South Korea Power Girl Group – 2NE1
YG Entertainment has been well-known for producing amazing hip hop artists since the beginning of its time. One of YG Entertainment’s biggest artists is a fierce and powerful girl group known by the name 2NE1 (re: To Anyone or Twenty One). The group is composed of four members (L-R): Bom, Dara, Minzy and CL. The girls have been establishing great fame and reputation across the globe in their 8 years of making music. As of 2017, the girls have officially disbanded and the members have gone solo.
Let’s look back to the birth of one of K-Pop’s power girl group.
2NE1 Debut Year
During an early 2009 press conference, YG stated that he would debut a four-member girl group somewhere in May. Initially, the group was to be called 21. However, YG’s ideas evolved and he finally decided that he would like to add a “new evolution” to music. The number 21 represents the 21st century, whereas the letters N and E are the abbreviations to new evolution. Hence, 2NE1 was formed.
2NE1 made their first appearance in May 19, 2009, where they featured alongside of BIGBANG in an LG Electronics’ promotional song, entitled ‘Lollipop‘. Their unique, eccentric style caught the attention of many people in the audience, as there were not many groups with such looks at that time. Their debut appearance was followed by the release of their debut single ‘FIRE‘ on August 17, 2009. The music video for ‘FIRE‘ was released twice, the first being a “space” version and the other a “street” version.
The song became an instant hit. It was written and produced by K-Pop/YG’s renowned producer, Teddy Park. The song topped Mnet‘s online charts at that time and soon enough brought 2NE1 to their first wins with “Song of the Month” and “Rookie of the Month”.
2NE1 Debut Stage
2NE1 held their first debut stage on May 17, 2009 in SBS Inkigayo. Their stage was one of the most iconic debut stages at that time. The girls started off with an Intro where they were introduced one by one as an elevator went up. The “17th floor” was Minzy, the maknae. Known as the dancer of the group, she executed a skillful dance performance. Going up to the “18th floor” was Dara. She put on her iconic ‘gimbap‘ hair and danced with a hand-fan. On the “19th floor” was Bom. The voice of the group chose a scarf to dance with. CL, the leader, stood on the “20th floor”. She showcased a dance with a chair in a bright white room. The four girls then gathered and made their way up to the “21st floor”, where their debut stage was.
The girls were perfectly in sync with each other. Even though we could hear the playback clearly, we could also still catch the girls’ real voices. We could even hear Bom straining a little at the 5:33 mark. Regardless, the girls executed a clean yet powerful debut with amazing skill, stamina, and passion.
2NE1 Debut Album
The first EP of 2NE1 was a self-titled mini album, 2NE1. The album was mainly written and produced by Teddy Park. It consists of 7 tracks, including their third single ‘I Don’t Care‘, and ‘Lollipop (ft. BIGBANG)’ as a bonus track.
2NE1 EP (2009) Track List:
|2.||“I Don’t Care”||Teddy Park, Kush||3:59|
|3.||“In the Club”||Teddy Park, Kush||3:45|
|4.||“Let’s Go Party”||Teddy Park, Kush, Masta Wu||3:48|
|5.||“Pretty Boy”||Teddy Park, Kush||3:25|
|6.||“Stay Together”||Teddy Park, Kush||3:44|
|7.||“Lollipop” (Bonus track with BIGBANG)||Teddy Park||3:05|
2NE1 Pre Debut Dance
You’ve seen BLACKPINK performing a dance rendition to Rihanna‘s Bitch Better Have My Money as a promotional video preceding their debut. But have you seen 2NE1‘s pre debut dance rendition?
Interestingly, 2NE1 also danced to Rihanna! The song ‘Let Me’ was released in 2005. This recording was a progress video looking into how much the girls had found their unity in performing as a four-member group. It is an essential thing to do in watching over the improvements within a group. I think it is safe to say that 2NE1 were definitely meant to be.
2NE1 American Debut
In 2010, the group began to record their songs in English in order to prepare for their American debut. They were assisted by The Black Eyed Peas‘ member and producer, will.i.am. The girls recorded a total of 10 tracks during the first session. The full length album ‘To Anyone‘ was then released with 12 tracks in it. The album debuted at number 7 on Billboard on its release date on September 9. The album itself had been preordered by at least 120,000 people before its official release. Four singles were released from the album: ‘Clap Your Hands‘, ‘Can’t Nobody‘, ‘It Hurts (Slow)‘, and the chart-topping ‘Go Away‘.
Unfortunately, that was probably the first and last time the girls debuted in the US completely. Today, CL is the only person who is highly active in the US. She is even rumored to be stepping in for Fergie in The Black Eyed Peas.
2NE1 Japanese Debut
A year after their US debut, the English version of ‘Can’t Nobody‘ was officially digitally released as a ringtone and ring back tone in Japan on January 19. Two months later, the group released their Japanese debut song, ‘Go Away‘, which was also available for ringtone and ring back tone download. Unfortunately, the girls were unable to perform for their debut due to the Tohoku earthquake striking Japan. In exchange for that, they participated in a Korean fundraiser for the earthquake’s victims.
In the same year of 2011, the girls decided to re-record their second EP 2NE1 in Japanese. The album was renamed as ‘Nolza‘. It consists of five hit tracks, rerecorded in Japanese: ‘I Am the Best‘, ‘Ugly‘, ‘Lonely‘, ‘Hate You‘, and ‘Don’t Stop the Music‘. 2NE1 ultimately reached a great success with the long-awaited Japanese hits, wherein they placed number 1 on Oricon Charts. They also managed to sell over 48,000 copies of the album after its official release.