Top 15 Underrated Artists

Here is a list of our favorite underrated artists.  You know the ones, you see them on a music program if your lucky and you go “Who is that?” the ones that perform but never win.  Your scrolling through your youtube feed and you go “oohhh, this looks interesting.”  Esentially the FIGWITs of K-pop. (Yeah Lord of the Rings reference, google it if you don’t know it)

Manwon^^, James and Katie pick their favorite underrated groups!!!!!

When your reading these lists you may be thinking “I know that group”, or “What are these guru’s talking about, are they idiots!?”.  No, we are not, we have based these lists of off overall popularity.  Many of these groups are quite popular among foreign K-pop fans, but I know from experience that you can go up to just about any Korean teenager and ask them if they know the group and you will be met with a blank face.

James:

Well this was was so hard to choose just 15, considering I love a wealth of “Nugu” groups.  Some of these groups are long disbanded, but I loved them so, and was devastated when they disbanded.  I tried not to pic super new groups as they are just begining, and though I can pretty much guess which groups will be popular, which will be well known, and which ones will make everyone go “never heard of them”, I wanted to give the older groups a chance to shine.

1. MR.MR

Main Bias: Jin

Favorite Song(s):  My Everything, It’s You, Promise, My Girl

It should come as no surprise that MR.MR tops my list, considering I’m in love with Jin and they are my second favorite group overall.  As a Miso it really sucks that this group is more well known in Japan than they are in Korea, but even my Japanese friends don’t know who this amazing group is.  I can only hope that their moderate popularity in Japan can be enough to keep MR.MR going and bring them back to Korea one more time.

MR.MR's "Out" promotional picture.

2. M.Pire

Main Bias: Taehee, T.O

Favorite Song(s): We Can’t Be Friends, On My Mind, Not That Kind Of Person, 0324, Lies (T.O Solo)

So yeah, it killed me to take them of my group of favorite artists, but it’s been so long since they released anything.  Though unconfirmed, I am pretty certain that M.Pire is never coming back to me and I will just have to cry myself to sleep into the leopard print pillowcase that exists only in my dreams.  This is one of those groups that I am refusing to give up, but if they don’t come back, maybe someday Taehee and I can be together in Leopard print heaven.

M.Pire

3. C-Clown

Main Bias: Kangjun (Actually that’s a lie its Maru but I refuse to admit it because FML)

Favorite Song(s): Solo, Far Away Young Love, Shaking Heart

C-Clown had something really special with their first 3 mini-albums, but the rest of Korea just couldn’t see it.  Plus Rome just really wanted to rebel against their smooth and sexy concepts and be more of the B-boy type that he thinks he is.  Between that, little attention from Yedang, and some sort of rift, this wonderful and amazing group sadly disbanded, again breaking my heart.  None of them members have really done much in the public eye since.  Rome’s directing, Kangjun is managing models, TK is going to the same concerts as I am and our paths are just not crossing.  Ray, Siwoo and Maru i believe have been locked into the Banana Culture basement, possibly to never be seen again.  I say it again FML!  TT_TT

C-Clown's "Let's Love" promotional picture.

4. Topp Dogg

Main Bias: Hansol (Gohn [I don’t care that he left and Yano, and Jiwon are also pretty high up on that list)

Favorite Song(s): Arario, Cigarette, 귀여운 걸, 알어,

Another not so surprise group.  Seriously this group is so awesome and no one recognizes it.  I was really hoping that the rappers would help the group become more popular through SMTM, but sadly they received very little screen time and were eliminated way to early.  When they first debuted I had a few students that knew them as “the group that has a member that was almost in VIXX” or “the group that has Jin’s (BTS) best friend in it”.  I was really worried for the group when Stardom and was bought out and became HUNUS and they started cutting contracts.  At least I got one more comeback, hopefully that wasn’t the last one.

Topp Dogg's "The Beat" promotional picture.

5. 100%

Main Bias: Rokhyun (Hyukjin and Jonghwan are pretty high up)

Favorite Song(s): Flavor, Still Again, Guy Like Me, You & I

Oh TOP Media’s forgotten group.  Seriously Minwoo has been back for over 6 months and you haven’t given them back to me.  How many times must I tweet, and Instagram and comment on facebook “#WantUBack” and “#WantUBack100” for them to listen.  I like Up10tion and all, but they aren’t even close to 100%.  Listen to my desperate pleas TOP Media and give me 100%.  I promise I will give them 100% of my love when they come back.

