The challenging thing about doing a show like Sugar Man is finding the artists and bringing them onto the show. There have been a number of groups that fans have been interested in seeing but for one reason or another, they haven’t made an appearance yet. Last week, the show changed up its typical format. Instead of remaking old songs, they brought not 2 but 4 groups on the show and had idol members fill in for the original members of the group that could not be there.
One of the first groups they brought up was Y2K. I do vaguely remember the band itself but I have to admit that I don’t really know their songs.
The band was made up of 3 members but only Go Jae Geun came onto the show as the other two members, Matsuo Kouji and Yuichi, who are brothers and Japanese are currently touring in Japan with their current band, Swanky Dunk. Y2K’s hit song was “헤어진 후예 (After the Breakup).” Filling in for the missing members are Kim Tae Hyun and Kim Hyun Woo from the band Dick Punks.
UP (pronounced Yoo-Pi and stands for Ultra People) was another group I didn’t really follow closely but I do know their songs more than I knew Y2K’s music.
I think the reason I didn’t really know this group was because with each new album, the group kept changing its members. However, they did catch people’s attention with their 2nd album and its title song “뿌요뿌요 (Ppuyo Ppuyo)”.
However, for me I love the song “바다 (Sea)” which was a great summer hit back in late 1997 and I think almost rivaled Cool’s “해변의 여인 (Beach Woman)” as the best summer song .
Now, Sharp (aka S#arp) is a group that is infamous in K-Pop history for the way the group disbanded. Apparently, Seo Ji Young had bullied fellow member Lee Ji Hye. She not only got a fellow group member but also had her boyfriend at the time, Actor Ryu Shi Won, to join in on the bullying. It said that Seo Ji Young picked on Lee Ji Hye because she was selected to join the group through a singing audition process which incited Seo Ji Young’s jealousy. Seo Ji Young’s parents were at the head of the company that managed the group and they even contributed to bullying Lee Ji Hye as well.
One major fight resulted in Lee Ji Hye fighting back and thus resulted in the group scheduling a press conference. What people still remember about this press conference is how the manager of the group admitted that he witnessed Seo Ji Young bullying Lee Ji Hye, which took her by complete surprise. It is still considered one of the most dramatic press conferences to this day. However, as time has gone on the members have said that they have all reconciled and admitted that they were immature at the time. Lee Ji Hye has been quite open to talking about the matter, even joking about it on various variety shows like SNL Korea. Apparently, former member Jang Suk Hyun was not present for the infamous fight. Here on Sugar Man Lee Ji Hye admits that she was also at fault for what happened but I guess people are always going to wonder if that’s just her trying to make lemonade out of lemons.
Still, “Sweety” is cute song and I love that Din Din, who filled in for Sharp member Chris Kim, tries his best to keep up with the dance. He may be known as a rapper but perhaps dancing is not his forte. APink’s Bomi fills in for Seo Ji Young.
Finally, one of my favorite groups back in the day was Two Two. It was a quirky reggae group with Kim Ji Hoon, Hwang Hye Young, Oh Ji Hoon and Yoo Hyun Jae. I’m glad that they were able to get the 3 surviving members of the group together. However, most may just remember Kim Ji Hoon and Hwang Hye Young as they were most visible members of the group. Unfortunately, Kim Ji Hoon died 2013 from apparent suicide due to depression. The group launched to fame with their first title song back in 1994, “일과 이분의 일 (One and a Half)”. Infinite’s Woo Hyun joined the group to fill in for Kim Ji Hoon’s.
What’s interesting to note about Kim Ji Hoon is that he could sing incredibly high for a guy and I can’t imagine that it was easy for Woo Hyun to sing and dance at the same time to this song. Remember, back in the day, most groups lip-synced when they performed in public.
However, the Two Two song that I still love to this day is “그대 눈물까지도 (Even Teardrops in Your Eyes)”. It’s hard not to think of this song without thinking of Kim Ji Hoon and even Hwang Hye Young had a hard time keeping back her tears. She relays how when she heard the news of his death, she was in the hospital about to give birth to her twins. Because she was unable to move, she couldn’t even attend his funeral. And she was even reluctant about coming onto Sugar Man. She says that she never had a dream about him before but he appeared in her dream and she felt that it was a sign that he would have wanted her to come on. It was a nice tribute as he was the main voice for the group.
Since voting is a major part of the show, the audience voted on their favorite retro group. Yoo Jae Suk’s groups were Y2K and UP while Yoo Hee Yeol’s groups were Sharp and Two Two. Depending on whose team had the most votes, the winner would not only go to the group itself but the host that introduced that group. I like that Sharp won out as they were a decent group before the behind-the-scenes scandal broke up the members. However, I’ll admit that I would have voted for Two Two if I were in the audience myself. Who would you have voted for?