Monday, January 29, 2007

U-NEE IS GONE


U-Nee hanged herself a week ago.
Fans of the albums she released in 2003 and 2005 were expecting something hot from their Korean pop idol in 2007. She had mirrored Christina Aguilera and other dance-pop divas who stoked libidos while studio musicians scratched up beats.
Like Aguilera, who was smart enough to drop the "skank" act before it killed her, U-Nee was having second thoughts about the way "sex goddess" simply becomes "ho" or "pop tart" or some other derogatory term.
After dutifully posing in leather and filling her tracks with the standard sexy tricks, U-Nee sent out a storm warning last year: "I'm going to come back with an improved self. I want to try shedding the sexy image I built for myself and bring a new image to my fans."
Her good intentions were destroyed by an incident that happened far away in Malaysia. That's where Altantuya Shaaribuu was murdered in October of 2006, her body blown to bits by explosives, identified only through DNA. Shaaribuu, a part-time model, was having an affair with Abdul Razak Baginda, a defense analyst. Did he kill her, did he assign a high-placed hitman, or was there a government conspiracy?
Adding insult to the fatal injury, sexy pictures of U-Nee were circulated as being secret poses of the late Altantuya. When the Malaysian woman's father declared, "That's not her...don't spoil her name," the backlash against U-Nee was like a tsunami.
Anti-U-Nee websites appeared and she was swamped with hate mail. U-Nee was already suffering from depression from her low image, the pressures of fame, and her workload in preparing her third album.
She left no note. Probably the day she died her computer was flooded with headers of hate and derision over her sexy pictures "defaming" the memory of a woman she never even knew. The trial of Altantuya's alleged murderer is scheduled to take place in 2008.
The singer who was born Heo Yoon May 3, 1981, died as U-nee, January 21, 2007.
Now you know the basics of her story.


You'd like to hear her sing?
U-Nee had a unique name but was pretty similar to every sexy female from Christina Aguilera to Mylene Farmer to Madonna, mixing techno, rap and pop, adding bonus tracks re-mixing with thumps and sound effects for the disco/dance crowd.
Her first album, "Code" has a song called "Oh Punch" that owes a bit to Britney Spears' "Hit Me Baby One More Time," while the song "Play," samples American Black phrases and "Go" is spiced by male rappers shouting "When I say Hey, You say Ho." Or something like that. On her second album, "I Want You" is a chaotic combo of rap grunts from men and upbeat sass from U-Nee. "One" opens like everyone's American Idol ballad and overflows with power pop anguish. She often imitated the phrasings of young black and Latina performers, using deliberately flat-voiced male rappers for ghetto cred.
The Illfolks choice is "Don't Cry Again," which flirts with disco, has a traditional Asian minor key melody, uses a bit of synth and a dash of rap-scratch and halfway through switches from Korean to English.
Now that's covering a lot of bases! It might reflect the fractured nature of K-Pop, which keeps turning away from traditional Asian tonalities to mimic all the latest trends coming out of America. At least "Don't Cry Again" has some of the tantalizing dabbling into sharps and flats that you expect from Eastern melody, and U-Nee doesn't try to get too ghetto in her phrasings. If you need to hear U-Nee...
DON'T CRY AGAIN is one of U-Nee's most universally accessible songs

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are so rude. It's jacka** people like you that caused her to commit suicide. You are a real piss to insult her by saying "she was not unique"...she was unique unlike artists like Koda Kumi, Hyori Lee, or Baby VOX. She wasn't a slut; just a girl forced to do something so she could please her fans. Turns out, the fans weren't worth pleasing and she figured that out in her final moments. Her voice was beautiful and she was a light among other "fakey" people in the music biz...what matters is that her heart was good & honest unlike so many artists today. She was a tender -n- gentle person whom I will always remember in my heart and spirit. You do wrong to say such a disrespectful thing.

Screw you, a**hole.

Anonymous said...

WHO THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE!!!! SHE WAS TALENT AND UNIQUE. PLUS YOU CUNT HER SONGSA CAME FROM HER HEART!!!


