K-Pop and K-Dramas: Monsta X

Promotional image of (from left) Yoon Kihyun, Lee Hojoon (Joohoney), Chae Hyungwon, Im Changkyun (I.M), Lee Minhyuk, and Sohn Hyunwoo (Shownu). Copyright goes to Monsta X’s social media and Starship Entertainment.

Hi! It’s Annie!

This one feels like a long time coming and I almost feel guilty for not mentioning these amazing men sooner on this blog. My main friend group (the F4) contains fans of mainly BTS and Monsta X. And though it took me a while, I am slowly but surely being dragged into becoming a Monbebe. At my most recent get together with my small group of friends, we literally spent hours going back and forth between BTS and Monsta X videos. To be honest, I hadn’t seen much of Monsta X before we did this. Of course, I knew they were out there and I knew that one of my friends in particular really liked them. I had listened to a couple of their songs, but it took me a couple listens to really get into it and I honestly didn’t even know where to start. Especially because my life has been so overtaken by BTS lately. So I’m going to go through some of the stuff that made me really like this group as well as my regular small introductions to the members. If you are a Monbebe, please understand that I’m a newbie and I still have so much more research to do. Anyways, let’s just get started!

The Members:

Shownu- The leader and over-all dad of the group. Also the current bias of my main Monbebe friend. Shownu is known for his intimidating stage presence, but that’s definitely not the vibes he gives off when he’s off stage. Probably the opposite actually. Shownu is generally pretty quiet, very sweet, and adorably awkward. He is one of the major vocalists of the group.

Minhyuk- When you first look at him, you would not know that he’s the second oldest. He’s very high energy and very cute, relying on a much brighter aesthetic than most of the other members have. He’s known as the mood maker of the group and also has one of the most blatant senses of humor. He made a song about soup. He’s a sub vocalist and visual.

Kihyun- He’s also one of the main vocalists of the group and is well known for his range and high notes in songs. Kihyun is the caring mom of the group with a lot of anxiety, but he’s also known for his insane levels of confidence. Kihyun is never one to sell himself short, and it’s actually so inspiring to see. He’s released some songs on his own too for soundtracks and I can’t get over his voice.

Hyungwon- Woah, I didn’t realize he had this many roles. He’s a vocalist, he sometimes raps, he’s the lead dancer, he’s a visual, and he’s the center. He’s also one of the major members of the group recently that contributes to writing and composing songs. (I definitely appreciate that this group also has a heavy hand in what they put out.) He’s sweet but also blunt and is known for basically being a giant walking meme.

Joohoney- If you’ve seen any music videos of Monsta X before, I would not be surprised if the member that left the biggest first impression on you was Joohoney. Especially if you started out with ‘Love Killa’. He’s adorable but he’s also a super intimidating rapper. One of the major two rappers of this group, and they’re both absolutely amazing. Especially as a team. He’s another one of my friend’s biases and he totally wrecks everyone else. He’s also one of the main writers for the group. He’s my sister’s bias.

I.M- He’s the other main rapper and writer of the group. Just like Joohoney, he also leaves one of the biggest impressions. I feel like he and Shownu are the most intimidating on stage. But I.M. is also probably the most intimidating off stage too. He’s blunt, and it’s amazing to see. He’s the main English speaker of the group and he’s called out English interviewers for preferring songs in English before. I mean somebody has to do it. He’s my bias.

Wonho- Did you think I wasn’t going to mention Wonho? Wonho is probably my Monbebe friend’s ult bias. Wonho is one of the biggest sweethearts and a great vocalist. He’s most known for how frequently he takes off his shirt. He is no longer a part of Monsta X, mainly because he was falsely accused of a drug related issue. That’s absolutely awful! But, thankfully, his solo career is doing well and he’s still brothers with everyone else in the group. I just wish people would be more supportive of him in general. He used to both write and produce for the group.

Monsta X MVs:

I was enjoying listening to Monsta X with my friends, but I don’t think I was completely sold until my friend pulled up the MV for ‘Alligator’ on the television. Literally everything about the video captured my attention. From the singing, to the individual focuses, to the choreography. There’s something weirdly addictive about the choreography for ‘Alligator’ in particular. The other MV that also left a huge impression on me is ‘Love Killa’. “I’m sorry, did I make you anxious?” is probably one of the best intros that I’ve ever seen or heard for a song. It sets a super high bar for the rest of the song that it somehow definitely meets. I also liked the individual focus here. I prefer groups that focus on the individuals in the group while also pulling together as a unit. I like the opportunity to see the individuality there, and I haven’t seen a group do it this well other than BTS.

Cute Videos:

Monsta X has one of the most intimidating presences and reputations in K-Pop currently. They are one of the only groups that have songs about sex (which is not a common thing for K-Pop) and their concept is more bad boy-ish. But they also have released some of the funniest and most wholesome content outside of that. I’ve only watched a couple episodes of ‘Monsta X Ray’, a variety show that they did for a while. One of these episodes saw them helping out at a daycare and specifically helping take care of one and three year old children. This episode is known for a kid kissing Shownu later in the episode when Shownu’s appearance had scared the same kid at the very beginning, Wonho being beaten up by a bunch of three year olds, and Hyungwon and his koala (a one year old who refused to let go of Hyungwon and cried if anyone else tried to hold him). The show also had an episode where they hilariously parodied K-Dramas and all their plot twists. I.M portrayed the main female character who was torn between Wonho and Shownu. Joohoney played I.M’s best female friend who eventually falls for Kihyun, Minhyuk portrayed the new girl in town who also went between Wonho and Shownu, and Hyungwon portrayed various oddly hilarious characters. I laughed so hard I cried.

I still have to listen to all of their albums, which is probably what I’m going to devote my day tomorrow to doing. I already have a few songs downloaded that I’ve been playing on repeat. But, seriously, I highly recommend them. And if you’ve already given them a chance, at least give them another one. It’s totally ok if they aren’t really your thing, but it took me a while to warm to them and now I’m so glad I did. This is what friends are for. Dragging you kicking and screaming into fandoms.

See you across the pond!

Sincerely, Annie

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