Hyuna and Hyuna-ette’s Are No More

4minute hate

Well, this sucks. After a fairly long and prosperous career, Cube Entertainment has announced that 4Minute will disband.

Unsurprisingly, because they aren’t complete idiots, Cube made sure to keep Hyuna signed to the label, so that will likely mitigate most of the blowback from the disintegration of one of K-Pop’s more consistently good acts.

The girls’ contracts with Cube Entertainment will soon be coming to an end  during this month, and after long consideration, the girls and the label have decided to disband the group. So far, only HyunA has re-signed with Cube Entertainment, and some of the other girls are still talking about renewing with the label again. The girls that do not will look for another label.

While I have certainly not been above making jokes about how 4Minute is more or less a Hyuna platform disguised as a group act, the retirement of the 4Minute brand, to put it bluntly, sucks. While most groups going on their seventh year suffer some sort of decline, 4Minute was a group who seemed to be getting stronger with age (ignoring their depressingly mediocre run with Brave Brothers), especially as the genre gravitated towards the house and EDM sound that already tailored towards the group’s strengths. Their most recent release “Hate” was damn good (I’ve come around to the jarring transitions in the song) and their prior release “Crazy” may have been the best thing that the group has ever done.

At least we can say that 4Minute went out on top musically. Also, the netizen-trolling lovers of the world will still get to bask in the glory of Hyuna releases for the foreseeable future, so there’s that too. Hopefully, Cube is able to re-sign some of the other members as well (*cough #SIGNJIHYUNPLZINEEDAJIHYUNSOLOCAREERINMYLIFE #cough) because as great as Hyuna is, she wasn’t the only thing that made 4Minute worth watching.

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6 comments

  1. I was a bit bummed to hear this too, but not too terribly surprised. Seven years is an eternity in this business. Even if you like all your bandmates, its easy for things to grow stale artistically, and some of the members may have looked at “Crazy” as work they aren’t going to top any time soon, that they are all in their mid-20’s and want to socialize more like a normal 20-something, and that career-wise they have banked enough money that they can pursue something they are more passionate about. For instance if you are Gayoon, one can’t help but think she would really like to actually sing more, Jiyoon may feel that there is no room for her talents at Cube outside of the group as Cube isn’t going to likely promote two Hyuna’s in a sense.

    We have seen several groups just kind of run their course now. I expect more are coming in the 2nd generation acts. SNSD likely won’t be around after their current contract expires for instance. The problem is that the idol lifestyle is just too all-consuming and by a person’s mid to late 20’s and if they have had even reasonable financial success, they are tired and often want to do other things in life without the scrutiny or to focus on one thing they really enjoy and get away from doing the things they don’t.

    I thought it was interesting that this sounds like a decision made by the members to just end this, which is a bit like how many of the 1st generation acts ended (SES and Fin KL all just pretty much decided to pull the plug together and move on to other things). Sometimes too, it can be a thing where you realize that it’s better to pull the plug a bit early while you are still friends. You see lots of groups that start to struggle financially or creatively and it magnifies interpersonal conflicts to the point where they can’t stand one another anymore. With these groups and the way they are so isolated i their teens and 20’s, the only friends they often have are their bandmates. You probably want to preserve that as best you can before you suddenly find yourself more or less friendless.

    At least they gave us some good music during their run and “Volume Up” is one of the songs I first came across in 2012 that helped suck me into K-pop. A weaker song and production might have caused my attention to wane in those first few days after stumbling upon K-pop. I will always be a bit thankful for that.

  2. As a 4Minute fan, this sucks. I’ve been writing some retrospectives on my own blog; as a big fan of your work, I’d love to hear your thoughts YellowSlug.

  3. So, my first thoughts were did Hyuna abandon the dead weight or did the dead weight abandon Hyuna?
    Its sad, I loved Volume Up so much and even though nothing they’ve done since could match it they have had some really decent songs in the last couple of years.

  4. NJ Kpopper · · Reply

    Yes, certainly a little sad since my path into K-pop in 2012 also ran PSY -> Hyuna -> 4minute. “Love Tension” and its glamorous look was an early favorite (and “First”). But it does seem like it might be time for them to hang it up rather than fail to pull off another reinvented look/style.

    4minute, always in our memories, and hopefully always available on YouTube!

    1. PSY > Hyuna > 4Minute was also how I got into K-Pop, which is why this is sad but not totally unexpected. Thank you for all the great ‘Muzik’, ladies. You will always be K-Pop royalty to me.

      1. That was my route into K-Pop too! RIP 4Minute

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