Gong Minji joined YG Entertainment when she was 11 years old. A video of her at a dance competition in Gwangju became popular on Korean websites. It was then posted onto YG's website at which point Yang Hyun Suk personally contacted her and recruited her to the agency.
She went on to train for five years before debuting in the four member girl group, 2NE1 in 2009. She was originally supposed to debut in Japan in a duo alongside labelmate, May Doni. Following her debut, she dropped out of high school.
Minzy and the other members of 2ne1 were in Japan during the 2011 earthquake off the Pacific coast of Tōhoku. Minzy revealed that it was the first time she had ever felt an earthquake.
On the 6th of April 2016, rumors spread that Minzy was looking for another agency, having been unsuccessful in contract renegotiation. YG confirmed that Minzy had left 2ne1 and that the group would continue as a trio.
In May 2016, Minzy signed with The Music Works, a subsidiary label of CJ E&M where she began preparations for her first solo album. The album was originally intended to be released in the first quarter of 2017. However after Minzy joined Sister's Slam Dunk season 2, it was revealed that Minzy's album would be delayed until the second quarter of 2017 as she wished to fully dedicate herself to the show.