NSB has a unique audience, one which is, for the most part, in constant contact with Korean pop culture. If this is the case, you will probably know that karaoke (pronounced ka-ra-o-keh), the Japanese word for the Korean 노래방 (prounounced no-rae-bang), is what we in the community consider an essential stop during any night out. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be able to sing well, you just need to bring it and have a good time. Noraebangs (a.k.a. NRBs) offer a place for drinks, music, and food, all provided in climate controlled rooms complete with video and sound. It’s a great way to unwind with friends if I do say so myself.
In any case, inevitably there are songs that are sung all the time and luckily, for people born in the late 70’s to late 80’s, those songs are pretty much universal. Korean pop was exploding back then and much of western R&B, hip hop, pop, and a variety of genres were beginning to make their way into the mainstream pop scene. So, rather than make you westerners feel left out, I’ve decided to give you a list of the top 5 karaoke songs that are most recognizable by Korean pop culture.
5. Park Ji Yoon – 성인식 (sung-in-shik)
Number 5 on our Top 5 karoake songs is one of the most risque videos and dances of this time when sexuality was beginning to permeate popular culture. Traditionally, the Korean culture was very conservative, as such, this video made a lot of waves when it hit boob tubes around the peninsula… Sorry, couldn’t resist.
4. G.O.D. – 거짓말 (guh-jit-mal)
G.O.D. (Groove Over Dose, don’t ask) was one of the most popular Korean boy bands of all time. They had many successful albums and this particular song was a number 1 hit in the late 90’s. The lyrics paint a picture of a man forced to break up with his girl and in order to help her move on, he lies to her.
3. H.O.T. – Candy
For a little less than a decade, H.O.T. (High Five of Teenagers… No, really.) dominated the KPop scene. With their brand of processed bubble gum pop, they were making ladies swoon and causing fashion faux pas everywhere. Clearly, overalls were the business back then which helps makes this track number 3 on our Top 5 karaoke songs for Korean parties.
2. Solid – 이밤의 끝을 잡고 (ih-bam-eh ggeut-cheul jap-goh)
This ballad is arguably one of the most famous ballads of the era. The three man team was one of the groups to popularize modern R&B jams in the KPop scene. The song is about the last night that a couple are together and how he’ll treasure the night forever (Korean drama isn’t just restricted to TV shows).
1. DJ DOC – Run to You
This three man team dominated the hip-pop genre and was responsible for bringing hip hop to the mainstream. While not all their songs were this lively and jolly, their tone was light and they were probably one of the best pop rap groups in Korean history. The combination of popularity and energy make this song #1 on the list of the Top 5 Karaoke songs for Korean parties.
Honorable Mention: Kiss – 여자이니까 (yuh-ja-ee-nee-kah)
Undoubtedly, the true dedicated NRB warriors will mention that there are omissions to this list. One title that may come up is Kiss’ Because I’m a Girl. The music video is a tear-jerker and the ladies love stories where guys give up everything for love. Sad ending here? Most definitely. Check out the video!
The Top 5 Karaoke Songs for Korean Parties
If you liked our Top 5 Karaoke songs for Korean Parties, the action continues on our newest Karaoke Essentials post of Korean Pop’s Sweetest Songs.