HyunA, Gayoon, Jihyun, Jiyoon and Sohyun have spent half a decade making eye-popping visuals.
The past couple of weeks have been exciting for fans of 4Minute. In late June, the K-pop girl group celebrated its five-year anniversary (appropriately thanking fans with the video "Thank You :)"), plus the group's shining solo star HyunA will drop her new single "Red" by the end of this month.
While the five-year mark is considered the expiration date for most Korean idol groups, 4Minute appears to be going stronger than ever. Last spring, the group earned their first K-Pop Hot 100 No. 1 with "What's Your Name?" and racked up three more Top 10 hits since. With Stateside accolades like headlining the very-first KCON festival in 2012 and HyunA performing at SXSW 2014, 4Minute's time looks far from up.
To celebrate the group's milestone — and prep for what's likely to be another record-breaking viral hit from HyunA — take a look at 4Minute's five best music videos. There's a reason these girls have more than a quarter billion views on YouTube.
As one of 4Minute's earliest videos, "Huh" solidified the act as a fashionable, badass female quintet boasting street cred and a knack for synth-pop bangers. The vid epitomizes 4Minute's earlier style as a fierce alternative to K-pop's sweet and pretty girl groups.
"What a Girl Wants" (2010)
As an alternate to their spicy image, 4Minute dropped their "What a Girl Wants" video and spotlighted their soft and sweet sides. The girls look absolutely precious as schoolgirls in pigtails, oversized glasses and bows in their hair.
While there's not too much going on in the video plot-wise, except for 4M playing instruments in an adorable girl band, the visual stands out for showing a different side of 4Minute that emphasized they were no one-trick pony.
"What's Your Name?" (2013)
The general public was clearly digging 4Minute's quirky, hip-hop single when it hit No. 1, but they probably also connected with the video too. While millions of YouTube views prove 4Minute's fierce style is more than visually appetizing, "What's Your Name?" stands out for being a video where the girls looked like they were having genuine fun.
On the colorful set, the members, all smiles, jump on beds, try on jewelry and have general gal-pal fun. It certainly helps that the choreography's shimmying, hand movements and freestyle sections lend themselves to letting the girls add their own flair.
"Volume Up" (2012)
The gorgeously cinematic "Volume Up" is 4Minute's maturity moment in their videography. Their previous single, 2011's "Mirror Mirror," was a typical K-pop video in showcasing the gals in a slew of glossy outfits and video sets, but showed little growth from the group. "Volume Up" made a statement from the opening scene as HyunA struts out in heels and stares down the viewer with a possessed stare.
The visual is focused around dark imagery with Gayoon handling a boa constrictor, youngest member Sohyun singing with a skull in hand and the group getting extremely touchy with each other and their female dancers. 4M rock belly-baring tops, hot pants and long gowns. This isn't a video for little girls.
"Whatcha Doin' Today?" (2014)
In "Whatcha Doin' Today," 4Minute found a way to mix the best elements of their recent visuals and craft a multi-layered, super-wild video that spotlights every member.
Instantly reminding fans of the matured 4Minute, the vid opens with HyunA sexily strutting through a sea of backup dancers before joining up with the members. Sohyun grabs the spotlight next, handling the first verse and solidifying her place as 4M's adorable, quirky young'n. Jiyoon absolutely kills her powerful rap section (performed in a bathroom stall) commanding a group of male dancers' attention as she doles out a fiece rap with her shorts down showing more charisma than ever.
Even the cool-mannered members Gayoon and Jihyun pull out surprises when Gayoon slaps a female dancer's behind, and eldest member Jihyun undoubtedly rocks the most memorable look in the video with her all-flower dress. Brilliantly, there's a special moment for each member -- a tricky, but important element to pull off in group videos.
The girls also look like they're having even more fun than in "What's Your Name?" with sillier choreography, lots of time to freestyle and cracking up on camera. The vid ends with a cheesy, cartoon boink, adding a final touch of lightheartedness.
The video was extra special to fans after it was revealed that Gayoon had done the styling for it, proving that when you really get the artist involved in their work, the results are bound to be that much better.
Look for more special K-Town lists celebrating K-pop group milestones coming soon. Check out: