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Once upon a Hallyu

Welcome, first time with Hallyu ?

ARMY x BTS

 

Once upon a time, on a summery day
A rising BigHit boy group blew my mind away
Seven members by the name of BangTan Sonyeondan
I love them all equally yet stan only one 

Uri leader, Namjoon whom I call Ramonie
He can be badass, sexy but also cute and funny

Then my boy Taehyung, dat vitamin V
His smile is hypnotizing and I bet that you agree 

I also got a sweet tooth for Yoongi, my daily sugar dose
His gaze gives me goosebumps, a shaky overdose

Shoutout to Hoseok, my bundle of hope
One glance when he dances shows how his moves are dope

Where my Seokjin at, that precious Genie in a bottle
One minute he’s a foodie, the next one he’s a model

And then you got Jimin, my precious gem
His stage presence is a killer, his aura is a mayhem

Leaving the maknae for last, Jungkook, that sweetest Kupcake
Once a cute bunny, now a fine man, he’s giving me a heartache.

Letters to Tablo

You left me mesmerized,
When there was no more hope for me
Your songs pierced through my heart endlessly

You’re a true inspiration,
Your snaps bring me joy
Your lyrics are pure slayage,
Your music is a cure.

 

Forever a wounded Blackjack.

2NE1

First, you were a Crush; but I couldn’t stop myself from Falling in love with your music.
You were the Fire in my heart, you made me Happy, so I said to myself it’s Gotta be you.
Then, one day and out of the blue, I found out that you did Go away. Do you know how much It hurts ? Do you know how Ugly I felt ? I kept fighting the Lonely feeling, Missing you all the way. But now I don’t care anymore, Can’t nobody make me love a girl group again the way I love you … I am still waiting for you to Come back home.

♠♠♠

I thought you were back, I thought 2ne1 was back
For 20 minutes, all I saw was pitch black
I’m a latecomer, thought the party was over
Then MAMA gave me hope, thought I had the luck of a clover
A four-leaved clover, turned three with one’s departure
But 2ne1 still fits, 2 n’ 1 was my closure

Then an american debut made us patient enough
More interactions with Darabit showing support and love
And then slowly but surely, you came back
Every tweet, every post retrieved every hope I lacked
Soon enough, I started anticipating, waiting,
A happy ending needs few plot twists in the making

But a happy ending, it sadly was not
I woke up to this shocking news, in my stomach I felt a knot
And I’m still feeling it, denying it but it’s there
And everytime I think about you, it will remain there
Don’t worry we’re okay,  Blackjacks are used to the pain
We’ll stay strong for you and wait for a sunny day

B to the C to the D, 역시 Queens
Be well and thank you for the memories.

♠♠♠

Goodbyes are like a band-aid.

We think they heal deep cuts
But they only cover the wounded spot
Underneath, the scars remain
Underneath, lies the pain

The sorrow and I are one
The ache cannot be undone
The words seem harder to find
Only memories are left to rewind

This isn’t goodbye, it’s only farewell
Be it together or apart, always be well
B to the C to the D, you remain 2NE1
You’re Blackjacks’ pride and we’ll forever be one

One last call, don’t go
Don’t forget your fandom, no
We trust that you did nothing wrong
Until we hear from you again, 놀자 and 안녕.

MADE: a newbie VIP’s POV.

At first, I kept telling myself Let’s not fall in love with Big Bang, but it just got through me like Bang Bang Bang. I felt like a Loser for not getting to know them earlier, and the voice in my head kept telling me “If you have listened to your sister, you would have enjoyed Big Bang more”. Their music serenades me and makes me feel Sober and Like 2 Party at the same time. Although I love all five of them, Taeyang is my bae bae. In a word, Big Bang is Zutter and thanks to them I got to appreciate Kpop in general.

BANGTAN Shots

Chong! Jojun! Balsa! : Hopefully how you’ll feel every time you read a one shot.

