When it comes to Korea's biggest export, K-pop has come a long way since PSY air galloped down the streets of Gangnam on his invisible horse, and properly dominated the realm of global pop entertainment. Today, the worlds of east and west collide to create a marriage of pure, unfiltered, audio magic — with K-pop acts collaborating with western artistes to produce audible gold like no other. Together, they amass a collective fan base around the world that soar above the millions, and rule the airwaves with an iron fist. Here are eight of the most iconic K-pop crossovers in no particular order!
1. BLACKPINK and Dua Lipa – "Kiss and Make Up"
Seriously. Our anthem of 2018 — and the year hasn't even ended yet! There's no denying Dua Lipa's ability to create feminist theme songs after feminist theme songs! And coupled with BLACKPINK's irrefutable reputation for seriously catchy hits, Kiss and Make Up is the earwax that we don't ever want to replace. Actually, this song sounds just like the solving of a critical romantic crisis, but if Situation Room were a pool party, and the advisors are our best girlfriends! Bellinis and mimosas on tap babes! It's not over yet!
2. BTS and Nicki Minaj – "IDOL"
The beautifully talented boys at BTS have done it again. Legend has it that after creating the song IDOL, they thought that it screamed Nicki Minaj — what with its trappy and trippy quick beats; so synonymous with the female rapper's M.O.. So they sent their single to Nicki and like an anaconda to buns, she fell in madly in love with it, added her sick verse, and sent it back to the boys. Thus creating this chart-topping song. Seriously, BTS can do no wrong amirite?
3. EXO's Chanyeol, Far East Movement x Marshmellow and Tinashe – "Real Luv"
We really luv this. Bible. Do you remember Like a G6? Well, Real Luv is so much better — at once East London club track (courtesy of Tinashe), and the haunting vocal stylings of EXO's Park Chanyeol, this song makes for the perfect dance tune. And this video is especially sick because of its subtle homage to kung fu films, and clever use of colour. Think sexy dystopian Asian future.
4. PSY and Snoop Dogg – "Hangover"
The seemingly incongruous combination of two OGs — PSY and Snoop Doggy Dogg — birthed what some might consider a killer trap tune, and others a great party chant. And if the name of the song Hangover (sung in repeat during the chorus) isn't a good enough indication of what sounds like a perfect night out with your girls, then surely Snoop and PSY's antics in the music video is telling enough. From throwing-up (understandably), to air trumpets, to shots with judge-y strangers that you manage to win over — all hallmarks of a solid Friday night, OK!
5. SHINee's Key and Years & Years – "If You're Over Me"
If this isn't the musical equivalent of "Bye Felicia", we really don't know what is. If You're Over Me is the catchy break up anthem that speaks right to our soul. Sung by Olly Alexander of Years & Years and SHINee's Key, this special remix speaks of that annoying ex that we all knew once — you know the one that is constantly hot then cold, and speaks ill of you, and assassinates your character to all your mutual friends, but wants to get back with you all of a sudden? Yes, him. Bye, Felicia.
6. BTS and Steve Aoki – "Mic Drop"
Here's another club smashing theme song by the wonder boys at BTS. Not their first collaboration with the iconic Asian American DJ – with two other killer songs like Desiigner and a super chill The Truth Untold – Mic Drop is a song you'll want to put on repeat for an impromptu dance session in your room. You'll probably want to put on headphones though, because this song is heard best with the volume cranked up to high.
7. CL and the Black Eyed Peas – "DOPENESS"
OMG, DOPENESS is all it promises in its name guys — from its shoulder gyrating staccatos to CL's rap! OMG. We are not worthy. This is seriously the anthem for hard work OK — finally celebrating the life that that you've strived towards; all the bragging rights you've persevered for, and eventually tasting the fruits of your labour. It's all worth it in the end! And to think, if not for that chance meeting at the 2011 Mnet Asian Music Awards held in Singapore, where CL sang Where is the Love? with Will.i.am and apl.de.ap, we wouldn't have this musical masterpiece today!
8. G-Dragon, Bauer, and M.I.A. – "Temple"
This is for hard core fans of Asian musical instruments. For we can all rejoice with 2016's cult favourite Temple — as what sounds like subtle nuances of the Japanese shamisen gets stringed together with the signature catchy syncopated rhythms and beats of M.I.A., and G-Dragon's killer rap verse. The song manages to find equilibrium between Zen-like harmony and an underground rave in Berlin — that, or it is the perfect soundtrack to an outlandish and elaborate Tarantino-style fight sequence in a Zen temple. You're bound to be hooked!