YG Entertainment's (YG) new girl group BabyMonster is set to debut on the 27th of this month, and the industry is abuzz with anticipation. Amidst the uncertainty surrounding Blackpink's contract renewal and the guilty verdict of YG's general producer Yang Hyun-suk, all eyes are on whether BabyMonster can dispel the shadows looming over the company.
There's significant anticipation surrounding BabyMonster. They are the first group produced by Yang Hyun-suk after a three-year hiatus and YG's first new girl group in seven years following Blackpink.
Originally planned as a seven-member group, BabyMonster will debut as a sextet following member Ahyeon's decision to take a break for health reasons.
Expectations Soar for YG's New Hip-hop Girl Group
BabyMonster has already built a substantial fanbase with their exceptional vocal, dance, rap, and visual skills revealed in the 8-part reality series 'Last Evolution', released in March. Even before their official debut, their official YouTube channel has surpassed 3 million subscribers, reflecting the high level of interest they've garnered.
The industry is optimistic about their global prospects. A representative from a music planning agency commented, "BabyMonster is expected to encapsulate the success formula of YG's hip-hop girl groups like 2NE1 and Blackpink. They are drawing significant attention internationally just with the title of being Blackpink's successor."
Amid the popularity of girl groups like NewJeans, IVE, and LE SSERAFIM, BabyMonster is expected to differentiate themselves with their intense hip-hop tracks. With a multinational lineup including members from Korea, Thailand, and Japan, they are expected to make an aggressive global debut, much like Blackpink.
YG revealed that they have organized several song camps collaborating with famous international composers and in-house producers for BabyMonster. As a result, the group has acquired numerous high-quality tracks.
Uncertain Blackpink Contract Renewal Poses a Challenge
With Blackpink's contract renewal still in question, BabyMonster's success has become crucial for YG. The uncertainty around Blackpink's future has caused fluctuations in YG's stock prices. Despite an increase in third-quarter revenues and operating profits, largely due to Blackpink's tour effect, the company is still highly dependent on Blackpink.
The securities market is urging YG to make an official announcement regarding Blackpink's contract renewal. It's been three months since the contract expired in August, and no decision has been made, highlighting the need for BabyMonster to step up.
Yang Hyun-suk's Conviction Adds to YG's Challenges
YG has also been troubled by the 'owner risk' following the Burning Sun scandal. The group's debut, initially set for September, was postponed to November. There were speculations that the delay was influenced by Yang Hyun-suk's trial.
Yang Hyun-suk, who was acquitted in the first trial for charges of attempting to cover up an artist's drug use, received a sentence of six months in prison and one year of probation on appeal on the 8th. This verdict raised concerns about a further delay in BabyMonster's debut. However, with the date now set, no further schedule changes are expected.
The industry is keenly watching to see if BabyMonster, YG's long-awaited 'hidden card,' will emerge as the savior in bringing new momentum to the company.