2NE1 Is Still Kinda Awesome, But…

(UPDATED!)

…they really have become the most overrated group right now. But it’s not their fault.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not an anti-fan. Heck, I even had a 2NE1 addiction for a couple of weeks after watching 2NE1TV. It became so bad that I had to look at the picture below each day just so I could move on to normalcy.

She says, I dont care. I say, WTF?

She says, "I don't care." I say, "WTF?"

So what if she’s cross-eyed? I think CL still has the tightest body in all of Kpop right now, while Minzy is probably the cutest maknae around.

However, the recent influx of girl groups in the Kpop scene already had me on the brink of giving up my 2NE1 fandom. But what really pushed me off the edge was the sudden germination of 2NE1 fanatics who spam the comments section of Kpop sites, YouTube and other Kpop message boards. If you’re a fan of Kara, BEG, 4minute, SNSD or even T-ARA, I’m sure you know what/who I’m talking about.

Fortunately, my fascination quickly shifted to another quartet, a  superiorly talented, albeit underrated one at that.

You see, as one of the many Kpop fans who can’t read/understand Korean, I mainly rely on websites that translate my daily Kpop news to English. These include the simple but always reliable K Bites, the always opinionated Seoulbeats, the glitzy Allkpop and the controversial Popseoul. Besides reading the latest Kpop news, which is practically the same in all 4 sites, I’m also interested in finding out what their readers (mostly non-Korean Kpop fans) have to say about the article.

The comments didn’t bother me at first because everyone’s entitled to their opinion. But as girl groups kept debuting and making comebacks one after the other, the once tranquil comments section became a venue for bashing and trashtalking. Although these fans aren’t required to be unbiased, these kinds of articles (srsly?) only fueled the fire between 2NE1.  But I guess the author didn’t know that. Or maybe she did and just wanted to express her fandom. Whatevs. Maybe I’m just looking for something to nitpick. But at least some writers were decent enough to put things in a proper perspective.

Shocking news: 4minute is pretty good!

I have to admit that I was also part of those who doubted the originality of this group and dismissed them as one of those soontobeforgotten acts right after they debut. Because let’s be honest. Even if they claim that their name was inspired from their desire to capture the audience with their charms in 4 minutes or whatever (also, check out how people shamelessly bash this group at the comments section), I know for sure that they got their name here:

listen from 0:40 onwards and compare it with the intro of this.

You can even argue that the 2:45 to 2:50 mark of Hot Issue sounds like the 2:00 to 2:05 part of Boom Boom Pow. Check it out below:

Then you can’t deny the fashion similarities between 4minute and 2NE1. Of course, this drew the ire of 2NE1 fans, who were quick to point out that it was Hyun Ah and friends who are the copycats. So I guess the debut of 4minute was the turning point that transformed the borderline-fanatic 2NE1 fans to crazier-than-SNSD-antis non-2NE1 girl group bashers.

However, before finally ignoring 4minute completely, one of the girls caught my eye. She single-handedly convinced me that I should give 4minute another chance. Maybe it was her cool voice. Maybe it was her sultry look. Maybe it was her overeager, overcompensating, exaggerated dance moves. Or maybe it was the mysterious vibe behind those sunglasses. Whatever it was, it made me interested. Plus, after digging the Google machine to find out more about her, I find out that her resemblance to Yoobin (hottest WG member) is uncanny. And she’s talented too. Fer realz.

Jiyoon and Yoobin

Who's who?

So little by little, I came to appreciate each of 4minute’s members. Hyun Ah, the central character who everyone wants to hate on. Ga Yoon, the main vocalist who is the least attractive in the group, for me, and looks more Chinese than Korean. And the Hyun Twins, So Hyun and Ji Hyun. They’re like the female version of the SHINee Twins, Onew and Key.

I know 4minute isn’t the most original group to come out these days, but who is anyway? Another thing I liked is that they sort of came out of nowhere and people didn’t really have any expectations about them. But they’re doing well now and it’s unfortunate that those delusional 2NE1 fans are raining on their parade.

In a way, this heated rivalry between the two newbies (although the girls will deny that there’s one), reminded me of last year’s rivalry between two rookie boy groups. Remember how SHINee burst out of the scene, topped charts and swept away rookie awards? This year, 2NE1 has done the same ever since they debuted. What 2NE1 lacks in talent compared to SHINee (what? 2NE1 fans please don’t tell me they’re more talented than SHINee), they more than make up in stage presence. So what does that make 4minute? And no, please don’t say U-Kiss.

