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K-Pop Group Blackpink Makes History...Again!

By Ivan Seranno | May 20, 2019 11:32 AM EDT


While you're on the hunt for your assorted wedding socks you're likely to run across the hit single "Kill This Love" by newly popular all-girl K-Pop group Blackpink. Vox notes that K-Pop has become a cultural phenomenon in the US, following the popularity of songs like PSY's "Gangnam Style." Blackpink has already made history with this song, according to Forbes, for being the only K-pop song to spend two weeks on the genre-independent Hot 100 track listing. The significance of this achievement is that for the first time in history a Korean pop band has managed to be that popular in the US, so much so to show up for consecutive weeks in the listing. But as we'll come to realize, Blackpink isn't nearly done just yet.

Not Just Two...But Four?

According to Chart Data's twitter account (@chartdata), Blackpink's "Kill This Love" has now spent four weeks on the Hot 100, more time than any other Korean girl group, and more than all of them combined. While the single is sitting at number 100 in the Hot 100 and is likely to fade out after the chart refreshes next week, it's already done its job to popularize the culture in the US. Genius notes that the music video for "Kill This Love" became the second most viewed video in 24 hours when it first released showing that Americans are coming to love K-Pop as much as Koreans do.

Trailblazers in Music

In May 2018, reports The Guardian, the number one album in the US (BTS's Love Yourself: Tear) had more of its lyrics in Korean than English, showing that English was no longer the default language of pop music in America. A year later in May 2019, Blackpink's success in the Hot 100 galvanizes this claim, and as more and more people get exposed to music from this part of the world, they might even make inroads into other charts through collaborations with primary artists and crossover events. While most people still don't understand enough Korean to decipher the lyrics, the groups have made their music more accessible by sprinkling their Korean with English, enough to grab a listener with the hook.

A New Wave of Music?

While Blackpink's success does mark an essential point in the future of American pop music, it is noteworthy that there haven't been that many K-Pop groups to hit the Hot 100 in the first place. This might be due to a lack of marketing in the US combined with lyrics that don't translate well into English to provide good crossover material. As it stands right now though, the popularity of these singles offers insight into the possibility of more Korean artists charting in the broader US and developing as devoted a fan following as Blackpink, or even one as widespread as that of all-boy Korean band BTS. Only time will tell if we'll see more of this of talent coming out of the Far East.


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