K-Pop Beginners Guide: 12 Songs You Can Start With

Lashonde Lavelle Christian
October 12, 2020
3 minutes
Being K-Pop newbies ourselves, oftentimes we too feel really small and irrelevant in such a huge, ever-growing phenomenon. While many have already been in the race a long time now, we’d like to think, we’re only just getting started in this Hallyu wave.
That being said, as beginners, we aren’t always sure about the right K-Pop songs to jam to. We reckon many of you K-Pop newbies may be facing the same problem and if you’re not, then you could have friends that are. 
So, to help both y’all and ourselves find our true calling may it be to ARMY, BLINK, ONCE or all the other amazing K-Pop ‘fandoms’ out there, we gathered 12 Korean pop essential songs, that we feel would be a good place to build your K-Pop foundation.
Ranging from older bands to not so old ones, in no particular order, here are the 12 K-Pop songs that will get you on your way!

1. Gee - Girls Generation

Year: 2009
Genre: Bubblegum Pop, Electropop, Hip Hop, Techno
Fun fact: “Gee” won top song for nine weeks in a row, breaking the then-record for most consecutive song wins, in South Korea.

2. Sorry Sorry - Super Junior

Year: 2009
Genre: Dance-pop, American Funk, Contemporary R&B
Fun fact: Dance covers of the song were uploaded online from Malaysia, Indonesia and even from a prison in the Philippines.

3. Lucifer – SHINee

Year: 2010
Genre: K-Pop, Pop, Dance, Contemporary R&B, Electronica, Rhythm, Blues
Fun fact: The song was co-written by pop singer Bebe Rexha.  

4. Call Me Baby – EXO 

Year: 2015
Genre: Pop
Fun fact: The song sold 1.6 million copies worldwide.

5. Fantastic Baby – BIGBANG

Year: 2012    
Genre: Electropop, EDM, Hip Hop, Hip House
Fun fact: It is recognized as one of the ‘biggest K-Pop hits ever’.

6. Bad Boy - Red Velvet

Year: 2018
Genre: K-Pop, Contemporary R&B
Fun fact: The song was performed at a concert which was attended by supreme leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un.

7. Fire – BTS

Year: 2016
Genre: Pop, Hip Hop, Rap
Fun fact: The song peaked number 1 on the US World Digital Song Sales (Billboard).

8. Ko Ko Bop – EXO 

Year: 2017
Genre: K-Pop, Pop, Reggae
Fun fact: Upon release, its music video reached over 1 million views in the first hour and over 8 million views after 24 hours.

9. Growl – EXO

Year: 2013
Genre: K-Pop
Fun fact: The song now has over 250 million views on YouTube.

10. Blood, Sweat and Tears – BTS

Year: 2016
Genre: K-pop, Moombahton, Hip-Hop, Rap
Fun fact: Its music video has been assumed to be influenced by Greek Mythology.

11. Peek-A-Boo - Red Velvet

Year: 2017
Genre: K-pop, Dance-pop, Pop
Fun fact: The song peaked number 2 on the Billboard Digital Song chart.


Year: 2018
Genre: Hip Hop, Rap
Fun fact: The song was chosen by Apple Music to be the best of the week upon release.

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