“Pink Venom” is as addictive as it sounds


YG Entertainment Inc.

Blackpink’s new pre-release single, “Pink Venom” hints at new potential for the group’s musical versatility.

Two years after vanishing from the Korean music scene, Blackpink has still managed to debut at number one on the Billboard Global 200 chart and top various musical charts worldwide with their new song, “Pink Venom.”

The reigning K-Pop queens have returned in all their glory to give fans a taste of their musical transformation — from bland and loud to enjoyably addictive. This new sound from Blackpink’s newest pre-release single might just surprise audiences. The piece hints at the group’s potential for musical versatility, raising expectations for new, transformative sounds in their upcoming September 16 album, ‘Born Pink.’

“Pink Venom” brings together a bold hip-hop-based beat, sampling iconic lyrics from Rihanna’s “Pon de Replay” and incorporating the traditional Korean instrument geomungo. The combination of such contrasting styles makes the music sound much more variegated and satisfactory. The music video racked up 90.4 million views within 24 hours of its release, becoming the third largest music video debut of all time.

Despite their outstanding success with the 2018 hit track “Ddu-du Ddu-du,” the group has released only two albums in the past four years, with only solo pieces released in 2021. Tracks like “Kill This Love” and “How You Like That” followed the group’s success by simply recycling the musical formula created by “Ddu-du Ddu-du,” exhausting listeners hoping for a new sound each time. To everyone’s relief, Blackpink’s overused, banal signature sound — the synth-heavy beat drop in the chorus — was missing from “Pink Venom.” While the general composition of the song remained predictable, removing recycled sounds created a substantially more colorful piece. 

Blackpink member Lisa and Jennie’s rap adds a crucial component to the song, weaving in a vibrant yet classic hip-hop feel. They even referred to many lines from renowned artists like the Notorious B.I.G. and 50 Cent, giving tribute to hip-hop at its roots. Through these masterful and clever incorporations of contrasting music cultures, it is clear their understanding of music truly improved and came alive through the combination of these sounds. 

The music video also shined in its thematic creativity. Blackpink member Jisoo starred in one of the most iconic scenes in the video, playing the geomungo on a grand pedestal of pink lights and lasers, surrounded by a crowd of hooded worshippers, giving the scene a hypnotic aura. The impressive cinematography also captures Blackpink member Rosé standing inside a burning demonic mountain, showing off an epic guitar riff. The grandiose scale of visual appeal added to the overall listening experience. 

The single brilliantly showcases how each member has grown their overall skills and musicality. In an interview with the Rollingstone Magazine, they acknowledged that the group’s dive into a hip-hop base style may seem childish to the Western origins of rap. However, they expressed pride in their work, detailing their exploration of diverse musical styles. “We are doing something very cool,” Jennie said. “What hip-hop is this? I don’t know! It’s just cool!”

“Pink Venom” may have been short, but it was perfect for the role of a pre-release single, hinting at the inordinate diverse musicality that is to come from the multifaceted group.