The Korean pop market is simply a gold mine of young talent. Each day, it seems like someone new is getting their chance in the spotlight, and as long as the industry keeps giving us awesome new music, the trend won’t slow down anytime soon.
This trio debuted in late 2010, right as the girl group boom was really taking off. However, Tina, Lil J, and Yumi quickly demonstrated that they had something that other, more established girl groups didn’t: talent. Lots of it.
Dr. Feel Good definitely had people noticing Rania. With unashamed sexuality, attention grabbing choreography, and controversial outfits, this was one rookie group that was pushing the envelope in ways that it nobody dared to before. Luckily, they proved to have the vocal talent to back it up.
H.A.M debuted on the premise that they would be a pop-rock group. Rock is a genre that is rarely seen within Kpop, so I was very interested to see what this group would bring. When they debuted, it was clear that they also had tons of talent to offer. Sujin and Mi Yu had stellar voices, Hyoni was a great maknae with a soft voice, and Ga Yeon was a powerful performer. Unfortunately, they’ve been given unbelievably bad songs.
Wonderful or not, you can’t deny that this wasn’t exactly the right way to debut in the American market. After almost three years of pounding away at the American music industry, perpetually delaying an album, and sacrificing the Korean fan base, JYP gave us a one hour, cheaply produced, and completely unnecessary cheese fest that turned out to be a complete and total disaster.
When the film was announced, it seemed like it would be a great idea. What better way to introduce a new group to the US than through a 6 episode mini series? Then details began to emerge, and it became clear that JYP was putting his resources into a sure fire failure. First, it was revealed that the project would be a collaboration with Nick Cannon and the School Gyrls….because, you know. The School Gyrls movies were a total success.
What we got in the end was an hours worth of shortened musical numbers, terrible acting, cheap sets, and a story line that was nonsensical. Sure, there were some great moments in the movie, but the fake cat fighting was awkward, and the love story was rushed to the point that it didn’t even feel necessary. In fact, the same could be said about the entire movie.
In the end, this was just the wrong way to introduce yourself to America. Why not put all of that time and money into getting an album released like you said you would 3 years ago? The album couldn’t have possibly flopped harder than this movie did.
To this day, GP Basic remains one of my favorite girl groups. Despite getting a ridiculous amount of hate for their young age, these girls show an amazing amount of confidence, talent, and charisma on stage. Janey is definitely one of the best rappers around….which is saying something considering that shes only 13. Trinity and Leah are good vocalists with the potential to become excellent. Mui was a great addition, and Zion and Amet excel at their group positions as well. Together, this group is capable of pulling off some stellar dance routines.
Their songs have showed a side of them that is both mature and confident, while remaining young and energetic. Plus, I’ll Be There was a surprisingly deep song that had actual significance. I’ll never forget seeing Trinity tear up on stage as she delivered the final chorus, because it was a rare moment that really showed us the passion this group has.
Unfortunately, this group is stuck with a rather incompetent label. They have yet to really be promoted in the right way, and worse yet, the group has been quiet through out the past year. Plus, their name? Who wants to listen to something that’s just basic? These girls need to redebut as G-Premium, sometime soon before the market leaves them behind completely.
4minute initially gained attention for featuring former Wonder Girl, Hyuna. She was the group’s centerpiece, and has since become the “it girl” of Kpop. Unfortunately, that means that 4minute has gotten the reputation of being “Hyuna and the other ones.” This is rather unfortunate considering the talent of the other girls.
Ji Yoon is a powerful vocalist with a huge amount of on stage charisma. She has been ready for a solo debut for awhile now, but it seems that all of Cube’s focus for solo artists lies solely on Hyuna. Similarly, Ga Yoon has a voice that is perfectly suited for a ballad release, and while she makes appearances on soundtracks here and there, she never receives the promotion she deserves as well.
However, the real crime here is treatment of the group’s leader, Ji Hyun, and maknae So Hyun. These two talents are given almost no face time in 4minute’s songs, and appear as almost backup dancers rather than group members. I’m sure that these girls have talent, but they simply haven’t been given the opportunity to display it!
You can’t talk about mismanaged groups without talking about Co-Ed. They debuted with one of the best concepts around! A ten member group consisting of six guys, and four girls. It was unique, original, and highly anticipated. So…how did things go so wrong?
For one, their music flat out sucked. Too Late simply wasn’t catchy, dancable, or even interesting. Their followup song was slightly better, but it was called Bbirribbom Bberribbom. Yeah….insta-fail.
Secondly, there was a surprising lack of talent in the group. Don’t get me wrong, Changmi and Soomi were great. However, in a group of ten, there were three good singers, and one good rapper. The rest were just there to have their voices autotuned, and lipsync on stage. And yes…the group did make excellent use of autotune and lip syncing.
However, the group came crashing down when they decided to promote as two sub units. Don’t get me wrong, the girls added a member to create 5dolls, which was a moderate success. However, the guy’s unit, Speed, never even got a proper debut, and their cover of T-ara’s Lovey Dovey was just…sad.
The group finally dies when controversies and member changed began to plague the group. First, one of the guys was sent home after he allegedly raped a girl. Another guy was added without much attention, and then they added another guy to the group, his only special talent being “his eyebrows.” No, I’m not making this shit up. Next, group leader Soomi was bullied out of the group by her fellow Dolls. She was replaced, and then Changmi was ousted from the group for being a total bitch. Are you keeping up? Don’t bother. Nobody else is. Its been almost 2 years since Co-Ed school has been seen as a cohesive unit…and we may very well never see them again.
So there, you have it. There are many instances of wasted potential in Kpop, many of which we will never get the opportunity to see. What do you think? Is there a group out there that deserves more attention? Perhaps a song that should have taken a group to the next level, but was ignored on the charts? What do you think Kpop’s most wasted potential has been?