Korean pop music (K-pop) is seeing an unprecedented surge on global music charts as well as stages, and right now, the credit for this has to go to two K-pop groups — BTS and BlackPink. The weekend of April 12-14 saw both groups deliver electrifying performances on the big stages in the US, with Blackpink becoming the first ever K-pop girls group to perform at the Coachella festival and BTS becoming the first to perform on 'Saturday Night Live'. BlackPink is also set to play at UK venues Wembley and Manchester Arena in May, as part of their world tour that has been selling out shows across the globe.
At their SNL debut, hosted by Oscar-winning actress Emma Stone, BTS performed two tracks from their new album, 'Map of the Soul: Persona' which destroyed charts when it dropped, starting off with their new hit single 'Boy With Luv' which features Halsey and following it up with their track 'Mic Drop'.
'Map of the Soul: Persona' is the boy band's first album of 2019 and comes ahead of their upcoming 'Love Yourself: Speak Yourself' stadium tour, which kicks off at Los Angeles’ Rose Bowl on May 4. Most of BTS' ARMY credits the 'Love Yourself' album series to promoting self-love and say this is when they became fans.
BlackPink too had their own highlights from the weekend. After rocking their Coachella performance which was a massive hit with the audience, Blinks were delighted to see their favorite K-pop stars hang out with Hollywood's biggest names, right from Ariana Grande to Will Smith. The quartet has been trending on the Billboard's Hot 100 and Billboard 200 charts with their EP 'Kill This Love'. Their single 'Ddu-Du Ddu-Du' broke YouTube records by accumulating 36.2 million YouTube views in its first 24 hours.
Taking the world music landscape by storm, the two huge K-pop groups are neck and neck when it comes to talent as well as popularity. Not to mention their envigorating performances! With all the record-breaking and chart-topping, fans of both groups — ARMY and Blinks — are divided when it comes to who they think will make it big in the global music scene. While most BTS and BlackPink fans think it is unethical to compare the groups, K-pop fans are of the opinion that BlackPink has got great potential and can go to great heights. "BTS is definitely better in terms of quality of songs, vocals and all. BlackPink performing at Coachella doesn't mean anything. There is no competition — we have an ARMY," said an ARMY member.
While BTS was the first K-pop group to move out of the niche of K-pop and entertain a global audience, BlackPink is quickly catching up. "BTS is more famous but if BlackPink keeps on promoting themselves in the west, then in no time they will reach the same level," said a BlackPink fan, adding that it also depends on how their label (their agency YG Entertainment) promotes them on the global scale. The band is definitely making waves in the West and has also said that they would like to write songs in English eventually.