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Posted by MaiaD Thursday, July 7, 2022

The Concept Kings: VIXX and their brilliant Music Videos

AKP STAFF

Through the years, K-Pop groups have delivered many concepts, from the usual and expected down to those out of this world and out of the ordinary. These concepts become the underlying theme right beside the message of the song itself, sometimes a concept to complement the lyrics, but in other cases, acts as a contradictory theme and set apart from the song lyrics. 


Other groups even use these concepts as a theme connected to the overarching storyline built up in the alternate universe used by the group, providing much more significant meaning to the general and specific details seen in their music videos. Even such groups have storylines connected to other groups within their label or company, building a bigger alternative universe that envelops each of them. These leave fans scraping for more details and clues, ending up theorizing about what could happen and what would the next concept be. 


But aside from the concepts that feature complex webs of theories and storylines, some concepts exist as is, taken literally and without much more complexity. Some concepts are meant to simply refresh or to fit in with the usual image of the group or whenever season the song will be released.


Many groups from the past up until the recent proved that there is no doubt that each concept continues to be amazing, with everyone delivering through their ways and pulling off concepts that may sound unbelievable to many. Among these groups shine the six-member boy group, VIXX, which was dubbed by K-Pop fans, critics, and people in the industry alike as the King of Concepts. 

VIXX

VIXX is a boy group formed through the 2012 reality show MyDOL consisting of six members, N, Leo,  Ken, Ravi, Hyuk, and now former member Hongbin, who recently left the group last August 2020. The group name is about the acronym for voice, visual, and value in Excelsis, which they embodied through their undeniable performances. They stood out as their music, lyrics, choreography, and overall stage performances are crafted together to an overarching concept, a storyline that will keep you hooked, not to mention its charm, especially during their live performances as it does not simply involve the usual sing and dance performance.


Several journalists and critics have pointed out that they have explored unknown areas of the theatrical side of K-Pop, touching concepts that are usually not used among musicians, particularly among idols. Their releases always tackled the depth of raw human emotion, from positive emotions such as hope, dreams, and love, as well as the scarily dark sides such as obsession and insanity.

From their debut, VIXX never failed the audiences, particularly their fans, the Starlights, to showcase their strengths in concepts by bringing life and embodying them. Aside from words, the best way to see and believe their uncontested status as Kings of Concepts is to see how they made these revolutionary concepts through the music videos in their whole career.

Here are some of the music videos you can take an interest in, depending on the concept you would like to see, and who knows, you might be a Starlight afterward! 

1. Super Hero

Super Hero is VIXX's debut track, released on May 24, 2012, serving as the group's debut single and single album. You can definitely see that the concept way back then was their youthful and refreshing charms, as they just recently debuted. The song's fresh pop sound and trendy synth chord patterns match the bright colors in the music video and the fashionable clothing during that era. The lyrics and the music video introduce you to the young VIXX, the rookies who will be your superhero even if they are just starting, and the journey of how they will eventually make imaginations into a reality.

2. Rock Ur Body

Rock Ur Body, the title track of their second single album, featured the six members alongside SISTAR's Dasom. The music video centered around the idea of an arcade, which seemed to showcase games as a metaphor for love, as seen when Dasom puts a coin in the slot to play the game called Rock Ur Body, and the arcade machine displays the VIXX members dancing in their full glory. However, the usual love is a game concept was crushed by steering from the usual idea that it meant love is something you simply play with and instead used the idea that love is something you get completely engaged with, from the moment you start up until you reach your goal. 

3. On and On

On and On served as the group's third single and became what people thought was the start of their brave take on the unusual dark concepts, portraying a novel concept of being space vampires. The whole concept was built up with the haunting concept and jacket photos, signaling that the VIXX members are now ready to take a step outside of their youthful concepts. Although not many understood the idea at first due to the concept being new, it caught attention as the music video told the story of a fruitless chase. The members continuously pursue the woman even if they might get hurt again, while the woman deliberately toys with them and makes them fall in love harder than before.

4. hyde

Ringing a familiar name, the song was inspired by the fictional story of “Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” continuing through the genre of dark supernatural concepts. Hyde was their first mini-album and was the title of its lead single, and the beauty lies in its details and the idea of the VIXX members having extremely different dual identities. This can be scary for some people who are faint of heart, as the music video included maggots and tarantulas and violent scenes characterized by screaming and even strangulation. The members also pulled off the concept, acting suited to the idea of their identities shifting from the good to the bad, from fighting for self-control to eventually fall from grace. The lyrics and the concept surrounded a toxic relationship, showing what happens when some people hurt their significant others only to apologize that it won’t happen again but would eventually repeat.

