Earlier today, April 5, the K-pop community received debilitating news pertaining to popular K-pop girl group, 2NE1: Minzy, the youngest member of the group, will be parting ways not only with 2NE1 but with YG Entertainment. Needless to say, K-pop fans, especially Blackjacks (devoted fans of 2NE1), were devastated.
It all started when news spread that Minzy was searching for a new agency to sign to, as reported by Korean news outlet TV Daily. The revelation of this fact caused a backlash of rumors that 2NE1 was disbanding, a fear that maniacally spread among Blackjacks. Understanding the chaos caused by the reports of Minzy searching for a new agency coming to light, YG Entertainment officially made a statement on the matter, as reported by Soompi.
“We are sorry to bring this regrettable news to 2NE1′s fans who have waited for a long time. We are officially informing you that 2NE1′s maknae Gong Minzy will no long be able to be a part of 2NE1. YG’s contract with 2NE1 expires on May 5, 2016. Last January, we had individual face-to-face talks with each member regarding renewing their contracts and showed our desire for the group to reform. Unfortunately, Gong Minzy did not feel the same.
Having to say goodbye to a colleague who has been with us since she was a trainee for 11 years is really difficult. However, we fully understand and respect Gong Minzy’s position as the group had to suddenly halt promotions two years ago. Thus, it is true that we feel more sorry rather than feeling unsatisfied.”
The only silver lining that came from YG Entertainment’s official statement is that 2NE1 would not be disbanding. Instead, they will continue forward as a three-member group with a comeback scheduled sometime in the summer this year.
To be fair, it is good YG Entertainment provided a statement on the matter, but to many Blackjacks, their reason for why Minzy is not renewing is unsatisfying. Minzy herself has not said her reasons for parting ways, but if one were to take a gander over the seven years 2NE1 was a quartet (especially the last two to three years), we might understand why Minzy did not renew her contract.
All in all, it is possible the biggest reason for Minzy leaving 2NE1 and YG Entertainment is more on behalf of YG Entertainment’s lack of supporting her with solo endeavors. In the past three years, the other members of 2NE1 received support and assistance for their solo endeavors in some fashion or form. CL was being promoted as a soloist and was even breaking into the American music scene from the ground-up. Dara was transitioning more into acting, starting out with cameos in K-dramas starring Kim Soo Hyun. Eventually, Dara would get lead roles in web dramas like What’s Eating Steven Yeun?, Dr. Ian, and the popular Missing Korea. Finally, Bom was getting a push in variety television show Roommate. Even during her drug scandal, YG Entertainment did all they could to clear Bom’s name, stating the amphetamines she had were legally prescribed in the United States.
When one does research on Minzy, there is hardly anything on her over the past three years. As a matter of fact, the only news on Minzy that seemed to be trending are allegations of plastic surgery, especially the picture above as reported by Korean news outlet Nate. As for her solo endeavors, it is believed that Minzy did it all on her own as there is no link between YG Entertainment and her dance studio, the Millennium Dance Academy.
Ultimately, 2NE1 and YG Entertainment may have become unreliable to Minzy over the past two to three years, causing her to jump ship. All Minzy had were the Blackjacks who supported her dancing though it received very little promotion compared to the solo endeavors of the rest of 2NE1.
However, the fact that Minzy is adamant about leaving 2NE1 and YG Entertainment may be a wake-up call to the agency to treat her far better than they did before. Ergo, Blackjacks have about one month to plea to Minzy to renew her contract, possibly with her having more of a say. If it doesn’t happen, all Blackjacks can do is support 2NE1 as a three-member group and Minzy with her solo endeavors. This situation is saddening now but maybe it may turn out to be something good. TVXQ became the biggest K-pop group in Japan after three of its members left. HyunA became one of the most prominent soloists in the Hallyu Wave after parents forced her out of Wonder Girls. That same K-pop twist of fate may also happen to 2NE1 and Minzy.
[Image via Screen Capture of 2NE1 Music Video of “Come Back Home”]