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As I've mentioned before in other stories I've composed for Vocal, I dislike when a writer rambles on and on for multiple paragraphs before getting to the point; the reason you're there in the first place. So let's just jump right in.
This is your unofficial starter kit if you are a brand new Blink. But even if you have been a fan since pre-debut (like myself), you'll find some good sources here, and I hope I don't leave anything out! If I do, feel free to connect with me through one of my links at the bottom of this story.
First up, the videos you should watch! Consider this your crash course, and the quickest route for BlackPink to find their way to your heart!
This was Blackpink's first song released. Straight through the gate, they came with confidence and swagger in this catchy, unforgettable song. The eye-popping music video absolutely does the song justice. You can find a lot of reactions to this video and others from celebrities and famous YouTubers as well.
"Make 'em whistle like a missle!" The lyrics and visuals in this music video are outstanding. This is also the track that saw BlackPink through to their very first music show win on Inkagayo only thirteen days after their initial debut as a group, a record currently untouched by any other female group in the Kpop world.
'Playing With Fire'
In the two previous music videos, Rosé isn't very strongly featured. This is the music video that starts to change all that. As her personal popularity and notoriety in the Kpop world began to rise, so too did the amount of featured spots she received in music videos and the focus on her impressive combination of visuals and vocals. At the time of publication, this music video had 221 million views on YouTube!
'As If It's Your Last'
In an article from Soompi:
On May 14 at approximately 3:14 a.m. KST, their track “As If It’s Your Last” surpassed this milestone on YouTube, becoming the group’s second music video to do so about a month after “BOOMBAYAH.”
First released on June 22, 2017, “As If It’s Your Last” broke several K-pop YouTube records at the time, impressively reaching 100 million views in just over 46 days. It was also the only K-pop music video to be included in YouTube’s 2017 “Top 25 Songs of the Summer” global chart.
Paying attention to what a group does before they ever officially debuted can really give you some perspective on what to expect from them as artists. Typically, individual members' personalities will come through and people's bias(es) start floating to the surface.
It's helpful, in developing your knowledge base as a fan, to see for yourself how they became the artists they are today. Right now, we're going to look at a few videos that show the members prior to Blackpink's debut.
Boombayah Dance Practice
The dance practice video for Boombayah was the very first thing I ever saw from BlackPink. It was released prior to their debut, and it worked wonders for generating buzz and garnering brand new fans whose interest had been piqued by their hard-hitting choreography and stunning visuals.
It's a breath of fresh air to see a group going so hard in their choreography. So often these days, especially in Kpop, you see girl groups getting a little lazy, opting for visuals and aegyo poses instead of showcasing dance talent. With a group that only has four members, no one can really be shoved in the back to keep viewers from seeing that they really can't keep up with the skillful dancers that are always brought to the forefront. This isn't a problem for BlackPink, whose members each boast considerable skill where dance is concerned.
Also pre-debut, the group released this choreography video to Rihanna's "B*tch Better Have My Money." As you can see, Lisa's hair is electrically blonde, but that's not the only reason she stands out in this video. She's the lead dancer of the group and was in a dance troupe in Thailand when she was discovered via a Nationwide Thai audition for YG Entertainment. This video brought in a lot of Western fans, particularly in the "Lisa is my bias" camp.
Jennie's fierceness is obvious in this video of her performing in her early days as a YG trainee. Get used to that smirk and her alluring stage presence. It only continued to get stronger after this day.
Most of Jisoo's pre-debut resume involves acting and modeling. Her talent in these areas brought her into the public eye well before the group's debut.
As I mentioned in a previous story, Rosé placed first in YG Entertainment's entire Australian audition. She's popular for having, debatably, the best voice in all of Kpop and for having the smallest waist in a group like BlackPink whose members all boast tiny waists. Her vocal and instrumental talent has made her increasingly popular among other Korean idols.
Young Lisa is super cute in this video that features multiple pictures and videos from her younger days before she was a trainee with YG. Cuteness (often referred to as aegyo, which means "cute" in Korean and refers to a person's cute behavior), is definitely one of the many strengths that have stayed with this idol throughout her career thus far, and she is showing no signs that she plans to hold back where her cuteness is concerned. It's almost as though she can't even help it. Perhaps she was born for the spotlight. Whether or not that's the case, the spotlight suits her very well.
Popular Cover Performances
If you're not ready to call yourself a full-fledged BLINK yet, just wait until you watch the next few videos. I have a feeling you'll be singing a different tune by the end of this story.
The choreography in this video is so smooth and sexy, and the members are featured so perfectly that it's no surprise the video has more than eight and a half million views on BlackPink's official YouTube channel alone. There are many millions more views on other channels across YouTube, including an abundance of popular YouTubers reacting to this very dance video. Just try not to watch it more than once. I dare you.
'Playing With Fire' Live
BlackPink covered Wonder Girls' hit song "So Hot" and the internet just ate it up. The official video has almost 23 million views, and there are several other versions (mostly different perspective or member focus videos) that have millions of views of their own. The outfits are on point, the choreography is cool and confident and this remix sounds much better than the original track itself. There's nothing wrong with this video at all! enjoy!
This is BlackPink's most viewed live performance on YouTube, with over 36 million views.
'Playing With Fire' Live
BlackPink's second most viewed live performance on YouTube is this performance of "Playing With Fire." It has been viewed more than 28 million times.
As always, thank you for reading!