This is a good article. Click here for more information.

I Am the Best

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"I Am the Best"
I-Am-The-Best-2NE1.jpg
South Korean single cover
Single by 2NE1
from the EP 2NE1 (2011) and Nolza
ReleasedJune 24, 2011 (2011-06-24)
Recorded2011
Genre
Length3:28
Label
Songwriter(s)Teddy Park
Producer(s)Teddy Park
2NE1 singles chronology
"Lonely"
(2011)
"I Am the Best"
(2011)
"Hate You"
(2011)
iTunes digital cover
2NE1 - I Am the Best (alternate cover).jpeg

"I Am the Best" (Korean내가 제일 잘 나가; RRNaega jeil jal naga) is a song recorded by South Korean girl group 2NE1 for their self-titled second EP. The song was written and produced by the group's long-time collaborator Teddy Park and was released for digital download as the third single from the EP on June 24, 2011, under YG Entertainment. It is an empowerment anthem, combining elements of electro house, electronic and hip hop, complete with instrumentations of synthesizers, middle eastern inspired rifts, and empowering chants.

"I Am the Best" received acclaim from music critics domestically and internationally, with them praising the song's musical styles and 2NE1's charisma. It is often considered to be one of the most iconic and influential K-pop songs, and recognized as a key contributor in the spread of the Korean Wave around the world. In the group's native country, the song topped the Gaon Digital Chart and sold almost 3.8 million digital units by August 2012, standing as one of the best-selling girl-group singles in South Korea.

The song gained renewed attention in the United States after appearing in a Microsoft commercial in 2014. It then topped the Billboard World Digital Songs chart, making 2NE1 the first K-pop group and the second Korean act overall to achieve the feat in the chart's history. The song was subsequently released in the US on December 10, 2014 by Capitol Records and received airplay on various American radio stations, and became noteworthy for being one of the few non-English songs to do so.

Background and composition[]

"I Am the Best" was written and produced by YG Entertainment collaborator Teddy Park, who had worked on the majority of 2NE1's previous discography. It was released on June 24, 2011 for digital download and streaming as the third single from the group's eponymous second EP. A Japanese version of the single was released along with the Japanese edition of the EP, entitled Nolza, on September 21 through YGEX—a joint venture between YG Entertainment and Japanese record label Avex Group.

The track is composed in the key of C major and has a tempo of 128 beats per minute, and runs for 3:28. It was described as a powerful and energetic track that is similar to 2NE1's debut single "Fire", combining elements of electronic, electro house, hip hop, African-style rhythms and reggae with booming synthesizers, Middle Eastern-inspired strings on the middle 8 and empowering chants. An empowerment anthem, the song's lyrical content—as suggested by its title—explores the themes of self-confidence, dominance, and narcissism.

Reception[]

"I Am the Best" was met with acclaim from music critics. James Brooks of Pitchfork praised the song's energy and noted 2NE1's "manic" and "larger-than-life" charisma. Smithsonian Music recognized "I Am the Best" as one of the key works in the spread of the Korean Wave around the world, along with "Only One" by BoA, "Sorry, Sorry" by Super Junior, "The Boys" by Girls' Generation, "Gangnam Style" by Psy, and "Fantastic Baby" by Big Bang. Jon Caramanica, writing for The New York Times, wrote that the song marked "a postcard from the moment when K-pop, which had been reliably indebted to other countries’ sounds, was beginning to embrace excess as its own style." In addition, Caramanica referred to 2NE1 as a powerful influence in the industry, almost "ruthlessly modern", and asserted that "'I Am the Best' encapsulated its high-grade attitude". Spin's June 2012 list of the "21 Greatest K-Pop Songs of All Time" ranked the song at number three, with Chuck Eddy writing that it "might've been the best single released on the planet in 2011".

In November 2019, the song was ranked number four on Billboard's "100 Greatest K-Pop Songs of the 2010s" list; the list referred to the song as "undeniably iconic" and said that it "will always be the track that bulldozed into our lives and pulled so many of us into the wondrous world of Korean pop". The following month, British GQ called the song one of the game-changers in the K-pop industry and referred to it as a "blueprint for the genre's feisty 'girl crush' concept".

