Recently I’ve went over the amusing nature of the reaction to the Crayon Pop/Lady Gaga collab from the international K-pop fandom. While Koreans seem to understand what Crayon Pop and K-pop exist for on some level, international K-pop fans appear to be taking K-pop extremely seriously, as if they have a complex about it. As such, they’ve cultivated a particularly nasty response to Crayon Pop “representing” them because they’re allegedly embarrassing and simplistic – other acts are better representation of “real K-pop”.
I laughed that off for the most part, but the straw that broke the camel’s back and motivated me to write this was the article about Orange Caramel and Crayon Pop. Yes, in the fun complimentary comparison THAT ORANGE CARAMEL MADE THEMSELVES with Crayon Pop, I-fans still found an angle to get mad, and actually said shit like Orange Caramel are MEANINGFUL WEIRD and Crayon Pop are just dumb.
I just … I found this like amazing. It’s a prime example of the lengths K-pop fans will go to in order to separate people they don’t like from those they do via “legitimacy”. Of course, finding MEANING in one cutesy aegyo song so that it has an intrinsically higher value from another cutesy aegyo song is truly desperate, especially when anybody looking hard enough can create whatever narrative they want.
Those people seem to not believe this is possible, so I wanted to do a “Let’s Pretend” around pretending I’m one of those delusional assholes who thinks their bias group has the most meaningful songs ever.
Crayon Pop‘s “Saturday Night” may feel like a simple dance song done by a rookie girl group in the name of fun, but such shallow things CANNOT and SHOULD NOT be allowed to go public in the high-brow world of K-pop. And it wasn’t, as there was a quite grand message in the lyrics.
“Saturday Night” is actually a song about having self-esteem and encouraging self-empowerment in a culture and society that too often lacks positive messages for young adults.
It’s time, I waited for this night, now I am all ready
The dropping music makes my heart pound boom boom boom
The nervousness expressed in the lyrics represents the Korean societal expectations bearing down on them. They are ready to express themselves, ready to show their souls, so they WANT to dance, but the pressures to conform to cultural norms are beating at the very fibre of their being: their hearts.
So deep, I can’t even.
Jump to the sky higher tonight, the burning tonight
Saturday night, everyone dance together, this way that way, don’t care about others eyes
Oh Saturday night, everyone shake together, twinkle twinkle, turn round and round
Yo today I want to play, I want to play with you
I will play with you coolly, wanna watch over me?
Your eyes are round, your mouth is wide open, how about it? Let’s run now
In the end, they overcame the burdens and pressures to do what their heart wants, and thus encourage their target audience of young adults to find faith in themselves. They even ask others to join along with them, showing their listeners that Crayon Pop will be their support in their own personal battles.
The message is that if you feel like you love something, then don’t care about what others think and pursue your dreams. It’s a narrative piece about shucking societal expectations and achieving your goals against the grain, shunning the bores of robotic school forms and step-by-step daily corporate sharecropping.
A dance song?
No, you simpletons, more like a call to revolution.
So deep, can’t get out.
Crayon Pop‘s “Dancing Queen” is about cutesy girls in schoolgirl uniforms acting nuts and having fun, right? Hell no, it’s a statement against the stagnant nature of the fight against depression in Korea, along with a critique of the way mental health is dealt with in their country.
“Dancing Queen” seeks to represent the isolation and depression that occurs when one isn’t loved, but encourages those people to find strength in themselves and Crayon Pop to power forward to better days.
I am seriously depressed right now
No one looks for me tonight
It’s lonely all by myself
Isn’t there something fun to do?
On this fiery Friday night?
Baby bbaraba bbabba Dancing in the moonlight
Under the falling starlight, on this hot night
Baby bbaraba bbabba Dancing in the moonlight
Throw your hands up to the sky
Everybody Baby Dancing in the night
The moonlight is a metaphor for the government, forever watching and judging the population stuck in the rat race, but doing nothing to improve their lives. Night is when everybody is at their most vulnerable, and the light they’re shining acknowledges the numerous mental health problems of the population, but the ‘moonlight’ chooses to do nothing for those suffering in their own personal hell.
