Soul in Seoul: African American Popular Music and K-pop

Soul in Seoul: African American Popular Music and K-pop is the first scholarly book to examine how contemporary Korean popular music (K-pop) references and incorporate musical and performative elements of various genres of African American popular music. Specifically, it argues that K-pop simultaneously cites instrumentation and vocals from various genres of black popular music and employs distinct Korean musical strategies, thereby enhancing the R&B music tradition. Such citational strategies are deemed authentic by global fan critics who function as part of K-pop’s music press. Defining K-pop as an umbrella rather than a genre, the book explores music by Korean pop (commonly referred to as “idols”), R&B and hip-hop solo artists and groups to reveal how K-pop functions as a global branch in a  global tradition of R&B music.

Listen to the Soul in Seoul Spofity Playlist!

Soul in Seoul YouTube Playlist

“Where U At,” Supreme Team

Supreme Team
Supreme Team

“Where U At” is a track by Simon D from the 2010 album Supremier.  An intro with sparse, echoing instrumentation, the song features a regular beat that establishes a laid-back vibe along with mellow horns and an electric guitar that provides well-placed accents. The musical atmosphere complements Simon D’s flow.


Image: Johnelle. “Supreme Team Get Ready.” seoulbeats. 4 Jan 2011. (22 May 2018).