4th Generation Kpop

The 3rd generation of Kpop is on its last legs, and 4th gen has properly taken over.

However…4th gen is kinda weird. They barely release music, they rarely sing live, they’re younger than ever, and they seem to be more like glorified dance groups and influencers than idols or singers. Why is that? What is the reasoning behind this trend that many fans find concerning to some degree?

Why do these new groups barely release music (i.e., mini albums and full-length albums)?

Eleventh House: Community (reverse)
Saturn: Structure (reverse)
Virgo: Digest
Aquarius: Collaborate
Ceres: Nurture (reverse)
Fourth House: Home
Mars: Motion (reverse; bottom of the deck)
Jupiter: Abundance (reverse; bottom of the deck)

It’s telling that the Eleventh House came out reversed and Aquarius landed under it. Modernly, astrologers claim Aquarius “rules” the 11th which isn’t true. Regardless, the Eleventh in reverse and Aquarius under it indicates that 4th Gen is a bit aloof to the larger community it fosters—the fans. Although arguably more connected to their fans than previous generations thanks to the internet, this generation is more “untouchable.” They’re more an abstraction than genuine people. This may seem odd or a bit harsh to say but that’s the vibe I’m getting. Notice how a hand is reaching out to another that is reaching upwards. That’s sort of the nature between Kpop idols and their fans. Their fans want to touch them while these idols just want to achieve their dreams. They’re on two different wavelengths and can’t seem to come together.

With Aquarius I saw it as all the high fashion ambassadorships this generation keeps getting. “Collaborate” is on the card. This is not between the idols and fans but between their agencies and these other larger entities. By making their idols ambassadors or influencers or whatever, Kpop agencies are in collaboration with the larger world. They’re more than just music; now they’re makeup, fashion, and what have you. For them it’s a net positive. Music now can be a side thing because with an idol now in contract with Gucci, etc., they can make even more money than they thought possible just selling physical albums and photo cards or whatever they be selling.

Jupiter is next to these cards. Traditionally, this planet was the planet of big money, gifts, and luxury. Although in reverse, big money comes to these companies not from the fans or album sales but the ambassadorships, modeling gigs, and other jobs their idols can get. Again, music is now secondary. It doesn’t rack in the big bucks for them. Everything else outside of it does.

Next we have Saturn in reverse and curiously Ceres as well. When I first saw Saturn, I took that to mean that these companies do not have longer albums or more music in mind. That they’re kinda doing this off the cuff, which is interesting. From how girl groups especially have been debuting and then abandoned seemingly randomly, this makes sense. Felt on YouTube talked about this a bit, how the debut of a group is much more important than the longevity of it. She used Itzy as an example. While Itzy is a prominent one, I think Billlie and aespa may be better ones. They quickly went viral with their debuts, but after a comeback or two, they were really nowhere to be found until fairly recently.

4th Gen groups aren’t nurtured so they can truly bloom. The cycle seems to be: debut them, sometimes suddenly to cover up fuckery within the company or just bad press in general, and then after that…? Rinse and repeat. There’s no end game or even short-term game. It’s just make it up as you go. Why they do this I’m not sure.

Virgo makes it seem like this is intentional. Having a “mini album” compromised of the single and maybe one other song is on purpose. With the Fourth House, I wonder if it is to make their idols ~mysterious~. I think that’s dumb, but the 4th house is private, although not as private as the 8th or 12th, I argue. Maybe these companies only release like two songs at a time to drive up sales. To make their group’s music seem limited or special in some way. With BlackPink and their 8 songs in total as a blueprint, it must work. Stans are as crazy as ever. Ravenously buying up any and everything from their new special group domestically and abroad. Not caring that the “mini album” is overpriced or that the accompanying photobook can be found online for free. Because fans act stupid, these companies are not incentivized to do more. Why do more when not even the bare minimum causes these fans to eat up any and everything?

With Mars in reverse next to these cards, that tells me that these Kpop companies are not in any hurry to pump out music for their new groups. Again, why extend the effort when 1) fans will bust the bank to buy nothing and 2) their talent makes them way more money not releasing music but pursuing other activities? The math shows that making music for this generation is just not it. So why waste money to never make it back? That’s dumb. So, I guess there you have it.

