KPop 2009 Summary!

Every cloud has a silver lining. The year of 2009 has proved such a quote for the K-Pop scene true. With controversies coming from left and right, music alone has proven to be the best medicine for the wounded hearts of K-Pop artists and fans.

If asked what one word could sum up the K-Pop 2009 scene, it would be bittersweet. Bitter to the taste, but sweet to the ears. More than the ordinary, there have been way too many scandals, controversies, power-hungry netizen acts, and plagiarism calls. This doesn’t not even cover the amount of drama experienced this year, but putting all this negativity behind. When we listen to the music produced and performed in 2009, it can’t be helped to love and warmly remember 2009. Music has had a euphoric affect on the artists and fans of K-Pop that lets us forget the pain and anguish to focus on its true art and form. Each group/band or singer, whether new or old, has released at least one song that had hundreds of listeners craving more. Whether it was a one hit wonder or the start of something special, many K-Pop fans can say they have jammed out to such songs. Let us take a look back at some of the best and worst moments of K-Pop 2009 and look toward K-Pop 2010 as the “Year of Happiness!”

Music Scene: Rookie Groups Coming out Left and Right!

Woah! The music scene of 2009 could be considered as a battlefield due to the continuous battles between groups and singers for the spotlight. No, there were no rivalries, but everyone wanted to bring their best “A” game and dominate. More like destroy the competition. Even to this day, there is no certain answer on who dominated. Some can say it was 2PM with their beastly attitudes or SHINee with their addictive and catchy songs. Maybe, it might not even be 2PM or SHINee, since 2009 has had more rookie groups debut than any other recent year. It was as if each group had something in common, but was still targeting different audiences.

2PM: Debuting in late 2008 with “10 points out of 10,” they did not rise to stardom till their single, Again and Again, was released in early 2009. Winning numerous awards for Again and Again and their epic performances, 2PM shot to fame and had a growing fan-base in Korea and internationally. They released their second single, Niga Mipda or I Hate You, in June 2009. I Hate You, just like Again and Again, increased 2PM’s fame as they brought to the stage perfect and complex choreography laced with acrobatic moves. However, it was not only their talent that had fans drooling over them, but their brotherhood and laid-back personalities. Fans could relate to their personalities and made them feel as if they were not just stars, but regular people with talent.

2AM: Debuting in early 2008 with Ee NoRae or This Song as a ballad group, did not have as much fame as their ONEDAY counterparts, 2PM. However, they also had great talent and personalities that had many listeners becoming fans. In 2009, they made a comeback with Confession of a Friend, that was heart wrenching and portrayed them very manly in the music video. Their personalities are quite unique and somewhat different from 2PM, since they were promoted as the night of ONEDAY. JoKwon, the leader, is known for his dainty personality and quirkiness. Changmin is known for his “crazy feel-good” voice and “water-cooler boy” appearance. Seulong is tall, quirky, and rather quiet. Jinwoon is the maknae of the group or the youngest and is known to be cute and quite playful.

2NE1 / 4MINUTE: 2NE1 officially debuted in May of 2009 with their single Fire, although they along with Big Bang released Lollipop for the LG Cyon. So, they were on their way to the top of the ladder by the release of Fire. Fire proved to be a hit single as they won the “Rookie of the Month” and “Song of the Month” award. By 2NE1’s fourth performance, they had raked in many awards and had an increasing fan-base of Black Jacks (fan-club name). By July of 2009, they had released the single, I Don’t Care, off their first mini album. I Don’t Care was a hit song and did nothing but bring them more fame. They were different from the girl groups that were out there at the moment because they were not sporting the girly concept, but the hip-hop, sultry look. They could be tomboyish, but still look sexy enough to not let fans forget they were girls. 4Minute debuted in June of 2009 with the single, Hot Issue, which was quite catchy. However, they had somewhat of the same concept as 2NE1 and many thought they were copying their style. Later, they released “Muzik” that shot them to fame as the song grew on many. What can I say? They Like it, Like It! Although, their debut songs were quite popular, they were times when many questioned member HyunA, former member of Wonder Girls,  of trying to push herself back into the limelight. Well, I can safely say, that it seems HyunA is accepted now.

