What KPOP Means to Me, A Korean-American

I became a KPOP fan in May of 2016, and I haven't looked back since.


My first exposure to KPOP was when I was six and in a dermatology clinic in Seoul, South Korea. I was there to visit family, and on that particular day, my sister was getting her skin treated. On the TV in the spotless clinic was Big Bang in metallic clothing and neon-colored hair. Being six and more American than Korean, I was not only confused but also disgusted.

Who were these people? Why were they dressed like that? Why did they look like girls?

Yes, I was thoroughly anti-KPOP for my formative years. Not only that, but in simple terms, I thought KPOP was "stupid" without ever giving it a proper chance. In a sense, I was a banana.

I encountered KPOP several times after that experience in the clinic. Whenever my family and I would go to KBBQ, KPOP would be jamming in the background. My mother even showed me the MV to Wonder Girls "Nobody" when I was in middle school. Yet, I still refused to acknowledge KPOP, and I judged anybody who liked a song of it.

Until May 2016.

My sister's boyfriend was part of a KPOP dance troupe at his college. My mom showed me a video of them covering EXO's Call Me Baby. I got obsessed. The song, the dance, the fashion, the boys, everything. I showed my dad the video and even he gave a nod of appreciation. That got me even more excited.

Thus commenced the new couple of months listening to EXO and only EXO. From listening to songs like Call Me Baby to Growl (my personal favorite) to experiencing my first "comeback" with Monster and Lucky One, I was a full EXO-L.

Slowly but surely, I sank deeper and deeper into the KPOP fandom. I discovered GOT7, BTS, Twice, Blackpink, Winner, AOA, Sistar, f(x), Seventeen, SHINee, Super Junior, and more. From KPOP, I discovered Korean R&B;, Rap, and Hip Hop artists, such as Jay Park, Loco, Dean, Crush, Zico, and etc. From Korean music came Chinese music and Japanese music, and suddenly, I realized that I was part of two worlds: American and East Asian.

Growing up in a majority WASP community, I was more "white American" than I was "Korean-American." Sure, I was fluent in Korean and ate Korean food daily; and sure, I was never bullied or teased about my being Asian and Korean, but when I got into high school, a place that was not only racially diverse but also religiously diverse, I was shocked to find out that there was a part of me even back then that wanted to never truly belonged.

Through KPOP, I became more and more interested in my parents' culture. Through KPOP, I became more invested in East Asian affairs, representation in American media, and fostering deeper relationships with my family residing in Seoul. For the first time ever, through KPOP, I felt ashamed to have been so dismissive before towards my second culture, and suddenly, I felt overwhelmed to reconnect.

Among my friends and family, I'm known as a KPOP fanatic, and in the beginnings, I wasn't so keen. People - including me - can be so racist towards something they don't know, and with my partiality for KPOP, I was afraid that I would be seen as "too Asian" or "weird". Now, I don't care at all. I love KPOP because not only has it provided me with amazing music, but it also helped me realize that I can be both American and Korean.

While I still listen to Western music, I also have found a place within East Asian music, whether that be Korean, Chinese, or Japanese. Some people may scrunch their noses in confusion at that: East Asian music? Ew - why listen to East Asian music? My answer: because it's good, and I suggest that you - whoever you are - give it a try because it may change your life just like how it did mine.

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Lil Dicky's 'Earth' Is The Most Influential Song Of 2019, Change My Mind

And the music video may be even better.


Lil Dicky is a known musician know for his songs 'Pillow Talking' and 'Freaky Friday' featuring Chris Brown. The songs are fun silly and are very catchy. Last week, Lil Dicky released a new song titled 'Earth' featuring about 30 plus artists including Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Brendon Urie, Zac Brown Band, and many others. This song is just as enjoyable as his other songs; however, this one carries an extremely important message.

In this song, Dicky brings awareness to the condition of the Earth along with the idea of world unity. Through the inclusion of several animal species, he shows how the earth doesn't just belong to us as human, but to the animals as well. Oftentimes, the human race can be extremely selfish and forget that we do share the planet with other species who are just as important as us.

In one of his last verses, Dicky mentions the way we are harming the earth through pollution and fighting wars. This part of the song becomes more serious to emphasize the importance of this topic. In the music video, the colorful visuals turn dark and gray which can bring to attending the dying planet.

In his effort to save the earth, Dicky calls for unity among all countries and continents. Saying how all past issues are in the past and we all need to come together since we live on the same planet. With all the political issues happening on a global scale, the earth and its health are often pushed to the end of the priority list. By adding this part to the song, Dicky brings awareness of that topic back to the top.

'Earth' by Lil Dicky is the most important song of 2019. Through his creative artistry and inclusion of over 30 artists, people will notice the message of this song and hopefully begin to make changes that will impact the earth in positive ways. If you haven't watched the music video or listened to the song please do.

Earth is the only planet we have; thus, we need to show how much we love it by actually taking action to care for it.

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You Know You're From Trumbull, CT When...

The best memories are made in this boring, little, Connecticut town.


1. The majority of places you will consider to eat at are in Fairfield or Westport... Colony, Shake Shack, Country Cow, Playa Bowls, BarTaco

2. But if you find yourself too lazy to get on 95 for food, Panchero's is the go-to... never Chipotle. If it is past midnight, the choice always comes down to the McDonalds in Monroe, where you are almost guaranteed to see a group of people you know, or Merritt Canteen.

3. Once you got your license, your Friday night plans consisted of picking up friends, driving up and down Main Street, and, somehow, always finding yourself at the THS parking lot seeing who's car is there because there is nothing better to do.

4. In the Fall, you couldn't wait for Friday so that after school you and half of your grade could walk to Plasko's Farm for ice cream and apple cider donuts... and hope you could get them before the owners would yell at you to leave. (This one only applies to Hillcrest Middle School kids, AKA the inferior middle school in town).

5. You couldn't wait to be a senior so you could officially lead the BLACK HOLE at football games... if you were even willing to go in the cold.

6. You looked forward to the annual Senior Scav, the last week of summer before your senior year where a list of tasks is passed down by the recently graduated class... the official kickoff to senior year.

7. You pass by Country Club Rd. and get flashbacks from the worst Cross Country practices ever. Driving up Daniels Farm Rd. in the Fall and Spring, you are conditioned to yell "hi" out the window to your friends at practice.

8. You knew someone who worked at Gene's gas station... and found yourself spending more time there on the weekends than you would like to admit.

9. You are convinced Melon-heads are real after frequenting Velvet St. to see the abandoned insane asylum with your friends, IF you didn't want to drive all the way up to Fairfield Hills in Newtown.

10. You have had/have been to at least one middle school birthday party at the Trumbull Marriott.

11. You know that the 25mph speed limit on Whitney Ave. is way too slow... and can't help but hit a little air going down the huge hill at the top.

12. The guy at Towne likely knows your name.

13. You never find yourself turning right out of THS... that side of town is irrelevant for those who do not live there.

14. You know to avoid the Merrit Parkway from 4:00-7:00pm at all costs.

15. You know more than you would like to about people you aren't even friends with... in a town so small, things get around very quick.

16. Going shopping really means going to Target, or any store in the mall, for the millionth time that week.

17. The marching band was the best in the state and you would see them practicing, literally, every time you drove by THS.

19. Depending on the side of town you lived, you spent a lot of time at Five Pennies Park or Indian Ledge Park.

20. You would say you couldn't wait to leave, but when you got to college, you find yourself excited to come back to your hometown so you can reminisce on old traditions and make new memories.

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