Why a Rock & Metal Fan Like Me Fell in Love with This Pop Group

So my musical track record includes artistes such as La Dispute, Rammstein, Apocalyptica, Bring Me the Horizon (Sempiternal onwards), Linkin Park and Ling Toshite Shigure. I'm also getting into Five Finger Death Punch, Nightwish and Thirty Seconds to Mars. I think it's safe to say that I'm at least a fan of rock, if not metal (just to satisfy the purists).

And yet, at the same time, I've fallen in love with all-girl Korean pop (Kpop) group 2NE1. Not only do I have favourite members and songs, I'm learning to sing said favourite songs despite not knowing a shred of Korean. But how in the hells does someone who doesn't care for Taylor Swift and crew get so sold?

1) They're Not Afraid to Experiment

Did I say they were a pop group? I meant they're a pop group with strong hip-hop, R&B, reggae and electronic and dance influences, who can also pull off a soulful ballad when called for. Their music videos, similarly, reflect this kaleidoscope of explorations. Want an in-your-face, badass self-empowerment song with shit getting destroyed and boastful rap? Check:

How about a sad, slow song with a cyberpunk storyline that references drug and Internet addiction?:

Maybe a ballad with a tastefully colourful pop-art setting is more your cup of tea:

Or a combination of slow-paced R&B and Gothic romance:

I rest my case.

2) They're an Unapologetic Cultural Outlier:

If there's one word that keeps popping up regarding this group, it's "edgy". And it's not hard to see why: while demureness, cuteness and femininity are the accepted norms for women in the entire region, 2NE1's group identity as a whole is much more bold and aggressive.

Just look at their fashion sense. While other female Korean singers perform looking like this:

Why a Rock & Metal Fan Like Me Fell in Love with This Pop Group

2NE1's costumes tend to look like this:

You gotta admit, even if you don't find their swag sexy, the difference is still refreshing and interesting. (Also, I wouldn't know about you, but I know who I'd want with me in a fight, bruh :P )

Oh no no no, don't take it from ME:

This South Korean Pop Idol Is Dominating the TIME 100 Reader’s Poll

2NE1 Sets New U.S. Record for Highest-Charting, Best-Selling K-Pop Album

Now, (*starts singing Fort Minor) what the hell are you waiting for???~~~

NOTE: Remember, just because someone else has different tastes in music doesn't mean it's the end of the world, ok? (*strokes head of haters to calm them down)


Most Helpful Guy

  • As a person who listens to metal / rock, I shall give my opinion on this band.
    (Oh and just to clarify... note that when I mean metal, I mean bands like Periphery, Bullet For My Valentine, Animals As Leaders, Testament, and when I mean rock I mean Foo Fighters, Old Avenged Sevenfold, My Chemical Romance, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and so on...)

    The band 2NE1, in my personal opinion, does not sound pleasing to my ears. It sounds all similar to me-- like electronic pop.. though I admit, the last one sounds more R&B. I think the issue I have with them is that they don't really hold any of the qualities I like in metal, which is why I am a bit disappointed with them.

    1.) Instrumentation: One of the reasons I love rock / metal are the musical aspects. It sounds more raw with the core of it being a person and their instrument playing. It isn't tons of digital manipulation.
    2.) Technicality: For bands like periphery, it is quite difficult to play the parts. For drums, I would have to sit down and listen to it quite a bit before I have memorized it. However, in songs like these, it thrives on repetition in general to get the "hook" stuck in your mind. Rock / metal has repetition, but not near to the extent in my opinion and when things repeat too much it creates a boring composition to my ears.
    3.) Rawness: From the sense of electronic instruments, I lose a sense of the feeling and emotion. With the instrumentation produces a certain sense of emotion that I don't feel from this. I dunno, could be just me. I know it isn't the language barrier though because I like songs like this just fine haha:

    I don't have a thing against pop per say. I do like old Goo Goo Dolls a lot, along with bands like The Kooks, The Fray, and some Ed Sheeran. Heck, I even liked some Awolfnation songs despite their electronic use haha. I dunno, I'm not getting the emotion or instrumentation technicality from this band.

