my take on: the Korean entertainment industry, meat markets, and what YG is doing right. PART 1: back to basic(s).

July 7, 2010 at 2:53 AM 1 comment


I’m kind of taking a liking to C.N. Blue. Kind of random yes, but seeing how they actually play instruments -they actually have instruments to play- and they’re pretty talented -they started out as indie and did pretty well- I am taking a liking to them. And you have to admit, their songs are cute. And their drummer is adorable. “Love love love, everybody clap clap clap!” :>

I know I said I would post about FIFA. And then I realized it would be too much work. Sorry. I’ll eventually post the pictures on fb. Once you see the pictures, it’s pretty self-explanatory.

So I decided to make these “my take on” posts about random things I feel like I need to comment about. And share my thoughts. If you enjoy reading these, read on. If you don’t really care about Korean entertainment, please do something else. And this is PART 1. PART 2 WILL BE COMING SOON.

In the meantime…


*Disclaimer: (I know I usually put these at the end, but bear with me) My cousin works in the Korean entertainment industry. He’s a celebrity fitness-trainer, so whatever information I write about is not completely pulled out of the air. Most of it is my opinion formed from observations, some of it is from prior knowledge of Korean behavior in general, and some of it is what he tells me.

My first impression of Korean talent. It seems like the really talented people are not that attractive. Granted, you can get anything done to your face/body/hair here to try and completely change what you look like -women are said to bring in pictures of celebrities they want to look like regardless of if they actually moderately resemble them to start with- but you can’t really hide your natural looks. For example, a nose job is as obvious as an Asian person walking around with a White man’s nose. Oh wait, that is a nose job.

Case in point: Park Ji-sung.


He really is not that attractive. Especially with that haircut. Whoever told him to get his hair cut like that needs to stop telling people how to get their hair cut. However, with his soccer talent and fame in Korea, the commercial offers have poured in, and numerous women have declared their love for him. I being one of them. Aside from Yu-na, he’s probably the next highest paid athlete in Korea. Yea, he won’t have ANY problems getting a girlfriend.

OK, I have no idea why the words up there are green and now they are black. I’m such a noob at this sometimes.

Case in point 2: Big Bang

I love Big Bang for their talent. Not for their looks.


But there is one player that we Koreans do think is attractive.

Ki Sung-yueng. (It’s actually 기 성용) Ki Sung-yong. I have no idea why it’s officially written in FIFA records as “yueng”. Yueng is most definitely wrong.


This isn’t a great picture of him. But you can see the difference. Like I said before, Park Ji-sung will have NO problems getting a woman. Don’t feel too bad for Ji-sung. He’ll be alright. *UPDATE: according to my sister he already has a girlfriend. So therefore, he is doing alright.
Here’s a better picture of Sung-yong. He plays for FC Celtic and lives by himself…in Scotland. That’s kind of sad. I wonder if he gets any good Korean food over there. If I were his mother I would visit him like once a month -goodness knows he can probably afford for her to do that- and make him some nice, warm, home-cooked Korean food. *UPDATE: So I found nothing with Google. BUT I went onto Korea’s version of Google, Naver, and I found a crapload of good pictures of him. All Google had were like…awkward shots of him with awkward facial expressions trying to kick the ball. Another thing I realized through Naver: more girls are obsessed with him than I first thought. I found some Korean girl’s blog that is devoted to Sung-yong. Since it wouldn’t let me copy them, I stole her pictures via mac grab. HAHAHA.



PhotobucketSo this kid is a giant.
Photobucket. PhotobucketIf you’ve fallen in love with him already thanks to my blog, this is what you have to go against. Best of luck.

Wow. Pictures taken actually on the soccer field are no comparison to those taken off the field.

He should have his own post.

But attractiveness or homeliness aside, LET’S GET DOWN TO THE NITTY-GRITTY.

The Korean entertainment industry. Oh my goodness. Where to begin. If the Korean entertainment industry were a country…it would be in a constant civil war with five or six huge regions battling it out in mass chaos -each region not really realizing it’s actually not much greener on the other side- and the smaller regions barely holding on for dear life.

Something like that.

So what happens is that random people who think they have talent audition for an entertainment company. There are open auditions, and they take place all over the world. Multiple sites in Korea, Japan, China, New York, LA, Chicago, Seattle, etc. You don’t even have to be of Korean heritage to audition. Technically I think White people are allowed to audition, but everyone will stare at you funny. And you will be the only one there. So I would recommend against it if you are non-Asian.

