88Rising’s Head in the Clouds Forever Coachella set is officially going down in history as the site of one the most exciting reunions in recent memory: 2NE1.
The iconic second generation K-pop girl group took the stage together as a foursome for the first time since 2015, ahead of their disbandment in 2016. Bom, Sandara, and Minzy joined member CL at the end of her set for a killer performance of their 2011 single, “I Am the Best.”
They arrived onstage as powerful as ever, striking poses as fans screamed in realization. And yes, “I Am the Best” is still the electric hit it was in 2011. As one fan on Twitter put it, “THEY WERE STANDING BUT THEIR PRESENCE WAS SO LOUD. NO ONE DOES IT LIKE THEM.” Many others called for a a new album from one of the most popular K-pop girl groups ever, and we have to agree.
2NE1’s impact can’t be understated. They’re widely acknowledged as popularizing the K-pop concept “girl crush” — prioritizing ferocity and empowerment — and broke records both in Korea and abroad, helping to bring K-pop to a U.S. audience in the mid 2010s. Their 2014 album Crush became the highest-charting K-pop album on the Billboard 200 at the time; that comeback was also the first time a K-pop act made Billboard’s year-end world album chart.
At Coachella, the fun didn’t stop there. In a set that truly made us wish we were in Indio, California, 88Rising brought together some of the most exciting voices making music right now, all of whom are Asian: BIBI, Hikaru Utada, NIKI, Jackson Wang, Rich Brian, Warren Hue, and MILLI. It was the first-ever Coachella stage curated by a record label, and proved once more what a dynamic roster of performers 88Rising has amassed. You can listen to the whole epic HITC Forever set here.