11.02.2010

ZE:A is Dangerous

I'm surprised we haven't had a quick chat about them before.  ZE:A debuted back in January!!!

First of all, there's nine of them, so...plenty to go around.  And there's no need for the guilt; they're all legal; the youngest of them are 18, while the oldest are 22.

Secondly, they are that g-h-e-t-t-o crew you know is bound to be trouble.  They have the fluid precision of B2ST, the street 'tude of MBLAQ, and the daring, sexy swag of Rain himself.

Yes...I really did just say that.

The video below was my first taste of ZE:A, and I maintain...they are dangerous.  Notice the devil-may-care, homoerotic tease at 1:57.  They don't care.  I have a feeling it's precisely because of this that they are going to wipe the floor with their competition.  As you can see, having nine members works to their advantage where dance is concerned.  Add a splash of auto-tune and pitch-shifting, and their vocals are decent too.

60 comments:

  1. I really like their song 하루종일 (All Day Long). You can see the ghetto showing throughout the MV. Sadly I haven't listened to them much after my friend sent me that MV to watch. That dance battle was awesome.

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  2. Pretty good. I will check them out. How do they make money? That's a lot of dividing profits. I've seen this many times with kpop artists.

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  3. Crystal,

    It's probably all these battle appearances that pay the bills. I think they're like a dance crew first, and singers second.

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  4. Oh yeah....those boys are dangerously sexy, extremely badass, and they are ALL mouth-watering. I don't think I could handle 2 of them, let alone 9 0.o

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  5. i've always wondered why most s.korean boy bands (or most that i have seen) are so large?

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  6. @ Moonwalker

    I hear you. I was showing this vid to the little sis, and every time a ZE:A boy had a close-up she was like, "Who's that?"

    They're just...dangerous. They don't care. And they have so.much.swag.

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  7. Why do they have so many members? Probably cause only half of them are singers and the rest will eventually transition to acting.

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  8. The one in the wife-beater is one to watch for. As is the one with the raised pant leg. *nods* 'Tis a hood crew right here.

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  9. The reason K-pop groups are so large is in order to increase their appeal to fans. The idea is that someone will at least like one member of such a large group and through that one will support the whole group by buying tickets for concerts and shows, albums etc. Mellowyel said it best in this post, look at the 5th point.

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  10. I remember this dance battle. It was fun to watch. I'd heard of them before, but never listened to them.

    The market is so oversaturated w/boy groups, that I've checked out. If there are more than 5-6 memebers, I can't be bothered unless they really have something going for them.

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  11. @eccentricyoruba thanks for the link. Very informative. I loved the shower video. Cute. Cute. Cute.

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  12. I dig their IDGAF attitude though. There should be more of that 'tude in K-Pop.

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  13. @ Lenoxave

    Isn't the 'tude astounding? My jaw dropped when I first watched this battle. I maintain this is a hood crew right here. IDGAF what their bios say, I bet a rep from Star Entertainment simply went to various juvenile detention centers and police precincts and asked to see the repeat offenders list. I bet they said, "The cutest under 23 are coming with me."

    *nods* Gangsta

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  14. @ Ankh. Having known a few "repeat offenders" myself, I know that 'tude when I see it. I respect the way they carry themselves here.

    E'one in K-Pop ain't sweet & innocent. Sorry, I don't buy it, no matter what your publicist says.

    Plenty of "bad" boy makes "good" stories in the world. I'm sure K-Pop has its share, though the industry is loathe to admit it.

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  15. E'one in K-Pop ain't sweet & innocent. Sorry, I don't buy it, no matter what your publicist says.

    Plenty of "bad" boy makes "good" stories in the world. I'm sure K-Pop has its share, though the industry is loathe to admit it.


    Thank you!!!

    That's why it so annoying when the fangirls talk about their "purity", and all those other less-than-flattering euphemisms for "asexual." It's emasculating to the point of blasphemy.

    The boys of ZE:A don't strike me as pure or virginal. Hell, no. The one with cap, braids, and raised pant leg is a straight-up street kid. I ain't saying he's stabbed somebody or knocked up somebody's daughter, but he ain't "pure" by a long-shot. Nor was Mr. Wife-Beater. And the two "teases"...I ain't saying they swing both ways, but I will say they're no strangers to freakin'.

