BTS’ Blood Sweat and Tears, NCT U’s The 7th Sense and more: 6 ultimate K-Pop songs of 2016

2016 has been an iconic year so let’s take a look at some of the best songs of that year. Read ahead to know more.

Published on Nov 28, 2022   |  03:11 PM IST  |  203.5K
BTS, NCT U Concept Photo; Picture Courtesy: BIGHIT MUSIC, SM Entertainment
BTS, NCT U Concept Photo

Let’s take a look at some of the best songs of 2016:- 

BTS- Blood, Sweat and Tears 

It was described as a hybrid of moombahton, trap, and tropical house. The song takes influence from dancehall and reggaeton. It is composed in the key of C minor, with a moderate tempo of 93 beats per minute, and runs for 3:37. Instrumentally, the song relies on keyboards, synthesizer, and Caribbean drums. The song employs a "layered" production that consists of "spacey chill-house beats," "airy synths," "echoing sirens" and "rhythmic claps. Speaking about the concept and the meaning of the song at a press conference, RM stated: "The harder a temptation is to resist, the more you think about it and vacillate. That uncertainty is part of the process of growing. 'Blood Sweat & Tears' is a song that shows how one thinks, chooses, and grows." Suga added that "the song conveys an optimistic determination to use our wings to go far, even if we encounter temptations in life.” Lyrically, the song talks about the pain of addictive love. The lyrics address the themes of "temptation" and "carnal willingness" to sacrifice everything. 

NCT U- The 7th Sense 

The song was described as a future bass genre based on hip-hop grooves, with heavy bass sounds and dreamy vocals and rap. In an interview, the composer said he was curious about the new idol group's debut with the song and that a foreign reaction would be good. On the last day of the SM songwriting camp, a composer put out a beat, which came out very well, and eight or nine composers made it. Taeyong and Mark participated in rap making. The lyrics introduce the NCT score keyword, "Seventh Sense," which means a sense of feeling and understanding each other's dreams through music. It contains NCT's desire and aspiration to communicate powerfully with the public in the future.


Whistle is a song recorded by South Korean girl group BLACKPINK. It was released through YG Entertainment on August 8, 2016, simultaneously with Boombayah; both tracks are on the group's debut single album titled Square One (2016). Beginning with the gentle whisper, "Hey boy," the song transitions into a hip-hop beat which integrates instrumentations of snaps accompanied with the predominant whistling melody. Just prior to the chorus, the melody shifts into an increase of percussion and guitar, as well as clapping instrumentations. The chorus then employs the same hook from the beginning of the track with the exchange between the primary whistle sounds and snaps. Following the secondary chorus, the track transitions into the bridge where it is followed by a remix of the chorus. Lyrically, the song revolves around the themes of affection and romance. The instrumentation of whistling alludes to the sounds of the racing heart as well as the member's wanting their love interests to call out to her.


Rough is a song recorded for their third extended play, Snowflake (2016). The song was released by Source Music on January 25, 2016, as the EP title track. The song was ranked at number 3 on the year-end Gaon Digital Chart for 2016 and was the best selling song of the year in South Korea with 1,903,126 downloads sold. GFRIEND became the first and only artist to achieve a double-consecutive grand slam with one single song on music programs, with their all-time hit song Rough. The song made Billboard's 20 Best K-Pop Songs of 2016 list at number 13, stating that the group solidified their place as one of the top new girl groups, adding that they perfected their formula of synthesizer-driven pop with dramatic violin lines with a more impassioned vocal delivery than we heard from the six beauties. 

Red Velvet- Russian Roulette 

Written by Jo Yoon Kyung and produced by Albi Albertsson, Belle Humble and Markus Lindell, it is primarily an 8-bit influenced synth-pop and dance-pop song which lyrically compares the process of winning someone's heart to a game of Russian roulette. The song was released as the lead single on September 7, 2016, by SM Entertainment along with an accompanying cartoon-themed music video which saw the group mimicking cartoon tricks to pull a prank and harm each other as the video progressed. It is a perky, retro-sounding electro-pop tune and is considered as the group's first single that is a mixture between their "Red" and "Velvet" style. 


The group's first single in over a year, Fxxk It was released alongside Last Dance on December 13, 2016, in conjunction with the group's third Korean-language studio album Made through YG Entertainment. Musically, Fxxk It is an electronic hip-hop track that blends instrumentations of horns, synths, and tropical beats. The song's lyrical content revolves around the notion of letting go of one's worries. The members have said that the song came out when we didn't know what to do and were just sighing, and wanted to express the feeling of immaturity in it. The song's production was noted for being futuristic, including an amalgamation of tropical beats, horns and synths. 

ALSO READ: Kim Hyun Jin, Choi Hyun Wook, Lee Jong Won and more: 6 favorite second male K-Drama leads of 2022

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Which is your favorite song? Let us know in the comments below. 

About The Author

A BMM graduate, Anoushka has been writing professionally for over 2 years. K-Pop and K-Dramas consume her day and she...

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Credits: BIGHIT MUSIC, SM Entertainment

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