Well, there was this other boyband that debuted late last year. Its members weren’t really strong vocally. They were pretty good dancers, but their debut song was kinda weak compared to SHINee’s and the song was just too gimmicky overall (you know how some fangirls’ go crazy over the tiniest guy-to-guy action). Still, their launch was moderately successful (probably mainly because they were from JYP, one of the Holy Trinity in Kpop), although nowhere near the magnitude of 2NE1’s or SHINee’s. It took them a little while, but this group really took off after they released their second album that showed their more serious side. Coincidentally, this group has collaborated with 4minuteat least once, already.

Going back to the 2NE1-SHINee comparison, if YG’s one perf per week strategy for her beloved girls continues, I’ll bet it will come back and bite him on the ass. will backfire. So I’m curious to see what YG will do to top I Don’t Care’s success. Although they won some awards, SHINee’s comeback this year was a disappointment overall, at least for me, mainly because of the high expectations that surrounded it. But YG is a pretty smart guy so I’m sure he’ll come up with something to sell albums. Heck, he was even witty to come up with a new meaning for 2NE1’s name. On the other hand, YG has failed before. Big time.

Like I said earlier, I’m not a 2NE1 hater, but I’m not a 4minute apologist either. I’ll even be the first to point out that they’ve had their share of shaky performances. This happens when your company rushes your debut to cash in on a trend.

To make a long story short, watching 4minute’s performances made me realize that they actually have some talent. Although their stage presence isn’t as great as 2NE1’s yet, they might just be more talented than their YG rivals. Yeah, that’s right. I said it: 4minute might be more talented than 2NE1, as a group. Individually, I don’t know yet since I haven’t seen enough of their non-Hyun Ah/Ji Yoon members. However, I think 4minute has more potential than 2NE1. Ji Yoon’s voice can adapt to any kind of song, Hyun Ah’s rapping will shoot up once Cube lets her use her own voice and I’m sure the Twins have something good in store that will catch us off guard, at least I hope they do. In fact, the songs on their debut album shows how much they’ve improved in such a short time. The songs are so awesome that I can’t wait to see them performed live. Plus, Ji Yoon without glasses!!! Her new ‘do looks Rihanna-ish but whatever. It looks good on her and depending on 4minute’s comeback outfits, she might just take over CL as the female idol with the tightest body.

Maybe I just don’t know how else 2NE1 could top their success with I Don’t Care. I mean let’s be honest. CL is a pretty good rapper, but her singing voice is as good as Rihanna’s at best, and that isn’t a compliment. Minzy has a similar singing voice to CL’s, but her best asset is her dancing. She’s a fine dancer, albeit in a pedotastic, scandalous kind of way. But if she wants to pop and lock her way to the top, she still has a long way to go. I think she has the most potential in the group. Bom has a powerful voice and Dara can surprisingly hit them high notes, but can you imagine them singing other than those high-pitched tunes? Plus, I doubt if they can dance to a style other than what YG imposes on them. CL’s stage presence can only take them so far.

One thing 2NE1 has going for them is their great command of the English language, which is unprecedented among Kpop idols. This is one of the reasons why they’ve gained lots of fans outside of Korea. Unfortunately, some of them have trolled the Kpop sites we’ve come to love, which has totally ruined my 2NE1 experience. And don’t even get me started with GD and all the hoopla surrounding his first solo album. That’s for another post. Forget plagiarism (The Leaders? Heartbreaker). Two words: autotune overkill. I wonder what Jay-Z would say about his album… Oh wait.

Thank goodness these girls came back. And while we’re at the boyband comparison, they’re comeback this year was like DBSK’s last year. Calm down Cassiopeians. I know it’s sacrilegious to compare DBSK with another group but check this out.

  • Both came back with a very (!!!) sexy image.
  • Both groups aren’t really known for their dancing but pulled off the sexy moves perfectly.
  • Both groups still have the best singers among all the Kpop groups today.

Does this make Kara, this year’s 2008 version of FT Island? Not too bad.

I think I’ve ran out of boybands to analogize. And you still have T-ARA, Jewelry, the comebacking After School, and SM’s new baby, f(x), while SNSD and WG are in a league of their own. That’s a boatload of girl groups. Am I complaining? Certainly not. I say, bring it on!

8 responses to “2NE1 Is Still Kinda Awesome, But…

  1. omg. i love your blog entry.
    i don’t even know where to start.