100% members

 

6. Hotshot

Main Bias: Timoteo

Favorite Song(s): Everysong!

HOTSHOT is just everything I want in a group.  Their songs are consistently stuck in my head.  It’s been far too long since they came back to tell me that they were Hotshots.  Hopefully Timoteo will get a spot on Hit The Stage to bring the group some more fans.  If not I’m praying for a comeback soon.  Please, please.please!!!!!!!

Hotshot's "I'm a Hotshot" promotional picture.

7. 24K

Main Bias: Daeil TT_TT (I will force myself to move on to Jungeuk)

Favorite Song(s): Bye Bye Love, Secret Love, U R So Cute, Nothing (없다)

I love this group so much, it’s not even funny.  They have such talent members and are so wonderful and now Daeil has left me.  Pretty sure that I cried when I realized that he was probably never coming back, but I can’t stop loving this group.  If only people could realize that they are made of solid gold.

24K's "Still 24K" promtional picture.

8. A.Cian

Maing Bias: Lo-J

Favorite Song(s): Magic Girl, Driving, Touch

First off, I would have never discovered this group, if it weren’t for one of our viewers requesting them, so to them I say “Thank you for ruining my life” (In the best possible way…mostly).   Excuse me while I go sob into my pillow over the loss of Lo-J, I know he left to live a normal life, but I can’t give up on him.  It ruined me.  Despite my deep love of Lo-J, I can’t stop listening to them.  They have really catchy songs that you will be singing along for ever.  This group is really something special because if a group like JJCC were to lose someone like my love E.Co not sure I would still love the group the way I still love A.Cian

A.Cian's "Sweet Attack" promotional picture.

9. B.I.G

Main Bias: J-Hoon…Gunmin…Minpyo…J-Hoon…Gunmin…Minpyo?

Favorite Song(s): Hello, TAOLA, Between Music and Night

When B.I.G first debuted, I loved “Hello” instantly, however, I couldn’t take them super seriously, because the song is so ridiculous.  Now its one of my favorite songs, and I’m so happy that they released the song.  I love the group and its great that their company hasn’t given up on them like it seems they have on their sister group.  Now if only B.I.G could make it and be BIG!

BIG's "Aphrodite" promotional picture.

10. Nolza

Main Bias: Doochul

Favorite Song(s): Bubi Boom, Candy Boy

Oh Nolza, You had me at Bubi Boom.  That song is soooooooo much fun, and Candy Boy was a perfect follow up.  I didn’t love Jump as much as I have loved their earlier songs, but that doesn’t mean that Jump isn’t a fun song.  Really it is just missing the rediculous dance that just took both Bubi Boom and Candy Boy to the next level.   Nolza is the perfect feel good group.

Nolza's "Candy Boy" promotional picture.

11. Tasty

Main Bias: Soryong (But seriously they are identical twins, but still Soryong)

Favorite Song(s): Everything

This group is just so darn Tasty.  I love that they are twins making music together, unfortunately due to issues with SM/Woolim they decided to return to China to do their thing.  Hopefully someday they return to me…I mean everyone and show the wold how Tasty they are.  Seriously I suck at faces, and I spent so much time staring at these two just to tell them apart.  (I still can’t completely tell the Jo twins apart) but I can tell the tasty Twins apart.

Tasty's "Addiction" promotional picture.

12. Battle

Main Bias: I never knew enough about the group to pic a bias

Favorite Songs: Step By Step, Crash

I bet more than half the people that check out this list will have never even heard of Battle, because they disbanded like 6 years ago.  But I know Battle, they were one of the first survival K-pop groups, each member hand picked by a member of one of my favorite groups of Swishy older men SHINHWA!!!!!!!  This poor group only released three singles, the last of which was released all the way back in 2008, but They were so good!!!!!!!!!!!  Watch their videos and do not get distracted by the terrible 2008 Kpop fashions and just fall in love and then have your heart shattered because Battle is never coming back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Then come yell at me for ruining your life because without me you would never know what you were missing!

