Alright, 2NE1. Generally recognized as the most popular KPop group outside South Korea (though f(x) certainly might have more western acclaim). This is the group that a lot people say will be the first Korean artist to take root (as a serious artist, not as a novelty like PSY) in America (or the western world in general). While I disagree for many reasons, they indeed have had a few numbers with some ears in America, most notably their catchy classic "I Am The Best." 2NE1 (one of hundreds of Korean groups whose name resembles an American vanity license plate) has cornered, if not originated, the "bad girl" style of KPop groups. But usually, in life, its one thing to claim you're superior, another to support it with actual performance. 2NE1 or their rapper CL, currently attempting an another attack on American ears as a solo artist, haven't really done anything new or original to an American audience, just showed up and claimed to be "the baddest."
And they are one of the most exciting and entertaining groups in Korea. CL in particular, has her own sexy style and is a top-notch rap artist. For a Korean audience, 2NE1 has a unique look and sound, but not so to western audience who've seen it before. 2NE1, CL, and their company YG seem to be trying to craft a group that looks American and sell it to Americans. While it certainly seems like a plausible approach, the western market is keen to originality and not imitation, and unless 2NE1 can back up their posturing with a particularly powerful vocal ability, unique or original rap style or even some eye-popping choreography, they will have trouble finding mainstream acceptance. Any Korean artist would.
Not a fan of this group, but as I start listening to their albums and lesser known tracks, I find myself finding more and more gems here and there. And a number of people I respect like them a lot, and I can't deny their obvious talent, so if you're into colorful and intense exotic hiphop, they're worth a look and listen.