Hello again everyone, I’m back with my 50th review post. I swear, I’ll go back to think pieces and crack posts one day, but lately I was thinking about sites centered around K-pop in this blogosphere and wanted to peruse them. Some may find this useful too considering not everyone visits these sites. I, too, technically visit only a couple sites on this list and don’t bother with the rest.
Despite the fact that I once fancied getting a job with one of these sites, but I’m sure that with this blog, those hopes are completely dashed. I did this to myself so while I was upset and beating myself over it, I realized that if I wrote for pretty much any of the major K-pop sites, I would have to censor myself to some capacity and I didn’t want that. I wanted to write freely. Specifically since K-pop is already a genre that has a lot of watered down critiques, comments, and reviews to cater and/or pander to K-pop fans and idols – I just felt that wasn’t my scene.
This post will be split up into two parts: big name journalistic sites that every K-pop lover has heard of and blogging sites that you may or may not be acquainted with.
First, the big boys.
Official K-pop News Sites
Our first major league website is Soompi. I thought it fitting a bit to put Soompi first since it is apparently the longest running K-pop entertainment website starting back in 1998. It’s still going strong, too. I also believe it is one of the better K-pop websites out there to get your news from though I could be wrong and Soompi has a deep dark past I’m not aware of. At the very least, I haven’t seen anyone talking bad about Soompi as with some of the others on this list.
You know, I kind of wanted to write for Soompi one day. Unfortunately, I doubt my style of writing is acceptable for a play it safe website like Soompi. I mean, I could, of course, change my writing. I swear, I’m not that much of a jerk. However, I thought I didn’t want to be restricted in what I write and how I write it especially since I have this blog where I can be as free as I want to be.
Soompi gets an okay in my book though.
Fun Fact: The name, Soompi, is just a nickname given to the founder of the site, Susan Kang, by her then college roommate’s family. I find this out in an interesting article describing Soompi’s beginnings ~here~ if you’re interested.
Well, this site is a no go for me. When I first visited, I felt like half the articles I saw on the front page were BTS pandering pieces and just very arbitrary. When I revisted the site for this post, I took a look at the front page and thought to myself, ‘Is this really a news site?’ It just seems like empty gossip and listicles of the ’10 times V’s butt looked cute in Dynamite’ or something as equally stupid or random.
Nothing much of substance here.
I also did a bit more research because I was sure that I had heard that Koreaboo is pretty controversial and sure enough, it cemented itself again has just a tabloid site. I also stumbled across a couple of ridiculous articles that are either rather malicious or a stretch to even call it K-pop “news.”
I will be honest, I didn’t bother reading the basketball one but I skimmed through the Produce 48 one and saw an issue that was raised by a few people. Koreaboo likes to take Korean netizen comments and post them into their articles and as we all know, netizen comments can be the worst of the worst. Not to mention the fact the group mentioned in the article consisted of Japanese members and considering the relationship Japan and Korea have, let’s just say the comments weren’t the prettiest. Yet, of course to gain more engagement and stir the pot, Koreaboo likes to add the more negative comments it seems.
Ultimately, this is a no go site for me. Best avoided.
I’m not sure how many people visit this website or even know about it as I only discovered it this year. I would while it does have articles like how cute Hyuna and Dawn are in couple onesies, or Kai proving himself to be ‘Human Gucci’, or 5 male idols with small feet – I’d say Kpopmap is more harmless than Koreaboo. I have only ever used the site to look up upcoming comebacks to help create my weekly review lists, so it’s good for that at the very least, if those arbitrary articles aren’t to your tastes.
In conclusion, a meh site if you want newsworthy stuff but an okay site if you wanna know if your bias is the next Human Chanel or you want to know the size of his or her feet.
This site is honestly a mess. Admittedly, when I first got into K-pop, this was the first site I stumbled across and visited for a time, but I’m glad I dropped off from reading it even before learning about how shady it is. I won’t go into details, but there is a good Twitter thread that details the type of trash the site has done over the years (God, please don’t delete the thread – I beg).
I just don’t recommend this site for your K-pop daily news. I won’t lie, it does actually post news Soompi-style but the execution and atmosphere of the site is more Koreaboo-style.
Just steer clear of this one.
You know, Billboard was another website that I fancied writing for one day. Despite hearing how grueling it could be in one podcast that famed Billboard K-pop writer, Tamar Herman, was on, I thought that was just how being a writer is. But like I said before with Soompi, I don’t want my freedom as a writer compromised by having to write joyously about BTS for the 50th time and about how their newest album, ‘BE,” is so revolutionary and innovative with intricate lyrics that only the most dedicated ARMYs can crack with their 210 IQs that normies wouldn’t understand the amount of depth and work goes into this sacred and holy music process.
Call me tired, but the BTS pandering is a bit much, no? And this is coming from someone that used to really like them and find them just tolerable now. So, big reason why Billboard isn’t for me and I’m sure they don’t want me either especially considering that one site introduced to me by one of their writers, Kult Scene, never got back to me after I sent in a couple writing samples from the blog. They seemed to like it but perhaps they went through the rest of my blog and said, ‘….naw.’ Understandable. It hurt for a time, but what was I expecting? I have no hope to write outside this blog about K-pop because a lot of the big sites can’t handle candid and informal opinions and thought pieces because they need to keep their audience. The things I’ve critiqued about BTS on this blog, for instance, would never please the target they’re going for.
So no hard feelings Billboard or Kult Scene, I understand you. Speaking of…
Lastly, I will talk a bit about Kult Scene. Even though it’s not technically a news site but an editorial one that puts out opinion and think pieces, I’ll leave it here as a nice segue way after talking about it under Billboard’s section. Like I said, these not really news articles but this may be good if you are a budding writer as under their FAQs they mention their articles are well thought out and original articles curated by fans like us. So, I would say if you aren’t like me and squandered your reputation by running a shitty blog like me, then go ahead and send them something. They were rather approachable as I just dmed them through Twitter. Email also probably works. As for the actual site content, it’s fine. I personally don’t know if it’s that original but it certainly is a more relaxed atmosphere than say, Billboard or Soompi, but it is editorial, so that’s probably why.
K-pop Blog Sites
Ah, Netizenbuzz. This is a blog site run by a Korean-American who translates Korean netizens’ responses to news and gossip that occurs in the K-pop world. Netizenbuzz seems to either be hated by people or loved by them (probably for the gossip, let’s be real). Plus, I can see why so many people would be curious to see just what the other side is saying about this or that event in K-pop.
I don’t have any hard feelings towards the site. NB, as the owner is called, seems a bit shady and play favourites but anyone who runs a gossip site like this tends to be, no?
So go to the site if that’s your cup of tea.
Seoulbeats is in the same vein as Kult Scene where it functions more as an editorial and opinion site than a news site. I don’t mind the stuff they put out there honestly. I actually thought the site was dead but the most recent article is about BTS’s Grammy nomination and it actually isn’t that pandering in the slightest and provides a very insightful and sensible opinion on what the group’s nomination meant to her and to the industry. I’d recommend reading it since the writer, Siena, is way more eloquent with her words than I ever could be.
Other than that, if you want to support Seoulbeats as a site, they recently started up a Patreon. Check it out if you can.
Asian Junkie is a site that I link often in my blog because it’s really the only K-pop news blog that I frequent on the regular. Even then, my time going to the blog is kind of waning as I get busy with other things and feel less of a desire to know if my stupid mascot has finally gotten in the news for something terrible like wearing a shirt that’s connected to a webtoon that depicts his the BTS member he simps the most, RM, as being a gross hedonist, and his celebrity crush, IU, being sexually assualted…or something.
Interestingly, it’s been a few months now and nothing’s come of it – Golden boy Jungkook gets off scot-free again. Not only that, but a bunch of fans bought the same t-shirt he did…what a world we live in, eh?
Apologies, got off topic, but Asian Junkie is pretty solid. I know people complain about the ads, but there’s adblocker~
Also, he hasn’t been writing much lately due to burn out, I believe, which is understandable. I felt that completely.
One of the reasons I started up this blog in the first place so I may be biased when I advise anyone to check out his site. Perhaps the one voice of reason and knowledge in this hellish K-poposphere we live in. As you can see in his about, his posts aren’t really for the fragile hearted so if you take the easiest bit of offense over your faves being trashed or satirically reviewed, then this site isn’t for you. Then again, you read my site so perhaps his brand may be to your liking though I am in no way as intense as him. I’m sadly too soft for that.
Additionally, I’d like to add that while he has been an influential force, I do hope that I have a distinct enough voice and brand of content to separate myself from Mr. Kpopalypse. I’m sure I do, but I never get much, if any feedback, so I’m unsure. It’s hard to judge my own writing fairly so I have a survey that’s been open for months so please take if you have time.
For a little more info on Kpopalypse and suggested articles to read, check out my reading recommendations page.
I’ll be honest, I don’t frequent review sites and the Bias List is one of them but I’ve seen him around so I decided to properly check out his site. It’s rather good honestly. Pretty condensed and quick reviews and better yet, he knows what he’s talking about.
I give a thumbs up to this site.
I’ve already discussed these three blogs on my reading recommendations page so it really feels like this blog section is just a reinforcement of blogs I’ve already discussed but I still wanted to add them in this post so there’re not just stuck on a page that no one visits.
I will say that I’ve skimmed through Anti K-pop Fangirl‘s site before but it was a long time ago. So long, that I didn’t even know he had resurfaced to write up a post about the passing of Sulli last year until I visited his site for this post. I read through the Sulli post and it was informative and sad revisiting a death that could have been avoided though admittedly that would have been hard to do within the society she was trapped in.
Interestingly, Cardoorguygirl‘s last post was about Sulli as well; although, she put her’s up in June of this year. She has been on hiatus since and hasn’t been on Twitter as much as far as I’m aware. Which is a shame since she also seemed to have a humor and writing style that was amusing to read. She didn’t kiss any butts either despite her bias being Jin from BTS. While I hope she comes back, it’s up to her to prioritize her life first and foremost especially this year.
As for Infinitely Inspirit SY, this one is safe to consider dead I think. I mean, it’s been like two years so I assume no new posts for her. I can’t blame her, writing is a pain, honestly. I believe she does write here and there on Medium. Hopefully, I linked the right person.
And that’s it, folks. I was gonna add in one more here but it just wasn’t worth it. If you’re wondering, it was gonna be Pannchoa, but it’s so similar to Netizenbuzz, I just decided against it because what’s the point spouting the same opinion, right?
I hope you thought this post interesting. Maybe you found a new site to frequent? There are loads of K-pop related sites I didn’t cover so there may be a second part to this some day, if I can be bothered. Anyways, take care and have a good holiday/s!