Mixtape XX – KBOP

Written by BlackbirdGo August 6, 2018

Disclaimer: Keep out of reach of children. For use only by adults 21 years of age and older.

This week's Mixtape was curated by Korean pop Conniseur Niko Anderson. She's been listening to KPop for almost ten years and has collected a great mixtape to smoke to for Kpop beginners and Kpop fanatics alike.

What is your name and tell us a little about yourself?

Hi, my name is Niko and I'm primarily a Barista at Hub Coffee Roasters. In my spare time I socialize heavily; hilariously and most commonly with Kpop videos playing in the background. I can also be caught playing video games and drawing as well.

How did you first get into KPOP?

Around 2009, a highschool friend introduced me to "Ring ding dong" by SHINee while I was at his apartment. He was a very soft spoken man but there was nothing more joyful than watching
him momentarily light up and do the choreographed dance to that song.

What do you like about KPOP?

I enjoy the style, the visuals, and the talents that makes a group a group. There's generally a main singer, main dancer, main rapper, etc and everyone has their pieces of a song that they make theirs. Kpop has stepped up drastically since 2009 as well, and the music video production has gone up so much it's insane. There's a lot of roots in American music that have their place in Kpop, but have become intrinsically Kpop as well. Even with the large number of people in a group, the more you watch and listen the more admiration you possess for each member.

Tell us about the first time you smoked weed.

The first time I smoked I was...maybe 19-20? It was with a friend who was already an avid cannabis smoker throughout high school. However, I think his weed was laced with something because it wasn't a very good experience. It turned me off from weed for the longest time because I thought I was honestly allergic. I tried again a few years later, and eventually we had the ballot to legalize it in Nevada. I regularly smoke now.

What do you think is the biggest misconception about weed?

A lot of misconceptions come from our deep rooted ignorance and racism in this country. How smoking cannabis makes you lazy, how it makes you more irritable, short tempered, violent, and angry wasn't really thought of until around the early 1930s. Even then, none of those assumptions were backed by any science because it was such a new conversation. Henry Anslinger was a huge proponent to the alcohol prohibition, and changed his focus to cannabis after the prohibition was lifted in the early 30s. Since it was the time of the Red Scare, it was easy for him to manipulate the narrative to his favour, using fear mongering and xenophobia to turn thousands of Americans and European Immigrants away from using cannabis. We're still dealing with the aftermath almost 90 years later and we still have a long way to go decriminalizing cannabis. Considering the amount of people of color who are still in jail/prison for possession despite their states legalizing the drug says a lot about our priorities in terms of the cannabis industry. It's unfair that there are so many people serving a sentence for something that's now legal. Why aren't they free, and why hasn't it been discussed further? Honestly I don't think those misconceptions will ever go away until we tackle our racism problem equally.

What do you think is the biggest misconception about KPOP?

America's obsession with the individual makes enjoying Kpop a bit of a struggle in the mainstream sense. [Americans] enjoy our artists solo, and a lot of times they will collaborate with other artists but it's generally around 2-4 people. Kpop bands like I.O.I, EXO, and Girls Generation can have a staggering 8-12 members. The numbers of people in a group is very daunting to Americans, but bands like Brockhampton are changing the narrative I think. Even when I talk about Kpop to strangers a good portion of the questions end up being "Why do you listen to music you can't understand?", or "How do you tell the difference between all those people?" It's not as daunting as people think, it's just whether or not they really have an interest in the end. You can enjoy music regardless of the language it's spoken in, and respect the members individually. A bop is a bop.