The K-PopJustice Forum Reader's Poll 2020


3. SSAK3

Well... This is definitely on the chopping block when we remove some categories next time. AKMU & KARD were pretty much neck in neck in the votes, being like... the only two Co-Ed groups in existence. AKMU have had continued success with the brother-sister combo since 2014 when they debuted under YG Entertainment. They returned in 2019 after a brief hiatus due to Chanhyuk serving his military enlistment and hit #1 with their single How Can I Love the Heartbreak, You're the One I Love, the first time since 2016 with Re-Bye. They had their first comeback of 2020 in November with the single Happening, which slightly underperformed in Korea. Chanhyuk announced that it was the lead-in for a full album in 2021, so we have more to look forward to with the pair! Suhyun also made her solo debut in 2020 with her single Alien, which is a bit of a bop.

The forum had a very brief love affair with 4 piece co-ed group, KARD. Sadly with their official debut in 2017, the spark faded and the adoration of the forum took a sharp hit. In fact, each comeback has sadly been less successful than the last in Korea. Now with J.seph enlisting, the group are kind of just sitting on pause waiting for their first comeback as three. Hopefully whatever they release is better than Gunshot!

SSAK3 is a temporary group formed through the variety show, Hangout with Yoo. It features Lee Hyori, Bi Rain & Yoo Jaesuk playing popstars with different names. The group spawned 3 hit singles in 2020, and donated all the proceeds to charity. Lee Hyori continued on the show and formed the Refund Sisters with Hwasa, Jessi & Uhm Junghwa later in the year.​

2. Nature
3. cignature
4. Secret Number
5. Yukika

Yeah, STAYC kinda swept this by a LOT.

There isn't anything new I can say for STAYC, we've all heard it, we all stan it: they just simply debuted with a very, very impressively polished song, all the members served charisma, the outfits & choreography was cohesive, and the music video in general was very colourful and clean. Excellent job!

Nature was our direct runner-up, and they also kind of snapped on the tea this year a bit. They started off their year with their Japanese debut with re-releasing their 2019 mini "I'm So Pretty" in Japanese, and the songs didn't get lost in translation, they still bop! They later followed up with a KPJ Critically Acclaimed™ hit, the comeback "Girls", where they reached into their lil Dreamcatcher bag and delivered a pretty-but-make-it-horror-concept MV, which is kind of a giant change from them since "Some (You'll Be Mine)" days dddd.

In third place is polarizing-music legends cignature and whew... they're definitely my favourite nugus from this year. I really really like all their songs ffff. The girls said we WILL serve you chaos and we WILL have the budget for multiple (3) comebacks in a year, and they did. Not a lot of nugus could get that done. But yeah love it or hate it ARISONG *is* that girl and it will be brought back up as a classique in 2023.


We've all heard their comebacks from this year probably and if you haven't.. well, get on that shit! So here's my runner-up favourite song of theirs that you might have missed, a B-side, that's just as demanding:

Secret Number gets mayhaps a bit controversially nominated over other contemporary nugus like woo!ah and weeekly which... got more stannage from this forum nn, however... yup yup. I think their debut "Who Dis?" kind of got paid dust unfairly for being a lil bit.. reductive? HOWEVER! "Got That Boom" is an undeniable bop, so I'm manifesting a 2021 Secret Number takeover.

and um.. Yukika got enough votes to come last place ffff. Queen of coming second place and potentially almost first place if enough people remembered about ha for best Indie artist, and now she gets a placement in Best Nugu! Not a lot of nominees can get that to their credit. Ummm but yeah y'all know I stan the fuck out of ha and she DID release one of the best albums of 2020, SOUL LADY, which you can stream and purchase right now on all major online digital music retailers, and hopefully some new music is coming soon since she's been signed very recently I think???

Idk if this is shady linking this over like.. "Soul Lady" nn but she does have a new song out that I think our lil forum missed fff which was released for a commercial for "Ghana Chocolate" (a popular brand in South Korea & Japan, from what I've seen) and I can't find the full thing ANYWHERE..if there even is a full version kii.. help a sistren out, @codecat?

