…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.
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 soon–to–be–forgotten 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.
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 4minute, at 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!