Dobbins: BLACKPINK disappoints with newest single ‘Pink Venom’


YG Entertainment

BLACKPINK’s new release is the first since their studio album, THE ALBUM, released in 2020.

Chloe Dobbins, Lead Copy Editor

BLACKPINK, one of K-pop’s biggest girl groups, is back in the studio working on its upcoming sophomore album Born Pink, set to be released on Sept. 16. Until then, BLACKPINK has dropped a single to hold off their many, many fans — “Pink Venom.” 

I spent three minutes of my life listening to “Pink Venom” for the first time. Frankly, I would like those three minutes back. 

“Pink Venom” is more of a cacophony than a song. With hip-hop samples, a few vaguely Middle Eastern-sounding melodies and traditional Korean instruments, “Pink Venom” sounds as though it doesn’t quite know what it wants to be. 

However, the track’s intro is stellar; I have to give it that. “Pink Venom” begins with a simple-yet-catchy melody played on the geomungo, a traditional Korean string instrument, as the group chants “BLACKPINK” in an almost cultish manner. The following rap featuring group members Jennie and Lisa compliments the beginning perfectly, with lively, confident vocals on top of the same traditional instrumentation alongside a modern beat. 

The following pre-chorus, sung by group members Rosé and Jisoo, is not quite as enjoyable as the beginning rap — the pair’s vocals blend poorly together and even worse with the instrumental. Nevertheless, the pre-chorus is an amazing energy-builder, preparing the listener for an animated, dynamic chorus. 

Unfortunately, all that energy from the first verse and pre-chorus completely goes to waste. The chorus has some of the most lackluster vocals and beats I’ve heard — I’m not sure I’ve been more let down by a song so far this year. The vocalists sound more like they’re mumbling than singing or rapping. Lisa and Jennie drone on repetitive lyrics “this that pink venom / this that pink venom / this that pink venom/ get ‘em, get ‘em, get ‘em” on top of an equally boring beat, a far cry from the spirited vocals showcased earlier in the song. 

Aside from the complete let-down of a chorus, the song simply feels too disconnected. The use of traditional Korean instruments in “Pink Venom” was masterful; however, combined with hip-hop samples and somewhat stereotypical Middle Eastern melodies, everything feels out of place and disorienting. The change between verses and the chorus feels like a transition between two completely different songs. 

Furthermore, “Pink Venom” follows the same formula as other BLACKPINK songs, most evident in the chorus. Like most songs by the group, the chorus is a beat drop proceeded with the song’s name and an onomatopoeia being repeated. While there’s not necessarily anything wrong with using the same structure for several songs, one might desire something a little more interesting for the group’s comeback. 

Based on “Pink Venom,” I can’t say I’m too excited for the release of Born Pink. The single suggests the upcoming album won’t add anything new or unique to BLACKPINK’s discography. Nevertheless, Born Pink is set to be a huge commercial success if the popularity of “Pink Venom” is anything to go by. Here’s to hoping for a much better album from the world’s favorite K-pop girl group.