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K-Pop Korner: Hyuna – Bubble Pop!

June 27, 2012

Bubble Pop!‘ is well known, children. It has long since floated far and wide beyond the confines of these calm, Korean waters, to alight on western pop culture consciousness with 29 million Youtube views and counting. In attempting to explain how it has accomplished this I would cite its indomitable strength and purity as a pop product. It’s there in the title, it’s in every frame of the video, and it’s in the relentless madness of the song itself.

Sitting here, scrutinizing the video with quiet intensity, in the serious manner of Jean-Luc Picard in his captain’s chair on the bridge of the Enterprise, I find myself pondering, “what is the bubble she’s referring to?” Is it her ass? Perhaps, for the callipygian Korean lass is given to emphatically shaking and swinging it around throughout her dance routine. Then, my internal inquiry proceeds, is she therefore demanding her derrière be popped in some fashion? Further, and more to the point, can I make it so? I extend a gentle, yet nonetheless phallocentric, index finger in the direction of the jubilant and gyrating buttocks of the young woman on my computer screen as Picard’s stentorian voice rumbles that famed authoritative phrase in my head. He would also quote Shakespeare of course, perhaps some Melville. “To the last, I grapple with thee; From Hell’s heart, I stab at thee“, although that would suggest a dark and fiendish lust for ass quite unbecoming an officer of Starfleet.

Bubble Pop!‘ was met with some controversy following its release on its native shores. The Korea Communications Standards Commission, the government media censorship body, ruled that the dance moves performed by Hyuna both in the music video and in live stage performances of the song were too sexually explicit and demanded a ban on them being broadcast. This caused domestic promotion of the single to come to a premature end although, as stated above, the song became a substantial overseas hit thereafter. This marked the second of what has gone on to be (by my count) three occasions in which Hyuna has been embroiled in such a scandal which, when you consider the free publicity and media buzz, combined with the relatively negligible harm done to sales or the singer’s overall career, leads one to wonder why the media watchdogs keep falling for such stunts. At a guess, I’d say it’s because they’re useless bloody fools that are easily manipulated.

The song itself turns the kitsch up to 11 and even includes what I had suspected was a Dubstep interlude but which I waited on confirmation from a friend before describing as such (technically, it’s known as a “bass drop”, a jargon tidbit I was previously lacking). It’s Youtube viewing figures suggest that everyone who wants to see/hear ‘Bubble Pop!‘ has more or less already done so but, all the same, feel free to toil and trouble over it below.

Hyuna – ‘Bubble Pop!’

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