140228_seoulbeats_2NE1_MinzySeemingly out of nowhere, we were hit with the news that Minzy would not renew her contract with YG Entertainment. Meanwhile, CL, Dara, and Bom have all renewed their contracts and that there are plans to have a 2NE1 comeback later this year.

This is not the first time a group has faced member lineups due to contract expirations. Just earlier this year, three of four KARA members let their contracts expire. Since then, each member have gone their own ways, and signed with other agencies.

This begs the question: did you expect this to happen? What future do you see for Minzy? With Minzy gone, do you expect any changes in dynamic from 2NE1? Finally, do you think Minzy is better suited for another agency, and if so, which agency?

Lorenza: I was expecting some news about 2NE1, but definitely not Minzy leaving. Minzy is so incredibly talented as a dancer and is a strong singer that having her locked away in the YG dungeon wasn’t doing anyone any favors. While I’m sad to see Minzy go, I’m also so excited to see what she’s going to do next. It’ll be interesting to see her grow as an artist, especially if she signs on to a label that’s more suited to her ambitions.

Speaking of labels, I’m not entirely sure which agency would be the best fit for her, but I’d love to see her at Loen, or maybe CUBE? Ideally, it would be nice to see her somewhere that supports her, but lets her have most of the creative control she probably craves. Definitely somewhere with a better reputation for letting their idols pursue their creative interests while providing a support system for them.

20111108_seoulbeats_2ne1_idontcareWithout Minzy, 2NE1 is going to be different. There’s definitely going to be a dynamics shift and it’ll be difficult to predict exactly how that’s going to play out. I’m not sure they’ll be able to have the same dances they used to without her to make them look effortless. But maybe they’ll be like f(x) and something will click and the music they’ll produce will be just as good. Hopefully it’ll be great, but that’s mostly because I just really want Bom back (please, just give her back to the public, I miss her adorable self so much) and we all know if they fall anywhere short of perfection Papa YG is going to put them back in the dungeon. And I don’t think 2NE1 will survive another dungeon period.

Erianne: Whether or not it’s the K-pop cynic in me, but I always believed that at least one person from 2NE1 was going to leave this year, and judging from how Dara’s been pretty preoccupied with stuff outside of music, I reckoned that if it wasn’t going to be Bom leaving 2NE1, then it was going to be Dara. So for YG to suddenly drop this sad truth bomb on us was definitely something that I did not expect.

As Lorenza mentioned, Minzy is too damn talented to be ignored. She even has the stage presence and the charisma to boot–and to think that she’s one of the youngest veteran idols out there. At this point, since YG’s statements have been rather ambiguous, we can only speculate a variety of reasons behind her departure. From frustration to maybe just a personal change in musical style and philosophy, everything’s pretty plausible at this point. However, Minzy’s father joining in on the drama certainly implied that it might have been more on frustration on Minzy’s part since he wanted to indicate how her departure wasn’t necessarily ‘in good terms’ as YG sort of made it out to be in their official press statement.

20120528_seoulbeats_2NE1_minzyIn the end, despite how upset I may be that Minzy left 2NE1 (because she was such a vital member in that group), I can only hope for the very best for her. I hope Blackjacks will continue to support her and I hope she enters an agency that will definitely acknowledge and appreciate her skills and talents. On the other hand, I also hope that 2NE1 returns with an amazing comeback, not out of spite for Minzy’s departure, but to honor her in a way.

Also, I hope people would just stop giving Bom crap about this incident. It seems that netizens are blaming her for the group’s delayed comeback, hence being the reason as to why Minzy had to leave eventually. While I think that Minzy’s departure is really nobody’s fault, I believe that if there’s anyone to blame, it’s YG and not the artists.

Madi: Did I expect this? No. But here’s a better question: Am I/we surprised that this happened? No.

While the sudden/forced hiatus made sense, looking at the members, Minzy was the only one collecting figurative dust. Bom not being in the public eye considering the situation/scandal is understandable. Dara’s been acting and CL had that oh so wonderful US debut/promotion. Sure Minzy did something, she had a dance studio open, but I don’t think many people even knew that because I’m pretty sure YG never mentioned it or if he did, he didn’t make it a big deal.

Perhaps Minzy saw that her talents were going to waste and YG wasn’t doing or wasn’t going to do anything for her. And I’ll be honest: now that’s she’s departed from 2NE1, my interest in the group is almost null. I am curious about the dynamic of the group because well, Minzy was the most talented (in my eyes at least) and I feel with how YG pushes CL’s concepts, I feel like I’m getting flashbacks to Destiny’s Child and Beyonce…. promote CL enough where she’s “too big” to be a part of a group. But I also quite don’t understand the hype around CL anyway.

