Recently, I stumbled upon a comment that interested me to write this post.

‘Kpop should open people up. Some people have matured in their liking for Korea beyond Kpop, Kpop was the key that opened the door if you will. Kpop has allowed me to meet amazing people and new opportunities but also think more objectively. I do not live in a fantasy world with idols and catchy pop (sometimes I do but I’m young and enjoying my youth). However sometimes I cannot tolerate superficial fans or deluded underaged girls, even the pure manufactured nature of kpop can sometimes irritate me. But I don’t hate an entire genre.
Besides, Korea’s economy is growing thanks to all these fangirls deluded or not xD good ol’ Korea ;D

source: Char, Founder of Koreancandy reflecting upon the Korean culture and language

It made me think about the obsession with K-Pop and crazy fans because unless you block out anything and everyone related to the genre, it’s very addictive. Some people take K-Pop too seriously, some do not. But from what I’ve noticed, it’s the fandom or the genre itself that seems to make others want to leave. However it’s got to the point where you feel like you’ve been listening to K-pop for so long that you don’t want to leave because admit it, it’s become an obsession or just a part of your life now.

K-Pop becomes an obsession without knowing it’s hit you until it’s too late. An obsession to keep up with news on idols and when a new song, concept etc. comes out then you realise you feel attached to stay when they promote. Obsession leads to possession. I’ve been put off by a few fans who openly claim idols as theirs in such descriptive ways that they need a reality check. Fans who also use “kidnap” and other ways too freely. There are also cases we have all experienced before – and let’s be honest – you’ve met a fan who has either:

  • Bashed or disliked an idol/artist that you like and overtime, suddenly they like that idol/artist.
  • Overhypes an artist or song that turns out to be medicre to your taste.
I’m sure there are many others but you guys can list them below. Especially in the recent JYJ news. But I’m not talking about saseng fans right now.

Don’t you also feel when someone hasn’t been into K-Pop as long as you have, you feel this unnecessary power over that person that you know more about your favourite idol/artist or the fact you have been into K-Pop longer? Or label certain years as the best e.g. 2008? Notice I said “into” and not “listening to”, I’ve always found it strange when people say that and I have followed it without realising.

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Recently upon reading an article on K-Pop fans bashing Momochi (a.k.a Tsugunaga Momoko from Berryz Koubou). It bought me to the attention that it gives the impression that K-Pop fans are vocal but too harsh when it comes to disliking a person who mocks or interacts with that person. Momochi is known in Japanese shows and telling people she is cuter than them. In my opinion, Japanese variety shows is more about physical comedy and fans take it too seriously. Fans seem to think their oppa’s and unni’s are better than anyone else and bash others on YouTube, posts etc. to put their point across.

I have met people who don’t listen to the genre anymore or aren’t a part of any fandoms and say which I talked about prefer K-Pop in the past. Some of them say they would go to a YG concert which I find really strange or is it because YG’s music has a different appeal to K-Pop fans?

In the case of K-Pop, obsession has also lead many fans to look past the music and develop an interest to the culture. I’ve been telling myself for 2 years that I’m going to leave the fandom because of continuous arguments and pointless fans. But what I’ve learnt is through K-Pop, I’ve been learning more about the Korean culture. K-Pop gives a false impression of Korea so now I read articles, learning the languages and go to historical lectures at University to get a better understanding of the country. I’ve met many people in the past few years who feel the same. Maybe Char’s comment explains to you what I mean and how I feel about K-Pop?

Regardless, I am saying this as a K-Pop fan. Not an anti, ex-fan or am I talking about the entire K-Pop fandom. Not everyone is addictive or obsessive to K-Pop. But at least I acknowledge now compared to when I started listening to the music that K-Pop isn’t just about making music. It’s a manufactured genre that some fans take too seriously and some companies have been creating a repetition of music just for profit. Or to make Korea’s economy grow.

I know I have more to say but I think I’ll leave it there.

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Co-founder and former writer at UnitedKpop, can be found loving all things JYP.