Hello again! It is I, Sandra, back with my top 5 kpop boy groups!
So as those of you that read my bio know, I’m a multifandom kpopper, which means I don’t have any one favorite group that I stan because I’m usually drawn to certain songs first and the groups themselves second. As you can imagine, making this list was difficult for me and to help me decide, I came up with certain criteria. I picked groups that consistently put out songs that I enjoy, have multiple members I like (at least 3), and that I would be willing to give up my life savings and first-born to go see live! I’ll be counting down to my “fav” even though all of the artists on this list are essentially tied in my eyes!
Like every group on this list, I started liking VIXX’s music before I got to know the members. Everyone knows VIXX are the “Concept Kings” of kpop, fully committing to original concepts every comeback and I feel like they get dismissed a lot because of this but they also have very unique and amazing vocals, which I love! So underrated! Seriously, just watch any of their live performances!
Like this acoustic rendition of some of their hits!
And this live of “Shangri-La” where their vocals can shine without them worrying about being out of breath!
And here is Ravi’s reveal on King of Masked Singer showing off his chops!
History/ Accomplishments of VIXX
VIXX is under Jellyfish Entertainment. At least the majority of them are, Hongbin left the group in August 2020. Ravi left Jellyfish to form his own label in 2019 and N also left Jellyfish in October, though they’re both still promoting as part of the group.
They debuted in 2012 after being a part of Mnet’s survival competition show MyDol. Their first single was “Super Hero”, followed by one of my favs “Rock Ur Body”. In 2013, they started releasing the concepts that they’re well known for now, starting with “On and On” for their third mini-album of the same name. Most of their concepts from then on were dark and sexy, which I love!
Later that year, they released “Voodoo Doll” which is the song that propelled them into legit stardom and is arguably one of their darkest concepts! It was also the first song to showcase the complex choreographies we’ve also come to know them for, proving they’re amazing dancers as well! Like many other VIXX fans, this was the song that introduced me to them.
In 2016, Jellyfish announced VIXX would be embarking on a year-long project called VIXX 2016 Conception, which would involve 3 mini-album releases all based on Greek mythology.
The three albums were Zelos with the title track “Dynamite”, Hades with title track “Fantasy”, and Kratos with title track, “The Closer”. Each album enjoyed success in its own right and at the end of the year were compiled into a compilation album titled VIXX 2016 Conception Ker. Conception was basically VIXX at the height of their concept magic! The music videos for these releases are works of art!
My VIXX Bias
Speaking of favs, I tend to have rapper biases so Ravi was my first bias! He’s so cool and his raps are always on point!
I’m also a sucker for great vocals which is a constant struggle with VIXX since every single member is a great vocalist! I usually vacillate between Leo and Hyuk, but I prefer Leo’s vocals, so he’s often the emerging bias wrecker! Leo is also super cute because of his shyness even though on stage he’s super charismatic and sexy!
Here’s Leo’s 2019 comeback stage for “Romanticism”
Enjoy Hyuk’s beautiful vocals in this solo ballad!
N is also a bias wrecker because he’s so darn cute and a great dancer! Here he is in all his adorable splendor!
Fav VIXX Performances/ Appearances
That time they performed “So Hot” by the Wonder Girls in drag
Anytime VIXX was on Weekly Idol because Leo was a shy hot mess every time!
Obviously this fabulous performance of “Shangri-La” for the 2017 MBC Music Festival!
And N dancing to Lee Sun Hee’s “Destiny” 😭 Check out more of N’s dancing on VIXX’s official Youtube channel!
5 Favorite VIXX Songs
“Rock Ur Body”
SHINee is one of the first kpop groups I discovered along with SS501, thanks to the Boys Over Flowers OST, so they will forever hold a special place in my heart! I love their vocals and their dancing and all their quirky concepts! They’re 2nd gen kpop legends, they’ve been super influential though newer kpop fans probably aren’t too familiar with them, and that’s why they’re known as the “Princes of Kpop”! On top of their amazing vocals, they were doing complex dances before they became the norm in 3rd & 4th gen kpop! I personally love all of their dance choreos!
