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:
“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.
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. ❤