ALTHOUGH South Korea produces numerous girl and boy groups and soloists as part of its Kpop wave, 2NE1 is still considered to be among the movers and shakers of the industry. They deviated from the bubble-gum pink, cutie patootie theme and debuted as the most bad ass, norm-breaking quartet in the history of Kpop. The emergence of 2NE1 among the sea of pink and pastels, honey-like voices and explosion of glitters had been a very welcoming change, like a cold glass of iced tea in a hot summer day.
The quartet, formed by Bom, CL, Dara and Minzy debuted in 2009 under YG Entertainment, where they have said to trained for four years. The first single that projected them to stardom is “Fire”, both versions reached one million views within the first twenty four hours of its release. From there, they released hit after hit singles such as “Fire”, “Lonely”, “I Am the Best”, “Ugly”, “I Love You”, “Falling in You”, “Missing You”, and “Come Back Home”.
What the group accomplished the few years that they were active has never been reached even by long standing bands. At the peak of their career, they were considered to be the most successful girl group in South Korea. Not only that, they are also one of the most best-selling girl groups of all time, selling about 67 million records. Their popularity and influence on the music industry was even recognized internationally when Billboard ranked them as the best Kpop girl group of the decade.
But what is it that makes the group so unique, among all the groups that had debuted before them, and those that follow their footsteps now? Perhaps it is the characteristics of each of the member that makes them unique and not just generic? Bom had been known to be the ”living doll” for her uncanny similarities to, well, dolls. CL, the baddest female in Seoul city, was already rapping even before rapping on women became popular. Dara had already established her name in the entertainment industry in the Philippines even before she debuted as a 2NE1 member. Minzy is an accomplished dancer, singer, rapper and song writer.
Although the group eventually disbanded in November 2016 with their final single “Good Bye”, Pinoy Kpop fans still admire them. Despite the emergence of the next generation girl groups such as Twice, Momoland and BlackPink, 2NE1 still has an unforgettable impact among the Filipinos. Aside from their undeniable talent and refreshing concept, our attachment to the group was also most probably contributed by our very own “Pambansang Krung Krung ng Pilipinas” Sandara Park.
Undoubtedly, Sandara or Dara had a lot of talent. She was already an established block buster artist (singer and in films) in the country when she left for South Korea to train as an idol. When she first caught our eyes and heart in her legendary Star Circle Quest audition, we know that Koreans too, her fellowmen, would see why we have grown to love her throughout the years.
Although it is truly disheartening that 2NE1 had already disbanded, no one can really get over it, we have been blessed by iconic music videos, marvelous jaw dropping performances and were inspired through the girls’ dedication and their perseverance among all the struggles that come with the fame. Past girl groups had only grappled to reach what they had reached in their short-lived career. Newer girl groups, I dare not say which, had patterned their identity, outfit, music to these legends. They’ve parted ways and are pursuing solo careers, most still in music and entertainment. But we, as true hard core fans, have been in constant support to all the endeavors these ladies would wish to pursue. Blackjacks forever!