Lists for "I Am the Best"
Publication List Rank Ref.
Billboard Every 2NE1 Single Ranked: Critic's Take 1
100 Greatest K-Pop Songs of the 2010s 4
British GQ The game-changers from a decade of K-pop N/A
Spin 21 Greatest K-Pop Songs of All Time 3
Stereogum 20 Best K-Pop Videos 1

Awards[]

Awards and nominations for "I Am the Best"
Year Organization Award Result Ref.
2011 Melon Music Awards Popular Netizen Song Nominated [citation needed]
Song of the Year Nominated
Mnet Asian Music Awards Best Dance Performance – Female Group Nominated
Song of the Year Won
2012 Korean Music Awards Best Dance & Electronic Song Won
Song of the Year Nominated
MTV Video Music Awards Japan Best New Artist Won
Music program awards for "I Am the Best"
Program Date Ref.
Inkigayo (SBS) July 17, 2011
Music Bank (KBS) August 5, 2011

Music video and promotion[]

The first teaser of the music video was released on June 19, 2011, featuring the first 10 seconds of the track sung by the group's leader, CL. The teaser was posted on YG Life and YouTube along with the official cover art of the song. YG Entertainment also revealed that they would release an additional 10-second snippet of the song each day until the full track and music video release on June 24. However, following a three-day delay from its planned release, the music video for the song premiered through 2NE1's YouTube channel on June 27. It was directed by , who directed many of their previous music videos including "Fire" (2009), "Try to Follow Me" (2010) and "Can't Nobody" (2010).

A scene from the music video, showcasing the members' punk-inspired fashion and unconventional hairstyles.

The music video has been characterized as distinctive, unconventional, yet still sophisticated. It features the members in a number of powerful fashion statements, including that resembling of a wrestler—complete with a sparkling WWE championship belt, futuristic and punk-inspired attire, metal-studded leather pieces, and unconventional hairstyles; for instance, that of CL's resembling a bull’s horn and Dara's resembling that of Dragon Ball character Vegeta. The music video was an instant hit on YouTube, achieving over 1.6 million views in two days following its release and four million views by July 1, which was considered impressive for a Korean-act at the time. The video was ranked among the top 10 trending videos on the platform in several countries worldwide, including France, Hong Kong, Sweden, Taiwan, and Mexico. On October 6, 2014, the music video surpassed 100 million views on YouTube, setting a record at the time for the fastest K-pop girl group to achieve the milestone.

On July 8, 2011, the group announced a dance contest for the song, with the 2NE1 members and their official choreographers judging the four best submissions to win exclusive concert tickets for 2NE1's Nolza tour, Adidas Originals merchandise, and 2NE1 stage attire. The winner was an all-female dance troupe from Vietnam called L.Y.N.T.

Commercial performance[]

In South Korea, the song debuted at number four on the Gaon Chart for the week ending June 25, 2011. The following week, "I Am the Best" rose three positions to the number one spot on the chart, becoming the group's fourth number one single. By the end of 2011, the song had sold 3.47 million digital copies and was ranked number seven on the year-end Gaon Digital Chart. In Japan, the song peaked at number 37 on the RIAJ Digital Track Chart and number 53 on the Japan Hot 100.

Microsoft Corporation featured the track in their Surface Pro 3 commercial "Head to Head", which was broadcast from August 2014 onwards. As a result of increased visibility from the advertising campaign, the song reached number one in the United States on Billboard's World Digital Songs chart, making it the first K-pop group song to do so and the fourth Korean song overall, with the first three being Psy's singles "Gangnam Style" (2012), "Gentleman" (2013) and "Hangover" (2014). It sold 6,000 copies during the week ending October 10, 2014, according to Nielsen SoundScan, becoming the group's best sales week in the United States. As of late 2020, the song has held the distinction of being the fifth-longest-charting single on the World Digital Songs chart, with a total of 121 weeks, tied with BTS' "Mic Drop" (2017). The song also received airplay from American radio stations without officially being released to the airplay market, and attracted interest from some for being one of the few non-English songs to be played on American radios.

