2013 Media Map: Music (Part 6)

This post was originally posted on LiveJournal.


Sometimes in K-pop , song titles, concepts and styles overlap. I looked into A LOT of boybands in 2013 and because I found “commonalities” between several of these groups, I’ve chunked some of them in my mind into specific tiers. This one tackles the boy-groups that start with the letter “B”.

On to the (B)oys!

A lot of boy groups that start with “B” are bad boys. I’m not sure if this has been made into a hard and fast rule, but most of the “B” groups have this in common. K-pop “bad boys” to me are the ones who don’t fit into the “flower boy” mold. While they still are undeniably pretty (nobody is ever ugly in K-pop, not even the “ugly” ones), they are more “edgy” in that they don’t do pastel, and they are by no means as wholesome looking as some of the other groups are. These boys may be found masterminding heists in MV’s and/or doing complicated choreography in empty warehouses or hangars. Blood figures into their imagery a lot, and sometimes guns too. I happily sped through some of the “B”groups and found:

Block B

Props to this group, who has been through the wringer and back in 2013 when early in the year they sued their company/agency Stardom. Why? Because it appeared that the group wasn’t getting paid for almost one year. If that wasn’t bad enough, a few months later, the CEO of the agency disappeared and then was later found to have committed suicide. CHRIST. Talk about stress.

However, they were able to leave their company, sign with a new one, record a new mini-album and have their comeback all in the same year. Very good, indeed!


B.A.P stands for “Best Absolute Perfect”. How can you argue with a name like that? Although I am still thoroughly confused by their MV for “One Shot”, I’m happy to report that eventually I got their whole “ethos” and it was similar to what attracted me to Block B. These guys pretty much look like they too are ready for a throw down any time. For a while back in 2012, things got a bit tense between the B.A.P and EXO fandom. I may be biased towards my babies, but I would advise them not to go against B.A.P in a fight, though EXO far outnumber B.A.P by six people. (Though I still want to see Zelo vs. Baekhyun at some point, for fun.)

B.A.P broke out of character in 2013, with this song:

Nice song and all, but the image didn’t take, but good thing there was…


These boys are LEGIT. Bangtan Boys, a.k.a BTS and also “Bulletproof Boyscouts” made their debut in 2013. Heavily influenced by hip-hop roots, at least two of its members were previously already in the Korean underground hip-hop scene before becoming idols (which involves a separate set of skills from the ones already acquired from the underground scene.) This rookie group caught everyone’s attention with this single and signature moves:

Rap Monster and Suga, two members of BTS were confronted (attacked?) on-air by B-Free, an indie hip-hop artist on the subject on the boys’ “authenticity.” Much fronting was involved, and the boys’ credibility to “represent” hip-hop was questioned by B-Free, but BTS handled it like the boy scouts they are.

It’s really too bad that I don’t speak Korean because I am missing out on the poetry in their music by not being able to speak the language.


B.T.O.B, or “Born to Beat” (of course they were!) Their sound is somewhat interchangeable with B.A.P. sometimes, tbh, though that is not necessarily a bad thing. But here they are also playing out of type:

Next time – sexy sexxiness, cutie cutie-cles and princely manliness.

Missed the previous media maps for music? Catch up here:

2013 Media Map: Music (Part 1)

2013 Media Map: Music (Part 2)

2013 Media Map: Music (Part 3)

2013 Media Map: Music (Part 4)

2013 Media Map: Music (Part 5)


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