Why do these new groups barely sing live?

Occasionally I have watched those videos showcasing how people’s favorite idols, and this includes supposed “veterans,” all lip sync and have autotune fed into their microphones. These videos clearly demonstrated when an idol was genuinely singing live or not and when the microphone was trying to desperately pitch correct their live singing. It was fascinating stuff to me lol. And then the IVE sit-down lip synching scandal happened. Usually with how intensive the choreography is for this generation, I can understand lip syncing more. But when you’re barely moving because you’re sitting down…?

The channel turned off the comments…

This fiasco reminded me of the first Queendom videos where almost everyone was lip syncing but only Lovelyz and Park Bom got dragged to hell and back for it. It’s strange. Most idols can sing but their companies seemingly forbid it. Why? It can’t always be the “threat” of fan/public backlash because their oppa/noona’s voice cracked or was stained because some idols people hold up as amazing singers all do this live anyway lol. (I’m looking at you Cosmic Girls…) So, what is the real reason behind the nonexistence of live singing?

Debilitated: Discomfort (reverse)
Scorpio: Investigate
Aries: Act
Chiron: Heal
Sixth House: Sustainability
Twelfth House: Introspection (reverse)

Interesting cards. From them I get the sense of companies wanting to preserve their voices and throats, but I feel like that’s untrue because we still have idols singing far outside their range and audibly and physically straining just to fit the group’s aesthetic. I’ve noticed that 4th gen is very robotic in how they act, or at least aespa especially is lol. (This group always gives me dead puppet vibes when they perform.) I get fans are crazy and the chronically online just as unhinged and annoying, but with Debilitated in reverse, I get the sense that the idols actually want to sing live but between their company telling them no and the world acting like they blew up a puppy because their voice cracked or their face looks slightly different for whatever reason, I kinda get it.

With Chiron, it’s like these companies allegedly want little porcelain dolls where they are just beautiful and don’t do anything wrong. But when you’re singing live, you can’t help but make “mistakes.” You can be slightly off beat or late to the backing track, your voice crack, your voice strain, or you do a little extra in a particular verse or in the background. That’s all a part of singing live but these companies don’t want that. They want perfection which is funny because none of these groups can lip sync well lol. If they wanted perfection, they should have spent just as much time teaching them how to dance as they did on lip syncing then.

With Scorpio, it suggests that there’s more to this lip syncing, barely live singing fiasco. With the Sixth House under it, perhaps idols are busier than ever, so singing live is the last thing on their minds. They’re ambassadors and influencers now. They got to be careful of how they act and what they say or the chronically online will attack them relentlessly over something normal or stupid. Etc. Idols today now have so much else to consider than just singing. Not to mention that the dances that accompany these songs make it almost impossible to sing live anyway.

The last two cards are interesting. Aries and the Twelfth House but in reverse. Despite not really releasing a ton of music, these groups seem to constantly be on the go and need to complete everything super fast for some reason. Although Chiron and the Sixth House are out, there is no real time to rest or improve. It’s go, go, go. They probably don’t even have time to think and now it’s comeback time for another single. Although promoting one or two songs should seem like less work, in the grand scheme of things, it’s probably not. It’s probably the opposite; it’s more work on top of everything else they’re doing. So, it seems like when things are all said and done, singing live is the last thing on these idols’ plates. I wasn’t completely satisfied with this answer, so I pulled more cards lol.

Leo: Shine
Aquarius: Collaborate
Opposition: Conformation
Fifth House: Passion (reverse)
Second House: Resources
First House: Arrival (reverse)

These cards reflect what I was talking about in the first question. Kpop nowadays is not about music or singing live but brand deals and looking pretty. Indeed, we start out with Leo, but the Fifth House is reversed under it. Leo is not all about creativity; that’s an over conflation with the 5th house. Leo is about standing out, leading, and governing. Kpop in the 4th gen is about being a model, an influencer. Not about being able to sing live or well. Kpop is not about making art that someone is passionate about. It’s about making money. Aquarius shows up again and the Second House is under it. It could not be any clearer that the 4th generation is about making that cheddar through fashion, makeup, etc. It’s about the brand deals not the album sales, not the reputation that comes with being a talented singer. It’s about standing out to attract these luxury brands.

