[NEWS] 071009 2NE1 (long article)

by NANA | 9:06 PM in |

*The original article was written by a music critic named Kang Myungsuk

2NE1's Gong Minji is only turning 15 this year. But 2NE1 has become first twice on the digital online charts, and they've also received the 'Mutizen song' from SBS within a month of their debut. In 2NE1's 'Fire' the part that Minji sings, 'My heart that beats until I lose my breathe; I don't only hate it, it's kind of fun', is her story. It's like Mowgli in performing on stage with his wildness. This girl that does the splits on stage just has to run until she loses her breathe. The rest 'he' does it all. ‘He’ is YG Entertainment's owner Yang Hyunsuk.

15 year old girl and him meeting
He chose Gong Minji, who was still in elementary school, as a YG trainee and made 2NE1 sing the commercial song 'Lollipop' with Bigbang to make them sweep the first places on the online charts even before their debut. The combination of the 15 year old girl and the 39 year old owner shows the reason why the creators in the music business try so hard to make a young 'Eve'. Even though the music market's dying away, Super Junior sold more than 200,000 of their third album. Bigbang appears on the best CFs from cell phones to beer, and moms sing Girl's Generation's at KBS's . The idol groups made their original fandom and even the public to become their fans, and because of that they can do anything. 2NE1 is a new mine that a huge agency has started to mine in an 'Idol era'. Middle aged females that do aerobics danced Wondergirls' 'Tell me' moves, and the necktie crew sang Girls Generation's 'Gee' at the Jamshil Stadium. But 'Fire' is a wall that's just too high for them. The middle aged actresses at MBC's wore Girls Generation style skinny jeans, but they wont to try to wear Park Bom's outfit where it looks like she's wearing her underwear on the outside. The people who'll be copying 2NE1 will be the girls around Gong Minji's age. This is like how the guys around Bigbang's age each at least had one of Bigbang's fashion items, and made 'Lies' their personal homepage’s background music. If Wondergirls went out of their fandom boundaries with a hit song, Bigbang made themselves the role model for their generation's style and made themselves the 'super idols'

What do you want to sing at the festival?
2NE1, who was called 'female Bigbang' before their debut, is following the same path that Bigbang went through. They wear hoodies, and wear street fashioned clothing on stage like Bigbang. This is somewhat like the appearance of girls these days on the streets with their hands in their pockets. If the female students want to look cute at the school festivals then they would have to dance to 'Gee'. But if they want to look more cool and sexy they'll copy Gong Minji's pumping dance. So, 2NE1 is extreme in all their sides. 2NE1's CL sticks on a fox's tail on her pants, and Sandara's hair that's tied up into one sticks up into the sky. Also 'Fire's structure is totally different from the more common kpop. 'Fire' somewhat seems like a ‘hook song’, that has become a genre in Korea which isn't really a genre, because it repeats a certain melody. Mostly all of the 'hook songs' just repeat a certain melody like Son Dambi's 'Saturday Night', but the basic structure is not very different from normal kpop. The order of the melody is just a little different. Usually 'hook songs' follow the melody; the rest is the same as the common kpop. On the other hand, 'Fire' has the structure of hip-hop. Except Park Bom's 'The stars shining in my eyes, my heart burning...(omit)' part which has somewhat of the common kpop structure, the synthesizer that comes in from the beginning of the song, and the 'eh eh eh eh eh eh eh eh 2NE1' part on top of the beat plays a variation by making the lengthening and shortening the melody. This is like a rapper in hip-hop rapping in different ways on top of the same beat. Right now in the States, the boundaries between hip-hop and pop and also rap and melody has disappeared. YG's first class producer Teddy has given 2NE1 a song for their generation. The consumers to 'Fire' are girls who listen to Rihanna's songs, and girls who will copy their dances.

