YG New Girl Group: Does This Means The End of 2ne1?

2ne1

In spring of 2012 YG entertainment announce they were in the mist of creating a new female group. While members were not official named yet YG compare their new girl group being similar in sized to Girls’ Generation, T-ara and After School. YG also over emphasized that this new girl group would consist of natural beauty unlike some of their competitors who are suspicious of plastic surgery.Since that announcement only two potential members have been named, Jennie Kim and recently Kim Ji Soo. There is little information to be know about each girl. Only Jennie Kim has shared some spot light time after being feature as G-Dragon’s love interest in his solo song “That XX.”

Jisoo

A recent update on YG-Life features Jennie Kim doing a cover to Wale’s “Lotus Flower Love.” As well a  picture update of Jisoo. But despite the little news known about the group YG fans, particular Blackjacks, are not responding warmly to them. Blackjacks are genuinely worry that this new group will replace already preexisting  2ne1. Are the Blackjacks worries legit to think this newbie girl group will take the crown from queens 2ne1?  Well sorta.

The truth is that 2ne1 seems to be on top and most likely has reached their peak. Yet this doesn’t indicate that 2ne1 is falling from grace just need to expand onward in order to live up to their own hype. In the summer of 2012 2ne1 release their comeback single “I Love You.” A daring new image concept sense the group ditch their in-your-face attitude and settle down to be more sultry and sensational. 2ne1 did this after their stint in Japan  2011 that lead to a small mini tour. It was clear that 2ne1 has grown since their debut days and was trying to mature their image. The comeback was successful but short-lived as the group prepared themselves for their 9 city New Evolution World Tour. Making them the first female Korean group to embark on a world tour in the history of K-pop. The year 2012 was probably one of the best years, on a growth level, 2ne1 has ever endure. So why do Blackjacks still fear the end is near for their precious group?

The issue is not that 2ne1 has manage to create a name of themselves through the media and touring but the lack of a U.S debut. Since 2010 2ne1 and American electro-pop producer Will.I.Am, along with Teddy Park, are collaborating  an American single or mini album for 2ne1’s U.S debut. In 2012 2ne1’s “Take The World On” was not an official debuting single but was the first single produce by Will.I.Am. The track alone was less than the bombastic “I Am The Best” and a total generic sleeper.  Way to similar to 2ne1’s Japanese singles “Scream”and remix to Madonna’s “Like A Virgin which equally lack so much spark and charisma. Whatever happen to 2ne1’s more aggressive dance beats?

The decision to change not only 2ne1’s sound but to tone down their image was a bit drastic. Even though 2ne1 carved a niche market for themselves in Japan and South Korea it is very clear YG isn’t confident about their expansion westward. Other factors  may arouse Blackjacks suspension of 2ne1’s demising is the success of PSY’s “Gangnam Style.”

PSY

PSY is no idol rapper or pretty boy but a pudgy man who can horse dance. His silly music video “Gangnam Style” which makes fun of Korea’s wealthy elite was infectious. His unique look of wearing a suit and humorous approach to rap help him stand out from today’s artists. Whether or not American K-pop fans agree to PSY popularity as a freak of nature and ever furthering the image of the Asian male as a joke. In matter of months PSY surpass any K-pop idol star or group could ever dream of and didn’t change a single thing about his music or image.

I don’t think 2ne1 is falling from grace but is reaching an obstacle in their careers. The lack of confidence in fans only shows that 2ne1 is missing something that will complete them as a whole. This new female group shouldn’t worry fans whether or not 2ne1 is coming back stronger but are they coming back more true to themselves than they were before. If anything the success and experiences that 2ne1 has endure on their world tour and meeting different artists from the west can only show through their music. You can suspect that YG is already in the works of creating a new single for 2ne1, so in the meantime all fans can do is patiently wait.

The arrival of the  new female group will only strengthen and expand YG’s brand power in K-pop. YG has to see success even after 2ne1 is long gone and still continue the tradition of making good music. YG fans forget that the first debut female group under this label was SWI.T and the second Big Mama. Both did not manage to be equally successful as 2ne1. But I doubt 2ne1 will be the last female group YG will ever produce nor are they ditching them any time soon. It is possible for a record label to have more than one female group be successful? Fans need to realize without this ability I feel its YG who will fall to the wayside not their idols.