Opposition suggests that while no one is truly making music or singing live it when it is made, the industry is fiercer than ever. Not every group can have someone be an ambassador for Chanel. The brand will likely pick one idol from a singular group and that’s it. If your group is not chosen, tough luck. The collaboration Aquarius speaks of is not between music companies and idols but between other, non-Kpop companies and Kpop talent.

The First House being reversed is interesting. Perhaps live singing is not about showing personality in the 4th gen. As I said, they are very robotic. If they sing live, we could see a bit of who they are beyond what the company demands that their “role” should be. We might see that the lead or main vocalist actually sucks in comparison to someone who is just the sub vocalist, visual, main dancer, or rapper, for example. If that idol supersedes whoever the company wants to be the star, that can mess up their plans. It has happened before. That despite blatant favoritism, someone else in the group becomes beloved by the public and starts getting all the brand deals, variety show appearances, etc. I think companies in this gen want to tightly control everything, so they can’t “afford” to have people go off the script. So, live singing has to be out of the question. Do the dance and lip sync, ho. That’s the energy (allegedly). There is no individualization unless they mandate it. How scary.

I can’t help but notice the world in the First House card. It makes me think of how foreign idols are treated like crap while they tend to be the most talented out the bunch and most popular, sometimes both domestically and in their home countries. But time and time again, these Kpop companies refuse to let them shine because they can’t stomach a foreigner out staging a Korean idol. It’s very dumb in my opinion because you’re just shooting yourself in the foot when it comes to the money and international recognition you want so badly. But I guess xenophobia is just that bad over there. I don’t know. In either case, I’m more satisfied with this answer now. Let’s move on lol.

Why do these music companies focus more on dance skills than vocal skills?

4th gen seem to be glorified dance groups. I think because LOONA finally rose to prominence doing boy groups dance covers, everyone and their mama started doing them. (LOONA was also highly praised for the choreography to their song “Butterfly.”)

LOONA was really leading the way for late 3rd gen/early 4th gen girl groups

You will be hard pressed to find a 4th gen group who hasn’t done a dance cover of another group. Additionally, you will be hard pressed to find a 4th gen song with an “easy” accompanying choreography. Itzy sort of popularized hard dances to singles but they were fun. Now everyone has to do a dance that’s flashier and harder than the other. Why? Where is the music? Is “Hybe Boy” that great of a song to constantly cover???? Lol.

Eighth House: Mystery
Tenth House: Authority
Chiron: Heal (sideways)
Solar Calm: Clarify
Midheaven: Pinnacle
Taurus: Cultivate

It’s funny how the Eighth House says “Mystery.” Do the cards not know or do they want me to clarify this one since that’s the subtitle of the card under it? I don’t know but I did it. For the Eighth House I got Retrograde: Review and Saturn: Structure in reverse. For Solar Calm I got Mercury: Messages. I also calcified Chiron since it keeps showing up and got Transits: Climate in reverse.

When I first saw the Eighth House, I saw that as the debt trainees incur while under these companies. They often can’t and don’t pay it off until well into their 7 year contract if at all. And I assume that’s only possible if they’re successful as a group in some capacity. With Retrograde and Saturn clarifying the Eighth, I think I’m right in this thinking. But how does that relate to dancing over singing? Well, it seems like these companies think dancing will make their groups more popular and elevated within the Kpop scene. No one is congratulating an idol on how well they can sing but how well they can dance and what they look like, their “visuals.” This is happening domestically and abroad. How an idol looks and dances is more important than singing which is ironic given how when people point out that their faves can’t sing worth shit nor lip sync well enough to hide this, they get pissy and start harassing that person. But back to these companies and not the crazy fans.

Kpop companies emphasis the dance skills of their idols because it’s like a test to see if they’re really worthy of being in the group they debuted with. We all know even before debut that these idols have to pass grueling evaluations and that never really ends even after debuting or making a breakthrough. Someone is always in the corner scrutinizing them, making sure they are on point. Since singing, especially live isn’t important, dancing is, how well an idol can dance is the new metric and if they can’t keep up they can go.

