2NE1 is back as girl groups battle it out for the top spots on the K-Pop Hot 100. The brawl is on as major names like Wonder Girls, SISTAR, and T-ara are releasing singles; all three groups have previously topped the chart. Yet all this doesn't seem to phase 2NE1, as fans embrace their bold, stylistic maneuvers, pushing their latest electro-pop track, "I Love You," to No. 1 this week.
The fashion-minded 2NE1 catapulted onto the music scene with a loud, unconventional charisma, and this week thwart SISTAR's quest to stay atop the Billboard K-Pop Hot 100 for a second consecutive week. YG Entertainment's 2NE1 has resonated in the music industry with genre-breaking songs. This time they take the help of YG's in-house producer Teddy and co-composer Lydia Paek to defy expectations with "I Love You." The song expresses the feeling of falling hopelessly in love with vulnerable lyrics like, "Please only be good to me/ Just smile at me/ Do not get me jealous/ Do not make me obsessive." This number is definitely a departure from their previous confident mega-hits including "I Don't Care," "Hate You" and "I Am The Best." 2NE1's experimental track should satisfy Korean sentiments and as well as non-K-pop listeners, as it intertwines the singing style of trot (the oldest form of Korean pop music) with a base of electro beats. 2NE1 leader CL states, "We all knew this song was it when we first heard it. It was really fresh, but we had to fix the song several times to make it just the way we wanted it."
In the accompanying video (with 4.3 million views at the moment) the girls captivate viewers with their fierce, swashbuckling style, as they are drenched in high-end brands, such as Balmain, Versace, and Christian Louboutin. The girls are no strangers to the fashion world with Jeremy Scott declaring the foursome his muses.
2NE1 will kick off their world tour, "NEW EVOLUTION," on July 28 in Seoul and continue through 10 major cities in Asia, Europe, and the United States. "NEW EVOLUTION" production duties will be handled by veterans in music, stage production, fashion and choreography to insure that this show allows the female foursome to put their best foot forward for their global audience.
T-ara broke their 9-month hiatus with their newest single, "Day By Day," landing at the No. 2 spot, missing the top spot by a narrow margin. T-ara's blockbuster scale music video, directed by Cha Eun Taek, is a continuation of their movie-like music videos. In the accompanying 16 minute video (with almost 2.8 million views), the girls transform into sci-fi, female warriors and fight for their lives against the backdrop of a futuristic city. In late 2011 their "Cry Cry" single stayed atop the heap for two straight weeks, while "Lovey Dovey" stayed at No.1 for three straight weeks at the top of 2012.
Elsewhere on the chart, SISTAR descends to the No. 3 spot from No. 1, while Busker Busker's "If You Really Love Me" and "It's Hard To Face You" lands on the No. 5 and No. 11 spot, respectively. FNC Entertainment's new face Juniel jumps into the Top 10 at No. 9 with "Illa Illa," while her labelmate Lee Jong Hyun of CNBLUE debuts in at No.10 with his solo track, "My Love." Wonder Girls' English collaboration with Akon "Like Money" gets an early start on the chart beginning at No. 46.
(Additional reporting and editing by Jeff Benjamin, Billboard)