K-pop is a veritable phenomenon, and it's invading the U.S. as we speak.
And while Korean boy bands have been making a push Stateside for awhile essentially uncontested — save for a few female-centric acts here and there — it's time for a girl-power takeover. Blackpink is more than ready to settle into position. With a 2019 world tour on the way (including arena stops in the U.S.), members Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa are about to bring their bombastic brand of music to the masses.
Blackpink (sometimes stylized BLΛƆKPIИK) is a South Korean girl group formed by YG Entertainment, and they're about to take the U.S. by storm, starting at Coachella. Before your world is turned upside down by the phenomenally talented girl group, get to know them a little better and see what all the hype is about. Here's your guide to all things Blackpink.
What does Blackpink mean?
Blackpink is more than just the juxtaposition of two colors that happen to look awesome together. According to a YG Entertainment rep for the group, it's an attempt to "contradict" what people normally think about the color pink – like the idea that it's about being "pretty."
"Blackpink actually means to say that 'pretty isn't everything'," said the rep. "It also symbolizes that they are a team that encompasses not only beauty, but also great talent." We'd say this is a pretty killer explanation for the girls, to be honest.
What are their fans called?
Blackpink fans are affectionately known as Blinks, a term confirmed by member Jennie in a birthday message where she thanked fans for their constant love and support. It's a portmanteau of the words "black" and "pink." It's the official fandom name, so if you're picking up what the girls are putting down, you can call yourself a Blink soon, too! Just don't forget your hammer.
So, who's in the group?
There are currently four members in Blackpink, and they're some of the baddest babes you'll ever meet. Based in Seoul, they first debuted in 2016, and have been tearing up the charts since getting together. The first girl group to debut under the YG Entertainment label in six years following the massively popular 2NE1, they quickly showed out and made a name for themselves, letting fans get to know each member of the group with some flashy, swagtastic tunes.
Sure, they're all bossed up as a group, but you've got to get to know each member of Blackpink individually. Don't worry — we've got you covered.
Real name: Kim Ji Soo (nickname: Jichu, Chi Choo)
Role: Lead Vocalist
Jisoo is undoubtedly the mood-maker of Blackpink. Her 4D personality gives her a unique demeanor within the group, and her quirkiness makes her a breath of fresh air. The 24-year-old Seoul-born lead vocalist trained for five years before debuting with Blackpink, and was the third member to be revealed. The oldest of the group, Jisoo is trilingual and can speak Korean, Japanese, and Chinese. However, she doesn't speak English because she's too shy to do so according to groupmate Jennie, but she can understand it just fine. So if you ever want to tell her how much she slays and you can't speak Korean, worry not. She loves trying different types of food, balancing things on her head, and being a free spirit.
Real name: Kim Jennie (nickname: Jendeukie)
Role: Main Rapper, Vocalist
Jennie is Blackpink's 24-year-old rapper, and she was the first member of the group to be revealed to the public. She can speak Korean, Japanese, and English fluently, and is known as the "YG Princess" — as well as "Human Gucci," thanks to her expensive taste. She's so popular that she released a solo track late last year, aptly titled "SOLO." And while Jisoo loves to eat, Jennie loves to cook, complementing her bandmate nicely. Despite being a fashion icon and a total badass on stage, she's big on aegyo (or, acting cute) and has a bubbly personality. Oh, and she loves dogs, which basically makes her a saint in our book. She has a white cocker spaniel named Kai and a brown pomeranian named Kuma.
Real name: Park Chae Young (nickname: Pasta, Rose, Rosie)
Role: Main Vocalist, Lead Dancer
Rosé, 22, is the honey-voiced main vocalist of Blackpink, and she was the final member of the group to be revealed. Born in Auckland, New Zealand, she was a cheerleader before making her debut with Blackpink. She has a unique, delicate voice and can play both piano and guitar. Interestingly, she's left-handed, and prefers to be called by her real name over any other nicknames or endearing pet titles. She can speak Korean, English, and Japanese — and "Blackpink's Goddess" can totally nail those high notes. She may be tiny, but her powerhouse vocals will knock you out.
Real name: Lalisa/Pranpriya Manoban (nickname: Lalice, Laliz)
Role: Main Dancer, Lead Rapper, Vocalist
The maknae (or youngest member) of the group, Lisa was actually born in Bangkok, Thailand and later moved to Korea. She was the second member of the group to be revealed, and speaks Korean, English, Japanese, Thai, and a little Chinese. Like a true maknae, she's extremely playful and mischievous, and she absolutely loves makeup. She was born Pranpriya Manoban, but her name was changed to Lalisa following a fortune telling session — the rest is history, since we know her as Lisa now. As the group's main dancer, her stage presence and charisma are unparalleled — and she's got seriously slick moves. As if she wasn't talented enough, she can even play ukulele.
What Blackpink songs should I listen to?
You may have already seen it making its rounds online, but the future-trap song "DDU-DU DDU-DU" is straight-up fire. It's pronounced doo-do doo-do, and it's the highest-charting Billboard Hot 100 hit ever by an all-female K-pop act. As the lead single from the group's first EP, Square Up, it's a great place to start, even if you're only in it for the music video's girl-crush aesthetic.
Blackpink made their debut in 2016 with the ridiculously catchy rapid-fire dance track "Boombayah." The song and dynamic visual also serve the dual purpose of introducing each girl and their unique personality. They're bad girls ("middle finger up, F U pay me," Lisa raps), and what about it? Come for the sizzling verses, but stay for the choreography and EDM tinged with shades of house music.
Their first maxi single, Square One, also contained the song "Whistle," which has a slower, sexier toned-down vibe and a catchy whistle sample built into the beat. Breathy vocals and staccato phrasing make it a certifiable banger.
"As If It's Your Last" is an urban-flavored odyssey with familiar pop flavor and Blackpink's signature bad-girl attitude with a chorus that melts into sugary sweet rhythmic bliss. We dare you to listen once and not sing along.
Next up is "Playing With Fire," and talk about a fiery track. As usual, this song's accompanying video serves up serious visuals (we might even say scorching) as well as a laid-back groove and rhymes coupled with a chorus you'll have in your head the rest of the day.
What else can I watch?
Though you can count on all of Blackpink to have their own material soon, Jennie went "SOLO" first. The music video is a pastel-hued accompaniment to the rap-tinged track in which she confidently declares, "I'm goin' so-lo-lo-lo-lo-lo."
You won't want to miss Blackpink's bilingual track, "Kiss and Make Up," with Grammy winner Dua Lipa. For their first venture outside of the realm of K-pop, it's a banger — and indicative of what's to come for the history-making girl group. (Please add this to the Coachella set!)