Solar Calm was a strange card to come out and Mercury clarifying it really doesn’t help lol. Maybe it is suggesting that if these idols can dance, their career will go much smoother. If they can take orders and execute them the way their company wants, there will be no trouble for them. That would make sense. Things can be calm, and these idols probably will not get yelled at or even hit as much if they can show their worth through their dancing. Cruel but the game hasn’t really changed.

Both the Tenth House and Midheaven coming out is funny but not surprising. Dancing well or hard or whatever, is what these companies want their idols to be known for, especially when it comes to boy groups. Being able to stand above the sea of other groups through their skills is important here. If no one can sing, they can at least make up for it through dancing. And since no one is really singing live anyway, dancing is the only way to make an impression. Wowing people with the choreography is a surefire way to garner fans and get that money. Again, when it comes to boy groups, this is especially true. Many are not currently paying attention to them because their music turns them off. But people keep coming back to these groups because of the dances. Being a strong dancer will help groups stay relevant.

I’m reminded of Ateez’s “Hala Hala” performance video. I was gagged the first time I saw it, I won’t lie lol. I watched all their live performances of the song just to relive the gag. Kpop companies aren’t always stupid or make dumb decisions. This shift to dancing over singing is making them money whether we like it or not. They are taking a page from EXO’s playbook but without the ability to sing part lol.

Chiron is interesting. Perhaps these companies know how grueling the new choreography is and may feel a ting of sadness for their idols. Maybe just a bit. But with Transits clarifying this card, dancing over singing is just the name of the game at the moment. There are companies out there that perhaps wish their idols can just sing, whether because they want their idols to be known for their singing, they don’t want to pay for choreographers, and/or they’re unsure of if dancing over singing will even make their groups stand out, but right now dancing sells. Singing does not.

Everyone is on TikTok doing dance challenges and collaborating with other idols to do a part of their choreography on TikTok as well. It’s not about singing but dancing, always dancing. So to ensure their groups succeeds, these companies have to get on board. They have to start training dancers, not singers. It’s a bit ironic that Taurus is symbolizing this shift in priorities because it is ruled by Venus which shows both singing and dancing although modern astrologers emphasis singing with Taurus because it rules the throat. These idols won’t be really needing that here…

Why do these groups debut such young members (i.e., 13/4 year olds)?

Idols debuting at a young age is not new. (Look at BoA, Taemin, and HyunA for examples.) A person in their mid-20s is considered to be “too old” to debut in the Kpop world, and they will be ostracized to hell and back for it. However, idols debuting while in middle school is a bit much now. I think this shift in attitude is for a lot of reasons. People who are still into Kpop at this current time are older; they’re in their 20s and 30s. Seeing a literal child up on stage singing about their “cookie” or showing their midriff is very unsettling and concerning. With most 2nd gen groups disbanded and/or retired, only occasionally making a comeback for their anniversaries if that, there is no group out currently that has members who are in their 30s. There is a noticeable lack of idols who can comfortably make grown people music without it being weird. Unfortunately, with how popular NewJeans got and continues to be, Kpop agencies will continue to push the envelope, which they have always done but I argue it will be worse. But why has this happened and seems to be becoming the norm?

Twelfth House: Introspection
Scorpio: Investigate (reverse)
Pluto: Rebirth (sideways)
Mercury: Messages
Conjunction: Allies (reverse)
Ascendant: Entrance (reverse)
Seventh House: Relationship (reverse; bottom of the deck)

Strange cards. The 12th house is modernly associated with the most recent incarnation. In the past, it represented everything that happened before birth. The Ascendant was birth, of course, or when the soul entered the body at birth. The 7th house is other people. Modernly it also shows your open enemies. It’s like these companies want people who are “untouched.” That is, they allegedly want naive people who they can groom. I know that’s a bad way to put it but that’s the vibe here. Naive people who don’t have life experiences and who are assumed to not have done anything “bad” yet like date. People can’t really bring up their past because they don’t really have one. They’re 13-15. What have they’ve done in middle school to bring up? They presumably never smoked, bullied anyone (unless you don’t check or care LMAO), etc. They’re “clean,” a new slate which the company can write on and program.

