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  • Soo Yeon


Starting off 'HIHKEY's first ever year end lists.

2021 was an amazing year for KPOP. Industry leaders pushed into new boundaries, BTS won the American Music Award for Best Artist, LISA proved a non Korean can carry the industry on her back, and groups like STAYC and AESPA proved worthy torchbearers in the fourth generation. With this said, here is our definitive list of Top 21 Kpop song from 2021.

21 Stray Kids - SoriGoon

JYP's Stray Kids SoriGoon, combines traditional Korean sounds with dynamic sonics. "The rapping on this track is A1. Percussions on this track is A11." - Cole

20 Jeon Somu - Dumb Dumb

Jeon Somi's come back after her hiatus was certainly worth the wait. Although the BlackPink comparisons are inevitable, the song still bops.

19 Ateez - Turbulence

"Melody wise it's very Japanese Anime OST - esque but in the very very best way" - Juice

18 Be'O - Counting Star

Be'O had a monstrous year and has his performance of this song on 'Show Me The Money' to thank.

17 Lisa - LaLisa

Don't get us wrong, if we were looking at the significance of what songs accomplished this would be much higher in the list, however we can't deny that this song is probably the most polarizing song in of 2021. Although the album sold enough to secure a number 1 position, it's album 'LaLisa' only peaked at 68 on the GaOn Chart, and 28 on Billboard's Kpop chart.

16 Jo Yuri - Glassy

Jo Yuri made her stake in Kpop's elite as a solo artist with 'Glassy'. The album was commercially successful and fans are waiting to see if she can follow in the steps of IU.

15 IVE - Eleven

IVE's debut is the hottest issue in Kpop by far. The group's debut single has already landed the group a number one in a music program, taking all but 7 days (record). Whether Starship will be able to keep this momentum, is still to be determined.

14 Red Velvet - Queendom

The emergence of Wendy should not be underrated. The song Queendom, displays the aura of a veteran group with solid vocals and catchy house inspired instrumentals. One of our favs for sure.

13 Enhypen - Fever

Enhypen's emergence as one of top boy groups in Kpop is legitimate. This B side track is one of the most rewarding listens of 2021.

12 (G)-idle - Hwa

(G)-idle's HWA just shows how much the group has matured. Using traditional singing techniques, the song is a master blend of Korea's old and its' future.

11 Akmu - Nakka ft. IU

AKMU low key has been producing the trendiest songs for a minute. The house, miami bass, and techno inspired track is on a short list of the best songs produced in 2021.

10 StayC - Stereotype

StayC came out of nowhere but when it did, girl did they arrive! Stereotype signaled the fuse for the war in deciding 4th Generation supremacy was officially lit.

9 Mino - Tang!

The most recent release on this list, but it's impossible to deny 'Tang' bops. As far as rappers go Mino is Kpop royalty and his catchy melodies make this song a top 10 on this list easily.

8 Twice - Alcohol Free

Nobody does candy pop music like Twice. The sweeter-than-gummy bears, cocktail the group serves up in Alcohol Free is enough to get you love drunk.

7 IU - Celebrity

IU was DOMINANT in 2021, the generational talent furthered her case for the greatest Solo Artist of all time . The song writing in Celebrity is only second to the song's melodies, the song is currently #3 on GaOn year end chart as of this writing.

6 Taeyeon - Weekend

No other idol singer is as loved as she is revered as Taeyeon, so a comeback is always a treat for all Kpop fans. The 'Weekend' does the fans who've waited justice.

5 EXO - Don't Fight The Feeling

EXO departed from their usual moody dance songs for 'Don't Fight The Feeling'. An uptempo bop, the group reminded us all that EXO is still very much EXO.

4 Brave Girls - Rollin

Originally released in 2018, a viral clip of this song has made the group Brave Girls a household name in Korea. The song saw a resurgence for the group reminiscent of EXID, however with strong B tracks such as 'We Ride' and 2021 releases 'Chi Mat Baram' we think their ambitions of being 'Summer Queens' a la 'Sistar' is very much in reach.

3 IU - Lilac

'Janet Jackson meet Kpop' is Lilac. An undeniable R&B vocal track laced with all the magic of IU, this song dominated Korea literally playing everywhere. This is an IU world, we're just happy to be dancing in it.

2 BTS - Butter

What can be said about BTS' Butter that has not been said already? The pride of Korea, and Champion of Korean Entertainment, period. Butter made 2021 that much more bearable.

1 AESPA - Next Level

We wanted to give number one to BTS, SO BAD! But we just couldn't deny these four titans' 'Next Level'. The song isn't just the number one Kpop song in 2021 but might be the best Song of 2021 period. The old school Kpop second verse at the 1:45 mark is so SES then the immediate transition to a BoAish bridge shows off the group's SM pedigree and is the best thing to happen in Kpop for a very long time.

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