Hallyu 101: The Big Three Agencies (Part 1 – YG Entertainment)

I recently found k-pop the end of last year and I always want to known who is on top.  This article on   k-popstarz break down the news for you and let you known who is leading the pack:

Whether you’ve been a K-Pop fan for a while, or you’re just starting to get into it, all the news you read about this agency, that label, these entertainment groups, or those record companies can get confusing.  Luckily Hallyu 101 is here to help break it down for you.

The Big Three

If you’ve been following any of the major groups, like Big Bang, Girls’ Generation, or 2PM, you’ve undoubtedly come across the phrase “the big three” before.  It is used to reference the three biggest, and most popular, entertainment agencies in South Korea – YG, SM, and JYP.

Part 1 – YG Entertainment
  • Founded: 1996 by Yang Hyun-suk (executive director)
  • Notable Acts: Big Bang, 2NE1, Psy, Epik High, Se7en, Lee Hi
  • Known for: emphasis on artistic freedom, integrity of the music, charity work
  • Official website (English): www.ygfamily.com
  • Official YouTube: YGEntertainment

YG Entertainment currently has some of the best-selling, most internationally recognizable acts – namely international dark horse, Psy.

When the company was first started, their unique philosophy made them outcasts in the industry.  But it was only a matter of time before Yang Hyun-suk was able to turn his artists into some of the most famous Korean stars on the planet, and by the late 2000s (with the rise of Big Bang), YG Entertainment had cornered a large share of the market.

The musicians under YG are known for their individualism, diverse styles and for composing and producing a majority of their own music – a distinction that makes them very different from the other agencies.

The YG stars are also praised for their positive working relationship with each other.  They are highly collaborative in their music, often helping to produce or write songs for their label-mates, featuring one another on tracks, and performing together on stage.  Thus, they have been given the name, YG Family.

Like many other record companies, YG was founded by a former musician – Yang Hyun-suk was once a member of the legendary band Seo Taiji and Boys.  The early beginnings of the label were heavily rooted in hip-hop and one of the first major acts, 1TYM, is credited with making the genre popular in the Korean mainstream.  Former 1TYM member, Teddy, is still very active in the company, using his talents to help write and produce some of YG Entertainment’s biggest hit songs.

Big Bang – “Lies” (2008) Always

2NE1 – “I Am the Best” (2011) I Am the Best [Single]

Epik High – “Don’t Hate Me” (2012) 99

Se7en – “Better Together” (2010) Digital Bounce

Lee Hi – “” (2012) [Single]

Psy – “Gangnam Style” (2012) Psy 6 (Six Rules)


Hallyu 101: Lesson 1 – The Korean Wave

So last year I found a new love and it was ‘Love at First site’ with “BIGBANG” kpop group.  I was on youtube and saw their video ‘Fantastic Baby’ and I just had to known about the K-pop world.  If you are like me as a new fan and VIP you really did not know anything to begin with.  I had to learn a whole new lingo, culture, and language to get in touch with my Idols.  With this article on kpostarz I believe some of the new fans and the older generation will be able to get more in touch with the k-pop world.  So lets get started with lesson number 1!

Okay, so you know how to dance “Gangnam Style.”  You remember Stephen Colbert’s feud with Rain.  You watched Girls’ Generation on The Late Show with David Letterman.  And you are interested in knowing more about K-Pop and Korean pop culture.  You’ve come to the right place.

Hallyu 101 is a beginner’s guide to all things related to the global phenomenon that is K-Pop.  It is meant as a reference guide for old and new fans so that they may more easily enjoy Korean music, movies, and television.

Lesson 1: Just what is “hallyu” and the Korean wave?

Hallyu is a Korean word that represents the idea of Korean culture spreading around the world.  It is a combination of two words, ‘han,’ the quality of being Korean, and ‘ryu’ which means “to flow.”  Put them together and you have what is more commonly known as the “Korean Wave.”

There are several elements involved in the Korean Wave including music (K-Pop), fashion, movies, animation, television (K-drama and variety shows), as well as language and food.

Author and scholar Mark Ravina described ‘hallyu’ as “a surge in the international visibility of Korean culture” in his Introduction: Conceptualizing the Korean Wave.

When the Korean wave really started to kick off in the late 1990’s, Korean entertainment and culture primarily spread to other parts of Asia.  However, in the last five years or so, it has seen a greater presence in other parts of the world as well.

After the 1997 Asian financial crisis, the economy of South Korea began to move away from manufacturing and placed a lot more emphasis on the entertainment industries.  A year later, the restriction on cultural imports from Japan was lifted, and worried about Japanese media flooding South Korea, the Ministry of Culture increased the budget for cultural industry departments in universities throughout the nation.

This elaborate system directly led to the thriving cultural technology industry of South Korea which today exports media and entertainment globally at an alarming rate.

During the 2000s, Korean television series began to fill the Asian markets and by the end of the decade K-Pop had pretty much dominated the Asian music scene.

