Is K-pop band BLACKPINK lighting up the sky?

How would you describe Ok-POP in a single phrase? 




I’ve all the time thought I used to be the sort of person who was all in favour of every kind of music. Having been a die-hard boy band (1D, let’s be trustworthy now) fan again in my tweens, and being all -round appreciative of standard music, I couldn’t fairly place why I wasn’t, within the slightest, all in favour of Korean pop music.

One afternoon, a drained pupil trolled by way of Netflix in desperation and landed on considered one of its shiny newest documentaries: ‘Blackpink: Light Up the Sky’ (premiered 14th October 2020).

Photo: RAS99 @ Wikimedia Commons


The band ‘debuted’ again in 2016, signed below the most important South Korean media group YG Entertainment. The members embrace South Korean Jisoo, South Korean raised in New Zealand Jennie, South Korean raised in Australia Rosé and eventually Thai Lisa. The undeniable fact that the members come from very completely different backgrounds is among the attainable causes behind the band’s world-renowned fame. The Ok-pop followers we interviewed had differing views of the band and the documentary, with one saying:

“It’s been superb to see an all-female group dominate the charts and encourage numerous new style traits and dance challenges. They’re bad-ass and I believe they encourage numerous confidence in girls.”

There is little question that this lady group has achieved a sequence of accolades, amongst them, People’s Choice Awards and 5 Guinness world data with their music video ‘How you want that’, reaching an astonishing 86.3 million views in 24 hours.

What could be flawed with Ok-pop?

Light Up the Sky highlighted among the key points with Ok-pop. For starters, the BLACKPINK artists spoke in-depth about their years as ‘trainees’. They defined how they dropped out of faculty from ages ten to sixteen so as to completely transfer to South Korea, the place they lived and educated with their fellow trainees every single day.

The artists observe excessive coaching schedules, coaching for 13 days in succession and resting for in the future earlier than repeating the entire course of. One Fan, Finch, shared some views, expressing dislike for:

The dehumanisation of group members. I believe that is getting higher although after I have a look at current teams like YOURS who launch movies of their training about issues like despair and cultural appropriation.’ 

Another fan raised issues in regards to the visible significance of Ok-pop:

“I dislike the sweetness requirements and toxicity round appearances. There’s a really strict cookie-cutter picture that almost all idols have to suit into, and there are fairly drastic weight-reduction plan measures taken by firms in order that idols completely characterize this picture.”

Whilst that is regarding, we should always not mistake this to be a West vs. East phenomenon. Bands reminiscent of One Direction had pretty comparable backgrounds, with band members beginning out as younger as sixteen and dealing for 5 years with out important breaks. Recent allegations against Simon Cowell and his production and management companies have introduced extra consciousness to this difficulty, which is in any case, international.

Racism & Cultural appropriation

A fan shared their troublesome expertise with having fun with Ok-pop:

‘This [constant use of cultural appropriation and at times blatant racism] is one thing which is slowly being corrected and improved upon. When they [instances of racism] happen, they actually discourage me from being a Ok-pop fan. As somebody of African descent, I discover myself questioning why I proceed to assist and love an trade that makes the identical offensive errors over and over, with out seeming to study from them.”

Hye Jin Lee seemed into Ok-pop’s racist facet, uncovering how many musical influences in K-pop, such as rap and hip-hop often come from Black culture, and how there have been instances of outright racism such as blackface and racist remarks.

While this doesn’t characterize all Ok-pop teams, it is a systemic difficulty throughout the trade that must be addressed by leisure firms and the artists themselves.

Stan Culture

Some followers appear to be extraordinarily unforgiving on social media, and there have been reviews of whole arenas performing a ‘black ocean‘ (a phenomenon during which the followers flip of all their lights and cease singing and dancing to ‘punish’ idols for behaviour they dislike).


Photo: F28STAR @ Wikimedia Commons

I used to be curious to learn the way followers felt in regards to the portrayal of idols within the media and on stage, particularly on the subject of a wholly feminine band that appears to be managed primarily by males.

I believe general it does appear to lean that approach [over-sexualisation]. Although, some ideas are simply straight-up cute. I additionally assume the perceived response from followers additionally weighs into this.”

It is true that, like many different artists which have lately been slut-shamed within the media, such as Miley Cyrus, an artists’ outfits and certainly, sexual expression mustn’t grant others permission to sexualise or make the most of them.

Ironically, it’s well-known that BLACKPINK doesn’t have a lot artistic license over their music or lyrics. Their producer TEDDY brazenly asserts that he has ‘written and produced’ each music the band has launched. Most songs appear to be about relationships and love. However, YG is known for not allowing the band up to now. In an interview, band members inform the presenter that the band is not allowed to date, drink, smoke, club, drive, get tattoos or plastic surgery. 

This raises ethical questions on BLACKPINK’s music and picture – why are they selling tales about relationships by way of their music whereas being compelled to keep up a picture of chastity for the media? It is unquestionably preoccupying as plainly grownup girls above authorized age are prohibited, below contract, to make sure selections.

So…why do individuals love Ok-pop a lot?

“I  love all the tradition. I’ve met some actually good pals by way of our love of the identical group. Everyday after I get up there are updates from the group. Their content material vary is so huge, it’s not possible to get bored.’” shares Chu.

“Ok-pop takes music extra severely than the West. They do every part occasions ten.” – Finch

The performativity and thought that goes into it – the trouble that goes into dance performances and ideas is insane, and a few teams have their very own universes the place they create story traces for the members that associate with the music movies.”

The most hanging factor for me was indubitably the work ethic and creativity that goes into the music and performances. While I’ll say that I discover the grooming and controlling strategies extraordinarily regarding, the product is unquestionably interesting – and the music is a bop.

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