Best Male Rookie Groups Of 2011

It’s the beginning of 2012 everyone! 2011 was the first full year I was able to observe kpop. For the first time I watched groups debut, disappear, break-up, reassemble, or succeed. A few even worked their way into my heart and became groups that I will cherish forever. Who was your favorite group of 2011? Below I’ve listed some of the better known groups of 2011, if yours isn’t on there let me know who they are in the comments. If they are, vote in the poll below! In case you don’t know a group, I’ve included their debut performance and music videos as well as some member info.


-Groups are in alphabetical order with members in order of age-


Group: AA (Double A) 더블에이


Company: Wellmade STAR M

Members: 5

Fanclub: ?

Aoora (Park Geunee) January 10, 1986

Joowon (Hwang Joowon) March 15, 1988

Woosang (Woo Sangsoo) May 1, 1990 LEADER

Kimchi (Yoo Yehyanggi) June, 11, 1993 MAKNAE

Hoik (Jung Hoik) August 1, 1993 (true maknae)

Debut Song: Because I’m Crazy 미쳐서 그래

Music Videos:

Because I’m Crazy 미쳐서 그래

Call (Special MV)



Group: B1A4 비원에이포


Company: WM Ent.

Members: 5

Fanclub: BANA

CNU (Shin Dongwoo) June 16, 1991

Jinyoung (Jung Jinyoung) November 18, 1991 LEADER

Baro (Cha Sunwoo) September 5, 1992

Sandeul (Lee Junghwan) September 6, 1992

Gongchan (Gong Chanshik) August 14, 1993 MAKNAE

Debut Song: Ok

Music Videos:


Only Learned Bad Things 못된 것만 배워서

Beautiful Target



Group: Block B 블락비

Block B

Company: Brand New Stardom

Members: 7

Fanclub: BBC (Block B Club)

Taeil (Lee Taeil) September 24, 1990

B-Bomb (Lee Minhyuk) December 14, 1990

Jaehyo (Ahn Jaehyo) December 23, 1990

U-Kwon (Kim Yukwon) April 9, 1992

Kyung (Park Kyung) July 8, 1992

Zico (Woo Ji Ho) September 14, 1992 LEADER

PO (Pyo Ji Hoon) February 2, 1993 MAKNAE

Debut Song: Freeze 그대로 멈춰라!

Music Videos:

Freeze 그대로 멈춰라!

Tell Them 가서 전해

Nanrina 난리나



Group: Boyfriend 보이프렌드


Company: Starship Ent.

Members: 6

Fanclub: Best Friend

Donghyun (Kim Dong Hyun) February 12, 1989 LEADER

Hyunseung (Shim Hyunseung) June 9, 1993

Jeongmin (Lee Jeongmin) January 2, 1994

Youngmin (Jo Youngmin) April 24, 1995

Kwangmin (Jo Kwangmin) April 24, 1995

Minwoo (No Minwoo) July 31, 1995 MAKNAE

Debut Song: Boyfriend 보이프렌드

Music Videos:

Boyfriend 보이프렌드

Don’t Touch My Girl

I’ll Be There 내가 갈게



Group: M.I.B (Most Incredible Busters) 엠아이비

M.I.B (Most Incredible Busters)

Company: Jungle Ent.

Members: 4

Fanclub: Busterz

Kangnam (Namekawa Yasuo) March 23, 1987

5Zic (Kim Hangil) July 26, 1988 LEADER

Cream (Kim Giseok) February 14, 1990

SIMS (Sim Jongsu) February 27, 1991 MAKNAE

Debut Song: G.D.M (Girls, Drinks Dreams, Money)

Music Videos:

Beautiful Day

Do U Like Me

Hands Up

Say My Name

G.D.M (Girls, Drinks Dreams, Money)



Group: MYNAME 마이네임


Company: H2 Media

Members: 5


Insoo (Kang Insoo) March 10, 1988

Gunwoo (Lee Gunwoo) January 30, 1989 LEADER

Seyong (Kim Seyong) November 20, 1991

Jun.Q (Kang Joonkyu) August 9, 1993

Chaejin (Chae Jinseok) December 26, 1995 MAKNAE

Debut Song: Message

Music Videos:




Group: X-5 엑스파이브


Company: Open World Ent.