Battle (disbanded kpop group)

13. Alpha:Bat

Main Bias: Iota, Jeta

Favorite Songs: Ttanttara, Always, #A-Ya

Yay, another “I’m pretty sure this group quietly disbanded” groups.  Simtong entertainment sucks!!!!!!  They give me this fantastic group with the dumbest concept and they rip them right out of my hands.  I would have never learned the correct order of A-J if not for Alpha:Bat…Okay that is a total lie, but my smart phone would not think that Alphabat was the correct spelling of Alphabet if not for them.

Album art for Alpha:Bat's album "Answer"

14. Lunafly

Main Bias: Teo (why do my biases keep leaving me)

Favorite Songs: Everysong from Fly To Love

Okay first off, this group not only sings in Korean, and English, but they have also released music in Spanish, what other K-pop group has done that.  2nd, Sam’s sexy British accent has rubbed off on Yun and its just amazeballs.  3rd, the group released one of my favorite K-pop albums EVER!!!!!!  Now I know I have to get used to the idea of a Lunafly without Teo, but I’m really excited for what Sam and Yun release next! (Yes I know that 2 members had joined after Teo left, but this the Lunafly that I know and fell in Love with.  I unfortunately never saw anything with the two other members so as far as I’m concerned…)

Lunafly's "Special Guy" promotional picture.

15. TOXIC

Main Bias: Jungwoo & Seulong (HAHAHAHAHHA I love em both!)

Favorite Songs: Satellite, Lonely, Deja Vu

Another group that I have been anxiously waiting for a comeback for, but alas…I don’t think it will ever happen.  Despite coming super close to wining the Top Band program here, the group never found a great amount of popularity.  I still remember the first time I saw them, I was captivated by them at at the time I couldn’t even hear them.  Hopefully soon…I’ll get more from them.

Toxic's "Time" promotional picture.

Manwon^^:

Ok ~ so this was too hard to do it without a rule to narrow it down: So my rule is: they must be groups that are still together – there are so many groups who have disbanded that I also think were underrated during their time, but I want to promote groups still together now here

1. DGNA (The Boss)

The Boss' / DGNA's "Rilla Go!" promotional picture.

Main Bias: Mika

Favorite Song(s):  Why Goodbye, Lady, Because of You

I love this group, and they are clearly totally underrated within the k-pop community.  Their ballad songs are absolutely, mind blowingly gorgeous – and with how long these guys have been in the kpop industry it is a clear testament to their talent, I mean goodness they were in X-ing! I wish that they got the recognition they deserved.  I have loved them since their debut, but Lady was the song that really made me their fan completely!

2. MYNAME

MYNAME's "Just Tell Me" promotional picture.

Main Bias: Gunwoo

Favorite Song(s): Let Me Cry, In My Place, Baby I’m Sorry

So my first few groups on here are groups that have been around for a long time and have never seem to be able to truly get to the top spot within in the industry.  As it should be obvious by now, I truly love this group, and will forever support them!  I fear for the day when they need to go do their military service, and I won’t have them anymore.

3. BIGSTAR

Bigstar's "Shine a Moonlight" promotional picture.

Main Bias: Feeldog

Favorite Song(s): Eyes Closed, Run and Run, Standing Alone, I Got the Feeling

Yet another group who has been around for some time, but has not reached the level of success that matches their talents.  I love this group so much ~ they’ve released some super fun dance music and some super sad ballad type music.  Plus, have you seen these guys dance?  They are dancing machines!  I highly suggest checking out their dance practices and Feeldog’s Hit The Stage performances!

4. Cross Gene

Cross Gene's "Game" promotional picture.

Main Bias: Takuya

Favorite Song(s): OMFG – I can’t choose, I just enjoy their music…and have you seen those floor dance moves?

So beyond having some of the most entertainingly cringe worthy choreography ever, this group is amazingly talented, and not nearly recognized enough within the k-pop community.  I truly love this group – they make some of the greatest music – and they also are a group with an amazingly unique concept with one of the most diverse groups in the industry currently – which is great to see.

5. Nu’est

Nu'est's "Canvas" promotional picture.

