BTS has become an international phenomenon since their appearance at the BBMAs in May, and since then, K-Pop has grown from a small niche music genre to a worldwide obsession. BTS aren’t the only hard-working artists out there, and not all popular K-pop/K-Hip Hop artists are idols. If you’re looking to expand your taste beyond BTS, here are some artists that definately deserve a listen to!
If you’re a fan of BTS, you might start becoming a fan of Monsta X.
Monsta X debuted in 2015 and have been taking the world by storm. The group was formed through the survival show, No Mercy, and the seven members have been working hard on giving a great performance ever since. Much like BTS, this is a group that has a very versatile sound. Their songs range from soft, innocent love songs, to hard-hitting numbers full of emotion and passion. They’re mostly known for their amazing dance routines, and combination of hip hop and EDM. My favorite song by them has to be their single, “Beautiful”.
Black Pink is without a doubt, the most popular girl group in K-Pop right now!
This rookie group debuted with a bang, and have a fierceness reminiscent of older groups like 2NE1 and 4Minute. They don’t really fit into the cutesy mold that many rookie girl groups go for, instead, they strive for powerful vocals, complex dances, and bold lyrics. Black Pink’s most recent title track,”As If It’s Your Last“, broke the record for most views in 24 hours of any K-Pop group ever! Their most popular song, “Boombayah” boasts an energetic beat, catchy lyrics, and some stunning visual aesthetics! Though these girls have been around for less than a year, they’re making a huge impact on K-Pop and everything they release is a wild success!
Jay Park isn’t an idol rapper, and he’s proud of it.
You might have noticed him in Charli XCX’s “Boys” video, relaxing on top of an inflatable pink flamingo, but that’s about as soft and cuddly as he gets. Hailing from Seattle, Jay Park is arguably one of the most successful rappers in Korea at the moment. At 30 years old, is the founder and CEO of his own entertainment label, AOMG, and has done everything from acting, singing, dancing to rapping. For those who aren’t quite comfortable listening to music in korean yet, Jay has plenty of songs in english. His songs range from biting raps featuring other underground artists, to songs reminiscent of 90s’ R&B. His song “Worldwide” definately exemplifies how powerful his presence is.
CL is arguably the queen of K-Pop, and for good reason.
Lee Chaerin, or CL is one of the most well known K-pop artists of our time. She debuted in iconic girl group, 2NE1, and has since launched a solo career that’s landed her features in american songs like “Dirty Vibe” by Skrillex, back in 2014, and “Doctor Pepper“, alongside Diplo, RiFF RaFF and OG Maco in 2015. CL has a boastful attitude that is anything but undeserved. Proving herself as a musical phenomenon, and fashion icon, CL is the type of artist you can’t get enough of. Like Jay Park, she does have songs in english, like her newest single, “Lifted“, which takes a break from her usual aggressive style in favor of a reggae inspired rap. However, my favorite song by CL will always be “Hello Bitches”, because it is the quintessential CL song with her aggressive tone, and fluid mix of english and korean lyrics.
K-Pop definately proves that the language barrier can always be broken when it comes to music. These artists are all extremely talented and hardworking, and if you love BTS, you should definately give these artists a try! Like BTS, they break the molds of what artists are expected to do, and have their own unique take on K-pop staples.