Like the super popular “Everybody”
One of my favs and reportedly one of the most expensive choreos SM ever purchased, “Sherlock”
The super quirky, yet insanely catchy “Married to the Music”
History/ Accomplishments of SHINee
SHINee is an SM Entertainment group, which in my opinion has some of the best groups! They debuted in 2008 with the single “Replay”. A month after their debut, they received their first award, “Rookie of the Month” at the Cyworld Digital Music Awards and “Hot New Star” shortly after at the Mnet 20’s Choice Music Awards.
The following year, they came back with 2 EPs, Romeo and 2009, Year of Us, which included hit singles “Juliette”, and “Ring Ding Dong” respectively.
By 2011, SHINee’s popularity had spread to Japan, so that year they released several Japanese versions of their previous songs as well as their first dedicated Japanese album, The First.
They continued to focus on growing their Japanese fanbase in 2012 with the Japanese single “Dazzling Girl” and a Japanese version of their newly released, Korean mini-album, Sherlock, which became the 5th most sold album of the year in South Korea. They also won “Best Dance Performance – Male Group” for “Sherlock (Clue+Note)”.
In 2015 they released their 4th Korean album, Odd, with hit single “View” which was later repackaged as Married to the Music, with 4 additional songs including the title track “Married to the Music”. Odd debuted at number 1 on Billboard’s World Albums chart and “View” was the most viewed video in the world for the month of May.
SHINee was included in Forbes’ Top Forty Korea Power Celebrities list in 2016. This year they released their 4th full-length Japanese album, DxDxD, and fifth Korean studio album 1 of 1.
In 2017 SHINee held their 5th Japanese tour, SHINee World 2017 which consisted of 25 concerts across 10 cities. This was the last concert they held as a 5 member group, as main vocalist Jonghyun died of apparent suicide later that year. The kpop community was devastated, including us Kdrama Weekly hosts. 😥
The following year, the remaining 4 members of SHINee held another Japanese tour as scheduled and released the Japanese single, “From Now On”, which was one of the last songs to feature Jonghyun. They also released a three-part Korean album, The Story of Light.
Later that year Onew enlisted in his military service, shortly followed by Key and Minho at the beginning of 2019. All three were discharged this year, with Minho freshly returning on November 15th.
My SHINee Bias
My bias is the group’s maknae, Taemin! He’s actually one of my fav soloists as well and his song “Danger” is one of my favorite kpop songs of all time! I was lucky enough to see him perform this live last November at the Super M concert! 😁 He’s easily one of kpop’s best dancers and I am here for all of his performances!
One of the most memorable is his dance duet with Sunmi! Sunmi is my fav female soloist FYI, so this was a dream come true!
I also love his super emotional “Goodbye”!
Before I got to know Taemin though, Minho was my bias because he’s a rapper and he’s sexy af! He became my bias after I saw him in To the Beautiful You. Taemin bias wrecked him pretty soon after though!
Then I discovered Key, who is the ultimate bias wrecker because IRL he’s hilarious! He’s the chaotic evil of the chaotic evil that is SHINee! He also has the most adorable poodles that I love to stalk on IG!
Fav SHINee Performances/ Appearances
My absolute favorite appearances from SHINee are any time they were on Weekly Idol!
Other than the dance performances I listed at the top, I would be remiss not to share a performance of “View”, which is another of my fav SHINee songs!
5 Favorite SHINee Songs
“Sherlock (Clue + Note)”
“Married to the Music”
“Ring Ding Dong”
3. NCT 127
NCT is the youngest of my fav groups! I say NCT 127 but what I really mean is any NCT unit that Mark happens to be in. 😳 Their music tends to be more hip-hop and EDM infused which I normally don’t care for but NCT makes it work! Like most 3rd & 4th gen kpop groups, NCT are amazing dancers and each of their releases features knife-like choreos!
Like their debut “Firetruck” where it all started!
And the explosive “Cherry Bomb”
History/ Accomplishments of NCT 127
NCT 127 debuted in 2016 with “ Firetruck”. They debuted with 7 members initially but three more were added by their second release, “Limitless” in 2017.
Later in 2017, they released “Cherry Bomb” and began their overseas activities by attending Kcon Mexico, Kcon LA (where we got to see them perform 😍), and Kcon NY. They were also able to perform at The Apple Store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which got them a spot on Apple Music’s “New Artist of the Week”.
