Generation K

Blackpink Sang About Being Bosses — Now They Get To Live It

After going solo, the biggest girl group in the world is refinding themselves.

The biggest gripe with Blackpink used to be that they weren’t doing enough for their level of fame — but that’s clearly changing. Since December 2023, when Jennie, Jisoo, Lisa, and Rosé officially split with YG as solo artists, three of the four unveiled artist-management companies of which they’ll be the bosses: Jennie’s Odd Atelier, Lisa’s LLOUD, and Jisoo’s Blissoo. They’ve announced ventures in TV, music, and film. Rosé’s been teasing new songs, and is rumored to be debuting her own label. After seven years of singing about being self-assured girl bosses who get money and shut down haters, they’re now literally stepping into that role.

Though girl and boy groups disband and go solo every year, Blackpink’s entrepreneurial pivot is significant — especially for K-pop. The four members now join an exclusive group of mostly male idols turned self-managers, such as Rain, PSY, EXO's Baekhyun, and GOT7's Jackson Wang. (2NE1's CL is one of a handful of women in the industry who have started their own companies, launching Very Cherry in 2020.) But even within this club, they’re outliers as four of their industry’s most influential and well-connected representatives who could have chosen a different, still-lucrative route. (Lisa reportedly turned down multiple offers from overseas labels worth tens of millions of dollars.) But when they did decide to go indie, it sent a powerful message about the importance of owning their own careers.

Along with more creative control and pay transparency, they’re now also actively engaging with the idea of a “more authentic” them. The mission statements for Jennie’s “OA” mentions wanting “to create new things that attract attention in a different way,” while Lisa’s LLOUD straight-up states it’s “her vision in music and entertainment [emphasis added].” One could read this as pushback against idol culture in which management heavily monitors social-media accounts, and an artist’s public image is dictated by the company. But more importantly, we’re seeing them take explicit control over their narratives, which has simultaneously opened the doors for experimentation.

The new personal insights have been thrilling. Jennie and Jisoo have both secured gigs on South Korean TV networks, while Lisa — who’s never formally acted before — will be pivoting to Hollywood with a role in The White Lotus. Rosé’s new music, dark and acoustic, sounds leagues away from the Blackpink heartbreak bangers and seems set to elevate her to the singer-songwriter she’s always aspired to be. Even for the most dedicated Blinks, this moment is a reintroduction: We’re about to find out what “typa girls” they really are.