So here is the thing…life sucks. I got hit hard last year and that slowed me down incredibly. I used to try and crank out reviews for songs as soon as possible, but I decided to give myself some time to make sure that I could fully dive into the song. And then that turned into me choosing between work, school, sleep and this blog so I obviously chose the more important ones. Anyway while song reviews are picking back up…album reviews have kind of fallen to the wayside.

This is going to be a long ass text post so here is the summary: Albums are long form, reviewing them takes time, I was cranking out reviews, A lot of albums sound the same to me and therefore are not worth the effort of writing about them.

Good Good? Yes

Let’s get into it.

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Yeonjung will be joining Cosmic Girls

Cosmic Girls will be returning for their first comeback (second single) with the addition of Producer 101 and I.O.I fame Yeonjung. This news has brought some ire from fans, claiming it is a mistake for *insert various reasons*. In all honesty, I won’t deny that this could go bad. It probably will…but…I do think there is something that could go right from all this.
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A long and extensive TWICE teaser post

So in Five days, JYPE will officially debut their latest group, the reality show made girl group, TWICE. As such they have begun their promo train, releasing teasers for their nearing debut. I had promised to do a teaser post for them, and with all their individual teasers released, I think it is time to bring it all together!

TWICE group shot
TWICE Group Shot

First off there was a schedule released:

Twice promo schedule teaser

Then came their tracklist:

TWICE-Tracklist

A lot of these songs we have heard before: Truth, Do It Again, and Must Be Crazy. I personally have grown to like them, yet am thankful none of them are the single.

We have gone through most of the teasers already.

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Also there is their video teasers which hint at a lot of things going on.

This is all ten teasers, from their individual videos (and zombie companions) to their most recent release from today that shows them dancing in front of a broken down carny bus.

We still have six days left of teasers and I am kind of excited. Hopefully they release another one at noon (KST, 11 pm over where I’m at).

To finish off this post I want to do a little thing where I guess their positions!

Nayeon: Main/Lead Vocalist, Face of the group

Jungyeon: Lead Vocalist

MoMo: Main Dancer, Lead Vocalist, Lead Rapper

Sana: Vocalist, Lead Dancer, Rapper

Jihyo: Leader (confirmed), Main Vocalist

Mina: Lead/Main Dancer, Vocalist

Dahyun: Lead Rapper, Vocalist

Chaeyoung: Main Rapper, Vocalist

Tzuyu: Visual, Vocalist

I generally tend to leave certain roles out because eh. But…might as well get into the K Pop spirit. TWICE seems like their debut is going to go well. The biggest thing is their song being likable by the public. While we can try to look at typical patterns, sometimes that one off song can come in and win. We don’t have enough to worry about it. From my end, I just want to like it. If I like it, I will support them (they already got me in their corner with three of their songs anyway).

TWICE makes their official debut October 20.


 

Sources: TWICE official Facebook page, jypentertainment Youtube 

 

 

Lovelyz comeback with Shooting Star along with the debut of Jisoo

Lovelyz make their second comeback this year with Lovelyz8 and the lead single is called Shooting Star…

This is kind of dry. Like the only reason I don’t hate it is because the beat; it’s very lounge and has this R&b vibe to it. I did a little wiggle in my seat listening to it. It’s really nice background music because it isn’t big or loud, which I really like. Other than that, eh…I could skip this song. It probably could have been a cute uptempo song…I don’t know. This is just so…eh. I’m sure someone likes it though. So good for them. The video is just as dry as the song. They took one line from the song and built an entire video around it…I’m both amazed and bored by this.

I think this was all set up just to push Jisoo back into the group. Like yes, go for the sweeter more submissive ballad to play up her regrets of not debuting on time. I really wanted to talk about Jisoo because I think she is such an interesting case. She was found innocent of the allegations (except for one, but I don’t know if that was debunked or not), however netizens are not letting go of this just yet. Taking her out of the group in the beginning was a smart move. The whole innocent until proven guilty doesn’t work when it can fuck with the product in the meantime. Jisoo was toxic to the group when these rumors came out and Woolim was smart to pull her at the time. Now they seem to be in the clear, but I am worried that netizens may not let it go just yet. Here’s to hoping they do though. Like to ruin the career of someone who was innocent is just messy.