Jimin fluff: Periods and Commas

[…]

[…]

Jungkook fluff: Rainism

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Taehyung fluff: Daddy’s Home

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Yoongi fluff: Mayday

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Jin fluff: Breakfast in Bed

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Hoseok fluff: Private lessons

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Namjoon fluff: Writer’s block

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[…]

Notice me, Oppa.

Oppa: not necessarily your brother, but could sadly be your brother from another mother.

Just in case you failed to guess, this is fangirling 101.

When I first joined Hallyu, Oppa was probably the first word I learned thanks to Ji Sung’s brilliant act in “Kill me, heal me”. At first, and like everybody else I guess, when I first learned what Oppa meant my reaction was as follows: 

  • Oh, it’s cute to call your brother Oppa !
  • But if he isn’t your real brother, why are you still calling him Oppa?
  • Oh you can also call your guy bestfriend Oppa, I guess that’s cool since he’s basically like a brother to you.
  • WHAT DO YOU MEAN EVEN BOYFRIENDS ARE CALLED OPPA ?!!

That “kinda fauxcest” notion right there triggered every single international fangirl … For a while. Later on, you simply find yourself immersed in the whole culture, and your main concern switches from having to call your crush/boyfriend Oppa to finding an ACTUAL oppa.

When it comes to fangirling, having an Oppa is the easiest task. You basically choose a fave and claim him as your own. Of course, there are many degrees of Oppa claiming: there is the Oppa that everyone likes, the Oppa that steals the hearts of the youngsters, the Oppa that makes Noonas wish they were younger, and then there is THE Oppa.

The Oppa, the bias, the fave, the DO NOT TOUCH if you want to stay alive. Of course, you and I both know that all of the above does not matter because to your Oppa, you do not exist (I bruise easily so please don’t throw anything harder than Tteokbokki).

I know how this feels, because as a fangirl I’ve been there TWICE, and while I gave up on my first try, I vowed for my second to last as long as I did. Since I started with BIGBANG, Taeyang was my first bias (Ji Sung was a close second but he’s 40, married and has a child and I have a dignity to maintain, so he remains my first and ultimate fave among actors but I cannot allow myself to call him Oppa). I was so charmed by Taeyang’s beauty, music and persona, I was also surprised at myself because I usually prefer rappers, and knowing that he originally signed up to be a rapper comforted me for a while as I kept telling myself “I chose well” and I stand by my words: I chose a pure-hearted angel to stan and I take pride in it.

Now, everything was well … that is until I found out that Youngbae had a girlfriend. I don’t know what I was thinking back then because I wasn’t technically free either and even if I was I would be the last person on earth to be involved with him because of obvious reasons (a girl has got to save face, I may be a fangirl but I am not going to slander myself by openly admitting why I won’t be a fit candidate). Anyways, these news made me feel sad, hurt, and betrayed which was kind of ironic because my fangirling was hurting somebody else in the process yet I wasn’t considerate of that significant other. That’s when I decided to retreat as a crazed fangirl and just be a fan, for my own sake and that of those around me.

Little did I know, that it would take me two months to fall head over heels all over again and way harder than I did the first time for completely different reasons. Although I enjoyed Kpop very much, I was specifically captivated by the Rap genre, so I focused on discovering as many rappers as possible and enjoying their music without being caught in the fangirl trap again. Tablo was, is, and will always be the Godfather of Rap for me because he fits all of my standards. I also cannot call him Oppa because he shares the same profile as Ji Sung, and again I have pride. While doing my “homework”, I came across a lot of idol rappers like Zico and Mino and I was really into their style but it was just that, a pure admiration. It wasn’t until I came across Rap Monster that I realized that I was once again caught in the trap; and this time there was no way out for me. I saw my own principles fall apart one after one, and it scared me so much to the point where I started questioning myself. 