The Korean Wave began to spread outside of Asia in 2009, thanks in large part to YouTube.  Korean artists saw a huge rise in their international popularity through the release of their music videos on the popular website.

By the end of 2011, K-Pop videos on YouTube had amassed more than two billion views, and a year later the world was introduced to perhaps the most recognizable example of the hallyu wave, Psy‘s “Gangnam Style.”  Not only was it the first video to receive more than a billion online views, but “Gangnam Style” thrust the Korean Wave into the previously impenetrable American market.

In February 2000, Korean boy band H.O.T became the first modern K-Pop artist to perform overseas and held a sold-out concert in Beijing.  Since then, there has been a steady increase in international concerts by Korean singers, and in the past two years there have been some major milestones in this aspect.

In 2011 the European market began to take notice of the Korean Wave.  SM Entertainment, one of the biggest record labels in South Korea, held the first large-scale K-Pop concert in France and the event was attended by fans from all across Europe.  Later that year the group Big Bang won an MTV Europe Music Award, the first major European music award given to an artist from South Korea.

And just this year, dance-pop group Super Junior became the first to hold a concert tour across South America for sold out shows in Brazil, Argentina, Peru, and Chile.

As more and more Korean artists focus their promotional activities overseas, recognition in world markets increases.  The South Korean government recognizes the power of the Korean Wave in spreading other exports from the country as well.

Earlier this year, the Export-Import Bank of Korea made an astonishing decision to increase loans an credit guarantees worth over $900 million in the next few years to further spread the Korean Wave internationally.  A spokesperson for the bank said that K-Pop, K-dramas, and Korean cuisine have huge growth potential worldwide and more investment and financial support was needed.

Hallyu has also contributed to the increase in tourism to South Korea.

While it seems that the Korean Wave is spreading like wild-fire for the time being, some scholars have noted that it may be a short-lived fad.  According to an international survey that asked people across Asia, Europe and the Americas about the future Korean culture’s popularity in the world, over 66% of respondents believe that the Korean Wave will “subside in the next four years.”

The US market remains the toughest for the Korean entertainment industry to crack.  The popularity of K-Pop and Korean television and movies, for the time being, remains confined to large cities with thriving immigrant populations such as New York City and Los Angeles.

One American music executive suggested K-Pop will never truly succeed in the United States because music fans “would just be too critical about the lyrics and the acts’ accents when singing in English.”

Whatever the future of the Korean Wave may be, it is for certain that at the moment hallyu stars are rising to fame and recognition all around the world.



Psy Nominated for 6 Billboard Music Awards, He is indeed A ‘Global Sensation’


Psy has  been nominated for 6 different categories for the upcoming Billboard Music  Awards, which will take place in Las Vegas on May 19.  It has been made official in the announcements of the nominees that Psy will be competing for the 6 awards at the ceremony. Nominated for: Top New Artist, Top  Streaming Artist, Top Rap Artist, Top Streaming Video, Top Rap Song and Top  Dance Song.

The top super stars that Psy will competing against  includes 2012’s Grammy Record  of the Year winner Gotye, One  Direction, Nicki  Minaj, Rihanna and Carly  Rae Jepson.  When selecting its winners base on album and digital single sales, radio play counts, TV appearances, social network popularity and streaming.  In grand winner of 2013 Billboard Music Awards will be among candidates like Taylor Swift, Fun, and Maroon 5.  With his image expanding last summer and becoming a global sensation last summer, Psy is one thought competitor.  His music video “Gangnam Style” went viral on youtube all around the world and became a record breaker for most liked and watch video of all time.  He made it official and sign a contract in the U.S.A to officially began promoting in the states.  With a vast number of love shown by various music programs and shows, his popularity took off like wild-fire.  With a new parody of is song every minute, his popularity went up even higher with those imitation.

After his promotions were done, many were curious for his new song. Psy  worked for many months preparing a song that would be even more upbeat and fun  then “Gangnam Style.” Psy had admittted that he was a bit pressured for his new  song and that he even changed the choreography a few times because of it.

On April 12, he finally released his new song, “Gentleman”  and performed it live for the first time on April 13 at his ‘Happening’ concert  in Korea. Shortly afterwards, he released his “Gentleman” music video and  received an overwhelming response.

He is now currently at around 200 million views today.

article source : kpopstarz news feed


Get Ready…..’New M/V from G-Dragon is less than 2DAYS away!!!!


Anyone beside me waiting for the new M/V from our kpop prince G-Dragon!!  MichiGo MV will release on April 20 at 0 AM KST. Everyone get ready to be dazzle be even more by the kpop wave.   YG also will be making it supper easy for all VIPs to listen to his new single.

His agency YG Entertainment said, “We will be releasing G-Dragon’s new song ‘MichiGO’ through his account (G-DRAGON) for the first time. After going on the line, you purchase the G-DRAGON SPECIAL EDITION sticker and input the sticker information, you can listen to ‘MichiGO.'”

