Fresh off their recent, explosive release “I Am The Best,” 2NE1 has some fans questioning if this group is really as original and as unique as they seem.
For me however, the answer isn’t a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no.”
While most girl groups are waving their lollipops and singing to their oppas, 2NE1 is definitely different. Conceptually and musically, they step away from pastel colors, perky songs, and aegyo-filled personas. 2NE1, with their gritty outfits, fierce beats, and aggressive attitudes, provide a striking contrast to the prevalent trends in KPOP.
But what makes them original KPOP, also makes them a redundant group. Most of 2NE1’s music consists of hip-hop/club sounds that express how awesome they are or how some guy screwed them over (even though they’re so awesome). Yes, there are exceptions like “It Hurts” and “You and I,” but a few exceptions don’t make that much of a difference. If SNSD, with tracks like “My Child” and “Run Devil Run,” is about pop flavored, oppa-loving then 2NE1 is still about edgy sounding, It’s all entertaining and redundant may be too harsh an adjective but 2NE1 produces a lot of the same material.
And as a sound in the musical universe, this is a tough call. Because KPOP is such a small market and 2NE1 is one group, it’s easy to look at them through these contexts and come to a conclusion. In a global context that boasts everything from the Black Eyed Peas to Tom Petty, this isn’t easy. It really depends on who and what you listen to. While listeners of Rihanna may claim that 2NE1 isn’t impressively original, listeners of Wagner may claim otherwise.
The only solid conclusion I can come to is that originality is highly dependent on the context. And that, regardless of whether they are original or not, a lot of people find 2NE1 very entertaining. At the end of the day, I invite those of who you believe 2NE1 is as special as a snowflake and those of who you believe the exact opposite to reconsider.