In popular culture[]

"I Am the Best" appeared on several television series in South Korea and abroad, including episode one of the 2018 South Korean drama series Something in the Rain, in which the lead character, played by Son Ye-jin, is seen casually dancing to the track. Internationally, the song was used for week eight of the 10th season of the American reality television series So You Think You Can Dance, in which Jenna Johnson danced with Mark Kanemura in a routine that Kanemura himself choreographed. It was also featured in the South Park episode "Board Girls", which was broadcast in November 2019. The following year, the song appeared in the 2020 Netflix original film Work It during one of the dance performances.

On choosing the track for their Surface Pro 3 commercial "Head to Head", Microsoft stated that the song specifically appealed to them since the "confident lyrics and lively beats made a good fit with the new product's image". A follow-up commercial, titled "Accolades", was broadcast in December 2014. Additionally, the song was included in the Xbox 360 Kinect game Dance Central 3 (2012), and became the first K-pop song to be featured in the video game series. It was also added to the video game soundtrack of Ubisoft's dance rhythm game Just Dance 2020.

On February 25, 2018, CL co-headlined the closing ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics with Exo, performing parts of "I Am the Best". The audience featured South Korean president Moon Jae-in, First Lady Kim Jung-sook, and daughter of the US president, Ivanka Trump.

Track listing[]

  • Digital download / streaming
  1. "I Am the Best" – 3:28

Credits[]

Credits adapted from Tidal.

  • 2NE1 – primary vocals
  • Teddy Park – lyricist, composer, producer
  • Lee Kyung-joon  – engineer, studio personnel
  • Jason Robert – mixer, studio personnel

Charts[]

Sales and certifications[]

Sales and certifications for "I Am the Best"
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Japan (RIAJ) Gold 100,000*
South Korea (Gaon)
Korean version
3,795,020

*sales figures based on certification alone

Release history[]

Release dates and formats for "I Am the Best"
Region Date Format Label(s) Ref.
Japan June 24, 2011 Digital download YG Entertainment
South Korea
Hong Kong December 9, 2014 Capitol Records
Taiwan
United States December 10, 2014

See also[]

References[]

