Tag Archives: 2ne1

Kpop for Noobcakes 10 Best MVs of 2014

It’s no secret that Kpop suffered heavy losses this past year. The entire country collectively mourned for 3 weeks, leaving many schedules canceled and new releases pushed back. While I didn’t listen to them, the Ladies Code crash rippled to all parts of kpop, and other stars went through injury. Lastly, many prominent kpop stars pushed back against their contracts, switching companies or all together leaving the Kpop scene. Yet I found I was at no shortage of fabulous songs, and like last year, I had to cut songs from the honorable mentions section, let alone the top 10. So without further ado, I give you the music videos that I thought were the best this year. Scoring is biased towards the song, but the video also has a heavy weight to how high the song is placed on the list. Cultural relevance and years in the industry also have an impact on how well the song scores.

10. TVXQ- Spellbound

This year has been a fantastic one for swing, and the trend started with TVXQ on the first of the year when they came out with “Something”. “Spellbound” is the even better follow up to their first song of the year, adding a Vegas style flair to the “One shot” box style video that SM is known for. One thing that particularly impressed me about the video is that the backup dancers actually interacted with the camera instead of trying to blend in.

9. F(x)- Red Light

I rather liked the dark styling in this video and the almost round like song. It was an extremely different and memorable song. The draw backs to it were the lack of a climax and how loud the background layering comes through on headphones. It wasn’t mixed as well as I would have liked. All of the ladies were styled well to their personalities and the stylist left behind the usual Katamari ball of weird accessories.

8. Purfles 1,2,3

The first of several rookies on my list, Purfles took their solid harmonies to the bank on this club style Kpop song. Their name is kinda dumb, and their company is small so their distribution is limited, but I advise you to actively promote these girls and the other rookies on this list. All of the groups feature strong vocals, something I feel we need more of in Kpop. Purfles are still working on reaching cohesion live, but if their introduction video tells me one thing, its that their vocal talent may be rough, but its real. Also workout sections of songs are my soft spot, not to mention that her boxing was actually decent.

7. 2ne1- Come Back Home

This is the song I arguably have the most bias with. 2ne1 is my favorite band, and I identify as Blackjack when asked by another Kpop purveyor. This song sits at number 7 because is a slightly above average song with amazing production value. The song does not reach the level of quality I expect from 2ne1, but I spent weeks watching nothing but this music video. It looks gorgeous and has a story worth unraveling.

6. Kiss & Cry- Domino Game

Can we have more trumpet please in songs? The Latin flare and beat is so good in this Kpop song and the dance follows suit. The vocals are very strong, although whether the strong vocals continue after the loss of a member remains to be seen… its not for certain that the group will even be making a comeback. I hope that even if they do not make it back, that more rookie groups will be following in their style, strong vocals, strong image, strong dancing. Strong is sexy.

5. EXO K- Overdose

I think this song slammed its way onto my list because I (wrongly) attribute it to bringing back Kpop. It was the first song to be released after the ferry accident, and I was grateful to them. The ferry tragedy affected me like it did other Kpop fans, but it also occurred during my student teaching and I felt the tragedy a little differently as a teacher myself. Kpop was my way to bring me out of my funk and I was very happy when news of an EXO comeback came my way. Usually I like the M version of the song better, but for this release, I think the K version is much stronger.

4. Block B- Her

Block B’s move to Seven Seasons seems to be exactly what the doctor ordered for the group. While the lines really aren’t balanced anymore, it seems like Zico having a greater hold of creative control on the group has allowed the members to make videos that adhere to their sense of humor. In addition to that, the songs sound different, and that’s not only musical styling. Zico’s writing doesn’t rely on the same tropes that other pop songs seem to use, and so the words sound different than the typical “saranghae” nonsense. I would love to see more releases from them, or even subunit work.

3. Taeyang et ala- Eyes Nose Lips cover project

By itself, “Eyes, nose, lips” is a simple but forgettable ballad. The original song was well sung, and while Taeyang was shirtless for the entirety, the shooting never focused on what he looked like. Here is the original:

YG did a very smart thing with this song and allowed other artists on their label to reinvent the song in their style, bringing out the cover project. The first is the brother sister duo AKMU, who did the song in a soft spring-like indie style.

The second was the English rap ballad version done by Tablo of Epik High. Taeyang sings the bridge on this version in English. The lyrics are decent; listen to this one carefully.

The third and final YG cover is by Lydia Paek, a choreographer under YG. Her cover is a English Ballad. Lydia is formerly of Quest Crew, a dance crew based out of LA, so her English is very accurate and slang infused.

