“Gangsta Boy” practice video for f(x) revealed
It’s been an exciting past few days for f(x) fans. These unique, adorable girls officially made their comeback stage as seen today on their M! Countdown comeback, but not only with their title song “Pinocchio (Danger).” The other track the girls have chosen to perform to greet their fans after a long wait is the endearingly peppy and sweet sounding “Gangsta Boy.”
Of course, with such a name for the track, many fans expected that “Gangsta Boy” would imitate the type of rebellious, tough connotation of the word “Gangsta.” To be blunt, the title had swag — but the sound was more of a teasing, affectionate song about the metaphorical boy rather than something that packed a punch in powerful beats. With such a sugary style, many fans felt that the swagger implied was not there, even though the song was still pleasurable to listen to and to watch since the girls performed with bright smiles and playful expressions.
However, the girls of f(x) have come to prove once again that their target goal as they stated in their debut — to become Asia’s Pop Dance Group — is not a joke. While the performances have overshadowed the dance with their sugary flow and youthful expressions, f(x)’s latest video has brought fans to realize that the song is, in fact, filled with “swag.”
Just today, a practice video of the five girls rehearsing “Gangsta Boy” has surfaced, and many fans have found their attention to now focus on the smooth dance steps and complex footwork that the track has — a fact that had been partially missed during the performances when the vocals and facial expressions captivated more of the spotlight. The girls, dressed in a casual, chic manner, danced to the song with more serious expressions. Without the distractions of mics, shifting camera angles, and flashing stages, the girls prominently stood out with their powerful dance.
Indeed, the “Gangsta” attitude came through thoroughly effectively with this practice video in the plain environment that just helped the juxtaposition of the talented, beautiful girls to a simple stage, allowing the viewers to clearly note the dance for all its complexities. Some fans of the dance have remarked that some of their favorite parts were when the girls pinched the front of their shirts or sweatpants and pulled it forward a bit, giving the image of a boy walking with arrogance, when the girls diverged into a line and increasingly stepped out into a clean diagonal line, exemplifying crispness in routine and mastery of spacing, and the last 30 seconds of the clip, when the girls’ legwork stood out prominently with fluid, assured, and clean movement.
While the attention to the clip might focus majorly on the realization of the attitude of the dance that perfectly matches the intrepid connotation of “Gangsta Boy,” a portion of the interest can be attributed to seeing the girls in the practice environment itself. There is some type of surreal moment that fans feel attracted to when they see their idols practicing — it gives them a sense of connection with their idols. The idols that they admire become all the more welcoming, more human, and accordingly more likable because the effort that the groups put into their performance is obvious to see. With the surfacing of their practice video, f(x) has successfully captured people’s hearts with their cheerfulness and earnestness that they put into perfecting their stages.
It’s always a bit curious to fans when practice videos come out. After all, are these videos intentionally made to show the ordinary lives of idols? Are these just to help spur interest? These two questions about the purpose of releasing practice videos have been the foremost theories, but another take on the purpose of videos has risen: were the practice videos originally made for the idols themselves?
It is known that idols must practice long, arduous hours to nail down the dance to present perfectly to the fans. But in order to do so, even though there are mirrors in practice rooms, each idol must be able to note the flaws in steps of not only themselves but also of each other, such as if a member tends to be late in raising an arm here or if another member just likes to take too big a movement at a point there. Practice videos allow groups to record their run-through and review not only their own performance but also their fellow members’, and most importantly the collective group’s. Fans have the experience of noting small flaws in performances at times because they can see all — and so it is believed that all these recordings of practices come straight out of the idols’ hands as they review themselves, acting as their own harshest critics.
Whatever the case may be, the practice video of f(x) for their track “Gangsta Boy” has not only created serious reconsideration of the dance’s moves’ connotation but has also created a subtle shift in paradigms on why practice videos are released, and one that is equally positive and garners more positive reviews. Practice videos display the humanity of the idols that fans sometimes “put on pedestals,” and the humble show of how idols too have to work for their apparent perfection has caused people to come to love their idols all the more.