B2ST / MBLAQ: Whether your an “Oh yeah, Oh yeah, Oh yeah yeah yeah” fan or a “Bad Girl” fan, you can vouch that by the time both these groups were to debut, we had enough of new groups. Were they one hit wonders like A-Tract or SHU-I? We would never know. I was praying for them not to be. However, they proved themselves as the best rookie groups recently debuted. Both B2ST and MBLAQ debuted at the same time, so there was definitely a fight for the spotlight. B2ST seemed to have won that battle when they received the “Rookie of the Month” award in December. Many fans could relate and were waiting for the return of some of the B2ST members when they were not chosen for 2PM/2AM (Du Joon) and Big Bang (Hyun Seung) in the past or when Gi Kwang aka AJ and Dong Woon, a long time JYP trainee, did not experience great fame. MBLAQ debuted under Rain’s company, J. Tune, with the single Oh Yeah, while B2ST debuted under Cube Entertainment with Bad Girl.

Fashion Scene:
2009 was a very, very colorful year. There were trends that would never be thought of as trends breaking out across the K-Pop scene. The K-Pop Fashion Scene of 2009 was adorned with out-of-the box fashion choices that only the stars could pull off. What seemed to be thrown together in a hurry, started trends that many fans attempted to imitate. Blogs were set-up showing how and where to get the looks of the stars with price included. After searching myself, I could never afford them. They may look ridiculous, but their ridiculously expensive. 2NE1 started trends that were never or rarely seen worn by girl groups. They got girls to start wearing tights in crazy patterns, ridiculously tight jeans (Go CL!), over sized and unique shirts, high-top kicks, sunglasses, headphones, antenna ponytails, hammer belts, and more. 2PM had their chains, sleeveless shirts/vests, and ties. G-Dragon had the blond “Ajumma” hair. Patterns, patterns, and more crazy color combinations decked  the fashion scene of early 2009, but it was wicked cool.



Then, it warped and everyone started to get the “I’m Hard” and “I’m Mature” vibe going. How did they accomplish this, you ask? By sporting black. Black. When they wanted to appear more mature and leave the “aegyo” stages behind, black was the color to step out in. Except for the Eun Ji Won banana suit and the My Color commercial, everything is black. Or, at least dark, sultry, “sip-this-mature-coffee-agonizingly-by-the-window” color.


Stacking That Resume:
Many artists participate on variety shows, but 2009 was exceptionally good. On “Star King”, we had different stars pass through, but who could forget regulars like Super Junior, 2PM, 2AM, and SHINee. Debuted groups also had the chance of having their own documentary or shows in which they give a view into their lives and personalities. Fans could watch and keep up with 2PM on MBC’s “Idol Show” and “Wild Bunny”. 2AM, 2NE1, and  U-KISS had documentaries that kept you informed. B2ST and MBLAQ have current documentaries, as well.

Other than documentaries and hosting shows, some of our artists crossed over to the filming business to try out their acting skills. Kim HyunJoong, SS501 member, co-stars in Boys before Flowers. Yuhno, of Dong Bang Shin Ki,  acted as the main lead in Heading to the Ground. JaeJoong, of Dong Bang Shin Ki, stars in Heaven’s Postman. Chang-min, of Dong Bang Shin Ki, will act in Paradise Ranch. Big Bang’s T.O.P also acted in IRIS, one of the hottest dramas out at this moment. UEE, After School member, co-stars in You’re Beautiful.

Controversy/Problems/Sad Events:
As K-Pop fans, we will always look back at 2009 as a year full of turmoil even though there was great music produced. In such a short period of time, groups that we became so accustom to and believed that would last for ages as legends started to malfunction. When we thought that nothing else bad could happen because we have seen all that is bad. What do you know? Right around the corner a terrible event was waiting. I bet that at one point during this year, every K-Pop fan asked when it would stop.

