One of K-pop’s defining features is its innovative mix of rap and vocals, but that doesn’t mean that K-pop songs without rap sections aren’t just as amazing.
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Whether it’s a ballad-style piece or a modern pop vibe, these rap-less tracks reign supreme. Without further ado (and in no particular order), let’s hear it!
1. Rosé – “On The Ground”
Rosé of BLACKPINK turned the K-pop world upside-down with her solo debut earlier this year, and her unique vocal tone really got to shine through her title track “On The Ground.” It’s laid-back and cool at the same time without the need for a rap section. She’s BLACKPINK’s main vocalist for a reason!
2. ENHYPEN – “Given-Taken”
ENHYPEN, the product of survival show “I-LAND,” landed a major hit song with their debut title track “Given-Taken” – and they’ve only garnered more popularity since! Perhaps most notable is the smooth vocals, proving that even the group’s rappers don’t need a dedicated rap break to make an impact.
3. aespa – “Black Mamba”
Another landmark debut track, aespa’s “Black Mamba,” was breaking records right from the get-go. While main rapper Giselle showed off some impressive rap skills in her pre-debut teaser, this song proves that she has some amazingly steady vocals as well. No need for a rap with a melody this catchy!
4. DAY6 – “Shoot Me”
If you’re not a big fan of rap sections in general but you still want the K-pop feel, then DAY6 is the group for you. Most of their songs are sans rap, but they’re still total bops. This song from 2018 became an instant classic, and there’s nothing like rocking out to “Shoot Me” to take all your troubles away.
5. Irene & Seulgi – “Monster”
There’s no denying that this song is a total banger, and there’s something about the unpredictable melody just barely toeing the line between rap and singing that is undeniably addictive. Irene may be Red Velvet’s main rapper, but that doesn’t mean that she needs a rap to show off her skills!
6. TXT – “Our Summer”
If you’ve never heard this song, you’re seriously missing out. TXT’s refreshing vocals are like a drink of water on a hot day, and the serene melody is the kind of thing you can listen to on repeat and never get sick of. Pop, ballads, rock – they can do it all, so whether you love rap sections or hate them, TXT has something for you!
7. Sunmi – “Gashina”
There’s hardly a K-pop fan out there that hasn’t heard this song, and for a good reason. It skyrocketed to instant popularity when it was released back in 2017, no rap required. Soloist queen Sunmi is known for her catchy beats and strong vocals, so definitely keep an eye out for her music!
8. SEVENTEEN – “Don’t Wanna Cry”
SEVENTEEN fan or not, pretty much every K-pop lover has heard (and adored) this one. It’s arguably one of the group’s most successful title tracks, and it didn’t even need a rap break to get there! The quality of the vocals in this song is killer, which is just part of the reason that it’s so universally popular.
9. Apink – “Dumhdurum”
The high, light vocals are what really make this track special, so it’s kind of a no-brainer that there’s no rap to be seen. Regardless, it’s so catchy that it feels complete without one. The ladies of Apink really brought their A-game with this track, so if you’ve never heard it, then you’re missing out!
10. BTS feat. Steve Aoki – “The Truth Untold”
It may come as a surprise that Steve Aoki was the brains behind this track, considering that he’s best known as a DJ and electronic dance music producer. “The Truth Untold,” produced for BTS’s vocal line, is as gorgeous as ballads come – and they carry it beautifully.
11. TWICE – “Heart Shaker”
This one might be considered cheating, but it’s worth mentioning for how much rappers Dahyun and Chaeyoung contributed to the song without a dedicated rap break. The group as a whole brought that classic TWICE shine, but the rappers made this one special with their adorable ad-libs and side lines.