Main Bias: Ren

Favorite Song(s): Face, Action, Hello

I truly wish Nu’est got more love here in Korea.  They are amazing, and after debuting with a song with an anti-bullying message they totally had my loyalty for forever.  Honestly between their talent and their amazing social messages – this group deserves to be number 1.

6. Map6 / A-Prince / Taken

MAP6's "Swagger Time" promotional picture.

Main Bias: Minhyuk

Favorite Song(s): Young Boy (Taken), You’re the Only One (A-Prince), YES or No (A-Prince), Storm

Ok, this one kind of breaks my rule, but Map6 is promoting ~ however, I only ever started listening to A-Prince because of Minhyuk and Sungwon who were originally in Taken – and I was excited for Map6 because of Minhyuk ~ I’m sad that Sungwon didn’t go with the other members to Map6, but I hope Map6 achieves more success than A-Prince or Taken did.

7. A.Cian

A.Cian's "Sweet Attack" promotional picture.

Main Bias: Sang Hyun (woot for original members who don’t leave! – I am sorry James!)

Favorite Song(s): Driving, Touch, Ouch

I can’t claim to have my life ruined like James did by this group – but I also happened to get lucky with who my favorite member is in this group…I really enjoy the songs by this group.  They make fun songs and are really talented – and with how long they have been in the group they have not been nearly as successful as I think they should be!

8. UNIQ

UNIQ's "Best Friend" promotional picture.

Main Bias: Yibo (oh how I hate to admit that)

Favorite Song(s): EOEO (but I love all their songs that aren’t about turtles who are mutants)

Alright, so Yibo is a total guilty pleasure of mine and I hate that I love him as much as I do…but I also really love UNIQ as a whole – this group impresses me so much – plus have you hear EOEO?  That song gets stuck in my head for days just thinking about it!  So now I will walk around singing EOEO for the rest of the week.  This group goes from dance music to hip-hop to sweet ballad type songs.  That’s a lot of talent.

9. Hotshot

Hotshot's "I'm a Hotshot" promotional picture.

Main Bias: Sung Woon

Favorite Song(s): every song – just every song

Hotshot was one of those groups that I was interested in right away – I really enjoyed their debut song, and really enjoyed their debut music video too.  And with every comeback I have just loved them more ~ a totally underrated group ~

10. B.I.G

BIG's "Aphrodite" promotional picture.

Main Bias: Heedo (damn another maknae)

Favorite Song(s): Are You Ready?, Between Night N Music

I will have to admit – they didn’t grab me with their debut song – but I really loved their songs since then, and I think they are totally underrated within the industry.

11. Lunafly

Lunafly's "Special Guy" promotional picture.

Main Bias: Yun

Favorite Song(s): Everything they touch

Lunafly is amazing.  They were the soundtrack of my summer a few years back – and it was a great summer!  They are a totally underrated group – and they have been through a lot to keep going on as a group.  Their music is amazing, and their covers are amazing.  They are just amazing! And totally underrated.

12. Madtown

Madtown's "Emotion" promotional picture.

Main Bias: Lee Geon

Favorite Song(s): YOLO, OMGT

Madtown is one of those groups with huge potential, and they are still reaching their potential.  I think we’ll see this group really go somewhere in the next few years ~

13. Topp Dogg

Topp Dogg's "The Beat" promotional picture.

Main Bias: Xero

Favorite Song(s): Follow Me, Arario, Peekaboo, Cigarette

I really love Topp Dogg – they are so talented – and they have so many various talents that they can show off at any given moment.  I adore them, and truly hope that they are able to win on some programs and kick some butt.

14. Royal Pirates

Royal Pirates' "3.3" promotional picture.

Main Bias: Moon

Favorite Song(s): everything by Royal Pirates

Are you tired about my gushing over Royal Pirates yet?  I will always gush over these talented guys – and I hope someday soon I won’t have to consider them underrated!

15. DMTN

DMTN's "Safety Zone" promotional picture.

Main Bias: Donglim, Simon

Favorite Song(s): ER, Safety Zone

Ok, I cheated – this is the one group that I am adding that is underrated that has disbanded.  I am going to be honest though, I think the members are also underrated as solo artists now too.  DMTN was an amazingly talented group, and they deserved so much more than I think they got.  Now, I really hope that the former members can meet success in their solo careers.

