Kpop is life, as many hardcore kpoppers like myself would state—but if you’re anything like me, your everyday playlist is not only riddled with recent bops from your favourite Korean artists but also loaded with a few dozen ear-worming 90’s K-pop jams that are just way too classic to be left forgotten. I’ve got a handful of old school K-pop recommendations chock full of campy fun and quirky charm that’ll have you feeling giddier than a second grader unleashed for recess break.
So let’s go on ahead and spread some old school fever, homies~
This Co-Ed trio has tons of feel good tracks worth mentioning but this song in particular happens to be one of my favorites. It’s an upbeat, fun little tune to sing along whenever you find yourself submitting to a silly mood
or a bit drunk. I enjoyed this song so much the first I heard it that I actually memorised the lyrics and can recite them almost perfectly. Yes, I admit I’m a bit of a mess but that just goes to show the impact this song can have. The video it pretty much the 90’s in a nutshell. Ha, gotta love that 90’s style!
*sighs* Oh, this song. Let me warn you that this song is freaking weird. It’s not so much the content of the track itself that makes it so strange but it’s overall arrangement and the way it’s sung. ‘Pyo Pyo’ definitely cakes on the annoying factor even with the opening countdown intro. When I first gave this a listen, I initially hated everything about it and damned it straight to hell but it was just so deviously ear-worming and addictive that I couldn’t help but come back again and again and again. It’s one of those puzzling, silly pop tracks with questionable vocals and a fast paced, filter heavy MV to match. I honestly can’t decide if it’s God awful or down right awesome. I’m leaning towards the latter.
Turbo– I Got A Girlfriend
This one is a classic for me for a lot of things but mostly for the fact that it’s just plain fun! With non stop high energy rapping from Mikey and Kim Jong Kook’s high pitch vocal range, enjoying this song is inevitable. Plus, with Kookie looking so young and lively in the MV, I can’t help but favor this over any other track Turbo has released. Speaking of the MV, it’s pretty weird and kinda hard to fathom exactly how it pertains to the song itself but it’s forgivable considering the entertaining value it possesses.
DIVA–Why (do you call me)
Oh gosh, I can’t even explain in basic sentence format just how much I absolutely love this song. My undying love for this feisty female hip hop trio is above the heavens! I remember back in my post high school days listening to this song and just dancing crazily around my room like no one was watching
even though people were watching because I’d do it shamelessly in front of my entire family for no apparent reason at all. I’m weird, forgive me. Anyway, it’s an awesome and catchy song from a very talented group of girls that deserve more recognition for their contribution to Kpop, in my opinion.
If you’re a Shinhwa fan yet have never heard this song, you might want to go back and do your homework before labeling yourself a Shinhwa Changjo! Ha, kidding! But seriously, if you haven’t already, please open your ears and give this fresh and fun classic a try! Whenever I listen to it I can’t help but do the dance they perform while chanting the song’s main tag line. “Ah ah ah!~ Eusha Esuha!” Along with Eric’s hair, this retro bop is funky fresh~
Can’t have a classic 90’s K-pop list without mentioning H.O.T! This dynamic, legendary boy group from SM got their start like most groups do with a catchy, fun and bubbly song that’ll have you hitting the replay button repeatedly. According to the translations I’ve read, this song is sort of a break up or simply put ‘I’m dumping you’ track but spun in a hyperactive and joyous manner. Weird, right? But like most Kpop songs, you don’t really need to know what the lyrics mean to enjoy what it offers. Laced with colorful outfits and war style face paint, ‘Candy’ takes you through the motions of silliness with an added splash of adorable charm.
1TYM gives you ‘one time for your mind‘ with their self-titled debut track. A Hip hop bop that’s great to jam to whenever you’re feeling
like a gangsta a little feisty. I love a lot of 1TYM songs but this one sticks simply for the charismatic rapping and catchy chorus.
S.E.S– I’m Your Girl
This. Song. Is. My. Everything. I kid you not. My all time favorite K-pop song EVER! Gosh, this song is like crack for your ears. If you’re an R&B junkie like me and love yourself some flavor in your K-pop, ‘I’m Your Girl’ is a song you freaking need in your life. The MV just adds to my undying love considering Bada gives us some pretty intense eye contact in the beginning. Holy crap, I felt like I was being seduced. *sweats* Also the dance is one of those dances that you just want to…well…dance to!
I know, I know, I know. I should have followed through with the quirky theme and listed ‘To My Boyfriend’ instead but I just couldn’t help but mention this track because to me, it truly is timeless. The vocals are just… out of this world. Oak Joohyun and Lee Hyori really shone brightly when it came to displaying their wide vocal range. Yuri and Jin gives us the soft and sweet tone which is still just as pleasing but honestly when Joohyun hits that final high note, I get goosebumps. Her powerhouse voice will make you fall in love with her. Trust me, I’ve been there. Though I was quite smitten with Lee Hyori at the time so all my affections went straight to that queen. All in all, ‘Blue Rain’ is a great listen when having a slow moment. Go ahead and click play, I dare you.
G.O.D–To My Mother
This is another song you guys are going to have to give me a pass on as far as quirkiness goes, this is anything but that. ‘To My Mother’ is a touching, heart wrenching, tear jerker that’s 100% guaranteed to render you an emotional wreck. Even without knowing the english translations, this song nearly had me in tears. It’s one of those songs where anyone who knows the struggles a mother will endure for her child can relate to. The repeated lyrics of “Mother said she didn’t like Chinese noodles” always gets to me, man. Watch the MV for yourself and just listen, you’ll get it.
These are the old school songs that appeal to me, but go ahead and find your own favorite, there are plenty out there to choose from!