Park Jinyoung (JYP) is many things to many people. You may know him as Korea’s answer to Prince, forging a sexually-charged performance style in the 90’s. Or, you may know him as the head of his self-titled music agency, and as a veteran judge on audition show K-Pop Star. And if none of that rings a bell, you may simply know him by those infamous see-through pants he shamelessly sported way back when. Regardless, he’s a supremely talented and charismatic artist who shaped much of what kpop continues to be. He has a vast catalogue to choose from, so what are his best title tracks?
10. She Was Pretty (1997)
Reinventing Bee-Gees disco sheen for the 90’s, JYP offered the perfect showcase for his precise, feel-it-with-every-inch-of-your-body choreography.
9. Fire (ft. Conan O’Brien, Steven Yeun & Park Jimin) (2016)
Such a ridiculous list of collaborators shouldn’t result in a song so irresistibly (and effortlessly) fun, but Fire easily burns the house down. (full review here)
8. No Love No More (2009)
Taking on a darker, more robotic form of electro-r&b, No Love No More displayed another step towards the maturation in JYP’s core sound, echoing the work of younger idol groups in his care.
7. Your House (2007)
Most notable for its slinky refrain and entertainingly literal point dance, Your House is also one of JYP’s most lyrically evocative and subtly entrancing title tracks.
6. Still Alive (2016)
A satirical look back to his remarkable career, all thrown over an airy, funk-driven beat. (full review here)
5. Who’s Your Mama? (ft. Jessi) (2015)
JYP’s first major bid for viral kpop domination, and it worked surprisingly well. One part cheesy ridiculousness, two parts stick-to-your-brain hooks, and you’ve got yourself a gargantuan hit.
4. Don’t Leave Me (1994)
Bursting out of the gate with its now iconic synth line, Don’t Leave Me is one of the best kpop tracks of the 90’s. No gimmicks here — just a big pop song firing on all cylinders. Yes, it sounds dated now, but even that adds to its musically innocent charm.
3. Itaewon Freedom (with UV) (2011)
It’s hard to call this a purely JYP track, since it’s more of a partnership with comic hip-hop duo UV. It ushered in JYP’s first hint of post-millennial self-mockery, but did so over a synthesized 80’s beat that stands as one of the most memorable (and enjoyable) of his career.
2. Honey (1998)
Likely his most iconic track, Honey propels forward on the explosive funk of its brass riff. His music has been sleeker and sexier, but he’s never commanded a song as strongly as he does here. Nearly twenty years after its release, it remains the best showcase for his considerable talents as a musician.
1. You’re The One (2012)
Almost two decades after his debut as a solo artist, JYP distilled the best aspects of his vast discography into the smooth r&b of You’re The One. It’s not his most instant, in-your-face title track, but the sheer perfection of its melody endures. The song’s been covered in many genres, but always retains its effortless sense of warm, soul-driven pop sophistication.