On May 28, Cube Entertainment announced that the company has entered into an exclusive contract with Korean star Jung Ji-Hoon, better known around the world as Rain. CEO Hong Seung-Sung‘s glowing words about Rain in their official press release indicated that he is excited not only about finally being given the opportunity to work with Rain again as an artist and producer, but also about what this contract could potentially mean for Cube Entertainment. He goes on to promise Rain and his loyal fans a bright future.
He said, “…in order to repay Rain who gave his non-stop love and support, we promise to bring him a beautiful legacy with every step we take. Also, in the future, I, in all sincerity, hope to be your companion for a long time. I’m always thankful for you who walks with me–even on all of the steep steps.”
It is well known that CEO Hong Seung-Sung is the former president of JYP Entertainment, but many global fans didn’t realize until yesterday that Rain and Hong Seung-Sung’s bond began long before Rain debuted, when Rain was cast by Hong Seung-Sung as a trainee at JYPE. He spoke in the announcement about his introduction to Rain way back when.
“About 11 years ago, I met a teenager with a gaze that was filled with fire. He was more passionate than anyone else. He, who had worked diligently without knowing the harshness and darkness of the outside world, roared at the world like a tiger. That tiger has now turned 30 years old and is still holding the throne, despite the fierce wildlife.”
Cube Entertainment’s activities with Rain will begin after he is released from his mandatory military service. Rain’s release date is scheduled for July 10, 2013.
On Wednesday, May 8, to the delight of his United States fans, world star Rain made a brief appearance at the Arirang Unfinished War World Peace Festival, in Washington D.C.
Jung Ji-Hoon (Rain) who is currently finishing up the last months of his mandatory military service in the Republic of Korea Army, traveled to the U.S. as part of a special envoy attached to South Korean President Park Geun-Hye‘s first official visit. The event, organized by The Korean Informational Society and sponsored by Korea’s Department of Defense, was held in conjunction with the presidential meeting and served as an expression of South Korea’s appreciation to the 300,000+ international soldiers who aided South Korean forces during The Korean War. The event took place at the Warner Theater and included a variety of speakers, musical performers and a fashion show of Korean traditional dress (Hanbok).
Rain’s performance served as the finale of the event. Also making an appearance as the event’s Master of Ceremonies was Sang-chu, from the Korean Hip-Hop group Mighty Mouth. Sang-chu is also currently completing his own military service in the ROK Army. Both soldiers are serving as Public Relations Agents for the ROK Army’s Defense Media Agency. Others performers included guitarist Bae Jang Heum and violinist Ban Sun Kyung.
Rain, who is also serving as Honorary Military Ambassador, is scheduled to be released from the army in July.
Sources: News – firstname.lastname@example.org; Pics – @scorpiola & @lee24_ans on Twitter, 기독일보/ChristianDaily.com
K-Pop fans care a great deal about happenings that could potentially affect South Korea and their favorite Korean idols. So, as North Korea’s talk of war has escalated over recent weeks, we have become increasingly uneasy. Adding to our worry is the fact that some of our favorite K-Pop idols like Rain, Se7en, and Leeteuk, and actor Yoo Seung Ho, for example, are currently completing their mandatory military service in one of Republic of Korea’s three Armed Forces branches.
Certainly, the “warmongering rhetoric” coming out of North Korea is disturbing to more than just K-Pop fans. Kim Jong-un’s talk of being in a “state of war” with South Korea and of potentially carrying out a “preemptive nuclear strike” on the United States, its territories and its military units based in South Korea and Japan is being taken seriously not only by the U.S. and its allies, but also by much of the rest of the world. North Korea is behaving so badly at this point that even one of its staunchest allies, China, has called, “for all sides to ease tensions.” Even the Russian foreign ministry has urged everyone involved to “show restraint.”
On the other hand, the United States National Security Council has reminded everyone that North Korea “has a long history of bellicose rhetoric and threats,” and that the announcements currently coming from its leadership are following a “familiar pattern.” Also, South Korean personnel of the Kaesong Industrial Complex, a “joint economic cooperation zone between the two Koreas situated on the North’s side of the border,” went to work on Saturday as usual–despite Kim Jong-un’s recent “invalidation” of the Korean Armistice Agreement. The South Korean government itself remains watchful and wary of the situation, but is downplaying this turn of events. South Korean Armed Forces are also continuing to participate in the joint war exercises with the U.S., which were reportedly the cause of Kim Jong-un’s provocation in the first place.
So what does all of this mean to your average K-Pop fan? Should we really be worried about these events occurring in Korea? Frankly, no. No, we should not. But that’s easier said than done, isn’t it?
When the possibility exists that people we care about might be put in harm’s way, it’s only natural for us to want to worry. Still, what good does worrying do? If we worry ourselves sick, is it going to make the situation better? Is it going to make it go away? No, it will not. Worrying does not help anything. Instead, worry only makes us, well, worried. It also makes us pretty ineffective, when you really think about it.
