84 episodes

California Love is a blend of memoir, pop culture analysis and oral history. The newest season, K-pop Dreaming, is about the rise and history of K-pop in the United States, as told from the point-of-view of the Korean diaspora in Los Angeles. Host Vivian Yoon takes listeners on a journey from K-pop’s origins in Korean trot music and American presence in post-war South Korea to the 1992 LA Uprising and the booming global popularity of K-pop in the present day, all juxtaposed against Yoon’s own coming-of-age as a second generation immigrant in Los Angeles, struggling to fit in and come to terms with her own identity. The series premieres on February 23rd.

In the first season Walter Thompson-Hernández was inspired by Tupac and Dr. Dre's "California Love"- a love letter and anthem for a generation. Walter invites listeners to join him in his family home, on horseback through the streets of Compton, and up into the sky to examine belonging.

California Love LAist Studios

    • Music
    • 4.2 • 1.3K Ratings

California Love is a blend of memoir, pop culture analysis and oral history. The newest season, K-pop Dreaming, is about the rise and history of K-pop in the United States, as told from the point-of-view of the Korean diaspora in Los Angeles. Host Vivian Yoon takes listeners on a journey from K-pop’s origins in Korean trot music and American presence in post-war South Korea to the 1992 LA Uprising and the booming global popularity of K-pop in the present day, all juxtaposed against Yoon’s own coming-of-age as a second generation immigrant in Los Angeles, struggling to fit in and come to terms with her own identity. The series premieres on February 23rd.

In the first season Walter Thompson-Hernández was inspired by Tupac and Dr. Dre's "California Love"- a love letter and anthem for a generation. Walter invites listeners to join him in his family home, on horseback through the streets of Compton, and up into the sky to examine belonging.

    K-Pop Dreaming - Secret Fan

    K-Pop Dreaming - Secret Fan

    Growing up in Koreatown during the 90s and 2000s, host Vivian Yoon was an emo-listening teenager who embraced American pop culture. At least that’s what it seemed from the outside. But at home, by herself, what she listened to was K-Pop. How Vivian's hidden love for the music is propelling her to explore the connections between K-Pop and her hometown. 

    (Originally published February 23, 2023)

     

    This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp. Save 10% off your first month at BetterHelp.com/DreamingThis episode is brought to you by your local Kia dealers. Visit kia.com to discover movement that inspires.This program is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

    • 17 min
    K-Pop Dreaming - Mixtape

    K-Pop Dreaming - Mixtape

    Vivian puts together a mixed CD with some of her favorite K-Pop songs from the 90’s and 2000’s. Each song is connected to a different moment in her life and they all happen to be some of K-pop’s greatest hits. And together, these songs tell the early history of the genre’s evolution and growth, as well as their migration to the Korean diaspora in Los Angeles.(Original published February 23, 2023)

     

     

    This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp. Save 10% off your first month at BetterHelp.com/DreamingThis episode is brought to you by your local Kia dealers. Visit kia.com to discover movement that inspires.This program is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

    • 47 min
    K-Pop Dreaming - Trot

    K-Pop Dreaming - Trot

    Vivian begins her exploration of K-Pop's history with a genre of Korean music called trot that emerged during the Japanese colonization of Korea. Trot holds up a mirror to Korea’s history and gives rise to an enigmatic quality that, some say, informs K-pop. Vivian’s guide for this episode: her grandmother. Also features 2023 Korean Music Awards nominee and K-pop artist, 250.(Originally published March 2, 2023)

     

     

    This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp. Save 10% off your first month at BetterHelp.com/DreamingThis episode is brought to you by your local Kia dealers. Visit kia.com to discover movement that inspires.This program is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

    • 38 min
    K-Pop Dreaming - Moon Night

    K-Pop Dreaming - Moon Night

    In this episode, we head to an American military neighborhood in Seoul in the late 1980s. Tucked in an alleyway was a little grimy club that blasted American hip-hop, the place was for African American GIs to cut loose, but it pulled in an unexpected crowd – young Koreans who would become the pioneers of modern K-pop. Itaewon was also the setting for the beginning of another story – it was the place where Vivian’s parents met and fell in love. Features Kang Won Rae, one of K-pop's legends that came out of the Moon Night scene.(Originally published March 9, 2023)

     

     

    This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp. Save 10% off your first month at BetterHelp.com/DreamingThis episode is brought to you by your local Kia dealers. Visit kia.com to discover movement that inspires.This program is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

    • 44 min
    K-Pop Dreaming - Solid

    K-Pop Dreaming - Solid

    The underground hip-hop scene in Los Angeles was thriving in the late 1980s. And there, soaking in the vibe, was a Korean American college student by the name of Jae Chong. He was also making music on the side, but didn’t think much was going to come of it. That is, until an out-of-the-blue invitation brought him and his friends to Korea when K-pop was taking off. Their group, Solid, would become the Kings of R&B and the first Korean American act to make a splash in the Korean music industry. Vivian reflects on the importance of Solid and sees the group's Korean-Americanness as the cornerstone of their success.(Originally published March 16, 2023)

    Support K-pop Dreaming by donating now at LAist.com/join

     

    This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp. Save 10% off your first month at BetterHelp.com/Dreaming

    This episode is brought to you by your local Kia dealers. Visit kia.com to discover movement that inspires.

    This program is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

    • 38 min
    K-Pop Dreaming - Roots of Rap

    K-Pop Dreaming - Roots of Rap

    The LA Uprising exploded racial and economic injustices simmering under the surface of Los Angeles into the open. Vivian looks at the events leading up to the Uprising, and the efforts following the protests to promote racial harmony in Los Angeles, including the staging of an African music festival in South Los Angeles that featured a performance by an up-and-coming Korean American rapper named Tiger JK. Years after the festival, he would go on to make a name for himself in South Korea as the “Godfather of Korean Hip-Hop”.(Originally published March 23, 2023)

    Support K-pop Dreaming and other LAist Studios podcasts by donating now at LAist.com/join

     

    This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp. Save 10% off your first month at BetterHelp.com/Dreaming

    This episode is brought to you by your local Kia dealers. Visit kia.com to discover movement that inspires.

    This program is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

    • 51 min

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5
1.3K Ratings

1.3K Ratings

LaRoseBella ,

K-Pop Dreaming

I am a small-time fan (in recent years) of some K-Pop, and I found this podcast fascinating. I love to learn about culture and society, in the US and beyond. I especially love the most recent Bonus episode #3 that delves into some uncomfortable but important discussions of race, culture and international relations. It’s great to hear various perspectives and voices to bring a wider view of the subject. Very great work all around!

DC Nielle ,

Fun ride through history and stories!

Highly recommend this Kpop Dreaming season. Even if you’re not a Kpop lover, it’s so interesting to see how events and cultures shape music and how music then reshapes history and people. Vivian does a fantastic job telling us the stories from big picture to her own personal experiences. Thank you for creating such a insightful series.

Интеллигенция ,

Laughing & crying

I could relate! Loved the journey this podcast took me from present to past with a full circle to the present. I laughed and cried! Recommend this podcast for all K-Pop lovers at heart.

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