  1. "내가 제일 잘 나가" (in Korean). Melon. Retrieved December 19, 2020.
  2. Lim, Hee-yoom (July 8, 2011). "'I am the best'… 2NE1 Japanese market debut" (in Korean). Nate. Archived from the original on December 18, 2020. Retrieved December 17, 2020.
  3. "Key, BPM of I Am The Best By 2NE1". Musicstax. Archived from the original on December 13, 2020. Retrieved December 9, 2020.
  4. Michel, Patrick St. (September 13, 2011). "How Korean Pop Conquered Japan". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on March 17, 2016. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  5. ^ "The 100 Greatest K-Pop Songs of the 2010s: Staff List". Billboard. November 25, 2019. Archived from the original on November 9, 2020. Retrieved December 10, 2020.
  6. "2NE1 '내가 제일 잘나가' 美 퓨즈TV 선정 '베스트19'" (in Korean). Nate. January 8, 2015. Archived from the original on December 13, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  7. ^ Benjamin, Jeff (October 20, 2014). "2NE1's K-Pop Hit 'I Am the Best' Gains Spins at U.S. Radio Stations". Billboard. Archived from the original on May 13, 2016. Retrieved May 8, 2016.
  8. Sherman, Maria (July 13, 2020). "Start Here: Your Guide To Getting Into K-Pop". NPR. Archived from the original on November 10, 2020. Retrieved December 17, 2020.
  9. Singh, L (July 27, 2020). "Getting into K-pop? Here are 10 essential tracks to know". Don't Bore Us. The Brag Media. Archived from the original on December 18, 2020. Retrieved December 17, 2020.
  10. Brooks, James (November 2, 2011). "To Anyone: The Rise of Korean Wave". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on November 12, 2020. Retrieved December 10, 2020.
  11. Music: The Definitive Visual History. DK Publishing. October 1, 2013. p. 372.
  12. Caramanica, Jon (February 7, 2018). "A K-Pop Primer for Olympic Listening (Published 2018)". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Archived from the original on July 13, 2020. Retrieved December 17, 2020.
  13. ^ Bevan, David; Eddy, Chuck (June 1, 2012). "The 21 Greatest K-Pop Songs of All Time". Spin. Archived from the original on February 7, 2020. Retrieved December 30, 2020.
  14. ^ Glasby, Taylor (December 20, 2019). "The game-changers from a decade of K-pop". British GQ. Condé Nast. Archived from the original on December 20, 2019. Retrieved December 10, 2020.
  15. Benjamin, Jeff (January 24, 2017). "Every 2NE1 Single Ranked From Worst to Best: Critic's Take". Billboard. Archived from the original on February 2, 2017. Retrieved December 30, 2020.
  16. "The 20 Best K-Pop Videos". Stereogum. March 22, 2012. Archived from the original on May 26, 2016. Retrieved May 24, 2016.
  17. "List of nominees announced for MNET Asian Music Awards in Singapore". SG Magazine. October 24, 2011. Archived from the original on December 18, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  18. "Winners' list of 2011 Mnet Asian Music Awards". MSN. September 9, 2014. Archived from the original on August 2, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  19. "9th Korean Music Awards Winners" (in Korean). Korean Music Awards. Archived from the original on January 28, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  20. Kamarudin, Syahida (June 26, 2012). "2NE1, 2PM and SNSD won MTV VMA Japan". Yahoo! News. Archived from the original on December 18, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  21. Moon, Wan-sik (July 17, 2011). 2NE1, '내가 제일 잘나가'로 '인가' 1위 [2NE1 ranked first with "I Am the Best"]. Star News (in Korean). Archived from the original on December 31, 2020. Retrieved December 30, 2020.
  22. Jeon, A-ram (August 5, 2011). '뮤직뱅크' 2NE1, 불참에도 '내가 제일 잘 나가'로 1위 차지 ['Music Bank' 2NE1 won first place with "I Am the Best" despite absence.]. TV Daily (in Korean). Archived from the original on December 31, 2020. Retrieved December 30, 2020.
  23. "2NE1 '내가 제일 잘나가' 음원 10초 선공개". Newsen (in Korean). June 20, 2011. Archived from the original on August 7, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  24. Park, Sae-jin (October 6, 2014). "K-pop girl group 2NE1's 'I Am the Best' draws more than 100 million views on YouTube". Aju Business Daily. ...since its release on June 27, 2011.
  25. ^ Lee, Myung-joo (July 1, 2011). "2NE1 '내가 제일 잘 나가', 뮤비도 '제일 잘' 나가" (in Korean). Osen. Archived from the original on November 15, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  26. Kim, Eun-gu (June 28, 2011). "2NE1 `내가 제일 잘나가` 뮤비, 의상·영상 `제일 파격적`" (in Korean). Nate. Archived from the original on December 19, 2020. Retrieved December 19, 2020.
  27. "씨엘 머리는 황소뿔 '산다라박 베지터머리와 용호상박'" (in Korean). Busan Ilbo. July 11, 2011.
  28. Lee, Eun-jung (October 6, 2014). "투애니원 '내가 제일 잘나가' 뮤비 유튜브 1억뷰". Yonhap News (in Korean).
  29. 2NE1 (June 30, 2011). 2NE1 'I Am the Best' Dance Cover Contest Spot. YouTube. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  30. "2NE1 'I Am The Best' Official Video and Dance Cover Contest". The Turn Magazine. New York City. July 11, 2011. Archived from "-official-video-and-dance-cover-contest/ the original on July 12, 2011. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  31. Lee, Sangjoon; Nornes, Abé Markus (June 1, 2015). Hallyu 2.0: The Korean Wave in the Age of Social Media. University of Michigan Press. p. 87. ISBN 0472120891.
