Playlist Sunday: International Women’s Day

Say what you will about pop music, but people all around the world look to mainstream music and artists for role models. And while we’ll always find negative messages and images, it’s important to highlight the positive ones. That’s why for this week’s playlist, we’re honoring the empowering K-pop tunes to celebrate International Women’s Day (which is today!).

Very few K-pop songs talk about being yourself, so when 4Minute came out with their latest release Crazy about, well, being your crazy self and not giving a damn, it quickly became one of those rare female empowerment songs within the genre. Crazy generalizes the term “crazy” as not normal, and embraces individuality by saying it’s ok to be like that. And what better message is there for women of all ages to just be themselves on International Women’s Day? Also, the song’s overall sound (and choreography, mind you) is very appropriate for everyone to let loose, go crazy, and express themselves.

— Alexis

Also on KultScene: 8 Misheard K-Pop Lyrics Pt. 2

Nothing is as empowering to women as one of their own gaining the highest rank in government. In honor of International Women’s Day, I want to highlight Girl’s Day’s response to the election of South Korea’s first female president, Park Geun Hye. Political reasons aside, a woman made huge strides in a very traditional society, and Girl’s Day took their song Female President to celebrate political and sexual empowerment of women.


I’ve been critical of Hello Venus in the past for being less than stellar female role models but they proved me wrong with the release of Wiggle Wiggle. A song inspired by the sexist anthem of Jason Derulo may not seem like much of an empowering song, but Hello Venus have made it so. Wiggle Wiggle is a call for women to dance in the club for their own enjoyment not for the male gaze. The cheap music video backs this up by showing the inauthenticity of everything. The song is brilliantly fresh from the usually generic Brave Brothers. The hip hop bass and bubbling synths make for a surprisingly low-key but infinitely danceable track. The best part being Seoyoung’s battle cry over drums for all the girls of the world to werk.


We must talk about Lee Hyo Ri if we’re talking about women empowerment… The U Go Girl music video highlighted plastic surgery, which can be a touchy subject in many parts of the world, but in Korea, it’s widely accepted and commonly practiced. Many people will have different point of views in regards to this concept, but if changing the way you look will help with your overall self-esteem, go for it. But like the lyrics state, whatever it may be, you need to face it straight on and go in it with full confidence. Why base such things as, how you should do your hair, makeup, what you should wear, off of other people when you’re the one that has to do it? This could’ve been a much more serious subject, but instead of taking it down that road, Lee Hyo Ri turned it into an cheery, bubbly, and fresh song so audiences could digest it better.


 Also on KultScene: Amoeba Culture’s Ode To Dancers


SPICA’s summer 2014 single, I Did It is all about the ladies. The quintet sing about spending an evening with their girl friends to unwind and enjoy themselves after a hard day’s work. Their ladies’ vocals are amazing and the peppy beat and sing-a-along chorus will have any girl pumped up for a night out with their friends. I Did It makes a point of saying that men are not necessary to enjoy one’s self. Instead, do what makes you happy with the people that make you happy.

Every woman ’round the world, hear me
Throw your hands in the air if you feel me
Stand tall, real strong, so let’s go
Show my best tonight

They share a message of empowerment and strength and courage for being yourself and loving yourself; words we can all live by. It also doesn’t hurt that I Did It is completely sung in English as well.

— Tara

CL from 2NE1 released her first solo track The Baddest Female the moniker that she had clearly made it her own, and quickly became an anthem for female empowerment. At the climax of the song, CL spits out a message to all the women in the world, telling them to be themselves and always be the best they can be.

This is for all my bad girls around the world
Not bad meaning bad but bad meaning good, you know
Let’s light it up and let it burn like we don’t care
Let em know how it feels damn good to be bad

The song talks about being the fiercest you can be without caring for what people and society think. This is the perfect song to feel empowered to and everyone can relate to the message of the song, even if it’s intended for women.

— Alejandro

Which one was your favorite song for International Women’s Day? Share your picks in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

Playlist Sunday: New Year’s Edition

The last Sunday of the years means two things: that New Year’s is just around the corner and that this edition is KultScene’s last for the year. And in order to ring in 2015, as it has become a custom, we’ve come up with a list of songs around this theme. Our picks range from songs about new beginnings to saying goodbye.

U-KISS’s Tick Tock (Out of Time) is the ultimate New Year’s Eve theme, both the Japanese and Korean versions of the songs. January 1st brings a new start, but it also brings an end that’s poignant. The clock theme relates to New Year’s Eve countdowns, but the connection doesn’t just stop there. With lyrics like “Tonight we gonna party like we’re out of time,” and “Time flows so let the memories pass,” U-KISS does the New Year right.


miss A‘s is the embodiment of a powerful and independent girl group, and Over U continues that theme. The song is essentially a breakup song for a man who continuously convinced the girl to stay in the toxic relationship. Finally she realizes that he’s bringing her down and she’s ready to be free of him. She’s ready to be happy, like she was before she knew this man. The girl is ready for a clean slate and to forget about that horrible relationship. And doesn’t a new year mean a lean slate?

