Disclaimer: I’m not an EXO fan, so this is not coming from a butt-hurt fangirl. The only SME artists I really like are SHINee and Trax (who I’ll mention).
I seriously despise SM Entertainment. I don’t despise the artists, just the company. I try to give them the benefit of the doubt. Obviously they are doing something “right,” or else they would not be one of the Big 3 in the Korean entertainment industry. However, what is “right” is not always good. Favoritism to certain groups; bombardment of advertisement (of artists and the brands they promote); and general douchebaggery; are just some of the things that SME does that makes them horrible. I’m going to go down the list of groups and rant about how SME is screwing up with them. Plus, adding a few things that also annoy me.
Super Junior – The Cash Cow
Super Junior is probably the most popular boy group in k-pop. However, I believe their popularity is due to two things: 1) Constant promotion (i.e never letting us go a day without seeing something about them, either on TV, movies, or advertisements) and 2) SME realizing crazy fangirls will eat up anything that decent looking guys do, even if it’s total crap. That’s right, I said most of the music Super Junior is total crap. The same beats and patterns run through almost every song Super Junior promotes: a steady beat plus repetitive chorus. Not to mention the self-plagiarism. You can not tell me that “Bonanama” and “Sorry, Sorry” do not sound the same. THEY DO! If that wasn’t bad enough, SUJU really gets gypped with their MVs. You are guaranteed to have them wearing some strange outfits dancing in a strangely lit box. You’d think that SME would at least put a little effort into the money maker. But no. Instead we get crap like the random “SPY” (which could have been amazing). Whatever happened to the MVs like “It’s You,” “Marry U,” and “No Other”? Not only were those songs good, but the MVs were good, as well. SME needs to stop milking their cash cow and give it some quality feed.
BoA – K-Pop Princess
BoA set the mark for what a k-pop artist should be like. Apparently, SME did not get the memo. Instead, until recently, they’ve shipped her off to Japan. If you were new to k-pop a year ago (unless you knew her from j-pop), you may not have even known that BoA was a k-pop star. It’s not like BoA has done anything to warrant unfairness. She’s always been loyal to the label (SME artist for over a decade) and is a superstar. Lucky for her, she hasn’t been subjected to crap MVs like SUJU, since BoA’s brother is fantastic at doing MVs and helps with hers.
I don’t even know what to say for these guys. Talk about something being effed up. Not only do you run off 3 members of the group, SME then basically ships the other two off Japan like BoA. It was three years before TVXQ released a song in Korea. As soon as they finished promotion, back to Japan they go. It was repeated again this time. Why can’t they just stay longer? Not only that, the music has taken a nose dive. When they were last 5, the group had wonderful songs like “Mirotic.” I got youuuuu, under my skin ~~ (Sorry, had to sing that). Now, we get “Catch Me” and “Humanoids,” which are basically the same song, and like the recent songs TVXQ released in Japan (dub-step overload). Now, while I thought “Before U Go” was a good song, it is just a rehashing of “Sorry Sorry-Answer” by SUJU and “Hot Times” by SM The Ballad (EXO also joins in with “What is Love.”) I will say this, at least TVXQ gets more of a MV budget.
Poor Trax. They seriously get the short-end-of-the-stick. The band also went 3 years without releasing any albums, and not only was their membership changed, but also their sound. The band went from rock to more pop-rock. The real sad thing is that Jungmo and Jay Kim are probably the best artists at SME, but we barely hear anything about them. They got almost no promotion, and when they left for their military service, it was barely talked about (unlike when SUJU members leave). Just….a shame.
All I can say about SHINee is that, like TVXQ and BoA, they spend way too much time in Japan. It took two years for SHINee to release another album in Korea, and as soon as they did, they were back in Japan. Also, when they do come back, SME really likes to eff up their teasers (Taemin anyone?). However, it is nice they are making another Korean comeback soon (which is what led to this rant). Like Trax, they are one of the better groups, yet we don’t see them often enough. Oh, and stop dressing Taemin like he’s a girl. Seriously, stop that. We know he’s a boy.
I honestly feel bad for EXO, and I’m not even a fan. We get bombarded by a 100 teasers for this rookie group (which turned off a lot of prospective fans), who was deemed the next SUJU or SHINee, and all we get is ONE MINI ALBUM. That’s it. Let’s look at this in perspective: fellow rookie group B.A.P had FIVE, that’s right, FIVE, comebacks before their one year anniversary; Bigstar, CHAos, C-Clown, AJAX, 100%, and VIXX had two; and BtoB and 24K had one. EXO had NONE. How the heck do you expect a rookie group to consistently stay in the minds of non-rabid fans, when we only see them for one month before they disappear? You let a veteran group make a couple of comebacks, yet can’t invest some more time in your rookie group so they’ll develop more. You may say that despite only appearing once, they managed to win a couple of rookie accolades, but that does not remove general bull crap by the company in promoting them.
