It's time for a #FBF and that includes listening to some of my fave K-pop group debut songs! Yes, every K-pop group has a beginning and some are millions better than others. Why not kick it back old school style (cause, you know, anything older than three years old is ANCIENT) and check out some of these sweet hits? Below, are my top ten favorite debut songs, but let me know in the comment section which ones are your favorite!
10. "GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS" - GOT7 (2014)
Nothing screams K-pop like a cheesy hook and horrible hair styles. Thankfully, GOT7 brings both and debuted strongly with the "Girls, girls, girls, they love me," pickup line, but, honestly, girls do love them (myself included). It was a great debut song that clearly showed off their style, while not revealing too much about themselves. It was almost like a teaser to what was to come, which is an ambitious group with eyes set on the international music scene and demographic. While definitely not the strongest debut song, GOT7 brought the flair and fun with this stellar hit!
9. "FACE" - NU'EST (2012)
NU'EST wanted a voice and the group came out strong, specifically against school bullying. It instantly became a hit and was considered one of the strongest debut songs, with NU'EST topping music charts, but, sadly, it all crumpled down from there. Due to poor management, the group was left in the back burner until it was revived in 2017. Thankfully, they'll always be known for the debut song with a message, oh, and the pretty boy with blonde hair (*cough* Ren).
8. "WHOZ THAT GIRL" - EXID (2012)
Okay, I need to ask this right now: Has EXID aged backwards? When the group first debuted with eight members, it was a blend of smooth vocals and transitions mixed in with strong rapping. EXID brought the sophistication to a comical music video questioning a very confused and fearful man about his lack of monogamy. I've always loved this debut track simply for the beginning, I mean, can we play those vocals on repeat?
7. "INSANE" - BTOB (2012)
Could the eyeliner BE any thicker? All kidding aside, this is a song with a danceable beat and, thankfully, singable chorus. It's a song that will easily make you go insane by how damn catchy it is! While the acting scenes can be a bit...much...BTOB has been a group who has always been a bit crazy. Ever since its debut, BTOB has definitely made their fans go "insane" and "give them so much pain." Okay, sorry, moving on!
6. "BAD GIRL, GOOD GIRL" - MISS A (2010)
I'm always in shock when I remind myself that this is a group's debut song. HOW?! I mean, this is a highly controversial and layered song that surely many senior groups wouldn't dare to touch. However, Miss A has never been known to play it safe and they showed that right from the start by playing against female stereotypes. Gone are the frills and pastels and neon and in is the black high heels and sexy tights read to...slay. Yes, slay. I mean, this debut song was meant to be a hit and it's no wonder it was considered an insant classic.
5. "WE BELONG TOGETHER" - BIG BANG (2008)
Considered one of the most iconic K-pop groups, BIG BANG hit the ground running with this theatrical debut track. I mean, this accompanies everything early 2000's, complete with the blend of R&B beats and dramatic female background vocals. Interestingly enough, G-DRAGON owns the song and sings most of the beginning, as if he wanted others to know right away he was the leader. Where is Taeyang? Seungri? Daesung? Regardless, there's a basketball scene and a red sports car. If this doesn't scream early 2000's K-pop debut song I'm not sure what else does.
4. "NO MORE DREAM" - BTS (2013)
Okay, this debut song wins the cheesiness award. I mean, everything about this is pure cringe, but, yet, i works. Between the angsty lyrics, overly big rings and bandanas, RM's hair (one of the worst in K-pop), it's almost difficult to pick which is worse! But, besides that BTS members showed who they were right away: a bunch of millennials not afraid to tell the woes of being a millennials. Everything BTS does is wrapped around the ideology of being a storyteller, and "No More Dream" is no different. Yes, it's bad, and each second it gets worse, but the song fits their image and style. Also, Jimin's abs, right? Okay, on to the next song!
3. "REPLAY" - SHINEE (2008)
Who knew singing about an older woman can pull at your teenage heartstrings? Yes, older girls rejoice, because SHINee has the song JUST for you! Let's also note that Taemin was only 15 years old when this song was released and already he was killin' it with the sweet moves. What made the song such a success was the strong vocals of the late singer Jonghyun and leader Onew. Mixed in with Minho's vivacious rapping and Taemin's enthusiastic dancing, the song was just pure joy. It was like you could feel the passion of this group right from the start and it's a passion that has never slowed down.
2. "HAPPINESS" - RED VELVET (2014)
La, la, la, la, la...HAPPINESS! How can you not smile after listening to this song? Also known for Wednesday's incredible line "SHINE ON ME, LET IT SHINE ON ME...[insert hangul]..." high note that literally reaches the Heavens, "Happiness" is just all about being, well, happy! The four girls brought female empowerment to the forefront and made sure that you were left feeling positive vibes. While the outfits can be seen as 'extra' (did you see Irene's giant flower hat?), it also fits the style of K-pop. In the K-pop world, everybody knows it's all about going big OR going home. Red Velvet decided on going big and it paid off, with the group becoming one of the most successful girl groups!
1. "INTO THE NEW WORLD" - GIRLS' GENERATION (2007)
Many people forget this was the debut song of the biggest girl group of all-time, Girls' Generation. While "Gee, Gee" is definitely catchy, it in no way defines this diverse group of young ladies. Instead, "Into the World" is an original hit which showcases the talents of each member. As each girl tries to accomplish their dreams, they realize that by working together they are able to reach new heights and new accomplishments. While the message isn't original, it's the emotion behind the song that makes it such a wonderful hit. Also, call me biased, but this song is giving me STRONG anime vibes. Girls' Generation started a movement that forced the world to notice K-pop and girl groups and it's all thanks to this inspirational debut track.
Well, there you have it, some groovy hits to get your #FBF weekend started! Which K-pop debut tracks are your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!
Stay Kurrent. Stay K-pop.