It wasn’t the bird or a plane that flew but was group BLACKPINK. The responses coming from BLACKPINK’s single ‘How You Like That’, released on the 26th after a long break, are unusual. They became the fastest artists to reach 100M views on YouTube with a music video and topped global major music charts including the US iTunes and China’s QQ Music. Like the lyrics from the television series <Superman’s Adventure> aired back in the 1950s in America, they flew high like superman using their 1 year and 2 months of vacancy as a steppingstone.
As JISOO revealed in the global press conference, the song ‘How You Like That’ is the pre-release single of BLACKPINK’s first official album upcoming in September. “We sang with the hope that our listeners wouldn’t lose their confidence and strength to get back up despite any dark situations or hardships”. They revealed their first comeback performance on the 26th(local time) through NBC’s <The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon>(hereby Fallon Show). They wore outfits utilizing hanbok while presenting powerful group moves on a strong Hip-hop instrumental, which was streamed live on YouTube and reached 210 thousand simultaneous viewers.
As the host Jimmy Fallon explained, “BLACKPINK is the hottest group in the world, unexplainable with the word ‘phenomenon’”. However, the fans had to spend a long time waiting for the group’s comeback going on ‘truck protests’ in front of YG headquarters, due to the long vacancy of a year and 2 months and the delay on the release of their official album. The reason was due to allegations on former representative producer YANG HYUN SUK’s involvement with the Burning Sun gate, which set YG Entertainment back along with BLACKPINK’s activities.
BLACKPINK made a strong comeback as if they are ready to make people forget about the hardship they’ve been through. After proving their influence last month with the song ‘Sour Candy’, collaborated with Lady Gaga, the American Pop Star, BLACKPINK captivated the global music fans with their unique and sophisticated styling and choreography, in addition to the unique Hip-hop sounds utilizing orchestra and EDM sounds.
The ‘How You Like That’ MV surpassed 100M views on YouTube in 32 hours and 23 minutes since its release and topped iTunes charts in 60 different regions in addition to Line Music and QQ Music, which are Japan and China’s largest music platforms respectively.
They are also maintaining their top spot on real-time charts of major Korean music platforms. Foreign media are also spotlighting the group’s latest comeback. Major foreign press including Forbes, Times, and BBC have reported their comeback, while music editor Gen Edwards of US Variety chose ‘How You Like That’ as the best single of the week and reviewed, “It starts with Pop but the beat changes in the chorus, turning everything into swag with the fierce rap and rough rhythm. It’s more amazing than what I expected”.
How did BLACKPINK’s global popularity, surpassing a ‘phenomenon’, become possible. Experts analyze that the context of their success differs from that of group BTS, who established themselves as a global top boy group with the support of their huge fandom, ‘ARMY’.
According to Kim Jinwoo, the head researcher of Gaon Charts, “If BTS receives popularity from their fandom, BLACKPINK tends to lean more on the public. The fact that their music tendencies are close to that of western Pop and that the ratio of English-speaking members are high are also reasons they are popular overseas, especially among English and American fans”.
Some analyze that each member’s celebrity image accumulated through their luxury image has gained strong influence through social media, which contributed to the group’s musical success. Music critic Kim Yoon Ha analyzed, “BLACKPINK’s popularity is close to adding celebrity to an idol. In the case of BLACKPINK, the unrivaled number of followers on social media and their collaboration with famous overseas brands and fashion magazines stand out. It means that their popularity as celebrities are one of the factors that contribute to the popularity of the group’s music”. In fact, aside LISA with 24.73 million followers on Instagram, the number of BLACKPINK member followers add up to 109,326,305. BLACKPINK’s official YouTube channel has 39.1 million followers, which is the largest figure among all channels in Korea.