With Scorpio, they can isolate them. They are likely to not have many friends, and if they did before signing, they’ll lose them pretty quickly as practicing and debuting becomes more important, almost to the point of engulfing their lives. It’s almost like these younger idols are killed in order to be made anew to whatever the company wants. If they had older idols, they wouldn’t be as successful in shaping them to how they like. These individuals would have lived life and know when things are bad or fishy and are thus more likely to voice them and demand change. The naivety of younger idols side steps all of that. They were just born so how would they know what’s truly “normal”? How would they voice their concerns if there is cause for any? They can’t and that’s why companies like to debut much younger idols now. I pulled more cards.

Mars: Motion
Solar Flares: Activate (reverse)
Ninth House: Exploration (sideways)
Moon: Perception (reverse)
Third House: Communication (reverse)
Descendant: Invitation (reverse)

I think these cards just reiterate what I said. Younger idols are much easier to shape and mold, isolate and control. They also come with less baggage and are far easier to manipulate or scare into submission. Notice how Mars came out first but Solar Flares is in reverse. These younger idols are more docile because of their naivety. They haven’t seen the world or explored life. They cannot see how they are treated like slaves because of that. They just follow directions because no one else is really in their corner advocating for them except maybe other, older idols in the company if that. Those idols can easily be disposed of too if they’re not careful, and when that happens, nothing changes for these younger ones. It’s the perfect plan. Disgusting but that seems to be the reason why allegedly. No back talking, no “attitudes.” Just robotic compliance and no one to save them…

Why do these music companies want their groups to instantly go viral/be successful or else they’ll abandon them?

Another characteristic of 4th gen is how quickly companies seem to abandon their groups if they do not reach some level of success right out the gate after they debut.There has been some exceptions to this like with Billlie, aespa, and Itzy (to an extent) where they got that notoriety early on but fell off and thus their companies have shelved them. But, for the most part, it seems like companies are abandoning their girl groups (I don’t keep up with boy groups lol) when they’re not instantly successful upon debut. Why is that?

Progressions: Journey (reverse)
Sun: Source
First House: Arrival
Ceres: Nurture
Virgo: Digest (reverse)
Twelfth House: Introspection
Midheaven: Pinnacle
Uranus: Change
Retrograde: Review
Tenth House: Authority (bottom of the deck)

Time is money, and these companies can’t afford to nurture a group that still may not be successful in the end.

I think it’s very telling that Progressions fell out first and in reverse with the subtitle “Journey.” Progressions describe how astrologers follow the track of the planets after someone’s birth. When you are born you can be a Gemini rising. But after some time, your Ascendant has progressed into Cancer. All of your planets and points do this in relation to their natural speed, the speed they happened to be going at after your birth, and in relation to the latitude of your birth. This causes some planets and points to move faster or slower than others. For some planets to go retrograde or direct. With this card in reverse, these Kpop companies don’t got that kind of time nor do they want to wait for a “failed” group to eventually become successful. Either they are from the get-go or not.

The Sun and First House fell over Progressions while I was shuffling. The Sun, of course, modernly showcases creativity but in antiquity this planet showered your reputation and status in life. The First House represents your birth, of course. So, together, groups either have to showcase that they’re special and unique in some way and gain lots of fans upon debut or these companies will allegedly start to invest less in them and shelf them. Indeed, the Twelfth House is under these cards. The “garbage bin” of the houses to use Ms. Deborah Houlding’s words if I am remembering correctly. (If not her I think it was Curtis Manwaring…) This is the house of incarceration, asylums, and other places that are hard to get to and see.

When a group is no longer getting promoted as much or even at all, we as fans often say they have been put into the “basement” or “dungeon.” As such, the Twelfth House here is the “basement,” the place these new groups will allegedly go if they are not successful or instantly viral. Why? Because these companies simply do not want to invest in potential but already proven success.

