There are a lot of cowboys and cowgirls in K-pop these days, and it’s clear that the Wild West is a major music video theme this year. From dance parties in desert towns to high-fashion cowboy looks, K-pop-meets-Wild-West is the winning combo we never knew we needed — but are so glad we got. It’s also not a totally new concept, and some older K-pop hits have also brought us Old Western fun throughout the years. For your inner cowboy/cowgirl, here are some of our favorite old and new K-pop MVs that will transport you to the Wild West!
1. “MAMACITA” — Super Junior
We have to start off with the most Wild West concept of them all! The music video for Super Junior’s 2014 hit is a delightful mini spaghetti Western movie, with each member donning a role in a small saloon town. Can sheriff Choi Siwon keep the town safe from Leeteuk the thief? Can Kangin protect his beloved fruits? It’s a comedy Western set to a sexy Latin-influenced song!
2. “Not Shy” — ITZY
ITZY is the queen of the Wild West in “Not Shy,” and the members are also the most glam desert bandits we’ve seen. These cowgirl-inspired outfits have a serious high-fashion twist (just look at those boots!) as unique as the end of this MV storyline: the ladies discover a cool, sweet treat in this hot desert town.
3. “Sukhumvit Swimming” — ONF
ONF expertly combines multiple realities and dimensions into one MV with “Sukhumvit Swimming”: there’s an old Western, outer space, virtual reality, and a dystopian theme all in one, and it takes multiple watches to fully appreciate the intricacies of this video! But the main action takes place in a Wild West-style train, with leaders Hyojin and J-Us locked in a good old-fashioned shootout. The group even embraced this theme by doing one of their live performances in full cowboy attire.
4. “Favorite” — Kanto feat. Bumkey
Rapper Kanto and R&B singer Bumkey are a perfect pair in this 2020 release! When Kanto comes riding into a sleepy Western town to take a gig performing in the local bar (owned by Bumkey), he has no idea that he’ll fall in love at first sight. Can this cowboy win his lady’s heart? Find out!
5. “24/7” — 2Yoon
4Minute subunit 2Yoon (members Jiyoon and Gayoon) introduced a small-town country vibe into K-pop back in 2013 with “24/7.” With barnyard dances, saloon performances, and a classic country “boom, clap” chorus, the ladies bring some life to this little town — bonus points if you can spot the BTOB members in the MV!
6. “Kill Bill” — Brown Eyed Girls
Brown Eyed Girls puts their signature sexy spin on the Wild West concept, as only they could! Inspired by the Quentin Tarantino film by the same name, the group’s track “Kill Bill” features a catchy whistled tune that feels like it’s out of an old Western movie. The leather, fringe, and buckles in this concept accent the sexy flair that Brown Eyed Girls is known for. The dance MV is below, but if you’re up for it, the full-length version incorporates additional plot lines from the “Kill Bill” movie, and showcases the ladies’ acting skills.
7. “DUMDi DUMDi” — (G)I-DLE
What happens when the six members of (G)I-DLE convene in a slow Western town in the middle of the desert? A dance party, of course! The ladies breathe life into this sleepy cowtown in “DUMDi DUMDi,” trading their cowgirl hats and retro dresses for some modern chic and moonlit bonfire fun. What better way to spend time in the middle of nowhere?
8. “Nonstop” — Oh My Girl
Oh My Girl ruled this summer with “Nonstop,” and a Western concept was one of the set pieces they incorporated into this board game-themed music video. Their cowgirl attire is as cute as we could imagine, and a tropical house song with a Wild West theme was the pairing we didn’t know we needed!
9. “Baby Good Night” — B1A4
This cute B1A4 throwback has the members donning their best cowboy attire and livening up a Western town. The guys bid their girlfriends goodnight before hitting the saloon for a dance party, and doing more than their fair share of flirting with other ladies. But you might be surprised by the MV’s end — it turns out everyone’s a flirt in this little town!
10. “Black” — Lee Hyori
“Black” not only has an irresistibly edgy Western vibe, but also a meaningfully symbolic music video, in which Lee Hyori uses the backdrop of the Wild West as a metaphor for returning to her roots. Taking off the glitter and makeup of celebrity life, Hyori goes looking for her true self, a journey represented by searching for water in the desert. Where she finds it, however, may come as a surprise!
BONUS: f(x), AOA, and MAMAMOO
Can’t get enough of the Wild West theme? f(x)’s b-side “Cowboy” features a unique modern twist on a Western sound, and AOA’s “Come See Me” and performance of “Sorry” both featured Western-inspired fashion. So does MAMAMOO’s “Destiny”!
Hey Soompiers, which of these music videos is your favorite? How do you feel about the wild west theme in K-pop? Let us know in the comments!
hgordon stays up way too late on weeknights marathoning K-dramas and trying to keep up with the latest K-pop releases. She also loved the cowboy hats on MONSTA X’s Joohoney in “FANTASIA” and Taemin in SuperM’s “100.”
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