2NE1 (usually pronounced "twenty-one" or "to anyone" , Korean: 투애니원) is a Korean Pop Music Girl Group from South Korea under YG Entertainment that debuted in 2009 and disbanded in 2016 following a two year hiatus. Several members featured in their labelmates' songs predebut, and Dara was a former actress and singer in the Philippines, where she grew up. Following their debut they obtained instant success, due in part to the fact that their style and lyrics gave the quartet an edge rare in the girl group scene at the time. They've impressed Black Eyed Peas' will.i.am, who started working them in 2010 and has helped them record an English album for their debut in the States; however it got stuck in Development Hell and, seeing as how the group has disbanded, has probably been shelved for good.
Additionally, Bom and CL are also successful solo artists; Bom debuted in 2009, while CL debuted in 2013 and plans to debut in America as a soloist with Scooter Braun's entertainment company.
The group went on hiatus in mid-2014 due to Bom's drug scandal, where she was caught allegedly smuggling amphetamines into Korea years before. There were several statements varying from weight loss pills to medicine for her depression stemming from the death of a good childhood friend. Regardless of the true story and despite YG's attempts to bury the scandal, the strong backlash led to Bom being pulled out of Korean activities, leaving the group to promote without her (if at all) in Korea afterward. Concerns that they would disband arose, with Minzy posting the quote "Your career may change, but you will not" while briefly removing the 2NE1 mention from her Instagram profile and CL focusing on preparations for her American debut.
In April 2015, YG sat down for an interview wherein he said that the group's contracts expire in 2016, and followed up with "CLs almost done with the album. Whether she will [succeed] or not is something that can only be known after she [debuts]. From my standpoint, we are proactively supporting CLs solo activities. I am planning the release of 2NE1s new album for after CL finishes her solo activities. 2NE1 will surely show you good work until the expiration of their contracts." Fans took this to mean that YG was intending to decide on whether or not to disband the group based on the reception to CL's solo (ie. if she succeeds, he will disband the group to focus on her, and if she fails, she'll return to the group and they'll record a new album), and were utterly furious. CL herself expressed her displeasure by uploading a certain photo to Instagram.
In October of 2015, the group were announced to be having a comeback, but recent speculation and reports from industry insiders point to this comeback merely being another CL solo track, and YG allegedly saying that the focus will be on CL from here on out. Fans were furious.
In April of 2016, it was eventually confirmed that Minzy had left the group and they would be continuing on as a trio, preparing for a summer 2016 comeback. Minzy has since signed with Baek Ji Young's agency Music Works. A month later YG was quoted as saying that the group's future was "unclear": "Whether they will continue as a trio or get a new member, we are thinking and nothing is set in stone", which directly contradicts his earlier statement.
In November of 2016 YG released a statement announcing the group's official disbandment, saying that while CL and Dara had re-signed with the company, Bom had not: "2NE1s exclusive contract expired in May 2016, and with Minzy leaving 2NE1, we have come to the decision to officially disband after extensive discussion with the remaining members. As 2NE1 was YGs official girl group for seven years, we cannot begin to express how we feel, but we determined that it was too difficult to continue. Rather than waiting an unknown amount of time for 2NE1s next promotions, we have decided to focus on the members solo activities. We sincerely thank all the fans both in Korea and abroad that have loved the group and their music for all this time. We would like to officially announce that after last May, we resigned with CL and Sandara Park. However, unfortunately, there is no new contract with Park Bom."
As of 2014, they have released 2 mini albums in Korean, 1 mini album in Japanese, 2 full albums in Korean and 2 full albums in Japanese, becoming incredibly popular at home. They are known and admired by many for their edgy concepts, powerful songs, impressive stage charisma and quite dorky and likeable personalities.
Members at time of disbandment:
- CL, born Lee Chaerin, The Leader of the group (Type II/Type IV), and the main rapper. Usually wears Cool Shades. She's the second youngest, born in 1991, but is now the youngest following Minzy's departure.
- Dara, born Park Sandara. She sings and is the director of communications for the group. Although she and Bom were both born in 1984, Bom was born nine months before her.
- Minzy, born Gong Minji. Former lead singer/rapper and former maknae (youngest member of the group (born in 1994)), but has the deepest voice. Left the group in April 2016 due to unhappiness with the group's long hiatus, following Bom's scandal and CL's advancement into the American Music Industry.
