2NE1: K-Pop diva with auto-tune, spaceships, dancing Stormtroopers

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While you were sleeping, K-Pop morphed into this. Zoetica of Coilhouse, from whose tweets I found this, asks:

"How can I simultaneously hate and love one thing this much?"

The one I've embedded below contains dancing Stormtroopers. And, yes, more auto-tune. The styling in both videos is kind of incredible.

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  1. I hate this. But for some reason I want it to infiltrate american popculture. Its a shame I have no clue how to aid it in doing that.

  2. Unapologetically polished and manufactured and I’m addicted to the stuff. When I watch the videos I know I should be saying “nooooo”, but the whole time I am saying “yeeeessss” and gladly allow myself to replay the whole horrifically wonderful scenes across my computer screen again and again. We all have our secret shames and this is mine. 2ne1, twenty-one, to anyone–aw, yeah!

    1. @anon #7 – Predates Gaga by a LOT.

      This video is cut at a ridiculous pace, and it’s entrancing. Living in Korea though, I can tell you the song itself gets old fast. Can’t even play one game of Settlers of Catan without it coming on the radio.

  3. –Still visually awesome, however. See also “Miss A”; “T-Ara”; “Wondergirls”, and “f(x)” for similar fare.

  4. The interesting thing about 2NE1 is that they released three singles at once. “Can’t Nobody”, “Clap Your Hands”, and “Go Away” were all released at the same time. They are played everywhere. You can’t here one without at least hearing one more. It was a great marketing strategy to over saturate the market. K-pop marketing is extremely interesting. Normally, k-pop money isn’t made off of record sales so they use other strategies. Girl’s Generation, F(x), and SHINee released their albums as great iphone apps. They have created any weird music consumer culture here.

  5. I don’t care if it’s K-pop or J-pop. Those girls look like they’re having a ton of fun and those songs ride a fine line between obnoxious and awesome. Also, their outfits are awesomely manrepellent.

  6. #7 –interesting question….Did Lady Gaga influence K-pop, or was it the other way around? Just what is the connection between LA and Seoul, in terms of K-pop’s evolution?

  7. They also have a pretty good rap scene too, like this one

    DJ Doc – Run to you http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZmYqodoqTk

    That tune was stolen and modified by a very weird Japanese band (a side project of a more famous guy), I forget his name however.

    Meanwhile the whole back beat is the Boney M. track daddy cool so who am I to complain. still so danceable.. =D

  8. It’s like Lady Gaga and Ke$ha got married and adopted a Korean girl and when she grew up they hired Seth Green to direct live action episodes of Robot Chicken for her music videos.

    1. I think it is time to reread William Gibson’s Idoru. I’m pretty sure he saw this coming.
      When Bono starts showing an interest, we will know.

  9. Stuff like this is perfect for posting on your friends’ facebook pages, since it’s irritating yet compelling.

  10. Unfortunately an increasing amount of K-Pop is mostly commericalized music – not talent – which is leading to more auto-tuning. Groups are groomed similarly to J-pop’s teen bands, and the members are chosen based on either their looks, singing ability, or dancing ability – but usually not all 3 combined.
    Just look at groups like SNSD, Wonder Girls, and Super Junior. Yet I still enjoy their music (for the first month or so until it becomes super-annoying).

  11. I think its great in the way it is just being whatever it is…also each K-pop group I hear is surprisingly different from the other… I also like the weird usage of English in most songs. I don’t like these songs as much as Girls Generation and Brown Eyed Girls’…didn’t think I would end up obsessed with this stuff, but its my secret horribly embarrassing yet highly enjoyable past-time.

  12. K-Pop is wild and you can find tons of it online. Youtube often has audio clips packaged as videos, and gasazip.com has lyrics. You can search for a title with “가사”, eg, “can’t nobody 가사”, and get the text of the lyrics.

    After a few K-Pop songs I know just about every love-song cliche in Korean.

