Not all K-Pop groups sing all upbeat and punchy songs. Some groups are better known for singing slower, ballad-type songs. FT Island is a great example of this type of group. A 5-member band, FT Island is much different than any of the other groups that we have looked at. The other groups sing and dance to their songs. FT Island, on the other hand, plays all of their own instruments. Guitars, the bass, the drums; they are more of what we would think of as a traditional American band. They do not have choreographed dance routines, but rather just move about the stage and try to interact with fans.
In this video, titled “지독하게,” or “Severely,” lead singer Lee Hongki (이홍기) is showcased. His girlfriend was struck by a car and killed, but he has the chance to go back in time and try to save her. Unfortunately, in the end, he ends up getting killed while trying to save her life. I think that there are interesting aspects of masculinity to talk about with this video. First of all, we see him crying in the video. This is not the only boy band video where members are crying, either. Take Big Bang’s “Haru Haru” (“하루하루,” or “Day by Day”) for example. Men crying, at least in American culture, is popularly viewed as a sign of weakness. However, in K-Pop videos, it’s not. Male group members can be seen crying in a variety of videos across the board. I don’t think that this necessarily makes them look un-masculine. I think that men who are able to show their emotions are more comfortable with themselves and are therefore more masculine. But that is just a personal opinion of mine. What do you think? Do you think Lee Hongki seems feminine in this video because he cries?
Something else that is worth mentioning about this video is that Lee Hongki has his nails done. Not only does he have them painted, he has them professionally done. His nails look WAY BETTER than mine do! Not that many boys in K-Pop paint their nails. And if they do, it is often just for one music video and then they get rid of it. Lee Hongki, on the other hand, regularly has his nails done. Because he likes them that way. He even has jewels and other things adhered to his nails. When I was first introduced to K-Pop, I thought that that was extremely feminine. I had never seen boys get their nails done professionally that much. But now that I am very familiar with K-Pop, it doesn’t really strike me as feminine as much as it used to. What do you think? Is it too girly?
Lee Seung Gi is an extremely famous ballad singer. In fact, he is the king of ballads. He is also a very famous drama actor. By watching this video, “Let’s Break Up,” you can’t help but feel depressed. Most of Lee Seung Gi’s videos are about relationships, lost love and other unfortunate circumstances. However, I think that he is a very masculine singer. He sings about love and all of the good and bad times that result from it. He is one of the K-Pop singers whose lyrics have deep meaning and whose videos are meant to touch the heart.