    You’re the first person i’ve come across who somehow share the same way I feel towards 2ne1 and 4minute. Except that I’ve never thought 4minute would end up as an epic-failure girl group.

    I, too, started off being addicted to 2ne1 ever since their “fire” fiery release but now, I find it hard not to dislike them. And mostly, it’s because of their fanatic fans. 2ne1 fanatics, seriously, have gone nuts. They totally worshipped their beloved idols so much that they practically went blind. Hating on other girl groups, thinking that all kpop needs is Almighty 2ne1 and that other girl groups should just stay home and knit sweaters, leaving a bad name to 2ne1 fans as a whole.

    And i do feel that 4minute is definitely more hardworking than 2ne1. And of course, I do believe that they have more potential then 2ne1. Their hard work is slowly paying off and it’s evident as many people who hated them so much, are eating back their own words after their album was leaked.

    I can seriously go and on and on but i’ll stop here. LOL. I had fun reading your entry anyways😀

    • heechulisnotgay oppa

      Hey thanks! I’m more of a BEG fan these days but I think many people overlook how good 4minute really is just because 2NE1 came out first, and probably because Hyun Ah has lots of haters. Also, I think many 2NE1 fans are threatened by how hot/talented/good-looking Ji Yoon is. Dare I say, Ji Yoon > CL (except in English)?

      Actually, this post wasn’t quite finished yet when you read it. Ha! I was just so anxious to get it out there because I’ve been trying to wrap it up for like 3 days now. But, the final version is up now.

  2. I really like this post of yours ^^ You’ve brought up points that make a lot of sense. I think your constructive post was filled with points that I would’ve mentioned myself ^^

    Actually. I’m neither a big fan of 2NE1 or 4Minute. I like both groups equally and sometimes I think both groups can learn from each other, be it stage presence, vocal control, dance, etc. ^^

    I was kinda turned off when there were a lot of bashing even way before 4Minute made their debut. It was kind of upsetting people aren’t giving 4Minute a chance to prove themselves. People were just too quick to judge:/

    And soon after they made their debut. It seemed as if the bashings got worse. Comparing styles, talking about who copied who (going on and on), etc. It was really chaotic to see comments that didn’t really make sense — comments that were biased in general. Though I recognize the need for 4Minute to improve on certain aspects of their performance, I seriously thought bashing was highly unnecessary <_<

    Even though many just pushed 4Minute out of the running for Best Rookie or whatever awards there is, I'm still looking out for them. ^^ I'd say I share your sentiments. I think the members of 4Minute have a fair amount of potential and they're showing us different sides of them everytime. (People should give them more time) It's really comforting to see this group pushing on, and trying to improve everytime we see them. ^^

    I won't deny. As much as I liked 2NE1 when they made their debut, I had quite a bad impression on their fans. To me, some of them were really insensitive.(referring to hardcore ones). They went around bashing other groups and leaving comments like 2NE1 blah blah blah and the other groups were just pure bad blah blah blah. (I'm not bluffing alright, I can even list them all out 'cos some of them really left quite an impression on me)

    Thank goodness my friend saved me from that bad impression, because my friend was quite a fair 2NE1 fan (:

    But yeah. I think there are a lot of netizens around who are starting to adapt to 4Minute's new concept for Musik. It's nice to see less bashing and more constructive comments. It's more civilized that way and it makes reading so much more enjoyable ^^

    I think Minzy and HyunA's really talented in dancing. At a tender age of 15, Minzy's already shaking those dance moves like a dance machine. HyunA doesn't lose out either, I really enjoyed her dance performance on Star King (feat. Jaebeom). ^^

    And I actually think Sohyun's a relatively good singer. She sounds good in some of the songs from the new mini album ^^

    Once again, thank you for bringing another great insight to K-Pop! ^^

    • heechulisnotgay oppa

      Thanks! I think I just had to get vent these thoughts out asap so I could move on with my Kpop experience.
      Although I think I Don’t Care has been way overplayed already, I still like 2NE1. Heck, I even plan on making myself a copy of those Queen-Aces shirts they wear. But 4minute is looking really fresh right now. I started listening to Kpop because I was getting tired of listening to American music, and 2NE1’s sound has become too mainstream US for my taste.

      Actually, I’m more peeved at those who flame the comments section saying that 2NE1 is more talented than BEG, especially those that say CL is a better rapper than Miryo. Are they on crack? But I’m comforted by the fact that there are still many people who think the opposite, and most of them are long-time Kpop fans, not people who just suddenly joined the Kpop scene because of 2NE1.