  32. 2011년 27주차 Digital Chart (in Korean). Gaon Music Chart. Archived from the original on February 4, 2015. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  33. ^ 2011년 28주차 Digital Chart (in Korean). Gaon Chart. Archived from the original on February 4, 2015. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  34. "2011년 Download Chart" (in Korean). Gaon Chart. Archived from the original on July 16, 2014. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
  35. "レコード協会調べ 2011年08月31日~2011年09月06日" (in Japanese). RIAJ. Archived from the original on August 21, 2014. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
  36. "Billboard Japan Hot 100 2011/10/03". Billboard Japan (in Japanese). Archived from the original on November 29, 2014. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
  37. Benjamin, Jeff (August 13, 2014). "Watch Microsoft Brilliantly Shade Apple With 2NE1's K-Pop Hit in New Ad". Billboard. Archived from the original on November 4, 2014. Retrieved November 9, 2014.
  38. Surface (August 10, 2014). "Surface Pro 3 – Head to Head". YouTube. Archived from the original on October 9, 2014. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
  39. "Microsoft Ad Helps 2NE1 Top World Digital Songs Chart". The Chosun Ilbo. October 8, 2014. Archived from the original on May 11, 2016. Retrieved December 17, 2020.
  40. "BTS milestone: Boy group caught up with 2NE1 to rank as the fifth-longest-charting single". EconoTimes. April 7, 2020. Archived from the original on December 18, 2020. Retrieved December 18, 2020.
  41. ^ Benjamin, Jeff. "2NE1's 'I Am the Best' Tops World Digital Songs Chart After Big Sales Week". Billboard. Archived from the original on October 7, 2014. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
  42. Ahn, Woorim (October 21, 2014). "2NE1 'I Am The Best' Conquers American Radio Stations". Yahoo! Style. Verizon Media. Archived from the original on December 18, 2020. Retrieved December 18, 2020.
  43. "Viewers went crazy because Son Ye Jin danced 2NE1's hit 'I'm The Best' in front of young Jung Hae In". Saostar (in Vietnamese). April 1, 2018. Archived from the original on December 18, 2020. Retrieved December 17, 2020.
  44. Barrett, Annie (August 20, 2013). "'SYTYCD' results: Two eliminated from Top 8 are... | PopWatch". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on February 4, 2014. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  45. "Dance on Fox - Jenna & Mark: Winners Chosen". Fox.com. Archived from the original on January 22, 2014. Retrieved January 23, 2014. - also "Dance on Fox". Fox. Archived from the original on July 10, 2008. Retrieved January 23, 2014. - select Performances and page to Jenna & Mark
  46. "Work It Soundtrack: All The Music In New Netflix Dance Film Starring Sabrina Carpenter". Capital FM. August 7, 2020. Archived from the original on October 27, 2020. Retrieved December 17, 2020.
  47. Sohn, Ji-young (August 13, 2014). "Microsoft features 2NE1 song in new ad". The Korea Herald. Herald Corporation. Archived from the original on May 30, 2015. Retrieved December 10, 2020.
  48. Goldfarb, Andrew (July 23, 2012). "Dance Central 3 Release Date Announced". IGN. Archived from the original on February 23, 2014. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  49. Valdes, Giancarlo (October 15, 2012). "Dance Central 3 hops, shuffles, and body rolls its way to greatness (review)". VentureBeat. Archived from the original on August 11, 2020. Retrieved December 18, 2020.
  50. Sheehan, Gavin (November 5, 2019). "Ubisoft Releases The 'Just Dance 2020' Song List". Bleeding Cool. Archived from the original on September 19, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  51. Herman, Tamar (February 25, 2018). "K-Pop Stars CL & EXO Impress at Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony". Billboard. Archived from the original on March 7, 2018. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  52. ^ "I Am the Best – Single". iTunes Store (US). Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved May 6, 2016.
  53. "Credits / I Am the Best / 2NE1". Tidal. Archived from the original on December 19, 2020. Retrieved December 19, 2020.
  54. "2NE1 Chart History (Japan Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved May 7, 2016.
  55. "Lescharts.com – 2NE1 – I Am The Best" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved November 13, 2014.
  56. "Gaon Digital Chart: 2011" (in Korean). Gaon Chart. Archived from the original on October 18, 2013.
  57. "Japanese single digital certifications" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. Select 2014年12月 on the drop-down menu
  58. Cumulative sales for "I Am the Best":
  59. "I Am the Best by 2NE1 – Single" (in Japanese). iTunes Store (JP). Archived from the original on May 7, 2016. Retrieved May 6, 2016.
  60. "내가 제일 잘 나가 (I Am the Best) – Digital Single" (in Korean). Melon. Archived from the original on January 22, 2016. Retrieved May 7, 2016.
  61. "I Am the Best – Single". iTunes Store (HK). Archived from the original on December 18, 2020. Retrieved May 6, 2016.
  62. "I Am the Best – Single". iTunes Store (TW). Archived from the original on August 22, 2016. Retrieved May 6, 2016.

External links[]