Also, if you’re over the age of 21, don’t even think of auditioning. The people who audition are from ages 12-15. And by 15 most kids already debut. You have to take into account the years you have to be trained. And then fame lasts about 3 years. At 21, their popularity is probably already dwindling.

The auditions themselves…I don’t know how they work. I assume you show them your talents? Hahaha… Once you get past several auditions, you can get “chosen” to be a trainee. If you’re attractive and tall/skinny don’t worry about not having any talent. They’ll put you through anyways.


Oh, no. You just barely got started. What you do next is you sign your contract of death. Literally, many entertainers have committed suicide. Korea is well-known for entertainers committing suicide. I don’t like how awesome that makes us look after they decide to kill themselves. Way to go guys. Talk to Jesus. Then you won’t have to feel like you need to kill yourselves.

So this contract of death has multiple different…agreements you must adhere to in order to become a trainee. You know those online contracts you must click “I agree” in order to allow installation? And you know how it’s ridiculously long and no one reads it? It’s like that. Some parts may be along the lines of…

  1. You will be under our rule for a term of 7-13 years. I am not even kidding. DBSK signed a 13 year contract with SM Entertainment. That is pretty much committing suicide right there.
  2. No relationships of any kind allowed while in the contract term. So YG may have an issue. Park Bom is 26. Her contract ends in 5 years. She will be 31 before she is allowed to date. I see something wrong with this.
  3. You will live in our provided housing. And the housing they get is not very nice. Imagine 9 girls living in an apartment meant for about 4 people. Yea, no. Not going to do that.
  4. You will receive 5% of profits while your entertainment company will receive 95%. DBSK had it even worse. They brought in at least 100 mil, and they each got less than 100,000. And they were under a 13 year contract. What is this mess. And imagine SNSD. They’re under SM too. I thought DBSK had it bad splitting less than 1% with 5 people. With SNSD, they’re splitting it NINE WAYS. And OMG SUPER JUNIOR. THIRTEEN. Well, now that one guy’s in jail for something and another guy went A.W.O.L, maybe each share is bigger now.
  5. You will do what we say. Even if that ultimately means you get 10 hours of sleep a week. In order to get the most money, entertainment companies push their celebrities to the limit. The more commercials made, the more money. The more fame brought in, the more tickets their concerts will sell. And the more commercials will be offered.
  6. You will workout until you are a size 00. Or else we will starve you. You think American celebrities have it bad? The average Korean body is the size of what American celebrities dream of being. When your living areas are controlled by your entertainment company, your food supplies will be taken care of too. Either given or taken away.
  7. This really isn’t a term of a contract, but this is ultimately what happens. Because celebrities in actuality have no money, their fans pool their money together and buy fruit, snacks, candy and give them as gifts. I watched this one video where a group of fans delivered Costco pizza to a kpop group during their all-night music video shooting.

So after this contract is signed, you become a trainee. You go to their school and are trained. Many times trained to actually get talent. Trainee periods can last anywhere from 2-5 years. During this time, you’re set up with a select group of others whom your entertainment company has chosen to make a new kpop group. Maybe they have a certain concept they want to try. Maybe a new bubble gum pop group will have all girls ages 15-17 in it. Or a new punk/rock group will have guys ages 17-20 in it.

So yes, after hearing these things…my dad describes the entertainment company as a meat market.

I can’t say I disagree. It’s like a constantly moving conveyor belt. You come in and it’s nonstop fixing and refining and moving until you reach the of the line and are finally cut off. And you lose popularity. It’s a sad world.

So talent…is talent there?

Well, sure it is.

Is talent readily available to the general public?

No, not really.

But if you want real talent (according to me) here are my picks. *Note: not in any particular order. Just what came up in my head first, second, etc. And I don’t know everyone. So don’t get all antsy if I don’t mention your favorite group. Either I don’t know who they are -feel free to tell me about  them- or I don’t think they have talent. Haha, sorry.

1) Epik High.


This group is one of my favs. From left to right, Mithra, DJ Tukutz, Tablo. Mithra and Tablo rap/sing. DJ Tukutz…DJ’s. Epik High was? is? an indie group (yay for indie groups) and they focus more in the hip-hop/rap genre? I typically don’t like rap, but after hearing what they can do in Korean (Korean is very difficult to rap quickly with clarity) I was sold.


