Kpop Music Monday #12: 2NE1, “I Am the Best”

Ten years ago, if you asked about the reigning “girl crush concept” group, everyone would know that you were talking about 2NE1.

The “girl crush concept” typically portrays strong, independent women, the kind of girls girls want to be. They’re often seen getting their revenge on cheating boyfriends or chilling with their friends. For me, no one defines “girl crush concept” better than 2NE1.

This week’s Music Monday (a few days late) is their song “I Am the Best,” another easy song for non-kpop listeners to become addicted to. Even without knowing the lyrics, you can tell it’s an empowering song by the sheer amount of black, metal, and interesting animals they have on set.

2NE1’s rise and downfall is too exhausting to write in detail, but the group started fizzling even before member Minzy left the group. There was a drug scandal with Park Bom (as well as plenty of plastic surgery rumors), and the overall mismanagement of CL’s American debut. None of this dims 2NE1’s light as one of the founding girl crush concept groups, something that even YG Entertainment’s CEO is still chasing after, in “prettier” girl group BlackPink. (He really said that. Gross.)

As much as I love “I Am the Best,” my favorite 2NE1 song remains “I Don’t Care” to this day. All of their songs are bops, though, to be quite honest with you. I will forever be a Blackjack.

Kpop Music Monday #6: BigBang & 2NE1, “Lollipop”

One term you start to notice the more you listen to kpop is “CF” which stands for “commercial film.” This is beyond a mere commercial–sometimes it includes songs (and choreography!) written specifically to market a brand or new release. And the greatest CF in kpop is now ten years old–BigBang and 2NE1’s “Lollipop.”

To unveil the release of a new cellphone (or something–it doesn’t appear in the music video), LG tapped into boy group BigBang and as-of-then undebuted girl group 2NE1, both artists under YG’s label. They put them in eye-catching outfits and ridiculous hair styles, and then viciously puked rainbows all over their film set.

I really can’t underestimate the power this song had over me. I’m sure my friend and then-roommate Timmy can tell you just how sick of the song he got.

I’m just going to let this one speak for itself.