K-Pop moves into the States

NCT’s Song: Superhuman

Sara Siebenhaar, Journalist

NCT during their Atlanta tour

NCT during their Atlanta concert

The world of music has become more and more diverse as time goes on. With increasing collaborations and new technology, the experience has become something extra enjoyable. With additional access to different music due to the internet, different languages have become popular to enjoy and less of an issue. Kpop has been an emerging genre that has become a hot topic. Korean music has become a sensation. From award shows to Coachella performances, these Korean artists have expanded out far.


Kpop really entered the U.S. when PSY’s “Gangnam Style” became a trend. But, the advancement continued with boy group BTS. “I got into KPOP in 2013, with the debut of BTS,” said freshmen Fancy Farmer. “My favorite is Jungkook.”


BTS really brought Kpop to the U.S. with their performance on the AMAs in 2018 of their song “Fake Love.” It was the debut stage of the album and brought mass attention to them. They have further achievements. BTS has also won Best Social Artist since 2017 and counting. They performed in the 2019 BBMAs with Boy With Luv, featuring Halsey. They also had a Grammy nomination. They even gave a speech at the UN Conference.


NCT Intro

NCT’s before the concert

However, they are not the only ones achieving mass success. Black Pink, a female Kpop group, performed at Coachella this year. Many Kpop groups have been touring the US this year, such as Monsta X, NCT 127, and more.


I saw NCT 127 in concert on April 26th. I originally got into KPOP in 2010, but NCT is my favorite KPOP group. The atmosphere was exhilarating. Everyone was screaming to music and jumping. I had to travel all the way to Atlanta, Georgia, for the concert that was held at the Coca-Cola Roxy. My favorite member is Mark, but I adore each member. To build this connection was amazing, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.


“I think what draws people to Kpop is the passion they have,” junior Krislyn Thomas began. “They dance, they sing, and have a strong relationship with their fandoms.” However, these exact things are what could also draw people away from this genre.


In Kpop, these people go into companies to be trained to sing, dance, and even speak languages. They usually are put on extreme diets that make their health at risk. They get put into a group, are given a concept, and then go and perform. People say this is too artificial and isn’t a passion they have on their own.


Dakota Johnson, junior, addresses the hate he has received for being a kpop fan. “I have been called homophobic slurs for liking kpop, and I hear racist stuff being said towards the idols I like. They say Chinese discriminatory stuff instead of Korean, too. As if there weren’t a difference.” He expressed the frustration, but added, “Luckily, being a fan is worth the hate.”


It has been seen that many Kpop idols take their companies to court due to these slave contracts. A slave contract is a contract between a Kpop idol and their management team that is extremely strict and can be dangerous. This is when Kpop idols begin to speak out, like Wu Yifan. Wu Yifan was previously a member of EXO, the leader of EXO M, but ended up sueing his entertainment company, SM Entertainment, and left the group to be a solo individual. Behind him, three members left.


More than just strict contracts, there are also strict rules. These idols are expected to be just that- idols. To show flaws is considered extremely problematic, and they are trained to be desirable for the fans. For that exact reason, Kpop idols aren’t allowed to date. On August 2, Kpop idols Hyuna and E’Dawn revealed their relationship. Because of this, both were kicked out of their company, and E’Dawn had to leave the group he was in, Pentagon.


These idealistic views can potentially harm these idols, which many of these idols confess to their struggles with eating disorders, depression, and other very serious conditions due to these circumstances.


As time progresses, though, the Korean music world has become less traditional and allowed more leniency with the idols. As Kpop moves into the U.S, the popularity grows and traditions change, but Kpop is still its own genre.


Kpop has affected society in a variety of ways, such as the diversity, the cultural differences, and the love it spreads throughout the world. Stan talent, stan NCT.

Coca Cola Roxy

Where the concert was held