What am I going to do with this space?

I’m contemplating what to do with this blog. Since I rarely come back to this spot.

Closing it is an option, of course, but as I’ve found over the years, I always come back. Even after taking a very lengthy hiatus. So closing this would be the last possible scenario.

Since 2017, this has become a fun place for my love for k-pop.

And I still love k-pop. But like many others before me, I’ve become disturbed by the fandom.

The fandom isn’t always bad. There are casual k-pop fans, like myself, who enjoy the music and subculture k-pop has to offer.

But the fandom also has a dark side. An extremely dark side. It’s polluted with, what I can only express as an unhealthy obsession.

Yes, I always knew this side existed. What pop culture fandom doesn’t have the extremists. There’s always have been stalkers, for example. Or in k-pop standards, sasaeng fans.

These past two years, however, I’ve seen other types of toxic fans that are not at that sasaeng level. Yet, ruin lives based on their entitled behavior. It’s disturbing because they actually believe they have this right to control the livelihood of others.

And so, what I think I might do, is turn this space into somewhat of a research spot to explore this side of k-pop. And why such toxic fans have become the way they are.

Note, I’m not promising answers. I’m just trying to wrap my head around this causal-effect relationship the k-pop industry has with it’s fans.

And I’m not really sure where this blog will lead to in the end. Perhaps I’m just finding my own sort of closure.

Happy 2022? I sure the hell hope so…

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I cautiously approach 2022.

Cautiously – because I thought 2021 might have been better. Perhaps there were moments of 2021 that was pretty damn good. Because I still acknowledge we’re quite lucky. But until this pandemic is closer to the end, truly closer, I will remain just being careful of getting my hopes up.

It’s been more than half a year since I’ve blogged. But I always seem to return to this place. I always do.

Lets get back into kpop…

Man. What can I say? It’s been a somewhat dull year in terms of k-pop. I mean, the disappointment of girl k-pop groups not producing anywhere close to what the boy groups put out continues, but seems to be even harsher during the pandemic.

(G)-IDLE came out with HWAA a year ago. BLACKPINK’s How You Like That? over a year and a half ago! I’m not sure when they plan to do a comeback – I’ve heard nothing so far.

But there were some winners. Most of the songs, though, were collaborations between western artists – only one song stood of for me to be truly k-pop. Here’s my top 3 songs of 2021 below:

3. TXT – ‘0X1=LOVESONG (I Know I Love You) feat. Seori’

TXT truly surprised me with this release. It was the beginning of their punk-emo look. The song was superb and blew me away. THIS was the only true k-pop song that took my breath away.

2. Coldplay X BTS – My Universe

Two of my favorites united together and I could not have been more pleased. Coldplay did a great job producing My Universe. BTS’ rap and vocals molded well with Coldplays classic sound.

1. Ed Sheeran – Shivers (feat. Jessi, SUNMI)

This remix snuck in at the end of the year and probably saved 2021 for me as far as the music front. I’d say the original Sheeran version was already pretty good. Add the collaboration of both JESSI and SUNMI just had me jumping for joy. For one, I love both these women – they’ve proven going solo in such a competitive field as k-pop can be conquered even though for the most part, they’ve had to pave their way on their own. I’ve always been curious of seeing these two ladies collaborate.I was over-joyed they finally had a chance to, as they compliment each other so well. I truly pray this will only be the beginning for JESSI and SUNMI.

K-Pop and Quarantine Life – pt. 17

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It’s the first official summer long weekend here in Canada (a.k.a. Victoria Day weekend or May-Two-Four). Lock down continues and has been extended to 2nd week of June. Now, the plan shifts to different re-opening decisions. Rather than focus on new COVID numbers per day, the government will not loosen restrictions until at least 60% of the population has received their 1st dose vaccination, as well as determine how our hospital ICU and emergency rooms are doing.

I’m sure a lot of people are pissed off. Actually, I know they are. Up here, there’s not as much fear in getting vaccinated as there are in the states. However, the availability of vaccines has been very unstable. One week, we open up to new groups, then the other week, we’re told vaccinations are running low or running out completely. Plus it puts pressure on those who don’t agree with vaccinations. Whether or not I agree with anti-vaxxers or not, bottom line, it is their body and they have a right to decide what is done to their body.

What I don’t agree with – in terms of anti-vaxxer arguments – about how some establishments such as vacation resorts and cruise lines, may require customers to show proof of full vaccinations. They feel this means they are being forced to get vaccinated. Which, I feel is a stretch of what ‘force’ means. We’re quite privileged to be getting the vaccinations for free here. Where as places like India, suffering massively at the tragedy of COVID, would give anything to have enough vaccinations.

I think people need to realize what truly is ‘force’ and to recognize the privilege we have compared to other parts of the world. In other words, lets be thankful and much less bull-headed.

By the way, I got my 1st dose of AstraZeneca. I felt like shit for the next two days but was comforted in knowing it only meant my immune system was doing it’s job and the vaccination was working through my body. Fingers crosses it works! For all our sakes.


On to k-pop news….

The biggest, of course, is BTS’s release, Butter.

