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  • In a political climate as crazy as this one, the most powerful speech at the United Nations wasn't actually from a world leader, but from a K-pop band.

  • Huh?

  • We have the FAQs.

  • I wanna hear your voice, and I wanna hear your conviction.

  • That was Kim Nam Jun, a member of BTS, one of the world's most popular K-pop boy bands.

  • You might have seen them here, here, here, here or even here.

  • Hey Jimmy!

  • Yeah!

  • I'm Jimin!

  • But their most important appearance yet was being the first K-pop group to address the U.N.

  • No matter who you are, where you're from, your skin color, your gender identity, just speak yourself.

  • Their simple, powerful message has come a long way, and we don't just mean from South Korea.

  • To better understand the subgenre in Korean music, let's take you back to the 90s.

  • The rising popularity of Korean dramas and K-pop was known as "Hallyu" or Korean wave.

  • But what made that wave swell into a global phenomenon was the internet.

  • In fact, the first video to reach 1 billion views on YouTube was Psy's Gangnam Style in 2012.

  • Gangnam Style may have seem like an overnight success, but it takes much longer for K-pop artists to make it big.

  • Aspiring artists are usually scouted by or auditioned for management companies.

  • If selected, they are groomed, mentored and intensely trained from a young age by managers or agents for years before recording their first song.

  • It's a formula used by many successful groups and labels in the Western world.

  • Think The Temptations, Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys, The Monkees, Pussycat Dolls and more, but much more intense.

  • The music is funbut it's no game.

  • K-pop is a cultural force to be reckoned with.

  • Unlike rock music whose history is embedded in rebellion, K-pop's roots are more business-like.

  • The K-pop industry emerged from the financial crisis in the late 1990s when the South Korean economy tanked.

  • To rebuild, the government didn't just focus on obvious sectors like manufacturing and tech, they invested in entertainment.

  • As audiences grew, K-pop became a major South Korean export.

  • Global sales for K-pop-related music and video grew to earn 5 billion a year.

  • And that's when it got political.

  • In 2015, South Korea started blaring K-pop music across the border toward North Korea.

  • Songs such as Apink's Just Let Us Love and Big Bang's Bang Bang Bang were played to entice the North and also show cultural dominance.

  • In 2017, a North Korean soldier who dashed across the DMZ (demilitarized zone) and were shot five times by its troops even asked to listen to K-pop girl bands while recovering in the hospital.

  • Candidates embraced K-pop during South Korea's presidential election in 2017.

  • Campaigns altered lyrics to popular K-pop songs and choreographed signature dance moves.

  • South Korea's current President Moon Jae-in for example used Cheer Up by the girl band Twice as his anthem.

  • In North Korea, people were literally being imprisoned for watching or listening to K-pop but recently there's been a breakthrough.

  • Kim Jon Un has admitted that he likes K-pop music saying he was deeply moved after watching a two-hour concert in Pyongyang.

  • The concert was the latest in a series of diplomatic moves designed to ease tensions to the Trump and Kim summit.

  • Now we have Korean sensation BTS stepping up to the plate to address the U.N. and the world.

  • Telling people to believe their own convictions and voices.

  • The seven-member boy band joined UNICEF in creating the LOVE MYSELF campaign, building the belief that,

  • True love first begins with loving myself, I have many faults and I have many more fears, but I'm gonna embrace myself as hard as I can and I'm starting to love myself gradually just little by little.

  • The reactions speak for themselves.

  • Maybe K-pop can change the world after all.

In a political climate as crazy as this one, the most powerful speech at the United Nations wasn't actually from a world leader, but from a K-pop band.

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How BTS and K-Pop disrupted mainstream politics

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    Seraya posted on 2020/02/19
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