Halloween Costumes – KPop and Me

I’ve always liked dressing up for Halloween. The more elaborate the better. The most recent times, I’ve been obsessed with top hats. Last year, I was the Mad Hatter. This year…well… I’ll tell you later.

The thing is, at the end of Halloween last year, I wanted to recreate VIXX’s Voodoo Doll concept. 

And try something like this…

Yes, Including Microphone skull thingy. 

So, I go to thinking what else I could try. VIXX being one of my faves has so many!

Cyborgs.

Voodoo Doll as mentioned above.

Dark angel concept.

Their recent one… 

Dark gods concept…

I suppose others could easily pinpoint other groups. And other people. 

Perfect! LOL! 

Or…

The thing is, VIXX has also done wolves…

And a Chinese thingy concept.

I really liked that!

However, back to this year’s Halloween costume. Ugh, I was hoping for something like this…

But instead I have to go in something like this…

Life just isn’t fair!!!!

However, I guess it’s better than these…

Maybe one day, I can pull off this…

I don’t think so. But I sorta pulled this one off.

Too bad it wasn’t Halloween!

On that note…

Happy Halloween!

KPOP and me – Future CEOs from KPOP – my opinion

I have to laugh.  Sometimes, I wonder about KPop and the insane adulation that people place on the idols.  There was a poll on the internet that asked who would make future KPop CEOs.  The discussion listed G-Dragon, BOA, some other people and Kim Jaejoong of JYJ.  Some people said Seungri of Big Bang would be a good one.  Here are my thoughts.
 
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Even before he started AOMG, I already had Jay Park pegged as a contender for an Entertainment company CEO.  Jay is the classic go-getter.  He’s not afraid of setbacks and while he’s certainly talented, he also knows how to pick talent. But he’s a risk taker.  I didn’t expect him to create his entertainment business so soon.   Even if AOMG collapses, I’m sure that Jay Park will become one of South Korea’s entertainment moguls.  I hope he’ll be in a position to swallow JYP in a decade or so.  I’d love to see that day! To me, he’s the only one I can say for sure can capture Park Jin Young’s love for dance and music that’s a signature for JYP artists.
 
I agree with the people that picked JYJ as future CEOs.  Lee Soo Man will die eventually since all humans aren’t immortals.  Hah!  And I have every fantasy that SM investors will come crawling to JYJ’s door and begging them to take over.
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SM entertainment is a publicly traded company.  Their CEOs and leaders are at the mercy of their stockholders.  If the CEO can’t perform in garnering more profit for a company, the stockholders start shoveling shares.  The value of the company plummets.  It’s not enough to know how the entertainment industry works.  One also needs to know how the world works and how money in business works. 
 
People have gotten the wrong image of tragically beautiful, blonde bombshell Kim Jaejoong.  They have done the same to beautifully greasy (why is he greasy?  I don’t know..) Park Yuchun and baby faced, always smiling Kim Junsu.  Oh, believe me, the fan fics and stories have all given me the idea that if DBSK were together, they’d choose Yunho as the CEO.  Hah!  Yunho and Changmin are afraid of risk.  They’re more followers than innovators and a CEO needs to be the one to make tough decisions.  JYJ breaking away from SM despite the uncertainty in their future are just like phoenixes dying before they can rise again.  These three men are tempered in fire and their mettle are hard.  Here are samurai swords.  Wield them at your peril.
 
Of the three, I think the strongest is Kim Jaejoong in terms of business skills and management.  He’s ventured into different genres be it in his singing or in his acting.  He’s not afraid to push his limits.  Beautiful, you might call this man, but he’s got a deadly side as well.  Something must have happened with his coffee place business and decided to pull out his name and investment.  He’s not afraid to cut losses and start something else.  He’s not afraid of taking risks.  He’s not afraid to fail and get back up. He’s a social networker.  His circle of friends is varied and far flung.  I would probably count a few government movers and shakers among them.  Hell, I’d encourage him to take up political science and get into the political game.  He’s the kind of man that could probably swim in those murky waters and clean it up as he goes.  This is the kind of person you will need to head a big corporation like SM.  He understands the worth of social networking.  And he understands face.  He projects a certain mask so that his true nature is unknown.  I know this kind of person.  He’s deadly as a scorpion, with the face of an angel.
 
