K Pop Definitions!

K Pop like any other thing comes with its own strange language and buzzwords. Often when you hear these words,


Expect this thing excitedly. Likely just a close enough translation to some Korean word.


A laughable concept in K pop; k pop fans way of justifying terrible music; bullshit.


Songs generally set at a slower tempo. Violins, pianos, fender Rhodes, or soft stringed guitars. Basically strings and keys  under a mix of overly soft whispered crying singing or over dramatic belting and nothing else. Oddly enough, ballads are very hook based in K Pop.

Coffee Shop

It’s a term specifically for a type of sound. That acoustic guitar ridden song that is just barely above a ballad in terms of pace. It’s pretty much a ballad but more positive in tone, and the vocals are not nearly as whiny, but still incredibly soft. Like down pillow soft. Still not a great sound to be producing but often times a guaranteed hit.


Scammers. Entertainment management AND…scammers. A conglomeration that is supposed to support, train, and finance their clients (idols)…and are scammers. These companies will not only get you jobs, but will create your music (by either purchasing the assistance of producers, or in house ones)…oh and they scam.



A strange idea in k pop but most often necessary. The idea of the concept is just the image that is thought of. This can tie into the look as well as the sound. However it can be divided into different definitions.  In a broader sense, the concept is the image and branding that a company wants for a group. Cute Concepts, Sexy, hip-hop are all general but very common concepts seen in k pop. If you want to look at the differences in concepts, think SM vs YG. SM relies on the use of multiple concepts for their acts, while YG tends to fit their singers into one mold and define their careers around that.

Cute vs Sexy

A big argument in K pop that ultimately demonstrates the hypocrisy of fans. The only difference is tempo, color schemes, and outfits. Other than that…nothing. Both an attempt of exploitation of female idols and often times very shameless. The actual line is more skewed when you look at some cute girlgroups dances.Also the definer in trends for girl groups. Right now we are in the midst of a cute group uprising, but will eventually settle in the coming year.


A glorified position that is essentially a back up dancer with lines often attached to another one. The dancer position is more beneficial to boy groups as they are allowed to demonstrate better set of skills than their female counterparts. This does not mean the ladies can’t dance as well as guys, but often times are not allowed to show it to the fullest extent. This also doesn’t mean that girl groups do not work as hard as boy groups.

The Face

The person within the group that everyone can identify. Sometimes this person is also the visual, but not always.


An idol is a lot of things. They are a performer, a singer, an actor, a model, an MC…they do everything because that’s what they are in the business of. Idols in k pop are pop stars with a bigger workload. They are people we must worship but at half the price. Ideally they are supposed to be a jack of all trades kind of deal, but in reality they really only excel at one, maybe two aspects of entertainment, and even then at a B-grade level.

Lead Vocalist

Second banana to the main vocalist. Will get the scraps that the main didn’t, but ultimately they play a good role vocally.



Main Vocalist

The person in the group that is expected to do the heavy lifting singing wise. May not always be the best in the group, but will be perceived as such.



Unfortunately a term that fans use when talking about serious issues (Sexism, misogyny, racism, colorism, etc.), however instead of using said terms, problematic is a blanket term. Unfortunately this also leaves fans clumping simple acts of fuckery and being an asshole with giant discourse worthy incidents and individuals. Ultimately be aware for this terms, and use the appropriate language and dig deeper in discourse (and no this does not mean play devil’s advocate)!


Only recently has the rapper role actually meant anything. The person that raps. Unless you are a Hip hop oriented group, your rapper is likely a wasted position for someone who couldn’t cut it as a sub vocalist.


A glorified time-out. When some a scandal breaks out, and the guilty party is hated by the masses, reflection will occur. In some instances this means that they will disappear from existence until an allotted amount of time has passed (Tiffany during the Rising Sun scandal). In others missing a couple of events (most lower level scandals). Regardless reflections often mean little outside of saving face. Many of the general public WILL not forget what was said, and will bring it up at any moment, and on the guilty side they will likely have not learned a lesson beyond how to properly mince their words.


Anyone who uses this as some insult is…well…meh. Ignore them.


They are there to be pretty or a spot filler. Likely their intended position is for endorsement work.


An abstract concept that fans like to use as a measure of validity. It’s abstract because no one can really agree on what it is. Talent, from this humble blogger’s perspective, is a development of an ability or skill. The biggest debate comes with singing. Singing is a talent. It is a lie to think that people just are born with the ability to sing. Likely that is a nurtured skill. The singing voice is indeed biological. But the ability to string various pitches, in various tones together…learned (whether in a traditional class setting or just on you own). Same with dancing. People learn how to dance. The ability to create choreography…a learned skill (once again, class or on own).Some people do have more of an affinity of course, but other than that in the nature vs nurture debate…nurture wins.


A pyramid scam at its best. In actuality, idols and fans alike will talk about training as something the idol did that is meant to improve skills pre-debut. Unfortunately this not always the reality for many of these idols. How do you supposedly train for YEARS, and still sound like shit? Because certain training is reserved for people they likely invest in (SM), OR they are not actually using proper resources to benefit their trainees (YG). So when you hear about vocal or dance training, I suggest taking it with a grain of salt, because it was likely not all that productive for them.

The Visual

Somebody pretty. Often perceived as the prettiest one by the company, and will be pushed as such in marketing.

Vocal color

A singer’s tone, either technically proficient or not. Fans will try to justify poor vocal habits if they are not an actually good vocalist.

And that is it…hopefully we can continue to increase this with time. Have fun!


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