Songs For Summer: K-Pop Edition

Songs For Summer: K-Pop Edition

Take your summer playlist to the next level with these major K-Pop hits.

Take your summer playlist to the next level with these major K-Pop hits.

Text: Thomas Chou

With so many incredible artists currently saturating the American music scene, it’s sometimes difficult to remember that an entire world of amazing music exists just outside our borders. From smash hits sung in Spanish to artists all over Asia, it’s hard to find airtime for everyone (although we ought to). Today, we’re spotlighting some of K-Pop’s most major songs that you might not have heard of yet. Forget Gangnam Style, that’s so 2012. The South Korean entertainment industry has long been cultivating some of the world’s greatest performers–and it’s time we show them some respect.

Check out our selects of K-Pop jams that are perfect additions for your summer 2018 playlist—from BBQs to rooftop kickbacks, everyone will be handing you the AUX cord to get these hits queued up.

1. Blackpink - "DDU-DU DDU-DU ‘뚜두뚜두’"

The latest single from YG Entertainment’s newest girl group, the foursome rock this electro-pop/dubstep track. The music video, featuring samurai swords and pink tanks, shows off an edgier side to the band juxtaposed against their higher vocals. With a complex choreography and gorgeous visuals, the music video has racked up nearly 150 million views in less than three weeks. And with members hailing from Thailand, New Zealand, Australia, and of course—South Korea—this girl group is poised to take the world by storm.

2. BIGBANG - "(FXXK IT) ‘에라 모르겠다’"

An OG group when it comes to modern K-pop, the five-piece boy band BIGBANG has solidified their status as some of K-Pop’s most successful groups. Bringing a hip-hop and R&B influenced sound into the Korean pop music scene, BIGBANG has become known for their harder sound yet impossibly catchy tunes. On ‘FXXK IT’, the members rap and sing over a smooth, electronic instrumental with a head-bang worthy chorus. Released over a year ago, the group has yet to make much music since as they are serving their mandatory Korean military service. Relish in their most recent jam—you might just find yourself unabashedly dancing in the mirror.

3. TWICE - "What is Love?"

This nine-member girl group, formed on a reality competition show, is known for their cuter sound and energy. Comprised of singers and dancers from South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan, they are a multi-lingual group with some of the best vocals that K-Pop has to offer. A dominating presence in the music scene across Asia, TWICE is a uniquely charming band with an unfiltered pop sound. ‘What is Love’ is the definition of a bubbly, guilty pleasure track perfect to belt in the shower, or just quietly hum to while tanning on the beach.

4. Red Velvet - Bad Boy

Red Velvet brings a uniquely soulful vibe on the song, ‘Bad Boy’. A slower, more sultry track, ‘Bad Boy’ is perfect for those chill afternoons spent at home, or late night adventures with friends. Like most all K-Pop groups, the four members are talented singers and dancers, but the group sets themselves apart with a slightly off-beat and quirky sound when it comes to the traditional idea of Korean pop.

5. Jay Park - "All I Wanna Do"

K-Pop’s resident bad boy, Jay Park, is one of the smoothest crooners out there. On this sexy, R&B inflected track, the Korean American artist sings to a girl who’s he’s trying to win over. While there’s no official music video, Park created a dance video alongside popular Korean dance studio, 1Million, and it’s safe to say that he’s got some moves. With an Americanized sound, Park is an incredibly talented crossover artist with a buttery voice. Be sure to add this song to your playlists to kick your summertime hangouts to the next level.

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