    That's why I don't bother reading bios of these boy bands. I maintain that B2ST, for example, looks "manufactured". They look like they've had some surgery, and their music is often more swag than they are. But they try to be hood nonetheless. ZE:A, on the other hand, has to act like harmless chic idols also "trying" to be hood. Except they're not trying. They're programmed. Once the beat drops, it all comes out.

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  16. Part Deux

    And I like that. I don't want chaste, pure, asexual Asian men...not after the age of 18. They don't need to be put on the "innocence pedestal." For me it's the same as putting black women on the "strong pedestal." Both become "untouchable" - Asian men because they're so "pure" and "innocent"; black women because we're supposedly made of teflon and adamantium.

    So you've got the Asian guy being told, "Dear God! You're such a nice boy! Why would you want to kiss me? Don't do that - you're a good boy!" While the black woman's being told, "How come you don't just ask him out? And why does he have to take you somewhere nice for dinner or rub your feet when you're having a bad day? You don't need that! Why does he have to back you up in an argument? Can't you just shake your head and wag your finger and scream, 'Hell-to-the-naw'?"

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  17. The market is so oversaturated w/boy groups, that I've checked out. If there are more than 5-6 memebers, I can't be bothered unless they really have something going for them.

    Preach! I thought the 1990s' American Boy Band craze was bad enough, but KPop takes it to another level. I can't even tell the bands straight anymore. =_=

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  18. @ Ankh - The whole "innocence" deal is enforced by the "state" or career over. It's as if The Seoul Patrol, wants these young men, frozen in time at age 10 or some shite.

    The trouble I have with K-Pop is this externally induced false facade that does no one any good. It leads to personal stagnation and all kinds of drama.

    There's a reason why porn is downloaded @ a higher rate in S. Korea than any other OECD country.

    When sexuality and anything pertaining to internal human workings is forbidden, you are going to start having serious, and I mean SERIOUS pblms with your populace.

    Let these young men be who they are & stop hypersexualizing these young women in girl groups.

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  19. Let these young men be who they are & stop hypersexualizing these young women in girl groups.

    Similar to a problem we have here. Remember N'SYNC? New Kids on the Block? New Edition? Now think...Britney, Christina, Danity Kane, Willa Ford, Ciara...need I go on?

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  20. ^^^ yes! Especially Britney. I saw a pic of her recently and it looked like her soul was vacant. They used that poor girl up for their purpose and when she started to break; dumped her.

    I was actually thinking about this yesterday. It's crazy. There's a member of JYJ thats oh so sexy (Yoochun?) He's eyes says it all...Now, they're a little more on the "edgy" side but the sexy repression is still there.

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  21. @ Ankh - Oh yeah! The "game" is the same no matter where you go. Business is Business and these label owners will do whatever it takes to sell.

    Everywhere you go, there you are. I think there are many K-Pop fans who think they are getting something different when it comes to the music business.

    However, when you dig deeper and think about the cultural and economic factors, same shite different country in so many ways. I think the Old Guard aka The Seoul Patrol is scared to death of its own young people. A familiar refrain among those in "control."

    @ Crystal - Yuchun seems to be a big winner among the ladies. I find that interesting. As for their "edge", I think we haven't been able to scratch the surface much. We'll see what happens.

    I will say this, they are ballsy for getting away from SM. It's something that just isn't done too much.

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  22. And another thing. What's w/all this family fun shite @ these concerts? My teens and 20's was all about listening to stuff my family didn't get or approve of. No matter how cool the fam was, I sure as hell wasn't interested in having them along.

    I'd be pissed if I was 25 years old and friggin' children and teens were @ my concert. Hell no. I'd be worrying that I was doing something wrong, but then I tended to be quite rebellious. Maybe it's just me. lol

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  23. although they are cute, i must say... personally i believe the LAST thing this world needs is for the "gangsta" mentality to spread around the world. its done MORE than enough damage in this country. just sayin'.

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  24. I'd be pissed if I was 25 years old and friggin' children and teens were @ my concert. Hell no.

    I concur. If I go to see Rain strip and work the pole, I don't no kids or grandmamas in the vicinity, thank you.

    personally i believe the LAST thing this world needs is for the "gangsta" mentality to spread around the world. its done MORE than enough damage in this country. just sayin'.

    Here's the thing. "Gangsta"/"Gangster" culture is actually ancient, preceding the presence of Africans in America. It's everywhere and contrary to popular belief; it's not "black." Modern black so-called "gangstas" were actually inspired by old school Italian-American mafiosos like the legendary Al Capone. Meanwhile, Korea has its own mafia, the Chinese have the Triads, Japan has the Yakuza, and so on and so forth.

