When K-pop gets sexy and sheds its cute image: from Monsta X to Taemin and NCT 127, 11 songs and videos that don't hold back

tarred by scandals in recent years, Monsta X, just Taemin, SuperM, NCT 127

In early November a K-pop fan account posted video of K-pop quartet Brown Eyed Girls performing their song Warm Hole in 2015. The song, which is overtly sexual, went viral across K-pop’s Twitter fan community, and the snippet, shared to Twitter under the title “beg doing things” – “beg” referring to the acronym for the female Korean pop act – rapidly gained over a million views.

The reason for the virality? The subject matter of the song shocked many fans, who expressed surprise that a song with such sultry lyrics was aired on Korean public broadcasts, especially given the stereotypical clean nature of K-pop.

Brown Eyed Girls have always been an atypical K-pop act in that the four members dictate their own musical direction and have regularly discussed topics including female sexuality and politics in their music. Their songs, including Warm Hole, have faced a backlash and been banned by some South Korean broadcasters.

They are certainly not the norm in K-pop, where dating rumours can still derail careers and love is usually sung about in the abstract, but neither are they outliers in the industry, reflecting how K-pop isn’t limited to one distinct style or genre.

Being cutesy, coy and flirty without being overt is standard for K-pop, with dance performances and lyrics often hinting at more. But sometimes acts skip that and just say it the way it is.

Here are some other examples of K-pop artists who are ready to get down on occasion.

BigBang – Bae Bae

As much as BigBang’s name has become tarred by scandals in recent years, when their MADE album dropped in 2015 it was one of the biggest releases in the year.

Bae Bae, a single from that album, definitely got people talking with its highly suggestive music video.

EXID – Cream

Like Brown Eyed Girls, EXID have made a name for themselves as a fierce girl group full of talented songwriters and vocalists who don’t shy away from their sexuality.

That all came to a head in the forthright Cream, where they sing about cream ruining their body.

VIXX – Chained Up

Take what you will from the lyrics and performance themselves, but do know that VIXX included a faux BDSM contract in the album’s packaging.

Chung Ha – Dream of You

Chung Ha is offering to make your dreams come true all night long while wearing lingerie, so don’t make her Dream of You.

Monsta X Love U

There’s some strategic lyrics going on here, but it’s pretty obvious what Monsta X are going for when they sing: “I really, really wanna love you / But I can’t say the word I want to / ’Cause they won’t play it on the radio But I know you know.”

Taemin – Sexuality

No coyness here, just Taemin.

SuperM Drip

NCT 127 Whiplash

WayV – Love Talk

NCT 127 – Highway to Heaven.

Let’s let Mark explain Drip.

Let’s get Taeyong in here to talk about Whiplash.

Honestly, anyone who thinks K-pop is clean and cutesy doesn’t listen to NCT at all, and has never seen NCT 127 talking about when their lyrics get sexy.

And then there’s the Chinese NCT subgroup WayV, whose Love Talk lyrics just go at it, requesting the oh so subtle, “touch me, tease me, feel me up.”

NCT and its subgroups definitely do not hold back when it comes to seductive lyrics, which appear regularly throughout their discographies, including this year’s Breakfast, from NCT 127’s Sticker album, with its smooth offering of breakfast to extend time with a lover after a night together.

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