Finally there were only girl groups in the poll, so I knew that it was (finally) time for me to carefully place the spotlight on some lovely ladies. The poll was very even for the longest time, but in the end 2NE1 took the win with 36% of the votes!
2NE1, which is a cross between meaning ”21st century” and ”New Evolution” and is pronounced like ”Twenty One” or ”To Anyone”, is a female four-member group that debuted under YG Entertainment in May of 2009 as the first and still only female group from that label. Under YG Entertainment they are label mates with Psy, Big Bang, WINNER and iKON, among others.
At debut 2NE1 were angled as a hip hop group with an edgier image. They kept the ”bad girl” image, but have shifted their music style to include many electronic and more classic pop sounds, while still keeping a bit of their hip hop influence.
One thing that 2NE1 has, and that most kpop groups don’t have, is that the members are all really distinct. There’s only four of them, which makes them easier to keep apart, and each girl has a very distinct persona. If we compare that with for example pretty much any SM group, and I think you’ll see that the 2NE1 girls are much easier to tell apart. Once you’ve learned who’s who it’s really quite impossible to be confused.
2NE1 are from YG, which is one of the absolute biggest and most influential kpop labels. And they’ve done well under YG. That combination means that they have a massive corporate backing, which is not to be underestimated. That means we as fans don’t have to fear a disbandment because the group wasn’t successful, and we can expect some pretty bomb music videos.
2NE1 have definitely dabbled in different music styles, but their image is very consistent. No matter if they’re sad or mad or in love, it all feels like it’s the same girl. And I’m not saying that I’m exactly that girl, but it’s a girl that I can relate to and that I want to be. This is a big plus for 2NE1 in my mind, and I’m glad that they keep putting her forward.
2NE1 is a kind of uneven group, and that’s the main criticism that I see of them. For example, take dancing. 2NE1 is not a dance-focused group, so this isn’t a big issue, but it’s a good example. Minzy is an amazing dancer and CL is also a very good dancer. Dara is an alright dancer and Bom is pretty awkward. This means that if the group tries to do something more interesting Bom will always look a little out of place, and Minzy never gets to do some really killer choreography, because the rest of the group has to be able to keep up.
The main unevenness that 2NE1 has comes from their ”bad girl” image though. CL is 2NE1’s image. Minzy has also sold it well over the years, but there is nothing bad girl about Dara and even less so about Bom. If they didn’t have CL, there is no way that 2NE1 as a group could sell this image.
Time of the Bias
Let me guide you on this path.
She’s the leader of the group.
Main rapper and lead vocalist.
In the middle height-wise.
Second-youngest in the group, a 91-liner.
She used to live in France, and can speak French.
She used to be a translator between Korean and foreign dancers.
She used to wear the school uniform for boys, because she wanted pants, not a skirt.
Tallest in the group.
Oldest in the group, an 84-liner together with Dara.
She can play piano, cello and flute.
She is obsessed with corn.
She’s known to be an emotional and easily affected person.
Shortest in the group.
Second-oldest, 84-line with Bom.
She lived in the Philippines for over ten years and acted in movies and released albums when she lived there.
She is the older sister of former MBLAQ member Thunder.
CL has said that when Dara gets drunk she just starts running, and then eventually falls asleep.
Main dancer, lead vocalist and lead rapper.
In the middle height-wise.
Youngest in the group, a 94-liner.
She has her own dance academy in Seoul.
She bought her parents a house when she was still a teen.
Her plan was originally to become a contemporary choreographer.