But what if something happens in Korea, we ask, dejectedly? What if Kim Jong-un follows through on his threats and attacks South Korea or the U.S.? Well, what if he does? Do we think that by worrying we are going to make anything better? The chances are that worrying will just make us feel even worse than we already feel now.
It would be great to be able to say that, in the end, everything will turn out all right. Unfortunately, no one can really say that with any surety. Not even me. However, there are a lot of people around the world who care about Korea and who are working extremely hard to make sure that the situation with North Korea doesn’t get out of control. So, I think that the best tack is to let those people do their jobs and have a little faith, huh?
So, if we’re making the decision not to worry, then what do we do instead? Below are some suggestions for you:
- First, don’t worry.
- Write your favorite idols, family members and friends who are currently serving in the military somewhere in the world and let them know that they are loved, missed and greatly appreciated.
- Write a letter to your local political representative/the leader of your country/the U.N. and tell them you want “POP (Peace on the Peninsula) for K-Pop.”
- Tell everyone you want “POP (Peace on the Peninsula) for K-Pop” on Twitter and on Facebook.
- Visit news international media outlets, find all of their stories about K-Pop and the North Korea situation, and in the comments sections tell everyone that you want “POP (Peace on the Peninsula) for K-Pop.”
- Share the image below everywhere.
Do you have any fun suggestions of your own? Please feel free to post them in the comment section below. (And please don’t worry!)
Bizzy, Tiger JK, and Yoon Mi-Rae (Tasha), three of Korea’s best rap/hip hop artists, have joined together to create a unique group project under the moniker of ‘MFBTY‘, which stands for ‘My Fans Better Than Yours‘ (or perhaps, as track number 1 on the group’s single album suggests, ‘M. F’ing. Bizzy Tiger Yoonmirae.‘)
MFBTY’s single album and its accompanying music video, Sweet Dream, were released at noon (KST) on Monday, January 21, to an already worldwide and thrilled MFBTY fan-base. Unbeknownst to most in the usual K-Pop fandom, this fan-base, comprised of fans who call themselves “unnies” and frequent Twitter in different locales as “@MFBTYso-and-so,” has apparently been quietly and steadily building for many months. Where this mysterious fan-base came from is anyone’s guess (and nobody at Jungle Entertainment is saying anything). As of the writing of this article, the Sweet Dream music video on YouTube had amassed over 27,000 views between its two YouTube channels at CJENMMUSIC & JUNGLEMFBTY.
The foundation of the title track, Sweet Dream (track number 2 on the album), is a solid beat by electronica producer DJ Smell (SMELLS). The song itself is composed of a surprisingly entertaining variety of genres, including pop, R&B, rap and hip-hop. The Sweet Dream music video envelops the viewer in a tidal wave of symbolism that at first threatens to overwhelm the senses, but then somehow still manages to suck you into what feels more like a nightmare than a sweet dream. Whatever the heck it is, it’s mesmerizing.
The other two tracks on the single album also work extremely well. Track number 1, BizzyTigerYoonmirae (MFBTY), is my favorite as it tops !llmind’s minimalistic hip hop beat with some back-to-the-roots superstar rapping that doesn’t hesitate to give the world the finger. An awesome track that leaves you wanting more even after it ends. Track number 3, cleverly titled Sweet Dream (SMELLS Like Money Mix) is a dance mix of the title track that’s sure to be popular in dance clubs globally — if marketed correctly. Sure smells like money to me.
The album is available on all major music sales outlets across the world, including iTunes. All in all, this was an excellent first for MFBTY, which has us sort of wondering…what’s next? We’re waiting with bated breath.
MFBTY will officially make its stage debut at MIDEM 2013′s K-Pop Night Out Showcase on January 27, in Cannes, France. So, if you’re in the area, I’d suggest you don’t miss it. It should be a show to remember.
Check out the Sweet Dreams music video below and then let us know what you think about MFBTY in the comments.
The pop music world was loaded with major milestones in 2012, but hellokpop thinks that one of the best was PSY‘s Gangnam Style. Apparently, so does Billboard.com, which has placed Psy and his Gangnam Style at #2 on their Top 20 Music Moments of 2012 list.
Gangnam Style, the lead single from Psy’s 6th studio album, PSY 6 (Six Rules), Part 1, was released in July 2012. The song debuted at #1 on South Korea’s Gaon Chart. On December 21, 2012, Gangnam Style became the first video in YouTube‘s history to be viewed more than a billion times, surpassing Justin Bieber‘s ever-popular Baby. To date (as of the writing of this article), Gangnam Style ‘s view count was 1,083,808,130-and still climbing.
Topping Billboard’s Top 20 List, at #1, is Whitney Houston‘s tragic death last Feb. 11, at Los Angeles’ Beverly Hilton Hotel. You can find Billboard.com’s full Top 20 List HERE.
For those of you who haven’t watched Gangnam Style yet, check out the video below. (And where in the world have you been? )