  3. I’ve re-read the whole entry all over again cause I like it. LOL!😀

    I like your alias too! I don’t think heechul is gay either. He’s my favourite member in Super Junior. Super Junior is the reason why I’m into Kpop. And my fandom for Super Junior did not begin with Sorry Sorry (just in case you think I’m a newbie fan).

    Anyways, hell yeah. Hyuna’s got lots of haters and I don’t really know why. Is it because of her chipmunked voice or is it from her WG days? But I have to say she has definitely improved her rapping skills. Don’t see why people will hate her…

    Jiyoon is hot ain’t she?!(CLEARLY HOTTER THAN CL) Have you seen the full mv release? She’s definitely in the center of attention for this mv. And of course, she’s talented🙂 She can sing pretty well and looks like she might have what it takes to be a rapper. I might be biased but right now, CL is somewhat better than Ji yoon in terms of performance wise but hell yeah, that’s for now. Jiyoon will take over CL sooner or later cause you know she got what it takes.

    And I wonder how the situation will be like if 4minute were to debut before 2ne1.

    All this huge hoohaa about 2ne1, I wonder if the situation is the same for fans in korea.

    On the other hand, B.E.G definitely pulled off the sexy image well. Especially Ga-In. I’ve downloaded one of their albums back when their “My Style” song was pretty hot and thought that the group was not bad. I have to say, their comeback was a HIT!

    Very good performers on stage and their talents are no joke. Miryo’s rap is strong! Jea’s vocals are no joke either. Narsha’s is pretty charismatic during their performances. And she’s very prettttayyye.

    (now that’s one long comment).

    • heechulisnotgay oppa

      Thanks! thanks!

      Aside from her chipmunk voice and being an ex-WG, I think many people hate Hyun Ah because they don’t like how she acts too cutesy all the time. To that I say, what’s up with the double standard? You see Wooyoung, Sandara and most of Suju, SNSD and SHINee act that way, but fans adore them. It also didn’t help that she can’t hit the right note to save her life and speak English properly. During live perfs, she practically says “poor men eat” when referring to their name. Ha! Just thinking about it makes me shiver. Check out the start of their Irreplaceable perf @ Madame B. But I like how she rapped in Muzik. If you noticed, she sounded like she was about to run out of breath while rapping her part. It’s tough to talk like that, much less, rap. If she didn’t pull it off, her haters would celebrate. But she did and it was brilliant! I hope she realizes this and makes it her trademark style.

      As for Ji Yoon, I think the only advantage CL has over her is CL’s English speaking. But Ji Yoon’s ain’t that bad. Not Hyun Ah-bad. Haha. Can you imagine if Ji Yoon were to wear the outfits CL donned during their Fire and early I Don’t Care days? Holy shiznit! Plus, now that Ji Yoon’s taken off her sunglasses, it’s a no-brainer who’s prettier. Do you watch Star Golden Bell? Because no way CL isn’t related to that comedienne Juri. They look so alike that they could be mistaken as sisters! But CL is sexier, meatier now than during their Fire days, I’ll give her that.

      While you’re wondering what it would be like if 4minute debuted first before 2NE1, I’m thinking how much longer does 2NE1 have. Sandara and Bom are 26 (in Korean) already and I’m sure the huge age gap will catch up with them sooner or later. How many years do those two have left?

      Can’t say enough about BEG. Swaying hips, Ga-in’s eyes, tattoos! MORE BEG SUBS PLEASE!! I don’t know how to explain Miryo’s style. I mean even if she’s in a short skirt, or slacks, or chapped leather pants, you can still feel her swagger. She doesn’t need to shout or make weird faces to let you know that she can beat you up if she wants to. But her shyness is too adorable when they’re not on stage. Narsha’s so playful. I like her Yoochun hair better than her off-stage look. JeA, poor leader. Always looks tired. But she’s got the most powerful voice among the 3.

      (now that’s one loooong reply)

      PS
      Haven’t seen the full MV for Muzik yet but saw the teaser already. Nice touch by making Ji Yoon’s eyes the main teasing point of the vid. That’s a teaser if I’ve ever seen one.

  4. shuttlestop

    I haven’t read such a great K-pop blog in so long. Heck, I don’t think I’ve ever read anything written this well and without any over the top bias! You’ve made my day. I seriously can’t find a point to disagree with you with. From the 4minute vs. 2ne1 analysis to the ending comments on BEG and how SNSD and WG are in a league of their own. Wow, I’m definitely going to follow up on your blog from now on.

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