It’s taking over the world. There’s no escaping it. If you don’t listen to K-Pop, then someone you know does. It’s grown into an impressively large fanbase, especially via. Twitter.
Personally, I’m a huge fan. In particular, of the band 방탄소년단. No idea what that means? I don’t expect you to, unless you’re also a fan. It means Bangtan Sonyeondan, or ‘Bulletproof Boyscouts’ in English. They’re a seven piece boy band of singers and rappers. Oh, and they all dance. Like, really well. Check it out.
See? Pretty good, eh?
But it’s not just them. GOT7, EXO, BLACKPINK, Red Velvet, 2NE1, Twice… God damn, there’s so many.
Now, it was my wonderful friend Holly who introduced me to k-pop, and I was asking her some pretty… ignorant questions at the start. But now that I’m firmly wedged into the world of k-pop, people have started asking me the same questions. And they’re pissing me off.
So, here’s a list of things you should NEVER say to a k-pop fan.
1. What the fuck is this?
That was my first question too, but I’m aware how dumb that was. Do you realise how rude that is? Whether you understand it or not, you should never ask that. Maybe just politely ask what it is they’re listening to? Or, if your inner monologue is screaming ‘what the actual fuck is this’, keep your bloody mouth shut. Ta.
2. Why do you like this when you can’t understand what they’re saying?
If I had a pound for every time I was asked that I’d be bloody rich. Bottom line is; I don’t care. No, I don’t understand it. But the more I listen to it, the more I can kind of sing along. And there’s actually quite a lot of English in k-pop. And once those few English words pop up, you bet your ass I will scream them at the top of my lungs just because I can.
But really, the music itself is fantastic. It’s upbeat, it dramatic, it gets stuck in your head. Why do I love it? I just do. Lay off.
3. But, how do you tell them apart? They all look the same?
First, RACIST. Second, IGNORANT. Third, LOOK HARDER. Get past your stereotypes and realise that actually, they look very different. They’re beautiful, actually. I used to struggle myself in all honesty, not because they looked the same, but because they never bloody stood still long enough, or they changed how they looked. Granted, they make it difficult from era to era because they always change their hair colours, but that’s no excuse to look at them and say they look the same. Don’t try me, bish.
4. So do you have a thing for Asians?
Um, to be honest? I have a thing for human in general regardless of race, gender, or anything else. But don’t ask this. It’s not a ‘kink’.
5. You only listen to BTS for their looks. Bet you don’t listen to anyone else.
6. BTS Army are so rude though?
Oh for GOD’S SAKE. Look, I have been in many fandoms in my time, and I can tell you that every single fandom has it’s twats. Every single one. Yes, some of the BTS Army seem to be at war with every other k-pop fandom. But there are horrible people in any fandom. You cannot judge and entire group of people based on a minority’s actions. And that is a lesson that everybody needs to learn. Wars are fought over this exact thing. Hopefully, not in a k-pop sense though. That’s a little too dramatic.
But my general experience; the BTS Army are wonderful, and I love them whole-heartedly.
7. When are they touring the UK?
I DON’T KNOW.
8. What’s the difference between North and South Korea?
Jesus Christ. If you’re asking me that, I’m going to walk away from you. Possibly whilst throwing a newspaper or a history book at you. You dumb af.
9. So, do you speak Korean?
No. But I’m trying.
Korean is a VERY difficult language to learn. I can say maybe 4/5 phrases, and can answer yes/no questions at this point. Listening to k-pop has helped me begin to learn it, but now that I’m watching k-dramas as well (yeah I got sucked into that world too) I’m hoping I can start to learn it a little quicker, and with some context.
I’ve always been interested in Asian culture; it’s so different to our own. And each country has it’s own culture. I was always interested in Japanese culture, and then k-pop became the forefront of my life, and now I find myself learning about Korean culture and history.
10. K-pop? Isn’t that that Gangnam Style guy?
Psy is the Jedward of South Korea. That should explain what he is to k-pop.
In fact, he’s even a joke in Korea. But, like Jedward, he’s a bit of a guilty pleasure isn’t he? I mean, who doesn’t know the Gangnam Style dance?
So, if you ever find yourself chatting to someone about k-pop, please don’t say any of these. It’s a culture, a movement and a passion. And if you’re not into it, that’s okay. But respect those who are.