Kpop Quick Review: Ugly by 2NE1

(This song was calling to me, I couldn’t ignore it – Izzy)

Ugly is from 2NE1’s second EP “Ugly”.

(image credit LP2NE1)


  • This has got to be one of the darkest songs in kpop.
  • Yet, despite being dark, it’s just completely, powerfully fun and strong. Dark, yet boss at the same time.
  • The video was totally original… But the spray cans reminded me of CN Blue’s “Intuition” and the glow in the dark paint and clothing reminded me of Ke$ha’s “Take it Off”.
  • I’m speculating that those ladies in the MV are more than just paint targets… Hmm, what you hidin’ YG?
  • The chorus is really catchy.
  • The lyrics are sad, yet the song sorta cheers you on like an anthem. It gives you this feeling of “You think you’re ugly, but who cares!” rather than just making yourself feel unattractive.
  • What’s more disturbing is that the song goes even deeper than it already is, far beyond just “appearances”… (Read below)


ABOUT: The girls say

“I think I’m ugly

And nobody wants to love me

Just like her, I wanna be pretty

I wanna be pretty

Don’t lie to my face

‘Cause I know I’m ugly”

It’s more than just “I’m so ugly, she’s so pretty”. Underneath those words lie thoughts of envy, insecurity, self contempt, distrust, isolation, and maybe even short sightedness, for blaming all of these negative feelings on being “ugly”.

It seems like they know (or at least, they believe) how “ugly” they are (“my ugly and crooked heart might even come to resent you”) and they don’t want a person to become close to them out of pity for their looks. They say things like “this world is full of lies”, “there is no such thing as warmth”, etc that show these dark feelings behind the word “ugly”.

OPINION: Wow. I 1st listened to it while reading the lyrics, and it’s disturbing how… How easy it is to relate to. I’m not calling myself ugly, but wow, every unhappy feeling I’ve ever felt was prodded by each word in this song, not to say listening to this song made me feel depressed. The miserable words are backed away by an energizing chorus, that’s makes you feel proud to look how you look, despite the “I think I’m ugly” lyrics.

If you could tell, I wasn’t a fan of I AM THE BEST since it was so lacking in depth (although catchy and entertaining). However, Ugly definitely blew my mind and hit my heart. There are no words to describe this song’s power.

FAVORITE: The “I’m all alone” part (I think it’s Dara’s part? or CL’s?). The chorus is a close 2nd. However, to me, the “all alone” part feels like that melancholy calm before the storm. I just really like it.

OVERALL: LISTEN. TO. THIS. SONG. ESPECIALLY WITH THE LYRICS (conveniently placed below!). This is my personal favorite from 2NE1, period. If this song doesn’t become a hit, I will drink a gallon of milk and review every 2NE1 song in history.

(English Subs, Romanization, and Hangeul, credit LoveKpopSubs6)


About Isabella

Occupation: Student.

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