We cannot deny the fact that 4Minute is one of the most celebrated acts of the “second generation” of KPOP. Personally, I’d like comparing 4Minute to aging fine wine. As they grew older in the industry, they just got better until their bittersweet end. It’s already almost three years since the group disbanded and I think it’s high time that we look back on their colorful journey in KPOP.
Name: Nam Jihyun
Birthday: January 9, 1990
Position: Leader, Lead Dancer, Vocalist, Visual
Even though she only trained for six months, she was chosen as 4Minute’s leader because she showed promising skills in organizing the whole group. Jihyun appeared in Enkwang and YooSungeun’s music video for “Love Virus”. She also appeared as one of the cast members on the first season of “The Romantic & Idol” where she was paired with ZE:A’sHyungsik. Jihyun has an extreme liking for Hello Kitty and Micky Mouse.
Name: Heo Gayoon
Birthday: May 18, 1990
Position: Main Vocalist
Gayoon is an extreme lover of clothes. So, during her free time, she likes to go shopping and finding new clothes to wear. She is the other half of t4Minute’s sub-unit “2YOON”. Whenever the members try to pull a prank on her, she can sense it and does not really fall for it. Aside from being a good singer, Gayoon also likes to write lyrics in her free time.
Name: Jeon Jiyoon
Birthday: October 15, 1990
Position: Lead Rapper, Lead Vocalist
Jiyoon is one-half ofthe sub-unit “2YOON”. Jiyoon is afraid of heights and does not like when her hair gets wet by the rain. She likes all of Katy Perry’s songs. According to the group’s trainer, Jiyoon is the member that changed the most in many ways since their debut. After the group disbanded, Jiyoon pursued a solo career and is now promoting under the stage name “Jenyer”.
Name: Kim Hyunah
Birthday: June 6, 1992
Position: Main Dancer, Main Rapper, Vocalist, Face of the Group
I feel like I should not write about Hyuna anymore as everyone already knows her. Before being a member of 4Minute, Hyuna was a member of Wonder Girls between 2007 and 2008. Hyuna is a member of the duo Trouble Maker with Hyunseung. She is also a member of the co-ed collaboration trio called Triple H with Pentagon’s Hui and EDawn. On October 15, 2018, it was confirmed that Hyuna left CUBE along with her boyfriend, EDawn.
Name: Kwon Sohyun
Birthday: August 30, 1994
Position: Lead Dancer, Vocalist, Rapper, Maknae
Before being in 4Minute, Sohyun was actually already an idol. She was a member of “Orange” but the group disbanded after their debut because of cyberbullying and anti-cafes.After the group’s disbandment, Sohyun signed with 935 Entertainment in November 2016 but left in October 2017. She is now currently signed with TheCNT.
4Minute debuted under CUBE Entertainment on June 15, 2009 with the song “Hot Issue”. They lived up to the name of being hot issues as it was announced that Hyuna, a former member of Wonder Girls, will become a member of 4Minute along with other members Sohyun, Gayoon, Jiyoon, and Jihyun. But, the group actually won their first ever music show win when they released “Muzik” on SBS Inkigayo. Muzik was characterized as a song with heavy electronic beats, something that not a lot of girl groups did at the time. In their debut year, they released another single called “What A Girl Wants”, which was more feminine compared to “Muzik”.
In 2010, the group released “HUH” which would then become their most defining song. It peaked at #3 on the Gaon Singles Chart as is the group’s most downloaded song according to the charts. They released a follow-up singled called “I My Me Mine”. At this point, the group is slowly saturating the Japanese market with the release of their first Japanese album entitled “Diamond” that debuted at #18 on the Oricon chart.
2011 was the year that the girl group received major accomplishments. They received their first Bonsang Award at the 20th Seoul Music Awards and the 2010 “KPOP New Artist Award” at the Billboard Japan Music Awards. Because of their popularity in Japan, the group continued releasing Japanese songs like “Why”, “Without U”, and the Japanese version of their song “Heart to Heart”.
With their releases so far, 4Minute has become synonymous to bright colors, heavy electronic beats, and crazy hairstyles—something that most groups during that time were also known for. However, 4Minute was a breath of fresh air for fans because they were underdogs. They were not under big companies but they successfully penetrated both the Korean and Japanese markets.
One of my most favorite 4Minute songs is “Mirror Mirror”. However, this song is really underrated. It is characterized by its heavy beats and awesome choreography. In fact, the choreography was deemed provocative and they had to modify the steps so they can perform on music shows because the broadcast stations would not allow the leg-splitting part of the original choreography to be aired. Honestly, that part of the choreography was very innocent compared to what we are seeing in KPOP now.
4Minute continued releasing hit after hit. Some of the members also promoted separately, most notable Hyuna as a solo artist and Gayoon and Jayoon as a duo sub-unit 2YOON. Their hit songs during this time include “What’s Your Name? Is It Poppin’?”, and “WatchaDoin’ Today?”. “WatchaDoin’ Today?” became the groups biggest hit as it debuted at #1 in Korea and earned a music show win on SBS Inkigayo, beating 2NE1 and SNSD. This has shown how big the group got ever since they debuted.
In 2015, 4Minute released “the” track. The song “Crazy” went on to debut at #1 on Billboard’s World Albums Chart. It was just so sensational that almost every KPOP fan would know how to sing this song from start to finish. However, this song also marked the group’s looming end. Rumors have speculated that the group’s continuation would depend on their next release. When they released “Hate”, the international audience liked it because of its heavy Western influence. The beat was produced by the famous Skrillex by the way. However, the Korean audience did not find it that appealing, causing it to chart low and ultimately, disbanding the group.
The group went full circle. I wouldn’t say that their end was bad. They were good while it lasted and in KPOP, I think that is all that matters.