If you were able to live through the awesomeness of the nineties you probably have some good memories of the culture from that era. On the eastern side of the world, Korea experienced a similar level of awesomeness with the K-Pop idols of yesteryear. This was a time where baggy pants and crazy hair-dos were all the rage in the business of K-Pop idols, and fans were just as (if not more) fanatical as they are today.

Many of these groups paved the way for the current generation of K-Pop idols by breaking down social conventions and establishing a new genre in Korea. With that I bring you, K-Pop idols of the past in no particular order (Fans don’t hate me!):

1. H.O.T. – Candy


H.O.T was one of the hottest (pun intended) K-Pop idols in the nineties. They were known for their catchy songs and their die-hard fans and belonged to SM Entertainment Group. That’s right, the same people who now bring you Girls Generation, EXO, and SHINEE.


2. 1TYM – Hot (Hot 뜨거)

YG is one of three largest entertainment groups today in Korea. They have brought you K-pop idol groups Big Bang, 2NE1, and more recently WINNER. What you might not have known is that many of their songs (Including Big Bang’s “Blue,” 2NE1’s “I Don’t Care,” and Taeyang’s “Wedding Dress.”) were produced by 1TYM member Teddy. The influence 1TYM had is quite visible in the current generation’s style.


3. FIN.K.L – Forever Love

Fin.K.L (along with S.E.S.) were one of the top girl groups in Korea in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Fin.K.L’s name stands for Fin Killing Liberty (odd right?). But like many things in Korea, their names were abbreviated to one word. The group was part of DSP Media, but broke up in 2005. A particularly famous solo artist who came from the group, Hyori Lee, experienced success after the breakup.


Top Video: YG Family – Hip Hop Gentlemen

If you ever wondered what G-Dragon was like when he was just a trainee, look no further! He makes a rap debut in this M/V made by YG Family circa 2002.

Remember other old school K-Pop Idol groups? Let us know in the comments below!

About The Author

D Lee

D. Lee was once a work-a-holic turned explorer. He now seeks to see the world and all that it has to offer one place at a time. D. Lee is Cali bred, but is currently living in Seoul, South Korea. He enjoys trekking mountains, tasting diverse foods, and meeting people from around the world. D. Lee envisioned a consolidated place for readers to engage and sync in with Korean culture, which led him to co-founding SeoulSync.