A Queer Asian Fanboy Reviews BlackPink’s “As If It’s Your Last”: Romantic Pop Done Right

I haven’t written a blog post about K-Pop for five years thank god because all my posts were pretty trash but last year I found a new group to obsessively fanboy, my queens BlackPink. I have a lot to say about this splendid group but this post will focus on their 2017 summer smash “As If It’s Your Last,” an upbeat song that mixes house, reggae, and moombahton genres. The song is about an intense, all-consuming romance, so in theory I should hate it given how many posts I’ve written about the patriarchal nature of romance, and yet, I find myself engaged in an all-consuming romance with the song itself. I love this song so much because in “As If It’s Your Last,” BlackPink injects the tried and true romantic pop song with vibrant shades of cheerfulness and a persistent, pulsating agency.

Let’s start with the lyrics. Yes, there’s nothing radically feminist about the lyrics of “As If It’s Your Last,” no condemnation of the patriarchy for making us feel insecure without a romantic partner, no equivalent of Lisa’s somewhat capitalist yet so iconic “middle finger up, F U pay me” from “Boombayah.” However, within the realm of romance, BlackPink asserts their hearts’ desires and tells their lover exactly what they want from them. The chorus, in rough translation, reads “Baby, hold me till I explode/ Stop thinking, what’s so hard about this? / Kiss me like it’s a lie / As if I’m your last love.” These queens are calling the shots by employing direct communication filled with active verbs – “hold me,” “stop thinking,” “kiss me,” etc. And I could dedicate a whole post to Lisa’s rap and how it’s potentially problematic by appropriating AAVE but that’s actually for another blog post but just, I love her? She raps “I’ma fall in love baby / you gon finna catch me” (my reaction: omg yes Lisa TELL that lover to catch you), “call me pretty and nasty” (me: omg YES Lisa assert what you want to be called, bless us), and “we ride or die, Xs and Os” (me: honestly just ride that car in the MV right over my beating heart, I’d be grateful). It’s clear that even though they so desperately want their lover’s attention and affection in this song, these women are active agents in their romantic narrative. The four members’ delivery of these lyrics through their confident, unquivering vocals enhances the song’s assertive energy.

Now, I just have to stan the music video for “As If It’s Your Last” and the women’s confidence in it. This video’s vibrant use of color – from the gorgeous pink colosseum to the bright yellow garage-thing to that expansive pink subway as well as the members’ flowy chic clothing – just imbues the song itself with an effusive, positive energy. Now to break up this wall of obsessive fanboying text let me just provide some screenshots about what I mean by the women’s confidence, which will feature more fanboying:

blackpink as if it's your last jisoo screenshot a beautiful quirky queen end me

Ok, my bias Jisoo’s gaze in this shot could literally pierce through the hardest most annoying rock or stone or whatever. She’s so confident and seductive and sure of what she wants even she just told her lover to set her free, queen of setting us free from mediocrity with her gaze? I just?

rose blackpink screenshot from as if it's your last car scene an icon

Rose’s knowing smile in this shot just shows she’s very aware she’s hot stuff and no man is worthy of her even though she’s singing about wanting a lover who maybe is a man? I just?

blackpink as if it's your last jennie on the bed in the ocean end me queen god.png

Ok, Jennie is out here sitting on this random ass bed in the middle of an ocean and she’s totally unbothered, she’s just like, yeah I know I’m the queen of this odd YG scene, I make men have nosebleeds #boombayah then I gaze with remarkable self-assurance into the camera, what u gonna do.

blackpink as if it's your last group photo end yellow thing yes.png

And then these queens have the nerve to end the video with the four of them smiling and laughing and basking in their own talent and friendship, yes the song is about romance but they look so genuinely happy with each other and this music and I just? End me?

“As If It’s Your Last” reveals BlackPink’s more pink and feminine side while still highlighting their trademark power and confidence. From the energetic choreography omg I think I may have actually screamed the first time I saw the part where they link arms and walk forward to the addictive and assured visuals in the video to the ear-candy, spirited synths in the chorus, so many elements of this song propel BlackPink’s talent forward while giving them a chance to showcase their unique spin on romantic pop. While the song is perhaps not revolutionary, it achieves a distinct, dancy vibe that brings to mind summer, and the feeling of letting go and living in the moment and in your feelings, consequences be damned. If I were to ever date a man, I’d want “As If It’s Your Last” to feature prominently in our relationship’s soundtrack, its cheerfulness and its vibrancy.

jisoo blackpink looking at the heart in as if it's your last iconic

Ok Jisoo looking at this heart is honestly me looking at the hearts of men I could’ve loved if they weren’t socialized to adhere to toxic masculinity, thank u next.

I’ve been putting out a lot of more serious and personal posts out lately so I wanted to take a break to shout out some music I’ve put on blast over the past year. I wrote this post last night at midnight instead of starting a fellowship application, oops, so my priorities are in the right place obviously. I have a lot more commentary about BlackPink and how they benefit from thin privilege, having whiter skin tones, etc. so perhaps there will be more to come. I’ll end this post by saying that I showed this music video and the music video for “Boombayah” to my current therapist and she said their energy and outgoingness matched my personality which was… the highest compliment I’ve ever received. I want to hear all of your feelings and thoughts about BlackPink and “As If It’s Your Last” so please share. Until next time. ❤

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9 Comments

Filed under K-Pop

9 responses to “A Queer Asian Fanboy Reviews BlackPink’s “As If It’s Your Last”: Romantic Pop Done Right

  1. Oh – this was unexpected and a departure from your usual writing. I know nothing about K-pop so this was an interesting read. I had always viewed K-Pop as beautiful singers / dancers with generic pop / rap / dance music. I hope you were able to complete your fellowship applications.

    • Aw I appreciate you still reading and commenting despite the post being an unexpected departure! Glad you’re tuning in now because this blog had so much more pop and K-Pop related posts several years ago haha. Yes, oftentimes K-Pop stars are beautiful which is something to critically analyze, though because I’m biased I will say that BlackPink is exceptionally talented. 🙂 Thank you for your warm wishes re: the fellowship, at least it is started now!

  2. saraliterary95

    I L O V E Blackpink, and after this post, I might love them even more. (I will definitely enjoy AIIYL a lot better thanks to you.)

    • Omg I’m SO glad to read that you love them and that this post has definitely made you appreciate AIIYL more and perhaps the group overall too. Honestly mission accomplished. Now I’m motivated to definitely write another post about them, hehe. Thank you for reading and commenting!

  3. joseenath174

    Blackpink: The only gang to run this game in high heels😁

  4. Pingback: Twenty-four Years and Lots of Gratitude | the quiet voice

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