Also, I seriously have no idea how Sasaengs’ brains function because the mere fact of writing about my fangirling experience made me cringe because feeling this and actually pinning it down are two different matters. Either way, whether we like it or not, we all went through the basic fangirl stages which can be short-listed as below:

  • I like you, Oppa.
  • I wish I can meet you, Oppa.
  • I wish I can be your ideal type, Oppa.
  • I love you, Oppa.
  • Marry me, Oppa.
  • Notice me, Oppa.
  • I’m unstanning you, Oppa.
  • Take my love back, Oppa ?
  • Be my bestfriend, Oppa !

I don’t know if I should be proud or embarrassed, but I went through all of the previous stages and I am currently at the “bestfriend” phase. Not that I’m actually expecting it to happen (I’m still praying though … Just kidding, or maybe not) but after everything I have learned, read or witnessed, I feel that I finally found someone that can truly understand me. After all, it’s in one’s human nature to crave attention, emotion, or delicacy. That intellectual tact is what I’ve been lacking my whole life, and it’s a bittersweet feeling to have found such comfort in something/someone that will never be within your reach.

Overall, and not just because I have a crazy fangirl side, I believe that there is no harm in loving your fave a little bit too much, as long as you respect their person, privacy and safety. Regardless of who your faves are, cheer for them for the right reasons, don’t bash them for their life choices, don’t hate against their beliefs, and never let your sasaeng awaken. Simply keep in mind that they’re idols that please you and you’re a fan that supports them.

Now, has anyone seen my Oppa ?!

To BANGTAN, with love.

BANGTAN: the only bulletproof item you need in your daily life.

Have you ever tried to escape fate but it kept haunting you instead? That was BTS for me.

The first time I came across these seven boys, I was attending my very first KPOP event and I was shook as I witnessed the crowd’s reaction once a BTS song started playing. Although they are incredibly rising by the minute, KPOP fans are still a minority in my country so I wasn’t expecting such a dedicated and organized fandom. I was envious and jealous.

After the event, I came back home and I couldn’t help but get that song stuck in my head. I remembered every other group and song despite hearing them for the first time since I was only into BIGBANG and 2NE1 back then: Seventeen’s mansae, Exo’s call me baby, 2pm’s go crazy … I remembered BTS, but I just couldn’t pinpoint the song.

It took me about a week or so humming the song inside my head and watching myself go mental. I finally decided to shut my ego down and look up their MVs since the song was projected in the event. Talk about irony at its best, I went through every single MV of theirs, but once I got to the actual song I turned it off and went to sleep. The next morning, I begged my sister to look up the song for me since she was more familiar with KPOP; for that matter I only gave her one hint: Neoppuniya, Neoppuniya (which I shamelessly pronounced as Nappeuniya until I got corrected four months later by Twinsie in a very chaotic Karaoke session, 고마워 베이비).

The ARMY reading this will guess that it was indeed “War of Hormone”; I still can’t believe that this song gave me a headache for a whole week. When Sunnie found it, she played it for me and I literally asked her to shut it down because it’s noisy and went back to doing my business … Luckily for me, she was patient enough and stood there with her phone blasting the song until the hook started playing. The moment I heard it, I immediately felt levitated and turned back to face her, only for her to turn the music off and confront me with the most devious smirk ever: “I thought you said this was noisy, never mind you don’t need it anyways”.

After several pleas and bribes, my sister finally agreed to give me the song’s title. As I went to check it on Youtube, I admit that I was a bit shocked at how strong the lyrics were … but I was quickly tamed when I read “Girls are the best gift”: Way to redeem yourselves, boys. 

Nevertheless, my love story with BTS didn’t start until I found out that they were BIGBANG’s biggest fanboys. I was suddenly interested in them because whoever loves my faves the way these boys did deserves admiration or, at the very least, respect. It was thanks to Mey that I actually discovered this information who, by the way, also showed me how to properly stan BIGBANG. She then advised me to contact Fey who is basically our ARMY squad’s MVP: the girl literally breathes, feels and projects BTS.