Member: 5

Fanclub: ?

Ghun (Son Hyunseok) November 30, 1989 LEADER

Taefung (Lee Donghyun) April 28, 1991

Haewon (Jung Haewon) June 20, 1991

Zin (Jin Hyunjin) July 20, 1993

Sulhu (Kim Jinwan) September 7, 1995 MAKNAE

Debut Song: The Show Is Over 쇼 하지마

Music Videos:

The Show Is Over 쇼 하지마




Best MR Removed (Live) Boy Groups

This will just focus on boy GROUPS, so I didn’t include

soloists: because they’re all by themselves,

bands: because they don’t have to dance while they sing, and most only have 1-2 members singing, or

sub-groups: because they’re already part of a group.

I picked the 10 groups that I thought sang the most and best live. Then I chose the best two MR removed songs from each group. Based on those two songs I decided what order of the top 10 using a points scoring system based on (1) the amount of the song sung live, and (2) the quality of each member’s voices.

The following are, in my opinion, the top 10 music recording removed (live) groups.


Wrong Number

The MCs at the beginning are a bit annoying, they seem to be imitating someone. However, as soon as Xiah Junsu opens his mouth one forgets about the MCs and is captivated by his perfect live vocals. The rest of TVXQ, as expected, is practically flawless live. Who needs a back track when your live vocals sound exactly the same as the CD version? Not only were their vocals perfect, but they sang the entire song, start to finish, not missing a word. There is no doubt in my mind that TVXQ deserves to be number one on this list.

Rising Sun

I would have really liked to find an MR removed version of a DB5K song, but maybe because removing the music recording is a fairly new thing there aren’t any. Even so, HoMin still put on an amazing performance. Admittedly, it’s not as flawless as Wrong Number, but it’s still one of the best MR removed performances I’ve seen. These two have been performing for a long time, and their expertise shines through their great live vocals. They never let their dancing effect their singing, which is really amazing with some of those moves. I love how they really get into their performance too. They aren’t just doing the choreography, they’re really dancing, if that makes sense.

Other TVXQ MR Removed Performances:

Before You Go

Keep Your Head Down (Why)

2. SHINee


SHINee is a group that most people already know is amazing live.  Jonghyun and Onew have amazing voices, and the other members are pretty good as well. Not only do they sing 99% of the song live, but they do it very well. Onew and Jonghyun even sing their background parts during Minho’s rap at the end.


You’d think that with a song like Lucifer the choreography would get in the way of the vocals a lot more than SHINee lets it. Even with the complicated choreography they still sing the entire thing live, excluding a few words here and there. Jonghyun and Onew in particular were very impressive. Key’s voice at 2:25 “cracked” or was strained a bit, but other than that he was pretty good, and SHINee totally deserves their spot on this list.

Other SHINee MR Removed Performances:






BEAST sang the entire song, missing nothing, which is not surprising as there was no choreography to get in the way. It really showcases the amazing vocals of Yoseop, Kikwang, and Hyunseung, as well as showing that the other members have pretty decent vocals. During the performance one might forget they are actually watching a MR removed performance, it was really great.


BEAST really has some great singers, Hyunseung almost made it into BIGBANG, Kikwang used to be a solo artist, and I’m pretty sure Yoseob just dropped from vocal heaven. Except for some parts, particularly the chorus, they sang the entire song. Yoseob’s cute shout out to their fanclub B2UTY was a nice touch. It’s no surprise BEAST is so high on this list.

Other BEAST MR Removed Performances:


Bad Girl




4. The BOSS 

Admiring Boy

I feel like The BOSS is one of the most underrated groups in Kpop. This is their debut song, and their actual first broadcast performance was only the day before this. I find it amazing that a group with only one broadcast under their belt was able to give such a high quality performance; they didn’t skip a word, but sang everything live. Mika’s voice is practically perfection, and the other members are great vocalists as well. They’re cute, they can dance, and they sing amazingly well. What more do you want?

