Six members, six years, and now with the release of their sixth mini-album we can definitely say that this summer is SO BEAST. From their beginnings as the “recycled idol group” until now, Beast has become a dominating presence in the K-pop scene. With their 2 full length albums, 6 mini-albums, and numerous singles released throughout their six years as idols Beast has established many new styles of music within K-pop. From their strong sounding, super stereotypically boy band beginnings with “Bad Girl” to the softer, piano focused “Fiction”, to the moodiness of “Shadow” we’ve now come to a fantastical combination of Beast’s old electropop sound with the power and depth of their last comeback in their latest comeback “Good Luck”!


 
doojoon1
Name: Yoon Doo Joon
Stage name: Doojoon
Birthday: July 4, 1989
Position: Leader, Vocals, Sub-Rap
Fun Facts:

  • Doojoon was titled the Nation’s Boyfriend Idol
  • He wakes up first before the other members and then wakes them up (Junhyung calls him the perfect alarm clock~)
  • His favorite food is fried chicken
  • He’s afraid of heights
  • He’s very good at soccer
  • He touches Kikwang’s abs when he’s bored
  • He once gave Yoseob a doll for his birthday
  • He won’t quit, no matter how many times he fails

 
hyungseung
Name: Jang Hyun Seung
Stage name: Hyunseung
Birthday: September 3, 1989
Position: Lead dancer, lead vocal
Fun facts:

  • Hyunseung is a junk food fanatic
  • He’s a perfectionist
  • He drinks one glass of pear juice every other day to keep his throat in good shape
  • “Gee” by SNSD is one of his most favorite songs
  • He is known as the “eye prince” because his eyes give away his thoughts/feelings
  • His ideal place to go on a date is a bowling alley
  • He likes receiving attention from fans
  • He likes to wear scarves/other neck wear

 
junhyung
Name: Yong Jun Hyung
Stage name: Junhyung
Birthday: December 19, 1989
Position: Main rapper
Fun Facts:

  • He’s known as the “Joker”
  • He owns an English bulldog named Hyungnim
  • Since all the members have different colored tooth brushes he likes to arrange them in rainbow order
  • He has two tattoos, one on his chest reading “born again still your son” and one on his arm reading “seize the day, put no trust in tomorrow) in Latin
  • One of his favorite singers is Bon Jovi
  • He’s usually the second to last to wake up in the morning
  • He’s a bit of a clean freak
  • He can’t be separated from the other members of Beast for too long

yoseob
Name: Yang Yo Seob
Stage name: Yoseob
Birthday: January 5, 1990
Position: Main vocalist
Fun facts:

  • His favorite food is ramen
  • He has a dog named Yanggeungie
  • He’s taken up boxing to try to bring out a more manly side of him
  • He likes stealing Hyungseung’s food
  • He is a very romantic person
  • He can beat box well, and had beat boxed in his sleep
  • He’s called “Yangderella” because he’s often seen as a sensitive guy
  • He trained the longest amongst all of the members of Beast

 
Kikwang
Name: Lee Ki Kwang
Stage name: Kikwang
Birthday: March 30, 1990
Position: Main dancer, vocal, visual
Fun Facts:

  • Kikwang always jokes about marrying Hyungseung
  • He and Yoseob were high school classmates
  • He opened for Lady Gaga’s 2009 Korean showcase
  • He’s allergic to seafood
  • He takes very good care of his body, he won’t eat junk food or ramen and he doesn’t smoke or drink alcohol
  • His favorite drink is a protein shake
  • He was a trainee is JYP, DSP, and Cube
  • He is the last to get up in the mornings

 
Dongwoon
Name: Son Dong Woon
Stage name: Dongwoon
Birthday: June 6, 1991
Position: Vocal, maknae
Fun facts:

  • Dongwoon is very clumsy
  • His father and Wolverine are his role models
  • He cherishes friendship over love
  • His favorite food is pepper/chili crab
  • He can play the violin and piano
  • He’s scared of bugs
  • He likes to read science fiction novels
  • He’d like to be on the reality program “We Got Married” or experience a similar sort of fake marriage to an older woman

 
 

ABOUT THE GROUP

October, 2009 Beast made their adorable debut with “Bad Girl”, probably my most favorite upbeat sad song. The lyrics express the boys’ pain at losing this girl, the hole she’s left in their hearts and how much missing her and thinking about her drives them crazy but the sound of the song and the music video are almost the exact opposite! It’s hard to feel very pained while watching 6 beautifully smiling faces dance around happily in sparkling white clothes and an even brighter backdrop. To be honest though, I always managed to get lost in the video itself and forget that there was a meaning to the song. Even now, 6 years later, my heart still melts at 1:23 when Kikwang winks at the camera~

They kept their promotions strong, continuing with Mystery at the start of 2010 also off their debut mini-album Beast is the B2ST. Accompanying the follow up song was an adorable “homemade” music video featured in MTV’s B2ST Almighty featuring SNSD and Kara!

