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K-Pop Rewind: Seo Taiji And Boys 'I Know'

By Staff Reporter | September 19, 2013 09:49 AM EDT

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These days, YG Entertainment is one of the biggest South Korean music companies boasting some of the hottest acts in the biz, Big Bang, 2NE1, and Psy to name a few.

Most fans are probably well aware that YG founder and CEO, Yang Hyun Suk, got his start more than two decades ago as a pop star himself as a member of the early-90's hip-hop group Seo Taiji and Boys.

For this week's installment of K-Pop Rewind, we want to introduce one of the songs that started it all, that helped drive K-Pop into the 21st Century mega-business it is now, "I Know."

Regarded as the first modern Korean pop song, "I Know" marked a dramatic shift in mainstream music and served as the jumping off point for just about every act that followed.

Drawing on influences from America like Milli Vanilli, New Kids on the Block, and Public Enemy, Seo Taiji and Boys sought to make fresh new songs that would inspired the new generation of Korea teens. And thus, one of the biggest music genres in the world was born.

"I Know" (and many other Seo Taiji and Boys songs to follow) incorporates rap verses and a catchy chorus with choreographed dance moves - the same formula still used today in K-Pop's biggest hit songs.

Additionally, it was one of the first K-Pop songs to make it to America, so to speak. "I Know" appeared in the movie 3 Ninjas Kick Back, when the three main characters make their way to Japan. Perhaps a mis-step by the film's music director who wanted to include an 'Asian' pop song, but a nice addition nonetheless.

Seo Taiji and Boys charted number one for a record 17 weeks with "I Know," a record they held for nearly two decades before it was finally beaten out by second-generation superstars Big Bang. Under the guidance of Yang Hyun Suk, Big Bang broke the record with the song "Lies" that stayed at number one for 18 weeks.

Even though Seo Taiji and Boys broke up in 1996 after releasing only four albums, they remain, to this day, one of the most influential K-Pop groups in the history of the genre. As pioneers of modern pop music in South Korea, the artists of today continue to praise and admire the group that started it all.

Tagged :  Big Bang

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