But does Crayon Pop accept it? Nah, they say fuck that. They say, let’s turn it around on them and dance in this motherfucker instead, mocking those arrogant fucksticks who consciously choose to live with blinders on. Let’s cause a commotion as individuals to show each other that we’re actually a collective and not alone, so that we can find strength in each other instead.
A song about self-determination in the face of powers much greater than yourself.
Your faves could never go so deep. Mariana Trench.
Crayon Pop‘s “Bar Bar Bar” is the ultimate brainless hook song, right? Wrong, you silly peons.
It’s a commentary on the breakdown of traditional family units, and encourages people to unite for a better future.
All together, one! Pa pa pa pa pa pa pa pa
Follow me, two! Pa pa pa pa pa pa pa pa
Shout out, ho (ho), jump up (up)
Follow me (me). mamas and papas,
all together go, pa pa pa pa pa pa pa
Make it fun, go! Pa pa pa pa pa pa pa pa
Shout out, ho (ho),
jump up (up),
follow me (me)
Pop! Pop! Crayon Pop! Get, set, ready go
Family culture is extremely important in Asia, and with the modernization and westernization of the culture, there are concerns about it breaking down.
Crayon Pop encourages families to unite and escape from the crushing pressures that surround them in society and cause fractures in the unit.
Jumping yeah, jumping yeah, everybody
Jumping yeah, jumping yeah, all together jump jump
The coordinated dance itself encourages unity.
No worries, pa pa pa pa pa pa pa pa
No dilemmas, pa pa pa pa pa pa pa pa
Follow me, follow,
put your hands up,
jump and scream as much as you want
Hey, you guys, escape your daily life,
all together, let’s say ready go
As I said, they encourage an escape from daily life and to be happy with your family without worries, because in the end, life isolated can kill you but family should always be there for each other in the end.
The uniting of families from toddlers to grandparents in their love for the song shows that their message worked and it’s solving social problems as we speak. When will your faves repair society?
Time is a flat circle. Everything we know now has happened before and it will happen again. Man. So deep.
It’s either all that shit orrrrrrrr maybe the primary goal of these songs was that they were meant to be fun? Like the Chrome Entertainment CEO said himself:
• Then what is Crayon Pop’s “identity”?
» Happiness. The market for happiness will never topple.
And there’s nothing wrong with that, really. Because it should be fun. Pop music should be fun and so should K-pop.
Look, if you want to believe something bad enough, you can find it in anything, whether that’s in music videos, lyrics, dances, commentary, or quotes. While my analysis of Crayon Pop’s lyrics is satire and for laughs, some of what I said is far superior in reasoning to some of the garbage DEEP explanations of I’ve read around the Internet for why *INSERT BIAS GROUP HERE* is inherently superior to *INSERT HATED GROUP HERE*.
In that vein, I guess I just don’t understand why people have to want so much more out of K-pop than any other pop market in the world. Even more than prideful Koreans themselves. Why does K-pop have to be “legit”? Why does it have to conform to what you can show your “Western” friends and they’ll think it’s “cool”? Why does it have to look for “approval”? The never-ending search for meaningful lyrics/messages in K-pop absolutely stems from those attitudes of insecurity and inadequacy, which is why people stan for credibility, respectability, and legitimacy more than they do for creativity, ideas, and FUCKING ENTERTAINMENT.
And quite frankly, that makes international K-pop fans get really delusional and weird in a way that’s different from domestic fans. Yes, to the point where people will make cartoons about how deep Orange Caramel is compared to Crayon Pop. I mean, that’s just fucking insane. It is.
So just give it a rest and enjoy, cause god knows that this quest for K-pop respectability from international fans is having the exact opposite effect on outside observers.