Lastly, while he is not under YG, Eric Nam, a Kpop artist born in Georgia did a verbatim English translation of Taeyang’s original song.

Now all of these songs separately would not be enough to make it onto the list, but together the concept of “Eyes, Nose, Lips” is enough to make it to the third spot on the list.

2. Mamamoo- Piano Man

This song nearly became my number one song of the year. Mamamoo debuted at the beginning of this year, but they seemed to be on very few Kpop fan’s radar. This song however, is a brilliant use of their vocal talents to deliver swing music that uses excellent piano that was clearly live recorded for the song. The video evokes a 1920’s speakeasy, and each idol is cast as a different person inside the club. What is even more spectacular than the video is the live performance, which not only sounds exactly like the recording, but every single performance version differs from the others. They do a different action or add a different flavor sentence to the blank spaces of the song. It gives the viewer a reason to sit through all the live versions to find the differences. It also shows how talented these girls are, to remember which version is happening at which show. There are at least a dozen live performances, and if you like this song even slightly, I encourage you to watch a live version… or two… or 8.

1. Spica- You Don’t Love Me

Do I even have to explain? I hope the 3 rookie groups mentioned on this list this year reach the vocal prowess that Spica just is. The styling of the video uses a lot of 40’s and 50’s makeup, hair and outfits, and while this is a box video, they actually interact with the set, to hilarious fashion at the end of the song. Their take on the use of butt padding in the industry is amusing as hell and the whole thing is quite frankly perfect. The only issue I’ve ever had with it has been the English translation of the song being not quite as girl power as the video is, but since I can’t speak Korean, it’s not really an appropriate complaint, nor would it change the spot on the list if I added that problem into the equation.

At the end of every list, I add five slots for videos that didn’t quite make it on the list. As for my honorable mentions:

1. Everything that Orange Caramel touched this year. Seriously, they had Catellena and My Copycat for main songs which both had awesome videos. They had a great commercial video for Baskin Robbins called Abing Abing, and my personal favorite Gangnam Avenue. If I liked their group concept even a tiny bit more than I do, any one of these songs could have been on the list.

2. High4 and IU- Not Spring, Love or Cherry Blossoms. This was huge in Korea, especially because they really like seasonally themed music. This is the first time I really enjoyed a song centered around the start of spring and how the writer did not want to have to deal with love blossoming.

3. Kara- Mamma Mia. I was pleasantly surprised with this song; I was worried with the loss of 2 members that Kara was not going to fair well. This song was really good.

4. Masta Wu ft. Dok2 & Bobby- Come here. It’s a guilty pleasure to be honest. I liked the stripped out mixing and I’m rather a fan of the flow of all the members featured. I have no idea what they’re saying and I think if I did I probably wouldn’t like it as much as I do. I’m trying to stay blissfully ignorant.

5. Got7- A. As you may be able to see by my lists, I enjoy female groups far more than male groups, because I like their singing a lot more. What carries this song is the video, especially the dancing and the humor used and how sometimes they intertwine the two. It’s also pretty damn catchy considering most of the chorus is AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYEEEEEEE.

Hoping for a good 2015 for Kpop. Have a happy New Year everyone.
❤ Rebecca

10 About: 2ne1’s “Happy”

2ne1’s “Happy”
The video in 10 pictures. Here we go.

The "hope nobody can tell I'm biased" edition.
The “hope nobody can tell I’m biased” edition.
It's really more like the crazy colors, editing and hair edition.
It’s really more like the crazy colors, editing and hair edition.
I mean Dara really isn't happy about this.
I mean Dara really isn’t happy about this.
At least Minzy just got blue.
At least Minzy just got blue.
But they put CL in pigtails again.
But they put CL in pigtails again.
CL is a sad panda, YG. Fix that.
CL is a sad panda, YG. Fix that.
But somehow Bom always gets the really good hair.
But somehow Bom always gets the really good hair.
She does have to deal with the capes though. She does it spectacularly.
She does have to deal with the capes though. She does it spectacularly.
And I guess Dara gets to have normal hair too, after that mess in the beginning.
And I guess Dara gets to have normal hair too, after that mess in the beginning.
All in all, I'm just glad their back, craziness and all.
All in all, I’m just glad they’re back, craziness and all.

I liked “Come back home” more, but Happy has some really good shots, so I figured I’d capture that one too.

❤ Rebecca

10 About: 2ne1’s “Come Back Home”

2ne1’s “Come Back Home”
The video in 10 pictures. Here we go!

