We had lots of videos from some heavy hitters this year, plus one surprise League of Legends crossover.
1. “POP/STARS” by K/DA
This one is a little complicated, but just watch the video and I promise you won’t be disappointed.
K/DA is a virtual band whose members are the League of Legends game characters Ahri, Evelynn, Akali, and Kai’Sa. But the vocals are provided by real singers, including two K-pop idols of the group (G)I-dle, Soyeon (rapper/Akali) and Miyeon (vocalist/Ahri). Basically, Riot Games wanted to promote some new skins for LoL characters and ended up creating the most awesome music video of the year.
Soyeon is one of the fastest rising stars in K-pop right now; she’s a great rapper, has amazing stage presence, and is a wonderful leader for her rookie group (G)I-dle, which had two hits this year.
2. “Sober” by Hyo
I’ve been thrilled to see Hyoyeon, the main dancer of Girls Generation, putting out more solo stuff. This video just makes me want to dance around the house every time I watch it. Also, I appreciate the diversity and body-positive visuals.
3. “Idol” by BTS
You knew BTS had to be on this list somewhere. I love this video for its spunk and energy, its Korean cultural influences, and its drawings of leader RM with kitty ears. This video was so good it got a Bad Lip Reading treatment.
4. “Egotistic” by Mamamoo
K-pop follows US music trends, so it’s no surprise that many singles this year featured Latin music influences; Mamamoo is one group that did it very well and will have you yelling “bicho malo” right along with them. They are such a wonderful mix of talent and confidence, and their live performances are some of the best in K-pop.
5. “Ddu-du Ddu-du” by BLACKPINK
Another killer hit by one of my favorite girl groups, BLACKPINK. I don’t know what else to say about this except that it has all the swag you’d expect, including a glittery tank, and that Lisa is about the only person alive who could make those green gloves look cool. Rapper Jennie also released a solo with a great MV this year.
I’ve been watching more live performances from music shows and awards shows this year, so here are a few that I thought were really special.
- “Woman” by BoA on KBS Music Bank. The legendary BoA makes her entrance by walking upside-down, then flipping over and performing the whole song live with the energy of idols half her age.
- “Latata” by (G)I-dle on SBS Inkigayo. Can you believe these girls are rookies?? I can’t! I think I watched every single stage promotion of this, their debut song.
- “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” by Key on You Hee-yeol’s Sketchbook. SHINee’s triple threat Key had a solo debut this year, and while promoting his song he also performed this lovely Coldplay cover.