Blackpink is in your area, once again.
K-pop girl group sensation Blackpink released their comeback single “Pink Venom” on Aug. 19, in anticipation of their long-awaited second studio album, Born Pink.
After a year-and-a-half hiatus from one of K-pop’s biggest acts, Blackpink is back to dominate the music charts. However, with steep increases in concert ticket prices and YG Entertainment’s history of holding Blackpink back from their true potential, fans wonder whether Born Pink will live up to the same hype as their debut album.
Already, Pink Venom has broken the record for the most viewed music video within 24 hours this year. The music video has also topped Blackpink’s personal record, becoming their biggest video debut ever. The song, an EDM hip hop track, features typical Blackpink elements—stunning visuals, an earworm chorus, energetic raps from Lisa and Jennie flaunting their success and angelic vocals from Jisoo and Rosé, adding a poetic balance to the track.
During a press conference in Seoul, one of the group members Jennie explained that Pink Venom represents the culmination of opposing concepts; pink is harmless, but venom is deadly. In Jennie’s words, Blackpink’s identity resembles a “lovely poison.” But aside from the lyrics in the chorus, the rest of the single does not elaborate much on Blackpink’s duality. If anything, the song follows the same repetitive formula producer Teddy Park has employed throughout the years.
Eager for the release of Blackpink’s second studio album, fans have already surpassed 2 million presales for the album. The Born Pink World Tour following the album release is set to kick off in mid-October.
Most recently, Korean netizens have complained about Born Pink’s tour ticket prices in Korea. K-pop concert tickets are notorious for being expensive, especially if there is high demand for a popular group. When I attended BTS’s ‘Love Yourself’ concert in 2018, it cost around $140 to sit just close enough so that the members were not dots in the distance, but the most inexpensive tickets were still priced at $60. Though the cost of Blackpink’s tickets would not normally be an issue, some find it presumptuous of YG to charge $115 for Blackpink’s lowest concert package at the Olympic Gymnastics Arena in Seoul. It is expected to cost even more for U.S. fans. Unfortunately, YG Entertainment appears to care more about capitalizing off Blackpink’s hype rather than making prices affordable for fans.
In Dec. 2019, Blackpink fans, Blinks, protested YG Entertainment by driving an LED screen-equipped truck around the company’s neighborhood demanding solos for three members as well as two comebacks a year. Over the year and a half hiatus, YG Entertainment has partially fulfilled the first promise by releasing two more members’ solo projects—Rosé’s solo album R and Lisa’s solo album Lalisa—but group comebacks are still scarce. Blackpink has only released one EP and a debut studio album since Dec. 2019, a far cry from Blinks’ initial wishes. It is obvious that their talents as a group and as individuals has been criminally underutilized by their entertainment agency.
With every comeback, Blinks hope YG Entertainment will prioritize the group’s music with every project they put out. Blackpink themselves have been very vocal in interviews about how intensely involved they are in the creative process of Born Pink, much to Blinks’ delight. Members have also discussed trying new sounds in their album, asking fans to expect a different side to their music. Let us hope the K-pop collective can deliver with Born Pink.
Despite the concerns over ticket pricing and YG Entertainment’s actions, fans anticipate Blackpink’s new music will finally showcase the group’s “Pink Venom” duality.