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K-Pop's Definition and History kpopK-Pop's Definition and History

What is K-Pop (kpop)?
K-pop is an abbreviation for Korean popular music, specifically South Korean (there is practically no popular music industry in North Korea). Many of the Korean pop stars and pop groups are well known in East Asia and other parts of Asia. K-pop often emulates American pop music, and usually features young, sexy performers.

History of K-pop (kpop)
The emergence of the group Seo Taiji and Boys in 1992 marked a turning point for Korean popular music, as the group incorporated elements of American popular musical genres of rap, rock, and techno into its music. The tremendous success of Seo Taiji and Boys in Korea and such similarly experimental groups as Panic set the trend for the present generation of K-pop groups and artists.

Following Seo Taiji and Boys, dance-oriented acts were dominant in the Korean popular music scene of the 1990s. Recently, rock music has made some headway into the mainstream, with acts like Yoon Do-hyun Band gaining national recognition.

Popular artists who diverge from the traditional K-pop sound include Lee Jung Hyun, a female techno artist and equivalent of America's Moby; 1TYM, a four-member rap troupe; and Wax (Korean band), a female alternative rock group. South Korea is also home to a few hardcore "gangsta'" rappers, including Jinusean, Drunken Tiger, and PSY, whose flippant and humorous sound is similar to Eminem's.

Trot is a less popular genre of K-pop, which was influenced by Japanese songs during the occupation and popular until Japan's defeat in WWII. Following WWII western-style new music became the mainstream of K-pop.

Be sure to check out our featured Korean celebrities for information on the best kpop's artists.

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