— Tara

Also on KultScene: Top 20 K-Pop Music Videos Of 2014

This year in K-Pop had too many bad days, so as a song to welcome the New Year, IU’s Good Day is perfect. It is the most joyful, hopeful and wonderful song you could ever find. IU’s voice is just as good especially at her famous three octaves in one note part. We must see things in a new light just like the lyrics of this song as we look forward to 2015 and hope that we have good days then.


Lee Hi’s song It’s Over talks about the end of a tumultuous relationship. This year was known as the K-Pop Apocalypse and this song is the perfect metaphor to say goodbye to this catastrophic year. The video comes with a super cute teddy bear as Lee Hi’s ex-boyfriend is dressed as the members of BIGBANG, paying tribute to her label mates and seniors. Lee Hi’s strong vocals and the very cute age appropriate image of this music video create an interesting combination that makes her stand out from other solo artists. So on this last Sunday of 2014, let’s say goodbye and cheer for an amazing 2015!


Also on KultScene: Korean Drama Trends to Look Forward to in 2015

Whether 2014 was a good or bad year for you, with a new one coming up there’s a sense of letting the old one go once and for all. And there’s no better song out there to say just that than Super Junior-M’s Go. While the song is about a relationship (what K-Pop song isn’t?), us English speakers can ignore all that and just focus on the chorus. Let’s encouragingly bid farewell to 2014 while singing, “Go! Just let it go! Go go go go go!” The new year brings with it a metaphorical new slate, so past troubles should be left behind with the memory of the past year.


What songs are on your New Year’s Eve playlist? Share your picks in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, TwitterInstagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

Best of the K-Pop B Tracks: Part 3

Are you ready for the next installment of our Best of the K-Pop B Tracks series? Part 3 introduces new artists to the series and talks about one or two artists from the original post and from Part 2. The majority of these songs are not single material, but nonetheless, they are great tracks to enjoy on their respective albums. The following seven songs share some similarities as well as differences with each other, but all of them are great tunes.

Artist: Miss A
Album: Touch
Song: Lips

We’re starting Part 3 of this series off strong with Miss A’s Lips. The song starts off with a strong beat and club/EDM-inspired music. The ladies’ vocals are strong and powerful during the verses. Then more feminine and soft when the chorus appears. The chorus is addictive and easy to sing along to, which helps listeners get into the song. Lips is the perfect song to dance to at the club on a Friday or Saturday night. Just unwind and let go.

Artist: SHINee
Album: Dream Girl: The Misconceptions of You
Song: 히치하이킹 Hitchhiking

Next up of course is a SHINee song. 히치하이킹 Hitchhiking like Lips starts out strong with a synth and strong beat before and during Key’s intro. The music for 히치하이킹 Hitchhiking is insane. The almost overproduced beats seem like they would be too much, but somehow the music manages to work for the song.

The vocals and music are both quick, which keeps listeners interested. There aren’t any pauses in the music. Instead it slows down and thins out in some spots. The guys’ vocals are, as usual, flawless. The harmonies and falsettos are superb as well. 히치하이킹 Hitchhiking is a fun song to listen to when you’re feeling like hitting those high notes as you sing along.

Artist: LC9
Album: Skirmish
Song: Skirmish

LC9 came onto the K-Pop scene with Mama Beat and haven’t really been heard from since then. This next song is from their debut mini album titled Skirmish. The lead-off track is of the same name and one of my favorites. The beat and music are completely different from other K-Pop songs.

The music makes the song seem like it should be a hard-hitting song. But the vocals, especially in the beginning, are softer and inviting. After the chorus, the music becomes more minimal, and then builds again as the chorus approaches. The style of singing in Skirmish is what attracted me to the song. The members drag out their words and loop them together to give a wavy flow to the lyrics. Skirmish is a great song to bob your head to while listening to it with headphones.

Artist: Henry ft. Seul Gi
Album: Fantastic
Song: Butterfly

The next song is considerably different from the heavy EDM songs above. Henry’s duet with Seul Gi from his second mini album is a beautiful song that showcases both singers’ vocals. The two sound great together and the song, Butterfly, uses piano, guitar, and drums as the basis of the music.

It feels like a small lounge song with the duet singing to you in person. Butterfly is a pretty song that isn’t overpowered by the music and Henry’s and Seul Gi’s vocals compliment each other extremely well. When you feel like taking a break from the world listen to Butterfly.

