I adored the Kpop boy band Shinhwa when I was younger. Loved them. One of my all-time favorite videos of them is the video above, their live performance of “I Pray 4 U” in 2002 (the first four or so minutes of it). I loved everything about it — their smiles, their energy, the fact that they were wearing pink. Because it was a live performance, they didn’t sound as fantastic as they did on their CD, but it looked like they were having so much fun that it just didn’t matter. They were absolutely my favorite group. I’m pretty sure I had crushes on all of them (well, except for Eric — the rapper with the buzz cut) at one time or another. And Kangta from H.O.T., for that matter. Oh, he was pretty.
I really liked H.O.T.’s music, although I was never really a big fan of the group as a whole in the way I was a fan of Shinhwa. This song, however, was definitely one of my favorites, and the music video is pretty much the cutest music video I’ve ever seen. It’s ridiculous and sweet and funny, and I rather feel as though a U.S. boy band wouldn’t ever produce a similar video because it doesn’t make them look “hot” or “cool” or anything like that. They look clownish. In a really endearing way, of course, but it’s definitely not macho.
Similar to H.O.T.’s “Candy” is Shinhwa “Eusha Eusha,” in terms of sheer energy and lack of sexualization. It was Shinhwa’s second single, and it was released over ten years ago (which makes me feel really old). It’s so much fun, and it’s from before they started really working out and developing muscles, so they kind of look like kids. And I’ve just realized that they were younger than I am now when it was filmed, and that’s a weird feeling.
Fly to the Sky – Sea of Love. I think that’s when I decided that white tanks with jeans was a really excellent look. I didn’t really know much about them as a group, but they had a few songs that I really loved. And, of course, this music video.
“I Swear” by the group S, which consists of Shinhwa’s Hyesung (the last guy, the professor), H.O.T.’s Kangta (the first guy, the businessman), and another guy (the middle guy, the glassblower) — an example of a fairly typical (or at least, what seems to me to be typical) Kpop music video from when I was in high school or so. I love how the music videos often tell stories; it sort of makes up for the fact that I don’t actually understand what they’re saying.
When I was in middle school, and even into high school, I was a huge fan of Korean pop music. My favorite groups, my favorite songs, posters, CDs, and videos — all Kpop. I couldn’t tell you the names of the members of N*Sync or the Backstreet Boys, but I knew everyone in Shinhwa, and I can still recognize them years later.Watching the old videos, listening to their music, just brings me back to being a kid and freaking out over these guys with my friends.