2NE1: a 4-leaved clover standing for 21st century’s new evolution.
And so it happened.
Knowing BIGBANG, it was only a matter of time until I started discovering other YG groups, making me a potential YG stan.
Lee Chaelin (CL) was actually the first YG artist that I came across through her song “Hello bitches”. While listening to the song and reading the lyrics, I told myself: well, if this ain’t Korean Nicki Minaj !
To my disappointment (and delight?), I found out that she had no more than five songs; that’s where I knew that I needed more. My delight was due to the fact that I actually witnessed her US debut which was gratifying, because in the KPOP industry, if you’re not there from the beginning, you always feel that you’re not good “enough” of a fan.
When I first got into Kpop, I chose to stay away from girl groups because it was just not my thing. Because of this decision, I ended up depriving myself from 2NE1 for a while until I realized that if I wanted to hear more of CL, then I had to embrace 2NE1’s music as well.
Let me tell you that boycotting 2NE1’s music was the most stupid decision I have ever made as a fangirl since the day I got into Kpop. First, I denied myself the most outstanding girl group that not only broke other girl groups’ dollish attire with their fierce attitude but also granted me the most genuine feelings while listening to every song of theirs: feminism at its best.
Despite being a latecomer, and as saddened as I was because of their hiatus and the reasons behind it, I was glad that I could take part of their next comeback. However, as if BIGBANG’s military service was not tormentous enough; the group’s youngest, Minzy, left 2NE1.
I was in utter shock. I barely got to know the girls and familiarize with them; Bom was the kindest soul and Dara was the clumsiest dork, but together with their leader and maknae they were Blackjacks’ precious and lucky clover. As I was new to the industry I didn’t understand much other than what I read on SNS; and truthfully, I was sad for Minzy and supportive of her choice because I truly believed that she knew better … But she didn’t.
Just as I started embracing my inner Blackjack, I got stabbed right in the back. Not the heart, because that would actually require affection towards the person in mind. No, I felt simply betrayed. This feeling didn’t start immediately as I was still trying to find an explanation just like any fanboy and fangirl out there; it actually started developping with the heinous comments and petty interview replies. I am being as vague as I can be because I don’t want to offend anyone reading this, but it doesn’t mean that I should keep my thoughts to myself.
After the shocking news, CL, Bom and Dara still tried to make 2NE1 work as OT3 as they were back in the studio, and we even received accurate news of songs being recorded at the time. Blackjacks had faith and mended their wounds, only for the bandaid to be ripped off once again: 2NE1 were to disband with CL and Dara renewing their contracts and Bom leaving YG. I remember that day perfectly because I was holding my phone and I saw the news the minute it happened. I denied it at first, then I eventually kneeled and cried it off.
Being hit with a second bad memo, a little war within the fandom broke out for a while. Dara and Bom being exempted, the gun was aimed yet again on Minzy and with a flavorish twist, at CL herself. Blackjacks kept complaining that CL’s US debut was what broke 2NE1 apart, that she was selfish for choosing herself over her members and all the Yiddish they spoke fluently. On the other hand, the outrage for Minzy grew because she started it all.
Between the leader and the maknae, and since I am CL biased therefore I cannot possibly be 100% objective, but let me humor you for a second: not omitting the fact that CL’s US debut was meant to bring her members along once she has earned herself a spot in the US market, but if Minzy left because she wanted to do her own thing or because she was wronged and kept in the dungeon for far too long, why didn’t the others complain?
Bom was out of the picture since her scandal, which to be honest is a very low move from Knetz, because they took their judgement way too far and for absolutely no valid reason. Dara has her acting career and variety skills; and again with CL, her US debut was in the works. That leaves Minzy with nothing but her dance academy and skills … Solution? let’s cancel the contract and leave the group. After being blinded for so long by my hatred, I still tried to cope and see what Minzy was going to do with her life now that she was “reborn”. Answer? let’s join a girl group project because my solo work is taking eight times its supposed deadline. Okay.
All of this aside, the main reason I wanted to write this piece in the first place was to find peace within me, if there was ever such a thing. 2NE1 represented my first girl group experience and although I was a fresh Blackjack, I loved them and still love them just as much as my seniors do, if not more. Ultimately, CL wrote a song which was supposed to be part of her US album but instead the song was released as a final single from 2NE1 as OT3, in which Dara and Bom wholeheartedly took part.
This song was my first and last comeback. This song was my pain and comfort. Thus, I am forever a wounded blackjack. Yet, it isn’t goodbye, it’s only farewell: 2NE1 NOLZA!