They can not even get a fan club name. That is all.
The golden children. Seriously, I don’t think they can do wrong within SME. They are the perfect money-making machine created by SME. Which, is a shame. Sometimes, I feel like their best interests are often left to the side in favor of making a couple of bucks off of them.
I can not tell you how effing annoying SME is when it comes to English. You want your artists to be internationally successful?? Then how about you actually teach them HOW TO SPEAK/SING ENGLISH!!! I’m not talking that random and awkward Engrish SME likes to throw into their songs. “Go kick it in the butt,” “her whisper is the lucifer, “go lock-a-lock-a,” “genie for your wish,” “anonymous, nameless, whatever they are saying” anyone?? You can’t say SME can’t afford it. They make MILLIONS every year. They can invest in a few proper English tutors. Or how about the actual native-English speaking artists they have under the label (Jung Sisters, Tiffany, Amber, Henry, Jay Kim) teach their fellow members and correct the nonsense lyrics in the songs. It’s not that hard, people.
Favoritism Among Group Members
So, I understand most groups have a “face” for the group. Rather it’s the leader or just a visual. However, SME’s method is just disgraceful. We are constantly bombarded with images of only certain members within a group, whether they actually have any talent or not. In Super Junior, it’s Siwon (and formerly Leeteuk and Heechul). In SNSD, it’s Yoona. In f(x), it’s Sulli and Krystal. Due to their policies of endlessly promoting certain members, the other members are often left on the sidelines. You have Henry, who is probably one of the best artists at SME, but is only marched out for SUJU-M promotions. Talk about an effing waste. He has more swag than all of SUJU combined. Fine, if his Korean isn’t that good, then let him do solo English/Mandarin works or perhaps create a Mandarin project group of others who speak the language (Amber, Zhou Mi, Victoria). I still can’t distinguish all the members of SNSD, simply because I don’t see them enough. I’m not really insulting Yoona, I just don’t think she’s as talented (or as pretty) as the others. You have lovable characters like Sunny and Hyoyeon, who are often the least visible members. Now, I can sort of understand the situation with Sunny, since you do not want to be accused of nepotism (she’s Lee Soo Man’s niece). However, there’s really no excuse for the Hyoyeon situation. She’s the best dancer in the group (which was shown on the Korean version of “Dancing With the Stars”), and when she has a chance to separate herself from the pack, she’s relegated for only a small bit in “MAXSTEP.” Give the other girls a chance!!! At least there was TaeTiSeo. When SME created a show that was mostly filled with SME artists, they had the chance to use the ONE GIRL IN THE COMPANY WHO COULD PASS AS A BOY. Instead of using Amber, who some still mistake for a boy, they chose Sulli. NOBODY would ever mistake her for a boy. The show may have been fiction, but come on, at least use some logic.
I just…*sigh*. First, stop covering songs. SME has enough money to at least get more originality. It’s bad enough they self-plagiarize and produce mindless dribble. The least they could do is always produce original music. I will say, at least they got Team One Sound and Henry’s production team, The NoizeBank, to help with SUJU-M. So, good on them for that. Second, cut out the cutesy crap with SNSD. They are grown ass women, and it’s time they acted that way. Kudos for changing the concept with “I Got A Boy,” but that was seriously a MISS. Just because other artists can pull off combining two or more musical styles into one song, it doesn’t mean that it’s always going to sound good. I will say, though, that when it comes to SHINee, a decent job is done. “Sherlock” was actually pretty smart and sounded better combined than in their singular form. Third, please get it together with the outfits worn. SHINee’s style is just…special. The same goes for f(x). Stop throwing random crap together and saying it’s a “concept” or “fashion.” It’s not. It’s crap.
Seriously SME. It’s bad enough we can not get rid of those dang Genie ads on your music videos. Now, we are subjected to you artists shilling for the companies they promote for, as well, during MVs. In case you missed it, “IGAB” by SNSD featured blatant advertisements for the watches and perfume the members promote. Just, please, STOP!! THEY ARE MVS, NOT COMMERCIALS!!!
SHINHWA, JYJ, and Hangeng. That is all. What happened to these guys, when they defied the company, just shows how SME can be really low-down, douchey, and scum-sucking pricks.
So, yes, SME, you suck.