Friday, June 25, 2010

When Shit Hits The Fan: A K-Pop Analysis

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When did it happen? First, I was just living my day-to-day life and doing things that a normal 18 year-old usually does. Play video games, watch movies, eat, sleep, and the like. Then, juts like that, it hit.

K-pop hit the country like the way shit hits the fan. The timing couldn't have been better(or worse) as the Filipinos grew disdainful of the beautiful, popular and glittering pop artists of this country and so the masses turned their heads on the beautiful, popular, and glittering pop artists of the nation of South Korea. Groups such as the comically named Super Junior, B2ST, and, U-Kiss(?) are the ones who led the charge to make Philippines as a major market for their music.

Now, with concerts being held here, the musical scenario of the Philippines is, ironically, filled with Korean music. In the MYX Daily Top Ten (a Filipino music show) alone, it is not surprising for the Koreans to take 4 or 5 spots with one of them taking the top one.

This invasion poses a serious problem not only for the Philippine music industry but also for our country's long and storied culture. With the Koreans invading our music scene, this brings their culture closer to ours. There is nothing wrong with the sharing of cultures but because some(most) fans entrench Korean culture deep into their own lives, they become dominantly Korean than Filipino. Indeed, some fans have been switching allegiances from the Philippine flag to the Korean one.

In effect, the Philippine culture is now slowly being erased in some of our youth as they begin to embrace foreign cultures like Korean and American cultures. Some fans learn the Korean language even if they are not yet skilled in the use of our own language. Worse still is that most of the fans do not understand Korean at all. They just ride in on the craze and swoon on their idol's good looks.

Some fans even go as far as to intimidate, tease or threaten with death those who pose negative opinions on their idols. Filipino artists are being called inferior by these fans and call the OPM artists as less talented, copycats and the like.

The fad is certainly troubling. The fans lose sleep, money and education because of their religious devotion to the groups. The fans follow each step that the group makes, even going as far as celebrating the birthday of a k-pop group member.

The thing with k-pop is that it is not bad but not great either. The music is just passable and comparable to the songs of Britney Spears, the Spice Girls, Justin Bieber, and the like. There is nothing spectacular to the songs. The songs are not the reason why k-pop is popular. K-pop is popular because of the artists. After all, these K-pop artists are what constitutes this generation's definition of sexy, handsome and beautiful. I dare the Koreans to replace the artists of Super Junior with people who constitutes this generations' definition of ugly. No one would watch a show where the nominal definition of ugly people are the main stars. It just would not sell.

There are a ton of Filipino artists out there who are better at producing music than their k-pop counterparts and, yet, they are being disregarded because they are not visually enticing. One of the main mantras of the showbiz industry is that 'Sex sells' and the producers of Korean music is doing just that. Cabi anyone?

Now, this is where the government should now interfere. The government must now support OPM artists more than ever in the presence of such competition and hate. The government must regulate the frequency which K-pop songs are presented on the air. The government must give grants to aspiring Filipino artists and promote OPM over foreign music. Why not? Canada has already done this and the produced such musical greats like Stars and The New Pornographers from programs like these.

On the issue that male k-pop bands look homosexual, you cannot blame that a culture that perceives a different image for a man to react to pictures like this:

After all, our image of the Filipino male is far different from this. Even my lady friends who are fans of k-pop would laugh and tell me that I look gay if I posed like this. It would not hurt k-pop artists to lessen the pose. They are seriously one glittering pile away from Edward Cullen.

It is fine if you are a fan of another culture or fad. As long as it does not damage our lives and destroy our roots. After all, when the K-pop fad dies ( as I am sure that it would), a new one will replace it and then we will look back in the past and laugh.


  1. Again. This is colonial mentality at its 'best.' Notice how their music is very much like American pop music? That explains it.

  2. yep. I think this is what is called 'cultural imperialism'.

  3. basta imposibleng mahilig ako sa hindi ko naiintindihan. sa mga nakakaintindi ng Korean, fine.

  4. ay sos. tama ka talaga. its very gay -not there's anything wrong w/ being gay- dinidelude ng mga pinoy ang kanilang mga sarili that they find this new androgeny beautiful by patronizing it in another culture and degrading it in ours. pero tama ka, hopefully the fad dies soon.

  5. Love music and agree with the author's views

  6. Filipino music is mainly ballads and recycled music. This is the reason why OPM won't fly.
    OPM needs an overhaul - it's not appealing anymore.
    Take a look at our drama shows, the music is almost always recycled.

    What if OPM becomes popular overseas then countries would regulate or even ban our music - how would we feel?

    We simply need to consistently make better songs and not act as sore losers.

  7. You know what, I have read many articles that the Korean Government sees Hallyu as a SOFT POWER.

    So yes, your analysis is right. It is cultural imperialism being forced into Asian countries by an insecure Korean government. 

    South Korea obsess with how other Asians accept their pop culture but they hardly reciprocate it. No wonder Koreans are very prone to ignorant racism ("Blackface" is common in Korean entertainment)

  8. Same problem here in Indonesia, and I'm Joe Satriani fan. I didn't meant to be racist, I like Japanese's manga and Korean's electronics. But K-POP is degenerate product it's madness that they're spread like viral