Huge news for K-pop lovers this week.
CL, lead vocalist/rapper of the wildly popular and fashionable quintet 2NE1, is undoubtedly one of the biggest break-out stars on the South Korean pop scene, having already made a splash with her sassy 2013 smash, “The Baddest Female.” The song and video even made some ripples stateside…an early sign of things to come.
According to a new report, CL — guided by super-manager Scooter Braun, whose roster includes Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande and Psy — now has her sights set on the US, with a solo debut planned for next year. More »
confessed of her initial doubts leading up to her new album’s surprise release
, during a screening
hosted at New York’s School of Visual Arts. “I just got off the stage, I had a glass of wine and my cousin Angie was like, ‘Are you alright?’ because I was talking to myself and I was terrified,” she said. [Rap-Up
:: For undisclosed reasons, Lauryn Hill has rescheduled the New York and New Jersey shows of her current tour, as she adds dates in North Carolina, Georgia and Florida. [Billboard]
:: 2NE1 will start recording its next album in January. The K-pop heavyweights had released three singles (including “Falling In Love”) this past year but failed to deliver an album, as YG Entertainment initially promised in 2012. [Popdust]
:: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian‘s wedding will be huge, Kris Jenner says. Given that West hired an orchestra to perform Lana Del Rey‘s “Young & Beautiful” at a stadium, and in front of a screen that read “PLEEEASE MARRY MEEE!!!!” to propose, her news must have surprised everyone. [PEOPLE]
After the jump, find out what music you can catch on TV today. More »
After spending an eventful year trying to break the US market with a tour
and will.i.am collaboration
, 2NE1 has returned to their K-Pop roots — albeit with a reggae twist. “Falling In Love” finds one of Asia’s hottest acts
in a fun and playful mood. They jump on the dancehall trend pioneered by Girls’ Generation
with “I Got A Boy”
(although to give credit where it’s due, J-Pop icon Munehiro
has been doing this kind of thing
for at least the past six years) but it’s a natural fit for the always-adventurous divas. More »
might be my favorite K-pop girl group
, and the group’s breakout star has always been CL
, a spitfire of a rapstress with more attitude in her pinkie finger than her stateside contemporaries have in their whole bodies.
Accordingly, her debut solo single “The Baddest Female” (great title, no?), appropriates a type of trappy, spare sound that’s become de rigeur in American rap, then swaths it in a zany, futuristic sound that’s distinctly K-pop — cheerleader shouting, a chorus that will indeed make you want to dougie, a monster dubstep break and tiny self-contained hooks that stick with you even if you don’t speak the language. (There’s only one English-language callout in the song — “Where all my bad girls at?” on the chorus — but that’s totally enough.) It’s Gwen Stefani‘s “Hollaback Girl” plus Nicki Minaj‘s “Beez in the Trap,” and it’s awesome. More »
‘s fourth studio album #willpower
drops on April 23 (hashtag willpower!), and the rapper-producer has posted the album in its entirety as song streams on his YouTube channel, which is great news for people curious to see how Will has managed to take excellent hooks from huge artists and vitiate them with insipid, meaningless lyrics and paint-by-numbers production.
(Okay. Maybe that’s not entirely fair. But man, isn’t it frustrating to get all excited about new songs from Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus and then have them disappoint so thoroughly?) More »
K-Pop diva troupe 2NE1
hopped in the studio with will.i.am
at some point, and one of their collabs, the very will.i.am-y “Take On The World,” has surfaced online. The girls assert that they’re “up in the sky for real” and ready to “take on the world” atop housey piano chords and shimmering synths — all while massively filtered through Auto Tune, of course.
And, actually, we’re finding this to be a much more enjoyable listening experience than Will’s current global smash with Britney Spears, “Scream & Shout.” There’s something altogether hypnotic surrounding the track itself, plus 2NE1 sound downright bewitching. More »
keeps on racking up those endorsement deals. After starring in campaigns for Pepsi
, the “Pound The Alarm”
rapper appears in a commercial for Adidas Originals’ “Represent”. In the ad, Nicki struts the streets of New York with designer Jeremy Scott, sporting a colorful coat created by Scott with Adidas. Meanwhile, her “Dance (A$$)”
collaborator Big Sean
heads out with Sky Ferreira
in Chicago, and K-Pop group 2NE1
thrills passersby in Tokyo as Nicki’s Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded
track “Masquerade” plays in the background.
Check out Minaj & Co.’s Adidas ad above, then tell us what product you’d love to see Nicki shill next. Are there any brand name starships that need a spokesperson?
were a natural fit for our 10 K-Pop Bands You Must Hear
roundup last year, and they even went on to win the MTV Iggy Best New Band In The World competition. Now the girls — that would be CL, Dara, Bom and Minzy — are heading to the US for their first North American gigs, as part of their New Evolution World Tour. The trek kicks off this Saturday, July 28, at Seoul’s Olympic Stadium before moving on to nine more cities across the globe. More »
Some cover songs make a whole lot of sense. Some don’t. We say Madonna’s “Like A Virgin” reimagined as a K-pop tune falls somewhere in the middle. Whereas most covers tend to update the original tune and make it sound more modern, South Korean quartet 2NE1 has actually made their version of “Like A Virgin” sound like it came out before the 1984 original by adding a chintzy disco vibe (while otherwise being pretty faithful to Madonna). No, 2NE1′s version isn’t likely to win any Madge-related tournaments any time soon, but any take on “Like A Virgin” is worth a spin, no? Head below. More »
South Korea is quickly becoming the
new home of catchy pop music. K-Pop has already taken Asia by storm, and the phenomenon is steadily making its way to the US with acts like Wonder Girls, 2NE1 and BIGBANG working on English language debuts. Given the genre’s growing popularity, we thought it was about time to introduce you to some of K-Pop’s biggest names. On this occasion, we limited ourselves strictly to bands, since not only is the proliferation and success of boy bands and girl groups one of the defining features of the Korean pop scene, these artists also encapsulate everything we love about K-Pop — quirky costumes, mind-boggling choreography and ever-changing line-ups!