One of these days, SM will court Kim Jaejoong to head its group.  He knows the entertainment industry, but more than that.  He knows the kind of risks needed to keep a business growing.  The three have proven resilient even in the opposition of one huge bear clawing behind their backs called SM entertainment media.  If not, I have no doubt that Kim Jaejoong and his two band brothers will take over a much crippled SM in a decade or so. 
 
The second would be Kim Junsu.  The man says little.  He concentrates on his own agenda.  He’s always there for the other two, but behind the scenes, he’s bought land and is building a hotel.  He’s bought a huge home (by Korean standards).  This takes decisive action.  If KJJ is the President, Junsu would be the VP.  But if his music is anything to go by, he’s definitely a person that thinks differently.  He’s not afraid of risks.  Instead of going into traditional acting, he actually set out to do theater-more specifically, musicals.  His Tantallegra gave me a glimpse into a different Junsu.  I knew then that this man isn’t some fey faced cutie.  There are ‘balls’ in the movements he makes for his career.  It wouldn’t even faze me to say that if Kim Jaejoong doesn’t become CEO, I have no doubt that Kim Junsu would and be brilliant at it.
 
I know I put Yuchun last.  And I’ll tell you why.  He’s not really into the wheeling and dealing.  You see Kim Jaejoong fostering connections all over, Yuchun is happy with producing songs and being an actor.  Not that I mind because I can go “Chunnie!!!” each time I see him on screen, right? But that’s my feel.  On his own, he probably won’t head a company.  He needs Junsu, Yuhwan, and Jaejoongie to pull him with them.  He would no doubt be happy being second in command – a Vice Chairman, a Vice President, but not THE President.  I have no doubt, though, that if his President is absent for medical emergencies or such that he can hold the company together and lead exemplarily.  We will see the steel that Yuchun hides behind mischievous eyes.
 
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I’ve already dissed Yunho and Changmin.  They’re not risk takers.  They prefer to stay with the known instead of venturing out into the unknown.  (Unless there is a certain agreement between the three that left and the two that stayed.  If that is the case, you’ve got your future cabinet members in place already.) But judging on present data (conspiracy theories not withstanding), the current TVXQ duo would prefer the tried and true methods which garners the same flat-lined results of profits.  One needs to take risks in order to achieve growth.  This is business 101.  Even if Jung Yunho is SM’s golden boy – the boy that laid golden eggs-, he’s more of a follower than a high stakes leader. He’d rather have SM making all the decisions and all he has to do is keep the maknae in check and follow the schedule.  (I apologize if I’m hurting your feelings.)  Changmin… eeks.  Book smart, but until I see some kind of venturing out of SM’s tried and true cookie cutter traditions, I can’t say much about this person.  He may know everything there is in the world but without the drive to apply his knowledge, he’s going to be just another professor teaching about his theories until someone like Steve Jobs (in this case Kim Jaejoong) takes that, applies it in the real world and makes a name for himself.  For these two, the military might do them some good.  I can only wait to see what the world has in store for these two AFTER military service.  Their personal movements after that milestone will help me put them in a better perspective.  Until then.  Oh, well.  They’re not even on the radar.
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G-Dragon – hmmm… he’s a small scale entrepreneur.  Not CEO material.  He’s dynamic, yes, but not CEO material.  He’s a mover and shaker, yes, but not CEO material and I’ll tell you why.  Despite the fact that he’s a fashion icon, he’s also content where he’s at, writing music, producing music, innovating art.  More or less, G-Dragon is a true creative artist.  He wants to perfect his craft.  And his choice is music and fashion.  He doesn’t see anything else but the art.  So music video innovations and cutting edge visuals, look towards G-Dragon.   Trendsetting stuff, look towards G-Dragon. Experimental music, new sounds, new music trends, look to G-Dragon.  But not if you’re asking him to be a businessman first.  He’s like Yuchun of JYJ.  He’ll need someone else to pull him along.  And he’ll have to have a stronger personality than GD so it won’t be Taeyang or TOP.
 