20111219_seoulbeats_2NE1Sadly, I miss out on going to a 2NE1 concert happening because I was interested in going to a female group’s concert, but one that overly lacked cute concepts and actually stayed on my radar (I didn’t see them when they came to the US).

I wish Minzy all the best. Whichever agency she decides to go to (if she does), I hope she’s happy and they’ll display her talents. Definitely interested in what she will be doing in the future.

Sarah: I also certainly expected some 2NE1 news this year. What with how YG had been dealing with Bom’s scandal (delaying any possible comeback for over a year), I expected it to either finally be that comeback or Bom’s departure from the group. I didn’t really expect Minzy to be the one to leave, however, as Madi said, it’s not all that surprising.

I’ve never paid enough attention to 2NE1 to really notice which of the girls is the most talented, but it’s still obvious that Minzy has skills. If she puts a lot of thought into her choice of a new company and chooses one that really fits what she wants to do, then she will still have a long career ahead of her. It’s up to her entirely now, but she definitely has the capability.

I’m more worried about the rest of the group and what will become of them. I was so excited for Bom to come back and have them perform together again. Minzy leaving changes the dynamic in a way I hadn’t thought about, and it does feel like they have the risk of becoming CL and Her Backup Dancers now. I only hope that Minzy’s departure doesn’t come at the cost of disrupting the dreams of Bom and Dara (and even CL). I truly hope that they are all able to find their new places in the music industry (or elsewhere) doing what each of them want to do.

Lo: Like everyone else, I’m not shocked that Minzy was the first to jump from the YG ship– she was clearly underpromoted. Minzy was 2NE1’s jack of all trades, but from the outside, it looked like she was punished for being a master of none. Hopefully, she’ll be able to start a solo career elsewhere and show YG just what he’s missing out on, because that is the point of a jack of all trades- she can sing, dance, rock variety, etc. enough on her own that she doesn’t need anyone else to compensate for her shortcomings.

20151205_seoulbeats_2ne1_mamaPat: Unfortunately, I kind of expected 2NE1 to be done after everything that happened since Bom’s “scandal.” I honestly thought that the MAMA performance was half unofficial goodbye stage, and half testing the waters if people will accept 2NE1 with open arms once more. After, there was such a long period of silence on updates that wasn’t CL, that I expected them to be another group that would go their own ways as soon as the contract was up.

But I did not expect Minzy to be the first to leave.

On the other hand, as mentioned, it’s not surprising at all. CL has her American debut, Dara has her dramas, Bom is in perpetual career comatose, but what does Minzy have? She’s clearly talented – hell, when 2NE1 debuted, she was my favorite! But how has YG handled her and her career seperate from 2NE1? It’s almost, if not, totally, nonexistent.

That being said, she’s crazy young for the years of experience she has. Not only that, she has the fanbase and the talent to have a solo debut if she so wishes, and if she finds a company that works for her. Like Sarah, I worry about the group. Minzy, to me, was a bit like the bridge between the members. Bom is powerfully strained vocals, CL is all charisma, and Dara’s voice is on the weak, yet stable, side. Because Minzy is the most well-rounded, she helped make the team complete.

seoulbeats_20141214_2ne1With her gone, it’s definitely going to become CL and the Rest.

Gaya: There has been speculation about Minzy leaving for a while. I thought the reports about her looking for another agency was just part of another round of such speculation, but once YGE announced that they would be releasing a statement, I knew it had happened. I got T-ara flashbacks. I personally was waiting for Dara to bounce, but she’s actually getting work now. Meanwhile, Minzy had… A photoshoot? I don’t think her dance academy stuff has anything to do with YG.

YG’s statement left a sour taste in my mouth with how it painted Minzy as uncooperative with his ‘vision’ for 2NE1. What did he want her to do, wait around like Gummy until he led her by the hand to another agency? Not that it’s a bad option, but it didn’t seem to be the one Minzy wanted. That press release was more about turning fans against Minzy/towards 2NE1 (and YGE), and devaluing her so that she has less bargaining power with other agencies. I don’t know what went on behind the scenes, but it’s clear that this split is not amicable.

At the end of it all, I’m glad Minzy is doing what she wants and wish her all the best. I’m also looking forward to this 2NE1 comeback, if it happens. I want to see how Minzy’s absence on stage is compensated.