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Happy Valentines Day

here is some eye candy for us ladies

Jay park ft Dok2 Know Your Name for club worshipers

Taeyang “prayer” double hit of sexy with a  shirtless YB and an ovary busting suit wearing Teddy Park

Rain “In My Bed” the original Korean god of everything sexy in K-pop

oh yeah for the guys

Brown Eyed Girls “Abracadabra”  their’s goes your heart these ladies are fierce

Girls Generation “Genie”  if your a sucker for super cute gals in suits

Lee Hyori “Get Ya” is one sexy goddess in k-pop

for my fellow brown/dark skin sexy  divas a vid that will leave you speechless for the wrong and right reasons

Stony Skunk “Boom di Boom di”

Big Bang &2NE1:Light The Torch for 2012

With this new world tour and album T.O.P isn't the only one who will be needing oxygen

I’m not the biggest Big Bang fan but when news broke out that YG and Live Nation was teaming up for a world tour. I almost crap my pants for a second. With Girls Generation on Late Night With Litterman and Live With Kelly in the U.S. Plus the Wonder Girls TeenNick movie Wonder Girls At The Apollo . K-pop in the west is no longer a hidden little secret but not necessarily a huge success. While other groups like Beast(B2ST) is on their own world tour this method seems to work best for groups who plan to expand.

Touring is the best way for an artist or group to promote their music. Giving them the ability to show case their talents and develop a theatrical performance of an epic size. Going beyond the music video and truly giving a song the artistic justice it needs. Those lucky fans get the full treatment from their favorite bias. Something K-pop lacks experience in but in recent years of expansion has the golden opportunity to capitalize.

Big Bang in 2011 started off the year so right but things turn for the worse. Despite a successful solo comeback for member Seungri and the group’s mini album Tonight. Half way through the year Daesung car accident and G-Dragon marijuana scandal end 2011 on a bad note. Due to the amount of controversy YG stock prices went down and fans began to wonder if Big Bang was coming to an end.  Although some fans and critics were being overly dramatic YG allow Big Bang to reflect and regroup.

Thus allowing for a new album and a resume of solo activities. But nobody suspect the group would return with a possible 24 countries 16 cities world-wide tour. Invading Asia; Europe; North and South America. Starting on March 2nd-4th at Seoul Olympic Park Gymnastic these shows are already sold out. Those awaiting shows on foreign soil have not yet been confirm with official dates,venues and purchasing.

Like YG promise Big Bang will be working with the best in order to put on a memorable show that usher them into global pop hood. Teaming up with Laurieann Gibson (director) who work with Lady Gaga Monster Ball Tour 2011  and Leroy Bennett (stage/lighting)  who work with Eminem and Linkin Park. YG is living up to their name of ‘going big’ but will they maintain hype with this being a ‘world tour?’

The promotional hype wheel is already spinning as YG-Life blog release Big Bang new album. Disclosing a new title track “Fantastic Boys” compose by Teddy Park and G-Dragon. Also another featuring Daesung solo song “Wings.” Schedule drop February 29th but don’t hold your breath. yG is infamous for using delays build up anticipation.

All things put aside there is also another major idol machine in YG that is making a comeback 2ne1. According to YG in March 2ne1 will return back to Japan. This new album include original material. Details on the album haven’t been reveled but some fans began to wonder if 2ne1 truly has a chance. With their first official Japanese album Nolza selling 26,000 units wasn’t what fans suspect. Although it was solid enough for 2ne1 to create some sort of ground in Japan. Here is something YG should consider the possibility of 2ne1 being an opening act for Big Bang Alive 2012 World Tour.

This can help 2ne1 in their expansion into the west and continuous in Japan. Many major acts have collaborated together by touring not just always by a song. With 2ne1 still being the new gals on the block and Big Bang the veteran mega super stars. This will give 2ne1 the pedestal not only conquering Asia but developing a more hardcore fan base in the west. I feel 2ne1 should release a Japanese album with original material. After that release an English one (if desire) than travel with Big Bang on tour. This will not only give YG a stronger front for both band globally but also the ability for 2ne1 western debut left unnoticed of a higher possibility of a bigger turn out.

