YG’s “It” girl group returns strong and sure after lengthy absence

Chances are that you’ve heard a certain song playing in every shop and subway station recently, and no, it isn’t BTS. BLACKPINK has finally had their long-awaited comeback, and they’re back with a vengeance. And rightly so.

Many fans had begun to worry that BLACKPINK would suffer the fate of many of YG’s artists: the dungeon. In a forever mystifying move, the idol-producing mogul tends to reward success with forbidding his artists from making future comebacks. Up until this latest release, BLACKPINK had only five songs to their name. Five. It was both bizarre and frustrating as this was despite topping Korean charts and widespread popularity both domestically and abroad.

Instead of making more music, the BLACKPINK girls were modeling or posting videos to their fans hoping they could make a comeback soon. And yet, we all waited. But finally patience has paid off, and “Ddu-Du Ddu-Du” not only swept the charts, but dominated every form of social media.

“Ddu-Du Ddu-Du” hit the 50 million mark on YouTube just two days after its release, making it the fastest K-pop girl group music video to reach such a number. The record was previously held by TWICE’s “What Is Love?” It makes sense that their comeback would have a strong reaction, garnering views and repeat viewings; the fact is, it’s good.

“Ddu-Du Ddu-Du” is high on visual pleasure, filled with strong, bold lyrics, and wonderful vibrant performances from four members Lisa, Rosé, Jennie, and Jisoo. The mixture of traditional Korean instrumentals with the beat and bass of hip-hop is an auditory delight, and this is again repeated with Korean architectural elements in the music video itself. The more overt blending of the traditional and modern in many recent music videos is a trend that I am quite on board with and that I hope continues. It’s making K-pop music videos a touch more unique and I appreciate it.

There’s a lot that makes BLACKPINK’s latest really work, and one of the things that stands out most is the fact they changed things up a bit. It’s Jennie who raps in “Ddu-Du Ddu-Du,” not Lisa. I love Lisa, she’s my favorite in the group, but it’s nice to see Jennie rapping again and doing a stellar job as well. Also, let’s not forget the dance. BLACKPINK has always been explosive in their performances, and “Ddu-Du Ddu-Du” is no exception; it’s big, bold, and gives each girl equal footing.

Overall the track is entertaining, a true summer bop, and a most welcomed return to one of the best girl groups K-pop has ever produced. The success of “Ddu-Du Ddu-Du” isn’t a surprise, but it’s still a delight. I was starting to wonder if we were ever going to hear from them again, but hopefully this success will lead to more and more releases. In the meantime, go watch the music videow again and enjoy.

Written by Kristina Manente