Blackpink: Our New VBF

Meet the K-pop sensation before their world domination becomes inescapable

Blackpink are the first K-pop girl group to reach the top 40 and top 20 in the UK and Irish charts

Blackpink are the first K-pop girl group to reach the top 40 and top 20 in the UK and Irish charts

 

The year is 2k19 and it’s about time that you become acquainted with K-pop. A colourful and unpredictable genre, K-pop is richly produced pop music that comes equipped with strong visuals and picture-perfect performers from South Korea. The biggest and soon to be very global in the line of K-pop girl bands, boy bands and solo acts is four-piece Blackpink, whose debut album Blackpink in Your Area is loaded with bangers.

Blackpink are Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé and Lisa, and just like many great artists that came before them, they do not come with surnames. Together since 2016, when they made their debut with Boombayah, they’re the highest-charting female K-pop act on the Billboard Hot 100, rivalling the seven-piece boy group BTS who are the first ever K-pop act to top the albums chart in America. Before Blackpink’s world domination becomes inescapable, here’s an introduction to your future VBFs.

Lyrically, K-pop plays on the safe side and the worst thing a bad boy can do in a song is break your heart. Always remaining child friendly, K-pop artists lead clean-living lives and step into playing the role model very nicely offstage while dancing up a suggestive storm to their R&B, hip-hop and EDM infusion onstage. However, Blackpink are edging things up a little because it’s bad versus good, black versus pink. Wordplay. Neato. This contrast of images plays out across their packaged careers. In their music videos for Whistle and Playing with Fire, they’re clad in haute couture clothing, roaming around mansions and delivering their verses and rhymes with the swagger of a thousand Cher Lloyds.

BLACKPINK - SURE THING

BLACKPINK - WHISTLE

But in real life – well, on their 2018 reality YouTube series Blackpink House – their innocence, or marketed innocence, sees them getting excited about bed linen with a bunny pattern, sleeping with giant cuddly toys and squealing when Yang Hyun-suk, the founder and CEO of their label and talent agency YG Entertainment, upgrades them to an already lavish Big Brother/Little Sister house to a pink princess castle. “Are we sponsored by Samsung?” they ask as they jump on beds and are agog with the touchscreen fridge. Well, you would be.

When Blackpink first arrived on the scene, they strutted in as a fully-formed group created by YG Entertainment and as a quiz on SBS.com, South Korea’s broadcaster, asks: which one will you be? The responsible one, the badass one, the cheerful one, or the hard-working one? The hard-working trait, however, applies to all four members. On Blackpink House, Hyun-suk asks Jennie (the group’s lead rapper, who’s also just launched a solo career) how long she was a trainee in his company before joining the group, to which she answers seven or eight years. Lisa and Jisoo were in the company for five years and Rosé was in it for four. 

Blackpink is not an overnight success; they’ve put the grind in and their success is crossing over into the wider mainstream, something that not many K-pop acts have achieved to do, bar BTS, the now disbanded 2NE1 and BoA, the living legend and Queen of K-pop who was once dubbed the Korean Britney Spears.

A European tour is coming soon but with Kiss and Make Up, their collaboration with a Dua Lipa, reaching number 18 on the Irish charts and 36 in the UK charts (making Blackpink the first K-pop girl group to reach the top 40 and top 20 in the UK and Irish charts), it’s safe to say that Blackpink are already in your area.    

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