2017: The Bops

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2017 was filled with some of the worst shit imaginable but as a kpop fan you cannot deny the plethora of classic bops that will go down in history. From the average releases of cute bubblegum pop to the sudden popularity of tropical house, 2017 offered us a lot of different genres to choose from. Here are my favs from this year.
(Listen to the Spotify Playlist)

20. Lee Gikwang – What U Likelee-gikwang-3

me six years ago: I will never like a B2ST member or anything they do.
me in 2017: hello I am a Gikwang stan.
What U Like was a music video I played expecting to change it half way once I found a replacement, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. This song changed me??? Its got R&B, house beats, and a lot of checkerboard. Honestly this song kind of gives me Jay Park vibes. I could very easily see him coming out with something similar, but Gikwang gives it something extra with his unique way of singing. By far, its one of my favorite releases of this year and a really solid album with great tracks (one of which was produced by my fav Giriboy)
Watch the music video here

19. Pristin – Wee Woo

If I had a karaoke outlet in the shit town I live in this would be my go to song every time. The only thing about Pristin I knew going into this was that that one girl Pinky (???) from Produce 101 was going to be in it. A lot of girl group releases disappointed me lately and I wanted something reminiscent of the kpop I loved five years ago. Member Sungyeon wrote this song and slayed me. Finally the lively girl group concept was back. This song is the epitome of kpop; cute lines you want to mimic constantly, a catchy af chorus, and a dance you can memorize easily. A hit.
Watch the music video here

18. Hyuna – Purple

I’m not much of a Hyuna stan in the least but I am a Hyuna appreciator, so when I saw she was going to come out with a new mini I checked out the album spoiler to see if it was even worth my time. When I heard the snipit of Purple that features rapper E’dwan of Pentagon I was HOOKED. I came for the Wii channel music and stayed for E’dawn yelling “Jesus!” Babe is a good song and shouldn’t be overlooked but Purple is the best song from the mini.
Listen to this song on Spotify

17. SF9 – O Sole Mio

Okay so I vividly remember saying when it was announced that SF9 was going to have a tour in America that they will come out with a single right before it that will make me stan. I hoped I was wrong and I would avoid but here we are. The song features many different languages, a latin beat and a little bit of tropical house since its still 2017 after all. Not sure if O Sole Mio is a Spanish concept or Italian concept but it doesn’t really matter to me. It has a good hook and I can sing along in like 4 different languages. International kings? You be the judge.
Watch the music video here

16. Samuel – Sixteen

Did I put Sixteen at number 16 on purpose? Maybe. I wanna be completely honest here and say that for the past however many years that Samuel has been in the very dim limelight I could never understand the hype. Even after Produce 101 I was dumbfounded. Sixteen converted me. This is my number one 2k17 guilty pleasure. I’m only a little ashamed to be 25 listening to a song about being 16. For a week straight I’d close my eyes with this song stuck in my head and see Samuel dancing in a grocery store. If you haven’t listened to this yet you need to because his name is Samuel. And he’s 16.
Watch the music video here

15. Girls Next Door – Deep Blue Eyes

I have been asking for dream team collabs for YEARS since SBS blessed us with the collabs at the 2012 gayo. Girls Next Door are my 2017 equivalent to Mystic White. If you have no idea what I’m talking about look it up on youtube now you won’t regret it. Girls Next Door were a group from a tv show called Idol Drama Operation Team and comprised of Red Velvet’s Seulgi, Sonamoo’s D.ana, Mamamoo’s Moonbyul, Lovelyz’ Sujeong, Oh My Girl’s YooA, Kim So Hee of Produce 101, and I.O.I’s Somi. I have no idea what the show is and I don’t plan on watching it, BUT, it gave me this gem (written by bae Jung Jinyoung of B1A4) so I would like to thank KBS for making this possible.
Watch the performance here

14. 24K – Only You

24K may be on the brink of death, but they pulled themselves together to release the wildest song of the summer. After adding 2 new members (and losing 2 members) they dressed up in patent leather pants, put on some chokers and fucking did the thing. This chorus contains some of the strangest effects and I wish I was able to explain it but I cannot. You just have to listen. You will not regret it though, I promise. I was hooked after the first listen. Feed 24k so they will live and keep giving me hits that you all sleep on.
Watch the music video here