SHE HAD NO CHOICE, HER LABEL CHOICE TO MARKET HER AS SEXY SINGER AND SHE WAS TOLD POSE NAKED IN HER PROMTION VIDEO AND MV TO RAISE ABULM SALES. SHE REFUESED!!

SHE WAS NOT TART OR SLUT OR WHORE.
SHE WAS KIND, LOOKING PERSON OUTSIDE AND INSIDE. SHE WAS PLAYFUL AND SHE WAS TALENTED.

Anonymous said...

I am deeply sad over such a beautiful young girl who seemed to be lost by people who put her in such a terrible place and having no where to escape.
Im a engineer/producer from the USA and stumbled across one of her songs on YouTube. I was completely blown away by her raw talent and beauty. As I searched on for another song of hers, I read lines like "Rest in peace" and "We will miss you". My heart sank when I read she had commited suicide at such a tender age.
In my humble opinion, U;Nee could have been a major international success.
To me she seemed so fragile and no one in the industry around her seemed to care how this would affect her.
To the parents and close friends of U;Nee, I can only say I am deeply, deeply sorry for your loss. I hope one day you can all find some peace and comfort in the wake of such a horrible loss of human life.
And remember to anyone who posts something after me, remember she was only a child, a normal living breathing human like you and I.

R.J.Smith USA

Anonymous said...

TWO RIGHT!!! ASO YOU BETTER PRAY NEVER MEET YOU BECAUSE YOU BE PICKING YOUR TEETH OFF THE FLOOR!!!!!

PEOPLE LIKE YOU MAKE ME SICK, U;NEE WILL BE TREATED WITH RESPECT. YOU DONE THE DAMAGE AND YOU CAN LEAVE EHR ALONE AND THE REST OF YOU ANTI-FANS!!!!

Anonymous said...

HOW DARE YOU!!!U;NEE IS MY IDOL AND SHE WAS NOT ANYTHING YOU SAID SHE IS!!!

SO DON'T SPOIL HER NAME!!!!

SHE WAS DIFFERENT FROM ALL THE SINGERS IN THIS WORLD.

Anonymous said...

R.J.

Thank you for the kind thoughts. You seem to understand what she was up against.

Ill Folks said...

Thanks, R.J.

I think the first few comments here are from people for whom English is a second language.

I'll chalk up the insults to their being too overcome with grief to understand what I wrote. All I said was that U-Nee was typed as a sexy singer and didn't like it. I didn't say she was a slut.

I also don't think it's rude or being an asshole to say "she was not unique." That's an opinion (and a play on the name U-nee) and not an insult.

Perhaps if it was written in an album review and not an obit the one or two fans here wouldn't have had the kneejerk reaction they did.

My aim was to shed some light on a person most were reading about for the first time, and give a sample. I picked a song that I liked and I felt would represent her best and lead to some CD sales for her.

Anonymous said...

O I see, so saying she's skank, ho, pop tart is ok then!!!!!

No it's not!!!!! U;Nee was loved for who she was inside. She was funny, playful and she didn't want the sexy image she did she was told.

U;Nee was not always sexy, she dressed casual.

It's bad enough now that her granma is getting cra from anti-fans now that U;Nee is gone.

U;Nee was suffering from depression since she was child and she was so hurt and felt empty inside.

"I feel everything is empty. I am again walking down a path to reach a destination that I don't know," the posting said, which was her last beofre killing her self. That's why there wasn't note and i change what she said about her. If her family see that and other fans they hit the roof

Iphone support said...

no, I can't beliver. I've heard her songs just some minutes.
Oh ican't beliver...
Good bye, u;nee, good bye...

u nee's fan said...

i may be posting this late, since i just found out recently. but in my opinion, her record company and agent should have taken notice to her emotions. they shouldn't have been so selfish about sucking in money like a leech. and no, she is beyond sexy. her music comes from her soul, just watch her videos on youtube to find out. may she find peace and joy in her next life and may god bless both her and her family in korea.

u nee's fan

Anonymous said...

