2NE1 as Peripheral Group


For this week’s post talking about diasporic groups, after some research and after reading a previous post on this group, I have decided to focus on the four member Korean girl group, 2NE1. This group really caught my eye not only in the way that they have been represented online, and in their amazing fashion sense however also in the way that they are a diasporic group in their many influences from Western societies, especially America as well as their many musical collaborations with American artists like will.i.am and Skrillex.

When looking at this band, I really wanted to see the ways that 2NE1 have been represented online, and the way that they have been represented especially on Instagram. When having a search for these funky four on instagram, I initially found the individual instagram sites of the members and then after a little bit more searching, I found the band’s combined Instagram page “2ne1xxi.” What first really amazed me was their amount of followers being over 381,995. Their instagram page, much like Kozue Akimoto’s instagram page is very much full of colour and groovy emoticons and faces.

This got me thinking about the similarities between Akimoto, the Japanese model and 2NE1’s and when digging further in this, found how although 2NE1 are a Korean pop group, they actually are extremely popular in Japan. This clearly shows the peripheral aspects of this group and the way that their journey to becoming a peripheral group. This can be seen not only in the way that they have become popular in Japan but also in the way that they are becoming well known in Western societies such as America. This can be seen in the way that they have collaborated with popular American artist will.i.am (see video below) and the way that will.i.am have promoted them in not only in America, however also on The Voice Australia where he stated, “2NE1 is the biggest group from South Korea – they are like THE BOMB” (will.i.am 2014)

What do you think about the collaboration with will.i.am?

Do you think this shows an influence on Western culture on 2NE1? Or can it be said that 2NE1 are influencing will.i.am or other American bands?



  1. Its hard to tell who is being influenced by whom, simply because there are aspects from both the k-pop culture that I have seen present in other kpop music as well as their eccentric clothing/production but the music and funky style also resonates with some of will.i.am’s past mixes. I feel as though they are trying (and succeeding) to branch into the american scenes simply because It gives them more opportunity as a group to collab with people who are already widely known as musicians. I feel as though its a smart move, and this is obviously working for them, they don’t seem to have lost much of their ‘original’ success or image by collabing with these americans, I say go for it, another cultures influence can often be beneficial

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s always easy to assume one culture is pushing on another, driving it in a given direction, but the flow always goes both ways. 2NE1 and will.i.am working together will change both of them, obviously to differing degrees but it’s cool to see that the American billboards are mixing with the Korean. The embedded song definitely sounds like a will.i.am song, while the video feels much more like the k-pop videos I’m more used to. In either case, it doesn’t hurt either group to be branching out for a new market.


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