YG said, “The past decade, as online websites developed, it became very convenient to listen to music through our computers. But nowadays, as the number of smart phone users are increasing, it is preferable to have streaming service that lets users listen to music on their phones without having to download it. To cater to this need, YG decided to create this mobile line for the first time.”

Photo Credit: YG Entertainment




Boo! Hiss! SHINee To Promote New Album Without Jonghyun



So Shinee made their comeback and looked great but they do have to deal with Jonghyun being out for a bit.  I found this great article which I thought would explain in more detail for fans.


Following 4minute’s announcement that they’ll be back with a new EP on April 25th, SHINee has confirmed that they’ll also return with a new album just a few days later on the 29th.

Officially titled, Why So Serious? – The Misconceptions of Me, the disc will serve as a sequel of sorts to SHINee’s third studio album, Chapter 1. Dream Girl – The Misconceptions of You, which was released back in February. Why So Serious? is said to be darker and more personal than Chapter 1, which was led by one of the fluffiest boy band singles of the year, “Dream Girl.”

A new SHINee album is usually fantastic news, but there’s a catch this time around: Jonghyun won’t be promoting with the rest of the group. At least, not at first. The talented 23-year-old is still recovering from a fractured nose caused by the car accident he was in at the beginning of the month, leaving him unable to join his bandmates for the initial release of the new album.

We get that SHINee’s meticulous schedule is probably booked solid for the next two years and that postponing an album release is almost impossible to do, but it’s going to be incredibly awkward seeing them out and about without Jonghyun. He’s the best vocalist in the group (and maybe the best looking), and he was the clear star of SHINee’s “Sherlock” promotions last year. We still remember when he couldn’t join SM The Ballad for all of their music program performances, or when he had to perform “Lucifer” in a chair by the side of the stage. It’s just not the same. It’s like when Geri left the Spice Girls and the group tried to continue on as four, but it was nowhere near as good no matter how hard they tried to make it work.

Hopefully SHINee already shot their new music video before Jonghyun’s accident, because a Jonghyun-less video would really be the final straw.





If you are not into kpop or have heard about it G-Dragon is the idol to look out for.  With a nickname like ‘The Bad Boy prince of Kpop’ G-Dragon as stand out this year more than any solo artist coming from a group and really show us why he is the leader of BigBang.  He as not only marveled the Korean entertainment industry, but is across worldwide.  With his charismatic grin, amazing since of style, rhymes that can only be master by him continuing from his first solo album he as got it down pack.  Kpopstarz has decided to dedicate in a way you can say their personal time to G-Dragon beginning March 21st.


With the BigBang’s Alive Galaxy World Tour  behind him G-Dragon waisted no time to get back to work on his solo world tour.  In preparation for his tour G-Dragon appeared on SBS’s Thank You and Incarnation showing his natural charismatic leader’s skills and a laid back and fun side.  G-Dragon World Tour: One of a Kind is exactly what is sounds like a true One of a Kind tour.


Fans also receive a surprise when G-dragon release his ne single “MichiGo” and performed in Seoul to kick off his tour.  With more surprises fans are waiting for his first Japanese album that he announce will be release in August.  VIPs have all the treats they could ask from G-Dragon this year with a new single, world tour concerts, and a new Japanese album G-dragon just keep soaring higher and higher for his VIPs.  Keep checking for updates on his concert and activities VIPs because he his far from an average IDOL.




YG Entertainment Makes a Licensing Deal to Expand Globally


YG Entertainment made a licensing deal with Aurora World, an expert in merchandise production and licensing.

YG Entertainment made a licensing deal with Aurora World, an expert in merchandise production and licensing.

With this deal in the books, YG will officially embark on content sales and jump into a new market, opening doors for its further growth.The partnership between YG and Aurora World are expected to employ novel marketing strategies to cater to YG’s international networks of fans.

Thus far, YG has paved a path of its own, producing unique artists in the likes of Psy, Big Bang and 2NE1, making its rounds of success across Asia and now in North Americas as well as Europe. Aurora World is well-known for its anime characters ‘Yoohoo and Friends’ for ‘Happy Meal’ promotion of McDonald’s in over 6000 European locations

It remains to be seen how the two companies will collaborate to produce a new business model. This will be an important stepping stone for us to bring what we have out to the entire world,” YG commented.

YG Entertainment is a record label created by CEO Yang Hyun Suk. YG has been known to house some of the hottest hip-hop groups in the past such as 1TYM and Jinusean. 1TYM member Teddy is now currently the main producer of YG and creates many songs for top YG groups out now such as Big Bang, 2NE1, Lee Hi and more.

YG is also known for the freedom and creativity they give their artists. They give them the space they need to create their own music and have been known for their unique styles.

They are also one of the biggest entertainment agency’s in South Korea.

Article by: kpopstarz news