It is not unfamiliar for entertainment programs to recall the music of the past. This is a safe project in that it can stimulate the viewer’s universal memory. We’ve already seen and . The one that showed off the enormous ripple effect was the ‘Totoga’ series of ‘Infinite Challenge.’ ‘Totoga’ summoned ‘Everyone’s Masterpiece’ and praised the nostalgia. It was also a tribute to PD Kim Tae-ho, a young man of Generation X, to his youth.
On the other hand, the way SBS’s YouTube web entertainment ‘Civilization Express’ deals with the past is similar to the former. PD Hong Min-Ji, born in the 1990s, and Jae-Jae (Lee Eun-Jae), the host, plan based on a deep understanding of contemporary K-pop culture. We treat K-pop singers as artists instead of ‘the protagonists of the Korean Wave’ and tell the story from ‘deokhoo’ who consume K-pop culture. It’s closer to a way of dealing with subcultures than everyone’s masterpieces. It is, of course, an approach never seen in the established media.
Last year’s ‘Listen to Breath’ project focused on B-grade chords. A bit of a crude finish, and looking back now, the clumsy choreography and lyrics stand out. Now that K-pop is so highly developed, listening to it again can be a Guilty Pleasure, but it is not subject to ridicule. The parties appear in person to help themselves and enjoy those days. Although not recognized as a great past, they happily accepted the aesthetics of failure.
On June 11th, the ‘Come Noun Myung (a masterpiece that will make you close your eyes even if you come back again) concert’ was broadcast on the SBS channel. The follow-up project ‘Come to Noun Myung,’ which started at the suggestion of a subscriber, is slightly different from ‘Breathless Myung.’ Even if you look at it now, it deals with beautiful songs and choreography. It doesn’t matter if it hits or not. ‘Why couldn’t we cheer for such a wonderful song back then?’ is a more important criterion for judging.
In this ‘Come Civilization’ concert, SHINee, 2 PM, Oh My Girl, After School, and Nine Muses appeared. Although SHINee’s ‘View’ was released six years ago, the sophistication shines through in the deep house sound, lyrics, and costumes. 2PM’s ‘My House,’ selected by YouTube’s algorithm, was re-emerged for its timeless sexuality. Oh, My Girl sang the song ‘Closer’ in the early days of their promotions. Although it did not get a lot of reaction at the time of its release, it is a song that is evaluated to have established the color of Oh My Girl.
SHINee and Oh My Girl is still at the center of the K-pop scene. 2 PM, which is about to make a comeback, has been on the music broadcast stage for the first time in 5 years, but it isn’t very comfortable to call them memories. In that sense, the teams that drew the most attention were the girl groups After School and Nine Muses. The two teams had ups and downs throughout their promotion period, and their unique concept was re-evaluated today, and I was told that they ‘got the wrong time.’ It is also the subject of constant longing for K-pop enthusiasts since the team disbanded.
A lot of time has passed, but they are back as they were in their memories. After School stood on stage wearing stage costumes from ‘BANG’ and ‘DIVA..’ The group dance that moved with moderation centering on leader Kahi was still there. Ka-hee (familiar to the younger generation as an idol’s dance trainer) has been on stage for a long time, but it is still the focal point of showing off her impeccable skills.
Rapper Becca, who was living in the US, also came to Korea for this stage. It is said that Jung-a stood on stage while pregnant. Nine Muses’ Hyuna Moon took care of her children until the same day and then returned and performed the scene of ‘Dolls.’ Yuae-rin’s rapping, which makes idol maniacs go crazy, was still there. A lot has changed, but at the same time, it hasn’t. MONSTA X’s Minhyuk, who watched the performances of his seniors
so that K-pop can become a piece of memory
Spit out the words, “This is K-pop.” Testimonies (?) followed their dances at the chess show when they were young continued in line. The ‘Come Noun Myung’ stage must have been completed because it was not simply consumed as a performance but blended with the viewers’ memories.
With Jaejae as MCs, Seunghee (Oh My Girl), Key (SHINee), Seungkwan (Seventeen) known as ‘K-Pop Professor,’ and Daehwi Lee (AB6IX), Yoojung Choi (Weki Meki), Somi Jeon, Chaeyeon Lee, etc. They sang along to all the songs and cheered. Except for Key, who has been active since 2008, these people grew up being baptized by the second-generation K-pop. The appearance of those who listened to Jeonju and waited reverently filled the void in the audience and became a ‘deokhu.’
I, born in 1993, also got caught up in a strange feeling while watching ‘Come, Noun Myung.’ It was an exciting and peculiar moment. These are the songs that I used to consume daily while growing up. These were the songs that were there, and I never thought they were masterpieces. But now, they are given a new historical meaning. As the history of K-pop grows, they are consumed as ‘masterpieces’ or nostalgia that will never return. Alas, I never thought this order would come to us.
I spent my school days in the late 2000s and early 2010s when second-generation K-pop groups were at their peak. During the Yaja (night self-study) class, they listened to Girls’ Generation’s songs on the MP3 player and cheered as they watched the BEAST dances at the chess show. Millennials, who enjoyed the same era as me, say, ‘I came to correct the discipline of K-pop’ while watching the return of Nine Muses and After School.
Let’s not discuss what the definition of ‘K-pop discipline’ is. What is certain is that K-pop of the past has come to occupy an absolute position in the memories. Retro moves towards a closer and closer timeline.
In May 2016, it was the Girls’ Generation’s ‘Reunited World’ that took folk songs at the protest rally of Ewha Woman’s University students. This song, which had the theme of ‘dream,’ also resonates at the queer culture festival. They have entered the society in large numbers, are planning content such as , and are becoming active producers of discourse. The power of memories is vital.
Even I, who had not listened to After School for a long time, was able to sing along to all the rap lyrics of ‘DIVA’ released ten years ago. To that extent, K-pop remains a piece of memory for our generation. In a situation where K-pop has become more globalized than in the past, and listeners’ tastes have been personalized, it will not be easy for K-pop today to have as much universality as in the past. But in one way or another, I believe K-pop will be preserved. Along with the testimony that it was ‘everything in my teenage years, along with the recollection of ‘it was good back then.