It’s crazy to think that just under a week ago, the news broke that the girl group that won over fans all over the world had disbanded. For some, it had been an impending issue that would happen eventually while for others remain devastated upon hearing the news that no more music will be released from the YG group. Though, it’s not just 2ne1 who have faced the ‘seven year curse’, with other well-known groups such as KARA, 4Minute and Rainbow who have also disbanded this year.
However, despite the sad update, it’s more than evident that the music that was put out by 2ne1 will forever be remembered by their fans and anyone who enjoyed their music. Over the course of the years they were together, the topics discussed in their songs were relatable which enabled them to reach out to people through the medium of their music.
CL, the leader stated that “Even if you don’t understand the language, you can still love the music,” which supports the main reason behind why so many people enjoy listening to K-pop.
For this SOTW, we’ll be looking at seven of 2ne1’s songs which just gives you an excuse to have a marathon of their music, though there’s plenty of others that weren’t mentioned in their discography especially their ballads are worth a listen. Though, just a pre-warning, it may just worsen the sadness.
“It’s been a long time comin’, but we’re here now
And we ’bout to set the roof on fire baby
You better get yours, cause I’m gettin’ mine.”
To start off, we’ll look at their debut single ‘Fire’ which was released in 2009. It went against the trend of girl groups using cute concepts with this strong introduction to the new girl group at the time of YGE. This fresh brand which promoted girl power, leading up multiple awards and increased international recognition. It looked to be the start of a very promising career for these girls.
2. Go Away
“All you do is act a fool, you ain’t sh*t without your crew.”
Following on a year after in 2010, they released a number of MV’s. The song goes into the stages of a broken relationship, the anger, grief and eventual acceptance. It tells of the emotional journey that many must go through in their lifetime when someone you loved is no longer the person you fell in love with. But it also pulls on the strength that is needed to be able to overcome the heartache and to acknowledge that sometimes you’re better off without that person in your life, especially through the lines of support from your friends.
3. Can’t Nobody
“Can’t nobody hold us down
Don’t try to stop me
Until we’ve all gone crazy
Until we’re all worn out tonight
Can’t nobody hold us down.”
In addition to the release of ‘Go Away’, we also got ‘Can’t Nobody’ and ‘Clap Your Hands’. This is an infectious dance pop track with an underlying uplifting meaning behind it. It shows off their confidence in themselves and their own individualistic styles which was their defining point as artists. And thus, this could have prompted others to not stand idle by allowing barriers to stop them from moving forward.
“I think I’m ugly
And nobody wants to love me
Just like her I wanna be pretty I wanna be pretty
Don’t lie to my face tellin’ me i’m pretty.”
I think, out of all their songs, this may hit home for many people. For K-pop idols, their image and appearance is considered to be a paramount factor. They’re supposed to act as role-models to give others something to aspire to be. However, this song opened up the important topic that was otherwise considered to be taboo. Yes, even K-pop idols can feel insecure about themselves and their imperfections, they are human beings just like the rest of us. There’s going to be days when we may not feel pretty, but that’s okay. There will also be times when you will look at someone else and wish that you looked as nice as they do, that’s a natural reaction to have. However, at the end of the day, everyone looks different and that’s the sheer beauty of it, as corny as it sounds, that’s exactly what makes people unique and adds an extra something to your identify.
5. I Am The Best
“People who know a thing or two
They all know it so ask them
Grab anyone and ask them
Who is the best.”
The years 2010 and 2011 are arguably the time that 2NE1 reached their peak as artists. Though, that doesn’t mean to say that they didn’t continue to put out great music. This song is an instant trademark of 2NE1, perhaps it could even be the first track that comes to your head whenever you think of the group. It’s empowering, just like with ‘Can’t Nobody’. The beat is addictive and the lyrics are unapologetic.
6. Falling in Love
“I’m going to make you mine, that’s what a queen do
Yeah in the club it’s getting ugly I don’t care
Can’t nobody stop the fire let them haters sit n stare.”
Up next, we’re looking at the reggae dubstep mash ‘Falling In Love’. I have to admit, looking back in hindsight I didn’t fully appreciate this stage of 2NE1. Then again, I didn’t personally think that they would be able to top ‘I Am The Best’, which raised the bar of expectations very high. From the looks of visuals, there seemed to be more of an added emphasis in this MV. Though, it’s now a good track to listen to during the summer and allowed a different, a more feminine side of 2NE1 to be shown.
7. Come Back Home
“Can you come back home
Put all the pain in the past
I still wait for you like this
Now you gotta do what you gotta do.”
Who would have ever guessed that this would have been their last song, it’s ironic to say the least. Since fans persist in asking for the group to come back. This was released in 2014, alongside to compliment their well-made album. The concept of this MV was interesting, opening up the idea that people can become so consumed in technology and detach themselves from reality in favour of a fantasy world.
2NE1 were also known for their stage presence, good examples of these are any of their MAMA performances. Last year in 2015, CL was announced to be promoting her song at the time ‘Hello Bitches’ with the surprise appearance from Dara, Bom and Minzy which completed the set.
They performed their debut song along with ‘I Am The Best’ which was ultimately was unbeknownst to their fans their very last stage as 2NE1. However, with first generation groups making their return to the K-pop scene, who knows? Maybe in future, they could potentially have their awaited return, since anything seems to be possible at this point, right?
But to finish, there’s been times when many of us have gone to listen to 2NE1 songs because they helped to improve our days. Just because they won’t be around, that doesn’t mean their music will disappear. It’s a sad occasion in K-pop, however we wanted to say ‘THANK YOU’ to 2NE1 for all the memories and the music.