    Oh also note that I don't listen to music based on their look or such. I judge it off only the music (hence why I didn't go over their "edgy-ness" lol)

    People are totally free to like the band as they want. I mean, it's their choices. Ehh it just isn't for me. I guess I just wanted to give my reasoning why (^_^)

    • Oh yeah, as an aside, here is what I would consider metal (albeit on the lighter side)

      Somewhere heavier and definitely more metal:

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    • Oh, by the way, what's the name of the Japanese group in the music video below? And ermmm I think you linked the wrong video by accident for the 2nd one.

    • The name of the band is OldCodex, with the song being "Feed A."

      As for the second video (All New Material by Periphery)-- the beginning and chorus isn't super metal, but the verse at 1:15 I would consider metal. It maybe isn't the best example of something heavy, but I would still call it some genre of metal. xD

      The bottom video/3rd one is Passenger by Periphery by the way

Most Helpful Girl


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What Guys Said 12

What Girls Said 13

  • YES YES YES. Huge Kpopper right here. Thank you for helping 2NE1 get some attention. They're total badasses.

  • I also like rock and metal and most of the bands you listed but I also like classical music and folk and indie. Even Fado (which is Portuguese folk singing). What I'm trying to say is that a taste in music doesn't define you. You can like Mozart and still call yourself a metal/rock fan.

    • That's great :D For some reason, I just meet a lot of metal fans that go, "You're not a REAL fan" once I mention that I like other genres, or if they don't approve of the rock/metal bands I listen to. Tiring drama really :/

  • OMG I'm a fan of kpop and how did i not know about 2NE1? This group rocks! Thanks for sharing!

  • I'm similar with my music tastes. I still have my guilty pleasure of 90's boy bands and a sprinkle of a few other genres.

  • I totally have that same sailor dress lol

  • not a huge fan but then again i know all these videos by heart lmaoo, turns out i might be a blackjack.

    • Give in you can't resist it. Muhahaha :P

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    • lmao, sorry i tried to message but @lynx122 didn't follow me yet

  • because K-pop is really cool :)
    I like metal, rock and K-pop your not alone

  • i like some of their songs

  • Fellow Blackjack here ✋❤👍

  • You sound like you could also like the boy group BTS. :)

  • Whenever you could listen to this 14 minutes and like every moment of it you're a metal fan.

    • This sounds like a more opera-ish, less metal-ish version of Dream Theater. xD

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    • Nah. There is no yesterday and today "heaviness". "Heavy metal" is both the name of all metal genres and the tone of early metal. When metallica became heavier than Black Sabbath they were named Thrash. When Death changed the singing tone the new tone was called Death.

      When Meshuggah used the monotonous D-jent heavy riffing sound they were called Djent.

      They are all heavy metal for the fact that all of them are heavier than classic hard rock. And after 80's we have different categories of heavy metal that used more speed, heavier drumming, heavier riffing, etc, that makes them different from each other.

    • At this point, it all boils down to personal beliefs. You seem to go for in thinking symphonic metal has more emotion/atmosphere/intensity/power, while I would argue that something like Cannibal Corpse to be on the far end of the spectrum for "most metal." (Not emotion, just metal-ness

      That being said, I do not like Cannibal Corpse and think their music is meh. Not a fan. But they are still heavy, and they are still metal in my opinion.

      You mentioned guitar techniques and compared djent to Randy Rhoads and such, I would argue otherwise.
      Well, ok, stereotypical crappy open note djent sucks, but that is why I listen to progressive djent. Progressive djent --> Animals As Leaders / Periphery come to mind.

      Randy Rhoads was great. I mean damn-- he was a classical guitarist turned electric and had some nice skills from that.
      Continued --->

  • BIG BANG, 2NE1, BTS... they are the best!

  • That groups does a lot of cultural appropriation bs (see last pic) and to each their own but I don't really like anything other than hard rock and metal

    • Wait, cultural appropriation as in how? O. o You're more than welcome to look what you like though. I just wrote this with people who MIGHT like Kpop in mind.

    • Well I don't want to stir shit but... to put it in a nice way I don't like how a lot of kpop groups are recognized for rap, dressing "black" acting black but when a black person does that... you get my drift? I do like some of their songs and whatnot.