13. Seventeen – Change Up

Honestly, Seventeen hit me with some good ass b-sides this year. I wanted Swimming Fool to be on this list but it wasn’t meant to be. Change Up was though. The leaders of each sub-unit, S.coups, Hoshi, and Woozi got together to become SVT LEADERS and gifted us with beauty. Listening to Change Up gives you angelic Woozi falsettos, some classic Coups, cool trumpet samples, and HOSHI RAPPING. The part that shocks me the most (other than me suddenly loving S.coups) is that they said they wrote this in a night because the song they originally chose wasn’t that good. Kings?
Watch the music video here

12. Red Velvet – Red Flavor

Red Flavor has three things that put together made the most perfect summer song: Joy’s red hair, fruits everywhere, and sailor suits. If you weren’t dancing the Red Flavor dance this summer did you even live? The funky horns and clap beat makes for a summer classic and I don’t know anyone who didn’t love this song. Every time I hear Wendy singing the post-chorus I’m literally sobbing. I honestly don’t think summer will ever be the same after Red Flavor; its that iconic. Will Red Velvet become the new summer queens? Stay tuned to find out.
Watch the music video here

11. Twice – Likey

Speaking of queens. After the massive letdown that was Signal I was feeling TT…just like TT. Thankfully the owners of October arrived right on time and did not disappoint. Likey is the catchy cute bop I needed to get through the cold months.Nothing like a song about wanting to impress online to get likes to really get you going. My only complaint is JYP artist not letting dabbing die. The best part is obviously Sana getting chorus lines and destroying me.
Watch the music video here

10. Pentagon: Pretty Pretty

Honestly after I watched this music video I probably scoffed and said “Another dance battle to get the girl video…” and didn’t think of it again. I was in Korea when this came out and was eating at Tous Les Jours and I heard Pretty Pretty come on, except at this time I had no idea who sang it or where I had heard it before. I eventually had flashbacks of that lame video and spent the next hour searching every rookie boy group I could think of to see if they sang this song. Ah yes, Pentagon, that group I don’t know. This then became the only song I would listen to in Korea and I stan now. This song wasn’t exactly an official single, but they didnt perform it on music shows a few times and the dance is great, along with their great vocals.
Watch the music video here

9. KARD – Rumor

I vividly remember when this song was released because I was out of town and on the drive home I may have listened to it 50 times in 7 hours. KARD songs to me were always good but never wowed me like I was hoping, but rumor Did That™. When they finally made their official debut and were performing all songs except Rumor I was just *Big Matthew voice* are…you for real? KARD are challenging all of kpop by giving us a coed group and experimenting with new genres. And can I just say the girls of this group are some of the best singers I have heard in kpop as of recent? Thank you KARD, without you guys I will never be bored.
Watch the music video here

8. NCT Dream – My First And Last

I’m not ashamed to be 25 and have a song by kids born in 2000 on my list because talent. I have been asking sm for a cute concept boy group for years. I want Juliette era SHINee back. I was given NCT Dream and I’m not mad. My First and Last is a cute little ditty about finding you first love…and also your last. They are like 16 so I don’t believe it (the love interest in the mv is also a teacher soooo) but we can pretend for you know, the innocent concept. I can’t think of any singer who has me as whipped as Haechan does right now. I don’t want to say he carries the group because they are all pretty good, but I want him to sing the whole song. Haechan solo for 2018 please.
Watch the music video here

7. ONF – Original

ONF debuted this summer with ON/OFF and I mean, it was a pretty good song. Its catchy and gives me Sesame Street vibes, but it never gave me the “wow” I was hoping for. Sometimes after listening to a mini you’ll realize the best song may not have been the single. This was one of those cases except it took me months to find out. The whole mini album was saved to my spotify but I never really listened. During a road trip Original came on and I was shook. The starting beat already had me hooked and I didn’t even know what the rest would sound like, but I knew it would be good. I put it on repeat and didn’t stop for 45 minutes. This was in October and it is now my 4th most played song on Spotify. It has some crazy good vocals, goofy instrumentation,  and a killer dance. Stan.
Watch the performance version here

6. A.C.E – Callin’

I debated on whether I should include Callin’, or Cactus, A.C.E’s debut single that turned heads and changed lives. Callin’ did come through just like Cactus did though. The beginning line they used in all the teasers had me hooked. They kept the same hardstyle concept Cactus had but made it a bit more poppy in my opinion. The music video is also one of my favorites from this year. Its has a really glitchy and analog aesthetic which fits well with the style they have. Literally every member not only served looks but showed some of the best talent and performance I have ever seen from a rookie group. These guys are going to make it big. Every member can dance well, the rappers can sing, they are handsome, and we all know from Cactus that they have some nice legs 😉
Watch the music video here

