Broduce 98: The Clusterfuck Begins

I meant to cover Broduce 98 from ep 1 but as I said in the VIXX post, I’m a pretentious academic in real life, and Broduce had the misfortune of airing when pretentious academia prevented me from covering it, so I finally got to marathon everything once I had free time so this will be my massive ep 1-5 recap/review.

dumpster fire

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U-KISS Channel Christian Grey in “Stalker”

Click to destroy your wifi and let kiseop eat your soul

ETA: Since apparently you assholes are angrier that I neglected to realize this is supposed to be the most poorly-executed vampire concept since Twilight than you are over anything else in this MV, I’ma get this shit over with: I don’t care. A theoretical vampire concept does not negate the criticism of this MV any more than Twilight being a vampire series does not negate the criticism of Edward and Bella’s relationship. Edward doesn’t stalk Bella because he’s a vampire, he stalks her because he’s a creep. I mean, I could’ve made the same boring Twilight jokes people have been making since 2005, but I went with 50 Shades of Grey as it is less old meme and, being a Twilight fanfic, has preserved the most problematic aspects of the Edward/Bella romance, which is the whole issue with this MV and song to start with. Oh, and by the way–none of those elements have anything to do with vampirism. I would think that the ability of an all-human AU like 50SoG to preserve those elements would make that clear, but that’s clearly too much critical thinking to expect out of stans. So you can keep making excuses or you can shut the fuck up, but if you’re going to do the former, do it somewhere other than my blog.

So now that that bullshit is out of the way, let’s talk about why this MV is getting backlash from iFans. The romanticizing of violence against women is a disturbing trend in K-pop music videos, and it’s in stark relief here. I’m kind of pissed U-KISS delivered this shit after being gone over a year, because kissmes, all 3 or so of us, have been starved for material to mock/bop/fap to, as there isn’t much else out there for us now that the few boy groups still doing this sort of sound and aesthetic are either done and dusted or making shitty ass music like the rest of these neon clown puke assholes. So now I gotta make with the cognitive dissonance and acknowledge that “Stalker” is a ~*problematic fave*~, because as long as you overlook the lyrics and concept, it’s a bop. Musically and aesthetically, U-KISS are back and in fine form.

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This gayo. This fucking gayo.

This post is dedicated to Jenny Trout, even though she probably does not care about K-pop. The title was just too perfect of an opportunity for a pun and a reference to her glorious Fifty Shades of Grey recaps.

SBS’s 2015 gayo daejun is four hours of mind-numbing sound and fury, signifying nothing, except perhaps how much I hate myself. Even if you don’t hate yourself, this gayo will drain the the will to live right out of you.

Continue reading “This gayo. This fucking gayo.”

Stellar tries it with “Vibrato,” fails

I suppose titling the song “Subtle” would be disingenuous.

Well, if the goal of Stellar’s company was to get people talking, they succeeded.

Stellar remain best known for their attention-seeking “Marionette” video, which sparked controversy after featuring cliché sexy imagery and choreography dialed up to the point of farce and played completely straight. The members have expressed discomfort with the concept, but when their follow-up single “Fool”—a clap back at critics of “Marionette”—failed to garner the same level of attention, their company was back to their old tricks. “Vibrato” takes their “Marionette” concept a step further by hinting at self-awareness (and by “hinting” I mean “throwing sexual imagery at viewers with all the subtlety of a Mack truck”) and then ultimately playing the same farcical “sexy” tropes completely straight. Continue reading “Stellar tries it with “Vibrato,” fails”

“My oppa’s more flawless than yours!”

One of the challenges of being an international K-pop fan is dealing with the rampant racism, colorism, and cultural appropriation within the industry. This is not to say that Korean fans don’t deal with it, either, but due to cultural context, ifen interpret and engage the issues differently. But I am not here to discuss the cultural nuances of kfen vs ifen; I’m here to discuss the particular way that ifandom goes about social justice issues. Read: not well.

community gif

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MBLAQ has bad blood

MBLAQ - Mirror (거울) MV [English subs + Romanization + Hangul] HD-3You know I’ve been a big fan of MBLAQ for a long time. And by that I mean MBLAQ, not M3LAQ. I was bummed when the group split up in 2014, though I can’t say I was surprised, because the writing had been on the wall for a long time. MBLAQ peaked with “Y” and “Stay” and it was a gradual slide into irrelevance after that. It’s not something I can entirely blame the group for, either. In fact, I mostly blame their shoddy company. K-pop fans like to trot out MR-removed videos on youtube to boast about their faves’ talents (though it’s already been argued why MR-removed videos don’t really prove anything) but unless you’re either 12 or mentally 12, you can’t honestly believe that vocal talent and quality of songs are the sole factors in a group’s popularity. JTC dropped the ball big-time when it came to MBLAQ’s promotion and marketing, and those are huge factors in determining a group’s popularity.

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