‘King of K-pop’ gets ready to reign again

AFP-JIJI

South Korean singer Rain, known by some as the “King of K-pop,” last week released his first album in four years as part of a long-awaited comeback following mandatory military service.

Rain, whose real name is Jung Ji-hoon, released online his sixth album, “Rain Effect,” as well as music videos for its double title numbers “30Sexy” and “La Song.”

The album is his first since he finished 21 months of military service — mandatory for all able-bodied South Korean men — in July last year.

The 31-year-old composed the songs and wrote the lyrics.

A video for “30 Sexy,” posted on YouTube last week, features Rain wearing high-waisted suits and high-heeled shoes performing to a melody led by a synthesizer and backed by a simple hip-hop drumbeat.

“In the past, I used to present scenes of clothes being torn off and my torso exposed. I decided to come up with something different this time,” he says.

The video for “La Song” shows Rain with newly permed hair performing with other dancers to a Latin melody mixed with hip-hop, electronic music and rock.

“I made this song which football fans can sing along to cheer their favorite teams during the (Brazil) World Cup”, Rain says.

Rain commands a huge following not only in South Korea but across much of Asia and beyond.

He also starred in several South Korean soap operas and Hollywood action pictures including “Ninja Assassin” and “Speed Racer” by the Wachowski Brothers.

He hopes to make a screen comeback when he stars alongside Jason Patric, John Cusack and Bruce Willis in the action movie “The Prince.”

But his popularity at home was hit last year when he was accused of flouting military regulations — a highly sensitive topic in a country still technically at war with North Korea.

In January 2013 he was confined to barracks for a week after he sneaked out to meet his girlfriend.

Rain was also questioned by the military, prosecutors and police over his unusually long leave periods and alleged breaches of service regulations.