REVIEW: The scoop on Blackpink’s collaboration with Selena Gomez

REVIEW: The scoop on Blackpink’s collaboration with Selena Gomez

Story | Penny Rae Hawkins

Graphics | Emilia Batchelor

If you’re hungry for Blackpink, “Ice Cream” is just the thing for you. Unfortunately, despite the impressive vocal performances and sunny production, this flavor just didn’t hit the spot.

Continuing their mission for pop culture dominance, the four-piece, Korean, girl group released the music video for “Ice Cream,” in collaboration with Selena Gomez, on Aug. 28. Unfortunately, I must admit that I don’t understand the hype surrounding Blackpink. This is not to say Jennie, Rosé, Jisoo or Lisa aren’t talented. Their music has always struck me as being mostly unremarkable, despite its high energy.

To begin on a positive note, I found the song a lot more enjoyable than previous releases. While songs like “Kill This Love” and “How You Like That” were based on empty bombast and power, “Ice Cream ” features fun, bubbly beats that allow the performers room to breathe and have some fun. This results in some truly standout vocal performances, especially from Lisa and Jennie. Of course, finding good moments from Jennie isn’t hard considering the amount of presence she has on the song. As talented as she is, I would have loved to see more from Rosé and Jisoo, whose powerful vocals stood out despite limited solo performances. Gomez brought charisma and charm to the song, serving her well against Lisa’s confidence. 

Blackpink occupies an interesting place in pop culture. Despite having released only 16 songs in the past four years, the group has one of the most notoriously passionate fan bases in modern K-pop. On Dec. 16, 2019, a group of fans, called Blinks, paid for a truck to drive around their entertainment company, YG Entertainment, to advertise demands for better treatment of Blackpink. These demands included two comebacks per year, solo comebacks for Lisa, Rosé and Jisoo, more media promotion and attendance at year-end awards shows. 

Even so, Blackpink has already made their impact on American pop culture. They held the top spot for most views on a music video in 24 hours with 86.3 million views with “How You Like That” until BTS released the music video for “Dynamite” Aug. 20. Now occupying the number two spot, they hold a dual position at number five with “Kill this Love,” which garnered 56.7 million views in 24 hours. 

All that considered, the song’s production is cute and catchy to the point of being irritating. The lyrics are a thinly-veiled metaphor for sex, which isn’t a problem on its own for a bright and simple summer jam. I find the combination of such provocative lyrics with the music video’s imagery of Blackpink riding tricycles and bikes with training wheels around a pastel cul-de-sac pretty uncomfortable. Not because of the performers’ sexual liberation but because they are being made to look like kids while doing it. Gomez pretty much avoids this, spending most of her time driving an ice cream truck or a classic car, which begs the question of why the girls of Blackpink are relegated to such childish modes of transportation. It’s honestly unfortunate, especially considering how stylish and fun it is otherwise. This time around, I’ll pass on dessert.

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