My most recent discovery in Kpop is a rather interesting one, debuting last month N.O.M, otherwise known as Nature of Man, have a rather unique angle to their group concept.
Search for N.O.M and you will find two groups that debuted around the same time, they couldn’t be anymore different. The particular one I am focussing on has four members, JK, KOM, Q and NIO. In fact finding much information on Nature of Man is harder than with most debuting Kpop groups, as in South Korea even their teaser images were censored and most sources just won’t write about them. If you haven’t seen this group already, you’ll quickly learn why this is as you read on.
Their debut release, A GUYS, is based on the concept 3rd sexuality. Sexualities aren’t necessarily defined as the first, second, third, etc though the genders are, and the third gender, or the third sex, is the intersex, neither man nor woman. Therefore could we look at 3rd sexuality as an umbrella for bisexuality, the attraction to both genders?
Exploring the mv might give us more of an idea.
A GUYS pushes the themes and styles many Kpop males use to their extremes. It highlights the ways it which females are sexualised in lyrics, and despite some highly confusing English diction pushes this as it aims.
I want you, Sexy voice
I see you, body figure
I like your nice legs
Alongside the lyrics the visual is one of great impact. It takes the way in which the male idols themselves are visually styled and captured: the already over adorned and sometimes lacking clothing of kpop males is even more exaggerated; the mixes of cute and suggestive choreography are amped up to be both effeminate and sexual; the focus on body parts to appeal to their audiences become more extreme due to the clothing and choreography.
The mv even pulls in a number of prominent concept themes that we have seen used this year and last. The main mv pulls much of its structure from the SM Formula having the group in a very basic room and focusing on the styling and choreography, and using addition computer generated graphics to add more detail.
The cut away scenes to an outdoor setting add a supernatural element to the mv, used by groups such as EXO, VIXX, and BIGBANG.
As for the teaser images that have been censored in Korea, they too exaggerate the themes you’d see from male Kpop idols in their photo shoots and blur the lines of the artists’ orientation, as appears to be 3rd Sexuality’s intention.
3rd Sexuality somewhat mocks Korean pop for one of the things their world revolves around: objectification. It highlights the objectification of women within Kpop songs, and also the blurred gender stylings for many Kpop males despite the still more conservative attitude to sexual orientation the country has.
A GUYS may mock Kpop, but it is also a great example of their genre at its extreme.