In March they returned with one of their most iconic songs “Shock”, winning their first music show award only months after their debut! “Shock” stole away from the pop style of “Bad Girl” and established a much stronger, more rock-influenced, image and sound for the group. Shock would not only be the start of many iconic sound changes that would come to characterize Beast’s progression as artists, but also became a prominent fixture in K-pop history. You’d be hard pressed not to find an older generation K-pop fan that won’t sing along to “Every day I SHOCK!”- with the hand motion included! “Shock” was paired with “Say No”, a song that couldn’t be more opposite. As opposed to “Shock’s” hard hitting, in your face vocals and electronic beat, “Say No” was much slower, much more emotional song; and unlike “Bad Girl” this song’s melody actually fit the meaning of the lyrics.

“Shock” also started the trend of incredibly iconic and poignant dance moves in Beast songs. While it had its own jerky hand motion to emphasize the word “shock”, their next title track “Breathe” took it one step further with its series of chest raising, hand over the throat, oxygen tank miming , any action you could imagine to signify breathing type moves that really added a whole new level of power to the song. “Breathe” was one of my favorites (though, admittedly, I have many favorite Beast songs) not only because of its distinctive and powerful song and fantastically clever dance, but also because of another little gem tacked onto the mini-album titled “V.I.U (Very Important You)”. This song will always be one of those pick-me-up tracks for me. It’s impossible not to listen and smile and laugh along with them! And when you see the dance for the chorus, I guarantee the whole of “V.I.U” will get stuck in your head and make you smile no matter what. Check out the power choreography for “Breathe” below, and stick around to the end for probably the greatest dance practice video Beast has ever done ;D

I have many favorites when it comes to Beast and their two part story MVs they released for “Beautiful” – their title track after “Breathe” released in November, 2010 – and “I like you the most”, from the same mini-album are definitely among them. Both songs are ridiculously fun to sing along to, and the music videos do a nice job of carrying a light plot through them without going obnoxious long or getting ridiculously convoluted (as compared to T-Ara’s 15 minute masterpieces…). The street dancer/school boy rivalry between Junhyung and Kikwang was super adorable and the MV had the most perfect hint of surprise drama without going overboard with the angst. The only downside was when this two-part storyline happened, only “Beautiful” was released to the worldwide public on YouTube. In order to see “I like you the most” and part two fans had to attend Beast’s concert! As an international fan it was a little difficult to deal with the cliffhanger ending and an unfortunate inability to see how it panned out straight away. Luckily, with the internet being the way it is both parts are now easily viewable on YouTube! Check them out for a good little light-hearted story sprinkled with cute boys and some pretty sick dancing!

“Fiction” and “On Rainy Days”, the digital single dropped before their official first album Fiction and Fact, marked another deviation from Beast’s more traditional electropop style, choosing to emphasize a softer lyrical sound. “Fiction” creates this beautiful, dream like setting with its piano-focused melody; and the scribbling sounds that play during the course of the song really immerses the listener into this storybook like world of love and loss. “Fiction” also marked another great dance point for Beast with its smooth feet sweeping move during the chorus. Both “Fiction” and “On Rainy Days” earned Beast a few more music show wins as well, even though “On Rainy Days” ended up banned for the lyrics “I think I’m drunk, I should stop drinking” much to the members and fans’ chagrin. However, Cube Entertainment sued over the ruling and later that year the ban was repealed, allowing listeners of all ages access to one of Beast’s most popular songs once again!

2012 brought the release of my most favorite Beast song, “Beautiful Night”! I am an absolute sucker for upbeat, dance-inducing, fun tracks and nothing was better than rolling down the windows of my car and singing (though let’s be honest, it was more like screaming) “I’M YOOOOOOURS~”. To this day “Beautiful Night” never fails to get me on my feet and dancing. What I love most about this track is not only how energized it makes me feel, but how truly out of the box it was for Beast to sing and perform. In fact, before “Beautiful Night” dropped a couple of the members took to their fan cafe and asked fans for their support on this new endeavor. Their worries about the reception of this song – because of how different it was from all of their previous releases – was understandable but wonderfully unfounded, and they earned a triple crown win on M!Countdown as well as taking multiple top spots on the music charts. I dare you to listen to the song and watch the video (which was filmed in New York City!) and not smile and sing a long at least a little. It’s a perfect summer jam and an all-around fun smash hit of a song! “Beautiful Night” was also accompanied by the pre-release of “Midnight”, a song much truer to Beast’s previous work that certainly didn’t hint at the energy its follow-up title track would contain.

Last summer, Beast went a much darker and artsier route with “Shadow” and their second full length album Hard to Love, How to love. Shadow and its partner digital single “Will You Be Alright?” went down a much more dramatic and mature musical route, pairing very daunting melodies sharp lyrics. Shadow, by far, was one of the most visually astounding music videos of the summer with its mirror play and monochromatic scheme. It’s gorgeous to look at, if not slightly dizzying. It’s also necessary to mention that Junhyung produced not only these two promotional singles but the entire album as well!

 
As with “Midnight” and “Beautiful Night”, and “On Rainy Days” and “Fiction”, and “Will You Be Alright?” and “Shadow”, this past June Beast released “No More” as the precursor to their latest single. “No More” had of a pop-ballad feel with a clever Instagram style music video to match that kept in line with the slower sounds of last years releases.