In 2018, all subunits came together to release NCT 2018 Empathy at the beginning of the year. Later that year, NCT 127 released Regular-Irregular, they performed the title track “Regular” along with “Cherry Bomb” on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
The following year they held their first concert tour with stops in South Korea and Japan, and later extending to North America, Latin America, Europe, and Southeast Asia. They also performed at the 2019 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, making them the first Korean artists to do so!
My bias is obviously Mark! I like his charisma and rapping style and he’s also a goofball in real life! Us Kdrama Weekly hosts even adopted one of his sayings, “Oh my Jesus!”
Here’s him performing “Talk About” during the Super M tour!
Though Mark is my number 1, Taeyong bias wrecks quite often because his rapping is also awesome and he oozes sexiness!
Here’s him performing “Baby don’t Stop” with Ten! We were blessed to be able to see this live at the Super M concert as well!
NCT doesn’t meet my 3 member bias criteria but they meet the other 2 and they’re awesome, so I let it slide!
Fav NCT 127 Performances/ Appearances
By now you’ve probably noticed, I love when groups go on Weekly Idol! 😅
Hilariously failing at the Scream/whisper challenge!
Their performance of “Cherry Bomb” at Kcon LA which we got to see live!
Johnny teaching the other members about American food! 😂
5 Favorite NCT 127 Songs
“Baby Don’t Like It”
The “Kings of Kpop” themselves! Like SHINee, BigBang was one of the boy groups I first got into when I began my kpop journey. They were the bad boys of kpop at the time and always had grungier, cooler concepts than their contemporaries, and I totally ate that shit up! I of course first discovered them through the iconic “Fantastic Baby”, which I admittedly thought was really weird at first but man is that song catchy! With BigBang, I’ve always been more drawn to their charisma and of course their catchy songs, and less to their vocals (though Taeyang, and Daesung are great vocalists!). They’re also not known for their choreos but their songs are always bangers, the type of songs you want to blast in your car with your windows down for everyone to hear!
Or the G-Dragon/ Taeyang duet “Good Boy”
The pop-rock inspired “Sober”
And of course the ultimate banger, “Bang, Bang, Bang”!
History/ Accomplishments of BigBang
BigBang debuted in 2006 under YG Entertainment during the YG Family 10th Anniversary concert, and they released their self-titled first single shortly after that. They released their debut album later that year, BigBang Vol. 1 – Since 2007, which debuted at number 3 in the charts.
In 2007, they released their 2nd EP, Hot Issue, which topped various charts. That same year they held their first concert which sold out in 10 minutes. Later that year they also began promoting in Japan.
Their popularity continued to skyrocket throughout the following year and in 2009, the group mostly focused on solo activities. The following year, they held their 2nd concert, 2010 Big Show. Following a two-year hiatus, BigBang came back in 2011 with their EP, Tonight, which had record pre-sales.
In 2013 and 2014 more solo activities followed, but in 2015 BigBang came back big with their Made project, in which they would release 8 singles in intervals of 2 throughout the year; the singles would then be released as a full-length album which was delayed until December of 2016. Each release was well received and some even topped the charts worldwide. To promote the album, BigBang held their 2nd world tour which was critically acclaimed. Their 2-day Seoul leg of the tour was the largest by any Korean act for the sheer amount of fans it attracted from all over the world.
The following year they began a slew of 10th anniversary activities including another concert tour and a documentary film from their Made tour.
In 2017, T.O.P. was the first member to enlist for his mandatory military service in February, then in 2018, Taeyang, Daesung, and G-Dragon enlisted as well. Seungri enlisted in March of 2019, following the Burning Sun scandal which resulted in him resigning as a member of BigBang and leaving the entertainment industry.
This year, BigBang was slated to perform as 4 members at Coachella following in the footsteps of Blackpink the year before, however due to COVID their appearance was delayed.
My BigBang Bias
Obviously with me favoring rappers, my bias is T.O.P.!
On top of his charisma and sick rapping skills, he’s so beautiful! Seriously, he has a perfect face that I never get tired of looking at! His voice is also the sexiest!