Well we start off with a fantastic, but stereotypical sci fi plot. The whole world is plugging into virtual reality, leaving real world to crumble.
Well, we start off with a fantastic, but stereotypical sci fi plot. The whole world is plugging into virtual reality, leaving real world to crumble.
Dara and her hubby capture the allure and heart break of it perfectly, since he's (probably) a druggie that wants to escape from his addiction, separating the couple.
Dara and her hubby capture the allure and heart break of it perfectly, since he’s (probably) a druggie that wants to escape from his addiction, while she’s left behind without him.
The four members of 2ne1 join virtual reality to pull everyone back home.
The four members of 2ne1 join virtual reality to pull everyone back home.
They're doing this by messing with the paradise everyone is addicted to.
They’re doing this by messing with the paradise everyone is addicted to.
I mean, just look at this science.
I mean, just look at this science.
It apparently makes Molotov cocktails.
It apparently makes Molotov cocktails.
I hypothesize that even though leader seems to be CL, it's Dara's relationship that starts the quartet's rebellion.
I hypothesize that even though leader seems to be CL, it’s Dara’s relationship that starts the quartet’s rebellion.
Bom distracts everyone with a performance while the other three trash the place.  Her words are probably broadcast too since that looks like the radio mic.
Bom distracts everyone with a performance while the other three trash the place. Her words are probably broadcast too since that looks like a radio mic.
The whole video was very bioshock meets futuristic. I was very pleased.
The whole video was very bioshock meets futuristic. I was very pleased.
And when I listened to it the first time, I thought the breakdown was out of left field. With the video, it was perfect.
And when I listened to it the first time, I thought the breakdown was out of left field. With the video, it was perfect.

A lot of people were laughing about YG’s “CGI” mishap, because SM entertainment used a very similar excuse when delaying their video. SM said that their footage got corrupted. I can totally see how the CGI could put a dent into 2ne1’s comeback, since it was an integral part of the video. I am so impressed with the quality of this video especially since 2ne1 seemed to be under performing for several years. Please enjoy it.

❤ Rebecca

2ne1

2ne1 is a band for people who like hip hop to be at the root of their pop. The girl group has attempted many different types of sounds since their creation, but they always keep a distinctive type of swagger at the center of their performances. This band is not for people who favor a cute style, as the people from YG tend to favor a heavier fashion influence than other groups.

From left to right: Dara, Park Bom, Minzy, CL
From left to right: Dara, Park Bom, Minzy, CL

Members:
4 Members, none retired or inactive
-CL: Leader, Lead Rapper, Singer
-Park Bom: Main singer
-Minzy: Rapper, Singer, Main dancer
Dara: Visual, singer

The singles assemble often with CL and Minzy splitting the verses, where they either sing or rap pending on the song style. Park Bom sings the chorus, and Dara will take the bridge or lead ins to the chorus. If the music video involves acting, typically Dara also takes this role. Dara often rarely gets any role in the song; she is more heavily involved in songs that match with autotune.

Best face of the leader I could have possibly captured.
Best face of the leader I could have possibly captured.

CL has lived in Korea, the US and France, making her fluent in English and Korean, and at least semi-fluent in French. She is a fashion icon, and has partnered up with designers like Jeremy Scott and companies like Adidas (so has the rest of 2ne1, but she seems to spearhead the fashion direction of the group). She chooses styles of clothing that fit the mood of the event, leading her to wear a diverse set of clothing, including appearing nude in their late 2013 release.  During her world tour stage with the group, she DJ’d, and she also covers rap songs in both Korean and English, often changing the lyrics to suit her personality.

Park Bom likes corn and has a really interesting voice.
Park Bom likes corn and has a really interesting voice.

Park Bom, along with Dara, is the oldest member of the group, being a full 10 years older than the youngest Minzy. Park Bom tried out several times to become a singer before being accepted as a trainee. She is known for having really good legs and will often perform in short dresses. She is rumored to have had plastic surgery, likely to be true due to the vast difference in facial appearance pre-debut to present time. Many fans use a supposed lymph node illness as an excuse for surgeries and change in face shape, as her cheeks expanded and shrank periodically over the years. It is not known for certain if she has an illness or if it even requires constructive surgery or changes face shape. One issue that can potentially explain some of her surgery is her jaw. Looking at video pre-debut, it seems to be misaligned, and could be an excuse for surgeries.

Minzy has some serious swag.
Minzy has some serious swag.