*Interesting Trivia: Tablo, guy on far right, went to an international school here in Seoul -one of my mom’s friends was his math teacher- and he was shown to be quite bright as a youngster. Granted, she described him as something of a rebel without a cause, but he was an amusing student. He graduated from Stanford with a masters in English (he did what his dad told him to do) but then after completing that, he came back to pursue being a songwriter/performer. After finding out he went to Stanford, the awesomeness of his English songs made sense.

My favorite songs:

*I didn’t post the MV for this b/c I think it’s kinda freaky. But I do like the song. Their skills are clearly shown here.

*Yes it’s in English. His English is much better than mine, haha. Kind of weird MV.

2) Big Bang.


Left to right: Dae-sung, T.O.P, Seung-ri (bottom), G-Dragon, Tae-yang. Yay Big Bang. I’ve talked about Big Bang multiple times before. About how they need to come back to Korea. Yesterday. Anyways, possibly THE biggest name in kpop. And rightfully so, they’re awesome. They’re all great singers, but what I like is that each of them sound unique. I think Big Bang is the only group, maybe besides Epik High, that I can easily distinguish who is who. And their English is actually grammatically correct. and G-Dragon writes most of their songs. So they can write music, perform it, and be awesome at it. I love you YG Entertainment. But they can’t dance. Oh well. I’d rather have good singing and bad dancing than good dancing and bad singing.


 *If you know Big Bang, you know this song. This song pretty much exploded into a million pieces when it first came out, and Big Bang skyrocketed to fame. I do realize this MV is a tad bit dramatic. I guess there are more than one editions of the MV and this is the not-as-popular one? But this one has subs.

Here is the original w/o subs.

*The other “If you know Big Bang, you know this song.” I couldn’t find eng subs, sorry! If you tell your Korean friend you know this song, they will be very, very impressed with you. Especially if you tell them you like it.

All the other vids of this song with subs were horrible quality. But you don’t need subs to like this song. :>

*Only Tae-yang and T.O.P. in this one. For a kdrama soundtrack. But this song is catchy. I found myself playing this constantly.

*So Tae-yang went solo a while ago. And I love this song by him. I can’t believe that someone would actually not fall in love with Tae-yang and opt for some other scrub. Yes, if you were in AP Physics with me, I just said scrub. I couldn’t find a more appropriate word.

3) 2NE1.


Pretty much the absolute definition of what it means to be a feminist. :> Over 70% of 2NE1’s fans are female. I being one of them. Also in the YG Family with Big Bang. I could be any celebrity, I would most definitely be CL. Why? She’s freaking awesome. Signs of true talent 1) Not incredibly attractive. I think 2NE1 is beautiful, but there are better looking singers out there who have half the amount of talent. 2) Age doesn’t matter. Bom and Dara are 26. Minzy is 16. YG wasn’t worried about their ages, haha.


*Best song ever. I think I posted this before.

*So this song was made for a cell phone advertisement. Apparently it got so much love YG decided to make a MV. And he basically gave the girls free reign on whatever dancing they wanted to do. So the dances are choreographed by the girls. And I love the random Storm Troopers. That like made my day. This song is based off of a Korean children’s nursery rhyme.

*So they decided to make a few solo tracks, and this one is my favorite. Bom is a great singer. She actually went to -I think she may have dropped out to become a singer- Berklee College of Music in Boston. So yes, her talent is real.

4) Gummy.


So the last three groups/people I’ve posted are from YG. Are you sensing a trend here? Haha. I discovered Gummy not too long ago, and I kinda regret not listening to her earlier. She is amazing. She doesn’t need to dance to be awesome. And live, she’s killer. Most other groups, watching live is kind of painful. Her music is actually better when sung live.


*And I think I’ve posted this before too. I really like this song. And this MV.

*I like this song! Don’t forget to turn on the subs!

OMG THIS POST IS TAKING 34968782945729 YEARS TO WRITE. So I’m going to put other artists on my next post. :> Part 2 coming soon!


Entry filed under: Everyday ramblings..

Which makes you, like, cool! my take on: Korean entertainment, meat factories, something Ki Sung-yong, etc. Part 2.

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Body Workout 101  |  July 7, 2010 at 4:36 PM

    my take on: the Korean entertainment industry, meat markets, and what YG is doing right. PART 1: back to basic(s)….

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…


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