Katie:

Making this list wasn’t easy as there are a large number of group debuting each year and unfortunately only a few able to achive big success. There are a lot of groups which seems to have everything neccesary to be big but struggle for years and for some reason they still can’t have a breakthrough.

1. WA$$UP

Wassup's "Showtime" promotional picture.

Main Bias: Nari
Favourite Songs: Nom nom nom, Fire, Shut U Up

Those who read my favourite girl groups list knows how much I love Wassup. They are really unique and very talented but unfortunately largely missjuged, because they are capable of doing much more than just twerking in their MVs…….and I think Nada proved it in Unpretty Rapstar 3. Since they are from a small company they can’t put as much money into their MV’s and promotions but I hope that Nada’s success will give them an opportunity to fullfill their long awaited comeback promise and show everybody how good they are.

2. ZE:A

ZE:A's "First Homme" promotional picture.

Main Bias: Dongjun
Favourite Songs: Here I am, The Ghost of wind, Breath

ZE:A is quite a mystery for me…..I mean how is it possible that the members are so much more successful individually than as a group???? Kwanghee is doing good as a variety star and MC, the Shiwan-Hyungsik-Dongjun trio estabilished themselves as successfull actors and though highly unnoticed but even Kevin and Heechul got his chance to release a solo song. So I often wonder how come that they are still together and haven’t disbanded yet (But I hope they are not just waiting for the other members to finish their millitary service before announcing it)

3. Spica

spica

Main Bias: Bohyung
Favourite Songs: Russian Roulette, Painkiller, Lonely, Tonight, You Don’t Love Me, Ghost

Spica is a prime example of a group that seemingly has everything to be successful yet they never reach it. They have mindblowing vocalists like Bohyung and Boa, pretty visuals like Narae and Jiwon and decent rapper like Juhyun….and on top of that they are talented actresses…..So please someone tell me what else they need to have to be a bit more popular???? Sure they debuted at an older age than most of the idols, but they have the same warm and funny personality that should capture the heart of many fans.

4. History

History's "HIM" promotional picture.

Main Bias: Kyungil (but Jaeho often tries to beat him)
Favourite Songs: What am I to you?, Psycho, Might just die, Queen

I know that History is a relatively new group, but considering their talent and model-like visuals I think they already deserve to be higher than they are currently on. Just look at them and their insane dance routines…..they have everything to be the “next beastly idols”…..and they have a good company behind them so I have high hopes for them to be able to slowly achive the top.

5. BESTie

BESTie's "Love Emotion" promotional picture.

Main Bias: Hyeyeon (closely followed by Uji)
Favourite Songs: Thank U Very Much, Hot Baby, Excuse Me

Bestie is another group that is full of talented people with nice personality and has a lot of catchy songs yet couldn’t really reach the top…..of course they had a little setback after leaving EXID but I hope they will soon have their time to shine like EXID had.

6. Cross Gene

Cross Gene's "Game" promotional picture.

Main Bias: Seyoung
Favourite Songs: Amazing-Bad Lady, Play With Me, I Know You Noona

Cross Gene is the perfect example of a talented group which found bigger success abroad than in Korea…..and I think it’s safe to say that their fans are mostly international fans from around the world. I’m not sure why the Koreans doesn’t see how good they are, but they definetly should be more popular.

7. Tahiti

Tahiti's "You're Mine Oppa" promotional picture.

Main Bias: Ari
Favourite Songs: You’re Mine Oppa, Phone Number

Tahiti is a victim of coming from a really small company. They are talented and had a really promising begining but lately somehow they got really awful songs with horrible concepts and cheap MVs…….even their Japanese debut was quite lukewarm so I’m really worried about them😦

8. N.Sonic

N.Sonic's "Excalibur" promotional picture.

Main Bias: Sihoo
Favourite Songs: Run & Run, Crazy, Pop Beyond, BLACKOUT, Excalibur

OMG N.sonic is so underrated that sometimes even I completly forget them until I saw their teaser video on my Youtube newsfeed…..than I can’t stop jumping up and down from the joy that I can finally see them again. They also have the potential to be a more popular group but now that J.Heart is in the millitary and their ongoing dispute with their company their future is sadly very uncertain.