So… unpopular opinion here. A confession, really. After BTS released the teaser for Butter, I was not impressed. I was still hopeful but what I heard just didn’t grab my attention.. It was a first for me. Still, I waited for the full song to drop.

And then it did drop. And… I was a bit more impressed. But not crazy about it. True, I really did enjoy the video and recognize it to be quite the bop. Which is what BTS planned to do – to create a fun, summer-vibe bop.

I’ll admit, after listening to it a few times, it’s growing on me. Except I don’t like the way it starts. I don’t know why… yet. But something about it reminds me of a commercial jingle. And I can’t place my finger which commercial.

And, I really do miss something more dramatic, deep and/or edgy. I feel we’ve been without that edge since ON or Black Swan.

Some highlights of the song and music video…

  1. Suga’s rapping
  2. J-Hope. That’s it. Just J-Hope. Like his rapping and his singing. And his freestyle in that elevator scene. Except when he eats a chunk of butter at the end. I just want to know if he spits it out on the ‘CUT!’ Or maybe it’s not really butter but something that is made to look like butter.
  3. Jungkook’s long hair. Jungkook’s purple hair.
  4. How they spelt out ARMY with their poses – especially Taehyung and his biggest smile!
  5. Jimin’s vocals and when he’s at the press conference about to introduce the group.
  6. Jin’s vocals – because he sounds great and he gets a decent amount of lines.
  7. Namjoon rocking out during his freestyle

Of course, this is just my opinion. Lets face it – it’s taking off so strongly, already breaking records. I won’t be surprised to see it on Billboards Top Hot 100, if not at no. 1.

The second news I have is a very sad one if you ask me. It’s that GFRIEND have decided to disband. This shocking news seems to have confused and saddened fans. I don’t believe they saw it coming.

I myself am very sad. I knew of them, but only got into GFRIEND when they released Apple. And then I was so impressed, still am impressed as I play it pretty much everyday, with their latest release MAGO.

I wish the members all the best and thank them for providing such great music!

K-Pop and Quarantine Life – pt. 16

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It’s been a month. Or two.

While we’re still in a strict 24-hour lock-down, strangely a lot has happened.

I’ve been really battling the anti-Asian Hate which is reaching it’s peak here in North America. However, caring and being an activist comes with much emotional and mental energy being consumed. Posting just one retro-art symbolizing the Black Panther and Yellow Peril union from the 1960’s resulted in me being harassed and cyber-bullied. I believe ‘racist bitch’ was the exact words thrown at me.

I won’t go into details. My main goal was to bring together all groups – BIPOC and POC – and talk about ally-ship. Ally-ship and alliance for peace and the fight against racism, microaggressions and systemic racism. So it was very interesting to be called racist when the very movement I was part of was against racism.

I’m not going to go deeper into what happened because it only solidifies my belief about ally-ships during such a time where people are so divided. What I’ve learned is, once you become vulnerable and put yourself out there, you will have people (horrible people) knocking you down. That’s fine, I’m not there to do them any favors. I’m here to do favors for myself and those who want to help or be helped.

And no one said this was going to be an easy battle.

Giving up would be the last thing on my mind.

And now onto k-pop. Because this is my space and that’s what I need – to be in my happy place.


The biggest comeback I want to talk about is ENHYPEN. It wasn’t a group I thought I would be heavily invested in right from the beginning. Like TXT, I figured, “Well – young rookies. Very young. They’ll probably go for the flower-boy concept. The clean concept.”

Not that there’s anything wrong with the clean concept. It’s just not my style.

With ENHYPEN, I was wrong. I judged before I heard. Though I still stand by their name, by the way. Like everyone else I want to say ‘en-hyphen.’

Their initial release of Given-Taken and Let Me In have been added to my playlist as is. I was impressed with both songs. Not mind-blowing for me, but I liked both enough, especially Given-Taken. Their latest release, however, is just on a completely different level!

For one, I’m completely digging the vampire theme they’ve got going on. And even more so, the song itself it just full of energy and edge! There’s a bit of rock influence which I’m always a big fan of in k-pop. Because when it’s used, which isn’t often, and it’s used right, it creates this explosive, adrenaline state of the mind.

So what next? Well, I’d like to find that really awesome B-side track from ENHYPEN which I haven’t yet. Not like with TXT.

Another artist I’ve become pretty consumed in lately is Jessi.

Ah Jessi. She’s a rebel but not a trouble-maker. She defies k-pop beauty standards and yet is a queen of beauty anyway. Jessi is honest – she’ll put people in their place. But she’s also good and fights the good fight. I mean, like or hate her music, who can ignore Jessi?

She pretty much says it all in her last comeback, X (What Type of X):

Damn I love this song so much. In an interview she was explaining how this song was dedicated to her fans. Jessi wants her fans to just be them. Just like her. And I just love that message. Jessi makes no apology for who she is. She owns herself both inside and out. I mean, the woman has my full respect!

I am also in love with her late 2020 release, NUNA NANA. Which leads me to her live performance with Jackson Wang:

Now that GOT7 is no more, I would LOVE to see more collaboration between Jackson and Jessi. They have this type of energy on stage which really suit each other. I don’t know – I just see them as a good team.