Sunday, January 19, 2014

Troublemaker - The Sexy Dynamic Duo

"How am I able to contain you inside my heart? Now I'm just going to go with how I feel. I will never, never stop. I can't stop!"
The Trouble Maker lyrics pretty much describe my experience with Trouble Maker. I didn't want to like them, I wanted to get the song out of my head...I wanted nothing more than to listen to their songs so people could just shut up about them already...but...I failed and I've never been so pleased! Trouble Maker is an amazing group that will leave your hearts pounding and wanting more...

One of the very few things I dislike about Kpop Netizens (or any netizen, for that matter, that does this) is when they start baseless rumors. Such as was the case with Daniel Lee a.k.a. Tablo. Rumors surrounding his quick graduation from Standford tore his career to tatters and had his family receiving death threats. People often forget that rumors--much more so than truth--can do some serious damage. The pen is, indeed, mightier than the sword and once again, one of Kpop's more liberal groups is under attack.

Trouble Maker is a subgroup which debuted in 2011 with members Hyuna from the group 4minute and Hyun Seung or Jay Stomp (JS) from the group Beast a.k.a. B2ST. It was clear straight from the beginning that this duo would be different. It's unfortunate that this difference is probably what lead a netizen to write a fake article on a application site that went viral. The rumor was that the duo were having a baby which would have been virtually the end to their career. Personally, I think a baby born of these two would be adorable beyond imagining and would eventually grow into a very handsome/beautiful adult but that's a moot point. *sigh*

Don't tell me these two wouldn't have adorable children!
Anyway, this blog is in response to this most recent scandal. Trouble Maker is so misunderstood that I felt my personal response--not that it would mean anything to anyone--was needed just so I could feel better about voicing my outrage. Can you tell I'm a huge fan of Trouble Maker? So let's clarify some things...

Why are they so misunderstood?

Let's just get the biggest reason out of the way....ready? They're sexy as hell. Despite these two not even dating, they have great chemistry. You can hear it in their songs and you can damn well see it in their dancing. These two are just meant to be a duo! They ooze sex into the Kpop industry--it's a big part of their appeal and what makes them stand out against the rest of the Kpop groups.

BUT, lets be serious, by no means are they the only group that capitalizes on their sexuality--it's a subtle but big part of the Kpop scene (despite Korea being pretty conservative)--and Trouble Maker has a chemistry that most Kpop match-ups just can't seem to...well...match. Hell, even their second EP was named "Chemistry"! But is this the only thing they're good at?

At first I thought so. Quite honestly, it's sad but true, I didn't like Hyuna before this. I felt her in-your-face sexiness was a bit too much. Her Bubble Pop MV was...*shudders*, ugh, I can't even... The point is, I instantly disliked her. Their "Trouble Maker" MV wasn't much better. Wae?! Whats wrong with them? It's not Hyuna's fault her company is marketing her this way.

I was relieved when Simon & Martina over at Eat Your Kimchi felt the same way ("Trouble Maker" Music Monday can be found here). However they kind of put it in perspective. With Kpop, it's important to remember that generally the artists do what they're told to do--not necessarily what they want to do. Anyway, despite it's...not-so-subtle sex appeal, I found Trouble Maker's Trouble Maker (the song, not the MV, confusing, I know!) rather enjoyable. It has remained near the top of my Kpop playlist for almost a year now. It is because of that MV that I was very hesitant to watch their recently released "Now" MV.

I was pleasantly surprised by this Music Video. Yes, there was a lot of in-your-face sexy but it wasn't as pointless in this music video. In fact, the lyrics coupled with the MV left me very satisfied with their work. The concept is pretty self explanatory in the MV but let's just say they're in a destructive love that they can't seem to give up.  Of course, the uncut version is very different, with guns and murder but it still had a purpose. This MV was a long way from their debut "Trouble Maker" MV. ("Now" Eat Your Kimchi Music Monday can be found here).

