K-pop: A fad or will it stay?

Oppa Gangnam Style!

By: Marina Ignatyeva

Ever since “Gangnam Style” went viral on Youtube, the South Korean rap star Psy skyrocketed into U.S. super stardom. He brought the spotlight onto Korean pop, otherwise known as K-pop, which has already been massively popular all over Asia. The funny video, the crazy horse dance and the fact that the catchy dance song is performed by a fat guy in an outrageous suit appealed to the American public, which has a long history of loving bizarre Youtube videos. Korean media and Psy’s entertainment company, YG Entertainment (one of the biggest and most influential companies in Korea and Asia), hail this as a victory for K-pop, and that Korean artists are crossing over to the U.S. market after years of trying. I think this raises the question of just how permanent this success is.

Korean artists had been trying to debut in America for years. In 2005, R&B sensation Rain, who starred in Ninja Assassin, tried to debut. He even appeared multiple times on the Daily Show, and had funny dance offs with Stephen Colbert. After him came the pop princess BoA, who is a huge star in Korea and Japan, and Seven, another popular solo artist. All three of them released songs that were aimed to be similar as the American music at the time, and all three of them aimed for the sexy dancer/powerful vocalist image. All three of them reached only very limited degrees of success. A more successful debut was by the Wonder Girls, who opened for the Jonas Brothers on their 2009 tour. They managed to be more popular than those before them, and even released a recent song featuring Akon. However, at the end of the day, the majority of Americans did not even know that K-pop existed.

If tailoring to the U.S. market did not work, what does Psy’s success means? I believe it reflects that the U.S. Youtube users discovered a hilarious video that went viral. To most of the viewers, K-pop is “Gangnam Style”. It does not matter that Korean music is very broad, or that there are better songs than Psy’s hit. They do not try to understand the lyrics, nor do they care that Psy has been releasing songs with deeper meaning and better sound since 1993. In a sense, Psy had locked himself up in a very limited song type, and he will have a very hard time diversifying without losing his success. This probably means that K-pop is a fad, but only time will truly tell.

Double Dragon Music Two Blazing Music Producers Lighting Up Amazing Music Artist Voices

Written by: Chawonza Nash, February 13, 2012

Double Dragon Music produces an ingenious blend of soulful R&B music and mixes smokin’ hip-hop beats for some of the best rap lyrics broadcasting the music airwaves. Production artists and brothers Roy and Elmo Chong, a.k.a. the “Funk Seoul Brothers,” hailing from Vancouver, Canada began producing music locally in 2001. These talented dynamos cut their music production teeth on collaborations with musical talents such as Canadian hip-hop artist Swollen Members, musical crooner Usher Raymond and gospel/Christian hip-hop artist Da’T.R.U.T.H.

doubledragon

Double Dragon Music Producer

Their production efforts did indeed sear the attention of the music industry. Swollen Members’ album Black Magic received a Juno Award for Rap Recording of the Year 2007. Da’ T.R.U.T.H. (member of gospel hip-hop collective Cross Movement) album The Faith propelled him center stage. Double Dragon produced two songs on The Faith album, “Incredible Christian” which debuted number seven on Billboard Gospel Charts and “2 is Better” which breathed an air of R&B. Double Dragon’s production successes has propelled them to work with some of the hottest Korean Artist in the music industry.

Anyone familiar with Korean Pop, Hip-hop and R&B culture knows you need only say Drunken Tiger, Tiger JK or Tasha Reid also known as Yoon Mi Rae, Yang Dong Geun a.k.a. YDG, Buga Kingz, Bobby Kim, Rain, Leessang and seismic waves from Asian fans screams will cross continents, tsunami across the ocean sending aftershocks into the US and Canada. Fueling these shock waves is Double Dragon’s smokin’ hot mixes and blended music productions.

2005 opened a collaborative relationship with Double Dragon and Drunken Tiger, members DJ Shine and Tiger JK (DJ Shine exited that year). Drunken Tigers’ album “1945 Liberation” became a phenomenal success on which Double Dragon produced song “Put Your Hands Up,” becoming a club hit and Karaoke favorite. Collaboration on this album as Double Dragon put it, “marked a milestone for us,” as it was their first production experience working with Korean artists. This production gave wings to more production opportunities with even more Korean music artists. They also produced Drunken Tiger song, “Doo Doo Wap Ba Balu,” by implementing an instrumental effect to heighten the song’s overall sound.

Another Korean powerhouse artist Double Dragon has produced for is none other than Bobby Kim. Silk wishes it had the texture his voice emits when he sings. Bobby Kim is also a member of hip-hop group Buga Kingz, including members Juvie Train and Gan-D. Double Dragon’s recent collaboration with these artist exhibits their true production genius. Buga Kingz recent release of mini-album “A Decade” includes hip-hop genres: new school, electronic disco, reggae and jazz hip-hop are all perfectly packaged in this album.

Double Dragon Music production resume includes collaborations with Korean artists Rain (Jung Ji-Hoon) and hip-hop duo Leessang (members Kang Hee-gun and Gil Seong-joon). Key to their success is their distinctive sound which is a perfect marriage of stirred not shaken blends ever produced for music artist voices. Double Dragon has said, “We’re two of the baddest Korean brothas you’ll ever meet!!! (Bad as in good of course).”

To elaborate on their statement Lord Finesse’s sample in hip-hop song “Rockefellar Skank” says it best, “Right about now, the funk soul brotha. Check it out now, the funk soul brotha.” Double Dragon productions are right about now some of the hottest produced sounds in the music industry, so check out these Funk Seoul Brothers masterful production blends on their Facebook page or Youtube Channel and yes it is Double Dragon Music.