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To adapt is to survive

July 26, 2009

Charles Darwin said that animals adapt to their surroundings to live. I think his words can also be link to almost anything. Life, love, passion, and even to Korean pop music.

A few hours ago, 2NE1 has won their first mutizen in Inkigayo for the song ‘I Don’t Care’. I wasn’t surprised that they won. I think everyone is expecting it since they have been dominating the online charts for weeks now. It’s such a nice song. 2NE1’s win also meant SNSD’s lost. Too bad actually. SNSD just needed one more for a Triple Crown. Well there’s always next week. But will they still be on the running next week? I honestly think the ‘Genie’ hype is fading and if they won’t win anything next week, I don’t see SNSD winning anything anymore.

SNSD took over the number one girl group in Korea of today title, since the Wonder Girls’ departure. And they have proven that they are with the mega-success of their previous album. I know everyone in Korea knows ‘Gee’. You must have been living in a cave if you don’t know the song. Anyway, because of that success, the girls have been getting a lot of attention in Korea. When SM announced that ‘Genie’ would be released, everyone was expecting for a repeat of ‘Gee’. Well at least SONEs were thinking it would be.

I’ll be brutally honest, I think ‘Gee’ was an empty success to SNSD. Empty in a sense that they won awards and sold thousands of albums, but it was against no one. It’s like running for class president and you’re the only candidate. I said this before, SNSD released ‘Gee’ at the time where every popular artists were in hiatus, Rain, DBSK, Big Bang, Lee Hyori, Wonder Girls, etc. Also, the ones who were active then were either unknown or newbies. But right now, 2NE1, though a rookie, has been owning the public.

The reason for 2NE1’s sudden popularity in Korea is the same with the Wonder Girls’ rise in popularity in the US. Both are giving the audience something they have not seen before. The Korean public is divided into fans and non-fans. 60 percent of the audience are members of fanclubs while the rest are just music lovers. Fanclubs in Korea are very passionate when it comes with their idols. For them, their idols could do no wrong. They even make up silly excuses to cover for their idol’s misdeeds.

Anyway, I brought up the fanclubs to make a point. Korean fans will never go against their idol. If their idol is promoting their song, they will not support someone else. For a song to be such a success, you must get the remaining 40% of the audience, that are just music lovers, to love your song. In my opinion, this is what happened to ‘Gee’. And also the reason why ‘Genie’ is not doing so well.

2NE1, Outsider and 2pm are giving the audience something new, something fresh to listen to. And that freshness attracted the non fanclub members. No offense to SNSD, I feel that their music is getting old. Also, they’re getting old for their songs. I mentioned this before in a previous article, SNSD’s songs are very 1-dimensional. All of their songs are the same. They have no variety.

With all these new music acts popping up, artists must know how adapt. SNSD has been doing the same kind of music since their debut while the rest has been constantly reinventing themselves. The Wonder Girls for example. Irony, Tell Me, So Hot, and Nobody are so different from one another giving the audience variety but still keeping the group’s identity. 2pm and Rain are also an example. The most popular at this reinvention would have to be Madonna. She’s been in the business for 3 decades. A feat considering she’s a woman. At the rise of her fame, the music industry was dominated by men but still she succeeded. Right now, a lot of comebacking groups are doing the reinvention thing: Kara, Brown Eyed Girls and Jewelry are some.

If you look at Kpop 6 years ago, who are active then that are active now? Everyone in Korea would say Rain, se7en, BoA and Lee Hyori. I would to. These artists have always been giving audience something new to look forward to. And for today’s artists, change is the name of the game.

The law of evolution applies to anyone and to anything. If you don’t adapt you won’t survive even though how talented you are.

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2 comments

  1. i agree….bravo!!!!!!!!!


  2. Great post! Credits to YG and of course the great man JYP for offering us some innovation and giving us 2NE1 and 2PM.



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