BOA… I don’t know her.  I’m not interested in the female side of KPop.  I’m not liking the whiny tint of their voices.  From what little I’ve seen though, she’s like the TVXQ duo.  She prefers the tried and true.  I do not see any artists in SM as CEO material.   Except the ones that got away. 
 
Seungri.  Aish.  He’ll stay a business owner.  A CEO is much harder for it requires innovative thinking.  It’s a larger scale.  It’s like going from the pool in the backyard to the ocean in a little blow up raft.  While I think Seungri might be able to pull off the greaseball executive, the image given would have the public cringing.  I think he’s okay to risk, but not the kind of risk that innovators have.  So until I see something very risky coming from him, he’s most likely to toe the line and that’s that.  A CEO needs to step over that line or slide through it.  Seungri doesn’t have that kind of side to him, I don’t think.
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The one that didn’t even make it on any list is Block-B’s Zico.  Leader, yes, of one of KPop’s most notorious bad boys.  He’s got a different approach to producing an album.  He’s talented and yet progressive.  Give him time, he’ll develop into a real CEO.  He’s still young, but a few years and I’ll check back on you as to how that future CEO is working out.  I think without his leadership, Block B would be a lost cause.  That he’s in there hanging tough… I look forward to seeing this boy’s CEO material further develop.  He’s the one I peg will take over YG in terms of innovative “street style” music. Now, I can definitely say the he will be no conventional CEO, but at that time, KPOP will want unconventional. Zico’s brand of difference will be necessary at that time.
 
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The next one is Jung Joon Young, singer extraordinaire, a glimpse of his CEO potential is archived in 2Days 1Night.  He’s definitely into making money.  A runaway at 17, he’s dogged about making it in the Korean entertainment industry.  He definitely understands risk and is willing to play that kind of game.  He’s not above masterminding ‘takeovers’.  And he’s ultra-observant.  He pays attention to the minutiae of detail that would fail others, but he’s on top of it and uses it to his and his co-stars advantage.  It is this attention to detail that will help him become an innovator in the world of KPop business.  He’ll know how to pinpoint rising trends and pounce on them for profit. 
 
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The other one on this list would possibly be Jung Yong Hwa of CNBLUE.  He’s THE leader of the band and his bandmates look to him to lead them.  While Lee Jong Hyun is his second in command in the group, taking over as the need arises, Jung Yong Hwa knows how to schmooze.  As evidenced in their ‘reality’ show Cheongdamdong 111, Jung Yong Hwa is a much respected man.  His easy smile and affable manners will take him far.  Also, while still retaining his Korean heritage, he’s also embraced Western attitudes and culture.  I hope to see him enter the political arena one of these days.  Possibly when he’s finished military service.  But I have no doubt that Jung Yong Hwa will be able to find an easy footing in that arena. In the entertainment industry, he’s already made a name for himself.  A gifted songwriter, composer, producer and band member, he’s acknowledged by many.  It is his careful personality and tight control of his band image that has taken them very far.  I doubt that he could have taken them that far if he didn’t have their respect.  And as far as I can see, there is no undermining his leadership.  That means that Jung Yong Hwa is a leader with a capital L.  And he doesn’t have to crack the whip and chains.  I would not be surprised to find him standing in the office of their Blue House as the President one of these days.  If not heading one of the bigger conglomerates of Entertainment companies. 
 
That’s it.  My list of people to watch out for.  Give them 10 years.  SM, YG, and JYP will be clamoring for their services. 
 

KPop and me – Big Bang

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My forays into KPop eventually led me to Big Bang. There were others between CNBLUE and Big Bang, but they are a whole other article. Big Bang needs one on their own because they are pretty big. Within the group, there are three big personalities and talents. Perhaps you will notice that in my forays into KPOP, I most often than not go for their stories first. The talent comes second.

