The Best of 17 Carat K-Pop
Bookmark this always-updating directory to the best episodes of the 17 Carat K-Pop podcast!
17 Carat K-Pop is available wherever you get your podcasts and at the links below!
“Study Guide” Episodes: A crash course on a topic with the help of K-pop references!
Mythology explained through The Star Seekers…
… and K-pop artists’ work
Shakespeare, The Great Gatsby, mythology, and more, understood through ENHYPEN’s work
Peter Pan, Something Wicked This Way Comes, tales of Faust and Mephistopheles, and more, understood through TXT’s work
Matilda and Enchanted Night, as told through Billlie’s work
Philosophy concepts explained through TAEMIN’s work
Famous works of art in K-pop content
The Divine Comedy, explained through CIX’s work
Don Quixote, understood through SEVENTEEN’s work
“The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” by Gil Scott-Heron and other works referenced by G-DRAGON
The “BTStudy Guides” series
Ep. 1: Demian by Hermann Hesse
Ep. 2: “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” by Ursula K. Le Guin
Ep. 3: Black Swan
Ep. 4: Into the Magic Shop by James R. Doty
Ep. 5: The Owl Service by Alan Garner
Ep. 6: Louder Than Bombs
Ep. 7: Haruki Murakami books
The “RM’s Recs” series
Ep. 1: The Classics: The Catcher in the Rye, 1984, and The Stranger
Ep. 2: Utopias: Walden, Walden Two, and other writing on the possibility of a utopian society
Ep. 3: Almond: In this episode about a new favorite book of mine, I summarize Almond, break down the main characters’ many layers, share the most powerful quotes, and open up about the power of seeing a neurodivergent character represented in literature in such a refreshingly nuanced way.
Ep. 4: The Noonday Demon: After a brief introduction to The Midnight Library by Matt Haig, I spend time covering the biological, social, psychological, and other dimensions of depression as described by Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression.
Ep. 5: The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera, Please Look After Mom by Shin Kyung-sook, and The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm
R&B artist ELHAE opens up about going independent, collaborating with I.M and Crush, the art forms besides music that inspire him, and future plans!
Singer, songwriter, and producer H. Kenneth breaks down the making of “MY TREASURE” by TREASURE, “Ready to love” by SEVENTEEN, and more!
K-pop reporter Jeff Benjamin discusses behind-the-scenes stories from interviewing K-pop stars, the elements of fair and beneficial K-pop media coverage, and more!
My conversation with Stephanie Kariuki, supervising producer at VICE, about the making of the podcast Authentic: The Story of Tablo!
Songwriter and producer Tushar Apte shares the stories behind songs from BTS, BLACKPINK, Lu Han, and more K-pop and C-pop stars!
Rolling Stone India’s former K-pop columnist, senior writer, and video producer Riddhi Chakraborty talks about the massive K-pop fan base in India, elements of K-pop reminiscent of Bollywood films, and much more.
Max Cho talks about his management company, the “wedding ring analogy” he uses to explain his management philosophy, parallels between working on movies and music, and more.
Journalist Kat Moon talks about everything from K-drama recommendations to how K-pop journalism can describe fans and their idols in the best, most accurate way.
Episodes of “STAY Tuned,” featuring stories about the music industry overall
Ep. 15: The history behind the Taylor Swift concert ticket fiasco
Ep. 11: Why does it seem like so many artists nowadays are getting sued for copyright infringement? Why are more artists than ever adding writers to song credits after a song’s release? Is there a legal distinction between sampling and interpolating an artist’s work? The first half of this episode addresses these questions, with context from landmark lawsuits and experiments on the psychology of copying. The second half of this episode covers all sorts of other tech and entertainment news.
Ep. 8: The bizarre story of the man who accidentally ended up competing on a C-pop reality show, the first NFT marketplace in South Korea, and more.
Ep. 4: A guide to what NFTs are and why musicians put faith in cryptocurrency.
Naomi Klein, “NEXUS,” and New Worlds: Naomi Klein has an excellent new book out called Doppelganger: A Trip Into the Mirror World. It’s about the existential angst that comes with being constantly mistaken for an “Other Naomi,” who says and does things to which Klein is vehemently opposed. Klein’s writing explores much more than the emotional effects of getting a reputation for what someone else says and does, though. She questions how solid her own identity is if people can easily mistake her for someone with only surface-level commonalities, and she takes readers with her down a research rabbit hole into the ways a “Double” has appeared throughout book and movie plots. I explore these references through a new lens: the “SMCU”! aespa’s digital alter egos, U-KNOW’s dimension-hopping “NEXUS” short film, TAEMIN’s and KAI’s multiple selves… the SM Entertainment Cinematic Universe is filled with examples of clones! This unique episode explains why uncanny resemblances are unnerving, what one’s “shadow self” symbolizes, and how pop culture can be a tool for better understanding both one’s self and one’s anti-self.
BTS Book Recap: Beyond the Story: 10-Year Record of BTS is so jam-packed with interesting anecdotes about BTS and big-picture insights into the world of K-pop overall that it deserves a two-part recap! The first part covers Big Hit Entertainment’s humble beginnings, rap feuds, an uncharacteristic outburst from “Mr. Bang,” the context behind some make-or-break live performances, and other pivotal moments in the timeline of BTS.
BTS Book Recap (Part 2): This second part of a guide to Beyond the Story: 10-Year Record of BTS covers the backstories of specific BTS songs, touching moments when the members showed their true brotherhood, what went through their minds as they debated contract renewals, and more.
K-Pop Merch History: The past, present, and possible future of K-pop light sticks, photo cards, cup sleeves, and more! This episode is both a guide to K-pop merchandise and some thoughts on the best and most creative K-pop album packaging and light sticks ever!
“That was a Remake?!”: On countless occasions, K-pop songs have interpolated, sampled, remixed, or otherwise drawn inspiration from other songs. This episode features the stories behind the most iconic, strangest, funniest, and most surprising examples!
Best K-Pop x J-Pop: A guide to the best J-pop albums, songs, and music videos released by K-pop artists!
HYBEs and Lows: A breakdown of a LOT of massive business decisions made by HYBE and SM Entertainment and what they say about the future of the K-pop industry.
K-Dramas Past and Present: A brief history of K-dramas, a Squid Game primer, and an explanation of how and why Korean television became a massive hit globally.
Stream this episode on Spotify here!
“Guess the K-Pop Song” games!
Other episodes include…
More exclusive interviews
The best new music of each month
The histories of K-pop music videos, band and fandom names, music shows, and much more!
The histories of P-pop, T-pop, C-pop, and J-pop
Artist-specific deep dives about aespa, Agust D, ATEEZ, BTS, Dreamcatcher, Epik High, EXO, Jolin Tsai, LE SSERAFIM, LOONA, NewJeans, Stray Kids, and many others!
Check out an episode guide for my other podcast, Enthusiasts, here!