K-pop fans need to know that K-pop idol groups don’t represent the whole of Korean music.
And not just within K-Pop, which is only one subsect of music coming out of South Korea. Although that’s often used as an umbrella term for all Korean music, K-Pop is predominantly the domain of idols – the groups with their immaculate choreography and eye-popping videos. Many listeners fix ‘K-’ in front of a genre, such as K-indie, K-hip hop, and K-rock.
Observe the manner in which new pop music from Korea is received. Without fail, every popular music coming out of Korea is treated as “K-pop,” with no reference to genre or style or mode of production. This is why “K-pop” does not even mean “pop music of Korea,” in which “pop” refers to the genre of standard pop. Again, when people use the word “K-pop,” they make no attempt to actually identify the genre of the music they are listening to. Words like “K-rap” do not exist. (And fortunately so.) The only thing that matters is that the music is of Korea.