The Evolution Of K-Pop In The Past Two Decades

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K-Pop has come quite a long way ever since its earliest of days in beginning in the 90’s in several ways.

The music, the visuals, the marketing, the fan culture, you name it. What used to be called “gayo” and known mainly to only the citizens of South Korea has now become a global phenomenon that is able to be relatable to people of all ages and cultural background.

Below are some changes that K-Pop has undergone in the past two decades.

 

Light Sticks

For starters, did you know that before light sticks, fans used balloons? The balloons were in specific colors depending on the fandom of the group. Yes, technology played a big role in this particular change.

The Evolution Of K-Pop In The Past Two Decades

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K-Pop Idols Were Once Thought To Be Much More Than Just Mere Human Beings

While most fans today are fortunate enough to be able to connect with their idols through various different platforms such as social media and fan meetings, such wasn’t exactly the case back in the day.

Idols were perceived as almost not human, in a sense that they were beyond human beings. They were completely kept away from the eye of the public and fans. No trace of their personal lives was ever revealed. This meant that there was no update on Instagram or Twitter, and fans were usually completely blocked from the idols except during concerts. In this sense, K-Pop has changed completely the opposite. The importance of connecting and communicating with fans has been prioritized over keeping the idols at good distance from the public and fans.

The Evolution Of K-Pop In The Past Two Decades

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Life Span Of Idol Groups

Back in the early days, if an idol group lasted for a long time, it was considered to be around the period of two to five years. Nowadays, we have groups that usually sign a seven-year contract minimum.

 

Dating Was Punishable By Death Of Career

Dating was not allowed. Ever. Of course, this is the mindset of how the K-Pop fandom worked in the ancient days, which some domestic fans seem to still be living in. But fortunately, many are realizing that it’s actually quite ridiculous to expect idols to never fall in love and absurd to have such a rule.

And did you know?

Back in the early days, idols were actually prohibited from having their own cellphones. They had to get creative by leaving secret notes hidden between vending machines or sticking notes under soda cans.

g.o.d’s Danny once talked about how idols would have to attempt a James Bond-style mission in order to get messages delivered to their love interest.

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