5. G.R.8.U

Switching up their concepts and turning 360, VIXX members now explore a much cuter concept than their earlier releases with G.R.8.U, the repackaged album Jekyll's lead single. Now you might think that it is not any different than the usual summer songs, but once you see the music video, you'll learn what made it special! The music video was actually shot in reverse, and that means that the members have to learn the lyrics of the song in reverse as well for it to perfectly sync to the audio. This gets better as this is the lead track for the album Jekyll, following Hyde, which referenced that this was the flip side of their personality, wherein Jekyll represented their good side. And it makes sense that everything was shot in reverse because they were actually looking back to their past selves when they weren't consumed by the evil just yet, and the ending represents that they eventually lost control, which led to the existence of Hyde.

6. Only U

Far from everything they have done yet during that time, VIXX strays away from their usual theatrical and supernatural concepts with Only U, which was a pre-released single before the upcoming full-length album, Voodoo. The music video was shot in Stockholm and presented a much chill and laidback concept this time, rocking an R&B genre that showcased their pure vocals. The whole thing was practically an artsy video, flexing the beautiful scenery in their long shots and alleyways while the members walk around. You can also see that their styling is out of their usual brands, with the members now sporting darker hair colors and muted colors of clothing that were out of the usual flamboyant styling.

7. Voodoo Doll

Voodoo Doll is the title track of their full-length album Voodoo, which will eventually help VIXX earn their first music show win since their debut. To minors and to people of the faint heart, one should be slightly careful as one may get triggered by the various graphic scenes depicted in the music video, which was tagged as rated 19. The concept is really grotesque and unsettling- one may even describe it as creepy or shocking, but it was a way to express the connection of the members to the voodoo doll. According to the lyrics, the VIXX members portray previous boyfriends who mistreated the girl in the music video, and the song is written from the viewpoint of the voodoo doll itself. The doll appears to be in love with the girl and swears retribution on anyone who wrongs her by offering itself up and making the members pay, explaining the fact why the members feel trapped while the lyrics are similar to a pledge.

8. ETERNITY

VIXX's fourth single album, Eternity, showcases the title track with the same title. This time, the VIXX members return as humans for their concepts but have traveled through time, dancing around a dark concept but rather sad and almost desperate. The VIXX members are acting as if they were stuck in a time loop, experiencing a happy dream of being with their lover but eventually comes to an end because those were all just memories of their good past. The only way they could continue such a period of eternity was to never wake up, with a member in the plot being killed off and buried. Theories point out that Eternity happened before the Voodoo Doll in their timeline, as seen in the details such as the clocks and the fact that the said member who died will eventually resurrect in Voodoo Doll, which brought about their cursed relationship with the girl.

9. Error

Error is the second mini-album by VIXX, which features the single of the same name. The group now dives into a dystopian, sci-fi concept, following the illustration in the album- a steel heart twisted and turned. Now starred alongside KARA's Youngji, the VIXX members are now cyborgs who attempt to redesign themselves together with their memories, which they struggle to decide whether to both delete and remember, as seen in the lyrics. Hongbin, who plays the role of the protagonist in the music video, will eventually attempt to render a cyborg version of Youngji, who plays the love interest, but this is erroneous, not to mention the illegality of implanting memories unto cyborgs. They will eventually attempt to escape by disintegrating from their individual bodies to be together as one.

10. Love Equation 

For this era, VIXX went back to the 1990s to perform a new version of the hit song "Farewell Formula" by the well-known band R.ef. The members retain their distinctive character in the MV even if they strayed away from the supernatural features that typically set them apart. Their concept was simply having fun, almost a glimpse of their usual life together, from the moment they wake up to the moments they spend together as friends, even if there are hurdles along the way. The minor glimpses of the dance from VIXX's latest single, "Error," will be a little more exciting for the viewers and fans. It's good to see a connection between this bright side and their darker side, as if VIXX is reminding us that we shouldn't fear that either side will ever be lost.

11. Chained Up

Chained Up is the second studio album by VIXX and features their arguably most popular and prominent single Chained Up. With the bold slave concept of the song, which stretches to the album concept, they turned upside down the entire industry and shook them to the core (particularly the so-called slave contract included in the Control versions of the album). This was one of the most popular songs of 2015 and might have started the choker craze, not to mention the extreme popularity among fans who want to see them recreate the song once more. Although the concept was definitely dark, singing around the idea of voluntarily submitting completely to their love despite the probable pains, the music video did not focus much on their usual intensity but rather featured seductive and sensual vibes. 

