BLACKPINK is the Revolution!
This is the new catchphrase of a globally-rising Kpop girl group: Blackpink. This South Korean girl group has recently blown up all over social media, attracting people from around the world to listen to their hot tracks as well as follow their latest trendy posts on Instagram. Debuting in 2016, this Kpop girl group is already making headlines and is labeled the highest-charting female Kpop girl group on Billboard with the song “Ddu-Ddu Ddu-Ddu” peaking at number 55. Blackpink is the first and only Kpop girl group to have four number-one singles on Billboard’s World Digital Song Sales Chart.
You may have heard of BTS, also known as Bangtan Boys, a K-pop boy group who has made it big even in the US with their album Wing peaking at #26 on the Billboard 200. I personally find BTS and Blackpink two of the hottest Kpop celebrities trending outside of South Korea alone. But what really is the reason for success and what is different about Blackpink and BTS that makes them the rising stars of the K-pop industry? And why is this such a big deal to Koreans not just residing in Korea but all over the world?
“Kpop has enjoyed amazing success across the world. From its first forays into Pacific Asia, it has now spread to the rest of Asia, the United States, Europe, Latin America, and even the Middle East,” says Professor of Economics at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris.
Blackpink truly is the revolution!
I did some investigation to truly understand why Blackpink stands out despite the fact that they only have a total of 9 released songs, the most popular being Ddu Ddu Ddu and Boombayah.
YG Entertainment (named after YG: their head representative) is known to be the most “hype” label in South Korea with idol groups like Bigbang, iKON, Winner, and 2NE1 (disbanded) that have always been around the KPOP music industry and made themselves the “top of the gang.” Because of this, YG is one of the richest and well-known companies in South Korea, drawing people’s attention whenever they promote a new song or a new group. In 2016, Blackpink debuted with the song “Whistle” and “Boombayah,” drawing people in with the label of new 2NE1— a YG girl group that had once dominated the KPOP scene.
The four members together speak four languages: Japanese, English, Korean, and Thai. Unlike most Kpop groups that are comprised of local Koreans, Blackpink consists of three international girls: Lisa—a Thai member—Jennie and Rose—two Koreans who lived overseas in Australia and New Zealand for most of their childhood. Furthermore, they have produced translated versions of all their singles, making them popular even in Japan.
Before Blackpink’s debut, YG had the intention of creating a group with not just amazing visuals but top quality performance. The company made sure these four girls received proper and quality period of training until they seemed ready to take over the Kpop industry. Not only did they have vocal and dance lessons, training included learning a new language as well as other consequences lessons for survival in the Kpop industry.
While it is true that a lot of Kpop girls wear designed branded clothes, Blackpink’s sense of fashion and their personas has been mainstreaming through TV shows and their music videos. Making headlines in Korea for their top visuals complementing their glamor outfits, these girls have been creating trends in South Korea for their fashion game.
The golden producer who has written many hits including Gashina by Sunmi and Fire by 2ne1 is the one and only Teddy Park. Teddy is under YG entertainment and he has never disappointed the Kpop fans. He has written all of Blackpink’s songs except for Stay and it is no doubt that his part played a significant role in Blackpink’s success.
Even in SAS, Kpop is real. In our campus, I have met a number of people who are active listeners of Kpop or have at least heard of one Kpop song while scrolling through Youtube suggestion videos. If that isn’t you, I suggest you give it a shot. If you don’t like the music, maybe you will enjoy the music video at least. Kpop music videos are truly outstanding with their large production almost seeming like a movie itself.
Cattleya Wang, a junior and an avid Kpop fan for many years says, “Compared to other Kpop groups, Blackpink is an international group with fans all over the world.”
We also interviewed Hee Jae Park— a current junior who has been a BLINK (term used to call fans of Blackpink) since their debut— who expresses, “I wake up every morning listening to Blackpink’s new album. Blackpink honestly is such a big part of my life and I am proud to call myself a BLINK.
With Kpop enhancing people’s interest in Korean culture and gaining popularity worldwide, Blackpink is facilitating the bridge between various cultures and globalization really. I guess the true beauty of Kpop is that most of us don’t understand it yet it still speaks to us! Blackpink truly is the revolution.
Here are some suggestions of my favorite songs from Blackpink!