Return of the Male Duos – Which Male Duo’s Your Favorite?
For some time now, we’ve become accustomed to seeing idol groups with over 5 or 6 members. It made more sense to create large groups for a lot of different reasons. They can appeal to a wider fan base since each member would carry his/her own charm, and it allowed agencies to diversify their revenue channels, as each member would advance into different fields in movies, TV dramas, or variety shows.
But the latest trend in K-Pop has been male duos. Part of the reason is because it allows agency’s to differentiate their group from the rest of the pack, but it’s also based on a strategy that worked so well in the 90s. Since the debut of hip hop due DEUX in 1993, Korean pop music has seen a flurry of male duos debut, including Turbo, CLON, Bow Wow, and Untitle, just to name a few, and they’ve all left a mark with their own unique style of music.
Here we put together 7 of the hottest male duos in today’s K-Pop! Check out the list and please let us know if we missed anyone!
(Scroll through the list by clicking the arrow at the bottom right of the top image!)
DBSK obviously started out as a five member group, but even after the departure of the three JYJ members, Yunho and Changmin have done a superb job keeping up their quality of music and performance. Despite all the controversy and question marks, DBSK is still one of the best K-Pop idol groups ever, and although they’ve downsized to two members, DBSK’s legacy carries on.
GD & TOP
Yes, we know they are a subunit of Big Bang, but the impact GD & TOP brought to the industry was profound. Their attempt at more rap based sound and retro beats was welcomed by many Korean Hip Hop fans, and attracted the attention of a lot of western hip hop musicians as well. G-Dragon and T.O.P wrote the majority of the songs and lyrics for the 11 track album, and three singles, “High High,” “Oh Yeah,” and “Knockout,” all ranked high on music charts.
Comprised of JB and Jr., JJ Project is JYP Entertainment’s new boy band that debuted in 2012. Both JB and Jr. came through JYP Entertainment’s internal audition, and after working as trainees for over 3 years, they finally landed a spot on KBS drama “Dream High,” making their names known to mainstream Korea. Their debut track, “Bounce,” is a hip hop based song and ranked #1 on all four main Korean music charts.
Tasty’s Dae Ryong and So Ryong are in fact twin brothers. They first started out under JYP Entertainment, but after 6 years of training at JYPE’s U.S. office, the duo moved Woolim Entertainment and finally made their debut in 2012. Their debut single, “You Know Me,” attracted a lot of interest not just because of its unique beats and electro sound, but also the duo’s perfectly synchronized dance moves, which brought back memories of 90s dance group CLON.
Bang & Zelo
This unit group formed by Bang Yong Guk and Zelo of B.A.P didn’t run a lot of promotions aside from their debut single, “Never Give Up,” but made a lot of noise. The song was a gospel-hip-hop song but did a great job making their names known to the mainstream audience, and helped B.A.P launch a successful debut promotion as well. We’re all waiting for more Bang & Zelo, so TS Entertainment please work on their album!
Crispi Crunch, comprised of Csp and Cheezy, is a hip hop duo managed by JS Prime Entertainment. Their mainstream debut track, “Thumbs Up,” sparked a lot of controversy for use of homosexual kiss scenes in its music video, but they later admitted it was a tactic used to garner more attention. They also said it was intended to show they are willing to “break the stereotype.”
Eden Beatz is a new group debuting under InSourceMusic, the agency for GLAM and 8eight. They publicized themselves as being the next M-Flo, the popular Japanese rap duo, or the next Epik High. Their music is based on a lot of hip hop beats, and their main rapper Seo Jun already has quite a following online for his underground rapping experience. They may not be shown a lot on TV, but they’re worth a listen!