August of 2008 was awesome for more reasons than one. Big Bang just came out with their “Stand Up” mini-album and even Shinee and the Wonder Girls were still throwing down. But on August 29, 2008, a new challenger entered the stage. They went by the name of 2pm.
When, I first heard about 2pm there was a lot of hype. First off, they boasted about their masculinity, which was a jab at the other idol groups as I mentioned in my chapter “Big Bang vs. The Flower Boys.” 2pm would become known as the “beastly idols” for bearing their muscular physique and pulling off some difficult choreography, backflips and handsprings galore.
Additionally, 2pm was formed and produced by JYP of JYP Entertainment, the same man behind the Wonder Girls and Rain. The anticipation was palpable. It was JYP’s first boyband since G.O.D and…I hope I’m not overstepping any bounds by saying this, but it does seem like having a boyband was a staple of prominence when it comes to Korean pop culture. You could have a soloist, a band, or even a girl group…but until you’ve locked down a solid boyband…it seems like you just couldn’t compete as an entertainment company.
Despite all of this, I confess, when I first heard 2pm’s “10 Out of 10” I really didn’t think much of them. I mean, they were clearly awesome dancers and they had the swag to compete on the same level of Shinee, who had debuted just a few months prior. But their singing…I didn’t think there was anything remarkable about them. Their voices were average, their rappers were sub-par, and if any of them were to go solo, I didn’t think they stood a chance on their own. And then…it was just by chance that I saw their live performance of “Only You.”
There’s something about that song and performance that made 2pm stand out to me. It wasn’t until I saw this performance that I thought… “Okay, these guys could be a threat to Big Bang.”
And I say that with a smile. I’m one of those who fully believes in rivalries bringing the best out of competitors. “10 Out of 10” was okay…but “Only You” showed their versatility, meaning they weren’t only capable of producing a mainstream track, but creating something new. Continue Reading