Ever since I got into Kpop in 2011, YG Entertainment has been a hit or miss for me. Sometimes, they can create amazing songs like, “Bae Bae,” by Big Bang last year. Other times, they can create really bad content – CL’s “The Baddest Female,” and “Hello Bi+ches,” come to mind. So when I heard that YG was about to debut a new female group called Black Pink, I admit I rolled my eyes a bit.
I didn’t pay too much attention to the promotion material for Black Pink, but I knew that Black Pink was being promoted as a younger version of 2NE1, and it shows. Out of the four members, I was able to make a lot of comparisons between each of the members of Black Pink to members in 2NE1, which both works to Black Pink’s advantage and disadvantage. It’s a good thing because at least there is some familiarity in what you’re getting into with their music. Just about anybody who’s been in Kpop for a while knows who 2NE1 is, even if they’ve fallen off the radar in the past few years. However, the problem exists in the fact that Black Pink doesn’t seem to have much of its own color beyond the attitudes of the members, and it’s going to be interesting to see if they’re going to be able to break out of the 2NE1 comparison, or remain carbon copies.
However, if there’s one thing that Black Pink has going for them, it’s the fact they at least have some good material to work with. Both “Whistle,” and “Boombayah” are strong songs to debut with. “Whistle,” is a mid-tempo song with rap and hip-hop beats accompanying most of it, along with a whistle sound that comes up at the hook of the chorus. What gets me about this song is the acoustic guitar that appears towards the bridge. Maybe this has to do with the fact that I love melodies a lot more than beats, but it’s the one thing that keeps me coming back. I could tell that this was the song that was supposed to be the preview before the main track, but I think that this could be the sound that makes Black Pink stand out a little more.
That being said, “Boombayah,” is by far the better song out of the two. It’s one of those songs that grabs you from the beginning and doesn’t let go until the end. In a way I feel like it recalls “Fantastic Baby,” by Big Bang mixed with, “I Am the Best,” from 2NE1, which isn’t a bad thing. After all, those songs are the definers of both those artists.
Both of these songs were written and produced by a guy named Teddy, who writes most of YG’s tracks, particularly their good ones, so it’s no surprise that this was the guy responsible for this debut being so good. However, I can’t say that these are songs that could be pulled off by just anyone. There needs to be a sort of attitude to get it taken seriously, and the members definitely do just that. From quiet confidence in Jisoo to the in-your-face bombast of Lisa, these are group members I would love to see on a variety show just to see who they’re all about. I can already tell that Lisa is going to be my bias because I enjoyed watching and listening to every part she played in these two songs.
Black Pink is going to be the group to watch for the second half of the year, because if they can deliver and pull of this good of a debut, I’m excited to see what they’re follow up is going to look like.