9 K-Pop Idols Who Shared Their Personal Struggles And Hardships Through Their Music
These idols didn’t shy away from sharing their struggles with their fans. Here is a list of songs by idols or idol groups that share their struggles
1. VIXX – “I Don’t Wanna Be An Idol”
Sang by Leo and Ken, the song talks about how they are unable to show outwards affection to the one they love because they are an idol. They sing about how because of their endless schedules, they cannot meet and how there are many obstacles they must face if they keep dating.
Should I quit? When I think about you, I keep getting weak. Because I’m an idol, because I’m a celebrity.
They also sing about how they can’t do things that normal couples do, like hold hands when they are out together.
I want to go out and go to the movies. I want to stick close to you and walk all day. Things that everyone else does, things that are normal, those things are difficult for us.
They promise that once their famous and they become more famous, they will show their love to the world.
When my music succeeds, when everything goes well, I will give you all the love I couldn’t give you now.
— Ken and Leo
The song was released when they were still rookies and is allegedly based on one of the member’s experience, though it is not known who.
2. Stray Kids – “Hellevator”
The song talks about the feeling of loneliness and how nobody is there to support them.
I’m holding up this cruel, dreadful day alone. Though I reach out my hand, there’s nobody to take it.
They talk about how they are told to give up on their dreams by the people around them and how people would rather hit them with harsh words then to help raise them up.
They’re going up on my pain, my tears.
In Changbin‘s rap, he says,
They tell me such hills are just passing showers. If you want success, put snares that are called failures. So yes, I bite that bait that is called pain. I’m wandering around, with my exhausted wings of passion that are temporarily folded.
He talks about how despite what other people say, he will keep trying. Even if he faces the pain, he won’t give up and resume, which is why his wings are only temporarily folded.
In Hyunjin‘s rap, he says,
Nobody really cares about me. No worries for me, just stone cold “Give up on your nonsense dreams.” Their words on giving up hit my ears. My despair only gets bigger, covering the sky called hope.
And in Jisung‘s portion, he says,
“Stop trying to be a singer.” I push myself through more hearing them talk.
This further shows that people are constantly bringing them down rather than up.
They realize that they are the only people on their side so they chose to rise up despite what others say and escape the darkness.
I’m escaping my dark past, lighting up my dark road ahead.
3. BTS – “Move”
“Move” talks about their trainee lives, and how they used to live together and train despite not knowing when and if they will ever debut. They talk about the struggles of living with so many people in one room and how difficult it was to live every day.
In RM‘s part, he says,
Ayo SUGA, I remember how we came here three years ago, when you and I used to fight all the time. The wallpaper, bathroom and veranda were all blue. Back then, I thought this was a big place.
It wasn’t a big place at all, but it felt big because it was the first time he was doing something this big. But as their dreams grew bigger, the house grew even smaller.
But my ambition grew too big, that big house became too small now. When the nine trainees shared a 17-pyung house, seems like it was just yesterday, we grew up a lot.
They will never forget the struggles they had to overcome to debut and will always remember that house.
Let’s not forget those things but put them away. This place smells like us. Let’s not forget this scent wherever we are. We cried a lot and laughed a lot but it was so beautiful.
In J-Hope‘s rap part, he says,
Three years felt so short but so long. A lot of things happened, there were many memories I remember now that we’re about to leave.
As they move to a new dorm, he recalls the memories they made during his three-year training period. He gets nostalgic as they move.
As much as the place was small, we were bound together tighter. Fight right here, hitting each other sometimes, maybe that’s why but we have good feelings and bad feelings of love too.
Even if they fought, they would also support one another. Even if they had conflict, at the end of the day, they were almost like brothers and would always help one another.
In Suga‘s rap, he talks about his past and his struggles and how that shaped him.
The reason why we moved into a business was because of all the bad things people said, saying we follow money. So moving left many things with me. Whether I liked it or not, it changed a lot in my life. My life was about paying rent, I know I lived with my pride put into the down payment.
It’s well-known that Suga struggled during his childhood and training period. He was working while training despite how his parents did not approve of his career choice. He chose to pursue it in the end because of his love for music.
“Move” in the end is a song about remembering your past and moving forward to achieve greater things. Despite the challenges, they will continue to soar and become even greater artists.
4. Hyolyn – “To Do List”
Upon first listen, the song can be interpreted as a lover trying to delay a break-up since she doesn’t want to part with her significant other. However, during her London concert last February 23, 2019, Hyolyn explained the true meaning of the song.
This song is so special to me because it reflects all the emotions that I went through during my difficult time after leaving SISTAR.
In the song, she references SISTAR by calling them “my love”. She talks about how the last thing on her to do list is to “break-up” with them, which references their disbandment. She tries to keep busy but in the end, it must be done.
