For many long time K-pop fans, it’s easy to become jaded. Between the three generations currently active, reality show-based debuts, shorter promotion cycles, and overdone trends, the market is so saturated that consuming K-pop outside of groups you actively follow becomes a passive and, generally, unmemorable process. There’s simply too much content and too little time. The fun aspect of K-pop often gets buried beneath the proliferation of the same sounds, fan wars, and charts. Then, an MV comes along that reminds you of exactly what K-pop has to offer — good or bad — and you remember why you’ve kept up all this time: K-pop can just be fun.
That is exactly what DSP‘s latest girl group Young Posse‘s debut with “Macaroni Cheese” is. It wasn’t penned to be a lyrical or conceptual masterpiece — it’s literally inspired by a mac n’ cheese cheeseburger — and it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It does, however, take itself quite literally, which makes for a wacky and relatable MV about everyone’s favorite comfort food: macaroni and cheese.
As the intro to the track supplies, “Macaroni Cheese is a dish of cooked macaroni pasta in a cheese sauce. Most commonly cheddar sauce.” From there it all dissolves into how to prepare, store, reheat, and deal with the gastrointestinal side effects of consuming dairy. The thing is, the lyrics of how to prepare and store macaroni and cheese sound like they were written by AI — no one involved in the song writing process has ever made this dish — and are filled with silly refrains that might be innuendo but don’t quite get there. It’s a Google recipe search with a hint of Kraft directions plus nonsense swag lines. And yet, it’s catchy.
Shorty like it greasy
Shorty, shorty like it cheesy
Shorty like it greasy
Shorty goes like it’s hot, too
In time with the recipe, the members dance in a microwave, float in a freezer, and ultimately take a boat ride through what one can only assume is the digestive tract. For a box set, it’s innovative. It also gives space for the members to have different reactions to the the dish. Lured by the yum yum yum yum factor, leader Sunhye is visibly disgusted by the dish, while Doeun clings to a piece of macaroni in a green screen sea of pasta.
There’s also a small critique thrown in of the artificial and foreign appeal of the dish as shown by the vending machine character and the orange cheese powder littered throughout the MV. It’s an ode to macaroni and cheese as much as it is a question of why anyone would eat cheese powder and call it meal. However, all the members end up boarding the rollercoaster of mac n’ cheese digestion, and the end result is grotesque and a little trippy.
Put it in a freezer, ooh, ice
Breakfast to dinner (Everyday), so nice
Three, six, five throughout the day, in your mouth
Paired with the literal journey of preparing and digesting the dish are visuals of airplanes and flight attendants. This could be another reference to the foreign nature of the dish, or it could just be aesthetics that don’t involve cheese for the purpose of variety. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. This is a song about pasta and swag. There is no grand critique happening alongside the iconic line “On the on the cream, pop it pop it like a cheese,” and there doesn’t need to be. The song and MV go deep enough into bodily functions to not need any more depth.
Of course, there is the issue about the ages of DSP’s newest group. Perhaps shorty likes it greasy and cheesy because the group’s youngest member (Jieun) is 13 years old and still cannot operate a stove unsupervised. However, the lyrics are appropriately juvenile, and that comes from four of the five members (Doeun, Sunhye, Jiana, and Yeonjung) having writing credits on the track. “Macaroni Cheese” sounds like it was written to be a viral TikTok sound, and that’s completely in line with the age of the members, their social media influences, and their target market. As unsettling as their ages are, I think that’s a discussion better left to the larger trend in K-pop, which creators like Taejiu have already addressed more comprehensively.
When it comes to “Macaroni Cheese,” it’s hard to rate it as a debut. “Is it good?” is the question any reviewer seeks to answer when presented with a new MV, but with songs like “Macaroni Cheese,” it’s the wrong question to ask. The MV is fun, the concept is ridiculous, and it manages to be memorable. It’s a breath of fresh air — as irreverent as it may be — and that counts for a lot when debuts are so easy to overlook. Where the group goes from here is up to DSP, but I wouldn’t mind watching them take on a few more gimmicky recipes if the final product is just as entertaining.