5. Snuper – Back:Hug

Listen, I’m probably biased but this could have been the best song of 2017 if the rest of they year was shit. Right at the start of the tropical house craze Snuper gave us Back:Hug and I wasn’t the same after. You have some great hug dance moves, nice dark velvet outfits, Sebin yelling “back hug” and the best bridge I have ever had the pleasure of hearing. This song really showcases their talents while staying a bit more trendy than they usually are, which I think is good for Snuper since some public recognition couldn’t hurt them right now. If you haven’t liked a Snuper song ever since their debut first of all shame on you, but also give Back:Hug a try. I will leave you with some words of wisdom from Taewoong himself: “Yo, today’s gonna be a good day.” Words to live by.
Watch the music video here

4. NCT 127 – Summer 127

Cherry Bomb? I don’t know her. I only know a Summer 127. Summer 127 wasn’t just my summer song. It was my fall song. It was my winter song. It will probably be my spring song too. I talked about this song for a month straight. I twerked at a gas station to Taeyong’s rap. I probably sang Summer 127 in my sleep. No song was this infectious. It became a part of me this summer and its still here and thriving. Thank you NCT 127…thank you. Summer 127 is pretty basic dance song about wanting to go to the beach with the person you like and dancing a lot. Its all pretty normal and catchy until the rap. That’s when your wig will fly off. The sound changes and Taeyong starts rapping about rocking, popping, and krumping, and tells you you’re already shaking with your twerking. He’s right. I am. Meanwhile the rest of NCT is yelling “Shake that ass!” How could I not??
Listen to this song on Spotify

3. EXO – Kokobop
exo koko

Hello my favorite EXO song features a mulleted Baekhyun, but I’m not ashamed. My favorite thing about EXO is that they will experiment with genres, but this time it wasn’t a Wolf situation. Kokobop was a pleasant surprise. It blended reggae and dance perfectly. Chanyeol, one of the lyric writers described the term “Kokobop” as “fun dancing”. I guess it is? I don’t really know, but this song is pretty fun and pushed through a bunch of great songs to be one of my favorite EXO songs. That bass line that goes throughout the song does me in. One day it will kill me and I can only hope EXO will arrive at my funeral in their tropical shirts and do the dance break on my grave for the rest of eternity.
Watch the music video here

2. BTS- Dimple
bts dimp

Everyone knows BTS took over the entire world with DNA. What they don’t know is that Dimple took over me. Don’t get me wrong DNA is a great song but have they heard Dimple? Have they heard Jin and Taehyung getting lines? Have they heard “your dimples are illegal so I call you illegirl” ? “Have they heard Jin’s part during the bridge with the Tarzan drums? This may not be a proper BTS song since its only the vocal line, but I don’t care. Its the best on the album and deserves a spot on every end of the year list. I won’t rest until they perform it live.
Listen to this song on Spotify

1. Wanna One- Energetic

Even though I’m still mad Jisung got 3 seconds of lines, this is my favorite song of the year. After I listen to this song I’m the one feelin’ so energetic. I wonder every day how Hui was able to give this song away and not keep it for his own group because its a hit, obviously. The piano melody at the beginning with Minhyun’s soft ballad style of singing will always get me hyped for the electro-pop perfection that the song evolves into. Did I mention the dance? Wanna One is something I will tell my children about. “Mommy loved a group that she knew would disband in one year because she loves pain.” but it doesn’t matter. You can’t not love at least one member of Wanna One. They’ve got it all. Wanna One had the best debut of 2017. 2017 was their year, and I can only hope 2018 will be their year too. I want to see those boys thrive and smile and cry only happy tears with each other.
Watch the music video here


Honorable mentions:
21. JBJ – Fantasy
22. EXID – Night Rather Than Day
23. Nu’est W – Where You At
24. Romeo – Without U
25. Loona/Cheorry – Love Cherry Motion

What were some of your favorite songs of the year?







  1. I found this list very interesting. It seems we like some of the same artists but even so have different tastes ,which is ok. I like finding people who focus on different songs than me. 🙂


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