In the end this new world tour will open new doors for YG and also explore unfamiliar territory. This can strength Big Bang presence on a much larger scale and live up to the Best World Act. For 2ne1 this could possibly be the golden ticket to be the leaders or top runners for K-pop going to the west. YG can’t lose what hasn’t been measure. Both acts can only grow from this experience and overall this benefits both fans and K-pop genre as a whole. Like most  when the hype dies down, the speculation no longer the voice of reason and  popularity is put to the test we’ll know if Big Bang/2ne1 will be the ones to light the torch.

Source: YG-Life Photos: Soompi

Should Park Bom Do A Solo Album?

Kicking off 2ne1’s lengthy comeback  Park Bom’s unleash her second digital solo song “Don’t Cry.” While YG follow this formula for total promotion domination by releasing a new track every 3 weeks. Bom’s “Don’t Cry” pumps fans with excitement. Promising that this comeback might be more successful than the last.

On the eve of Bom’s solo single YG disclosed she wouldn’t be able to promote. The same excuse YG pulled back in 2009 when Taeyang release “Where U At.”  The day of “Don’t Cry” release it shockingly snag #1 spots from various online portal sites. Ranging from iCharts,Navar,Monkey3,Daum cafe,etc… The over whelming respond encourage YG to allow Bom perform “Don’t Cry” on some music shows.

To keep fans on their toes YG also launch YG On Air live. The first to usher in this new wave Bom’s “Don’t Cry.” Instead of the original version she perform a special strip-down acoustic.

Don’t Cry Acoustic from YG On Air Live

Original MV and Version

Fans are impressed by both version of the song.Debating whether or not Bom can pull of a solo album. While Bom in her early training years might have been more ambitious on being a soloist. Her duty  if not musician’s responsibility  is with 2ne1 now. In 2009 Bom’s first solo single “You and I” won 2010 MNet’s Asian Music Award for best l digital single. Both “You and I” and “Don’t Cry” are compose by Teddy Park. An artist and producer himself who has been head music director in 2ne1’s musical process and soloist development. Instinctively Teddy Park can have a sense of connection with his fellow female juniors. Although Teddy is an excellent producer sometimes he can over emphasize the importance  a beat. Teddy musical back round is non traditional but heavily influence by hip hop. In both “You and I” and “Don’t Cry” the beat takes a life of its own. Carrying the song more dominantly yet Bom’s voice still shines through. In the acoustic version Bom’s voice is more expressive and creates the mood. Allowing her to show off the natural ability a vocalist can possess with story telling.

Safe to say the strip-down version has not only enhance “Don’t Cry” beautiful melody but Bom’s voice. If Bom every decided to do a solo album I hope she will experiment more. The success of “You and I” and the respond to “Don’t Cry” has been lucrative  for YG. Yet this also defines Bom’s possibility as being a top female soloist. It’ll be a few years from now before fans have the luxury of hearing a solo album from Bom. In the meantime 2ne1 is preparing for a third comeback. One that will be on an international level.  As the group continues to work with Wil.I.Am (Black Eyed Peas) and their primary producer Teddy Park. YG has been very tight lip about the fellow quartet comeback. Their new material can only be an improvement from To Anyone. Even though I’m not a huge fan of this group I keep an open mind and ear to their music. I can cross my fingers for a Park Bom solo album after 2ne1’s comeback but I’m not holding my breath.

Quote of the Day: Teddy Park

Quote of inspiration to start,end or enlighten your day.

…..”If you find just one thing, devote yourself entirely to that one thing… Become a fanatic”-Teddy Park

Blacktronica: Hip Hop For Stupid Folks

 

Future king of K-pop?

In the past couple of years a new breed more like revitalized genre of hip hop has grown in popularity. Some call it hip pop, hipster, commercial, mainstream or if your Korean “blacktronica.” It’s the water down version of hip hop infuse with electronic,dance pop synths for those who are to afraid of the more creative stuff. Brave Brothers (Brave Sound) is already creating a female hip hop group Brave Girls, all members can rap. He’s even manage to create a male duo  Bulletproof Boy Scouts. Group of gangstalicious high school boys with too much free time. Brave Sound is teaming up with ballad producer Bang Shi Hyuk worked with 2am. I feel a little concern for South Korea’s hip hop scene. Unlike Americans who started hip hop this seems to push the genre as a trend. Not a way of life or sub culture that has reshape the industry. In the U.S seems the genre has forgotten its roots also. Artists like Far East Movement smash “Like A G6” topped Billboard charts.  Including Black Eyed Peas, Flo Rida, Pit Bull etc….are ushering in a new disco ear without knowing it.

