This post is a shout-out to Stephanie and Alix for taking a moment to remember the good old days. Last Friday I was super busy finishing up a second bottle of prosecco and watching Dune with some family friends when I got a flurry of texts from these homies going on and on about how they’d fallen into a Kpop YouTube hole featuring disbanded Kpop group Speed. It took them both an exceptionally hot minute to put together just WHY they knew the group, or more specifically, where they’d seen that leader before. Oh, how my insides ached a little at that.
Before I remind folks of a few details about the group, I’m just going to lay out here that the former leader (he left the group in 2015 and the group disbanded later that year) Nam Taewoon, is someone I follow closely to this day. He’s someone I’ve grown firmly attached to and worry about as I would my very own younger brother. I wrote all about it in a post in 2017 and encourage you to take a look as a little reminder for yourself. Don’t just stare at his face and think to yourself “that guy reminds me of someone.” Yes, he does, but he is also someone on his very own that is worth paying attention to.
Now, back to the group. In that old post, I did mention that Speed really got its start as part of the mixed-gender pre-debut project Co-Ed School. The male and female sub-units split into two and debuted as separate idol groups in 2011. The group, Speed, was fairly prolific in its short tenure, promoting ten title tracks in just over three years. They saw a number of member changes and lost their leader in the same breath that they added two additional members in that final year.
Though I was a fully formed Kpop fan during their time in the limelight, I wasn’t actually a HUGE Speed fan. I was aware of them and watched their stuff, but my attention was trained on other groups at the time. But I do have an extremely clear memory of the release of the video for What U – sadly, after Taewoon’s departure, and the choreo performed on wheelies. As someone who is not altogether trustworthy on any form of skate, it is extremely impressive. I’ll drop the official MV below, but I would actually recommend the practice video as the highlight. You can really see the complexity of the moves mixed with the riskiness of the wheels. Killer.
What U, Speed (practice version)
What U, Speed