Though it has a familiar taste, it lacks a compelling flavor. The debut song 'BATTER UP' by the group BabyMonster definitely carries the color of YG Entertainment (hereafter YG). Set to a hip-hop track, the music video embodies the confidence and freedom reminiscent of YG's previous girl groups, BLACKPINK and 2NE1. The problem is the lack of a distinct color that clearly sets BabyMonster apart from BLACKPINK and 2NE1.
BabyMonster, YG's first girl group in 7 years since BLACKPINK, consists of six multinational members. With high expectations as the successor to the globally renowned BLACKPINK, the music video for 'BATTER UP' quickly garnered attention, surpassing 22.59 million views within a day of its release on November 27th, setting a record for the most views for a K-pop group debut music video. The global interest is also high, with the video topping the Global YouTube Daily Popular Music Video chart and dominating the top of the music video charts on major streaming sites in Japan and China.
The title 'BATTER UP,' referring to the next batter's call sign in baseball, embodies BabyMonster's ambition to become a 'game changer' in K-pop. This confidence is evident throughout the music video.
With the shout of "Attention," the lights come on, and the group's choreography starts, grabbing attention. The members appear in a sporty concept mixing black and red outfits, contrasting with the urban white-toned set, creating an eye-catching effect. The ceiling and floor, both marked with 'BABYMONSTER,' underscore the group's bold debut as per their name, meaning 'young yet monstrous.'
The music video is filled with various sets and concepts. After an assertive start, the siren sound and red lighting accompany a whirlwind of sound, followed by individual and group shots. The group shots feature powerful and swag-filled choreography, while the individual shots showcase each member's visuals and specific performance gestures. Especially, with the rap and vocal parts roughly equal in the song, the rap sections feature strong vibes with cap hats and fur outfits, while the vocal parts display a glamorous, feminine concept, creating a stark contrast.
However, 'BATTER UP' lacks a distinct charm of BabyMonster, unlike BLACKPINK's 'Whistle' and 2NE1's 'Fire,' which showcased a blend of YG's traditional 'black' sensibility and new 'pink' charm or free-spirited street vibe and girl crush, respectively.
'BATTER UP' emphasizes sportiness but not in a clear way. Its sporty elements are evident at the beginning, end, and in Ramy and Parita's rap parts and hooks, but they occupy a relatively small portion of the overall video, arranged in a parallel fashion, diminishing immersion. The video lacks a clear focus and even brings a sense of déjà vu with familiar props like a yellow bus and a classroom.
As of now, BabyMonster has not engaged in any notable activities apart from releasing the 'BATTER UP' music video. It remains to be seen whether their subsequent music videos or promotions will reveal a more distinct identity for the group.