It’s Friday and we are back with another Seoulbeats Roundtable. In lieu of recent wins, we wanted to dissect each members of Big Bang and 2NE1. In your opinion, who are the strong and weak members of these two groups and if you were to create a co-ed group out of these two groups, who would be part of your line-up?

Youngji: I’ll go on record and state that Dae-sung and Seungri are the two weak links of the group; their solo venture weren’t that great and i don’t think they add that much value to the group as a whole.  And Dara of 2ne1 have been discussed to death — but i’d just go out there and say that she doesn’t add that much talent to the group but she definitively contributes in the looks department, which for 2NE1, is a huge asset.

My ideal line-up of the co-ed group would consists of G-Dragon, CL, Taeyang and Bom.

Ree: As probably the only Seungri fan on this writing team, I have to disagree. I admit that he was pretty mediocre at first but he has improved heaps. His voice has gotten a lot better and though it isn’t his natural talent, he’s become good in his own right. Also, I like his voice better than Taeyang’s.

On the other hand, even though I had a lot of doubts when Seungri released his mini-album, when it did come out I can say he surpassed my expectations. And I actually liked his mini as a whole better than Big Bang’s one. In sum, although he isn’t the strongest member, or a pillar, he isn’t a weak link, not anymore. He more or less earned his place through hard work.

I don’t think Daesung is a weak link at all! This is subjective, but he has the power to make BB songs. His bits are usually my favourites, and there are times Taeyang and Seungri sound so similar, Dae is a breath of fresh air. The only member of Big Bang I have a legitimate problem with his honestly TOP, and his complete indifference whilst performing. I know a lot of people see it as ‘charisma’ or whatever, but I disagree. He honestly just comes across very lazy to me, and in my eyes it’s the same kind of shit that Heechul pulls. Maybe TOP gets away with it more because he has actual talent, but either way, it doesn’t excuse him for not ever trying with the choreography.

As for 2NE1, talent wise, Dara is a weak link. But… I really can’t picture them without her. And Teddy has a way of giving her parts that don’t highlight her weaknesses. Overall talent wise, Minzy wins hands down. But speaking personally, my favorite voice is CL. Gorgeous. And as manufactured as 2NE1 is, you can’t completely manufacture the kinda stage presence CL has. And people diss her for being timid in real life, but all bad ass like on stage. But that just makes her all the more amazing to me.

Bom. I love her. And recorded, she’s absolutely stunning and blows everyone away. But live… But I really can’t imagine 2NE1 without her vocals. She makes a great feature girl, in the sense her voice can take a song to new levels. Which is essentially what she does with 2NE1’s songs. Recorded.

As for a co-ed group, G-Dragon, TOP, Bom and Taeyang would sound really tight.

Megan: I don’t actually think that TOP is being lazy during performances. He just seems to be blessed with two left feet. Even when he tries the simplest moves, it looks ridiculous. Remember that bit at the end of “Turn it Up”? Ouch. Even I’m a slicker dancer than that.

Madina: His best dancing is done by his eyebrows.

Bo-Kyung: Honestly, Big Bang is nothing without Daesung. In my opinion, the weakest members are Seung-ri and Tae-yang. Seung-ri has nothing to contribute to the gruop and Tae-Yang doesn’t stand out at all – he’s better off as a solo artist. And I agree with dara being the weakest link, but I also feel like minzy could be one too. At least Dara got the looks but what does Minzy have? Young age? She may be a great dancer, but sometimes I feel like she is too young to be in a group with Dara and Bom – they are 10 years apart…that’s a decade! I know she is talented unlike Dara, but Minzy in 2NE1 is like Seungri of Big Bang.

As for co-ed group, how about GD, Park Bom, CL, Dae-sung? They will all at least have something to bring to the group. As for TOP and Dara, they should just pursue acting and Tae-yang should go solo and I’m not so sure about Minzy.

Ree: I disagree — Minzy is a really tight singer too. Arguably the best in the group (though personally I think it’s CL).

Fannie: I agree, I think Minzy’s singing is better than her dancing.

Amy: Minzy has a great husky quality to her voice that makes it really pleasant to listen to, but she is one of the most overrated “best” dancers in k-pop. I can’t stand to watch her dance.

