North Korean girl group Moranbong Band

The Moranbong Band [wiki], also known as Moran Hill Orchestra, is an all-female music group in North Korea whose members were selected by the country’s supreme leader Kim Jong-un. Debuted in 2012, they are the first female band from DPRK.

The group, which is said to be hugely popular in their homeland, made headlines earlier this month when their show in Beijing was cancelled last-minute, with rumours of possible defection (which has been officially debunked).

There are suggestions that the creation of the group is to counteract the rise of South Korean pop culture in North Korea. Some foreign media actually branded Moranbong Band as North Korean version of South Korean pop group Girls’ Generation, but it’s probably in terms of popularity instead of musical style.

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J.Y.Park – Who’s Your Mama ft. Jessi

Korean music video for Who’s Your Mama by pop singer and music mogul J.Y.Park, aka Park Jin-young, founder of JYP Entertainment. The song is the main track for his latest album, 24/34… it’s all about the booty.

The song features Jessi as the rapper. The main dancer is Jang Ju-hee, who has featured in a number of K-pop music videos for various artists.

EXID – Up & Down MV and Pharkil fancam

Korean music video for Up & Down by female pop group EXID. The song didn’t get much attention when it was released in August but is trending in recent weeks thanks to a fancam (second video, by Pharkil) which gone viral online.

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Jessica forced out of Girls’ Generation

Didn’t see this coming. Korean pop group Girls’ Generation, one of the biggest K-pop acts, has kicked a member, Jessica, out of the group. There’s no sign that this would happen (at least not in public); and the timing couldn’t be weirder as all the members have just renewed their contracts a few weeks ago.

Jessica posted a message on her Weibo early this morning (September 30, 5am KST), quote…

I was excited about our upcoming fan events only to shockingly be informed by my company and 8 others that as of today, I’m no longer a member. I’m devastated – my priority and love is to serve as a member of GG, but for no justifiable reason, I am being forced out.

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Beast – Good Luck music video

Korean music video for Good Luck by pop group Beast, title track of their sixth mini album which was released in June 2014. Haven’t paid much attention to K-pop lately, this song caught my attention though, love the beat; and I like the fact that most songs are co-written by one of its members.

It’s good to see a K-pop group that actually makes music. Don’t get me wrong, appearance is a huge part of K-pop music culture, often more important than talent, and I’m hooked with that too. Just that it’s refreshing to see some real “artists” in the industry, which is unfortunately rare/unappreciated in K-pop.