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A word on group leaders (in Kpop)

July 2, 2009

I just found out that Jihyun, not Hyunah, is the leader of 4minute. I feel like this changes a lot of the justifications I made for the obvious Hyunah spotlighting and favoritism. I know that Hyunah is re-debuting after belonging to a super popular group, so she does have reason to draw in a crowd. However, what’s wrong with a fresh start?


I kind of think the majority agrees with my sentiments. People keep asking, “Why does Hyunah get so much attention?” I think most people want group behavior from a group.

Let me explain why I think things would be different if Hyunah was the leader.

Leaders, obviously, take the lead. They might get more attention, but part of that has to do with the fact that they are fronting the group–they speak when no one else wants to, they pick up the slack when they need to, and the essentially show the face of what the group is all about.

Appropriate leaders (in my opinion) are G-Dragon of Big Bang, Yunho of DBSK, Gahee of After School (among many others). These people are clearly the leaders of the group. There is just something about the way they move within their respective teams that sets them slightly apart, but in such a way that holds everyone together.

Examples of confusing leaders (this is no cut, by the way–it’s just that it’s harder to identify who is fronting the group) are Eeteuk of Super Junior, Onew of SHINee, and Jihyun of 4minute. All groups are great, but sometimes to newcomers, it’s hard to tell who is the leader. When I first got into Super Junior, I thought Kangin was the leader. Jonghyun kind of seems like he’d be the leader of SHINee until you get to know the group (Onew makes sense to me now), and Hyunah definitely seems like she’d be the leader of 4minute. However, just because it’s hard to place the leader, it doesn’t mean it’s a bad choice on the part of the company. It just makes things harder to understand when you can’t easily look to a specific member to see how the group runs.

And it leads back to my main point:

The fact that Hyunah is NOT the leader makes things so weird. She is getting so much attention and face-time; it makes the group seem incredibly lopsided and no one seems to like it in fandom. I actually feel that no one member should get more than their fair share of spotlight, but if it happens at all, it should be the leader who gets more attention.

I don’t know where this is coming from or whether anyone will make sense of what I’m talking about, but we all have to rant from time to time. Today is one of those times for me.

One Comment leave one →
  1. tofumon permalink
    July 18, 2009 12:50 am

    But jiyoon’s voice rocks 100xs more than hyun-ah’s. I’m in love with that girl even though I don’t really dig the group.

    Btw. Great blog. I really enjoy reading it!

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