Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Asian Usher

by today's Urban Chameleon contributor Q'sNewz

I know it's been weighing heavily on your mind and you can't sleep cuz you don't have the answer: "Gee golly, does Korea have its very own version of Usher? I wonder..." Well, your sleepless nights are over cuz I've come with answers, my friends. Read on...

So my recent review on sassy K-pop starlet HyunA got me to thinking about my limited familiarity with some of the genre's other big stars. I'm pretty well acquainted with BoA and I sorta know The Wonder Girls as they both attempted US crossovers last year but I hadn't recently heard that much about Rain.

"Who the h*ll is Rain?", you ask? Why Rain has been (was?) the reigning king of k-pop for awhile now, stealing teen Korean hearts --- not to mention dollars --- and takin' names! "Asian Usher" first landed on my radar during my days working at a notable network when he stopped by the studio for some special performances he did to help the launch of an off-shoot network targeting the Korean pop market. He was also the subject of a one-sided faux beef with Stephen Colbert that resulted in a hilarious Korean R&B "battle video" and a hilarious dance-off, both of which I've include below. However, I hadn't heard anything about Rain since but it only took a couple of keystrokes to catch up on the most recent chapters of the Rain legacy.

It turns out Tha R. released another hugely successful album last year in his homeland and select Asian markets before launching an equally successful world tour. "Rainism" is the title track from that project and its a glorious, big budget, dance extravaganza not unlike the mini-movie productions that Chris Brown and Mr. Raymond have churned out in the past. The song is a generic euro-pop affair that borders on cheesy but the high production value of the video and the respectable job the star and his boyz do with the choreography make up for the shortcomings of the track.

I'm not quite sure if there is a coherent story but it seems like our boy R Dot spends the video getting doused in his own "rainism", two-stepping in well-lit foyers, attempting to bring all-white Saturday Night Fever tuxes back, and crashing "Smokey Eye" vampire orgies so that he can flaunt his magical fingers and their ability to cure insomnia. None of it makes any sense to me but as I've said before, I'm a sucker for these type of international million dollar dance spectacles so I can forgive the Velveeta lyrics --- besides, I guess I'm on a "big budget video" kick right now with last week's debut of the Gaga/Beyonce pop monster "Telephone". And at the risk of sacrificing cool points, I gotta admit that I'm kinda geeked about the prospect of k-pop A-listers Rain and BoA collaborating on a single and video; Korean teens would lose their minds and I think it could possibly (gently) rock my world as well. I mean, yeah... how about that new T.I.? Grade: B

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1 comment:

  1. It's amazing to hear what is popular on the other side of the planet.