K-Pop Korner: f(x) – Hot Summer

August 5, 2011

You may think I have nothing better to write about. To that I say, “shut your damn whore mouths!” The Korner awaits…

‘Hot Summer’ appears to be a major K-Pop hit this year, it’s enjoying widespread airplay around Korea and is quite simply one of those songs you can’t get away from. It therefore seemed like perfect Korner fodder, a light distraction to yield a few laughs, but, unfortunately, the more I looked at it the less interesting it actually became. This has got to be one of the dullest and most insipid pieces of shit thrown out by the almighty K-Pop industry in a while. Let’s clear up some details about the group first. They’re called f(x) with the f apparently alluding to the notation for ‘function’ in mathematics and the corresponding x supposedly indicating that they’re a group who can change and adapt to many different situations, but the more you think about that the more likely you are to ram your own fist down your throat in an all-consuming rage at being exposed to such stupidity. It transpires that this song is also a cover of a track originally released by German pop group, Monrose. Monrose’s song is sung in English and features the kind of sexually charged, summer-themed lyrics you would expect, e.g. “it’s so hot I want to tear off my clothes” and, given what we know about German sexuality, the culmination of all that would likely be them pissing and shitting all over each other. However, quite in contrast, the Korean cover version features entirely different lyrics that are completely sexless. The girls chirp about it being summer, a hot summer, where the sky is clear and blue and they go to the ice cream store or down to the Han River. Later in the song they advise “sweating foreigners” to “wear something black and long” and, were that an allusion to penis, it would be wonderful, but instead it’s quite literally the fucking nonsensical advice to wear long black clothes to cope with summer heat. It is also a somewhat surreal experience, as a sweating foreigner, to feel like a K-Pop song is addressing you directly.

There’s a quirky member of this group who gets to enjoy marginally more distinction than her colleagues by sporting short, cropped, bleached hair and dressing in unisex clothing. She raps two lines about sweating in hot weather in the middle of a typically artificial looking Korean music video that features five completely dry-skinned, austere young women dancing like badly manipulated marionettes. Nothing in the video corresponds to the imagery in the song, from the “slightly stinging sunshine” to the “clear blue sky”, to the sunglasses mentioned in the chorus. There’s actually nothing explicitly summery in the video at all. Other than a series of typical K-Pop studio sets, the most notable backdrop shows the girls standing in a mock-up city street in front of a pink tank with tiger stripes. As unusual and attention grabbing as this glaring non sequitur is, it has already been done by G-Dragon & TOP in their music video for the single ‘Knock Out’. So, equal parts bizarre and derivative here then. This is a shitty ditty, and everyone involved in its manufacture has failed to deliver a coherent pop product from a simple premise.

f(x) – ‘Hot Summer’


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