Welcome to a new fortnightly feature from UnitedKpop! Through Western Wednesdays, you will see reviews of English versions of k-pop songs. Discover some English k-pop songs that you never knew existed, and share your thoughts and opinions about the ones you love.
To kick this feature off, I’m going to be starting with 2NE1’s Can’t Nobody (English ver.). The song itself is a very typical 2NE1 song, it’s tough, powerful and upbeat. Written and produced by Teddy, they have released both the Korean and English version of this song for their album “To Anyone.” It’s rare for a YG artist to demonstrate bad English in a song. Even if the artist doesn’t speak English they have quite a few American-Koreans working on the lyrics and they therefore tend to be in good English (with a few exceptions of course). Teddy has also revealed that he writes 2NE1’s music in English before converting it into Korean for release, so it only makes sense that we have an English version of this song too. 2NE1 all show that they can easily pull off the ‘tough girl’ concept, even in a language not all of them are completely familiar with. After being brought up in a few countries as a child, CL’s English has become more advanced, and as this song demonstrates she can also rap well in English without losing the flow. Her pronounciation is near perfect, and she’s put just as much energy in it as she did with the Korean version, which can sometimes be lost with a language change. Minzy is the weakest when it comes to English, but despite this she has great pronunciation. In the original song, all of her lines were in English anyway, and they’re pretty repetitive. Personally, I’m not a fan of the lyrics “‘Cause I’m so bad bad, but I’m so good good” as it doesn’t make much sense. How can someone be bad and good? When I first listened to this song, I was surprised to see 2NE1’s maknae singing these mature lyrics, but she pulled it off well and it soon grew on me.
Bom, having been studying in the US, has probably the most experience of English out of the girls. Keeping this in mind, I find that she slurs her words when she’s singing. Her powerful voice brings the song together nicely, but she also shows the attitude that belongs with the song.
Dara, who famously grew up and took the spotlight in the Philippines, has decent amount of knowledge when it comes to English. When speaking, she has inherited a Filipino accent which is completely undetectable in this song. She puts her acting skills to the test as she put the ‘bad girl’ face on and performs boldly, despite her sweet little voice and bubbly personality. You wouldn’t believe it’s the same girl.
The song as a whole is an upbeat, powerful song which will get you up dancing within seconds. It showcases the talents of all four girls, making it a memorable one.