Today, we take a detour on our journey through the history of Emo to take a look at the history of Kpop.
Where the U.S had NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys, Korea hat H.O.T and Sechs Kies (who I’ll be covering next week).
H.O.T (pronounced H-O-T, not ‘hot’) are retroactively considered the first ‘Kpop’ group, in the sense we think about Kpop today. They are the forerunners of the Korean ‘idol’ group and helped to make Kpop the teenage-centric industry it is today. They were formed by the now legendary Korean entertainment company SM Entertainment.
“Candy” is a single off of H.O.T’s debut album We Hate All Kinds of Violence, released in 1996. It is the embodiment of cute, bubblegummy Kpop sound that is stereotypical at this point, though, of course, it wasn’t back then. Despite the sweet sound, the lyrics are a bit dark, and talk about a man’s conflicting feelings toward the woman he loves.
The cheesy song, ridiculous outfits and cutesy antics are a bit gimmicky, but lovable nevertheless. However, as with most Kpop groups, H.O.T explore a wide variety of sounds and topics. I present “Candy” as an example of one of the most popular songs.
Though their start was a bit silly, and their career was a bit short, H.O.T had a widespread impact that would serve to create a foundation for the Kpop we know and love today.
I didn’t cover this song because it’s from 2000, but I’m going to include it here as a bonus and a counter to the bubblegumminess of “Candy”
and because it’s my favorite H.O.T song.
Tell me the first thing you think of when you see this isn’t My Chemical Romance?