After a streak of worrying rumours and curiosities surrounding South Korea’s most progressive and stylish female group 2NE1, YG Entertainment confirmed at the end of November their disbandment. The official reasons are still undisclosed, but according to several reports, it has been suggested that original member Minzy’s leave, Park Bom’s drug scandal and solo career establishments were some of the reasons. Whether that’s true or not I don’t know, but its a pretty sad moment for one of South Korea’s reign supreme groups to finally come to an end. However, is it officially over? According to insiders, members CL, Dara and Park Bom maybe coming back to form a new band titled XXI, which is the roman numerals for… eeehhmmm, 21.
But in order to reduce further speculations, alongside Park Bom’s departure from the entertainment group, I’ve decided to conduct a Top 5 list that celebrates 2NE1’s most delicious, infectious and sparkling single releases throughout their career. Why? Well, first, I can. And second, they’re impressive discography features some spectacular vocal performances, polished production and memorable K-Pop moments that have landed them inside the 2010s growth of the Korean Wave phenomenon.
“I Am The Best”
The track that brought the group to international success. This slick anthem, which basically boasts about being amazing, spectacular and fierce with attitude, induces simplistic EDM elements with a wide range of vocal ranges from all four members, including a bit of rap segments by CL and Minzy. Not only is the track a fierce number, but check out its expensive-lit music video. Yes, it was about five years ago since its release, and technology has excessively advanced since then, but one of K-Pop fandom cannot forget the spectacular elements of the video (from the crazy hair, to the sparkly studs, to the cars and the insane fashion!). This, without a doubt, was just the earlier ride of the enormous K-Pop wave that hit our shores in the mid-2010s decade.
“I Love You”
In 2012, 2NE1 didn’t make a lot of airways with newly released singles as their albums and individual careers started to take flight. But to kill it over, the groups electronic ballad “I Love You” sure made a ruckus on the Gaon Chart, achieving nearly three million downloads in Korea… I know right, these girls had the entire K-Pop community at their feets. The sublime love anthem re-assured the bands lush production and lyrical styles hadn’t missed a beat, and the sound of the track was amongst their most polished and effective in their catalogue. Such an awesome anthem to not miss out on, whether its four years old (I know right!!!).
Ahhhhhh, another K-Pop hit… Yet again, it sold three million units and basically continued the girls ever-growing millions on the Gaon Chart. “Go Away”, an electronic-driven tune that consists of some live instrumentation as a fresh element to their music, was the first track that really made me quite into 2NE1, and I will never forget the moment that it brought me to this awesome band! The love-hate song had an intense overfill of autotune that basically made the girls robotic through the track, but luckily the visual was real enough and not over-the-top as usual to equalize the overall delivery. Nice try YG Entertainment.
“Clap Your Hands”
With a discography filled with extreme EDM elements and contemporary K-Pop flavors, its a nice twist to feature a bit of urban moments in their work, especially in the dope gangsta hit “Clap Your Hands”, which, again, features an intoxicating and rather viral case of autotune and other extremely polished pyrotechnic pro-tools. This hit scored nearly two million copies in South Korea, and solidifed the girls style with a Westernized approach with a touch of rural and modern Asian culture with their music video. Check out their sick movements and choreography in the visual; its a lot more relaxed yet fiercely delivered than majority of the K-Pop videos these days.
“Come Back Home”
“Come Back Home”, a ska-influenced pop ballad with a small EDM drop, was in fact the girls final number one in Korea, and with its hooky and catchy chorus, there is no surprise there. Its sad that this infectious number resulted into their final single to achieve over one million shipments in their home land, and their final number one, but with its polished production and vocal performances (especially the acoustic demonstration by CL after the first chorus), it sure cemented their status as a legacy act to modern Korean pop and the Korean wave. Also, have a little look at their sci-fi inspired music video, which showcases some very serious tones and even some over-the-top fashion that hasn’t been expressed in their previous work before.
- “It Hurts (Slow)”
- “Falling in Love”
- “Gotta Be You”