But that didn't really answer the question, did it? Is Trouble Maker only about sexiness? And the answer is...kind of? *shrugs hesitantly*

I think it would stand to reason that these two people were put together because they're really good on the eyes. They're visually appealing: Hyuna is very obviously beautiful and sexy and Hyun Seung isn't that far behind her. These two are perfect for each other but let's not forget that each of these individuals started out as singer's before Trouble Maker was even a twinkle in Cube Entertainment's eye. 4minute and Beast both debuted in 2009, a full two years before Trouble Maker would even make an appearance. So obviously they can sing. Their "Chemistry EP" has two songs sung mostly as solos; Hyuna's "I Like" ft. Flowsik and Hyun Seung's "Girl Who Wants To Play". You can't listen to things songs and not admit that these two have very good voices!

This is by far my favorite Trouble Maker song "Attention" and this performance broke their "Sexy" image and made it look playful and fun. Granted, it was still sexy, they actually seemed to be enjoying themselves. Look at Hyuna and Hyun Seung's smile at the end. Those are genuine people!

They each also happen to be very good dancers. If you know nothing about Kpop, then walk away from this blog understanding this, Kpop artists train for years before they debut. They train their voice and dancing skills to perfection before their companies give them the "A-Ok" to join the official land of Kpop. It's just seriously unfortunate that most of the girls get stuck dance moves. Chests being pumped out, butt shots, the "how low can you go" moves that really...don't give girls a chance to show their potential. There are some, like 2NE1's Minzy, F(x)'s Amber or Girls' Generation's Hyo Yeon, but sadly...that's pretty much how Kpop works. Not to say that guys in Kpop don't have their sexy moves either, i.e. Michael Jackson-like crotch grabs and....pelvic thrusts need to seriously become a thing of the soon as possible. I can't even watch another Teen Top MV, I refuse to be subjected to another tweenie-esque pelvic thrust. Or..MBLAQ for that matter...I'm really unlucky if I see both moves at the same time! *Checks to make sure eyes aren't bleeding yet*

However, Trouble Maker's MVs and their dancing don't really represent their songs. Anyone who doesn't speak Korean--have you Googled their English translated lyrics? There is not very many sexual innuendos--in fact, most of their sexual lines "You know, you're even sexier with your clothes than without" (The Girl Who Wants To Play) or  "My sexy walk ignites the inside of your head" (Trouble Maker) aren't even very sex-ish (Korean's don't use "head" as a euphemism for what American's do, by the way).  Most of their songs are about two people (mostly bad boys & bad girls--which I'll get to in a minute) wanting to be loved by another person--a common lyric for Hyun Seung is "I'm not like other guys" (The Girl Who Wants to Play, Volume Up). And if their songs aren't about being together or getting together, it's about being broken up. Seems cliche but it's their "concept" as a duo. They are Kpop's #1 Bad Boy and Bad Girl.

The "bad boy"/"bad girl" concept is merely for stage purposes. Trouble Maker is all about the bad boy getting the bad girl--or losing the bad girl depending on the song. It's probably safer to just assume they have dual personalities. When they're onstage they're Hyuna and Jay Stomp but when they're offstage, they are Hyun Ah and Hyun Seung.

You are just as likely to get pictures like this: 

As you are to find pictures like this:

If I must admit, I am kind of hoping they become a couple regardless of their profession and personal image. When I see pictures like the above four and the picture below, it really helps me enjoy their music more. Its weird and I'm sure a psychiatrist out there would enjoy delving into that Freudian area of my brain but it's simply true.

Aww they're holding hands...
They recently took part in the 2013 SBS Gayo Daejun Friendship Project which was based off two of the highest ranking Kdramas in 2013 that brought together over 20 Kpop groups to sing "I Am A Miracle" which was heartwarming. During their small part, Trouble Maker were able to shine a different light on their images and I personally enjoyed it. 

Trouble Maker Cuteness
When asked when he was happiest, Hyun Seung responded with "When I'm studying..."
I'm hoping this blog gives a good look at Trouble Maker and helps remind people that what we see on TV/Computers is not always true and these two individuals are, in fact, real people with real lives. The image Hyun Ah and Hyun Seung portray as Trouble Maker isn't meant to be a representation of who they are as people. I wonder if the instigator of this latest scandal even thought about how Hyun Ah and Hyun Seung's parents would feel when they heard about that rumor? It's ridiculous. 

I, for one, think they make an amazing duo onstage and hope they keep making music (and if I'm being honest, I wish they would start dating!) They're different from other Kpop duos and should really be appreciated for their rather liberal image. And if you can't appreciate it then hell...don't watch them! It's that simple! 

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