Since its release a few weeks ago, BLACKPINK’s smash hit “How You Like That” has broken numerous records—both in Korea and internationally. Most notably for U.S. music fans, “How You Like That” debuted at #33 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart—a feat that even most Western artists may never achieve. Now, Billboard’s music experts have weighed in on all the reasons why BLACKPINK is taking the world by storm.
Anna Chan, Billboard’s senior editor of consumer news, says BLACKPINK’s embodiment of girl power has definitely played a part in their success.
Who doesn’t love a strong girl group? And by that, I’m not just talking about the music being good or the level of talent, which are both there.
— Anna Chan, Billboard
Chan explains that BLACKPINK’s attitude is anything but meek and quiet. Instead, their music video concepts and lyrics show a take-no-BS side that today’s modern women can relate to.
Take “Kill This Love,” for example. They know the romance is toxic, so boy, bye! Plus, those military-inspired outfits in the video? BAD. ASS.
— Anna Chan, Billboard
Nolan Feeney, senior editor of Billboard’s print features, turned to the group’s lyrics to explain their success. Alongside showing off an “omnivorous” sound that encompasses many of the world’s favorite genres (such as “Forever Young”’s reggaeton and “Stay”’s folk vibe), their lyrics are easy for anyone to sing along with.
One of the biggest factors is that a desire for global domination seems baked into the songwriting process.
— Nolan Feeney, Billboard
For one, BLACKPINK songs tend to feature a lot of English phrases scattered throughout the lyrics. For example, around a whopping 70% of the word in the lyrics of “Kill This Love” are actually English.
And even when the lyrics aren’t in English, the sounds are usually simple enough to grasp—for example, “ddu du ddu du” in the song of the same name, or “dumdumdum dururu” at the end of “How You Like That”.
According to another senior editor, Gab Ginsberg, part of the group’s success comes from the loyal BLINK fanbase. Ginsberg recalls how she listened to Girls’ Generation in college with her friends, but social media hadn’t taken off enough for them to discuss the group online.
Now, however, BLACKPINK are able to reach fans all around the globe who can organize continued support for the group’s releases.
BLACKPINK specifically has built a huge and loyal fanbase, and in return, those fans will do anything to help the band.
— Gab Ginsberg, Billboard
Billboard’s senior director of music, Jason Lipshutz, agrees that BLINKs deserve a lot of credit. With such a big fandom and so much interest in the group online, he says it’s no surprise that “How You Like That” soared to such heights on YouTube and streaming services upon release.
It will be harder to bust through the glass ceiling at U.S. radio… but what BLACKPINK has already accomplished commercially in the United States is pretty breathtaking.
— Jason Lipshutz, Billboard
Last but not least, deputy editor Andrew Unterberger makes a similar point to Anna Chan, crediting the group’s strong attitude for their unwavering success.
From their lyrics to the performances, BLACKPINK give off so much confidence and authority, it would be almost impossible to not see them as the world’s biggest girl group.
Sorta telling that there’s no question mark at the end of the title of “How You Like That” — at the end of the day, they’re not really asking.
— Andrew Unterberger, Billboard