Artist: Mamamoo ft. Geeks
Album: Hello
Song: Heeheehaheho

Mamamoo is a rookie group that deserves much more recognition. The soulful ladies have amazing vocals and great songs. Heeheehaheho is from their debut mini album Hello and is a little slower than the other songs. But it beautifully showcases the ladies’ vocal talents. Heeheehaheho is a R&B song that slows down life for a few minutes. It’s a simple song that brings out the soul in each members’ voice.

Artist: 2PM
Album: 미친거 아니야? GO CRAZY!
Song: Mine

2PM’s Fall release, 미친거 아니야? GO CRAZY!, gave us the likes of Go Crazy!, a crazy party song. But a few more tracks into the album we get Mine. Mine is a song that starts out with strings, piano, and funk, jazz-inspired music. Jun.K kicks off the vocals with his soulful tone and draws you into the song. The music is simple and provides a strong beat for the 70s-inspired vocals. We get soul, falsetto, Taec’s rapping and of course some 2PM flair.

Artist: Clazziquai Project
Album: Blink
Song: Life etc.

The final song for this installment of Best of the K-Pop B Tracks, is Clazziquai Project’s Life etc. from their Blink album. Alex does all of the singing in this song while Horan adds backing vocals. There’s a lot going on musically, but it does not distract from the song, it adds to it. Alex’s calm and soothing vocals makes a perfect pair with the zealous music.

The music may seem chaotic but it is essentially the main star of the song. Alex does sing throughout the song, but there are a lot of musical breaks where the listeners can just jam to the music. Alex adds to the story with the lyrics and his vocals. Life etc. is a fun song to listen to whenever you need a quirky pick-me-up.

Did you enjoy Part 3 of our K-Pop B Tracks series? Share some of your favorite K-Pop B tracks with us in the comments below. Be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.

K-Pop Songs to Start Your Morning

An array of K-Pop songs to get your weekday morning started off right. The following tune selections are upbeat and will get you moving during the morning hours. Because as we all know, it’s extremely hard to get out of bed in the morning, especially when school and/or work are the reasons for doing so. All of these songs will get the blood pumping through you and get you out of bed and excited to tackle the day.

Neon Bunny – Oh My Prince

Neon Bunny’s soft vocals are the perfect thing to wake up to in the morning. The bass and club-inspired music of Oh My Prince will have you tapping your feet and bobbing your head. It’s a great song to listen to as you begin to wake up in your bed. The song will get you out of bed and moving around. Oh My Prince isn’t too intense that it startles you as you start to wake up. Instead, it will aid in your level of coherence and it will help put you in a good mood to start the day.

BTS – 여기 봐

For a little Pharrell/ Neptunes-inspired tune, just turn to BTS’ 여기 봐. The song is made up of elements that will put you in a great mood. The tune, the music, the instruments, the vocals, the rapping, all of it flows together effortlessly and has an upbeat and carefree vibe. Blast 여기 봐 as you make your coffee and breakfast and dance around the kitchen. It might also be a good idea to pick out your outfit for the day since you will be in an euphoric state due to the relaxed feeling of 여기 봐.

History – It’s Alright

It’s Alright is quite different from the previous tracks on this list. But, the song has a great beat, and how can you deny a song that states “It’s Alright” throughout the chorus? A great way to start your day is by already telling yourself that everything is alright. If you’re familiar with History, then you are aware of their vocal abilities and flawless harmonies. It’s Alright is another upbeat song that puts you in a good mood, which is the best way to begin your day. It’s Alright also utilizes musical elements from numerous genres and eras, such as funk, the ’80s, and others. The different sound will enhance your mood.

Kanto – Fly High ft. Olltii & Sik-K

This next tune may seem like a buzz kill at first. And in comparison to the songs listed above, it kind of is… But Kanto’s rapping and vocal tone are captivating. The song builds upon itself, and although it starts out slow, you won’t want it to end. While listening to this song you become engrossed in the beat, music, and rapping. Not to mention that the chorus offers an inspirational phrase to start your day:

We can fly

When Fly High ends. you will feel like you can take on the world. And who doesn’t want to start their day off feeling like that?

Taeyang – Body

The final song to get your morning off on the right foot is none other than Taeyang’s Body. Just take the final 3+ minutes of your morning and revel in the vocals of Taeyang. This song will get you pumped up and ready to tackle the day and you will feel beautiful and loved throughout the day. That is the power of Taeyang. Aside from the lovable lyrics, Body is an extremely catchy song with a great beat and overall feeling.

These are only a few K-Pop tunes to get your day started. Let us know if you have a favorite song that gets you pumped up to start the day. Leave your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.