May 10, 2019

Learn Why BLACKPINK Is Dominating The World With Their First Mini Album

By far, we have seen numerous iconic K-POP girl groups from 2ne1 and Girls’ Generation to Twice and AOA. But in modern times, BLACKPINK seems to have won the title of being the most popular K-POP girl group after the release of their first mini album, ‘Square Up’. The internet exploded with BLACKPINK’s comeback. “DDU-DU DDU-DU” gained 36.2 million within 24 hours of release and trended in 150+ Countries and Territories, the majority being #1, which were great milestones for the girls. Sadly, in ’17, the world couldn’t see much of BLACKPINK as only “As If It’s Your Last”, a single, was released. But their 2018 comeback was definitely a bop and don’t forget that it hadn’t even been 2 years when they released ‘Square Up’. Teddy, the album’s Composer, gave the songs a laid back EDM effect fused with aggressive beat drops, which defines BLACKPINK. Their debut songs, “Boombayah” and “Whistle” give off an impressive vibe, which I, personally don’t feel while listening to other girl groups. YG’s producers and composers have molded BLACKPINK to be a worldwide famous group with an invulnerable aura. The songs in the album are generally chic and each one has a certain type of element which is highlighted either in the chorus or the background, like the woodwind effects in the chorus and the beginning of “DDU-DU DDU-DU”, the synth line in “Forever Young” and the reverb and backing vocals in “See U Later”. The group has been loved by many people in the West and around the world since their debut for their impressive songs and vocals, but it seems that ‘Square Up’ is one of the biggest steps taken towards global K-POP domination. Their first mini album used to be the talk of the town when released. Jennie and Lisa’s rapid-fire raps, Jisoo and Rose’s feminine, yet powerful vocals have added to the charisma of this album. Their distinct voices, the wit in the lyrics and the charm in their voices make this album worth its fame.

Written by @SpeakingMantra
Mar 20, 2019

BLACKPINK’s Much Older SQUARE TWO – EP Stirs Bright Memories I Didn’t Know I Had

For the majority of the early-teens up until 2016, I had a fairly fringe understanding of just how spectacular K Pop music could be, never really succumbing to the Korean music machine that so many had fallen in love with largely due to how disappointed I was at the rise & eventual fall of J Pop music in the early-noughties. Being a heavy consumer of Anime & Japanese culture through much of my youth leading into my later years, I’d been let down time & time again by how much time I’d devoted to watching J Pop grow, my dreams of it being the next big thing squandered as public reception waned so much so that you almost never hear anyone mention that they actually like the genre unless they’re talking about the opening credits for a series like My Hero Academia or Naruto; As such, I naturally strayed away from the popularity K Pop had garnered in the last decade, thinking it too was going to just be another fad that would die in time, but to my surprise some of my favourite acts recently have been of the K Pop variety, notable groups being NCT U with their fantastically bombastic Dance numbers & GOT7 with their astonishingly soulful nineties-R&B revival aesthetics, spawning a newfound love for the impressive musicianship of the burgeoning Korean music scene. It goes without saying, then, that I’d missed out on a lot of prominent acts earlier years, generally writing off the 2010 to 2015 period of K Pop as nothing more than kitschy Idol Pop music with a slight EDM vibe running through every song’s chorus, an opinion I so unrightfully applied to one of the groups I hold so near & dear to my heart today, BLACKPINK – Yes, I actually got my first taste of how spectacular they were with their most recent release SQUARE UP – EP towards the latter end of 2018, a thrilling album that not only touched on the anachronistic origins of female-led K Pop music but did so with more authenticity & true skill than the vast majority of contemporary K Pop groups, instantly achieving crush-status as I swooned over the group’s delightful personalities & incredible vocal prowess that just seemed to stand apart from the rest of the crowd. Imagine my surprise, then, when I find that SQUARE UP – EP was actually the third in a trilogy of EP drops from these ladies, each more impressive than the last & packed to the gills with dancefloor potential I can’t help but shake my butt to every time I press play; More importantly, I realized I’d actually been hearing their music for years in the most random of locations, from Korean Barbeque joints down here in Los Angeles to commercials on various music platforms before I’d started working for VIBBIDI, the tracks within their second EP drop SQUARE TWO – EP – sometimes packaged as SQUARE ONE & SQUARE TWO together – being of particular splendor, giving me a sense of recent nostalgia I had no idea I was connected to already – So let’s jump in & see why this album is so overwhelmingly enticing, shall we?

Mar 15, 2019

Collecting Many EPs Into One Experience, BLACKPINK IN YOUR AREA Collects All The Bops Of K Pop’s Most Popular Girl Group

In the world of K Pop, it is amazing how quick time flies, with acts popular one year and then gone just as fast as they arrived. I speak from a little bit of experience I would say; about two years ago, I began to consume a lot of K Pop daily on music variety shows playing on MBC, a South Korean TV channel, and I would have to say my favorite girl bands of that era (only a couple of years ago mind you) were TWICE and AOA – and while I never became a super fan of anybody, I noticed from watching the devoted fans on the show that almost every group playing had some sort of amazing support group, whether they were brand new or even a returning act looking for one more chance at a comeback before packing it in. My attentions shifted, plus I lost access to cable TV – and sure, I probably could have been watching Youtube all this time to keep up with trends, but as far as I can tell, both TWICE and AOA seemed to me to have fallen off the radar in the short time that I have been away from the genre, replaced in popularity by this super successful group BLACKPINK, whom I was never super familiar with. Though they formed in 2016, around the time I started watching those music showcases, I don’t remember them much, if they played at all. My first experience with them was not listening to the album BLACKPINK IN YOUR AREA, but rather, it was listening to this awesome collaboration between BLACKPINK and my favorite Pop singer at the moment, Dua Lipa. The song “Kiss and Make Up” was a real bop, with a Reggae Fusion beat and pretty seamless transitions between Lipa’s English vocals and the rest of the group’s Korean language singing. I really enjoyed the song enough to check out BLACKPINK’s musical output, and while most of the EPs featured part of the songs, BLACKPINK IN YOUR AREA is a little different in that the language is English and Japanese and all their tracks are collected here for maximum listening enjoyment. What I noticed though right away was that the music here was nothing like the Dua Lipa collab. On the one hand, it sounded surprisingly dated, featuring concepts that I felt have already been explored in K Pop’s previous phase. Furthermore, the album is much heavier on Rap elements, and the lead rappers, Lisa (Laila’s Manoban) and Jennie Kim, were some of the best rappers I had heard from a girl group in the K Pop genre. Don’t get it twisted, female rappers who specialize in real underground sounding K Rap are still ahead of the game because they concentrate on the craft and classicism more, whereas the aforementioned rappers here seem to just be mimicking the more obvious popular styles of Nicki Minaj and Iggy Azalea. A wise choice, as most mainstream audiences crave such a style. Yet, from a critical standpoint, I began asking – ‘is BLACKPINK’s music too derivative of overused mainstream concepts in general?’

Written by @taylor

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