Playlist Sunday: Halloween Edition

From the out-of-this-world fashion and costumes to the dark and creepy concepts artists undertake, K-Pop gives great choices for Halloween costumes and soundtracks. And since the holiday is rapidly approaching, KultScene decided that this week’s Playlist Sunday should revolve around things we associate with All Hallows Eve: creepiness, mysteriousness, and darkness… And yet, a lot of fun.

A mix of dreams and eeriness, Sunny Hill’s Midnight Circus is one of my favorite music videos. There’s a whole story going on here, and each member of the idol group has a role, whether it’s as the stars of the show or the ringmaster controlling each act. There’s one interpretation that the music video and song are about the hardworking life of Korean idols, who are controlled almost entirely by their entertainment agencies. Even if the song doesn’t have a deeper meaning, the song’s creepy accompaniment and the fantastical sets make Midnight Circus absolutely wonderful. The variety of sounds within one song and the imagery gained Sunny Hill a lot of attention, and Midnight Circus is still definitely one of the best K-Pop music videos ever produced. Bonus– Beast’s Kikwang makes a cameo as a weak “strongman.”


Also on KultScene: 4 Female K-Pop Idols With Unique Beauty

Snakes, blood, brains, sewing together skin, voodoo dolls, what more do you need for a creepy music video? VIXX‘s concepts are always different than the mainstream K-Pop music. They tend to stick to their alien/other worlds concept and do a great job with it. Voodoo Doll is no exception. When the music video was released, it was a new concept and an extremely catchy song. There’s even stabbing in the choreography that VIXX had to alter for their live stages. The fact that the members are tortured by a girl via voodoo dolls makes the concept creepy and, for some people, cringeworthy, but worth watching. The guys do a great job acting out being tortured throughout the music video and their vocals and choreography are reason enough to watch.

— Tara

K-Pop music videos are known for their colorfulness and vividness. Well, mostly anyway. But then BEAST comes into the picture and give the antithesis to that notion with last year’s Shadow. For starters, the video is film noir and relies on the mysterious, eerie, and haunting to best represent the sorrowful lyrics of the song. From the actual plot to the props used to the wardrobe, Shadow’s dark concept make it the perfect Halloween jam.


Also on KultScene: Music Video Fashion: BEAST’s “Good Luck”

SHINee’s album Chapter 2: Why So Serious?- The Misconceptions Of Me has a lot of tracks that have themes of paranormality, zombies, and vampires. In their track Nightmare, the listeners learn of a story of a man who falls in love with a beautiful vampire. The song is full of synths and sound effects that make you picture a very cold and eerie setting. The music really conveys the feeling of the song of being trapped in a nightmare, not being able to distinguish between the dream and reality.


What’s your favorite K-Pop Halloween song? We’d love for you to share your picks with us, and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr, so you can keep up with all our posts.

Playlist Sunday: Haters Gonna Hate

Haters will always be around and we can either become consumed with their negativity or brush it off and continue to live our lives the way we want. This week’s Playlist Sunday is all about shutting up those haters and showing them that we don’t give a damn about their pessimism and snide remarks. With the help of Beenzino, CL, G-Dragon, and Teddy, Epik High (with some friends), and MBLAQ let’s all forget about the haters and enjoy the music.

Beenzino’s Up All Night talks about a different kind of hate and how the narrator deals with it. He just lost his lover and he hates everything and everyone. He just wants to go out, get drunk, have fun, and forget everything else, especially his love situation. He hates love songs and dealing with a breakup, and he makes it more intense during the bridge when he adds some cuss words. At the end of the song, he clearly states how much he hates his haters while continuing his use of profanity, but lets his fans know that he does everything for them.


If we’re going to talk about haters, there’s probably not two people in K-Pop who have gotten more hate than G-Dragon and CL. That’s why in The Leaders, the idols, together with YG Entertainment producer Teddy, came out with a song celebrating themselves. In the song, they talk about being on top of their game and not being fazed by any haters. The Leaders has the best one liner disses in english ever, making it the reason I love this song. It’s a very smug song, but true nevertheless.


[Note: The following song contains explicit content.]