    In other words, kids gon' be "hood" regardless.

    It's an unfortunate fact of life...for now. Every country has poor families living in the cities, their kids being raised by the streets. And whether they're into hip-hop or not, they all have that "street swag" anyhow; they were the really cool "bad kids" your parents didn't want you hanging out with. Some listened to NWA, some listened to Marilyn Manson, some wore all black, and some wore fake bling, but ALL of them were trouble.

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  25. ^^ Another reason why I love this blog. Keep educating, girl. I love the way you broke that down. Generally, people always want to blame the "kneegrows" for this stuff. So, so not true.

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  26. @ Ankh - Oh yeah! The "game" is the same no matter where you go. Business is Business and these label owners will do whatever it takes to sell.

    Of course, here in the West, white guys have more masculine, sexual images to balance their out androgynous popstar counterparts. Asian men...not so much.

    Another reason why I love this blog. Keep educating, girl. I love the way you broke that down.

    Girl, I try.

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  27. And takin' Gangsta/Gangster even further back to the word "thug" whose derivation is the Hindi "Thag" for conman. It all goes way back. It didn't begin nor will it end with the "EBM".

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  28. To be honest.. I wasn't at all interested in these guys upon their debut. They seemed a bit of a rip-off to u-kiss to me (and it even took quite a revelation to realized how much I actually adores them ) but how come I can't see this video?!? ;(

    Also if you don't mind me asking, are inmy focusing on KOREAN music? I just.. Ok I'm a total huge kpop fan and I've been listening to it for about 6 or 7 years now ( so I have to admit I'm only midly impressed with this new stuff, minus the rare few like oneway and missa A, beast, mblaq etc) but lackey I feel like the more this kpop stuff come into full bloom and heads for world domination and the more women begin to seek KOREAN men because that's all they see now, what Halle s to everyone one else? What happens to non Korean men or even non Korean women? And what happens to their sense of pride and identy in the face of a kpop fan's Korean bias?

    For example, how often are the r&b singers of jpop or coop acknowledged?and when they are, people always says "well I like Korean better". I just think with the hallyu wave people are developing dangerous biases. Is it just me that feels this way? Should I be concerned that this could only inflate the Korean or Korean american's ego to an astonishing degree? To the point where people will start to see other Asians as quite insignificant? I've already sorta started to see how people are dismissing Filipinos as Asian and don't even LOOK at the vuetnamese. Even my Asian non Korean friends who like Korean music seem to have a bias for Korean stuff. Does this make any sense? Could it be possible that even us liking these Korean guys, with the girl bands show casing how hot Korean women are, wouldn't Koreans just wanna date their own?

    I'm just curious, this is not to bash Koreans or kpop or anything. But I did come across an article about how the hallyu wave is affecting some south east Asian counties negatively And their limiting Korean entertainment and stuff.

    That aside, ze:a is unfortunately another boy band for me in the mists of all the bands that keep coming out day after day. Korea had so much more soul backing the day with SES and Big mama and 1tym. Real swag. I honestly wantbthe kpop industry to SLOW down and be REAL because I honestly think it'll back fire or choke itself.

    Sorry for the rant guys. Great post!

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  29. Sorry for the typos! My itouch is stubborn xD

    I meant jpop and cpop*

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  30. Someone else will have to take the floor b/c I'm not a devout K-pop fan and I don't have a "preference" for all things Korean. I have specifics. Rain. Mblaq. Rain. ZE:A (strictly for their dance skills). Rain. Se7en. Rain. TOP. Ra--you get the gist.

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  31. @Kenji

    I listen to a lot of music and I have specific genres I listen to from certain countries. For example, I like South African jazz and kwaito, Malian folk songs, Nigerian music from the '70s etc. When it comes to East Asia, I only listen to standard K-pop (Suju, 2NE1, 4minute, Mblaq etc), I don't listen to ballads or R&B even from the artists I've mentioned. However, I listen to Chinese ballads and I'm a huge fan of Khalil Fong. I also listen to Jolin Tsai ^^ When it comes to J-pop, I'm a fan of visual-kei and J-rock genres. I can listen to anything that sounds nice generally.

