Stories Behind 2014 MAMA: Best Performances & Unknown Stories


From December 2-4, I've been to Hong Kong to watch 2014 MAMA held at Asia World Expo(AWE) in Hong Kong on December 3. As you know, the event is the biggest music festival in Asia, and a variety of Kpop stars including Big Bang's G-Dragon and Taeyang, EXO, IU, Girl's Day, Ailee, Winner, Epik High, Block B, AOA, BTS, Infinite and more attended the event.


2014 MAMA TOP 3 Performances

Many of you might watched the show through TV or online. So, which performance do you think was the best? Here are top 3 performances of 2014 MAMA.


No.1 GD & Taeyang

Big Bang's Taeyang, who won a triple crown by receiving awards for Best Vocal Performance Male, Best Male Artist, and Song of the Year at 2014 MAMA, performed his mega hit 'Eyes, Nose, Lips', and then, hit the stage again with his best friend GD.

It was the first time for the two top idol stars to perform their new song 'Good Boy', but the two absolutely overwhelmed the audience with their outstanding performance. They were energetic, and interacted with the audience closely. As I felt whenever I watched the Big Bang members' performance, GD and Taeyang proved once again that they are more than idol group members. Actually, even female Kpop stars were just lost in admiration of GD & Taeyang.


No.2 Epik High + iKON's B.I and Bobby + Winner's Song Minho

Epik High, who was awarded Best Rap Performance award at 2014 MAMA, showed a special performance by performing its hit 'Happen ending' with actress Yoo Inna. And then, the group's leader Tablo stated to perform an attractive hip hop piece 'Born Hater'. The song that was released last October, was originally sung by Epik High and various competitive Korean rappers such as Beenzino, Verbal Jint, iKON's B.I and Bobby, and Winner's Song Minho. But Beenzino and Verbal Jint didn't attend 2014 MAMA, and the rest rappers performed the song.

Well, I was sorry that I couldn't see Beenzino and Verbal Jint, but, actually, I didn't feel lack of them. Epik High's Tablo and Mithra, Song Minho, B.I, and Bobby appeared on the stage in order, and showed high quality performance. The rappers treated the crowd with energetic performance, and the crowd just went wild.


No.3 Seo Taiji

Korean legendary singer Seo Taiji, who make a comeback last October also his the stage of 2014 MAMA. The unknown story about the singer is that he was invited to 2014 MAMA and Golden Disk Awards to be held in 2015 at the same time, but he decided to appear on 2014 MAMA because of its better sound system.

Well, some of you who watched 2014 MAMA may think that Seo Taiji's performance was nothing to get excited about. And it's true that the audience didn't cheer loudly when he performed.

However, when I watched Seo Taiji's live performance at AWE, I could feel the difference of sound quality between his performance and the other artists'. Unlike the other artists who sang to their MRs, Seo Taiji performed with his live band, and the band's performance was really impressive. He sang 'Sogyeokdong' with IU and performed 'Come Back Home' with Block B's Zico and Vasco.


Unbalanced Performance: Ailee + Girl's Day

At 2014 MAMA, Ailee and Girl's Day performed Ariana Grande's 'Problem'.(Girl's Day's Hyeri arrived in Hong Kong later than the other members because of her individual schedule. She is now one of the most sought after young female kpop stars)

Of course, the 5 attractive female stars' performance caught the eyes and ears of the audience, including me. However, frankly speaking, the performance looked very unbalanced because of the difference in the two teams' abilities. As you know, Ailee is well known for her outstanding singing ability, and it looked that singing with Ailee on stage was beyond the girl group's ability. Girl's Day's Minah showed good performance, but she was not like Ailee,(Hyeri's performance was below expectations) while Ailee was even better in dancing.


Who Was The Most Popular Kpop Star at 2014 MAMA?

There were so many Kpop stars at 2014 MAMA, but the most popular star of them was EXO. Whenever the members appeared on a big screen and their names were called on stage, ear shattering shouts came out from the audience.

At 2014 MAMA, EXO's Chen showed a special collaborative performance with John Legend and Girls' Generation's Tiffany, while EXO electrified the audience by performing 'Black Pearl', 'Tell me what is love', and 'Overdose'. The group received a total of 4 awards including Best Asian Style, Best Male Group, Artist of the Year, and Album of the Year.


It seems that MAMA succeeded in keeping a balance between SM entertainment and YG entertainment. Stars of the day were EXO and Taeyang, while the two teams were awarded the biggest awards of 2014 MAMA. Of course, EXO and Taeyang have sufficient qualifications for the awards, but, what I want to say is that the ceremony is not always about ability and achievement. It is sometimes(maybe always) about power. SM and YG are the most powerful Kpop agencies, and MAMA(CJ E & M) needs to maintain good relations with them.



Why Beast and APink Didn't Appear on 2014 MAMA?

Some of you may wonder why famous Kpop stars such as Beast(B2ST), APink, and Hyuna didn't appear on 2014 MAMA. The stars showed great performance this year, but wasn't invited to 2014 MAMA.

Well, all of them are in Cube entertainment(APink is in A-Cube), and they couldn't attend 2014 MAMA because of an uneasy relationships between the agency and Mnet. The two companies have been such an strained relationships for months as you can see in the case of Beast's Son Dong Woon who has dropped out of Mnet's 'Super Idol Chart Show'.

Seen from my experience, Cube entertainment has its pride and expects a special treatment even though the agency can't stand shoulder to shoulder with the two biggest Kpop agencies, SM and YG yet. So, people working in the world of Kpop sometimes say that the agency is too arrogant and self centered.

Anyway, the fans of Cube entertainment's singers might feel something great was missing because their favorite singers didn't appear on 2014 MAMA. I expect that the conflict between Cube and Mnet will be settled soon.