Epik High celebrated their 10th anniversary last October with the release of an exclusive track on their Soundcloud. The song, 420, was produced by DJ Tukutz and highlights Tablo’s and Mithra’s rapping. But this song isn’t just Epik High, seven other rappers join the hip hop group. Double K, Yankie, Dok2, Sean2Slow, Dumbfoundead, TopBob, and MYK all have a verse in the song.

The song is about Epik High’s rise from the bottom and how they’re still here and the same group as when they started. Each verse gives listeners brief insight into each rappers’ career, beginnings, and feelings about the hip hop scene. The beat is addictive and everyone’s verses flow well together. 420 is not for the faint of heart, but it’s definitely worth listening to and understanding the lyrics.

— Tara

MBLAQ’s known for its dance and R&B songs, but Run is one of MBLAQ’s most powerful, epic songs as well as by any idol group. It serves as the introductory song on MBLAQ’s 100% Ver, and sets the mood for the entire album- the idea that MBLAQ loves what it’s doing, and doesn’t really care what your reaction to the album is.

MBLAQ has done a lot of experimental stuff, and Run is the group’s anthem saying that it doesn’t really care what your reaction is, but MBLAQ is going to overtake you. Run is the intro for an album with a multitude of song styles including This Is War, Hello My Ex, and Scribble, and the variety is a bit overwhelming. Run knows that not everyone will be comfortable with every song, with every style that MBLAQ includes in the album, but MBLAQ is ready for both criticism and competition.


What’s your favorite song that sticks it to the haters? Be sure to share it and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.

Playlist Sunday: OST Favorites

Whether Korean dramas got you into K-Pop or the other way around, one thing’s for sure: they’re both inevitable gateways into each other. Maybe your favorite idol was in a drama, or maybe that group you’re listening to participated on an OST. Since K-Pop is mainstream music in Korea, it comes as no surprise when idols sing OSTs, even if they don’t act in them.

And since we’re all K-drama addicts at KPOPme this week’s Playlist Sunday is dedicated to a few of our favorite OSTs.

When Jonghyun’s (CNBLUE) character was introduced in A Gentleman’s Dignity, I did not expect the My Love OST. The scene of him playing guitar and singing on the street is the first time we hear the song. As soon as I saw this scene and heard this song I was hooked. My Love showcases Jonghyun’s gentle and innocent vocals. It’s a beautiful song performed by a beautiful man with beautiful vocals. I can’t get enough of the song and as soon as I heard it in the drama, I loved it.


Few dramas tugged at the viewers’ heartstrings like Rooftop Prince, and Ali’s song Hurt is one of the songs that helped set the tone. Ali’s deep voice portrays the emotions of someone full-heartedly in pain, making the melancholy ballad the perfect backdrop to the pain and suffering of the couple in both Joseon and present times.

— Tamar

Boys Over Flowers was the first Korean drama that I ever watched, and SHINee was the first K-Pop band that I fell in love with. So naturally while watching the drama and heard the song, I was hooked. Stand By Me really brings out the softness in Onew’s vocals. They may not be as powerful as in other songs, but for this type of song, it was perfection. Jonghyun, Taemin, and Key lead you perfectly to the chorus, and once you hear this song, the soothing melody will make you never forget it.


Monstar was one of those dramas with idols who are in a fictitious band. This time, said idols were BEAST’s Junhyung and BTOB had a few scenes since they were in the band, but not relevant to the story. After Time Passes was the song that played anytime there was a bittersweet moment. And what makes this song stand out from others in the drama is that Junhyung sings rather than raps in it. The lyrics talk about still being hung up on a girl, but anticipating getting over it and thinking less and less of her as time passes. The track is very mellow, making it an easy listen for whenever.


What’s your favorite OST? Be sure to share it and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.

Playlist Sunday: Bad Girls Club

The good, cute girl image seems to be the norm and a favorite among the female K-Pop groups, but what about those who take a walk down the bad side? For this week’s playlist theme we chose groups and solo artist who aren’t scared to explore and show their bad girl images.

The Bad Girl image isn’t necessarily one you associate with K-Pop darlings Girls’ Generation, but that’s exactly what they tried to do back in 2011 with their Japanese single. Soshi went the cliché route by dressing in lots of pleather, posing in motorcycles, and dancing in an empty garage. But whether the concept was successful or not, there’s no denying that Bad Girl it’s an incredibly addicting song because of the repetitive “oh’s” in the hook.