Any way, eh…Lovelyz are three for three in their single choices. They have some nice songs on their albums (like I am positive I will like some of their songs off this one), but their singles are so dry. But it’s whatever, the news of Jisoo’s return on top of this being a likable enough group kind of overshadow this song’s…mediocrity.

Here’s hoping to a successful comeback and Jisoo not getting the permanent ax.

 

NC.A…is coming back…again…

I…

This is literally the fourth single from her this year. And I don’t know if she is still promoting Vanilla Shake or not…

What is catching me off guard is that, NC.A, who for all I know is not under a big company, has managed to comeback more times than most groups of greater status. Now these comebacks have not gotten her any sort of major traction…but…at least their trying. I commend her and her company for taking a proactive stance in her career.

NC.A’s next single Instinct is slated to be released at noon August 24, which will be tonight around 11 for me.

Hyorin to collaborate with Paloalto and Zico, and I am going to have to drag my fave

It is a sad day for me because I never thought I would have to be critical of a fave. Starship is pretty deadset on Hyorin changing up her image…I don’t know why seeing as people like her well enough and she is known in the public as a top vocalist of her genre.

YET…we are having to sit through her becoming a rapper. Why? I don’t know.

So on top of Unpretty Rapstar, Hyorin is doing a collaboration with two well known rappers, Zico and Paloalto.

Here is a teaser.

HyorinPaloaltoZico

 

This is a lot. The problem here isn’t the two guys…no it is all on Hyorin herself.

I casually glided past this very issue with 4Minute’s last comeback Crazy (which was a glaring issue in that video itself), and I just don’t have the time and patience to keep talking about it…but let’s do this now.

Everything about her look is super obvious. Actually her look seems to be heavily reminiscent of singer Aaliyah

Aaliyah during Aaliyah Fans Pay Tribute in New York, New York, United States. (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
Aaliyah during Aaliyah Fans Pay Tribute in New York, New York, United States. (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)

For anyone who doesn’t know anything about Aaliyah, she was a singer from the early 90’s to early 2000’s, who was a big part of the R&B revolution. Although her sound was crafted by other people, she was still very synonymous with an edgier hip hop inspired sound of R&B (another singer who basically pioneered this was Mary J. Blige). Chances are if you see a female singer wearing clothes with obvious inspirations/connections to hip hop…, they probably have a hip hop infused sound, or presenting a more down the way kind of image (Ciara, Mary J. Blige, TLC, SWV and Xscape for anyone who needs references).

Is there anything wrong with these ladies taking hip hop and incorporating it into their music? NO! Just like I don’t have a problem with K Pop doing the same. HOWEVER, the difference between the ladies I mentioned and Hyorin is that Hyorin is going full monty rapper (for however long this will last), and instead of working her image and sound to be cohesive, it seems like she is just straight up cosplaying what is assumed to be a rapper.

And before anyone hits that, it’s just clothes/hair blah blah blah…

sistar19

 

She wore an outfit that is assumed to be more Hip Hop based, but it was just one of several styles Sistar19 worse. Was there a problem here? No? Why? Because Hyorin wasn’t showing any type of pretense. She was still singing Main vocalist Hyorin. It was just clothes and lacked any sort of context that her new teasers have.

Now she is trying to be a rapper and guess what is happening? They put her in this outfit, with that hairstyle on a song with two other rappers. They are trying to make a statement. And unfortunately it is coming off a lot of ways.

What’s worse is that a lot of MAINSTREAM female rappers don’t even dress like that. They don’t have to present some cliche image of what rap is??? Like…you have Missy Elliott, Salt N Peppa, YoYo, MC Lyte, Lil Kim, Nicki Minaj, Rah Digga????

ALL OF THESE WOMEN ARE WELL KNOWN RAPPERS, AND STARSHIP IS PUSHING THIS?