Any true hip hop lover knows that party music and a fat beat goes together. The origins of hip hop started in night clubs back in the 70’s. During a time period Black entertainment was the coolest thing around. Sweet r&b groups like Earth,Wind and Fire, Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye to the Temptations had talent. Music was about love,sex, hardship and good times. With a mixture of blues and classical a traditionalist composer dream land. Just around the same time a more water down version of sweet r&b took over called DISCO. Not as musical creative like r&b/blues but far more catchy to attract a larger crowd. Once disco boom every body was cashing in and on the wave of Black entertainers waking up America to boogie.

Greatest party songs of all time came from disco. Songs like Hues Corporations “Rock The Boat,” KC and Sunshine Band “I’m Your Boogie Man” to Michael Jackson  “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough.” The whole essence of disco was about status quo, sex, drugs and platforms. Clubbing a new hot trend for American youth to over indulge. This wave of dance fever even made it to the big screen with Saturday Night Fever. Featuring a young,arrogant and superficially obsessed Tony Manero (John Travolta) who loved to dance. His whole ambition was to become a champion dancer on New York’s disco scene. The sound track feature a slew of dance inspired genres. From Latino, r&b, classical, jazz etc… Disco had the ability to fuse all shorts of ethnic genre of music. Resonating joy and a sexual care free attitude during a time of war, black outs, continuous of civil rights and economic recession.

LL Cool J and his ghetto blaster

Towards the lat 70’s disco was loosing its appeal. In mist of disco dyeing hip hop was born.In the same time frame night clubs that once only allow certain pedigree of club hoppers entrance. Stared disappearing with disco and underground scene emerge. While DJs scratch on turntables young MCs would “rap” to the beat. Instead of singing about lovers quarrel more about the impoverish conditions of New York City ghettos. Rebelling against disco need to be glamorous. This also includes good times just more of a humble type  without the cocaine. Infamous of early hip hop songs Sugar Hill Gangs “Rapper Delight,” Kurtis Blow “The Breaks” and Grand Master Flash and Furious Five ” The Message.” Hip hop was the voice of Black youth long forgotten. As 80’s progress hip hop was the new thing to trend to. Def Jam was the pioneers of hip hop that had to be louder and badder than the rest. LL Cool J ” Radio” and “Rock The Bells” was the anthem of a new generations. Even he manage to release a soft jam “I Need Love” that amplified male sex appeal and launch  1000 + female followers.

Even during this ear of side pony tales, big jackets and loud colors. Female MCs burst onto scene. When a young female rapper name Roxanne Shanté prove that ladies don’t have to admire. Can whoop any boy’s ass with vulgar display of  MC power. Unleash a dis rap against LL Cool J called “Roxanne Revenge.” Poking at LL Cool J over sexual and questionable womanizer ways. Roxanna launch her career and new trend in hip hop “dis raps” along with “mix tapes.” Hip hop is the bastard child of r&b and disco creating a new monster to take over mainstream pop charts. With hip hop on the rise became a red flag of concern to the conservatives. View the genre as “dangerous to youth” Hip hop was largely concentrated in New York within the five boroughs. It soon spread  across  America taking over night clubs and the streets. Hip hop now the  new thing to rebel that didn’t involve some guy wearing tight spandex and bad  frizzy hair.

Roxanne Shanté one of first female MCs in The U.S

As hip hop merge into 90’s the sound was very positive. The genre was getting mainstream notoriety but at a global scale. Soon hip hop trends spark up on West and southern regions of United States. Along on foreign lands from England, Germany and even Japan. Hip hop bad behavior bravado and political awareness with unapologetic lyrics made it the ultimate fab. From language, dance, fashion and business hip hop was creating its own sub-culture. In the 90’s along with the continuous of care free party tracks also usher in hardcore gangsta style rap. 2pac, NWA, and Notorious B.I.G reminded everyone that “thug life” isn’t for faint of heart but can snag #1 in billboard charts. Hip hop was frightening but an exciting new venture. The need for censorship was much stronger in the early 90’s. As republicans scrabble to silence the new wave a vulgarity.

