When you were a kid, did you ever get that ice cream that was neon blue with bubble gum in it? I did. When asked what it tasted like, I could only respond with “it tastes like blue.” There was no identifiable flavour, but you knew that it tasted great going down. Was it ice cream? Was it bubble gum? Were any of its ingredients found in nature? Much like that neon blue ice cream, Pink Venom is a mess of every kind of K-Pop sugar on the market…and it tastes like…pink. That is why I love it.
For me, BlackPink is the Everclear of K-Pop. It is over 180 proof and not meant to gently sip while reading a book by the fire, this track is meant to be consumed straight out of the bottle in some crazy house party for the sole purpose of getting fucked up. So, let’s drop the pretence and get lit on some BlackPink.
There are about seven songs in one on Pink Venom. The track kicks off with some M.I.A. inspired Sri Lankan hip hop beats, which then moves into some classic K-Pop arrangements and ends with some 90s Dre West Coast synth fronted by Lisa, who is the band’s Thai hip hop artist. These musical shifts go everywhere and create a rollercoaster effect where you don’t know where you are headed next and just hang on for survival. There is so much going on it is difficult to fully unpack what they are trying to achieve musically. The end product is some high energy pop that has you moving your head and listening to the track 10 times before you know what’s hit you.
Lyrically the song is no different. We move from traditional pop, to a Korean K – Pop interlude with some classic West Coast inspired hip hop at the end. In classic BlackPink form they say the name of the band at least 154 times in the intro and mainly sing about how they are a band of women that like to have a good time. There is nothing too deep here and the focus on fun and sisterhood is a throwback to the women R&B / hip hop bands of the 90s like Salt n’ Peppa, TLC or early Destiny’s Child. The song is about having fun and you want to be a part of it.
BlackPink’s Pink Venom is less of a song and more of a vibe. You feel like you are in a neon club jumping around without a care in the world. That is what is so appealing about the band. Music is meant to be fun and no band out there embodies that ethos more than BlackPink. They are the Fast and Furious of music and you are meant to buckle you seatbelt and have some pure fun. So, put your Shakespeare down, turn the stereo up to 11 and get fucked up on BlackPink.
Listen to Pink Venom