Tuesday, January 20, 2015

[Rant] What I Wish From My Favorite "Under-Appreciated Kpop Groups"

A lot of people know me as someone who follows Infinite and SHINee, and most frequently covers dances from SHINee and Miss A, all three of which are mega-successful Kpop groups today. However, I also keep my eye out on a number of probably under-appreciated groups. I'm counting those that literally have minimal Kpop market presence, similar to the level of zero-popularity Infinite was before they got famous.*
But the plight that I want to focus on isn't so much about how they'll never get big. I'm more concerned this pattern that exists: first- they debut with something really awesome or with obvious potential skill despite poor company presentation and production, second- they don't get very far/famous/flop in many cases, and third- the company changes lineup or focus for them that may work, but highly disappointing because they'll never reach the full potential or continue in the same level of awesomeness that they began with. It's kind of like wishing for Key or Hyoyeon to dance like they did pre-debut.** So here's my top 3 favorite underappreciated Kpop groups... and why I cry and pity them and wish they could do better.

Tiny G:
Favorite member- Myungji/Mint
Favorite dance- "Tiny G"
Status: Indefinite hiatus
These girls are crazy young and only debuted in 2012 so they haven't been around as much as the others, but they did get quickly more disappointing. They were originally a hip hop group but when that image failed (much like Secret without the success) they reverted to feminine concepts. While their debut music video was in bad taste and low production quality, the song's vocal power (for their age!), and the dance, with it's synchronization, group formation utilizing elements, and just plain raw awesomeness from Mint, captured me and made it on my list of must-covers. 

Favorite member- Karam
Status: Active (mostly in Japan)
These guys experienced a trauma congo line in their career: began as former generation members of Xing, moved to DGNA under Open World Entertainment, found much more success in Japan, , When they debuted as DGNA, they were dubbed the "next DBSK" because of the image, debut song similarities, and acapella concept. Many of their hipster fans (including myself), know they have so much more potential- a lot of their vocal and dance skills are showcased in variety shows, interviews, and backstage footage. Somehow they never caught on in Korea, but they definitely had a much better time in Japan. I personally view their "Rila Go" comeback as tragic as Exo's "Wolf", except unfortunately without the success.

Favorite member- Di
Favorite dance- "Masquerade"
Status: Hiatus between 2013-2015
Well, Rania faced a bad rep for debut- "Dr Feelgood"'s dance got banned in Korea (similar to Wassup), there were so many member changes that now they only have 3 out of 9, and their American debut situation made Ayuma Hamasaki's debut look flawless.

Of course, that doesn't mean there are things I wish from my favorite popular dance groups- oh definitely more. 

Miss A: Their vocals have gotten better but I'd love their dances to become complicated and well rounded agian. "Goodbye Baby" started to disappointment me, but at least it had the snake move as a saving grace in the dance. But since then, "I Don't Need A Man", "Touch", "Hush", and "Only You" have been far too much like other typical girl group dances (Jia's back leaning in I.D.N.A.M. is nothing compared to how she can really dance). Y'know what I'm talking about. The type of girl group dance that has simple moves and isn't particularly jaw-dropping or impressive. "Bad Girl Good Girl", "Breathe", and "Goodbye Baby" all featured some signature difficult dance move, and I can only hope that one they'll have a real dance again. I want to cover a dance from them again.

Infinite: Can their music videos go back to being funky or badass cool stylized. Basically not bordering SM dance box music videos? "Destiny" isn't exactly a dance box MV, but it's eerily close considering both version A and B mostly consists of close-up solo shots and dance shots. And "Man In Love" reminds me far too much of SHINee's "Hello" (though thankfully matrix-cam free). I also really really really want them to bring back or repopularize a SUPER EPIC signature move like the scorpion (aka- kneefloat) in BTD. They haven't done it since, and I'd even be willing to give up my snottiness about their non-synchronization if they returned a super signature move.

But then again, with hundreds of Kpop bands in the market today, there's only so much that any international or dance-based fangirl can discover or, let alone, focus on.

*I have a number of such underappreciated favorite bands because I first notice them for the amazing (potential) dance choreo they debut with, but circumstances, such as not enough fans or lost in the sea of plenty of other debuts or not enough profit, never get them very far.
**My main criteria for Kpop groups are if they have a promotional dance that's cohesively choreographed, technically skilled, and impressive (bonus points for complicated smoothly incorporated tricks or more acrobatic/gymnastic elements). 

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