Yes, although Ceres is not in reverse, the number of companies truly nurturing groups to become stars later down the line is slim. Smaller or mid-tier companies may still do this because they largely have no choice. But for huge companies, they can just debut a new shiny toy and keep it pushing. It may seem cruel but that is simply the name of the game right now.

With Uranus, the times have changed a long time ago and companies are just adapting to this change. It is swift moving. By the time a smaller company hops on a trend, it’s dead or overplayed. It’s oversaturated and doesn’t make their groups stand out now.

With Virgo in reverse, everyone, including bigger companies, have to be on their A game and strategic. Just because we the public may like a group doesn’t mean these companies are willing to risk their bottom line for them, especially for continued poor returns. These companies have to cut the fat and be more precise in who to really invest in. For some, when a group is unsuccessful, they have to go back to the drawing board. Sometimes this can mean restructuring a group (i.e., changing the concept, axing members, changing the sound, changing the dances, etc.). Other times it means just starting completely over with a new group that is hopefully better.

The end goal is prominence, to be the cream of the crop. These companies don’t want to be mid-tier or worse. They want to be on top. I don’t think they all want to be a part of the big 3 but again the game has simply changed. What worked in the past simply doesn’t anymore and if these companies want to survive, they got to make hard choices. They have to take that sickle to their fields and either throw out the weeds or keep the crop. It’s very much an either/or energy I’m getting here. Companies can’t have it both ways. Success or nothing at all.

Finally, to close…

What will 4th gen accomplish?

Libra: Balance (reverse)
Imum Coeli: Roots (reverse)
Neptune: Vision (reverse)
First House: Arrival
Ninth House: Exploration (reverse)
Solar Calm: Clarify (reverse)

Very interesting cards. The IC and Ninth House stand out to me the most. 4th gen will be known for how they’re not really Korean nor truly international. By that I mean, 4th gen will see a lot of groups that have mixed ethnicities and nationalities. This has been a growing norm since 3rd gen but 4th gen sort of solidifies the “global” aspect of Kpop, and not only with its growing number of foreign idols, but in how they promote.

Trying to make it in America in some way is also a 3rd gen thing that has really took off in the 4th gen. Nugu groups are now touring in the U.S., even if they do not have a domestic presence in Korea yet or at all. I would say Japan is included in this but not really? America seems like the holy land for a lot of 4th gen groups for some reason. I guess we can blame both BTS and BlackPink for that smh. But again, we have new, no name groups going on long tours not only in America but various parts of Central and South America too. That wasn’t the norm two generations back. By splitting their time between Korea and abroad, 4th gen doesn’t really have an identity, however. Neptune is out. Libra is also reversed.

4th gen doesn’t have an iconic sound or look to them. With the First House, however, you will definitely be able to recognize a 4th gen group, but you cannot really group them all together to make a generational sound or look. They’re all far too diverse and ever changing to meet various markets to do that. These are not just Kpop groups but international or global groups that just so happen to hail from Korea and/or sing in Korean.

With Libra again and Solar Calm in reverse, 4th gen will also be categorized by how they were overworked. Weird right? They’re barely releasing music, how are they overworked? But they are or will be allegedly. They will do everything else besides release music: dance covers, model, MC, etc. at a rate that was unheard of in previous generations potentially. They won’t rest because they can’t. They’re always doing something that was on their schedule even if causal onlookers are unaware.

For the groups that pump out music, they’re still doing other things all the time as well. If you think Twice is over worked, we haven’t seen anything yet unfortunately. There is no balance with this generation. It’s all-or-nothing. They have no calmness to them. It’s work, work, work. Some idols may allegedly not even know what’s going on anymore and we may see many get sick or be out of it and “slip up” more frequently than in the past. I see a lot of touring and exhaustion. Lots of dancing and even throwing up. These idols will be worked to death quite literally I fear… [Allegedly.]

I know the question was, what will they accomplish, but I got more of what we may see or what they will be known for by the time 5th gen rolls around. It’s not very healthy. But that’s just what it seems like unfortunately. On this depressing note, what do you think of 4th gen?

All readings are for entertainment purposes only.

Anyway, if you liked this article, consider leaving me a tip on my Ko-Fi. I also have a Patreon and Amazon Wishlist!

Previous Articles

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Website Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: