As a belated Valentine’s Day tribute, I bring you a glimpse into the intense world of Korean R&B Music Videos.
For those of you that ain’t be knowin, Brown Eyes (pictured above) is a relatively well known and popular R&B duo from Korea. One of my roommates turned me on to them back in 2003, and I’ve been soaking up their soulful and ridiculously melodramatic R&B goodness for years.
Just listening is intense enough; their music is like K-Ci & JoJo, 98 Degrees, and Brian McKnight had a super-emo R&B orgy, and then decided to add in some classical piano interludes for extra tear-jerking effect.
Little did I know, though, that the music was just the gateway drug to the real crack cocaine of the Korean R&B Scene: Music Videos.
Anyone who has seen a Korean romantic comedy (like My Sassy Girl or Il Mare, a.k.a. “The Lake House”) knows there is a certain penchant for the melodramatic and tragic in the Korean entertainment industry. For a good reason too, the public eats it up; close to 5 million people watched My Sassy Girl in its 10 week stay at the theaters in Korea. Terminal illnesses, crazy freak accidents, love triangles between high school friends, lovers suddenly separated only to reunite in old age; at least one of these plot elements will rear its head in a Korean romantic comedy.
Korean R&B Music Videos (especially Brown Eyes) take that tragic essence and distill it into a 5-10 minute emo-tastic audio-visual experience engineered to make housewives and hardened Vietnam vets alike bawl out 50% of their body weight in tears and pop bonbons with reckless abandon.
They are also some times bat-shit insane.
Example A: “가지마 가지마“ (“Don’t go,don’t go”) by Brown Eyes.
It’s a typical story of boy meets girl, boy falls in love, girl decides to stab him with a pen for no reason, boy starts bleeding ink, girl’s arm bursts into fire… with the lyrics lip-synced by a SCARY #@$#ING TALKING VENTRILOQUISTS’ DUMMY.
Oh did I mention there’s a dude in a donkey suit?
If you’re still here, just go watch the damn video already, it’s insane. And the next time you’re out with your friends, randomly burst out “ka-ji-ma, KA-JI-MA, KAAAAJIMAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!”