I want to go crazy
This extreme style of 2NE1 is the core that attracts the girls around their age. Like 'Fire' that has a breathless beat from the start to the end, 2NE1's fans would 'want to shake their bottom until their hair shakes' and 'become crazy'. Of course, right now it would be hard for 2NE1 to receive more public interest. But their role model Bigbang made it second for book sales with their book . When an idol group becomes the style for a generation, they become a group that is hard to replace. What’s most important for 2NE1 is not how many people like them, but what position they'll be able to take. This mission is a harder mission than any other idol group promotions. This isn't the first time we've seen a large agency make their new group known by sticking them together with a popular group in their agency like YG did for Bigbang-2NE1. 10 years ago, SES came after HOT's huge success and became the top female group. But that doesn't mean that 2NE1 will rise to the place SES was at then. It's not only because we already have Girls Generation and Wondergirls. The actual question would be their true identity as an idol. Idol fandoms do not expect idol group members to be song writers. But they can beomce very strict and even check the groups live singing skills by even deleting out the MR(the sound source with everything but the members voices in the song). This is similar with how 2NE1 only went on SBS because has the best camera work.

Truthfulness as an idol
2NE1 especially is a group aimed for females in their tens and twenties. These kind of idols need to have the chameleon-like skills to influence the culture and style of their generation. Different from Girls Generation and Wondergirls, who does group dancing, it is not a coincidence that 2NE1's choreography makes the members each show their own performances at their parts. Gong Minji's new leg splits performance has become a hot issue. However, 2NE1 hasn't been verified yet for their 'true talent as an entertainer'. The media published many stimulating articles about their first stage, which wasn't the best, because the opinions about talents and skills about an artist is most welcomed and easily received by the public. Of course, Bigbang was like this when they debuted also. But, 'Lies', which was the start of 'Bigbang', was written by G-Dragon, and they also participated eagerly in the styling. Also Taeyang has been acknowledged for his solo activities by receiving an award from the R&B category from a large award ceremony, TOP kissed Lee Hyori at MKMF and Daesung tries his best at tv shows. They ran outside of the idol boundaries themselves. On the other hand 2NE1 debuted under the planning of their creator and is still under the creator revealing everything under the creator's protection. They haven't performed at festivals where bizarre thing happen, and they haven't been on tv shows that are like wars. 2NE1 needs to show that they have their own charms to prove that they have to ability to stand on their own. In the Korean music business, a small number of CEOs that are almost like creators, made their young 'Eves' the core of the music business. However, it depends on their abilities if they can become the new main character of the Eden Garden. This is the most interesting part about 2NE1. They have everything that a large agency can do for a new group, but at the same time they can only survive if they have to ability to stand on their own. Will they be able to fill in the parts that no one else can do for them? If they can, these girls will finally be able to come back to earth and play with their friends.

YG, starting a betting game
Right now it's not even an exaggeration to say that the music field right now is divided into three parts. YG, SM and JYP are leading the trend for Korea's music. In the music programs on TV for the first half of this year, Girls Generation, Super Junior, 2PM, 2NE1 etc. received first place one after another. Also, if you see the inspection report of the government in 2008 SM, YG and JYP their 2008 profits were each 43,400,000,000\, 18,500,000,000\, 11,000,000,000\. Mnet media, which had a profit of 118,000,000,000\ scored higher, but Mnet Media is a daughter company of CJ; you can't compare this company because they distribute almost all of the music in the overground music world(*overground music world = artists that show themselves on tv). However the loss is also at 61,000,000,000\. The reason that these 'big three' have the greatest power is also because of the idol groups. SM from TVXQ to Shinee, made many successful idol groups and has the most number of idol groups; JYP from god to Wondergirls, made big stars that dominated a certain time era. YG's 2NE1 is not only receiving the spotlight because of 2NE1's issue-ness, but it is also because YG has finally started a competition with the two other companies. Before Bigbang, rather than having popular top stars, YG had many various artists such as Big mama, Se7en, Wheesung who had a basis on R&B or hip-hop music. Bigbang was the first idol group of YG that dominated various markets, and it seems like YG's trying to make 2NE1 do the same. This is kind of like how SM made SES the powerful group in the markets after HOT. In Bigbang's cell phones commercial he tied 2NE1 with them and made 2NE1's style known by their commercial and music video even before their debut; this large-scale promotion would've been impossible for YG if there was no Bigbang in the past. It's like when Yoobi, who dreamed to be the center of the continents finally had Hyunju in his hands and accomplished his great ambitions. Now the true idol era has started, or you could also say the Samgukji(三國志) in Korea's music industry has started.

Original article written by Kang Myungsuk.
To see the original article click here.
Translated by Beau @ bbvipz, ygl

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