[★K:OP-ED] INFINITE H vs. INFINITE F: Same Group, Different Color

Today, individual activities are becoming essential features of an idol group. It is sought as basic standards to have a sense of humor for entertainment shows and to release solo albums as well. Among various individual activities, fans welcome sub-units the most.

MBN Star suggests that this is due to the flexibility of a sub-unit, where individual members can try out new concepts and styles, while maintaining their stability as part of the whole group.

In particular, INFINITE has successfully achieved executing differing colors through their sub-units. Despite being in the same group, INFINITE H and INFINITE F are having a friendly competition with each other. Take a look at the comparison made in the original article by MBN Star.

Forget about INFINITE’s perfectly synchronized choreography, INFINITE H is back with hip-hop. INFINITE H, consisting of Hoya and Dongwoo, is the first sub-unit that branched from the group. The letter “H” denotes the duo’s hip hop concept. They have set the bar higher for idols doing hip hop music. INFINITE H’s 2013 release FLY HIGH garnered much attention as Primary was the head producer of the album. Moreover, Dynamic Duo’s Gaeko, Zion.T, Bumkey, Beenzino, Lil Boi, and other featuring artists resulted a higher quality album.

On the one hand, while INFINITE earned popularity with their perfectly synced choreography to their songs, INFINITE H stole fans’ hearts with their loose hip hop style. Although it was not hardcore hip hop, the hybrid hip hop songs matched with the trend at the time quite well. In particular, the title song “Special Girl” scored first place on music shows as well as online charts.

After achieving great success with their first album, INFINITE H is currently preparing for their second mini-album. This time, they are coming back with the renowned hip hop label, BrandNew Music. With Rhymer as head producer, Swings, Sanchez, Champagne, Taewan, and others will feature in the album. Reportedly, Dongwoo and Hoya directly participated in writing the rap as well. Although the album is soon to be released, the teaser of “Pretty” has already captivated the fans stronger than ever.

On the other hand, INFINITE F formed with a completely relaxed and friendly concept. If INFINITE H makes a transformation in the musical genre, INFINITE F focused on image. Leaving behind the bold and flawless image from the perfectly synced choreography, INFINITE F unveiled their warm, chivalrous sides.

The sub-unit consisting Sungjong, L, and Sungyeol has aroused curiosity with the news of its formation. The letter “F” in the name stands can stand for “flower,” “family,” and “friend.” As the younger members of the group, they were able to bring their fresh and young charms together.

INFINITE F’s album title  (pronounced as “Chung”) enhances the vibe of the sub-unit with the youthful and refreshing concept of the group. The title song, “My Heart Is Beating/Heartthrob,” has a bright melody that is easy for listeners to sing along to. Although some were worried about INFINITE F for leaving out INFINITE’s lead vocalists Kim Sunggyu and Nam Woohyun, the three members of F perfectly came together with a high-quality song and performance. Additionally, their handsome looks have frenzied fans in Korea as well as Japan.

As MBN Star purports, idol groups today face greater pressures to do well in every field. As a mode to popularity, many of those idols diversify and broaden their activities by establishing sub-units. Although the article stated only one example of INFINITE’s INFINITE H and INFINITE F, numerous groups have been establishing sub-units, featuring collaborations, and partnering as label mates.

Without doubt, these diverse activities has pushed the idols to challenge themselves to strive to become well-balanced entertainers. As a K-POP fan, do you believe that sub-units have become essential in order to heighten and maintain their popularity?

This article is directly translated by Koreaboo, originally written by Nam Woo Jung of MBN Star, with added introductory and concluding notes.