We all know that its next to impossible to play, watch, read, or listen to everything you might like to. So I’ve done some of the work for you by laying out some of the K-pop songs from 2018 that you should definitely listen to. Even if you’ve never listened to K-pop before, there’s most likely something for everyone — especially if you like female pop stars.
“Bboom Bboom” by Momoland
This instant classic is one of the most popular K-pop songs of 2018 across the board! With the infectious yet simple choreography, it’s hard to not party along to this high energy jam.
“Lullaby” by GOT7
You’ll find very few boy groups on this list because well, why would I willingly support a man in this economy? But some boy group songs just hit so hard that they deserve some kind of recognition, “Lullaby” is one of those songs.
“One & Only” by Go Won
Loona probably deserves its own series of articles considering it’s one of the biggest K-pop girl groups to grace the United States over the last year. Drag Race alum Kim Chi is also on a personal crusade to make everyone a Loona stan. Go Won, one of the group’s members, debuted a solo track this year and the aesthetic is so cutesy-creepy ballerina that I know the artsy queers will love it.
“Bad Boy” by Red Velvet
This is the lowkey mellow bop of 2018. The first time you hear it, you might not know how to dance, but Red Velvet—one of the most consistently good K-pop groups—shows you the way. The live performances for these songs are especially wonderful because you can see how synchronized the girls are.
“Hann (Alone)” by (G)I-dle
Speaking of synchronized choreography, the (G)I-dle girls know how to Turn. It. Out. Within K-pop, some of the dancing can feel similar to each other, but this song feels completely different, but equally as iconic.
“Crush” by Weki Meki
This jam is the peak of a solid pop song—it’s physically impossible to not smile when that chorus comes on. I think this song will remind you of your favorite girl groups.
“DDU-DU DDU-DU” by Black Pink
Black Pink has made a huge splash in K-pop and also recently signed a global partnership with Interscope to try and reach a wider audience abroad. My intellectual integrity would be at risk if I didn’t include this song, which has one of most unforgettable hooks of the entire year.
“Killing Me” by iKON
Here’s our second boy group song! The boys are cute, can you blame me? Plus, one of my main reasons for enjoying this song is that I’m really into the choreography, but I also think it’s really dumb. That mix really hits a sweet spot for me.
“What Is Love?” by Twice
A big part of K-pop is the more cutesy genre of music. It’s usually extremely memorable even if simultaneously kind of annoying. That being said, Twice is the master of making feel-good music. This song would make a great song for your alarm clock.
“I Love You” by EXID
I should probably confess that this is my favorite song of 2018. I’ve practiced (and butchered) the choreography in my room late at night. Their lead vocalist, Solji, was on hiatus from the group for two years so this is her first song back — and damn her vocals were missed.
“Gashina” by Sunmi
If you’re a sucker for catchy hooks and easy-to-learn dancing, “Gashina” is the track for you. Sunmi is originally from a group called the Wonder Girls but went solo a couple years ago. Since then she has made constant, unstoppable bops.
“BBIBBI” by IU
In general, because they only need to focus on one person, I’ve found that solo artists tend to have more creative music videos with better looks, sets, and direction. Given that IU is one of the most famous solo artists in Korea right now, you can expect her videos to be visually stunning and colorful. IU also writes her own music, so if that’s your thing, you’ll probably love her style.
“One Shot, Two Shot” by BoA
BoA is one of Korea’s legendary pop stars at this point. Whereas the turnover for K-pop is pretty high, BoA has been in the business successfully for about a decade now. This song gives me hardcore Beyoncé vibes with the feminist message and magnetic beat. Plus, the live performance has her upside down and it’s just amazing.
“Hi High” by Loona
Introducing our next national anthem! “Hi High” has to be one of the most hyped songs in history. After introducing each of the 12 members of Loona with their own songs over the last year, this song is the first time we’ve seen the group perform together. Because of all this anticipation, the music video kind of feels like a superhero origin story.
“Baby Don’t Stop” by NCT U
The final boy group song of the list is “Baby Don’t Stop,” and I’m pretty sure I can smell my apartment burning right now for not including BTS. The beat of this song is so absurd, I think it’s impossible to not at least nod your head to it. Plus both of the guys are great dancers and that’s always a quality we stan. I guess men can do a couple things right.
“Roller Coaster” by Chung Ha
This song took the K-pop community by storm at the beginning of 2018. The video is like the most sparkly gay thing I’ve ever seen. Chung Ha was originally a part of the now disbanded group I.O.I. and even though she’s only been working as a solo artist for a year and a half, she has the presence of a seasoned pop star and I’m living for it.
“Get It” by Pristin V
Pristin V is a brand-new girl subgroup made up of some members of Pristin, and this track is their first song together. The song gives off late ‘90s and early ‘00s vibes in a way that makes very happy.
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