XG is my new favorite K-Pop girl group!

Fresh is the Word - K-Pop Girl Group XG

With the relaunch of Fresh is the Word, I want to write about things I’m passionate about that I never opened up about before. One of the things that brings me so much joy, even on the worst of days, is K-Pop. I’m not going to try to do a “History of K-Pop” lesson here, but I do want to use my love of a new act to introduce my audience to the artists I love.

K-Pop isn’t necessarily a genre, but more of a marketing umbrella, as musically it’s a mix of pop music, hip-hop, soul, club music, electronic music, and anything else you can fit in there. There’s a process how all these K-Pop artists come to be and that’s a whole other discussion, but the influences in the music are usually greatly obvious. With its South Korean epicenter, performers span all across Southeast Asia at times with South Korea and Japan being its biggest markets.

At times, when this modern era kicked off from 10-20 years ago, there was a problem with cultural appropriation as K-Pop dealt with its own growing pains the hard way by the way it represented the cultures it was obviously influenced from, especially Black culture.

Over the years, the cultural appropriation existing has turned more into homage of styles from the past, but I’m sure there is appropriation that still exists.

Just to get that elephant in the room acknowledged, let’s talk about my new favorite K-Pop girl group XG (Xtraordinary Girls), a Japanese girl group based in South Korea. The group consists of: Jurin, Chisa, Cocona, Hinata, Maya, Juria, Harvey. They made their debut on March 18, 2022 with their 1st single “Tippy Toes.” Since then, they have released such singles as “Mascara” and “Shooting Star” (which includes the incredible b-side “Left Right”).

Outside of XG, my main K-Pop fandom is with the global juggernaut that is BLACKPINK (I’m a Blink), along with other girl groups like Everglow, 2NE1, Purple Kiss, and boy bands like BTS and BIGBANG. I always try to keep up with the news kids on the block in K-Pop, and there was two things from XG that made me an instant fan.

The b-side of “Shooting Star” I mentioned, “Left Right”, is a modern day blast to the past influenced by the late 90s/early 2000s R&B groups like 702 or Blaque, and it’s done masterfully. From the song, to the production, and to the visuals and fashion in the video, its pays homage to the last time all-girl R&B groups were a thing in popular American music. K-Pop now tries to reach globally and will make these attempts at nostalgia in a new way and XG nails it with “Left Right”.

The other thing that made me love XG is the “Galz Xypher” they made with the lyricist members of the group Cocona, Maya, Harvey, and Jurin. With the mainstream popularity of emcees like Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B, just to name a couple, more women are finding their place as lyricists, and the women of XG show off their talents with “Galz Xypher”. It’s a must watch!

At the time of writing this, XG celebrated their first anniversary and have released three singles on CD, with “Tippy Toes” also released on vinyl. As I just became a fan recently, I missed out on all the physical releases and now they are sold out! If anyone reading this can hook me up with any of the CD singles and especially the “Tippy Toes” vinyl, please email me at djkfresh@gmail.com!

XG is definitely on my radar now and I’m excited to see what their future beholds. For more information, visit: xgalx.com.