On this week’s Throwback Thursday, we are taking it back all the way to 2009 where bright neon colors and eclectic mix-and-match styles resulted in some of the most iconic looks and sounds of the new wave of K-Pop. Prepare for this blast from the past (including not-as-great music video quality) and get ready to jam out to some of these 2009 classics!
“Mister” - KARA
One of the most legendary songs released in 2009, “Mister” put KARA on the radar in the K-Pop scene. While the girl group had released other songs prior to “Mister,” this song, in particular, boosted their popularity. Not only is the track super catchy, but the iconic butt/hip dance is one of the highlights of the performance itself. It was during the late 2000s when K-Pop began to see more of an emphasis placed on maintaining an easy-to-follow dance to accompany the catchy hook of the song. It is precisely KARA’s “Mister” that executes this well, as many idol groups of the time were seen dancing and covering the song. While it is unfortunate that the girl group has since disbanded, this is song is a testament to the group’s lasting legacy in the K-Pop world.
“Hot Issue” - 4Minute
As Cube Entertainment’s first girl group, 4Minute debuted with a bang with “Hot Issue.” This song is a perfect example of the brightly colored eclectic concept popular at this point throughout the K-Pop industry. “Hot Issue” is another iconic song from 2009 where, like the rest of the songs that are listed this week, the track is catchy and highly addictive. With 2009 being one of the years full of catchy hooks and iconic dance moves, “Hot Issue” was no stranger to the hottest craze of the time. Need a song that will get you pumped up or a song to jam out to? Have a listen to this one. Not only will you fall in love with its melody, but you’ll also acknowledge why this legendary girl group is still a hot issue ‘til this day.
(Also, should this concept make a comeback in K-Pop soon? Let us know in the comments!)
“Oh Yeah” - MBLAQ
For those K-Pop fans who got into the music scene around the late 2000s, MBLAQ is yet another group that will surely evoke the “feels” within you. There has not been much recent activity from the group, but for newer fans, it’s important to note that MBLAQ (Music Boys Live in Absolute Quality) was created by the “king” of K-Pop himself, Rain, through his music label J.Tune Camp. The group debuted in 2009 with “Oh Yeah.” Like the other songs listed, “Oh Yeah” is another catchy and addictive dance song that will surely get you out of your seat dancing along (and, most likely, you’ll find yourself singing the tune when you least expect it). There were big shoes for the group to fill, what with Rain being their mentor, but MBLAQ did not disappoint, moving on to release more hit songs further into their career. As one of the many K-Pop idol groups of the 2nd generation, MBLAQ is a group that will always be remembered, and “Oh Yeah” remains a classic of 2009.
Fun fact: former member Lee Joon played the younger version of Rain’s character in Ninja Assassin prior to his debut in MBLAQ, while former member Thunder is the younger sibling of 2NE1’s Dara!
“Confession of a Friend” - 2AM
Brother group to JYP Entertainment’s 2PM, 2AM has been one of the few groups active in the K-Pop industry that focuses solely on performing ballads through vocally-challenging sets. However, the group is also known for showcasing their talent in dance despite their focus on singing. 2009 saw the release of the emotional ballad “Confession of a Friend.” It is a heart-wrenching song, and the music video expresses the sentiment of no longer wanting to simply be a friend. It is definitely a song that many can relate to when experiencing unrequited or distant love. While “Confession of a Friend” is much slower and not as bright compared to the others listed on this week’s segment, 2AM still earns themselves a spot with this 2009 hit. Currently, all members of 2AM are pursuing individual careers, though the group has expressed their wish to reunite. In need of a good group to listen to whose repertoire provides a change of pace? 2AM is highly recommended!