Following her instructions, and after taking up a whole month to perfectly identify the members (in my defense, I already knew Rap Monster, J-Hope and Jimin), I could finally allow myself to be called an ARMY. Soon enough, the boys became my everyday salvation, their music was my healing process, and their stories gave me strength.

Although I still haven’t watched all of their variety nor do I recognize some of their side tracks from the first go, I feel spiritually connected to OT7: not as a fan but as an individual, their aura gives me serenity and I know that every ARMY relates to this. One thing that I have learned from these precious boys is that I can be me and still do things right. Therefore, for all of you reading this I want you to stay true to yourselves: it’s not a piece of advice, it’s a life lesson.

My name is Esmee and I am an Adorable Representative MC for Youth.

 

Sincerely, the baddest female.

GZB: Abbreviation for Gijibae, literally meaning female

Lee Chaelin, mostly known as CL, 2NE1’s former (everlasting) leader and current maknae, and also the main reason I gave KPOP a chance. Here is 5 times the Queen of Pop caught my attention and gained my approval.

5. Hello Bitches

When I came across “Hello Bitches” for the first time, I told myself “Well damn if this ain’t Korean Nicki Minaj”. This statement is a year old; Diplo confirmed this later on. I think that what helped me enjoy this song the most was the fact that the lyrics were mainly in english, so I felt more familiarized with it. Also, this is the only song for which I knew the korean lyrics by heart … well most of them anyways: Hana, Dul, Set Bitches.

4. The baddest female

“This is for all the bad girls around the world, not bad being bad but bad being good you know”: through this song, CL delivered the slogan of a lifetime and the definition of her cause. This song also marks CL’s first act as a solo artist, and the word GZB currently serves as her fandom name.

3. Dr. Pepper

This song actually made me try the soda … For that matter, I advise you to stick to the song. In a more daring scene (so to speak), CL joined Diplo and other american rappers in this sick beat with an even sicker verse: Not bad for an american predebut.

2. Dirty vibe

Joining hands once again with Diplo and Skrillex this time, CL showed her true colors alongside her label mate and fellow leader G-Dragon and showered us with the funkiest vibe: the dirty kind. If you were asking yourself before whether CL is the perfect girl crush or not, she openly claimed it in one of her verses on your behalf.

1. Lifted

CL humbly lifted the US market through her american debut with this song, taking the high road in this one. Throughout the chill MV that shows a more bold image than we have ever seen before, the baddest female surely knows how to stay true to her name.

My fave is better than yours

Biased: the act of showing partiality, prejudice, predilection.

I am biased. You are biased. It’s useless to deny it.

I have always wanted to address this issue that controls Kpop: favoritism. Because you’re part of a fandom, you think that you’re part of THE fandom and every other fandom is irrelevant. I am not throwing shade, I am acknowledging it: I’ve been there.

However, all of these fanwars piling up, the antis’ active viciousness and the conflicts regarding every record, award or achievement got me thinking, for quite a while. Yet, I didn’t want to address it until I really felt that I can be objective about it.

Which brings me to this article that was supposedly planned to be written after I introduce my current faves on my blog, but sometimes you simply have to seize the moment. I can’t speak freely without actually mentioning group names, therefore I apologize in advance for every misunderstood wording that may come out in the future statement.

YG. JYP. SM. BIGHIT. Three big companies and a rising fourth.

BIGBANG. TWICE. EXO. BTS. The groups are exquisite.

VIP. ONCE. EXOL. ARMY. The fandoms are … something else.

Everybody knows how the industry works, how the three big companies came to be and how a fourth one is in the making. Don’t be salty, it’s a company, it feeds and grows.

I started as a VIP, therefore BIGBANG meant everything to me. They invented the Kpop scene with their implication in making their own music. When I first heard about BTS, I was envious of their perfect choreographies while singing live (another trait that BIGBANG is known for, live performances of a lifetime I tell you), and I couldn’t accept another group going in the footsteps of my faves, I almost became an anti.

