Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Culture > Entertainment

The Next Generation of K-pop Has Us Coming “Back For More” at the VMAs

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Mizzou chapter.

It is no secret that the K-pop genre is taking over the world. The 2023 MTV Video Music Awards showcased the next generation of K-pop artists very well. Along with being nominated for the “Best K-pop” category, groups Tomorrow X Together (also known as TXT) and Stray Kids were invited to perform on the VMA stage for the first time.

Although TXT has been nominated for awards before, both of the groups made their official VMA debut this year, performing their newest releases. Stray Kids performed their song “S-Class,” just after winning the award for Best K-pop, their first ever VMA.

Stray Kids accept their win for ‘Best K-pop’ at the MTV Video Music Awards

Stray Kids’ “S-Class” performance was nothing short of electric. The eight members – Bang Chan, Lee Know, Changbin, Hyunjin, Han, Felix, Seungmin and I.N – were donned in dystopian-like outfits, tying together well with the bright, flashing lights and futuristic visuals on stage. The choreography is addicting, and shows off their dance abilities greatly. The performance overall showed all sides of Stray Kids that new fans can look forward to.

University of Missouri junior Brianna Davis has been a K-pop fan for a few years, and was excited to watch the performances at the VMAs. “I think that it was just impressive. It’s always impressive,” she said. “I feel like with all K-pop performances, I’m never disappointed. They always dance their best, the visuals and stage presence is always a 10 out of 10.”

TXT were not forgotten, as they won the PUSH Performance of the Year award upon their entrance on the pink carpet, their first ever VMA win after being nominated in another category back in 2019 and 2020.

“These wins not only celebrate their achievements but also add to the list of K-pop groups that have earned MTV Video Music Awards,” said Hugh McIntyre for Forbes. And there’s no doubt that TXT, Stray Kids and other upcoming Korean acts will continue to push boundaries.

Tomorrow X Together pose on the pink carpet at the MTV Video Music Awards

The quintet – composed of members Yeonjun, Soobin, Beomgyu, Taehyun and Huening Kai – then collaborated with Latin sensation, Anitta, to perform their new single, “Back for More”, ahead of its release. The Michael Jackson-esque performance showed off the members’ and Anitta’s dance skills: the explosive and sharp choreo gave everyone else a run for their money. The new song, which is the second international collaboration the group has done this year, has a disco-tinged sound, which the group is no stranger to.

Maise Aguilar, a California State University, Los Angeles student, is also a K-pop fan, and has been for a few years. “I was so excited for TXT’s performance as this was the premiere of their new song with Anita. I think they did amazing,” she said. “They showcased what K-pop is and collaborated with another artist to show that. K-pop doesn’t follow a specific formula of ‘poppy.’ Personally, I think they represented K-pop well to the Western audience.”

Although K-pop has been on the come-up in western society since 2017, the fourth generation is just now getting a chance to get their name out there. Stray Kids’ and TXT’s appearances and wins at the VMAs will mark a change in the reception of unfamiliar music, while also bringing an influx of new fans! As veteran K-pop fans at Her Campus MIZ, we’re excited to see where these new groups take themselves.

Samia Fouché is a junior at the University of Missouri studying Communication and minoring in Journalism. She plans to go into the sports industry. They love to write, watch baseball, listen to and discover new music, and watch movies. Not only are they involved in HerCampus, but she's also apart of countless organizations and exec boards at Mizzou, including NAACP and National Association of Black Journalists. Hailing from St. Louis, you can always find her showing support for the St. Louis Cardinals.