Here he is performing his hit “Doom Dada”
And performing Zutter along with G-Dragon
I obviously love the other members quite a lot for their personalities and their solo stuff but none of them have gotten to bias-wrecker level, though Daesung has come close! T.O.P. is king! He’s also been pretty good in all the stuff I’ve seen him act in, most recently Tazza: Hidden Card
Fav BigBang Performances/ Appearances
Their iconic Weekly Idol appearance during their Made promotions!
Anytime Daesung (D-Lite) performs his trot hit, “Look at me, GwiSoon”! I love how much he commits to the cheesiness!
Their epic performance at the 2015 Melon Music Awards!
GD & Taeyang’s 2014 MAMA performance!
5 Favorite BigBang Songs
“Fxxxk It” (also my fav MV of theirs!)
“Bang Bang Bang”
EXO has also been known as the “Kings of Kpop” and IMO they still are! There’s very little I don’t like by EXO! “Overdose” was the song that really got me into EXO and is still one of my favs! I love EXO’s vocals and their rapping, and their dancing, just everything really! Their songs and concepts are always awesome and they always look amazing! All their songs are bops IMO! I’m so glad Valerie and I got to see them live back in 2016!
“Love Me Right”
History/Accomplishments of EXO
See our blog post all about EXO to learn about their history/accomplishments!
My EXO Bias
By this point, you should be able to guess that my first bias in EXO was rapper, Chanyeol! Just love his voice, his rapping, and his charisma! He’s so adorable too! He’s also got a decent singing voice! Chanyeol is one member of EXO’s infamous beagle-line because he’s always causing mischief with his fellow beagles Chen and Baekhyun!
Here’s his recent solo track from his EXO-SC comeback with Sehun, “Nothin’”
And here’s their other release “Telephone”
The first bias wrecker on the list is D.O., one of EXO’s main vocalists, because he’s also adorable and his voice is amazing! I’ve always said that D.O. is criminally underused as a vocalist! I always want more D.O. vocals! I also love that he’s seemingly harmless but makes the rest of the members quake in fear with one glare, they know he won’t take any bs from them! To top it off he’s also an incredible fucking actor and I’m glad he’s finally getting the recognition he deserves for it!
This is my fav song he’s done. It legit makes me tear up everytime I listen to it! Ugh, the emotion in his voice! 😭
But “Tell me What is Love” shows off more of his range!
Second bias wrecker coming in is Chen, another amazing vocalist and also part of their beagle-line. While I love D.O.’s vocals, he just has nothing on Chen’s range! Chen’s vocals are insane! He’s usually got the high notes covered for EXO but he’s got that lower register covered as well!
He showed off his lower register singing on King of Masked Singer!
And his high register by singing the notoriously difficult, “Tears” by So Chan Whee in its original key! Ugh! When he hits those high notes!
Bias wrecker number 3 is EXO’s only remaining Chinese member, Lay, and he’s an adorable goofball! He’s constantly confused about things because he’s not fully fluent in Korean. He’s an amazing dancer and it’s a shame he hasn’t been allowed to promote much with EXO anymore because of tensions between China and Korea!
Here he is showing off his dance moves!
And some more at his “Sheep” showcase!
My next bias wrecker is EXO’s charismatic maknae, Sehun! He’s also part of EXO’s dance line and is another of their rappers. I love how all the other members of EXO spoil him and take care of him because he’s the youngest, yet watching him on stage, you would never realize it!
Here’s one of his solo performances from the Elyxion tour.
And his solo “On Me” from his EXO-SC comeback featuring his poodle Vivi!
Bias wrecker #5: Xiumin Oppa! Cuz he’s adorable. That’s it.
And I guess Baekhyun, Kai, and Suho also make EXO great, they just aren’t to the level of everyone else in EXO for me!
Fav EXO Performances/ Appearances
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any good videos of them on Weekly Idol, so here they are on Knowing Bros doing the Whisper Challenge instead!
EXO-CBX’s performance of “For You” which is one of my fav kpop songs of all time!
Chen and Baekhyun’s amazing duet on Immortal Song 2! Those harmonies!
This epic performance at the 2016 Melon Music Awards!
And their iconic performance at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics! KINGS!!!
5 Favorite EXO Songs
“Call Me Baby”
There you have! IMO the definitive top 5 kpop boy groups out there! Hope you enjoyed some of their music I shared here and learned a little bit more about each! Make sure you check out more of their stuff!