That’s when I was provided with a series of videos showing that BTS are BIGBANG’s biggest fanboys. For them, OT5 were their mentors and role models and they looked up to them from their youngest age. BIGBANG made me fall for BTS.

Rap being my favorite genre and knowing Rap Monster way before I knew BTS, I gave the group a chance. I got in and vowed to stay. Since I was a latecomer as a VIP, I never felt like I really fit in no matter how many variety I watched or how many facts I read … their music was my sole source of comfort and the thread that’s keeping me true to my VIP feels. Then again, BTS were fresh out of the oven and although I was surprised by the amount of music and mindblowing concepts they released in less than four years, I felt that I could finally redeem myself as a fangirl and feel worthy of being part of a fandom, that is ARMY.

And that’s where it all started. Being an ARMY, I found myself in many controversial situations: as BTS started growing and achieving numerous accomplishments, other fandoms made sure to respond with hate, accusations, insults and even demeaning projects. ARMY was known for the longest time as the apologetic fandom, until they were no more. That’s when immature fans from both sides started stooping to the lowest levels, which only fueled the fanwars.

The first fanwar happened to be with EXOLs. It was mainly about sales records, year-end ceremonies and award wins, and it was really disturbing. At some point, I found myself disliking Exo because of their fandom. One person, one fan made me reconsider my choices, my thoughts, my opinions. One mature EXOL beat all of the nasty immature ones that made me belittle the group. I am not proud of being a hater at some point, but I am not going to deny it to favor my statement, because acknowledging my situation was what got me writing all of this in the first place. Despite everything, I know and like a lot of their hit songs and my fave is Kai.

The second fanwar initiated with ONCEs. Well you can’t beat a cute concept and a catchy chorus, can you now ? Therefore, TWICE won many music show awards that could’ve been BTS’s but it didn’t happen. I was bitter about it and couldn’t get my head around the fact that when comparing both music styles, they are not on the same level; and that was the first problem that caused fanwars. In general, the common public does not care about how the music was made but rather how it was delivered: I’m talking about the final product. As an ARMY I always felt triggered with this kind of songs because I couldn’t accept that people would choose a manufactured concept over a self-built one. Again, I was wrong. I have nothing to say in TWICE’s favor because I simply don’t like cute concepts. Still, Jeongyeon appeals to me for some reason and I do sing some of their tunes from time to time, you do too.

Nevertheless, because all of this wasn’t enough, I recently came across what I describe as the most heinous content I have ever laid eyes upon: a BIGBANG fan account bashing BTS for no absolute reason other than pure hate and vendetta towards some immature ARMY, but no wait, they dragged EXO and TWICE to validate their points. That’s when I decided that I am not going to put up with this anymore.

My little knowledge as a VIP tells me that VIP and EXOLs were in endless fanwars, but when BTS rose to fame, all fingers pointed back at them and ARMY being their delulu fandom. TWICE’s involvement was mostly a Cherry on top of the hate cake because they are aware of their domination of music show wins with their songs. Butthurt, much ? And because BTS and ARMY cannot have one peaceful day, yesterday BIGHIT’s official website was hacked and Twice’s recent MV was uploaded there, ARMY laughed it off. Today, BTS were falsely accused of plagiarizing BIGBANG’s Top’s special concert stage for “Act like nothing’s wrong”, and they were asked to apologize for the offense. While I stay conflicted between my two faves, I still cannot accept the plagiarism accusation simply because the static was present in BTS’ MVs since 2013, and that’s all I’m going to say about it.

I don’t know how to end this post because I feel that I haven’t completely conveyed the message I originally had in mind. In brief, no matter what fandom you’re from, stick to it, don’t mind the immature fans and antis and don’t attack other fandoms for the sake of your faves. Personally, I am quitting this whole drama and concentrating solely on the music. Congratulations to whomever wins, sorry about whomever plagiarizes, and thank you for whomever hates, because if it doesn’t start fueds, it creates Cyphers.

And yes, I am an ARMY at heart.

 

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