I don’t really say much about Blackpink, “Uncle YG”s whippersnapper Next Gen 2NE1 “badass” K-pop girl group. Perhaps back in 2012 I might’ve been more receptive– I loved 4Minute at the time after all. And I don’t intend to measure them against some spurious “Western” standard as to some sort of punkass “keepin’ it real” metric: as a sworn enemy of the Ill*m*n*tt* Satanists in Hollywood and their demonic pets like K*t* P*rr* and L*d* G*g* and the mentally retarded tranny-child B*y*nc*, I’m happy to note that Blackpink seem like reasonably wholesome children playing expensive dress-up as silly snotty electro-pop teenybop hobags.
But therein lies a certain rub. Because one can’t help but notice what an act the whole thing is. And while the electropop style prevalent in K-pop in the 2009-12 era isn’t unwelcome for a return in my ears, I just can’t stand these so-cute-it-could-make-you-puke brats threaning to invade my “area”. That it’s so self-consciously cute, does that make it better or worse?
See, these are not problems we get with T-ara or WJSN or Red Velvet or even, say, miss A back when miss A was still a thing (though potentially it IS a problem with Jia’s solo stuff, but that’s a question for another day). While Blackpink’s music is technically listenable, it’s aggravating in its combination of slickness with derivativeness, topped off with the saccharine cream of Lisa’s raspy rapping like a nine year-old and Jennie (?) trying to sing like some nineteen year old negress.
To top it off, “Playing With Fire” features fire in every damn performance I’ve ever seen, which really sets me off ecause I’m a pyrophobe, and probably not just because I watched a man set himself on fire when I was four. But yeah, Blackpink, you girls really probably should listen to yo mommas, if you got any.
But now to the present release. Supposedly this song is taking off faster than any girl group (globally!) music video in youtube history. Which is rather scary. I mean, Twice’s hegemony, based solely on JYP’s money and celebrity and JYP Ent loyalists, is bad enough– but “Uncle YG knows what he’s doing?” I’ve encountered this cultic refrain a million times but, Yellow Supremacist that I may be, it disturbs me to see so many Asian teenyboppers so into this Corporate Loyalty thing. Yes yes, these kids look cute in shiny hooker boots, but doesn’t everybody?
This new song is frankly their most boring and least “edgy” single thus far. I’m not sure that’s altogether a bad thing– there’s something nice about dialing down the play-pretend badassery a little bit, considering how play-pretend badassery has an insidious way of being even worse than the “real thing”– but at least their previous hits had a certain junior-league Brown Eyed Girls suavity in their shiny production. With “As If It’s Your Last” it sounds like a bit of “Heart to Heart” sentimentality is working its way in through the seams.
Visually, that pinklit plaza promised something potentially interesting, what with the throng of louche schoolgirls waiting in the wings. But where did they go? And what the hell is Lisa wearing, a cellphone holster? Why are these girls always so goofily tarty? Lisa, your rap sucked! But the bridge and chorus are worse!
I mean, this song is plenty lame– and THEN they have to throwback to “Blackpink in your area”x2! Bitches, please– you were never in my area. And now you’re evicted for being totally lame!
I just hope Korea doesn’t have them hanging around stanking up the place for the next seven years.