  • -Jang Ja Yeon, actress of Boys Before Flowers, committed suicide on March 7th.
  • -Lee Chang Young, Trot Singer, committed suicide on March 12th.
  • -Oh Wonbin leaves FT Island
  • -Park Jaebeom’s Myspace Incident and Leaving 2PM
  • -Junsu,Yoochun, and Jaejoong, DongBangShinKi members, file lawsuit against SM Ent.
  • -Soyoung leaves After School, citing health issues and to pursue school
  • -Kangin, Super Junior member, involved in bar fight and DUI
  • -Actress Jang Jin-Young dies after battling stomach cancer
  • -BbaekGa, Koyote Member, diagnosed with brain tumor
  • -AST*1 disbands
  • -Hankyung, Super Junior member, wants to leave Super Junior
  • -Swine Flu attacks K-Pop stars
  • -Plagiarism accusations against G-Dragon, Teddy, Y.G., 2NE1
  • -Car Accidents: Daesung (Big Bang), B2ST, SNSD, BEG, and BOF cast
  • -SM Entertainment Artists did not attend MAMA Awards

Crossing Over:

Some of our stars decided 2009 will be the year for them to cross over and try making it big in United States or other parts of Asia.

  • -Se7en crosses over and comes back with only a “Girls” video featuring Lil’ Kim
  • -BoA releases album in America and performs at some concerts
  • -Wonder Girls recognition rises in America as they appear on highly watched show and radio  stations
  • -Big Bang dominates Japan Charts
  • -DBSK still continues to dominate Japan charts


  • -Se7en and Park Hanbyul open up about their relationship
  • -Hwayobi and Sleepy of Untouchables expresses their feelings for one another in public.
  • -Song HyeGyo and HyunBin meet and fall in love from their drama, The World They Live In.
  • -Tablo gets married to Kang HyeJung and expects 1st child
  • -DJ Tukutz married and left for mandatory service
  • -JoKwon and GaIn supposed couple?

Addictive Songs of 2009

  • -2PM- Again and Again
  • -2PM- Niga Mipda (I Hate You)
  • -SNSD- Gee
  • -Super Junior- Sorry, Sorry
  • -BEG- Abracadabra
  • -2NE1- I Don’t Care
  • -KARA- Mister
  • -4Minute- Muzik
  • -SHINee- Ring Ding Dong
  • -Outsider- Loner
  • -U-Kiss- Man Man Ha Ni
  • -Dynamic Duo- Beyond the Wall
  • -IVY- Touch Me
  • -Wheesung- Trickling
  • -BEG- Sign
  • -2AM/2PM- Abracadabra Remix
  • -Melo’ Breeze- Vis a Vis
  • -Melo’ Breeze- Bye Bye

Addictive Dramas of 2009:

  • -Boys before Flowers
  • -My Fair Lady
  • -My Too Perfect Sons
  • -Love and Obsession
  • -You’re Beautiful
  • -Smile, You
  • -IRIS
  • -Assorted Gems aka Boseok BiBimbap
  • -Temptation of Wife
  • -Temptation of an Angel

2010: Year of Happiness

With 2009 coming to an end by this Friday, what do you want to change in the K-Pop scene? What do you want to see in 2010? Do you think it will be the “Year of Happiness”?

In my opinion, I can only hope and pray that it will not have such bad events like 2009. I can see a little change happening at the end of 2009, although Hankyung wants to leave Super Junior, AST*1 disbanded, and Jaebeom still didn’t appear on my screen with traditional 2PM wear. However,  with every end comes a new beginning. When one door closes, another one opens.  Every good thing must come to an end. Don’t let 2009 get you down, there will be better moments in 2010. New and hype music are being released although 2009 is ending. 2PM is looking better and happier. Jaebeom’s dance crew won a competition. No new celebrity suicides for months. I can’t take anymore deaths, personally. It’s just the beginning. So, everyone say goodbye to 2009 and welcome 2010 with a clear and open mind. If everyone does that, I am sure 2010 will be bright.

Also, Rest In Peace to My Favorite Actress, Yeo Woon Kye, who died May 22, 2009 of battling cancer of the kidneys. I am sad that you can’t welcome the new year with us, but your  in a better place.


credits: damushroombit92@omgkpop, k bites @ soompi for car accidents


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