When I accidentaly saw her pictures in youtube I was stunned to see a beautiful girl like her., so I googled her name and I was deeply shocked when it says "U;Nee is gone" at a very young age., what a loss of talent,she has beauty and brains combined.,she was very dedicated on her career.,she always sings from her heart and she do everything just to please her fans...and I was sad because it is to late for me to become her fan...:(
You will find Rest in Heaven U;NEE!!! GOD Bless...

zion r. biƱas
Philippines

Kev said...

HOW DARE YOU INSULT HER MUSIC!!!!! SHE PUT ALL HER EFFORT AND HARD WORK JUST SO /YOU/ CAN INSULT HER AND CALL HER TRASHY AND SAY SHE ISN'T UNIQUE!!

YOU ACT LIKE SHE /WANTED/ TO HAVE A SEXY IMAGE. HER COMPANY WANTED TO PROFIT OFF HER IMAGE NOT HER VOICE (WHICH IS BETTA THAN WONDER GIRLS, SNSD, LEXY & ALL THOSE FAKES). AT LEAST SHE ADMITTED TO GETTING SURGERY!!!

I AGREE W/ THAT PERSON
IF YOU WEREN'T FOR PEOPLE LIKE YOU SHE WOULDN'T HAVE SUICIDE!!!
B****
GO DIE
I HOPE YOU GET KILLED ONE DAY.
OH WAIT.
I KNOW WHAT'S BETTER.
I HOPE YOU COMMIT SUICIDE!!!

F U HOW DARE YOU INSULT U;NEE LIKE THAT

R.I.P. U;NEE ;; MISS YOU D;

Anonymous said...

eeeeep. angry fans are angry. calm down everyone. Ill folks is obviously trying to present a general overview of U-nee, trying not to be biased, which is what you over-emotional fans are being.

it does not appear that the ill folks is bashing U-nee, so obviously he has a lot of respect for her because he has taken the time to write this. When saying "U-nee was not unique" that doesn't mean her music was bad, thats called CRITICISM and its a natural part of human life that all musicians, artists, writers, politicians, athletes, etc. deal with.

Sometimes it gets out of hand, as in this case, saying "her music was not unique" is not really bad. saying the opposite would be saying she brought striking new ideas to the pop music scene, which the ill folks believes she did not.

tl;dr? author attempts to write a factual article, fans go insane because author does not lick the dirt between the cracks of U-nee's shoes.

rheanna said...

you must have A LOT of nerve to diss u;nee like that. she put passion into her work.
and are YOU calling u;nee stupid?! by saying christina was smart enough to drop the skank act? LISTEN HUN... u;nee isn't a skank and idiot like you who like to talk bulls*** about talented singers. i thought you'd be old enouugh to LEARN some manners and learn to RESPECT the dead instead of bashing them. that just shows how ignorant and stupid you are.
if anything YOUR stupid, not u;nee. ugly f*** face
screw you
go to f***ing hell

Anonymous said...

I think the first post was not directly calling her a skank, which we know she wasn't! If you read it again, to me it looked like he was trying to compare U;Nee in a good way. U;Nee began realizing what the record label was doing to her image as did Christina. In an interview with Christina Aguilera she admittedly said she dropped her record label because of conflicts she had turning her into something she didn’t want to be and songs she didn’t want to sing. U;Nee tried to follow suit, but it was too late. To me this makes her a brilliant woman.

Now, was she unique? Personally, ya I thought she was in certain aspects and other areas, she needed more development (I will explain in a moment). But like U;Nee, so did many other singers who started out that young. They develop with experience. So was U;Nee the best R&B singer in the world? Nope! Was she the best at classical? We will never know. Country? Nope. Heavy metal, rap? Eh, maybe not… How about Rock n Roll? (I think she could have been if she was still with us, I think she could have rocked out from time to time!)
Now, was she good at what she did in her music genera? Hell ya she did! That is what made her so popular! She hit every aspect, beauty, talent, popularity, TV star, and personality gushing out of that wonderful person!
I can understand others who may not see what we do and you have to let them express their opinions, good bad or ugly. It is not disrespecting U;Nee’s good name, it is what it is. Good old fashion critics!!! That’s what makes the music industry great!
Let me tell you what I thought of her in an honest respectful manner. The first thing that drew me into her was that smoky and breathy low end she sang in. Not many can sing that well in the register she was singing in and for her age, which was pretty awesome. Bessie Smith, Anita Baker, Ricky Lee Jones. All of them had that nice rich voice like U;Nee. Then I heard her sing Seub Gwen. Oh my God! I could feel her soul pounding through every word she spoke. Call, Call, Call… my favorite section is the bridge, when she floats into her falsetto voice then rages into a rap sung half in English. NICE!
Now the other stuff… She had problems rounding off phrases because she was still developing breath control. And this also contributed to her singing flat in some of her live shows. (Or the monitor mix was bad and we can blame the audio tech!) She was improving though