Minzy, the maknae has been in the press recently for her rhinoplasty. Initially, YG denied the surgery, but Minzy came out saying that she had the cosmetic surgery done while doctors were fixing rhinitis since they were already doing work on her nose anyway. Her singing ability has been growing over the years, as she started out just rapping. Her strong suit has always been dancing, focusing particularly on hiphop and freestyle dancing.

Cutest NRA member ever (not really). She's holding weaponry in a lot of 2ne1's videos.
Cutest NRA member ever (not really). She’s holding weaponry in a lot of 2ne1’s videos.

Sandara Park, aka Dara was an accomplished actress in the Philippines before working with YG in 2ne1. Her work started on a talent show when she was 20, and after making it to second place, she branched into acting and modeling. She lived in the Philippines starting at 10, but is of Korean descent. She often accepts awards for the group, and does a reality series with Park Bom.

Important Singles:

Their most iconic single is “I am the best”. Having approximately 83 million views on Youtube as of the end of 2013, it is a song that many people are shown as an example of Kpop and it’s varying flavors. It is the best example of 2ne1′s style and arguably has the best line distribution out of all their singles. It differs from many of the other Kpop singles by not being about a sad relationship, but instead being a song hyping the singer.

Other highly notable songs are “Lonely”, a strong but sad ballad song, “Fire”, their debut single, and “I Don’t Care” a sassy break up song. Here are all the singles by 2ne1 in order of debut:

This list does not include any of the solo projects or features that the girls have taken part in. I also chose to put in Lollipop, the collaboration song between Bigbang and 2ne1. It’s important, because this was the first single the girls ever appeared in and it was their first major introduction to the world of Kpop.

Additionally, 2ne1 have released songs in Japanese, but these videos are only available for free in short form (about half of the video).

2ne1 outside of music

2ne1’s fans are called Blackjacks, named after the card game. You can see this reference in the Space version of Fire, when Park Bom is sitting on the card set. Their fan color is Hot Pink and is used in many of their promotional items, like tee shirts and logos.

2ne1 had a reality show called 2NE1TV that was on air during their first few years. They had a few appearances on variety shows, like on the second episode of Strong Heart and recently on Running Man.

CL and the rest of 2ne1 do alot of work with designers, the main ones being Jeremy Scott and Adidas. They have also featured Chrome Hearts and Givenchy in their videos and done work for them.

The Noobcake stats
Favorite video: “Hate you” Can’t get tired of it, plus it’s much different than the usual video since it’s animated
Bias: Genuinely none. It used to be Minzy, but I’ve grown to appreciate all of them.
Favorite 2ne1 moment: Seeing them in concert in 2012. Especially when I saw my boyfriend get sold on the 2ne1 experience during CL’s DJ solo.
Favorite outfit:

Perfect.
Perfect.

Favorite styling: “I love you” Dara’s hair and outfits are perfect. CL’s beyonce outfit was great as well as the short shirt one, I love Minzy’s parasol and Bom had eye feathers that were kind awesome.
Favorite dance:

Funny story, this video was how I first saw 2ne1. I switched from a mirrored dance version of Sistar19’s “Ma boy”. Hooked ever since.

❤ Rebecca

Kplaylist 2: Destroy the repeat

So I did a much better job with the volume this time, although you still may need to alter the volume between my videos and the music videos, especially if you’re wearing headphones. For this playlist, I focused on songs I literally never tire of. These might not be my favorite songs from these artists or even from Kpop in general, but they never seem to get old, and that’s a special talent in and of itself.

So in the first Kplaylist blog post, I said all the song names and artists in the post, but I’m not gonna do that. You’ll see the artists in the side youtube bar if you watch it on Youtube, but I would rather you watch it embedded. It would be nice to have an element of surprise in my playlist, and I fee like if you look at the songs beforehand you’ll be more prone to skipping through the list to your favorites. There are aesthetic reasons the list is in the order that it is with the mix of songs that I made, and I respect that many people might have different tastes in music than me, but out of respect for the effort and thought I put into this, please don’t skip songs (at least the first time through, after you’ve given my list one full listen feel free to skip all you want).

Also, I made a playlist of just the songs if you want to listen to the playlist without the commentary:

So questions for the viewers, do you like the commentary format of the first playlist video better (where I made one comment video for every 2 videos) or do you like this playlist better (where I made an intro video for every video on the playlist). Let me know, because I wanna pick one format and stick with it.

Also if you have an idea for a playlist, be sure to put it in the comments section.

❤ Rebecca