The lyrics talk about being “bad” for a guy –the most perfect he’s ever seen, actually. You could even say it’s a complete 180 turn from Genie; the first is about dominance while the second is about compliance. Girls’ Generation might not have stuck with the naughtier image, but Bad Girl will always be “that time the girls went bad,” and who doesn’t like a good girl gone bad?


Brown Eyed Girls is definitely a group that epitomizes the Bad Girl theme. Their songs often depict mature content as seen in their music videos and choreography, and heard in their lyrics. For this week I chose BEG’s Kill Bill. The song has a story version music video as well as a performance version, both of which show off BEG’s “bad girl” personalities.

The lyrics are about a girl finding out about the unfaithfulness of her lover. Throughout the story version music video, each member is involved with the killing of a man and eventually themselves. Along with the lyrics and music video plot is the provocative choreography. The mature idols show off their sex appeal and that they are comfortable with themselves through the choreography for Kill Bill. BEG is the queen of mature and bad girl content.


Good girls become bad girls for a reason, and NS Yoon-G isn’t staying quiet about who is to blame for the dramatic change. The Reason I Became A Witch is not only a great song, but the music video is perfect for October, with NS Yoon-G wearing her Halloween appropriate black-and-white tights. She starts the video behind a curtain of white, showing her demure self, before she turns into some S&M goddess who could be playing Catwoman in a Batman (or a female version of Fifty Shades of Grey). In The Reason I Became A Witch, NS Yoon-G doesn’t just bring sexiness, she brings fierceness and shows how a good-girl-gone-bad will never be controlled by a guy ever again.


Ladies Code Bad Girl talks about a man that mistreats a woman. The man keeps telling his lover that she is weak and pitiful, so the girl is ready to be alone, but he just doesn’t want to leave her. After continuos name calling, she becomes strong and tells him that she is not that girl, that she is actually a bad girl and demands him to start calling her that. The video has the girls styled beautifully and accompanied by many men. The video is serious at times, but then It gets really fun, especially when they are putting makeup and wigs on the guys. It’s so cute and funny.

— Alejandro

What’s your favorite bad girl song? Be sure to share it and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.

Playlist Sunday: Fall Songs

With summer coming to an end, we decided to choose a few fall songs for this week’s Playlist Sunday. But, what exactly are “fall songs?” Truth is, there’s no definite answer. Each writer interpreted that concept and came out with these songs, which are a mix of heartbreak, warm, and laid-back songs.

Touching lyrics aside, Super Junior’s A ‘Goodbye’ is a chillingly wonderful song. The Korean title is literally “the day of the break up,” and the calm, melodic approach of the speaker to the heartbreak is what makes this song so memorable. The shift between softness and a more upbeat sound is unsettling, which reminds me a lot of an autumn day, where the weather is chilly one moment and then the sun starts shining the next.

The song also functioned as leader Leeteuk’s farewell song when he joined the Korean army, which he joined during the fall of 2012.


Clazziquai Project’s Come on and Go with Me has an extremely laid back and smooth sound that is perfect for fall. The duo’s vocals are also soft, but powerful in their own right. Come on and Go with Me is a great song to listen to as you’re walking through the park with the beautiful leaves falling all around. The chill song will put you in a great mood every time you listen to it.


When I think about a song for fall, I couldn’t think of any other than 2NE1’s It Hurts. The song is a very sad ballad, but it has a very soothing feel to it. Bom’s voice really stands out on this track accompanied by the beautiful piano and bass guitar. Not only the song but also the video give you the perfect portrayal of fall. The girls stand on a rooftop while leaves start to fall while styled in gothic lolita outfits. As the song’s title says, it really hurts listening to this song. They emotions really flow through the song and with the video those sad emotions increase. Sorry to get your mood down, but this song is just perfect for the fall.

— Alejandro

It may be because the weather’s colder, but fall makes you want to have someone to hold, like EXO sings in Moonlight. The song has a very warm feeling, being a plea for the girl to not leave. The softness behind D.O and Baekhyun’s voices give the track a nice flow that also makes it feel sincere. And even without reading the translation of the lyrics, you can feel the longing in Moonlight, making the vocalists successfully transmit the message through emotions rather than words.