Despite Parental Guidance stickers being slam hip hop became a dominate fixture in American mainstream pop. In other nations a tool of musical discovery to bring forth some diversity. In South Korea artist like Stevie Yoo few famous Korean musicians that happen to be an MC. While other groups like Drunken Tiger and Seo Taiji and Boyz brought forth 90’s style hip hop with less violent content. Sechs Kies few idol base hip hop groups to converge on a young Korean pop scene. Soon it became a popular trend to have “rappers” in idol pop groups. Most cookie cutter like YG’s 1tym to SM’s Shinhwa would have members who rap. While hip hop in Japan seem to have started in the mid 80’s. Like in the United States started as an underground club scene that soon spread into mainstream. MC’s turn soloist Zeebra to duo groups like m-Flo turn Japanese youth on. Just like in South Korea mainstream pop acts like Kat-Tun also use rap and hip hop beats in their J-pop songs.

The way Asians mainland use hip hop as a stepping stone more than a genre of its own. Those who are underground find themselves catering to a crave than any thing else. An insult to those who truly have love for  the game and isn’t some jaded admire. American hip hop has always been two worlds. U.S in financial  turmoil people would rather listen to mediocre superficial materialistic pulp than anything of intelligence.  Artists like Pit Bull who started out as a hardcore rapper broke down and started producing party hits. Even the most baddest of MC’s in the game today, Lil Wayne, has his fair share of pop B.S with “Lollipop.”

Teddy Park comprising his ability as a hip hop producer to appeal more for higher sales?

Black Eyed Peas showed a dramatic change with “Boom Boom Pow.” Wil.I.Am fixate on making electronic pop dance music as “way of the future.” Even groups like YG’s 2ne1 To Anyone wonders if this is the only future  hip hop has  on foreign lands. Producer Teddy Park over zealous usage of auto-tune only amplified 2ne1’s presence in K-pop. Using T-pain’s musical philosophy “auto-tune your friend”  while trying to be innovating  like Timbaland.  Teddy Park swirl of western beat samples fuse with sugary dance pop but noticeable hip hop appeal. Fans simply ate it up making hip hop more of  consumerism than humanistic radical ideals. Even groups like Big Bang are critical acknowledge for making such an artificial sound so popular. As South Korea economic situation  is on the rise its evident Korean pop singers are reaping the rewards.

Brave Sound wants to be the next who can do it more better than what YG manage to poop out. Funny how both Brave Sound and Teddy Park never heard of Jay-z “Death of Auto-tune”(DOA) seem so willing to throw themselves to the wolves. As Koreans march  into club tracks one could think this could be a financial accomplishment but also musical down fall in disguise. One thing about pop music is how its socially so dissociative to its very own listeners. In the 70’s American producers were so willing to feed such a hungry beast (disco). For a brief ten years it WAS the trend until people awoken from their drunken/drug fuel psychosis.  Those producers and majority of the musicians perish in the shattered glass of society’s vanity. If it wasn’t for disco dying a horrible death hip hop wouldn’t be here. So maybe Koreans need to exercise the need to shake that booty and whine about relationship bores. Maybe they need to superficially value themselves and provoke false immature  bravado. So they can get to the core of what music is and not how record labels choose to sell it.

K-pop has not stray from its roots of polish boy/girl  pop bands. Just that those people who are idols are becoming more self-aware. As fans demand better and more creative ventures not just from producers like Brave Sound and Teddy Park but the musicians themselves. As America goes through a second phase of disco this time if you’re broke still have fun and be famous among your peers. So maybe blacktronica  is about stupid fun until subconscious of youth matures. I have to give props to artists like Dumbfoundead, Jay-z, Lupe Fiasco, The QUIET, Verbal Jint, etc… reminding hip hop isn’t dead just will need serious  rehab later. I feel fine to creep in both worlds and have no shame if blacktronica dies a horrible death by 2021. It was a good run lets just hope those bands/artists can reach their full potential before masses have their fill and “move on to the next”.

Photo Credit: Brave Sound last.fim ,LL Cool J (google), Roxanna Shante  getty images Teddy Park 2ne1 TV Season 2 *don’t claim copyrights on photos*

Pic of the Day

Teddy Park oppa Part 2

hope you enjoy my sleepless humorous macros

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