2020 was another year filled with amazing K-Pop releases. Out of the countless new music videos that came our way this year, here are the favorites that the allkpop staff loved the most!
ishani-sarkar's pick: AGUST D - Daechwita
AGUST D's music video for 'Daechwita' was also my favorite music video from 2020 owing to its heavy symbolism and subversion of stereotypes. The video, especially the motif of the scar, plays with Korean traditions that dictate that someone with a scar on his body can never be a King. AGUST D comes out with a scar right across his face and he's quite evidently the King, which speaks volumes about the struggle that went into him getting where he is. This, for me, symbolizes the journey of AGUST D through disapproval, disappointments, and malicious haters to victory and success. Naturally, therefore, this 'King' is defensive and represents AGUST D's shadow self. Whereas, the other version of AGUST D in the music video, which eventually ends up executing the King, is his true self, which overcomes the negative feelings that come with defensiveness and reigns supreme. The music video is rife with imagery and symbolism. Jin and Jungkook's cameo just makes it that much better.
lorraineye's pick: NCT U - 90s Love
When I heard NCT U was doing a nineties themed comeback, I immediately jumped on it. As a 90s kid myself, the song is nostalgic in all the right ways and pays homage to some of the most iconic drum breaks and vocal stylings of this hip hop era. "90s Love" MV has the right amount of everything: delightful color palettes, incredible editing, animations, and killer choreography make this one of the most attention-grabbing MVs of this year. There's a sort of vintage charm to this MV that NCT U hasn't really gone for in previous MVs, and I appreciate this changeup on "90's Love". They scored big on this blast-from-the-past inspired MV.
Paul's pick: The Quiett - gloflo i
After splitting up with Dok2 and Illionaire Records, The Quiett goes back to his roots with some great hip-hop. This track by Korean producer laptopboyboy is fire, and the MV matches the song wonderfully. You get great visuals of Hong Kong, making me wish for COVID-19 to disappear so I can safely travel again.
Mocha89's pick: ITZY - Not Shy
I chose Itzy's 'Not Shy' because of the bold outfits, unique desert setting, and energizing dance moves. This is my favorite music video of 2020.
moonkun's pick: NCT 127 - Kick It
The music video for "Kick it" featured the members dressed in a variety of amazing outfits, and I especially enjoyed the traditional oriental theme of the filming set. From the taekwondo kick in the first ten seconds, I was immediately hooked on this music video!
olmal's pick: Irene & Seulgi - Naughty
Aside from the attitude controversy, Irene has shown her growth as an artist in this M/V. We all knew Seulgi was one of the best dancers but Irene really proved herself she can dance too. These two beautiful girls show off their moves in perfect coordination and synchronization, which makes watching their performance so satisfying and keeps me returning to the video. This year had ups and downs for the group (and I understand many would disagree), but I hope the upcoming years treat the girls better.
KayRosa's pick: A.C.E - Goblin (Favorite Boys)
Although it's not unusual for K-Pop groups to use hybrid aesthetics for their concept, A.C.E's "Goblin (Favorite Boys)" MV redefines the meaning of cross-genre in every way possible. First, the MV incorporates both traditional Eastern and Western figurations of the goblin and feature garments that transcend historical time periods. Secondly, the boys loosely wear Korean hanbok on top of rock-and-roll t-shirts, analogous to the hybrid rock-dance genre of the song itself. Thirdly, the MV blurs the lines between gender identities as some members wear hats and garments typically associated with maidens or courtesans from the Chosun era. There is also an intimate scene that features Jun and Chan wearing silky outerwear with nothing underneath, creating an unusually sultry atmosphere. On top of the lyrics that also blend romance with fantasy-horror, the visuals capture the viewers' attention with an amalgamation of traditional architecture and paintings, thundering strobe lights, 90s-era soft glow, leopard prints, leather jackets, stud jewelry, jade earrings, and more...as the list goes on.
hannahleex's pick: BTS - Dynamite
BTS’s “Dynamite” music video was, well, dynamite — and for a good reason. Both the catchy, upbeat melody and colorful music video proved to be the perfect summer antidote in the midst of the many challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. From the styling to the backdrops, to even the choreography itself, the music video was full of a retro feel. This music video did an outstanding job giving each member their respective spotlight and highlighting the group’s insane visuals. I could feel the energy and liveliness in the music video through the screen. This music video is one that makes will have you unconsciously smiling by the end!
jennywill's pick: (G)I-DLE - Oh My God
One of the most visually stunning MVs of the year, with amazing acting from, of course, all the members but especially Minnie. The MV pushes the limits of what's grotesque and what's beautiful, which is probably exactly what the girls wanted to portray with the song and MV.
danisurst's pick: Stray Kids - God's Menu
While there were quite a few music videos I liked this year, the one that left the biggest impression on me is the music video for Stray Kids' "God's Menu," the clever title track off of their album 'GO Live.' The restaurant metaphor could have easily stopped with the song's title. However, it was also incorporated into so many of both the audio and visual components of the music video. The food-inspired lyrics still managed to remain very hip-hop braggadocio. The 'cooking' point choreography had them seasoning, stirfrying, and chopping as they moved like a perfectly synced unit, and the apron-style outfits were incredibly chic. The professionalism in the execution of such details really elevated the concept, and even several months and music videos later, it's the one I'm still going back to watch.
germainej's pick: AGUST D - Daechwita
I enjoyed how BTS' SUGA decided to delve into history for his MV concept. The set design looked exactly like something out of a historical K-drama, and I enjoyed the storytelling between SUGA's rap and the old-school aesthetic.
veryuyu's pick: TXT - Eternally
This music video goes beyond just a music video. It tells 5 different stories that capture the essence of the bizarre song that is palpitation-inducing yet calming at the same time.
beansss' pick: NCT U - Make A Wish (Birthday Song)
This MV isn't very complex. They don't really use any extravagant sets or props, but using what sets, lighting, effects, and props they did. They told a really fun, K-Pop version of the story of Genie in the lamp. I think one of the powerful factors in the storytelling was the pitch-black background that repeatedly came up; it set up that trippy, dreamlike mood. Paired with some of the 'Aladdin'-inspired doorways and carpeting, the MV portrayed NCT U as K-Pop's own genies, having their own party inside the lamp and enticing their listeners to rub the lamp and make a wish. The member selection for this unit was great as well. I don't know if it was intended, but this unit ended being an unexpected unit full of dance giants. I appreciated how each of the members brought a different vibe - the forever center Taeyong, the Dreamies' smooth and fluid dancer Nana, the new wildcard Shotaro, the flawlessly perfect vocal/dancer Jaehyun - everyone put their own flare to this song and choreography, which was super fun. And I'm sorry for being late to the party Czennies, but Xiaojun was a discovery for me this year. I had a hard time telling him apart from Yangyang last year, but wow, "Make A Wish" educated me real good. NCT's 99's really know how to run this!
KG's pick: BTS - Black Swan
It was hard choosing between the official MV and the art film of "Black Swan," but I ended up choosing the official music video. Both videos are beautiful, but the impact of seeing the BTS members dance, especially Jimin, puts this one over the top. A beautiful and well-produced MV that shows BTS's diversity in their musical styles.