8 K-Pop Hits That Would Be Perfect OSTs For Recent K-Dramas
Have you ever watched a K-drama and realized that its plot reminds you of one of your favorite K-pop songs? Or have you listened to a song and been reminded of a drama you loved? This list contains eight such moments when the worlds of K-drama and K-pop seem to have perfectly aligned in recent months. If you like one of the K-dramas listed below, then you’ll love the song we’ve matched it to. And if you like one of these songs but haven’t watched the drama… well, you better start clearing your schedule to make time for a new show!
1. “Doom at Your Service” — 2PM’s “Make It”
Not only would “Make It” be a perfect theme song for “Doom at Your Service,” but its music video might as well have come straight out of the drama. As doom incarnate, Myeol Mang (Seo In Guk) is followed by accidents large and small wherever he goes: cars collide, pipes burst, and sinkholes open in the ground. “Make It” follows suit: chaos and destruction surround the 2PM members, although they only have eyes for their love interest.
While the guys of 2PM protect their leading lady, however, Myeol Mang’s intentions towards Tak Dong Kyung (Park Bo Young) are not always so clear. But fate also has a role to play for this couple, and between this song’s lyrics and its Korean title (which translates to “have to” or “must”), “Make It” might as well have been made for “Doom at Your Service.”
Start watching “Doom at Your Service”:
2. “Nevertheless” — ENHYPEN’s “FEVER”
“Nevertheless” follows college student Yoo Na Bi’s (Han Seo Hee) dangerous flirtation with Park Jae Uhn (Song Kang), a notorious playboy who doesn’t do relationships. Jae Uhn has set his sights on Na Bi, and she knows he’s bad for her (all of the red flags are there. All of them!), but she can’t stay away. And we can’t say we entirely blame her, given that their chemistry is off the charts.
Considering Jae Uhn has gotten under Na Bi’s skin like an illness, ENHYPEN’s sultry “FEVER” is a perfect match for the steaminess of “Nevertheless.” The song is about being drawn to someone you can’t have and burning up like a fever because of it. Maybe this explains why Na Bi actually does catch a fever early on in the drama!
3. “The Devil Judge” — ONEUS’s “BLACK MIRROR”
Dystopian, futuristic, and distorted, both “The Devil Judge” and ONEUS’s latest single “BLACK MIRROR” tackle worlds in which it’s hard to tell what’s real and what’s not. “The Devil Judge” only just premiered, and it depicts an alternative future version of South Korea in which Kang Yo Han (Ji Sung) is a judge whose courtroom is televised to convince the nation that justice is being served. But is it really, or is it all for show? Who holds actual power, and who’s just a puppet? Perhaps rookie judge Kim Ga On (GOT7’s Jinyoung) can discern the truth.
“BLACK MIRROR” is a complement to “The Devil Judge” in how it explores the issue of reality in increasingly digitized times. Can we trust what we see on screen, like Yo Han’s courtroom? Are we connecting with each other and with truth? Both the song and the drama raise a lot of thought-provoking questions, and we’re excited to see how “The Devil Judge” answers them!
Start watching “The Devil Judge”:
4. “My Roommate Is a Gumiho” — TO1’s “Son of Beast”
In title and in attitude, “Son of Beast” is a natural fit for “My Roommate Is a Gumiho.” The drama tells the story of a literal beast: a 999-year-old gumiho, or nine-tailed-fox, named Shin Woo Yeo (Jang Ki Yong). Woo Yeo is on the verge of achieving his dream of becoming a human… until college student Lee Dam (Hyeri) swallows his magical fox bead.
Woo Yeo has all the suave charisma of a guy who knows how the world works (because he’s been in it for almost a millennium). “Son of Beast” matches that confidence and smoothness, but TO1 manages to make the track feel fun as well as a little dangerous. This is only befitting for a drama that offers as much fantasy rom-com gold as “My Roommate Is a Gumiho”!
Start watching “My Roommate Is a Gumiho”:
5. “Youth of May” — E’LAST U’s “The beginning of spring”
Rather than summertime sadness, 2021 gave us plenty of springtime sadness with the bittersweet drama “Youth of May.” Set during the 1980 Gwangju Uprising, the drama follows the love story of two youths during this tumultuous time: nurse Kim Myung Hee (Go Min Si) and medical student Hwang Hee Tae (Lee Do Hyun).
E’LAST U’s sweet yet melancholy “The beginning of spring” is a perfect match for the drama, and not just because it was released in May! The song encapsulates the beauty and sadness of fated, difficult love like the romance that grows between Myung Hee and Hee Tae during a traumatic period in Korean history.
Check out “Youth of May”:
6. “The Penthouse 3” — Sunmi’s “TAIL”
Sunmi’s “TAIL” is all about instinct, which seems to be purely what drives the characters in “The Penthouse” series! Greed, revenge, bloodthirstiness, lust: you name it, and “The Penthouse 3” has it. There’s something almost animalistic about these characters, which is captured by the feline inspiration in Sunmi’s track.
“TAIL” is more subtle than this over-the-top (makjang) drama, but in attitude and in theme, it’s dead on: both song and drama (and music video!) encapsulate struggles for power. And there’s plenty of power to be struggled for in “The Penthouse 3,” with the residents of Hera Palace aiming for top universities, clawing for reputation and money, and, in some cases, clinging to survival.
Check out “The Penthouse 3”:
7. “Vincenzo” — ITZY’s “In the morning”
This pairing hardly needs an explanation! Song Joong Ki stars in the titular role of Vincenzo, a Korean who was adopted as a child into an Italian mafia family. ITZY’s latest hit “In the morning” is in fact mafia-themed, so perhaps it’s no surprise the song and “Vincenzo” share similar content.
ITZY sets their eyes on a romantic target in “In the morning,” vowing to steal someone’s heart in the night and refusing to play by the rules. Rules don’t bind Vincenzo either, as he resorts to villainous methods to beat the villains who have wronged him and take back what is his. But when the law won’t punish the bad guys, maybe a little mafia action isn’t such a bad thing. Plus, ITZY strikes a balance between badass and playful that is well-suited to the dark comedy of this drama!
8. “Taxi Driver” — LOONA’s “PTT (Paint The Town)”
Wouldn’t LOONA’s “PTT (Paint The Town)” be the perfect song to listen to while speeding down a highway at night trying to catch criminals? This breathless and badass track totally fits with the action crime drama “Taxi Driver.” When the upright and honest Kim Do Gi’s (Lee Je Hoon) life is upturned by a tragedy, he gets recruited by a secret organization that takes justice into its own hands where the law fails to.
“PTT (Paint The Town)” is all about being unstoppable, and Do Gi and his crew refuse to be deterred from avenging those they seek to help. This LOONA song is the perfect rogue hero anthem for a group of characters that “paint the town” in their own way with revenge and justice.
Learn more about “Taxi Driver”:
Hey Soompiers, do you agree with these pairings? What other recent K-drama/K-pop pairs can you think of? Let us know in the comments!
hgordon stays up way too late on weeknights marathoning K-dramas and trying to keep up with the latest K-pop releases.