- Bom, born Park Bom, the main singer. Bom is known for her unique voice and her affinity for mini dresses. She's also the oldest member, being born in 1984 and about nine months before Dara. Left the group in May 2016 following the expiration of her contract.
- 2NE1 1st Mini Album (2009)
- To Anyone (2010) (first full album in Korean)
- 2NE1 2nd Mini Album (2011)
- NOLZA! (2011) (Japanese version of their 2nd Mini Album)
- 2NE1 1st Live Concert (Nolza!) (2011) (their first live concert album)
- Collection (2012) (first full album in Japanese; all but two of the album's songs are covers of their Korean hits)
- 2012 2NE1 Global Tour: New Evolution (Live in Seoul) (2012) (their second live concert album)
- Falling In Love (2013) (summer single)
- Do You Love Me (2013) (summer single)
- Missing You (2013) (winter single)
- Crush (2014) (second full album in Korean)
- Crush (2014) (second full album in Japanese; it includes the three 2013 singles, that didn't feature in the Korean Crush)
Provides examples of
- Action Girls: Their animated counterparts in the "Hate You" video.
- Amazon Brigade: Their cartoon versions in "Hate You".
- Animated Music Video: For "Hate You" which stars the four members kicking ass in animated form.
- Bare Your Midriff:
- CL in the beginning of "Can't Nobody" and all over the place for her solo "The Baddest Female."
- The "Falling In Love" MV features Minzy dancing in a crop top, and even the usually very covered Dara shows a bit of stomach in that video.
- Bathtub Scene: CL gets one in the "Missing You" MV, though it's used for symbolism rather than fan service.
- Bom also gets one in the Japanese version of the music video for "Go Away".
- Bling-Bling-BANG!: The animated CL has golden guns in the "Hate You" video.
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: In the MV for "Missing You", it's Dara (blonde◊, Bom/CL (both◊ brunette◊), and Minzy (redhead◊).
- Boastful Rap: To be expected, since their sound is influenced by hip-hop.
- I Am The Best, in particular, is nothing but over three minutes of self-boasting, and a good chunk of it is rap.
- CL's "The Baddest Female" is again, three minutes of self-boasting.
- CL's "MTBD" and her verses in "Dirty Vibe" count as well with more self-boasting.
- Breakup Breakout: CL is way more known than the rest of the members in the group as a solo artist.
- Break-Up Song: They have quite a few, such as "Hate You".
- Catch Phrase: "What's up, we're 2NE1!"
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Bom could be this, The Ditz or The Klutz. An article that followed 2NE1's concert in Los Angeles even called her "2NE1's token absent-minded cutie".
- Chase Scene: "Hate You" has a car chase completed with Car Surfing.
- Cool Shades: CL seems to have a full on fetish for them.
- Cover Version: In Collection, they covered Madonna's Signature Song Like a Virgin.
- Cyberpunk: The music video for Come Back Home is set in a futuristic, grim metropolis in which people are addicted, to the point of dependency, to virtual reality.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Dara. Her previously wealthy family had to emigrate to the Philippines, where Dara had trouble adjusting. She managed to become quite a starlet, but her father gambled a lot of her money away.
- Darker and Edgier: The video for "Come Back Home" is edgier than previous music videos which were either light-hearted or sad.
- Dismissing a Compliment: Their song Ugly contains an example of this. Instead of actually being about an unattractive person, it seems to be about an attractive person with severe insecurity issues who claims that someone is lying to her face when they tell her she is pretty.
- Distaff Counterpart: Labelmates BIGBANG, by Word of God (the CEO of YG). They were introduced as this due to their similar concepts and music at debut.
- Dual Wielding: The animated!CL has two golden guns has her main weapons in the "Hate You" video.
- Evil Redhead: The criminal (and presumably the "ex" this song is dedicated to) the gang of girls are fighting in the "Hate You" video.
- Expy: Their sister group BlackPink can be seen as this:
- Jennie -> CL (Main rapper, leader)
- Lisa -> Minzy (Main dancer, lead rapper, maknae)
- Jisoo -> Dara (Face of the group, sub-vocalist)
- Rosé -> Bom (Main vocalist)
- Minzy, for the Black Eyed Peas and Usher.
- CL for 2NE1's own producer, Teddy Park.