Stumble Stumble

The BOSS sings less of this song live, the most notable parts being the “oh oh oh oh” part during the chorus and some of the echos. However, most of it is live, and they do a really amazing job, I’d say this is almost CD quality. The BOSS is becoming popular in Japan, but I wonder why they’re so underrated in Korea. They’re very good vocally, and dance pretty well too.

Other The BOSS MR Removed Performances:

No One, Anyone

5. Dalmatian

The Man Opposed

Dalmatian is another underrated group. This was completely live, and the vocals were great too. Dalmatian has three very good rappers, who also do all of their parts. I think I’m in love with Jisu’s voice. How he can sing that high and not sound like an adolescent is beyond me. Something about Youngwon’s voice seems slightly off, but it might just be me. In all this was great, and I wish that Korea would love Dalmatian more because they certainly deserve it.

Round 1

This was their debut stage, which I find incredible, as they sang the entire song live, and not only that, they sounded good while doing it. All three of their rappers are nearing 30 years old, but you wouldn’t know it with the energy they display on stage. Honestly, I thought they were in their early twenties like the rest of the group until I looked it up. Also, you’ve got to give them credit for even doing the “woof woof woof” parts. Jisu sounds just like the CD, and his part at around 3:00 was very impressive.

Other Dalmatian MR Removed Performances:

Lover Cop

6. Infinite

Can You Smile

This song shows that Infinite isn’t a group that can only dance, and even their rappers can sing. Dongwoo sounds a bit shaky at the beginning, but the others are really great. Even the maknae, Sungjong, who usually keeps his live singing to a minimum does really well. I like his voice a lot, and I hope that he will sing more in Infinite’s future songs. Infinite has some very strong vocalists, and I feel like Sungkyu’s voice may almost be better than the recorded version. Hoya is very talented in that he’s both a great rapper and singer. While Dongwoo’s singing here wasn’t perfect, his rapping shines. The end of this performance is great, at 2:40 and 2:51 I was shocked and amazed. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised though, as it’s well known that Sungkyu has great vocal talent.

Before The Dawn

This song’s choreography is the kind that might interfere with singing, and it does in places. However Infinite still sings quite a bit of this live. Their vocals are very impressive, my only complaint is maknae Sungjong. I like his voice so much, I wish he would sing with more confidence. During the chorus after their scorpion move they sing less than in previous choruses, but that may be directly related to the scorpion move and the freestyle dances that come after it. I think Infinite is usually recognized for their great dancing ability and synchronization, but it should also be known that they have impressive vocals as well.

Other Infinite MR Removed Performances:

Nothing’s Over

Come Back Again


Love Song 

TOP is someone who is known for his incredible rapping, but here he sings, and it’s actually pretty nice. He’s not a powerful singer, but has a quiet and relaxing voice. Daesung and Taeyang, as expected are powerful and CD quality. I’m not really in love with how G-Dragon sounds on the chorus, it’s not really singing, and it’s not really rap. Seungri proves why he’s called “Strong Baby”, and though it has nothing to do with vocal talent, I want to point out that he looks really nice in a suit. TOP comes in near the end with his golden rapping. Taeyang really owned this song, as I’m pretty sure he had the most lines. They only missed a few lines in the entire song, it was mostly just the “Oh”s on the chorus reason being that they needed their hands for the choreography.


G-Dragon not only sounds great, but his English is pretty impressive. With rappers like G-Dragon and TOP there’s no way you could dislike BIGBANG. Not only that but Taeyang and Daesung are amazing vocalists. Seungri has really improved throughout the years, and now his vocals are really nice. The chorus was a annoying to me. When they sing “tonight, tonight, tonight, tonight” it seems like they’re all on different pages. On the CD it’s autotuned and in the live it just doesn’t sound all that great. They sing almost all the song live, except G-Dragon doesn’t sing his part near the end because he’s too busy smashing guitars. BIGBANG is an extremely talented group, one of my favorites actually, and it’s no wonder they’re as popular as they are.