But the real excitement is hands down their latest comeback “Good Luck”! Fan reception of this song was amazing. “Good Luck” managed to keep the strength and power of songs like “Fiction” and “Shadow” while simultaneously going back to Beast’s more electropop-rock roots. There’s an amazing lead in with Yoseob’s soft vocals that somehow manages to break down and repurpose itself into an entirely new, much more in-your-face beat without making the beginning feel like an entirely new track. Dongwoon’s English bridge, “Hold you tight, make you mine, never leave me alone” is smooth and cool and transitions perfectly into the explosiveness that happens in the chorus– which gives me the same get-out-of-my-seat-and-dance feeling that “Beautiful Night” did. Finally, there’s a brusqueness in Junhyung’s rap that gives the song a grittier sound to match the darker, cool colored hues of the music video. There’s also a great new dance point on the line “Good luck” that involves flashing a peace sign and I can guarantee it’s going to work its way into K-pop fandom mannerisms in no time!

Update 10/20/2014:

After the explosiveness that was their “Good Luck” comeback, Beast returned on October 19th with “12시 30분 (12:30)” a more ballad sound, iconic of their older hits. This release marks their fifth anniversary, and really demonstrates how far the members of Beast have come as artists. While it doesn’t have that staple repetitive lyrical hook that is common in Beast tracks, the song sounds very “Beast” like. It showcases the range that each member has (especially Yoseob and those high notes!) and how much passion they can put into their songs. Even in this softer sounding song, Junhyung’s rap seems to fall into place perfectly as “12시 30분 (12:30)” progresses from start to finish. The inclusion of the drummer in the video adds more depth to both the visuals and the sound of the song. To me, this song and video are evocative of “Breathe” and “Fiction”. The dark tones of the video create such a solemn feel that carries through as the story plays out. There’s also a subtle power to the words that easily brings out emotion. Although there’s not as much of the dance shown in this video as there was in “Good Luck”, what is seen is truly flawless. Beast never ceases to amaze with their movements! They’ve always been dance idols, and this dance does not fail to impress as they skip and spin in sync with one another! “12시 30분 (12:30)” is a beautiful track that really brings in that perfect fall to winter feeling and even though the video is a little shocking as the story unfolds, the passion of the track is definitely not lost at any point!

WHY YOU SHOULD ADORE THEM

Everyone loves an underdog! Prior to their debut they were referred to as the “recycled idols” since every member had previous activities lined up that didn’t happen or fell through. Doojoon, being a JYP trainee at the time, was set to debut in 2AM/2PM but was removed from the group before their debut. Similarly, Hyungseung was set to be in Big Bang but was also eliminated from the final stages before their own debut. Dongwoon and Yoseob had also both previously been JYP trainees but left the company, and Junhyung was a member of a group called Xing. Kikwang had a short stint as a solo artist under the name of AJ with “Dancing Shoes”, whose MV features a few soon-to-be Beast members.

Ultimately though, through previous careers and solo artist attempts, many viewed Beast as a group of “reused” members. People honestly questioned if they’d be successful after failing once before- but boy did Beast prove them wrong! With the multitude of awards they’ve once and the prominent face they’ve become in K-pop, Beast is anything but a failure. They’re so pronounced in the K-pop scene now. Fans both old and new know of them and their style and their key song and dance points—they’ve truly carved out their (somehow every changing) niche in the K-pop industry!
Beast is also extremely clever! I love that the stylized way of writing their name is B2ST which, although it is really fun to say Batoost, still reads as “Beast” because of 2 being read as “ee” in Sino-Korean counting. Everyone loves a good play on words (or numbers in this case) right? If only it worked as well with Bilasa…
Also, with the name cleverness, it has to be pointed out they have one of the best fan club names. Their fans are Beauties. They are Beast. Beauty and the Beast. How perfect is that? IT’S FLAWLESS.
Finally, I think Beast should be adored because of their classic yet still extremely approachable nature. Six years is long amount of time, especially in the K-pop industry. Trends change, concepts are experimented with, and so many new groups debut that it can be very difficult to keep up with! Beast has managed to really carve a name for themselves and establish a series of distinctive styles that really made them stand out of the crowd. They’re a group that is respectable and enjoyable. The members are casual and relaxed (check out Beast Showtime episode two for a really solid feel of this!) and respectful of their fans making them, in my opinion, an extremely respectable group. They may be an older group and not as characterized as some other, newer idols are, but Beast is still incredibly fun, friendly, approachable and adorably ridiculous! My favorite, and a more recent video of Beast being cuties, has to be episode two from their Oven Radio series where they attempt to remember the lyrics to random parts of their own songs. Remember that “Good Luck” promotions are still happening when this was recorded!

 
Are you guys B2uties? How long have you been into Beast?
Or did you just get into them with more recent promotions? What’s your favorite song of theirs?
Let us know in the comments!
 
– Samantha, NYC writer and long time (though completely oblivious XD) B2uty~ <3

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