K-Pop’s second generation was filled with many iconic moments, concepts, fashion, songs, and fandom “rivalries” as it spanned nearly a decade of K-Pop’s history.
With an ever-increasing number of K-Pop groups debuting and vying for a chance at global stardom during its second generation, competition was fierce on music shows and on the K-Pop music charts.
Despite the friendly competition, four second generation artists recently gathered, and through their shared stories, they concluded there revealed one common “enemy” at the time.
KARA‘s Youngji and BTOB‘s Eunkwang recently returned with a new episode of their YouTube talk show, King Of Returned To School Singer, and invited special guests, Korean rock band The Cross.
The Cross debuted in 2003, the same year as fellow K-Pop groups such as Epik High, Big Mama, TVXQ, Dynamic Duo, and more.
The Cross is responsible for many hit songs, which are often popular karaoke choices, including “Don’t Cry.”
Despite the song’s massive success, The Cross admitted their first album, which featured the single, wasn’t initially popular.
Youngji and Eunkwang wanted to know when they started to see the success of “Don’t Cry,” and The Cross members Kim Hyuk Gun and Lee Si Ha broke down what happened during their early days.
The Cross shared that, at the time, there weren’t established music charts, so they could only gauge their popularity based on physical album sales and their ranking on MBC‘s now-canceled show Music Camp, which was 46th place during their early promotions.
Member Lee Si Ha found it strange that they were ranked so low despite frequently hearing their songs playing while out in public.
He acknowledged that even belated popularity for a song can be profitable for a group, but during the early 2000s, they relied on physical album sales instead of songs being available to consume digitally.
The problem with relying on physical album sales at the time was that they discovered many people were illegally downloading their songs on the file-sharing service Soribada, the common enemy of many of K-Pop’s early groups.
Because people were illegally downloading their songs and then burning CDs with the stolen files, it was difficult for the group to track their popularity through album sales.
Kim Hyuk Gun hilariously cursed the peer-to-peer file-sharing service while Youngji and Eunkwang knowingly laughed.
Luckily, K-Pop fans are keeping physical album sales alive, even into K-Pop’s fifth generation, as fanbases show their strong support for their favorite groups.
Check out the rest of the story in the video below!