9. Two-X

Two-X's "Reboot" promotional picture.

Main Bias: Jiu
Favourite Songs: Ring ma bell

Two-X is like the biggest survivor of the K-pop industry. After J.Tune Camp couldn’t handle them properly and kind kicked them out, instead of giving up, the girls stick together,found a new agency where they worked really hard for coming back after like 3 years. Of course their current company is no match to J.Tune and their comeback song might be lacking a bit but I have high hopes that the girls will be able to prove themselves and get back everything they lost during their long hiatus

10. F.Cuz

F.Cuz' "Bargaining For Love" promotional picture.

Main Bias: Kan
Favourite Songs: One Love, Cha-Ga-Wa

They gave me the biggest heartattack when the news site reported their disbandment…..I mean they can’t just drop Cha-ga-wa into my life and then disband on me!!!!! Luckily the news proved to be false and they are simply just searching for a new agency……plus they did quite well in Japan so it also made me hard to believe that they are disbanding. I hope they will find a good agency and after all of them completed their millitary service they will come back to us stronger then ever.

11. Stellar

Stellar's "Cry" promotional picture.

Main Bias: Hyoeun
Favourite Songs: Marionette, Fool, Sting, Cinderella, Cry

Another hugely misunderstood group who are still judged by their marketing strategy that was a result of their long struggle and their desperate attempt to be more well-known. They bett everything on Marionette because they had nothing more to lose and no matter what the haters saying nobody can deny that they reached their goal, because at least people started talking about them….and we all know that in this industry it doesn’t really matter what they say about you as long as they are talking about you. After that they did try to go back to the begining with Fool but that song was so unnoticed that they again had no choice but going back to the sexy concept. But those who still think they don’t have talent I strongly recommend to just listen Cinderella…that song is simply beautiful.

12. Say Yes

Say Yes "Get Out" promotional picture.

Main Bias: Subin
Favourite Songs: Get out

WHERE IS MY SUBIN OPPA??? Are they even still together????
Say Yes is a very promising rock band: the members are highly talented in playing multiple instrument and even composed their songs themselves. They had the potential to be among the top idol bands like FT. Island or C.N Blue but sadly they disappeared for far too long now.

13. LABOUM

Laboum's "Fresh Adventure" promotional picture.

Main Bias: Haein
Favourite Songs: Pit-a-Pat, Sugar Sugar, Aalow Aalow, Fresh Adventure

Okay I know that Laboum is still kinda considered a rookie group and that they might be late-bloomers who have to struggle for years before they can be among the top girl groups, but I can’t help I’m worried they might end up like their senior group U-kiss which always had good songs but never could win a trophy despite how much they would deserve it😦

14. SPEED

Speed's "What U" promotional picture.

Main Bias: Sungmin
Favourite Songs: Don’t Tease Me, Look At Me Now, What U

One of the most heartbreaking moment in my fangirl life was Speed’s disbandment. They are the prime example of what happens if a company doesn’t know what to do with the gems in their hands. Their talent was wasted and the company doesn’t even bothered to offically inform that few fans who loved and supported these guys.

15. 9Muses /After School

9Muses' "Lost" promotional picture.

After School's "First Love" promotional picture.

Main Bias: Kyungri (9Muses)/ Raina (After School)
Favourite songs:
9Muses: Dolls, Wild, Glue, Drama, Hurt Locker
After School: Ah!, Bang!, Flashback

I know I’m cheating the little bit but I think these 2 groups share the reason why they are so unpopular…..and this is the frequent member change. It seems graduation concepts or rotational groups doesn’t sits as well with the Koreans as with the Japanese. These girls though highly talented they couldn’t gather enough fan around each new member that would be sufficent for maintaining the whole groups popularity. It’s true that After School doing much better in Japan, but the company is not really bothering with them anymore…..I think they are waiting for the end of the members contracts before disbanding them (They have Pledis Girls in waiting after all).
9Muses on the other hand only has Korea where they can promote. This year they lost 3 members and doesn’t seem to have more potential trainee to replace them so they are again down to 5 members. Star Empire also has a cutie group in waiting for their debut so I’m curios how much longer will the company keep them around.

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