    I don't know anyone IRL who listens exclusively to K-pop. Most of my friend blame me for introducing them to East Asian pop but on their own they discovered Malaysian pop and Thai pop. I get where you're coming from because online I have encountered girls that go crazy over Korean men simply due to K-pop and K-drama. Some complain of how 'weird' Chinese sounds to them due to their K-pop background. I don't know what to make of them, I guess it all depends on the individual.

    The hallyu wave is set for global domination and the corporations behind the idols are willing to do whatever it takes, no matter how negative it may be, to achieve this.

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  32. I'm with you Ankh, I'm very specific about who I like. I'd be lying if I said I was a K-Pop devotee because I'm not. If you aren't Se7en, JYJ, Rain or T.O.P., I'm not really paying attn.

    My musical interests spean the globe from Baba Mal, Fela Kuti, Ali Farka Toure (RIP),Les Nubians, Badu, Jill Scott, Maxwell, Lalah Hathaway, Massive Attack, Tricky. The list goes on and on.

    At then end of the day, I tend to love adult performers. K-Pop isn't anymore indicative of the adulthood I seek than Pop in this country.

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  33. ^^ Real talk...I'm not a devotee either. I'm grown. I need music that speaks to things I'm feeling. Most of k-pop is too youthful (things I would have liked when I was a teenager). I have needs, sexual desires, and life experiences that many of the k-pop artist songs aren't even tapping into. When I see most of them, I'm like...aww, how cute. When I see Rain, Se7en or JYJ, I'm like...oh, damn.

    Now granted they aren't humping a microphone like Usher, or strapping women down like Janet Jackson singing "Would you mind", but the potential is there LOL. And you get glimpses of their vibe, their swag, their everything.

    So yeah, I don't think this k-pop craze is going to affect one's view on other asians. B/C, I'm sure k-pop is not the only thing many listen to. Of course you're going to have some ignorant people, but what's new. I'm an equal opportunity employer.

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  34. Haha thanks for the feedback everyone. Maybe it's just effecting me because I'm sti super young (or at least I'm told since I still can't dobmuchbaccodring tinny parents at 18) but that'a probably why I was weary. Kpop seems to so a lot to change people's mindset on how they look as far as weight and perfect appearance.

    But yes you have a point that when you listen to stuff other than just kpop, you're not so vulnerable to the wave. I also listen to many mote artists from japan, china,Thailand, indonesia, even bollywood Hindi . I do stillbhang on the the artists I picked up from France,Russia, Finland and thenlikes, and also a few African artists I've picked up from my dad :D


    @eccentricyoruba
    I love jrock too!!! Used to be quite obsessive with vis/kei because the men ate sodarling yet totally hard core xD and j'adore Khalil Fong.


    Thanks for the responses everyone ^_^

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  35. @ Crystal - You broke it down like a fraction. Big Ass co-sign on being Grown. Yeah, all those men have that potential, but the Seoul Patrol won't let 'em take it all the way live. LOL.

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  36. Real talk...I'm not a devotee either. I'm grown. I need music that speaks to things I'm feeling. Most of k-pop is too youthful (things I would have liked when I was a teenager). I have needs, sexual desires, and life experiences that many of the k-pop artist songs aren't even tapping into. When I see most of them, I'm like...aww, how cute. When I see Rain, Se7en or JYJ, I'm like...oh, damn.

    *is dead*

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  37. @ crystal

    lol, i've never blamed so-called "kneegrows" for anything.

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  38. Unless I mention myself or someone specifically, all of my posts are general statements. Period. No personal shots here. I'm sure the same goes for the other posters on this blog as well. :)

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  39. Did you all see Yoochun's new haircut. It's cute, but I loved the long hair. That was sexy. I'm on a blog and the main consensus is that they love it because it makes him look like a young boy. The other hairstyle made him look older. One poster was happy b/c the long hair wouldn't fly in America.

    Come again?

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  40. That was sexy. I'm on a blog and the main consensus is that they love it because it makes him look like a young boy. The other hairstyle made him look older.

    Something is seriously wrong with these people. Sheesh...

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  41. Lemme guess...it made him look so "pure".

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  42. You know...now that I think about it, I read the same thing when some of these same type of fangirls talked about Rain's long hair in Ninja Assassin. They didn't like his long hair and like it better short. Now, personally, I like it both ways, but IMO, the long hair really suited him.