Booking CFs while being Nugu & Indie? She's a hit!!



The Queen of Perfect All Kills and eating Lay's in her album covers claims the throne as K-PopJustice's favourite indie artist. Baek Yerin was originally under JYP and released a couple of EPs and singles, but broke out of her contract and established her own record label called Blue Vinyl. From here, she released her first full length album titled Every letter I sent you. which housed the single "Square (2017)" which became a hit - which is difficult to get, not everybody has that to their credit. She then went into hiding for another year and returned once again this December with an excellent album that subverted expectations. She took the singer/songwriter elements of her first album but applied them to airy electronic music. It was a perfect follow-up, one that satisfied fans like myself. Honestly, she's one of the most refreshing voices in K-Pop.

Speaking of refreshing and excellence, Yukika misses the #1 spot by a couple of votes! The city pop songstress released her immaculate debut album SOUL LADY this year to much acclaim from the PopJustice baguettes, so it's no surprise to see her here. At #3 it's HA:TFELT, ex-Wonder Girl legend, who also released a full length last year. 1719 is quite possibly one of the heaviest K-Pop albums I have ever listened to and you can tell how much she poured her heart into it. Yeseo is someone I wasn't aware of until this poll, but I'm obsessed with her mini album from this year after listening to it a couple hours ago.​

Me in @aux's pms threatening him to make OOHYO #5



4. Voice - LOONA
5. COOL - Weki Meki

So what is a Perfect All Kill? South Korea has about 4 to 5 digital streaming & download services that are commonly used. To get a Perfect All Kill you have to spend an hour at #1 on all of the charts at once. This was made more difficult in 2020 with Melon changing their rules so no song can have a big debut, having to instead slowly climb up the charts. And Korea has had some... questionable taste last year, with only 8 songs achieving this in 2020. Zico, 2 IU songs, Blackpink, VVS, BTS, SSAK3 & Refund Sisters, with 6 of those 8 songs entering the Top 10 for most hours in a PAK of all time. So which songs were robbed of this honour?

MAGO by GFRIEND obviously deserves it, and thankfully it did perform better overall then previous single Apple on the real time charts. It peaked at #1 on Bugs & Genie, but it never cracked the Top 50 on either Melon or FLO. PAKs are extremely difficult to achieve, and at least GFRIEND can always say they were the very first 3rd generation girlgroup to accomplish that with their 3rd single, Rough.

2020 was a successful year for April with their single LALALILALA becoming their first single to chart in the Top 40 on the Gaon charts... at #40, but it doesn't matter, it still did it! The track definitely deserved a PAK, but the improvement from Oh! My Mistake by charting in the first place definitely gives me hope that they still have a huge song in them in 2021!

TWICE are no strangers to PAKs, having achieved 4 of them in their career with Cheer Up, TT, Knock Knock and Yes or Yes. But in 2019 their sales transitioned to albums with FANCY breaking their #1 streak that started with Cheer Up. More & More came close to achieving a PAK, but barely missed out. The same can't be said for I CAN'T STOP ME. It peaked in the Top 30 on all the real time charts but sadly couldn't breakthrough to hit #1 on them. Truly robbed.

Voice by LOONA is a very good song and it charted.. sometimes on Bugs. I'm sure if it was promoted we'd have seen it chart a bit higher on the Real Time Charts, but that's beside the point, it still deserved it's PAK... according to some of y'all.

Weki Meki are not chart darlings at all and sadly COOL was no exception. The song peaked at #293 on Melon's Daily Charts, lower than OOPSY & Dazzle Dazzle and at #37 on Bugs. It definitely deserved a lot more recognition, and it almost got them their first win, but it went to Pentagon instead (who also deserved it dd). So hopefully 2021 is the year of Weki Meki! Fingers crossed!​
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