Ree: Need to break it to you. I’m one of the people who genuinely does think her dancing is implosive. I’ve watched fan cams/dance battles, and being able to dance AND sing like that when they first debuted and she was 15 is just…Wow. I also think CL’s singing is better than her rapping…

Chloe W: CL’s voices can be grating sometimes, her rapping is decent. She is one of the better rappers on the idol circuit.

Megan: Big Bang wouldn’t have a whole lot of credibility in the vocal department without Daesung. So yes, I believe he’s necessary. The man does not get enough attention for that beautiful voice. People will go nuts over Junsu, Jonghyun and the like but never mention him. Seungri….the verdict’s out. I don’t think that the group dynamic suffers too much without him, but he does nicely fit into the traditional pretty boy aesthetic that the other members do not fit. He’s like, the boy next door? And most every group has one of those. GD, he’s the creative mind and the scandal maker and together with TOP, the face of the group in the media and not the appearance sense. So yes, those two definitely belong. Taeyang, he’s better as a solo. In Big Bang, personally I find him to be overpowered in the stage presence department by the others.

Yes, Dara is the face, and that makes her necessary, but from a purely performance and musically based standpoint, she does absolutely nothing. Don’t get me wrong, she’s got an endearing personality, but she was not cut out to be either a singer or a dancer and it shows. Minzy has a lovely quality to her voice. In fact, I like her singing voice more than Bom’s, and while she’s not the gobsmacking dancer stans say she is, she’s still more than competent, so she’s certainly useful in the group. CL brings it in the attitude, image, and charisma department, and her voice isn’t half bad either, so no complaints there. Bom isn’t the most consistent of performers, but her voice really colors 2NE1’s songs. Her voice is hard to ignore, that’s for sure, even when her technique is off. Every group needs that oxygen sucking powerhouse, and that’s what her voice is.

Madina: Speaking of TOP, I still can’t recover from T.O.P’s rapping on Uhm Jung Hwa’s “DISCO.” I think I’m scarred for life.

Fannie: I’m joining Ree in backing up Seungri. He is not the standout in the group, but he is what stabilizes and balances Big Bang, and furthermore is able to do so without noticeably bringing them down talent-wise (he’s a decent singer and dancer). He’s hardworking, has improved over time, and brings a youthful energy to the group. He’s also sociable, and has a natural sense of humor, which helps the group on the variety end (especially now that Daesung is lying low).

To me, the other four members can seem a bit stand-off-ish, but the group as a whole is more approachable with Seungri around. I think YG also realized this when he was deciding between B2ST’s Hyunseung and Seungi as the final member in Big Bang. While Hyunseung had a prettier appearance, better vocal talent, and roughly equal dancing ability to Seungri, he was unsure of himself (B2ST fixed that though and he seems much happier there), introverted, and had problems with expressing his emotions. Seungri is the opposite – he is confident in his abilities and his personal charms, and also works the hardest out of Big Bang to connect with fans during concerts.

I can say this for most of the members of Big Bang: confidence is what makes them charismatic.

Nabeela: For Big Bang, i dont know, they all seem talented enough not to annoy me, so couldnt really pick one as the weakest but as for the strongest members, definitely Taeyang and TOP. Taeyang delivers the hard hitting vocals and TOP supplies that dirty, sexy husky voice that you just dont hear in K-pop all that much plus both of them are mad good looking.

2NE1, for me Bom is the strongest, just because she has so much natural cuteness. And by natural, i mean she doesnt do the hand twirling every ten seconds, she doesnt try to act like a pixie on stage, doing the ‘HUH’ things that like Jessica and Tiffany do way too often for me to be comfortable with. Bom is cute because its just in her nature. Also, she’s a woman — classy and sophisticated, and charming because of raw cuteness. Her deeper vocals also balance the overall sound of 2NE1, and without, she group would probably lack a lot of substance

For the weakest, it has to be Dara, but only slightly. Dara is a CF Queen; she is the face of advertising almost as much as Yoona is, so I guess its safe to say she’s somehow brought more exposure to herself and consequently 2NE1. But she’s all face. I know she’s been trying to improve her vocals, but the girl was not born to be a singer, lets put it that way.

