop groups!... why don't they just focus on the idols that they like! i don't get it!!... the thing is if they don't feel or like the genre of other idol groups then they should just shut their mouth and not judge... they should respect other idol groups because whether they are old groups or the new ones, those idols worked hard to get where they are now... and they have their own talents.... i'm just pissed that your friend told you that the LEGENDARY GROUPS have ugly voices and ugly faces... hyyyyyy....

vierrastreet Saturday, February 11, 2017

I'm entering the kpop world because of SNSD .

Shiraa Saturday, February 11, 2017

"Idols used to train for as long as 8-10 years but now rookies simply go on a show and become an instant success or are scouted off the streets".. How is someone having to train for 10 years before debut even something to be proud of when you know that they're actually going through hell? If someone is talented then shouldn't they be able to debut when they're ready for it? Aside from that, a lot of idols still train for years before debut and for those who didn't it's often because they've already had some kind of training before signing with a company (music schools, dance schools, acting classes etc.).  The only thing that I agree with is that to really call yourself a kpop fan you should at least pay some respect to the older generations and acknowledge what they've achieved. But to disrespect newer groups like this and to question their talent simply because they're not from the previous generation and also to come up with these generalisations about new kpop fans is just pure ignorance. I first listened to kpop when BB x 2NE1's Lollipop came out and I listened to some BB and 2NE1 songs after that, but I soon forgot about them. I got into kpop again thanks to BTS in 2015 and yes I love that the new sounds in the kpop industry. However, this does not mean that I don't know anything about previous generations. I listen to Brown Eyed Girls, Super Junior, 2PM, Shinhwa, Sechskies, TVXQ, f(x), Infinite etc etc. Just because I'm not from your generation of fans doesn't mean that I don't know a thing about older groups. Also, it's funny how you put EXO in the same category as f(x), Girls Generation etc. and BTS in the group of newbies when BTS debuted one year after EXO and out of exo NOBODY trained for 8-10 years. Neither did anyone from Girls Generation (Sunny even trained for around 5months under SM) nor did anyone from 2PM (their members were trainees for the same period as most BTS members). And another thing which pisses me off is that you assume that groups these days use a particular sound to appeal to the masses.... When new music genres are created it is obvious that people in Korea are going to learn about these genres and listen to them as well. Perhaps these groups are making the music that they like and that they usually listen to themselves. It's not like Koreans are unaware of what's going on around the world and that they only listen to trot. Seriously, this entire article is so flawed it's unbelievable.

Wang_delulu_D Shiraa Thursday, May 11, 2017

"Sunny even trained for around 5months under SM" true but I hope you also knew that Sunny trained around 4 years in another company that's why SM didn't have her train for a lot more years again.

BoBo101 Saturday, February 11, 2017

I've only been into Kpop for about 4-5 years, when Exo were still considered rookies, but there is definately one thing that I can tell that changed. There's a reason why groups like Gfriend, BTS, and Mamamoo got so popular despite being in nugu-agencies. They all have a personality, and real genuine feel and it doesn't seem forced. As much as I love visuals like NCT and IOI, they don't really have that authenticity older groups like Big Bang and Apink had and have.

hendrik_shi Saturday, February 11, 2017

2009-2010... SS501, After School... I want them back.

robin1 Friday, February 10, 2017

Whoever wrote this fukking sucks.

JohnnyJanJan robin1 Wednesday, February 15, 2017

whoever commented this sucks must read news and updates!

robin1 JohnnyJanJan Wednesday, February 15, 2017

ohhhhhhhhhh somebody wanted a comment back. oooohhhhhhhhh.

mckei91 Friday, February 10, 2017

2nd K-pop generation is the BEST. They start the Hallyu wave to the world at the time internet still not global (sr can't describe this). They let us know who the 1st generation are. They built a strong base for the 3rd generation step on and launch. The 3rd more talents, more visuals than the 2nd but because their conditions better. So Don't compare them. They are not at the same level.

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