Published on December 31st, 2016 | by dinoseoul0
Dinoseoul’s Best of 2016
Ah, 2016 in K-entertainment and culture. It’s definitely been a year of ups and downs, with lots of exciting moments in both music and drama to remember. And that’s why as 2016 draws to a close, the team at Dinoseoul sit down to do a quick round-up of our favourites of the year. Here are our picks:
Note: Views are purely our own. Proposed categories do not aim to cover all of K-pop/drama extensively.
Best female debut
ponyforprez: For me, I’ll say my pick is none other than YG‘s newest girl group, BLACKPINK. It’s only been four months since they’ve debuted, but they’ve cemented a place in my heart with their infectious songs and strangely…very girlish personalities. For a group with songs that are set to dominate with all sorts of swag, Rosé, Jennie, Lisa and Jisoo are really just four cute girls with a ton of aegyo. I’ve really enjoyed what they’ve put out so far, and I’m looking forward to seeing what they’re gonna bring in 2017.
deejaymich: Sorry, honest question—there were more girl group debuts?
Best male debut
ponyforprez: This is a tough one…mainly because I don’t have one male debut that really stood out for me. Howeverrr, I’d say ASTRO (so much potential!!!) and KNK (they’ve got so much talent, and are so underrated) are tied for me, with a special shout out to MOBB. I loved the WINNER x iKON collaboration for their catchy songs, and I really enjoyed the chemistry between Mino and Bobby.
deejaymich: I actually have not listened to any of ASTRO and KNK’s songs… I probably should, yeah? SF9 and PENTAGON were not as awesome as I had expected, so that’s kinda sad. I guess I’ll bend the rules a little and vote for DSP‘s new group K.A.R.D. Okay, so they haven’t officially debuted and are a co-ed group, but we don’t have a category for that and I just want y’all to listen to their incredibly catchy bop ‘Oh NaNa’.
Best female group comeback
ponyforprez: Need I say more? TWICE with ‘Cheer Up’. The MV currently has 116 million views on YouTube, by the way. And counting.’TT’ was also good, but man. ‘Cheer Up’. Man.
However, please also let me be dramatic and say 4MINUTE‘s ‘HATE’ was the bomb and I miss the girls so much.
deejaymich: I’m not the biggest fan of TWICE, but I have to agree that they were definitely the most prominent among the girl groups. Special mention to AOA‘s ‘Good Luck’, MAMAMOO‘s ‘Decalcomanie’, Dal Shabet‘s ‘Someone Like U’ and SPICA‘s ‘Secret Time’ too!
Best male group comeback
deejaymich: I think B1A4‘s comeback this year was pretty successful! Thanks to leader Jinyoung‘s participation in the drama Love in the Moonlight, the group probably got slightly more attention from the public this time. Also, with the members having a hand in writing and composing in all the tracks off their latest album, I hereby validate my choice.
Special mention to BTOB for ‘Pray (I’ll Be Your Man)’! Their vocals just blow me away every time I watch their performances.
ponyforprez: You chose them last year, and this time it’s my turn! Hands down, BTS for me. To date, I still can’t totally get the members’ names down pat, but I can holler every single one of their title tracks with my heart and soul. ‘Blood Sweat & Tears’ was such a good comeback that every time the song comes on, I go into full theatrical mode. It’s madness.
Best female solo artiste
deejaymich: Definitely Heize for me! After Unpretty Rapstar 2, it’s safe to say that she has been one of the more successful ones. Besides releasing her self-titled mini album, she also released the wistful ‘Star’ which earned herself number one spots on South Korea’s music charts. Gotta love a girl who writes her own songs, raps and sings well.
Best male solo artiste
deejaymich: There’s no doubt for me that it’s SHINee‘s Taemin. He released his first full album, which was testament to how much he has improved in both vocals and performance since his early SHINee days. I mean, have y’all seen his performances of ‘Drip Drop’, ‘Press Your Number’ and ‘Goodbye’?! Add in his participation in Hit the Stage, I think Shawols and Taemin himself deserve to be very proud for what he has achieved this year.
ponyforprez: Baby Tae ain’t no baby anymore, and I totally agree with you on what he’s achieved since ‘Noona, you’re so pretty’. He’s definitely grown into his own skin and developed his own sound. I’m really glad that SM sees his potential and allowed him to fully maximise it. I don’t think he’s quite done yet, though! Excited for more Taemin in 2017.
Best hip-hop comeback
deejaymich: I can’t really think of a comeback from a specific artist. However if there is one person in the hip-hop industry itself who stood out for me this year it’s gotta be AOMG‘s GRAY. He was the guy behind so many good hip-hop tracks this year – notably his Show Me The Money 5 productions (‘Day Day’, ‘Forever’ and ‘Comfortable’ were pretty iconic) and his songs for Hoody, Jay Park, Swings, Dok2 and even Girls’ Generation‘s Tiffany.
ponyforprez: Heize’s title track from her same-titled debut album, ‘And July’ (feat. DEAN and DJ Friz), was such a jam. I really love how she and DEAN sound together! I also spotted a YouTube comment saying she sounds like IU, but the badass version, and that just tickles me. But this girl definitely garnered a lot more fans this year, and I think she’ll only get bigger. Also, she has such impeccable style! I love!
deejaymich: They got me like, boom boom, boom boom. I’m choosing the boys of Seventeen for this one. I started taking notice of them after the highly addictive ‘Mansae’ released last year. This year, with three comebacks, it doesn’t seem like they took a break at all. If that’s not enough, the boys write and compose their own songs, and member Hoshi takes charge of choreography for all 13 of them. Talk about being a well-rounded group.
ponyforprez: PICK ME PICK ME PICK ME UP. I.O.I takes the crown for me because they were active all year, and they really stole the hearts of so many people around the world. They’re really the perfect example of how quickly you can climb to the top at the peak of your popularity—so long as you remain relevant.
deejaymich: I’m gonna be totally honest and admit that I haven’t watched many dramas this year. I did jump onto the Descendants of the Sun and Doctors bandwagon. I even watched Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo for uhm, scientific reasons. None of those quite reeled me in like action drama The K2 though. I’ve never seen a female heroine quite like Choi Yoo Jin (played by veteran actress Song Yoona) before, and it was amazing.
ponyforprez: Crap, this was the year that Descendants aired? It felt like a century ago! While I did enjoy the drama, I’d say my vote goes to two lighthearted dramas that I really love. JTBC‘s Age of Youth, and currently-airing Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo.
Best OST / OST track
deejaymich: I mentioned above that I watched Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo, and while the drama was at best average, its OST was great. Lee Hi, Epik High, AKMU, Taeyeon are just a few of the artistes who feature in the soundtrack. The hauntingly beautiful track ‘Will Be Back’ by Im Sun Hae deserves special mention too. I’ve also listened to ‘Beautiful’ by Crush off the currently-airing Goblin soundtrack and I absolutely love it.
ponyforprez: Okay, no hugely marketed ballad picks for me this year, but I really like one of SM Station‘s projects. Red Velvet‘s Joy and Seulong‘s collaboration track ‘Always in my Heart’. I’ve missed lovely ballads like these so much, and they just look and sound so adorable together.
So those are our top picks for 2016! Do you have something to add on to the list? Let us know in the comments below!