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  43. @ Kenji Actually I have read examples of what you are talking about and I think it may be a problem with some of the younger Kpop fans. I clicked on someone's profile from Omona yesterday and the girl attended an international school in Chili. She said the local girls were obsessed with Kpop and would stalk the Korean students at the school. I guess the cray cray fans associate all Koreans with Kpop.

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  44. I seriously believe most, if not all of these fangirls active online are teenagers and adolescents hence their preference for cute younger styles. They are not interested in grown men, I remember last year reading a couple of comments on a K-pop blog. Though I don't remember the topic of the OP, it had something to do with an idol and sex or along those lines and most of the comments were 'eww, no he wouldn't do that'. It was then that it struck me how childish some fangirls can be, I believe this insistence on the 'pure' and 'innocent' image stems from this. Is it possible that the myth of the asexual Asian man has something to do with this?

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  45. @ey
    Is it possible that the myth of the asexual Asian man has something to do with this?

    That wouldn't surprise me one bit. They supposedly love these entertainers to death, but their love is strictly conditional.

    Unfortunately, the West has an uncanny ability to make some POC buy into the ridiculous stereotypes that they've concocted about us.

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  46. Damn! These fan girls don't want Men to be Men. Perpetual childhood and so-called innocence is what they want. Most of these fan girls are too immature to deal w/adult men anyway.

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  47. Exactly. They don't want them to grow up and be men (read: sexual). What the hell do they expect 28-year-old Rain to do, exactly? Develop a Peter Pan complex a la Michael Jackson? Is that what they want?

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  48. ^^ I hope not. B/C MJ was too sexy for all that mess (especially in the late 80s/early 90s). I loved him till his dying day though (and still do)!

    Question. Does the k-pop fanbase of these acts ever grow up? I mean here, girls were fans of New Edition or Nsync (for example), but they kind of grew up along with the guys. It seems like with k-pop, these "stans" enjoy the acts for however many years, and then just drops them. There's no growing with the acts. Are there any k-pop groups/artists in their 30s? I guess that's why many of the acts try to get into other avenues of entertainment while they have the attention.

    I mean seriously. I listened to Yoochun's song, "I Love You" (which is AMAZING) and you can't tell me that man ain't getting some somewhere. LOL. Thank goodness for Rain. That man is sexy and makes no apologies (I want to see him fully unleashed though). Whew!

    Is it possible that the myth of the asexual Asian man has something to do with this?

    Maybe! Never thought about it like that. That's why I'm an eyes girl. I love looking people in the eyes b/c there's no hiding there. I'm pretty good with my assessments too lol.

    Little OT:

    Also, it may be just me, but I'm not really feeling the female k-pop artists (at all). It's like they are trying so hard with the sexiness, but it's not quite right. Like someone who knows the dance routine, but that's it. They're not feeling it in their soul. Short shorts or mini skirts don't make you sexy. Know what I mean?

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  49. I'm not feeling female K-pop acts either. It's just not happening for me. I don't think it's a female genr, if that makes any sense.

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  50. The young women of K-Pop are controlled by the men who run their labels. Most of them are pushed into being what they are not. They are there for titillation. Many are kids, still growing up and with no ownership of their own sexuality.

    We've seen that here in the U.S. time and time again. Not really diggin' the Yuchun haircut. I liked it when it was long. "I Love You" is a damn good song.

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  51. Many are kids, still growing up and with no ownership of their own sexuality.

    And you can tell too. These girls look so dman uncomfortable in almost all of the performances I've watched (which haven't been many because of this very reason). A lot of them are still very young and immature.

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  52. @ Lenoxave

    I remember this dance battle. It was fun to watch. I'd heard of them before, but never listened to them.

    Don't think I didn't see this. I made a mental note to get back to you on this at some point.

    *clear throat* Explanation please?

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  53. @ Ankh - LMAO! I always say "oh, I need to discuss this or that on the narrative and forget". I'm going to star writing things down so I don't forget. I'm getting old girl. Senility is setting in. LOL

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  54. Senility is setting in.

    *cynical eye*

    Mm-hm. Sure. If you say so.

    *sniff* I'm getting senile too, but you don't see me forgetting things.

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  55. I love how F.Cuz is servin' up a big fat F*ck You to the censors and morality police in K-Pop. They know that they'll get banned and they don't give a damn! LMAO!

    Midnight Sun Teaser

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  56. @ Lenoxave

    Yeah...they're gettin' banned. Mos def. And they really don't care.

    *still waiting to pick up jaw off floor*

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