During a recording for our upcoming Buzzbeats episode, a subject came up that made me wince. I don’t recall how we got on the topic, but I do remember feeling slightly nauseous when it was discussed. This was about Block B‘s video for “Freeze.”
If you’re wondering why I got queasy when it was mentioned, it’s because it’s one my K-pop Voldemorts. What is a “Voldemort”? Something that, like its namesake from Harry Potter, “Should Not Be Named” or mentioned. It’s a taboo fans hate bringing up because it usually leads to tears, screaming, and some broken friendships. Also, some fans are uncomfortable admitting they dislike certain things in K-pop because they fear being ostracized over an opinion.
Regardless, I want to address a specific type of Voldemort. I’m talking about MVs That Should Not Be Shown. If you’re introducing someone to K-pop, these are the videos you desperately avoid. Maybe the director chose a ridiculous concept, or perhaps it was too many crazy ideas. Whatever the reason, let’s be honest and confront this from a humorous perspective. I think we can all use a good laugh once in a while, so please understand I mean no harm or disrespect to the groups mentioned.
1. Block B – “Tell Them”
The title speaks my mind. I need someone to “Tell Them” that it looks like a cheesy commercial. It was tough choosing whether this or “Freeze” exhibited a higher cringe factor. Both videos probably caused a global face-palming epidemic; however, this one just went far over the top for me. With horrible hairstyles, the corny boy band intro, and the abundance of product placement, it’s a lot, to say the least.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbd0__eS_uc?rel=0]
2. U-Kiss – “Not Young”
When a group is embarrassed by their own video, that should tell you it’s bad. In fact, feel free to try and find this on their official YouTube channel. You can’t? Gee, I wonder why that is? Maybe it’s the fact that this debut MV was so awkward that their own company thought it best to hide this in that warehouse from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Unfortunately for NH Media, KissMes are quite resourceful and uploaded this Voldemort online themselves. I suggest watching it with a pillow for masking shame or howling laughter.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNWr4qixDSY?rel=0]
3. Wa$$up – “Wa$$up”
On the subject of debuts we’d love to forget, who could ignore this memorable entry into K-pop? Fans rolled their eyes when Wa$$up was introduced as a twerking group, and this MV did them no favors. It gained them notoriety, which should not be confused with popularity, at least not on a positive level. Notoriety is popularity’s salacious twin who gets drunk and does a strip tease at your grandma’s birthday party. From the bad camera angles to the gratuitous butt shots, this video was nothing but secondhand embarrassment.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cz_rKhU2vM?rel=0]
4. Hello Venus – “Wiggle Wiggle”
Like U-Kiss’s Voldemort, “Wiggle Wiggle” is not available on this group’s official YouTube channel. Thanks to a helpful comment, it can be found on their company’s YouTube channel where it has been carefully hidden due to its alleged “adult” nature. That isn’t why this made the list though. My main issue with the video is that it is so low-budget that it looks like they secretly filmed this in an abandoned shed. I can picture Tim Gunn from Project Runway giving Hello Venus a camera and saying, “You have a twenty-dollar budget and ten minutes. Make it work.”
5. Zico – “Tough Cookie”
Listen, I didn’t want to put a member of Block B on roast like this after “Tell Them,” but this was really bad. I actually snickered when I first saw this. Controversy aside, I couldn’t take Zico seriously, and I still question if this was satirical. Sadly, I think he may have been earnestly trying to portray himself as some kind of Korean thug, but he came off as a joke. Zico tried way too hard to imitate outdated hip hop concepts, and calling yourself a “tough cookie” warrants many head shakes of shame.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2RLb-RryEs?rel=0]
As I said earlier, this is all in good humor, but let’s face facts: Sometimes, the faves fail. That is perfectly okay. We should be able to look at things like this and chuckle instead of starting fan wars over trivial matters. Seeing Zico in a tub of cookies will always make me snort, as will seeing U-Kiss’s debut. If I’m feeling terrible over a bad first impression at a new job, I’ll watch “Wa$$up” as a reminder that awkward beginnings happen. This is why we relate to idols because some fans probably have videos of themselves online that they believe Should Not Be Shown. Let’s embrace our Voldemorts and laugh together for that reason.
(YouTube , Images via Stardom Entertainment, Mafia Records)