12. Dynamite

2016 marked an important year to VIXX, with the start of their 2016 Conception Project, each part of the said trilogy taking the Greek mythology concept. The project started with the album Zelos, along with the title track Dynamite, which broke from the expectation of the fans as it was a very colorful and musically upbeat release. Don't be fooled by the song's cheery vibe; the song is not in any way telling a joyful story. Instead, the song is about a relationship that is ending and the frustration and betrayal the members are feeling. VIXX, however, sings of numbing their grief with drink and abrasive denial as opposed to moping, encapsulating god Zelos, who is the god of eager rivalry, emulation, envy, jealousy, and zeal.

13. Fantasy

Fantasy, the title track of the second installment of the VIXX 2016 Conception trilogy, the Hades album, referencing the god of the underworld. With the music video, VIXX has returned to their darker and theatric concepts, and because they are VIXX, it does seem that no matter what they conceptualize, they make it work. The group managed to make both songs work despite the abrupt transition from Dynamite to Fantasy, which demonstrated their versatility and dedication. The lyrics are very evocative, such as "My burnt and black heaven," obviously referencing the underworld and showcasing a deep rage and power.

14. The Closer

Ending the VIXX 2016 Conception trilogy, their third mini-album, Kratos, is released, referencing the Greek god of the same name, who is the personification of strength, might, sovereign rule, and authority in all its forms. The Closer is the title track, a very fitting end and closure of the trilogy, however confirming that in terms of the timeline, Dynamite is the actual end of the storyline, and this music video instead revealed the authority among the members- the mastermind of the chaos that overarches in the whole trilogy. We also finally see a proper glimpse of the woman behind in each part of the trilogy, brought to life by gugudan's Nayoung, whose affection was being fought for amongst each member.

15. Shangri-La

Shangri-La is the fourth mini-album by VIXX, which features the single of the same name. Aside from the storyline, the music video is very aesthetically pleasing, with some viewers and fans even commenting that each frame seems like a painting, with themes of fantasy referencing a metaphor of utopia tangentially connected to Tao Yuan Ming‘s Peach Blossom Spring Poems. Shangri-La manages to preserve the underlying dark concepts, which is a trademark of VIXX's MVs while reworking this in a sensual rather than a Gothic horror one by blending luscious colors, sharp outlines, and subtle Chinese aesthetic influences and an abstract but compelling fantasy environment.

16. Scentist

They continuously prove to become the Kings of Concepts as they released their third full studio album Eau de VIXX, with the title track Scentist, in reference to scents and fragrances. According to the members, Scentist is a combination of the words scent and artist while following the concept that the members are perfumers. The music video also tackles a much subtle reference to obsession, with the lyrics structured in a way that develops from presenting the sweet experiment to the revelation that they essentially killed their lover so that no one else can ever smell that scent. These are evidenced by several details present in the music video, from the usual weapons and equipment that usually aid in murder, a symbolism of deceit and betrayal through the snake, and a prominent color of red, a usual sign of anger, passion, love, and blood.

Bonus:

Whisper

VIXX LR, a subunit of VIXX that includes Leo and Ravi, has a considerable roster of songs under their belts, but Whisper stands out in terms of conceptualization, as seen in the music video. It uses the starkly different hues of red and blue to highlight their relationship. Ravi and Leo first meet in the video but do not acknowledge the existence of one another. Leo is dressed in red and puts on red headphones with the letter "R," while Ravi is dressed in blue and has a blue notebook with the letter "L" inscribed on it, indicating the beginning of their storyline. It has already been suggested that these two, along with their respective accessories, are brought together by fate. There are some scenes where in a parallel universe, their colors are reversed, yet just the same, are inevitably related. The ending, although left to one's thoughts, implies that they are soulmates, with reference to the string of fate seen in the ending scene where they discover that a red and blue string is attached to their shoes which prevents them from separating.

Here are some of the music videos that provide proof of VIXX's moniker as K-Pop's Kings of Concepts, an undeniable showcase of their skills and versatility. Which among these concepts are your favorites? Are you team Princes of Darkness, or do you prefer their lighter concepts, or do you like both? Also, remember to support the members in their individual careers as we all wait for their comeback as a group once more. 

  1. Nayoung
  2. Youngji
  3. Dasom
  4. VIXX
  5. N
  6. Ken
  7. Ravi
  8. Hongbin
  9. Hyuk
  10. Leo
  11. VIXX LR
8 6,478 Share 89% Upvoted
 
xx-jenn-xx
xx-jenn-xx Allkill VIP 13,849 pts Thursday, July 7, 2022 0
Thursday, July 7, 2022

no one is doing it like VIXX did! I wish they'd release some more amazing music together!

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hwryuu
hwryuu367 pts Thursday, July 7, 2022 0
Thursday, July 7, 2022

Glad to be a starlight <3

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