So we’ve got bright-ass suits. Thick gold chains. Those glasses. The beat! Someone, somewhere, is gonna make a “I can’t believe SHINee invented (insert one of those items here)” post.
Don’t do it. You can build up SHINee without dismissing my entire culture, I promise.
Everything in the video that you loved, other than the boys themselves, is a direct reflection of a genre known as new jack swing. It’s been around for some time, before a good chunk of y’all were born (SHINee’s fanbase tends to skew older so some of y’all were around but maybe too young to remember). Artists like Bell Biv DeVoe, Boyz II Men, Bobby Brown…huge players in the new jack swing scene. Did you see Ghostbusters II? Did you like the soundtrack? (If the answer to either of those is no, unfollow me.) That’s new jack swing! As with a lot of R&B stuff, you can blame its spread throughout the industry on Teddy Riley (y’know, the name you see pop up a lot in credits for kpop songs - Rania, anyone?)
So it’s a good time to showcase some song that, if you were into the beat/style of 1 of 1, you may also like! Seeing a small assortment of this will likely help you identify the elements in 1 of 1 that fit. It’s pretty cool!
New Edition - Candy Girl: The sound of this isn’t necessarily new jack swing - it predates that a few years and is more reminiscent to the style of Jackson 5 (which was the point). But I’m sharing this one so y’all can see/understand the dance formations and choreography in the 1 of 1 MV. (Also peep Bobby Brown in the tiny-ass shorts.)
Boyz II Men - Motownphilly: Bruh when I tell you this song was HUGE…Phew. Again, we’ve got the choreo influence, the dancing, and the camera panning techniques. (That panning move is also found in the opening credits of A Different World! Go watch it.) Bonus: Fall Out Boyz II Men performing the song live!
Soul II Soul - Back To Life: Another immensely popular song, I’m throwing this in more for the drum machine in the background than anything else. This song combines new jack swing with Afrocentric vibes, which was cool for a hot minute but then fell outta mainstream favor (Remember Arrested Development? The group, not the tv show. Look up Tennessee.). It features in an ep of Fresh Prince, with Will dancing to it. (Also, surprise, some of Will’s earlier stuff falls firmly into new jack swing.)
Johnny Kemp - Just Got Paid: Chances are if you’re a ‘90s kid like me, you know this song better via the NSYNC cover (Did I ever mention how immensely I loved NSYNC and their broad R&B influence? It’s a lot.). But this is the original, and it’s new jack swing, and I need you to start shaking your booty now.
Bell Biv DeVoe - Poison: Listen I can’t end this post without this song. It was everywhere. (Including Fresh Prince again!) And I love it with my whole ass. Check the backbeats, the ladies grooving, the outfits…and you can see someone at SM did their homework (and y’all should too).
Tumblr is a shit and I can’t embed more videos, but once you watch those Youtube will just automatically pull up others for you to check out if you find yourself drawn to the genre. And I hope you are, because it’s amazing!
That’s all for today’s blackness in kpop lesson. Support SHINee! And support the source materials!
The Karasuno team turns towards the gym doors, were Kageyama and Hinata are standing decked in large baggy hoodies, jeans lowered on their hips, wide-brimmed caps, sunglasses, and thick gold chains around their necks.
Tsukishima narrows his eyes, “Are those plastic? Did you guys rob a cosplay store-”
“Yo, sluts.” Kageyama repeats, slinging an arm around Hinata who nods and echoes him.
“Can you please stop calling us sluts?” Suga frowns, “And go get changed for practice-”
“Nah, man.” Kageyama sniffs, “Practice is old shit news. Me and Hina-dog here are going to go ride some wood. Maybe pull off some sick aciddrops. Or some bluntslides.”
“Are you talking about drugs or.. a sport?”
Hinata holds up a deuces sign, “Skate 2 Live, sluts.”
“Where are your skateboards then?” Daichi asks.
“At home, slut. God.”
“Don’t call your captain ‘slut’.”
“What?” Kageyama tears off his sunglasses, “You callin’ us posers?”
Hinata shakes his head, “Nuh uh, man. these Ams better not be callin’ us posers.”
Kageyama scoffs and puts on his sunglasses again, steering Hinata towards the door with his arm around him, “Am stands for amateur? You wouldn’t know.”
Hinata holds up the deuces sign again behind his shoulder, “Deuce out the roof, sluts.”
“Slater alligator sluts.”
The team watches them walk away. Tsukishima wrinkles up his nose, “Was that some kind of goodbye?”