TIME magazine picks the best K-pop songs of 2021, the list features IU and rookies like aespa, STAYC


If in 2003 someone had told Epik High and other rookie groups that K-pop would become a global phenomenon, they probably would have laughed. But 18 years later, that’s exactly what happened. Thanks to the spread of the Hallyu wave, music has finally broken through the language barrier, with people listening to music from countries whose languages ​​they may not know. Whether it was PSY’s Gangnam Style that took the world by storm or Luis Fonsi’s Despacito, people have finally started to embrace new kinds of music. Being recognized by people like TIME, Billboard or Rolling Stone is on a whole new level which is now very much possible.

With the second half of 2021 beginning, TIME decided to take a look at all of the K-pop songs released in the first half of the year and put together a list of their favorites. And while the pandemic may have crippled the rest of the world, K-pop has not been affected, with artists continuing to release a lot of songs for their fans. That’s why TIME had to go through a diverse range of subgenres and artists before they could pick their top 10 favorites. From hip-hop to R&B and dance-pop, they’ve chosen stars like BI as well as fourth-generation bands like TXT.

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aespa, BI, Cherry Bullet, TXT and WEEEKLY (Instagram)

TIME’s 10 best K-Pop songs of 2021 so far

In no particular order, they included “After School” by WEEEKLY, “0X1 = Lovesong (I Know I Love You)” by TXT, former iKON member, BI’s title track from her debut EP, “illa illa”, ” Lilac ”by IU, solo single from EXO Baekhyun, ‘Bambi’, ‘ASAP’ by STAYC, ‘Beautiful Beautiful’ by NFB, ‘Love So Sweet’ by Cherry Bullet, ‘Next Level’ by Aespa and ‘Rosario ‘from Epik High with CL and Zico.

the listing is an impressive selection of songs from underrated bands and artists to K-pop stars who have proven their success with outstanding tracks. Soloists like EXO’s BI, IU, Baekhyun and K-pop band Epik High have made their mark by listing their tracks on several renowned K-pop charts as well as on Billboard and iTunes. On the other hand, we had K-pop groups with the catchy track “After School” which was all the rage on TikTok for its catchy dance moves, while TXT’s rock song even beat “Butter” by BTS on “Music Bank” of KBS. ‘ASAP’ showed us a laid back side of STAYC as the NFB gave us a sci-fi techno summer bop with ‘Beautiful Beautiful’. Finally, Cherry Bullet and aespa were the two opposite ends of the spectrum with a dance-pop and hip-hop track respectively which also thrills the listener.

A WEEEKLY fan was thrilled that ‘After School’ was included and tweeted, “A song that brings me happiness”. A MOA fan tweeted: “# 0X1LOVESONG is one of the best songs of 2021! No jump song in their album. Fans had been waiting for BI for so long that this kind of recognition was even more touching: “feel moved after seeing this article – illa illa de Hanbin (BI) as one of the best kpop songs of 2021 to date according to Time Magazine . The @ shxx131bi131 credentials are proud !! “One UI fan tweeted:” Lilac UI in TIME’s best kpop songs of 2021 so far I’m so happy to see all these great reviews for her she really did achieved both commercial success and acclaimed music reviews. “

An EXO-L tweeted, “Serving Visuals Serving Voice Serving The Country BAEKHYUN REALLY DOES EVERYTHING.” A STAYC fan was excited as he tweeted: “STAYC GIRLS IT’S GOING DOWN.” An NFB fan accepted the list by tweeting: “YEAHHHH ONF BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL SOTY”. A Lullet tweeted about ‘Love So Sweet’, “It’s honestly a gem, the song and the music video was unusual but SO GOOD ??? It’s addicting.” An aespa fan tweeted, “yasss aespa monster rookies !!!” An Epik High fan tweeted: “A ‘Hymn of Victory!’ Thank you Epik High for giving us this powerful song.

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