Between the two, there seems to be a lot of rappers, so making a Co-Ed group would be a little tricky. FER SURE Top and CL to rap, they can rap together, add plenty of attitude, Minzy can be in it because only she really knows how to dance, plus she’s smaller, she can go right in the middle, and of course, Bom, but i’m also gonna throw in Daesung here. He’s got great melody and his voice isnt as high as Taeyangs, and I think his would be a great medium between Minzy and Top. Yep. Minzy, Top, Bom, CL, Daesung. That’s money right there.

Johnelle: G-Dragon is the main reason that Big Bang can set itself apart from most K-pop acts. There’s been a lot said about him being the most overrated artist in K-pop, but I don’t think that’s true. When it’s all said and done is there any other current K-pop artist that has written more hit songs than G-Dragon? No. His voice isn’t the greatest, but he makes it work, he’s got major swag, fashion sense, and can work a stage like few others. He said before that he doesn’t like being called a musical genius and I think I can understand why. If he were a genius everything musically would come to him easily, but it didn’t. I think G-Dragon is successful because he worked damn hard with what talent he had because he was following his dreams.

TOP is a gem because no matter what, when he steps on a stage he brings the mad charisma and when he speaks… ah, a voice like no other. TOP is definitely the wild one in Big Bang and even though he’s the hyung he wasn’t encumbered by the responsibilities of being the leader which fell to G-Dragon. He brings the mischievousness to Big Bang. As for TOP’s dancing skills… ah really at the level he’s at now and being a rapper–does he really have to dance?

Daesung is the heart of Big Bang. His smile and voice lights up the stage for Big Bang. His voice is seriously awesome- he’s got great range, tone, and strength. I seriously think he could handle any of the singing parts in their songs if he had too. His voice adds such great dimension and depth to their songs. He’s the most lovable and humorous, and is the most compassionate of the group.

Taeyang I think is the rock of the group. He’s the calm, strong, and steady one that they can all rely on to hold the group together. His voice is good and he has a great persona on stage. His and Seungri’s vocals are very similar and could probably be sung by either of them. He’s probably the best dancer, although the competition between him and Seungri is pretty tight.

Seungri, you know I’ve come to appreciate Seungri. He’s like everyone’s bratty little brother and has a drive for success like no other, but you gotta respect that. I agree that he has improved a lot from when he first started out. I mean what fun would the few appearances on variety shows that Big Bang does go on be if it weren’t for the stories about Seungri, or the stories that Seungri tells.

Actually, iI wouldn’t give up anyone from Big Bang, but if I had to I’d get rid of Seungri (sorry, Ree). I also really enjoy most of their solo work and loved the GD&TOP collab.

As for 2NE1, Bom–you know there’s just something about her voice that can make a song. She doesn’t have the greatest voice, but there’s just something about how she works it that makes her stand out. Minzy is the most talented. Everyone knows she could always dance, but it took me a while to realize how great her singing voice is. She has a great tone and can really belt it out. CL doesn’t have the greatest voice, but she works it and she has great presence and charisma on stage. Dara is lovable and cute and has the most personality. She’s not the greatest singer or dancer, but I think she has continually worked hard to improve and she has improved. So I respect that. Again, I wouldn’t give up anyone in 2NE1, but if I had to choose, it’d be Dara.

My ideal co-ed group would be G-Dragon, TOP, Daesung, Bom, and Minzy.

Ree: I’m going to backup Johnelle about GD. He may be overrated as a composer, but no other idol has consistently composed title tracks for their band the way GD has. And honestly, back in their glory days, I genuinely do believe be deserved some of the hype. When Last Farewell came out in 2007 it really was ahead of it’s time (in the K-Pop sphere). They could release their 07/08 stuff now and it’d fit in to the current scene seamlessly. Say compared to SNSD or WG releasing Into The New World and Tell Me. And I also need to give GD props for having a really great rapport with all of the members — that’s one of the best qualities a leader can have. And to be nice to TOP — I think he can be a great rapper and performer when he actual raps and performs.

And it’s okay Johnelle, I think its a consensus if one had to leave BB — it’d be Seungri. And I need to disagree about CL’s voice, I think it is great. It’s actually my favourite out of the three.

Madina: I gotta admit, GD’s got game. I just wish he had the cojones to say “yeah, I smoked, and I inhaled” instead of “didn’t know it was a joint” BS.

On that note, who do you think is the strongest and weakest member of these groups and what’s your ideal line-up?