And just like that, another year of great music has come and gone. I have no idea how many of you guys care about these posts but I love going back over all the K-pop music videos that came out every year to pick my favorites.
1. “ICY” by Itzy
2019 has been a great year for rookie groups, and Itzy is at the top of the list. This is actually their second big hit of the year; they may be rookies but they have become known for their catchy, self-confident songs, energetic choreography, and great live performances.
And as cool as this video is, it doesn’t even have the best bit of the song’s choreography (frankly, my favorite bit of choreo I’ve seen anywhere, all year). Feast your eyes on the “neck snap:”
2. “Breakthrough” by TWICE
TWICE had a landmark year, morphing from their original, cute image to a more mature concept. (It reminds me of when Girls’ Generation released “Run Devil Run.”) This is one of their Japanese releases, probably lesser-known, but the song is catchy, the video has great atmosphere, and TWICE is always good in Japanese (they have three Japanese members).
3. “+I Quit 180327+” by CL
The leader of the former group 2NE1 is finally back with solo songs, releasing an EP herself after leaving her company. The numbers in the titles are the dates the songs were written, showing that she’s been doing work all along, her company just wasn’t releasing them or promoting her. “I Quit” is one of the better songs on the album (though the rap section is sub-par), and the video takes it to another level with colorful sign language that almost morphs into interpretive dance. CL does not appear in the video at all, which is an interesting choice considering her natural charisma, but the video is art anyways.
4. “Lovedrunk” by Epik High ft. Crush
You wanted a wuxia movie to go with your K-pop? Okay, then! This beautiful cinematic MV features a fraught relationship between two martial artists, one played by K-pop idol IU. The black and white cinematography goes perfectly with the haunting song from one of my favorite hip hop groups.
5. “Kill this Love” by Blackpink
Blackpink is back in your area with another killer hit. There’s so much to love in this one; it just blows you away from the first trumpet notes. The production value is incredible, and I love Rosé and Jisoo’s acting, as well as Lisa and Jennie’s interaction in the rap part.
I also had a lot of fun watching dance practice videos this year! I love seeing the full choreography in a more informal setting. Here’s two that I thought were particularly good.
Plus, if you enjoyed the League of Legions promotional video “POP/STARS” by K/DA last year, I think you will also enjoy this gem featuring Soyeon of (G)I-dle.