- Gay Best Friend: Stylist Jeremy Scott, who is allegedly gay, is this to CL.
- Genki Girl: Dara, despite being in her thirties, is as energetic as a pre-teen on a sugar high.
- Genre Shift:
- From the R&B-influenced K-Pop of their debut EP, to the electro-influenced To Anyone.
- Their second mini album has a different sound than To Anyone, too. 2NE1 (or rather, their producer Teddy Park) does not shy away from experimenting with different sounds and genres. This hasn't led to any Broken Base, surprisingly. Or rather, that's not why their base is broken.
- Girly Bruiser: Bom in the "Hate You" video.
- Gratuitous English: For a K-Pop group, not so much - their producer's Korean-American and two of the members (CL, Bom) are fluent in English.
- Hotter and Sexier: Minzy. Went from a cute little girl◊ to such a fine woman◊. Wow.
- Idol Singer: Obviously, though unlike other idols they pretty much stick to music - when they appear in TV, it's an event. The CEO himself has said he wants to minimize their variety appearances "because we care for our artists" and wants to have a different mindset from other companies. This seems to be changing, though, as the group has made several variety appearances such as in Running Man and "Roommate" (Bom).
- Innocent Fanservice Girl: Minzy once off-handedly spoke about her fondness for going naked in the apartment she shares with Bom and, some time afterwards, she had another similar outburst.
- The Leader: CL. CL. CL. Officially the leader and on stage she is a beast. Off stage, quite a dorky girl.
- Lighter and Softer:
- Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: If compared with Dara and CL in offscreen interaction. Dara is the light Genki Girl and CL is the dark reserved leader. Also very shown that Dara is very open and very warm compared to CL who is cold and dorky. But inversion happens when on stage though, due to the skill and charisma issues that Dara lacked on.
- Lyrical Dissonance: The lyrics of the upbeat, cheerful-sounding Happy are anything but happy.
- Older Than They Look: Both Dara and Bom are in their thirties but look years younger.
- Out-of-Genre Experience: The reggae version of their hit I Don't Care, and Ugly, a song influenced by punk rock. Also, their ballads, but it's usual for them to put at least one ballad on every album.
- Pool Scene: Their MV for Do You Love Me features a pool and the 2NE1 girls in swimsuits. Cue nosebleeds all around the world.
- "Reason You Suck" Speech: Hate You, again, hates on the ex-boyfriend.
- Reggae: "Falling In Love" has noticeable reggae influences, and the song's MV is appropriately summery.
- She's Got Legs: Bom - and, since she wears mini dresses all the time, she probably knows it.
- Ship Tease: Played with when it comes to shipping the girls with label mates, BIGBANG. The most popular ones are Sky Dragon (CL x G-Dragon), Daragon (Dara x G-Dragon), and Top Bom (T.O.P x Bom).
- Stage Names: Surprisingly for a K-Pop group, all of the members use their real names (with the exception of CL, who still uses the initials of her real name - Chaerin Lee.)
- Surprisingly Good English:
- CL who grew up in many places (her dad was a physics professor); she's fluent in Korean, English, Japanese and French.
- Bom as well is fluent in English since she studied in America.
- Dara too, even though she has a very noticeable Filipino accent when speaking English.
- Surprisingly Good Foreign Language: Due to having lived in the Philippines, Dara can speak very fluent Tagalog.
- Translated Cover Version: Their Japanese EPs and albums are full of Japanese covers of their Korean songs.
- Troubled Fetal Position: CL did this naked in the "Missing You" MV, which ended up sparking some controversy among netizens before they found out what it was supposed to mean.
- True Companions: They may have been put together by their label, there may be a 10-year age difference between the youngest member and the oldest one, but the girls are inseparable. They even got matching tattoos.
- Not so much after their hiatus, when fans noticed Minzy began seemingly pulling away from the other members in mid 2015, and eventually leaving the group in 2016.
- However, despite their disbandment, all four have been shown to still be on good terms with each other. The girls posted many emotional pictures of them together on their 10th year anniversary
- Would Hit a Girl:
- The guy in the "Go Away" music video, when CL goes to his house to harass him and his girlfriend which leads him to hit her. He ends up paying for it.
- The wanted criminal in the "Hate You" video that the group are trying to arrest.
- Younger Than They Look: Twenty-five year old CL looks and sounds like the oldest member.