Has K-pop surpassed US/western pop music?

  • a lot of producer beg to differ. K-Pop might seem formulaic but it isn’t compared to American pop music. A lot of producers say that they have much more creativity when producing K-Pop songs than for Western clients. K-Pop songs are from a producing standpoint much more versatile. Red velvet‘s discography alone is an example of that. I watch a lot of K-Pop producer and I have never seen someone saying that K-Pop is more formulaic than Pop music. Also Cardi B‘s last three songs basically sounded the same and her new song is heavily copied from another song.

  • Nowadays, it feels like that energy and drive can be found in pop music of other (non-US/UK) countries that seem to catch up to and surpass a regressing American pop music scene, like how K-pop is thriving.

    That's simply fantastic, your entire post described exactly my feelings regarding American pop nowadays.

    Before anyone reads, these are only my opinions, and maybe from your point of view, I might be completely wrong (which is fine, I respect it).

    [Hidden in the spoiler, because it ended up too big]

  • Mumble Rap? Ma’am? Who’re you talking about? Kinda sounds like you’re disrespecting American rappers.... you wanna clarify?

  • While I definitely prefer kpop over american pop in general not always tho.... IMO In no way shape or form has “kpop surpassed pop in america” and most definitely not in America. Its gonna take kpop a long while to even be compared to american pop. You guys may say that it’s “locals” but locals is literally far too much people to say “just locals dislike/take kpop as a joke”.

    If i had to guess 95% of American boys don’t care for kpop, don’t even know what it is or actively hate on it. For girls maybe 15-20% listen to it or know what it is. Now if we even went to the adults the margin would be even smaller. This is all of course a guess considering I lived in NYC, Minneapolis, and LA the past few years before moving home.

    Just in the other thread many people said that they either didn’t know what kpop was or hid it because they didn’t want to be seen as “weird”, it shows how the general american public views kpop

    I’m not saying American pop is better atm because I think they both need work, they seemed better pre 2017 imo, I don’t but all the “noise” music in kpop is not my cup of tes but of course thats my own bias speaking. But it would be quite delusional to say that kpop is bigger than american pop, unless you’re not active member in society that is. Idk but generally American pop artists have a better reputation than most idols in Korea.

    Also, Kpop needs to have a reform imo, if they really wanna “take over the world” they need to fix a lot of shit. From things like racism, colorism, cultural appropriation, diet culture, lack of diversity (no i dont mean in race but it could count, I mean they’re gonna need different visuals to appeal to the world because k beauty standard lacks diveristy in everything). They need a lotta woek and it needs to come from both the companies and the people auditioning.

    This is all my own opinion don’t take it too seriously or get butthurt.

  • I’m waiting for one of these ignorant/racist/colorist idols that y’all push into the American scene to say something racist/colorist so that locals can force that “bad image” on kpop, because ir looks like this generation of idols are just as ignorant as the past one. These companies need to either 1. Keep idols in school long enough to learn about other races/cultures 2. Educate them properly because the way knetz brush off their “mistakes” won’t fly in America.

  • Pop music is pretty cyclical in the US. If you’re talking about groups, every 5-10 years there a a big burst of pop boy and girl groups, then it’s quiet, then it happens again (New Edition - New Kids on the Block - Backstreet/N Sync - One Direction - BTS).

    Pop music is by its nature often highly disposable and bg/gg even more so. Once the hype has died down or the audience grows up, it is very rare to have longevity in your career. So I get why American record companies aren’t investing a lot of time until the next wave hits, and I suspect they’re working in the background on some.

    If you’re talking about the actual music, pop music reflects whatever is the dominant musical trend. It’s been everything from doo wop to Motown to hippie/dreamy to rock band to synth to glossy Swedish-infused pop to its current r&b/hip hop incarnation.

    So I don’t see anything other than another evolution in the sound. What I think is different is that the internet and the rise of streaming + easier global access + social media provides more ease to really focus on a niche that suits your tastes, which is having a larger impact on what the music industry creates. Additionally, this global mix is adding seasoning to the mix of every country’s music.

    I also think that we have a tendency to idolize what came before, as noted upthread that people have always complained about the music. There was a lot of crap in the 80s and 90s too. No one’s asking Otown or LFO or Limp Bizkit or Stacey Q to come back. When we look back on this era, we’ll apply the same filter we do to that era and cherry pick what we like.

    And the filters that everyone applies to music criticism currently would slam some of the all time greats. For example, I see all the time on this forum people slamming artists for not writing their own music. You know who didn’t write her own music? Whitney Houston. Is Taylor Swift’s “we are never ever getting back together,” a song that she co-wrote, a better song than Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” which he did not? (Hell no.)

    Tl, dr: We look at the past with a rosy filter. I’m interested to see what’s next in pop music in all countries, as bits and pieces of one culture are filtered through the lens of another.

    we fully bloomed with fireworks and flowers of today we now shine even brighter

  • I'm very confused about the idea that some of you have of current US pop. It's a lot less 'manufactured' than in the early 2000's where it was all Katy Perry, Kesha, etc...

    Taylor's Folklore and Evermore, Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas, The Weeknd, etc...

    We are basically in a post-bubblegum pop world, and the western music industry has been looking for a more authentic, honest sound, with real instruments, accoustic, actual lyrics that means something. Hell, songs with a politic or societal topic are rising.

    Justin Bieber is making christian pop now, and country has never been more popular.

    Autotune is getting a bad rep too - people want to see the raw, the flaws. In many ways, kpop's tradition goes exactly against the current trends from what I can say.

  • This is a really good answer! I couldn’t have said it better myself. I also want to add that pop has had to adapt with the steady rise of rap music.

  • The difference is that both Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson (who he wrote 3 of the biggest hits on that album by himself) are both heavily involved at least in the creative process of their work.. something that a lot of kpop groups don’t get the choice in.

    Michael was so heavily involved with Thriller and it’s well documented.. he couldn’t play instruments but he would sing melodies into tape recorders for Quincy to produce.

    Plus songwriters were more known and respected by the GP back then compared to now so it was a big deal if A artist had a song written by this singer.. songwriters would be given whole TV specials.

    Whitney is a supreme vocalist and typically most people don’t really care if vocalist don’t write as long as they are amazing singers and release hits. It’s different if let’s say Madonna wasn’t writing and involved in her creativity.. she probably still would of been successful but not had the longevity, authenticity, credibility that she has today as an artist, same with Janet Jackson!

  • imo I think each type of song should be equal.

    I got less interest in US music nowadays compare to early 2000.

    I like Euro pop the most, mostly Russian and French. Then Korean music.

    But I still like r&b music from The US. (I mean some old music from them.)

    but I think the perspective from people around the world will see music from the US is superior than the other.

  • Ah but this is where the lens of history is distorting the view. In the 80s both Madonna and Janet Jackson were often criticized as being poor singers with little to offer beyond dancing abilities, and the expectation was that they wouldn’t last long. Of course both have discographies and careers that span the test of time, but it gets to my basic point that we often look at music with rose-colored lenses.

    I’d also disagree that songwriters were more well respected. Just like today, there were a handful that people knew and liked with a high profile, but most of the GP probably could not have named a songwriter/producing team like Jimmy Jam/Terry Lewis, Nile Rodgers or Rod Temperton in the 80s or Max Martin in the 90s although they are very familiar with their songs.

    I do agree that most GP don’t care about whether or not vocalists write their own hits - but again, within Kpop fandom, it seems to be a very large obsession about whether an idol writes or produces their own music, even when they are primarily a vocalist.

    we fully bloomed with fireworks and flowers of today we now shine even brighter

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