MUSIC

Vote for Popdust's 2019 Best K-Pop Group Award

Which K-Pop group is your favorite?

Unless you've been living without wifi, television, or any access to the world at large for the past several years, you probably have at least dabbled in the world of K-Pop by now.

K-Pop, simply put, is Korean pop music. But in reality, it's so much more than that. It's an art form, a spectacle, a phenomenon, and a multi-billion dollar industry. K-Pop groups eat, sleep, and breathe their craft, dancing more skillfully than just about any western group and releasing pop songs so catchy that you don't need to speak Korean to get the words stuck in your head. But with so many K-Pop groups out there, is it possible to say which group is the absolute best? Well, we'll leave that up to you. Vote below for your favorite K-Pop group!

EXO

EXO is made up of nine members: Xiumin, Suho, Lay, Baekhyun, Chen, Chanyeol, D.O., Kai and Sehun. SM Entertainment formed EXO in 2011 and debuted in 2012. Their music is a mix of hip-hop, rap, EDM, and R&B, and they release music in Korean, Mandarin, and Japanese.

BLACKPINK

This incredible South Korean girl group was formed by YG Entertainment, debuting in 2016 with single album Square One, which included "Whistle," their first number one hit. The group is comprised of Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa.

BTS

Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook form perhaps the most popular K-Pop group: Bangtan Boys AKA BTS. This 7 member group formed in Seoul in 2013, and have since gone on to help popularize K-Pop across the world.

MONSTA X

MONSTA X is composed of seven members: Shownu, Wonho, Minhyuk, Kihyun, Hyungwon, Joohoney[2], and I.M.

From South Korea and assembled by Starship Entertainment, the boy band was formed through the 2015 reality show No.Mercy.

TWICE

This group of talented musicians was formed in South Korea by JYP Entertainment through the 2015 reality show Sixteen. The nine members of the group are Nayeon, Jeongyeon, Momo, Sana, Jihyo, Mina, Dahyun, Chaeyoung, and Tzuyu. The group debuted on October 20, 2015, with The Story Begins.

TVXQ (DBSK)

This duo, whose name stands for Tong Vfang Xien Qi, is comprised of U-Know Yunho and Max Changmin. They offer a wide multicultural appeal, releasing songs in many different languages. They are known as Tohoshinki for their Japanese releases, and are sometimes referred to as DBSK, an abbreviation of their Korean name Dong Bang Shin Ki which roughly translates to "Rising Gods of the East."

GOT7

Got7 is a South Korean boy band formed by JYP Entertainment, composed of JB, Mark, Jackson, Jinyoung, Youngjae, BamBam, and Yugyeom. They've been around since January 2014 when they released their first EP, Got It? They're known for their incredible stage performances which incorporate martial arts.

SEVENTEEN

Members of this boy band—which debuted in 2015 with Pledis Entertainment—are Woozi, Wonwoo, Vernon, Mingyu, Jun, Hoshi, The8, Joshua, Jeonghan, Dino, S.Coups, and Seungkwan. This group is known for self-producing, as many of the members are actively involved in songwriting, choreographing, and producing their own work.

TXT 

Tomorrow X Together (TXT) is a South Korean boy band formed by Big Hit Entertainment. The group consists of 5 members: Yeonjun, Soobin, Beomgyu, Taehyun, and Huening Kai.

Culture News

Kanye West's Presidential Run Is Great News for Donald Trump

"Better late than never" may not apply in this case...

On Saturday, in a strange celebration of Independence Day, rapper, producer, and sneaker mogul Kanye West announced his intention to run for president in 2020.

As in, this year. Right now.

The announcement quickly prompeted messages of support from Kanye's wife, prison reform advocate Kim Kardashian West, as well as from billionaire weirdo/Grimes baby daddy Elon Musk.

Of course, this news comes well past the filing deadline for independent candidates in several major states—which means that unless a political party randomly decides to nominate him, Kanye's name won't appear on those ballots. As deadlines in other states approach—with little apparent effort to gather the petition signatures required—Kanye is officially joining the long, proud history of vanity presidential campaigns. Unfortunately, that's a lot more dangerous than it sounds.

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Album Review | T.I. on 10 with "Dime Trap"

Listen to Tip's tenth studio album now!

"Just because it's trap music, don't mean it got to be one-dimensional"

- T.I. proves his point with his 10th, and possibly strongest studio album to date.

From Eminem's Kamikaze, to Nicki Minaj's Queen, and Lil Wayne's Tha Carter V, 2018 has been huge for hip-hop. Rap titans and newcomers alike have been blanketing the charts like winter's coming, so it's only fitting that T.I.P. The Mother F**king King Harris would throw his crown into the ring before the year wrapped. Dime Trap dropped today and does not disappoint.

Being completely transparent, I'm a rabid T.I. fan and my judgement therefore, is biased. Tip's GRAMMY Award-winning music made me want to be a rapper. His activism made me want to be a better person. His positive outlook and life philosophies could turn a Cudi to a Khaled in moments. So yeah, I've been heavily anticipating Dime Trap since he announced it in 2015, claiming it would be a spiritual sequel to his 2003 game-changer, Trap Musik. But trust me when I say this album is not the product of a jaded celebrity phoning it in, or fulfilling a contract obligation. T.I. goes in as if on a mission to prove himself to hip-hop all over again.

Right from the get-go with "Seasons (feat. Sam Hook)" we can tell he's serious as ever. "Laugh At Em" has incredible energy conjuring the ghost of "King Back" (2006). It feels like classic Tip, but it's far from a formulaic repeat. The spirit and hunger of the older work is present, but the content is new. You can tell T.I. pushed himself on this one and gave a new level of vulnerability.

"This was the first time I musically addressed some of the challenges and transgressions that I have had as a husband. I've always kind of shied away from even speaking on those types of topics in my music. … I just felt that I had to lay it out, I had to put my cards face up on the table."

"The Amazing Mr. F**k Up (feat. Victoria Monet)" is the perfect example of that. Harris raps about his failures as a man and opens up about his personal shortcomings. Perhaps T.I. took a cue from Jay Z's 4:44 (2017), in which "the T.I. of the North" broke the silence on his marital issues and even his mother's homosexuality. For me, T.I.'s last few albums, while very good, didn't have the visceral feeling Dime Trap achieves. Real talk, pahtnah, this is probably my favorite since 2008's Paper Trail, and I have that one on vinyl proudly displayed in my office.

It's not all introspection and self deprecation though. The swag is intact.

To add to the fun, Dave Chappelle narrates the album, and between songs, when the mood pivots, he chimes in with with his signature blend of humor and heart.

"Plainly put, it's like a TED talk for hustlers... the evolution of Trap Muzik. Now, Trap Muzik is just, you know, a dope boy's philosophy"

T.I. doesn't shy away from politics either. The thought leader has been making noise in that arena since last January with his open letter to the president. He then raised eyebrows in April, appearing on "Ye vs. The People (feat. T.I. as the people)," where he debates Kanye's MAGA-malarkey through lyrics. It was the closest I've come to making sense of Trump-era-Ye (and it was still pretty far). T.I. doesn't turn down on his return to the spotlight.

All in all, as a diehard fan of T.I., I'm thoroughly happy with Dime Trap and look forward to catching him on tour. Comment below, tell us your opinion of the album!

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