I had really just recently discovered Big Bang. I am very very new to the world of KPop. So they may have been around for a long time, but I’ve only recently gotten to them.

Before I discovered them, I had gone through a few other groups. I thought Ok Taecyeon was the best Korea had to offer as a rapper. Then TOP, Choi Seung Hyun, appeared on my YouTube screen. The movie was 19. Seungri was also in it. LOVESONG was the first song I bought that was from Big Bang. How I wish TOP would SING more! That deep voice is addicting!

Then I discovered a picture of G-Dragon and TOP from their GD & TOP promotions. A picture of G-Dragon with plants crowning his fair head sealed the deal. I had found the fae Puck and his father, Lord Oberon. To this day, Puck Robin Goodfellow…er… G-Dragon graces my iPod Touch’s screen. I haven’t found anyone so… fae or fair of face. Surely this boy is a fairy prince! Huh, that is, until you see his twin. Kwon Ji Yong and Dong Yong Bae are probably twin souls separated at their birth. Whatever the case maybe, they are extremely close friends. I am certainly envious! Especially in light of their extreme talents. Not to mention their fair faces. If someone had said that these two were Lord Oberon’s sons, I would not doubt it.

That’s it! Oh, wait… There is Daesung and Seungri as well. In my mind, Daesung can sing, but his voice isn’t…well, not what I’m looking for. Seungri can dance and sing, but cannot compete with the other three. For me, the last two seem to be the comedic relief in an otherwise so talented, so serious group. For this reason, they fit into the group. I think their best attributes for the group was to make them accessible.

If I was to meet the group on the street, I think that Seungri would be the most approachable. Daesung is second, Taeyang third, G-Dragon fourth and TOP last.  TOP is the most intimidating, I think, to approach. Although, I think that once you do get to know him, he’d be the most fun.

In terms of looks, G-Dragon, Taeyang, TOP, Seungri, then Daesung. GD just has that certain je ne sais quoi. He is very pretty. Seungri could indeed be likened to GD or TOP, but he has yet to grow into the confidence the other three carry.  As of this writing, I had a chance to look at his song GOTTA TALK TO YOU. The imagery portrayed seemed like a man about to seduce a woman. Especially with the rather awkward ‘…hustling, hustling, hustling…’ and the fist pump… for such a  sweet sounding song, those words and that action makes it more… adult in nature. Unfortunately, Seungri somehow made it feel sleazy instead of seductive. Rather like a teenager looking to get laid, instead of a debonair man seducing a very beautiful woman.

Of their collective discography, I have since added LIES, CROOKED, NARAM BARABWA (though I am just a bit angry at the lyrics, because if it was a girl singing this to a guy, the guy would probably say, ah, hell no! But because it is Taeyang… It works because of their jobs, you know.), WEDDING DRESS, GOTTA TALK TO YOU (the hustling part sets my teeth on edge, but everything else is okay to listen to. Don’t watch it with the video.), HARU HARU, HEAVEN, DON’T GO HOME, HIGH HIGH, OOAK, HEARTBREAKER.

I will continue to discover more of their discography as time passes. And yes, the list isn’t their complete discography. I only listen to the ones I like.

