K-pop, or Korean pop music, refers to a musical movement that began in South Korea in the early 1990s and continues to dominate today. Much of the music is similar to what you’d hear on American pop radio stations, but it’s sung or rapped in Korean more frequently. In fact, early Korean pop was heavily influenced American genres such as R&B, hip hop, and a smattering of rock and techno. Boy and girl bands, also known as bubblegum pop, are well-liked, as are contributions from older artists.
Seo Tai-ji and Boys were one of the first bands to be credited with influencing the k-pop wave. Seo Tai-ji is regarded as a pop music icon in the same way that Michael Jackson or Madonna are regarded in the United States, particularly during their peak years in the 1980s. Seo Tai-first ji’s album, released in 1992, was a huge hit due to its danceable tunes. Other bands quickly followed, and hip-hop groups such as Deux quickly grew in popularity. By the mid-1990s, a slew of teen idols had emerged, following American trends, and k-pop had grown in popularity.
Individual artists experiment a great deal in their work. Idols such as Seo Tai-ji have released albums that are highly danceable as well as those that veer into heavy metal and alternative rock and contain almost no dance tunes. Ballads k-pop artists became popular in the 2000s, but you can’t categorize k-pop as a single genre of music because individuals and bands differ so much.
Rain, also known as Jeong Ji-Hoon, is a well-known member of this movement. Rain began his career as a solo artist after leaving the boy band Fanclub, which was neither popular nor long-lasting. Rain is a multi-talented performer who dances, sings, and acts, and he is well-known not only in South Korea but also in neighboring Asian countries. In Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, and even parts of China, he is well-known.
Even though the United States is often preoccupied with music from its own country or the United Kingdom, Rain and the k-pop movement have gotten a lot of attention. Rain was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2006. His good looks earned him a spot on People Magazine’s list of the most beautiful people in 2007.
Rain has been compared to the Korean Justin Timberlake, who is multi-talented and incredibly popular. He is an important part of hallyu. Hallyu is best described as the spread of South Korean popular culture, which has been embraced a large number of people, particularly in neighboring Asian countries. Rain’s popularity in the countries surrounding his own is due in part to this influence.
Much like the British invasion of rock stars in the 1960s in America, k-pop is making inroads into other cultures, and many of its stars are internationally recognized. Though k-music pop’s is often derived from American forms, some of the more experimental artists are now adding to and blending those forms in new ways to create entirely new music, giving listeners all over the world a chance to hear something new and exciting.