This week marks yet another depressing week for fans of K-pop as YG Entertainment confirms that Minzy of 2NE1 is officially leaving the group. Even though I never considered myself to be a BlackJack or an official fan of 2NE1, I have always enjoyed many of their title songs, including I Don’t Care, Lonely and Ugly. 2NE1, and groups from YG Entertainment in general, give off a vibe that groups from other companies often struggle to emulate. 2NE1, in particular, gives off the strong, “miss independent” aura that not many girl groups have these days – and yes, that was a NeYo reference back to the days when I still listened to the radio on the bus ride home. 2NE1 is one of those groups that define the golden time or era of K-pop, and now that even one member is leaving, 2NE1 – and K-pop – will never be the same again.
So, you ask, when exactly was the golden era of K-pop? I think it really depends on who you are asking – some would claim that the first generation of K-pop, as defined by legendary groups Shinhwa, H.O.T, S.E.S and many others is the best while others would claim that the current rookie groups are what K-pop is all about. I, however, truly believe that the best years of K-pop are 2008-2012, even though I only really started following K-pop in 2011. It was during these years that classic songs (at least in my and probably most of my friends’ opinions) such as DBSK’s Mirotic, SHINee’s Ring Ding Dong, Taeyang’s Wedding Dress , U Kiss’s 0330 and f(x)’s Nu ABO were released. I found myself repeatedly listening to the songs of those years and replaying their music videos over and over again the moment they were released, whereas nowadays, I often have to listen to a song a few times before I actually consider it catchy. And the fact that there are so many K-pop groups now does not help matters either.
Maybe it’s just me, but I have a difficult time finding the individual charms and characteristics of all the rookie groups and their members. I just saw an article about how April, TWICE and Lovelyz are all going to be competing against each other in terms of their upcoming comebacks and I just couldn’t wrap my head around what was going to make each of them stand out from the others. The only one I believe has more potential is TWICE because of its international members (one of whom, Tzuyu, is Taiwanese and underwent a massive scandal earlier this year). That’s probably why I like A Pink and Girl’s Day so much – for those of you who think I only favor boy bands – because A Pink is known for their consistent innocent concept and Girl’s Day tries many different concepts and succeeds. But maybe I’m just being too critical and not giving the new groups enough time to find their own charms yet – all I know for sure is that they will never replace the original groups of the golden era in my heart.
With that said, can someone please tell me how I should react to the news of EXO’s Kai and f(x)’s Krystal dating? I never questioned the validity of the news even though it did come out on April Fools’ Day, but I always thought Krystal suited Sehun more and Kai, D.O? Haha, just kidding. Let’s all wish the two lovebirds the best – remember, our favorite idols have their own lives too!
And shout out to E.Motion for pulling off all the dances and Music Bank so well last night – good job guys!
Vicky Chou is a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is a self-proclaimed EXO-L despite initially despising the overratedness that is EXO, and hopes to become famous one day so she can meet various K-pop idols outside of her dreams. She is afraid of trying new things and thus tends to only order a mocha frappuccino at Libe Cafe. Killing Time Joyously appears on alternate Mondays this semester, and she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.