The YG WIN (Who Is Next?) Debacle

YG Entertainment had put together two good groups. One group was older in age than the other group. Team A and Team B. YG decided to pit them against each other. The experts were voting for the best group with the talent and drive to be the best. Supposedly, this team was going to be the next Big Bang. Team A, lacking direction, having internal conflict, having doubts about themselves, with the threat of disbandment and possible dismissal hanging over their heads, were mediocre at best when being scrutinized by professional eyes and ears. The thing is, YG decided to let the audience at large vote for the one who will debut with the name WINNER. He probably hoped that the masses would vote in the same way as his panel of experts. He said threatened the teams with disbandment and dismissal when it seemed that Team A kept losing to Team B using only his panel of experts.
Now, I’m not dissing the talents of the two groups. Team A had some individual talents that needed to be showcased. However, this rant is about why one shouldn’t trust the fickleness of the audience at large. Don’t use the public to make your business decisions.
Let’s take Taylor Hicks of American Idol fame. Gray haired singing phenomenon, right? The masses voted for him, but was he really an American Idol? Did he really reflect the buying interest of the people or was he just a phenomenon? In my eyes, Taylor Hicks was unique. A niche market. Not a Pop Idol. The talent was there, but not for the world of such as Justin Timberlake and the Beiber. The reason Taylor Hicks was voted in? He was the antithesis of an American Idol. I’m going to say it. It’s the pity factor. He was unique and his uniqueness needed to be recognized. However, his selling point didn’t translate into record sales. Just saying.

The same thing happened with WIN. I think, in my humble theorizing, YG was hoping to disband Team A and pick over who had the definite talent. (Their leader was one.) With Team B winning the judges time and again, he was sure Team B would also win over the masses. However, with the threat of disbandment and dismissal, the masses poured on the pity factor. Don’t get me wrong,  Team A has talent individually, but they were not able to work cohesively as a team. Team B, on the other hand, delivered their dynamics time and time again. Team B’s leaders knew what was what. They knew how to lead and their team knew how to follow. That gave their dynamic performances that extra edge over Team A.

So when did the debacle start? The first indication of things going awry was when the masses voted for Team A and the experts voted for Team B. This was the G-Dragon vs Taeyang episode(s). To the experts’ eyes, Team B was able to deliver what the competition asked for. Team A lacked something. Then the masses voted.

Team A members were garnering fans across the globe fueled by the internet and YouTube and the likes of it. I have every respect for the fans. I know what they mean. I know their hearts. I have my own biases. But have fans ever been rational? That’s why they’re called fans, right? From the word FANATICS? What are fans? They’re obsessive, extremist, radical, excessive, and often intensely uncritical in their devotion. If you don’t believe me, check out the dictionary. Look for the synonyms of the word. Is there anything in there that says they’re rational? Hell no!

I have no emotional investment in either team at the moment. My biases usually run from CNBLUE first and then people who are Americans or have stayed here. People like Nickhun, Ok Taecyeon, Park Yuchun (JYJ), Aron, JAY PARK!!!!! Ah, you get what I mean, right? So, when I go to check out what WIN was all about, OMG! Team B always impressed me! Team A never quite delivered. When I found out that Team A won, I was disappointed. Here was the Taylor Hicks phenomenon again. Here is the Philippines’ presidential election all over again. (The Joseph Estrada débâcle.)

In my humble opinion, I think Team A would have been better in another agency.  Not a hip hop powerhouse like YG. Team A can compete with the likes of 2AM. Perhaps give MBLAQ a run for their money. But they do I not have what it takes to go toe to toe with Big Bang. They won’t even be able to touch that ceiling called Big Bang. Not the way they were at the time of the competition. Team B, however, could have. I have no doubt that Team B could have been another Big Bang. In theory, asking the masses to make your business decisions are well and good, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to actual talent. Let’s see how far Team A…oh, excuse me…Winner goes. I doubt they’ll last as long as Big Bang. But that’s water under the bridge now.

The question now is what YG will do with Team B. If Team B is disbanded, YG loses a good chance to having another Big Bang. But he has lots of trainees to pick from. If Team B is disbanded and dismissed, my suggestion to the K-Pop big whigs, snap them up! Snap them up as a whole team! They’ll make you loads of money! They’ll bring you to the levels of Big Bang. I promise. They have the talent, the leadership in place, the fearlessness of the young, the energy, that genius, and that certain je  ne sais quoi. You won’t be disappointed.

PS. If you noted how YG CEO had almost recanted his threat because suddenly he feels emotional attachment to the boys… Maybe you’ll see Team B under his label soon. If they do debut under his label, my suggestion for a team name? The Rejects.