Understanding "American Slang" it can be pretty harsh. The term “Ho” and “slut” were created in America’s Ghetto land. The term should have been sex symbol, which is a form of flattery. Sex Goddess? Not so much.
I think many innocent girls like U;Nee fall victim to companies who only see dollar signs and nothing else. Also I don’t think the Internet helped her either. A person suffering from depression should not be allowed to read negative fan mail alone. Someone should have known this and blocked her access to the mail. There will always be someone talking bad about you as they will talk good too. As long as they are talking about you, that is what is important!
Man, wish I could have met U;Nee or to have seen her cross over onto the world platform. She could have been such a huge success in America! The kids would have eaten her up! (“Eaten her up” does not imply they would have eaten her… Just that that would have fallen in love with her like that Hanna Montana girl!)


U;Nee, I believe in reincarnation and I don’t think the world has seen the last of you yet. You WILL rise again in a different body and you will show all those doubters just how awesome you are! And your faithful supporters will somehow be drawn to you again and not know why. They will fall in love with you all over again. Hopefully for one brief second the old U;Nnee will come through and touch our hearts again.

yshin27 said...

im sad when i hear the news...very sad...she killed her self like that...don't judge U;NEE becouse of her image...you don't know what she's going through..she suffer from pain..thats why she took her own life...she is beautiful,talented,full of happinest in her performance...
i like her a lot she is differrent from other singer...like us U;NEE also suffer from the different trials of life... U;NEE YOU ARE IN GODS HAND NOW,I KNOW YOU ARE HAPPY THERE NO ONE CAN HURT YOU...YOU FIND YOUR SELF NOW...REST IN PEACE SWEET ANGEL....

Anonymous said...

every fun here is resposible for her death to some degree. Just like in the states. the labels will give the public what they want to hear or see. if we dont buy, there is no sale. artists are pushed to do all inds of thing for extra money. look at emminem, he and his music are idiotic, but they sale because they influence millions of other idiots. labels dont give a shit for any of their artists. is simply money, nothing else.

Keena said...

This is great info to know.

Anonymous said...

I don't care what none of the haters say. U;Nee was the best of the best and will be for years to come, no matter who tries to replace her. U;Nee will not be forgotten.

-Que-Que, San Francisco, U.S.A.

Anonymous said...

I recently just discovered her and stumbled across this post and i am pissed. Who the hell do you think you are! Ive known this girl for like 20 minutes and i already love her, she was so talented and beautiful and its ur fault she took her own life! People like you asshole dickfaces are the reason for that! Even if you dont like her, treat her with respect especially since she is now deceased you cold hearted bitch! So shut the fuck up !

Anonymous said...

With respect to both U-Nee and Altantuya. The late Altantuya, for whom the late U-Nee's pic was mistaken for, was not a Malaysian woman. She was Mongolian. Get your facts straight.

Although I don't find your post particularly offensive, may i know what you actually mean by "traditional Asian tonalities" or "minor key melodies"? Because i think you sound a bit generalizing. Asia is a biiiggg continent, and in my opinion "traditional" differs from one end of the continent to the other. I believe you are a native English speaker (as opposed to us - people for whom English is a second language), so maybe you lack in knowledge and understanding of cultures and happenings in Asia. Just my opinion..

..and thanks for sharing a sample.

R.I.P U-Nee. May God bless your soul, your family and friends.