There is nothing wrong with Hyorin wanting to become a rapper. There is nothing wrong with her being on that show. There is nothing wrong with her adding hip hop influences to her music, or even engrossing herself into the culture. There is nothing wrong with any of that. What is wrong is when she starts trying to project a stale ass (and often times racist) archetype of what a rapper is for obvious commercial and public appeal. They knew what they were doing with that look. The hair, the clothes all of it was meant to invoke rapper, and sadly that is…not cute.

 

 

UnPretty Rap Star coming back with a season 2, contestants being revealed

After the success of the first season, of course a second season of the all female emcee competition show would happen. After how much press and coverage Jimin had brought to the show (be it good or bad for her), of course there would be more idols appearing.

However MNET and the people who are behind the decisions decided to take it a step further. This season we are not only getting more idols, but…we got a vocalist!

News had broken out about certain people showing up for the show…and the reactions were not completely satisfied. Now…we have some names to our contestants

Wonder Girl’s Yubin, Sistar’s Hyorin, Fiestar’s Yezi, KittiB, Kasper, Gilme, Ahn Soo Min have been confirmed so far. There are four spots left, so I am guessing another idol and the rest underground.

San E. is coming back as the MC/Host.

Let’s just get some complaints and thoughts out of the way.

More Idols!

I think that was obviously going to happen. AoA’s Jimin brought in a lot of attention (because of her legitimacy as a rapper, her being an idol, etc.), whether good or bad, people wanted to see what she was going to do.

Those views matter to MNET no matter how they were gotten. To me, it makes sense that they added more idols because then that means more people. Especially when you have to high profile acts such as Hyorin and Yubin. Also another thing to take into consideration is that we don’t give female idols the same…respect…as we do male idols.

Maybe it is just me, but I somewhat sense the fact that people will not question the legitimacy of certain male rappers immediately. Like would we talk shit about Rapmon or Zico (as rappers)? However we do have female rappers who do take their craft seriously and have just as much prior experience as the boys. But once again…I feel like we would question them no matter what. This is also a problem of the industry not utilizing their female idols in the same way as they do their male counterparts.

But that’s mostly speculation that I can’t confirm one way or the other.

Idols on this show isn’t that big of a problem. If this show cared about the integrity of rap they would have altered the way the show worked, hired female judges and producers and discussed the actual sexism and misogyny rap music…but no. That’s not what this show is about.

I saw it coming after Jimin. They were going to look for more idol rappers and focus on this whole legitimate stance (in the most shallow context possible).

But that’s just my onion.

Hyorin the rapper

Hyorin is the best definition of a performance idol. She can sing, dance, has presence on stage, is rarely off her mark…and…she isn’t a terrible rapper. In all honesty, she does better than quite a few designated rappers in k pop.

HOWEVER…

Hyorin is not a rapper. She is not even an idol rapper.

Hyorin seems like what Jimin was the last season. She is the obvious shit stirrer of controversy. Her very presence makes you question the legitimacy of the show. With Jimin, she was an idol rapper who had to prove she was just as good as the other women of the show. Hyorin takes this a step further where she is going to have to prove that she can indeed hang period.

I personally see her being on the show as just for controversy.  I don’t think she is bad, and is better than a lot of designated rappers (the ones who couldn’t cut it as a singer, so were just thrown in that role). However I don’t think she is here because they take her seriously. I love her but she has maybe rapped all of three/four times in Sistar’s music, and has done a few fly bye covers of other people’s verses.

Whatever it may be, I don’t really care. At first I was like no…simply because Hyorin really didn’t need this show. To be honest I want more of her singing, and her next album please. This show just seemed like a waste of time for someone who wasn’t a serious rapper (idol standards or no). However I’ve gotten over it, and well…as much as she is my true fave, I don’t particularly care. If her ass flop, her ass flop. If she does well, than great. But that’s truly on her. She is going to have to prove herself now because this show will put a label on her.


 

Unpretty Rap Star is sadly just going to be like every other competition show, and we are going to enjoy it because it is such. We will have our faves, there will be moments where we are in awe, and other times when we cringe in disgust/embarrassment. That’s what this show is for in that sense. However I do hope that the ladies who come on this show can at least profit off of this and build their careers (or redefine it in some cases). There is absolutely nothing wrong with that in my opinion.

