It’s always cool when an artist makes a callback to their previous songs or even the work of other artists in their tracks – it feels like a little secret just for dedicated fans to discover! From hints in the lyrics to iconic choreography points that get brought back again and again, there’s lots to look out for. Here are just a few K-pop songs with other references hidden inside that you might not have caught on the first listen.
1. TWICE – “Talk that Talk”
TWICE makes a number of references to their previous title tracks in their newest song “Talk that Talk,” and at times it seems like you can find a new hidden tidbit with every listen! From Sana’s line in “More & More” to Tzuyu’s reference to “YES or YES,” this song feels like an ode to TWICE’s long, storied career.
2. TXT – “Angel or Devil”
TXT made a reference to a b-side from their first mini album, “Cat & Dog,” in the b-side from their following comeback titled “Angel or Devil.” There’s even a cute choreo throwback too – much easier to see in the stage than the MV! Dedicated ARMYs may also recognize a reference to BTS‘s “Boy in Luv” near the beginning.
3. Jeon Somi – “XOXO”
Jeon Somi is a soloist under The Black Label, which is a YG Entertainment subsidiary – the same group that represents legendary girl group BLACKPINK. Fans were excited to notice a reference to BLACKPINK member Jennie’s solo track “SOLO” in Somi’s “XOXO,” which shouldn’t come as a surprise considering that Somi is a BLINK herself!
4. iKON – “BLING BLING”
The iKON members are K-pop legends in their own right, but it never hurts to acknowledge your roots. The members have cited BIGBANG as major inspirations in their work, and they paid tribute to their idols in “BLING BLING” by incorporating a line from the iconic “BANG BANG BANG” into Yunhyeong’s rap section. It’s subtle, but awesome!
5. Red Velvet – “Umpah Umpah”
Irene and Joy make callback references to several of Red Velvet’s most iconic tracks in the rap section for their song “Umpah Umpah” – including “Red Flavor,” “Dumb Dumb,” “Ice Cream Cake,” and even their debut track “Happiness ”! They go by pretty quick, but they add a fun little bonus point to a great comeback.
6. NCT Dream – “We Go Up”
One of NCT’s many throwback references you may have missed come from NCT Dream‘s “We Go Up.” In rapper Jeno’s line he references their debut track “Chewing Gum,” which is a sweet nod when you consider that “We Go Up” was their first comeback as a full group following member Jaemin’s hiatus for a back injury.
7. BLACKPINK – “Pink Venom”
BLACKPINK’s latest comeback with “Pink Venom” makes a cross-genre reference to one of pop’s biggest icons – Rihanna! Rapper Lisa’s verse includes a nod to the 2005 Rihanna song “Pon de Replay.” BLACKPINK and Rihanna make the perfect combo, and their combined star power quickly had both songs trending.
8. BTS – “IDOL”
ARMYs are basically professional detectives when it comes to song references, and BTS has definitely included a lot of them throughout their albums. However, one even seasoned fans may not have caught comes from their title track “IDOL.” In J-Hope’s rap section, he makes a cute reference to their b-side “Anpanman” in both the lyrics and the choreo!
Have you noticed any other nods to iconic tracks in K-pop? Tell us in the comments!
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