In the past month, Korean pop outfits 2NE1 and Wonder Girls both called it quits. Those announcements came after a few other notable breakups in the world of K-Pop, and after months that saw the landscape of Korean music shift in a new way. It happened a while back, but January felt like it was cemented — the era of buzzed-about hallyu has come to an end, with a new generation of Korean artists now operating as favorites rather than upstarts taking the spotlight. That’s fine, and plenty have produced good songs. But the excitement — the blurring of styles, the new perspectives on familiar sounds — feels less prevalent right now in Korean pop. It could very well just be nostalgia coming from me for a specific period, but I also feel confident in saying something has changed in that realm.
Meanwhile, in J-Pop…here’s an E-Girls sub-unit basically replicating the hip-pop flavor of that K-Pop era that just ended. It isn’t a surprise when just looking at the trio’s main group…E-Girls have stood out by rejecting the music-second approach of many idols and embracing similar ideas as Korean outfits. Not to mention sharing producers with the likes of Girls’ Generation. So here comes Sudannayuzuyully with “Oh Boy,” a hop-scotching number that paints on the K-Pop influences thick (one with plenty to connect to “I Don’t Need A Man“). They handle it well, unlike other acts aping the K-Pop style, while also fulfilling the “women rap” prophecy laid out for the last two years (between them, the I-would-rather-not-talk-about-her Chanmina and the continued rise of Suiyoubi No Campanella, it really is having its moment). It’s solid, a nice blast of uptempo pop colliding with rap, a nice drop of nostalgia for people like me while also just being, in general, an upbeat bit of genre skipping. Listen above.