2015 Summer of K-Pop Pt.2: The Not So Pop Edition

Since the first fall orange leaf is bound to appear in about ten days I thought I’d hurry up and wrap up my favorite K-Pop songs of the summer. In this part I’ll be sharing my favorite hip-hop, r&b and rock songs that aren’t as mainstream as most Korean songs of today. If you know of some more not so POPular artists let me know so I can check them out.

Kisum-“You & Me”

Usually I look up any new person that I find myself actually loving, but for some reason I just kind forgot to do that with Kisum. She’s mad dope and it’s even mad doper (yes, you read that right) to hear refreshing rap songs from female Korean rappers. Kisum’s single “You & Me” filled a good amount of summer vibes for me. It balances both the animated and mellow energies that summer brings to me. Even the loud yet soft color scheme of the MV give off a very playful yet soothing atmosphere. Thinking of how summer is about to end this song actually fits best in a Summer to Fall transition playlist. I should definitely check out more of Kisum’s stuff.

Gogo Star-“Lovein”

 Now Gogo Star is a group I looked up while listening to their single “Lovein”. Out of the seven years that I’ve been into Korean music I haven’t heard of them or anyone who sounded like them. They are a really eccentric and unique group. “Lovein” in particular really hits the supernova fairy world that I runaway to on a daily basis. It’s full of tasty synthpop melodies coupled with an addictive hook. It’s actually a sound that I would expect from a Japanese band. From now on if anyone wants to hear anything that doesn’t sound like the mainstream K-Pop I will definitely introduce them to Gogo Star.

hyukoh-“Come and Goes” and “wing wing” 

Now hyukoh is the special artist that gets to be mentioned in the summer favorites even though technically his songs came out in the spring, but it was late spring so that’s basically summer in the South. Since the last time I mentioned hyukoh in my favorites they have definitely become my favorite Korean rock band and on of my favorite bands of all time. There’s something very chill yet uplifting about their songs which is right on my alley. It’s like they have that Californian surfer vibe with a little bit of their own flavor – a taste that I can’t quite make out just yet.

While “Come and Goes” is a more upbeat song I enjoy “wing wing” much more as it’s more fun to sing to and the dancing that takes place in the MV is basically me in my room.

Primary-“Just Like U”, “Hello”, and “Don’t Be Shy” 

Another artist that gets the double favorites treatment is the beat master Primary. Primary is another artist that I got into this year and so far I haven’t heard a bad beat from him. He has a good ear for music and knows exactly what voice goes with his songs. I especially love Jessi’s feature in “Just Like U” her rap and her voice alone help complete the coolheaded and sophisticated vibe the song has. Plus the MV for that song is just crazy funny to watch.

Meanwhile Lena Park’s vocals in “Hello” are just dreamy and help capture the funky 70s and 80s vibe Primary’s instrumentals bring out. It’s a lovely jam to just chill out to with a coup of shoulder raises and hip swings here and there. “Hello” is like the morning song you shower and get dressed to and “Just Like U” is the song you walk home to after a good night out.

If not you can just get both the morning and night vibes with the reggae-infused “Don’t Be Shy”.


 To keep the chill hip-hop thing going, Eluphant’s “SimSim” is another perfect song to add to that playlist. If you don’t know Sistar’s Soyou’s voice is the perfect blend of sexy, soulful and soothing so it goes perfectly with the R&B-jazz and hip hop instrumentals that fill this song. It’s a perfect lazy summer day song.


To switch up the style just a tad bit but sticking with Sistar appearances we have a newer release. Jooyoung’s “Wet” is a classic modern R&B/hip-hop and his MV features Sistar’s Bora as the beautiful love interest. Filled with soft trap 808s and a addictive loop, this song is a solid jam. The only thing cringe worthy of this song is are the lyrics in the chorus. I refuse to read the full translation of the song because I’m scared it will ruin it completely for me. Just jugding the song on Jooyoung’s vocals and the instrumental, it’s an A+.

Hyolyn, Zico, Paloalto-“Dark Panda” 

It’s been confirmed that Sistar’s super lead vocalist, Hyolyn would be in the show Unpretty Rapstar. I’ve never watched the show but apparently it’s a rap competition show featuring celebrities. Since Hyolyn is known as great singer people were a bit shocked, to say the least, about her being in a rap show and wanted to hear what she had before hand. They thought “Dark Panda” was going to be the song where she was going to introduce that but no instead she sung. I’m no upset at all because this is an awesome song that has a trance like instrumental. Zico and Paloalto did rap in the song and it all blended so well with Hyolyn’s powerful vocals.

Jane Jang- “Love Me Do”

In the folk and jazz world we have Jane Jang who released a digital single in August titled “Love Me Do”. It’s a super bright and whimsical song perfect for those Sunday morning brunches.

Kisum & Homme – “3 SEC”

We started with Kisum so we’re going to end with her along with Homme. This was a great collaboration that was released the first day of September. Homme sings throughout most of the song and we get a nice rap from Kisum somewhere in the middle that just flows in like milk and honey. It’s another great way to end off our summer and head into the Fall.

Stick around for the last part of our summer of K-Pop where I will talk about all of more mainstream pop favorites.


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