top of page
  • Soo Yeon

If KPOP's 3rd Generation Came To An End Today, Who Wins?

Updated: Dec 28, 2021

Our biases aside, of course.

With 'IVE' debuting today and YG's 'Baby Monster' slated to debut next year alongside JYP's new girl group, the 3rd Generation of Kpop is coming to a close. Arguably the most successful generation in the industry's history, our team got on a Zoom call to hash out the winners and not so winners of this 'Golden Age'.

Roll call: Me (Soo Yeon), June & Juice, Haein and Cole.

SY: Alright team, with 'IVE' officially debuting, I think we can say for certain that this is the start of the end for the 3rd Generation. With that said,

"Is The 3rd The Most Successful Generation In Kpop History?"

CL: Yes and No. The 3rd generation definitely received the most international recognition but that spotlight is reserved to only a handful of groups. Also, remember record sales were crazy back in the first generation and even the second.

June: I have to agree with the notion this generation tells the side between the 'Haves and Have Nots". I miss the days when there were groups like Afterschool, Brown Eyed Girls, Girl's Day, APink, Sistar, and 4Minute all thriving with the big 3 companies.

HN: But.. still doesn't change the fact that this generation is the MOST successful, BTS alone brings in 5 Billion USD to Korea's economy from overseas.

Juice: I agree plus gen 3 had some cool less major groups too! We had groups like GFRIEND, Mamamoo, Girls Day, AOA, we have hits too!

Cole: AOA is gen 2, I don't care if they debuted a year late, they were competing with Miss A, Girl's Day, Apink and Sistar not Blackpink

SY: I have to agree with Haein and Juice here, the industry as a whole is on another level in general and the 3rd Gen had everything to do with it. So that is 3-2 탕탕탕 (gavel noise) 3rd gen is the winner!

Cole: Woah, 탕탕탕 (Tang) is Mino's comeback single and you paired that with 'Winner', chills brah chills.

SY: Don't call me brah. Next we need to answer,

"Who Are The Overachievers Of The 3rd Generation?"

June: Has to be Mamamoo, they came out of nowhere and gave Twice, Red Velvet, and Blackpink their money's worth.

Cole: Yeah, it's either them or GFRIEND but they disbanded pretty unceremoniously so Mamamoo it is.

Juice: AOA! If not them Mamamoo.

Cole: AOA is Gen 2.

Haein: Mamamoo even if AOA is gen 3.

SY: Same here, Mamamoo it is! Then,

"Who Is The Most Underachieving Group In 3rd Gen?"

June: CLC for me, I had such high expectations for the group. There was a real buzz until the label imploded.

Juice: I agree CLC was such a let down, I feel really bad for the girls. Imagine working your tail off to debut only to find out your label is Cube.

Cole: I think CUBE is the most underachieving everything of gen 3. What happened to them? They were the ones that were supposed to make a big 4.

SY: The label struggled after being autonomous from JYP, I'll write a story on it. I'll go with CLC but Pristin and Gugudan also comes to mind. There were huge hype around them as well, especially in Korea.

HN: I think it is hard to argue with CLC and Cube as a whole, Gugudan was a huge letdown as well because with how big the label was in the film industry I thought they would get a much bigger push than they did. Plus their branding was ON POINT with the name and everything.

SY: So CLC and Cube it is! Now to answer the big question,

Who Wins Level Generation 3?

Cole: Easy, Blackpink globally, Twice in Asia, and Red Velvet in Korea.

SY: Mmmh not sure about this one, anyone?

Juice: You're way off Cole, Blackpink everywhere except Japan.

June: I think Twice is more loved than Blackpink in Korea. I think Koreans know that Blackpink is the bigger group globally but they really don't promote in Korea anymore. You see them more on the news now breaking records than on music shows. I think you can even argue that Red Velvet is more loved than Blackpink here. But to answer the question Blackpink has my vote because I think all Korean fans know that they have a fan base second only to BTS in the whole industry.

SY: Definitely agree that Blackpink aren't seen as just a Kpop group in Korea anymore but more as a global artist. But I think that shows that BLACKPINK is the winner of Gen 3. Haein, who has your vote?

HN: As far as girl groups go, no Kpop group has come close to BLACKPINK. And regarding the groups in Korea, Twice feels like the really pretty unnie that is nice to you at highschool and Blackpink feel like Sorority leaders in college. You love your unnie but you want to be Blackpink. My answer is Blackpink.

SY: There we have it, how do we feel about this article going online? Cole are you ready for the response?

Cole: Tell (Social media team) to turn notifications off. I love everybody!

Disclaimer: All views expressed are strictly our own and does not reflect the views of 'HIH KEY'


bottom of page