Having listened to Kpop for several years, and converted all my friends to the point that they know bands by name (and I feel very proud of this because they primarily listen to indie), its hard for me to remember what my perspective on music was before kpop. In early high school I was in a Nu metal / rock phase and my musical journey has been peppered with some pop, hip hop and a healthy dose of classic rock. In a way, that really hasn’t changed. Instead of an ipod, I have a dinky mp3 player that has all rock on it, I can only listen to pop and hip hop in the car because rock makes me angry and classic rock makes me sleepy. Classic rock is music that I listen to with friends and when I just need some Jethro Tull or Led Zepplin in my life. Layla by Eric Clapton remains my favorite song of all time. However, no other musical genre has captured my attention the way Kpop has, and I think it has to do with the music videos that come out for each artist. What the music video looks like greatly impacts how I perceive the song being featured. Case in point, Orange Caramel’s “Lipstick” which is a mediocre squeaky song with a bloody brilliant music video. When music becomes less about music and more about the whole production (clothing, make up, dance, acting, etc.) if you are at all into the music being played you get sucked into the genre so far that you become disbelieving that others could like any other genre of music.
I very much appreciate the Fine Brothers for their react videos, and the following two videos have injected a little perspective back into my life, if only the realization that repeated viewing of Kpop videos has really imbued me with appreciation for Korean beauty ideals so much that they surpass many of the ideals indoctrinated by American society and that lack of exposure to a culture really does make everything seem the same.
First, kids react to Kpop (released 6 months before Gangnam Style):
And youtubers react to Kpop (released several days ago):
They also have reaction videos to both of Psy’s recent songs, but they treat those as viral videos instead of regular music videos, so they have a different vibe. It’s just useful to understand what non kpop fans see when they look at kpop, as to better understand passing youtube comments and trolls.