  13. some information about 2NE1

    # Korean Pop, with Online Help, Goes Global(TIME, Thursday, Aug. 26, 2010)

    “2NE1’s international exposure — particularly in the U.S. — has been growing. Black Eyed Peas producer will.i.am saw one of their videos and immediately wanted to work with them, says Choi Sung-jun, chief operations officer at YG Entertainment. They have been collaborating for the past couple of months in Los Angeles and London.”


    # Will.I.AM talks to 2NE1


  14. I am not as repulsed by Asian pop as US pop, but I’m not compelled either. I had to force myself to finish both of these videos because I lost interest but I thought, maybe there’s something I’m missing if I don’t watch the whole thing (I’ve seen plenty of videos like this before, but who knows).

    I’m in Thailand and here the music landscape is interesting. There are certainly pop-dance singers like this, boy bands, everything – but they’re not very pervasive. You don’t see them all over the place, and you don’t hear them very much. As far as I can tell, they aren’t that popular with Thai teenage girls either, unlike in China, Korea, and Japan.

    There are a lot of places that play music, so you hear a lot of music. But it tends to be dominated by stuff from the US that came out six months earlier, cheesy love songs (in English), and certain Thai pop songs that can play for years (they don’t fade away very quickly). I still hear the “This Time For Africa” World Cup song played sometimes, and that got old well before the world cup was over.

  15. Let me arrange this.

    1. K-pop? full of autotune, commercial, and singers are not talented.
    → autotune became a arising trend in Korea. If the autotune does not exist in the new song, people say “it’s boring, not attracting”. Commercial? maybe. As the market of music in Korea is too small to compare that of Japa or America, it is natural.
    Not talented? oh my.. imagine these talented girls singing in ballad or R&B. Do you think they can be focused by the audience? hell, no. 2ne1’s three title songs, ‘go away’, ‘can’t nobody’, ‘clap your hands’ mostly have easy melodies that people can easily follow. Although they have enough ability to sing difficult songs, they don’t do it because it’s useless! (they sing ballad songs only in special occasions, not in main performances) This is how k-pop works in Korea. The criteria of ‘good song’ can be different to compare with that of in America. You should think about this.

    2.it’s lady gaga’s!
    → Lady gaga. yes she is an amazing performer and singer with all that clothes. The concept of girl groups’ clothes have been changed into ‘catchy’ clothes. NOt only lady gaga has that concept, all the flow that singers in the world since 2008 or 2007 have catchy clothes that can appeal to people easier and faster. YOu cannot say that lady gaga had influenced 2ne1 only becuase the clothes look similar. THeir music, their appearance and their purpose of singing is actually different from lady gaga. Please, remember this.

    p.s. I’m a korean student, 16 years old.
    I hope people who have misunderstanding in k-pop will change their way of thinking.

  16. p.s 2
    Wanna know more about k-pop? click the links below.
    these are one of the most famous singers in Korea.


    Girl’s generation



    Wonder girls

    super junior



    and.. beast, mblaq, shinee, t-ara, miss-a, davichi, dj doc, psy……..etc.

  17. While I really did Burning Farm, and I have really dug several Asian music groups, the pop still fails to impress me.

  18. I have a couple things I look for in music to listen to while programming:

    Energetic and upbeat.
    Similar beats between songs.
    Relatively unintelligible lyrics.

    These are pretty much ideal. It’s all just manufactured, so it’s pretty much the same tempo or sharing similar beats. They don’t even speak English, so they can’t break my concentration. I just downloaded a bunch of their videos from YouTube so I can ignore them while I work.

    1. @Dean Putney – #44 – They do speak English. Not only that, but they have an English version of the song Can’t Nobody. The album they are working on with will.i.am is in English.

  19. – Lee Jung Hyun has a lot of influence in not only K-Pop fashion, but Lady Gaga fashion. The connection Lady Gaga has with 2NE1 is designer Jeremy Scott. Jeremy and CL are very good friends. 2NE1 is often seen on stage with outfits designed by Jeremy Scott.

    – 2NE1’s album To Anyone is the only Korean album to have reacher #1 on the US iTunes Hip-Hop charts.

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