What’s your favorite fall song? Be sure to share it and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.

Best English Covers by K-Pop Artists

We recently talked about K-Pop Instrumentals, now let’s look at a few of our favorite artists covering some of our favorite English songs. Occasionally, K-Pop songs have a few English words and/or lines throughout them. Unfortunately, the pronunciation and even use of the word(s) are oftentimes not correct or irrelevant. It sometimes makes you wonder whether or not these idols could hold their own with an English song. Well let me tell you, a lot of them definitely can. It takes a lot of practice and confidence to pull off a cover of an English song. Especially when there are so many fans from Western countries.

EXO: Open Arms
First is EXO singing Journey’s Open Arms. Baekhyun, D.O., Chen, and Luhan all demonstrate why they are the vocal line. These four gentlemen showcase their amazing and powerful vocal talents, as well as English pronunciation, in this wonderful song. And can I just say, those harmonies, whoa… Beautiful, absolutely beautiful! These types of performances are nice because fans really get to experience another side to their favorite idols. In a group as big as EXO, and one that is made up of many parts (singers, rappers, etc.), it’s rare to have a song of just great vocals. This is a treat, and I’m so glad fellow writer and KPOPme co-founder, Thuc, suggested it.

Eric Nam & Boa Kim: Say Something
In all honesty, this cover of Say Something, was the first time I actually heard the song (I don’t listen to the radio that often). You may consider this one slightly cheating because as we know, Eric Nam is indeed from Atlanta, Georgia, and therefore he is fluent in English. Either way, his voice is amazing, and I like to hear him sing. But, Boa Kim, a member of SPICA, holds her own and then some in this song. Her vocals perfectly match the mood, tone, and energy of this song. Her pronunciation is flawless, and I could honestly listen to this cover all day. The music video is also done quite well.

TaeTiSeo: DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love
Next is TaeTiSeo singing Usher’s DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love. TaeTiSeo is made up of Taeyeon, Tiffany, and Seohyun. Again, Tiffany can speak fluent English, but that’s not the point. The point is that Taeyeon and Seohyun sing their English lines very well with confidence, which is the key to a great cover; this is a live performance full of energy that keeps the crowd pumped up throughout the song. It also doesn’t hurt that EXO joins the trio during the rap part of the song. Let’s be honest, can one really go wrong with an Usher cover? No, no one cannot. Also the numerous cuts to the middle-aged man dancing adds to this video.

SHINee: Just Dance
We’re throwing it back to 2009 with this little gem. SHINee give Lady Gaga’s debut single, Just Dance, their own Gaga flare. With this cover, Key is the frontman, because his English is the best out of all of the members. The performance may be short, but SHINee’s Gaga-inspired outfits and their dance moves keep the audience interested from beginning to end. I would love to hear another cover by these guys today, since their pronunciation is much better now.

Changmin & Kyuhyun: Just The Way You Are
These SM artists love their English cover songs, and you’ll hear no complaints from me. On their own Changmin and Kyuhyun have amazing voices, but put them together, singing a Bruno Mars cover, it’s magical. I’d like to thank Alexis, co-founder and writer for KPOPme, for suggesting this cover. I couldn’t find a great video of the duo, but you can still feel their passion and talent. I’ll stop talking now and let Changmin and Kyunhyun do the rest.

Minzy: Halo
I have to show some love for the female power vocals in Kpop. First up is Minzy of 2NE1. She took a bold step and covered Queen B’s Halo. I think she did an amazing job. Her pronunciation and vocal range is amazing! I’ve always loved Minzy’s voice, and this cover is reason enough to love her. The song on its own is a hard one to sing, and Minzy gives it her all. She is a true talent.

Ailee: I Will Always Love You
The last cover song I want to talk about is Ailee’s rendition of Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You. We all know Ailee has a phenomenal voice. When I first heard that she covered this iconic song, I wasn’t sure if she would be able to live up to its reputation. Don’t get me wrong, I love Ailee’s voice, but I Will Always Love You has so many nuances throughout the song that need to be met in order to be a good cover. Nevertheless, Ailee owned this song; her performance was amazing! With flawless vocals, she was powerful when she needed to be and still had that finesse in her voice that complemented the song.

