Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Where's The Originality? Up Your Ass.

I thought I would do another editorial/thoughts post in between all of these music video reviews to balance everything out. Youngjae is hinting at the next mv review for those who want to skip this.

Rather you're a fan of K-pop or not, the obsession with originality is real no matter what you listen to. Yes, pretty much every genre (unless you listen to indie, but I'm sure they have this issue too), has that one set of pretentious assholes that constantly bitch and moan about the "lack of originality" in music and how what they listen is "so much better" because it's "100% original." Even though having lyrics about mental illness, rape, murder, love, hate, world peace, world destruction ect... isn't inherently "original" in any sense. Inserting random bits of electronica isn't inherently original, nor is not inserting random bits of electronica. Everything on paper has pretty much been done on paper.

As a writer, and someone who hopes to publish one day, of course I've come across a writer or two, granted they're still very young (and by "very young", I mean in the perspective of a nineteen-year-old college freshman) who get upset over the lack of originality in a few writings. Don't get me wrong, while certain cliches breed like rabbits within novels, it's kind of hard to sit back and pretend that we don't develop our own style from previous writers. Especially ones that we grew up with. It's also hard to pretend we don't sometimes use those cliches in our own writing no matter how hard we try to avoid them (hell, I've had people suggest I use an overused cliche in my writing before.) In the end, it's not the cliche's that can make a story bad or plane, it's how the writer uses those cliches that determine rather it's "just another average use of a cliche" or something that is actually unique take on something.

I think the same principal applies to music. For example, the "trap break down" that became popular a couple of years ago. It can even be used within the same company and groups, take a look at Secret's Hyosung "Goodnight Kiss" and Secret's own "I'm In Love" which both have trap break downs.

These are both hardly the "same song", however they both use the same cliche. Now keep in mind, this can be biased both ways. Some people may like a certain cliche others may not, so this is heavily subjected. This could depend on rather or not you like trap, like break downs, like if they appear more than once in a song, the list goes on. Maybe you don't like either because of reasons completely outside of the cliche being used, maybe you like both because of the cliche. Either way, no one would go out of their way to claim that Secret copied Secret.

There are two saying that apply here: "Everything is a copy of a copy," and "Whenever you think you've done something original, just know someone's done it before." That's not to say get discouraged and give up all hope of having a creatively driven career. If you don't like the game, change the rules. 

Image result for apink plagiarism

Apink were once notorious for "copying" SNSD (as if every other girl group over the past ten years hasn't.) But then SNSD shortly got called under fire for "copying" as well. The only difference there was that SNSD's cordi's got all the hate, but Apink got it handed to them only. What they failed to realize is that sporty fashion isn't limited to just one group and you can't plagiarize a fucking pose; especially one that is used very frequently.

Many ripped on BTS for "Fire" "copying" "Bang Bang Bang." Again, this was as if not every other boy group over the past ten years hasn't been trying to mimic the success of Big Bang. The only thing these songs have in common is that they're both loud and electronic. Oh sure, look over the fact that the songs have completely different structures melodies and that "Fire" is no where near as bad as "Bang Bang Bang."

Last but not least, like GFriend for example when someone actually went as far as to complain about their "uniform plagiarism" to the actual company, and the company responded with "We think they're cool and it would only be legal trouble if they were trying to sell our pattern."

Just because something's been done before doesn't mean it's a crime if someone else garners inspiration from it. Hell, if it weren't for J.K. Rowling, Richard Wright, Rick Riordan, Roald Dahl, Toni Morrison, Amy Tan, Octavia Butler ect... then I never would have probably developed a passion of writing (again, my actual writing is way different from my blogging writing) and thus be way more insecure, lazy and ambition-less which is no way to live.

Originality is a fickle thing according to the audience and in terms of K-pop, original spins are more common and better appreciated than total originality. At the end of the day, it's best to worry about rather or not you like the finished project first than the history, or lack there of, of it.


  1. You like Harry Potter then?

  2. All it comes down to is if you like a group or not.
    If you dislike them, it's easier to yell PLAGIARISM! or UNORIGINAL!

    1. That's actually very true! I never thought of it that way.

  3. I do get tired of seeing people writing "It's so unoriginal." I don't care if it's original or not. Do I like it? Good, thats all that matters to me. I can acknowledge that two things are pretty similar, but I don't feel the need to bring one down because it's been done before.

  4. Great writing, I am happy to not be alone on this subject.

  5. How do you think of the "similarity" between BTS "Fire" and Got7 "Hard Carry" then?

    1. Finding two things similar is different than claiming something is a blatant copy or another.

  6. Youngjae-s ass is very original! Nobody in Kpop has such a thing.


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