When HyunA debuted her new single “Red” on Music Bank last week ahead of the official audio and video release, it was easy to feel a bit disappointed. While Her HyunAnesty delivered a phenomenal performance, the song itself sounded more like one of G-Dragon’s convoluted electro-hop messes than the kind of addictive pop ditties we’ve come to expect from the “Ice Cream” chanteuse. However, when experienced with its masturbatory music video, “Red” becomes a whole different beast entirely.
“Red” works when you think of it as a statement record rather than a K-pop hit. Like a rapper bragging about his bling (or whatever the fuck rapper’s rap about now), HyunA spends “Red” rattling off a list of her physical attributes and threatening to make guys blow their load with her unrivalled sex appeal.
In the same way that Nicki Minaj used her verse on “Monster” to prove that she could hold her own alongside Solange’s punching bag and Kim Kardashian’s husband, HyunA uses “Red” to cement her status as Korea’s leading sexy icon now that reigning queen Lee Hyori is semi-retired.
Sure, it’s not the greatest HyunA or 4minute single ever released, but it serves an important purpose and will become a key part of HyunA’s growing discography later down the line
The music video throws HyunA’s sexuality in the face of the viewer in the most unsubtle ways possible. The 22-year-old spends most of her time either twerking or humping a number of phallic objects, including a gigantic banana and tube of lipstick. She also spanks a monkey (get it?!), shows off her new breast implants (which look fan-fucking-tastic), tastes the forbidden fruit, writhes around between a pair of giant red lips (lips = pussy), and prances around in a crown as the new Queen of Pornopop.
Again, just as “Red” sounds like a YG song, it also looks like a YG video (if YG actually had any sexy artists, which they don’t), but it works for what Cube’s trying to do, which is to continue exposing HyunA to a global audience. It’s basically just a giant commercial for HyunA, which shouldn’t be a problem if you like the product that’s being sold (and I’m sure that 99.9% of us do).
It’s also perfect timing for HyunA, who has now finally grown into her sex goddess status after cosplaying as one for the first half of her career. Her live performances this era have shown a stage presence and charisma that she never had before, and her choreography is some of the best we’ve seen from a female soloist in a long time. She’s now performing like Beyonce (sans vocals, obviously), which is about as much as you ask for from a K-pop princess like HyunA.
So, while “Red” is never going to get as many spins from me as “Bubble Pop!” or “Trouble Maker,” it’s still a pretty solid hip-pop song that ascends to greatness when experienced visually. If Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is Japan’s representative female pop star for the global market, then HyunA is undoubtedly Korea’s — and if that wasn’t clear before, then it definitely is now.