In a new statement, rookie girl group QODES‘s agency has announced that their new music video will feature a “queer-coded” relationship targeted at the LGBTQ+ community.
Recently formed by EJ Entertainment, QODES is a new four-member hip-hop girl group with a unique concept based on role-playing games and science fiction. Each of the members is named after Greek letters: Alpha, Delta, Nu, and Lambda.
Since their debut on February 1, they’ve released six songs, and they’re gearing up for a new music video: “LALALA”. But there’s something particularly unusual about this MV: it’s specifically targeted at the LGBTQ+ community.
In a recent statement for Dailian, EJ Entertainment announced that the music video for “LALALA” is centered around a relationship described as “queer-coded.” They went on to say that the music video’s performance will feature acting between 23-year-old Delta (the main vocalist) and 20-year-old Lambda (the main dancer and maknae) that is “directed to be homosexual.”
The music video for “LALALA”… is centered around a queer-coded relationship, comparing it to the idea of the ‘survival of the fittest.’
— EJ Entertainment representative
Over the past few years, several K-Pop music videos have been interpreted as queer-coded by fans. Red Velvet – Irene & Seulgi‘s “Monster”, for example, was highlighted in IDOLÉ Magazine as queer-coded media due to the seemingly sapphic relationship between the music video’s characters.
Many fans also see the relationship depicted in “Heart Attack” by LOONA‘s Chuu as a romantic “WLW” (Women Loving Women) one. Co-star and co-member Yves once explained to Billboard that the music video’s plot was about yearning and longing rather than LGBTQ+ relationships, but added that she appreciated the interpretation.
According to EJ Entertainment, the “queer code” has become “a source of contents of its own” in the K-Pop industry. The representative stated that fanfiction written about same-sex relationships between idols has always been “one of the main ways fans consumed ‘idol culture’,” even when discussion of gender and sexuality was less clearly defined than it is today.
In the idol industry, the ‘queer code’ has become a source of contents of its own. Even in the times when genders [and sexualities] did not come as clearly defined as they do now, fanfictions about same-sex relationships between idol group members served as one of the main ways fans consumed the ‘idol culture.’
— EJ Entertainment representative
“Stemming from such ideas of queerness,” says EJ Entertainment, “QODES approached the concept of this music video.” Since the agency’s statement was released, fans of K-Pop have expressed mixed opinions. Some comments on the music video’s teaser cheered on the “sapphic energy“, while LGBTQ+ fans on Twitter showed their excitement for the concept.
what a great day to like girls and stan qodes pic.twitter.com/RJhi0tjHyU
— your daily duality♡̆̈ (@Joohoneyland) February 15, 2021
Seoul-based journalist Raphael Rashid, however, noted that it remains to be seen whether “LALALA” will advocate for the LGBTQ+ community or simply fetishize lesbians.
Will be interesting to see whether this new Korean girl group QODES too is fetishising lesbian culture or actually advocating for something bold. https://t.co/rGDG6sCHVW
— Raphael Rashid (@koryodynasty) February 15, 2021
The music video for “LALALA” will be released on February 17, 2021. Until then, watch the full teaser here: