March 18th, 2014 12:34pm

How Beautiful Is This Life?

2NE1 “멘붕 MTBD”

As a person who is only fluent in one language, I am always fascinated by songs that switch languages on a dime. This is very common in K-Pop, and it’s part of what makes that genre feel a bit surreal for English speakers, because you’re constantly tilting from a language that doesn’t register to moments that feel like completely “normal” Western pop music. I’m always curious why the English parts are in English – is it so people like me can get clued into what the song’s about, or is it so they can get away with saying things that maybe wouldn’t go over so well in Korean? Is it purely about the sounds of the words? Is it about directly mimicking Western influences? There’s some English scattered through CL’s rapped verses here, but the English part that really stands out is the end – “How beautiful is this life? / How painful is this life?” Is that sentiment just something that sounds more sad and pretty in English?

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