Other BIGBANG MR Removed Performances:

Stupid Liar

What Is Right


Somebody To Love


Oh Yeah

Mir’s rapping is probably one of my favorite things ever, and he sounds just like the CD. I knew GO was a really good vocalist, but I didn’t realize Lee Joon had such a great voice. I’d always thought of him as more of a dancer and visual, but he’s actually pretty good vocally as well. Leader Seungho’s live vocals don’t fail to impress either. Thunder’s rapping is a bit lacking here compared to how good he is now, but it’s still pretty decent. They don’t miss much except a few “oh yea”s, but that can be attributed to some of the choreography.


All of them sound just great here, Thunder has really improved. They don’t sing the “try” parts, but that’s because they’re dancing and jumping, so that can be forgiven. GO’s voice at 1:20 – 1:25 sounds a bit raspy, and  it comes out a few more times during the performance. During this time Mir was recovering from back surgery so he didn’t participate in the choreography, but it was nice to see him do his rap, which Thunder actually performed in later performances. I like MBLAQ a lot, sometimes their choreography gets in the way of their singing, but one can still tell that they are good vocalists.

Other MBLAQ MR Removed Performances:

Y (Why)


G.O.O.D Luv

9. ZE:A 


This is another group who did amazing on their debut stage. They have nine members, and most of them sing well, there are a few who aren’t great, but they’re not bad enough to be called people who can’t sing. They sang the entire song live, which as I said before, is impressive for a debut stage. For all nine members to sing and dance at the same time is pretty splendid. There’s a lot of English in this song, and they pronounced it very well, a few of them actually speak fluent English, so I guess that’s not a huge surprise.

Here I Am

They didn’t sing parts here and there, but they sang most of the song. I usually think that groups this large can’t all be great singers, but in reality, almost all of ZE:A’s members have pretty good voices. Kevin, maknae Dongjoon, and Leader Junyoung are the three that really stick out though. I hope they keep the cute and romantic concept, as it fits them quite well.

Other ZE:A MR Removed Performances:

All Day Long

10. U-KISS


New members Hoon and AJ are both very talented and make a great addition to the group. Soohyun has an amazing voice and you can tell he really loves to sing; he’s far to underrated in my opinion. Dongho, who previously had maybe two lines per song, now has an entire rap, and I’m very impressed with his ability. Kevin is always amazing, I can’t describe how much I enjoy his voice. Overall the entire performance sounds almost exactly like the recorded version. It surprises me that U-KISS isn’t super famous in Korea. They’re well known in other countries, but for some strange reason they’ve yet to even win an award in Korea. Their live talent is really great, and I hope they win something in the near future.

Round and Round

Kevin and Soohyun’s voices are so great, I’d really like to see them both get solo albums. Kibum’s voice isn’t bad, but I don’t love it either. He sings his entire part and does it with confidence, so I’ll give him that. The entire chorus is silent, as it involves choreography that makes it practically impossible to bring the mic up to one’s mouth. Alexander does well on his rap and Dongho’s three seconds aren’t bad either. What is it with U-KISS and not giving Kiseop or Dongho any lines?

Other U-KISS MR Removed Performances:

What’s This

Am I That Easy


Honorable Mentions:

Super Junior obviously has very good live vocals. However, I found only two MR removed performances, and I don’t think that’s enough to really secure them a spot in this list. They’re defiantly a group who displays exceptional live vocals though.


F.Cuz is really quite amazing live. They can sing and dance at the same time. However, they only have two MR removed performances that I could find, so I didn’t think it would be fair to put them on this list based on just two performances.

Midnight Sun

SS501 is a very well loved group and I really wanted to put them on here. However, while some of their MR performances were close to CD quality, some were not so great. Regardless, I couldn’t go without mentioning them.

Love Like This

I’ve heard that 2AM is good MR removed, but I couldn’t find any videos of them.

Which groups do you think are the best live/MR Removed?