Hello, people of the internet! I’m Arnold, and welcome to Is This How You K-Pop? – a blog where I will attempt to navigate through the fanfare in today’s Korean pop and pretend to know what I’m talking about (I’m really good at that).
Many of you reading this best remember me as McRoth. You know, the dude who used to write reviews about Korean music on the casual, who then went on to write reviews on the not-so-casual for all your favorite K-Pop websites. I’m the guy that accidentally set off a spiraling vortex of review clusterfuckery and then imploded under the pressure. I’m not sure how I managed to escape this world unscathed like I did, if I’m being honest with you. I suppose I made my exit in great timing. And yet, here I am, a little over a year later, itching to come back. I have had a desire to do so for quite some time, but for months now I wasn’t really sure how I wanted to go about doing it. To tell you the truth, I don’t think I know for certain right now either. But that’s sort of the magic of blogging. Rules and deadlines nor structures and hierarchies exist other than the ones we accept and build for ourselves. As I roll out of the catacombs of defunct K-Pop bloggers, a lot has changed. I’ve changed, the landscape has changed, and in this day and age, Korean pop culture seems to be affecting its audience (myself included) in ways than it did when I first started writing about it five years ago.
The way I K-Popped three or four years ago is a very different way of K-Popping than I find myself in now. A part of me considers this peculiar phase as a born-again nugu. But truthfully, it’s more closely relatable to the mindset of K-Pop fans who grew up with it many, many years (decades even) before I did, who are now functioning adults in society that process a little wave of nostalgia every time they come across K-Pop today. At least I like to think of it that way, anyway. I’ve had my taste of the sensationally driven ecstasy of following and narrating K-Pop idoldom, gossip, and news, but a year and a half ago I gave myself permission to let it go (insert obligatory Frozen reference).
There’s something special about cherishing moments of excitement to yourself and not having to answer to the internet about it, which is how things started to feel like for me, especially with music. The idea of writing on my blog as an assignment rather than for the sake of just simply expressing a catalogue of thoughts was an overwhelming responsibility I brought upon myself. Don’t get me wrong, McRoth’s Residence and everything I built there was a blessing and I’m forever grateful to my readers and my writers. I couldn’t imagine where I would be without it. But as I take on the world of K-Pop all over again and from a different lens, I’m allowing myself the liberty of fluidity in what I want to share here.
This is going to be so much more than my music blog. It will be an avenue of what-the-fucks and fanboying nonsense and extremely fun moments, along with everything else I can think of. Sort of like my tumblr, but better than my tumblr. There’s a rich quality to K-Pop that I continue to hold onto dearly and I want to explore it under new terms. You can think of it as a back to basics, if you will. Back to just blogging for blogging’s sake. Back to finding my groove in K-Pop and a voice to accompany it, and what better time to do it than at the start of a new year, am I right.
In the end, my hope is that this blog will become my inner K-Pop fan’s self portrait, and that day by day it becomes less mundane and a lot more radical in its adventure to answer the question of the hour: is this how you K-Pop?