Among my to do list, the last thing, my love, my love, is to let you go.
5. SEVENTEEN – “Trauma”
SEVENTEEN‘s hip-hop unit released their song called “Trauma” in which each member talks about their own specific trauma and how it affects them. In particular, members Vernon, S.Coups, and Wonwoo speak of their traumas.
In Vernon‘s rap, he says,
I dropped out when I was in my 2nd year of middle school, basically have no friends. Boxed in boxed in my lonely world. Stuck in my fantasy like dreaming it to be real life. […] I don’t want to be alone.
His trauma stems from lack of relationships and how he barely has any friends outside of the group. He believes he has no one to rely on and though he wants relationships, he doesn’t know what to do and chooses to stay alone.
In S.Coups‘s rap, he says,
The stage is getting bigger but the place in my heart is so small.
S.Coups trauma is his stage fright. He has stated that before SEVENTEEN’s debut stage, his grandfather was rushed to the hospital. Despite that, he still had to perform on stage. When it was mentioned in an interview, S.Coups couldn’t help but cry. This could have easily been the cause of his trauma. He says in the song that it’s hard to be lenient with himself since when he has stage fright, he forgets the lyrics to his raps.
In Wonwoo‘s rap, he says,
Accustomed to being forgotten, that’s my immaturity. Trauma arising from my doubts, what is the reason I’m alive?
In 2016, it was revealed that Wonwoo was a bandwagon anti-fan of Girls’ Generation (SNSD). Below is an example of a post Wonwoo had made in the past to make fun of Girls’ Generation.
He had posted posts when he was young slandering the group and when it was exposed, he had stated an apology. Many people forgave him but he is still haunted by the immaturity of his past and wonders why he is still alive despite his immaturity.
However, he fears that he has become accustomed to this trauma, which means he can no longer grow. This is his trauma.
6. IU – “A Gloomy Clock (feat. Jonghyun)”
The song, originally written by SHINee‘s Jonghyun, talks about the feeling of depression.
According to Jonghyun, the song was based on things that happened to him the day he wrote it, which is why the song is similar to one of a diary entry.
This song was written in two, three hours. I was getting a little depressed due to my insomnia, so I wrote down all the things that had happened that day; which is why the lyrics are similar to that of a diary entry.
The song was gifted to IU, who also suffers from insomnia, for her album “Modern Times”.
7. BIGBANG – “Loser”
According to G-Dragon, the song talks about how even though they are K-Pop idols, they are still normal human beings. They too have the ability to be losers.
We ourselves have given up some things in our lives, because of our job. I think the lyrics were written based on our own experiences.
They also said that it could be a song expressing loneliness.
To be honest, each of the members does not have that many friends. The members are the only friends with whom we can share our lives and openly talk about personal things.
8. Hui and Kino from PENTAGON – “The Greatest Wall”
The song talks about how they have yet to have a breakthrough in the industry. They thought that when they debut that they would instantly become famous, but they realize now that it’s not the case.
Sorry to you, wanting a hit song from me – an idiot who doesn’t know how to make music.
As the one who produces most of PENTAGON’s tracks, Hui feels guilt for not being able to produce a hit song that would ensure them celebrity status. He blames his ability in making music as to why they have yet to truly succeed.
Hyung, didn’t I always say we’re doing well? It’s just a matter of time. […] Hyung, I’m only searching for happiness these days. I wondered why my dreams are fading.
Kino tries to encourage Hui that things will be alright, that it’s just a matter of time and they’ll become huge stars. But Kino’s dreams are fading too and he wonders why it’s taking so long for them to a breakthrough in the music industry. In the end, they still try to hold on to their dream and their goal to reach the greatest wall.
9. NU’EST – “Lend Me Your Shoulder”
This song is rapped by members JR and Aron, accompanied by Bumzu. JR talks about how he is conditioned to act like a man which makes him unable to be dependent on others and how it becomes difficult to open up despite wanting a shoulder to lean on.
Acting all cool like a man, it’s a trap that makes me unable to be honest. I never learned to be dependent, I only learned one thing for sure — to stand alone.
Aron’s verse is all in English. He talks about how he came from Los Angeles to Seoul to make it big. He talks about culture shock,
Culture shock hit me hard, giving up was taboo but the people, the language, the lifestyle; too much to go through.
He also talks about how he was unsure if this was the life for him.
Blurred lines, couldn’t make up my mind. Thought like, “Damn, this just aint right.”
He also mentioned how he was constantly exhausted.
Overworked, underslept, oppressed, and possesed.
However, he says that now he has debuted and he can see the people cheering his name while he stands on stage, that it is now all worth it. He thanks the fans for staying on their side.
I wanna take a bow and thank you all for coming out. For giving me a shoulder, that’s what L.O.V.E’s about.
Which of these songs can you relate to the most?