Although some of these idols may not be fluent in English, they could definitely fool me based on their amazing performances of English covers. This is only the beginning of a long list of great covers, what are some of your favorites? Don’t forget to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, TwitterInstagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.

6 Songs Non-K-Pop Fans Can Like

[Disclaimer: Information is solely based on personal experience]

If you’re anything like me, you have lots of non-K-Pop fan friends who generally don’t support your favorite music genre. However, you still play them song after song in hopes that there will be one they actually like. And although my actions have often been unsuccessful, there have been some instances where it works. Alas, here’s what you should try with your friends if you want them to ride the Hallyu wave with you:

2ne1 1

This is probably the first K-Pop music video I ever saw and liked (although I had no idea who they were, what language they were singing, or what I was getting myself into), so this song was a no-brainer as the first choice for introduction. It may be the visuals, or the clothes, or the dances, or the epic intro, but this song captivates you right from the get-go – everything about I Am the Best is meant to lure you in. And boy does it work!

I can vividly remember fellow KPOPme writer Alejandro requesting it with me at a bar in our hometown and watching everyone dancing to it. And then see it happen again the next week… And the next… And the next! This works for every demographic: my gay and girlfriends love it for the fierceness and (a few of) my guy friends like it for the “hot girl” in spandex (or Bom, really).

exo growl

Similar to I Am the Best, Growl is well-liked by most of my friends, but more surprisingly, my EDM-groovy-soul loving straight guy friends. Everything I had ever listened to up to this point was “noise,” but this EXO song crossed cultural and gender boundaries. My friends praised the song for its funkiness and groove emulating Jamiroquai. The fact that 12 guys were singing and dancing was not an issue anymore, because the music was genuinely good.

Super Junior Opera

While Opera falls under “noise” to some of my guy friends, it’s the only K-Pop song some of my girlfriends like. Maybe this is due to it being the equivalent of drinking a Monster Energy Drink in one shot – it’s a blast of energy pumped forcefully into you. However, I never showed them the Japanese music video – that would definitely stir them away, and I don’t particularly want that. While I love Super Junior and I support their Phantom of the Opera concept, I wouldn’t shove that down my Westernized friends’ throats. It’s too much… I shall rely on randomly playing it in my car while they sing the chorus.

bigbang bad boy

Back in 2012, Gawker named Bad Boy the perfect pop song, validating what K-Pop fans have known for years: BIGBANG is awesome and crazy talented. Although blending pop and R&B is BIGBANG’s staple, they reached perfection with this song. I mean, who could resist T.O.P’s deep vocals, G-Dragon’s overall demeanor and style, and Taeyang’s soulful verses? Like I Am the Best, Bad Boy itself and its music video are eye and ear-candy (cue Baek Ji Young) – no one could resist this track! Not even a male writer at Gawker! I rest my case…  And even if I can’t really think of any of my friends liking this song, I recommend that you should recommend it because it is flawless.

brown eyed girls abracadabra

Abracadabra is a song about casting a spell on your ex so he’ll get back together with you and leave his current girlfriend. However, this completely escaped my friends, who only focused on the famous hip swinging dance and the chorus. This was perfect, since that is what I focused on too when I first got into K-Pop. Back then, it was all about the visuals, the dances, and the superficial appeal – which may be crucial to luring friends into liking K-Pop, that’s how I got sucked in! It didn’t hurt that this song, like I Am the Best, had the “fierce” factor Beyoncé-loving girls and boys crave.

lee hi 1234

With no conventional visual appeal or fierce factor, Lee Hi won some of my friends over with pure talent. This girl fought her way through K-Pop Star and fought her way through idol-dom as well in order to establish herself as a bright star among those dimly lit. If your friends judge all the girl and boy groups you like by labeling them “talentless,” they sure fall short of an insult with Lee Hi. 1234 is a fun song that could be sung by any Western diva if it were in English – and that’s what resonates with my friends.

If these songs don’t work on you non-K-Pop fan friends, then I don’t know what will. Have you tried to introduce your friends into K-Pop? What songs did you use in your endeavor? Don’t forget to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, TwitterInstagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.