 

Hyuna contirbuting to the August comeback extravaganza

I had predicted earlier in the year that not only would we get a Wonder Girls, comeback, but former member and now Cube artist Hyuna would be making one herself. Who would have thought this would have been in the same month…

While I am currently mulling over my love for the senior group’s album, Hyuna decides to release a trailer for her new album.

I’m surprised we got this as early as we did because she just put pictures up of this not too long ago (in fact it was just last week). I thought it was for a music video…instead it was for a teaser. Anyway I love the party and trashy glamour vibe of all this. Hyuna looks amazing, and I can’t expect much else from her. But this is just a trailer basically saying she is coming back…not the actual comeback itself. If she actually keeps the video like this, I think I will love it. Mostly because the reactions from everyone else will be a load of bullshit and hypocrisies…but I don’t think we should get into that.

I am thoroughly convinced that July was cluttered with meh so we didn’t die from the hype that would be August. A lot is happening right now, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Hyuna never really dissapoints musically, so I don’t have reservations about this.

B.A.P returns to TS. Entertainment

B.A.P. have been in what was almost a year long legal battle with their management company TS Entertainment to get them out of their contracts.

Well that has come to an end with B.A.P. to returning to TS…

Official Statement from TS Entertainment:

Hello, this is TS Entertainment.

Firstly, we would like to apologize again for causing concern to everyone due to the unexpected occurrences within the past few months.

Since the problem occurred on November 11th 2014, we have prioritized solving the issue and made our best effort to recover the trust with B.A.P. Through our series of numerous communication trials and heartfelt efforts, we finally recovered the trust of each other and B.A.P returned to TS Entertainment on August 1st 2015.

No matter what the reason is, we fully recognize that this long process has been a painful one for the B.A.P members, their parents, and the fans who have always been the main source of unwavering support to the group, and promise that we will make our earnest effort to create B.A.P’s bright future.

We highly thank the fans, who have patiently waited for B.A.P’s return, and those who have supported us with your unwavering trust. TS Entertainment will continue to create a better environment for all of our artists and focus on bringing better music to you all.

See…this is suspect. While the there are a couple of lines that does acknowledge the problem (aka them), but it is very vague and makes it seem like it was a personal problem. “Heartfelt efforts”, and “regaining trust” are very strange phrases to use in a case about not paying and overworking your employees.

It also doesn’t have a resolution to said problem. B.A.P. left for a reason, and yet nothing is stated. I don’t doubt that TS is probably are going to try to do better by B.A.P. (by court mandate), but the message that has been communicated in this statement makes it seem so shallow and some sort of tv drama that gets resolved and only brought back up for exposition and character development. Are they going to be paying them properly, will they work on amending their schedules? This is the biggest concern around this.

I think with the slow fall of Secret, and the less than stellar reception to Sonamoo (not that it has been bad, but the competition has been incredibly stiff)…TS probably had to cave in some way in order to not lose a major source of their income. On the opposite end, B.A.P. probably don’t have a lot of options, and continuing this on any further could/would have been an extreme toll on their resources.

Either way the results are what matters. B.A.P. will continue their careers with TS Entertainment, for better or worse.


 

Source: B.A.P. Official Facebook page

Sera earns the Bad Bitch Award with the BTS video of her album making

In just a year of her departure from Stardom, 9Muses, and what seems like K Pop in general, Sera has come into her own as an artist. She went from covers to her own songs in less than a year, has started getting creative in her music making ways, and is getting cool.

Now she is releasing her very first album, independent of any major/big company. And…she did a grassroot album.

She was involved in everything. From the creation of the music, the engineering, the design, she even did the fucking editing of her cards! Like…YES!!!!

It’s just that this is a major effort, and for her to put all of it into a physical release…shit…I would have died.

While I still think she could use some polishing in terms of engineering and resources, I got to say I am proud to see her grow. Unfortunately for me, the album is only a domestic release, meaning international fans will not get to see it, unless she decides to get a digital distributor as well (or a K Pop fan is merciful enough to put it online).