Return Of The Greats: 2022 Is Shaping Up To Be The Year Of The K-Pop Comeback

Very much here for this 2nd and 3rd gen rebirth.

2NE1 had a reunion. BIGBANG made their comeback. iKON has a new album out as well. And we are all but ready to welcome them back.

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In the K-pop world, there are few things as exciting as the countdown to a new comeback. That anticipation of your fave group or act making their return can be a thrilling experience. New music, new looks, new photocards, and new hair colors. But it feels even better when a group that hasn’t been active for a while finally makes their return to the spotlight. And this 2022, quite a few iconic and legendary K-pop groups are taking center stage once more.

While some of these acts may not have been as active in years past, that’s about to change this year. Something must be in the air for all this groups to be active once more. Across the 2nd and 3rd gen of K-pop, 2022 may just be the year of the long-awaited comeback and we’re ready for it. From legendary reunions to much-anticipated comebacks and rumored returns, here are the K-pop acts ready to reclaim their spot as the reign supremes.

BLACKPINK IS BORN PINK, PERIOD!

BLACKPINK often likes to say in their songs “BLACKPINK In Your Area.” But our question is, where is that exactly? Because it’s clearly not at the recording studio or dance practice room. While the past year saw Rose and Lisa release their solo works and Jisoo begin her lead actress era, we haven’t gotten a full BLACKPINK comeback since 2020. Ever since they dropped THE ALBUM, there has been little to no sign of a comeback. But the drought has finally come to an end.

YG Entertainment set social media on fire with the drop of their comeback trailer that was filled with juicy tidbits. Firstly, the group is set to drop two music videos, both of which are YG’s most expensive mv’s to date. The first, entitled Pink Venom, will drop this August 19 as their pre-release single. The second will drop in September 16 along with their second album drops. Speaking of their album, we also have confirmation that it will be called BORN PINK. Finally, their next world tour, which has been described as the biggest ever for a K-pop girl group, will begin this October with a stop in Manila on March 25, 2023. And this is just the announced plans, who knows what other surprises BP has in store for their grand comeback.

IKON IS COMING

This is not a drill. iKON is actually having a new comeback! The last time iKON released an album was all the way back in February 2020 and a new song in March 2021. But finally, after anxiety inducing patience and anticipation, more iKON music is on the way. They dropped their first teaser in April 11 and then revealed that they will be dropping their 4th EP, FLASHBACK, on May 3. We’re very much ready for new iKON music, our playlists are parched.

WINNER FULL GROUP COMEBACK IS REAL

Keeping it in the YG family, it seems that the gates of the dungeon have been unlocked thanks to a surge of their artists making a comeback. First was TREASURE, then BIGBANG, followed by iKON, and now we have WINNER. After nearly two years, YG Entertainment announced that the group will be making a comeback this July 5. And the comeback will feature all four members, their first since Jiwoo and Hoony were discharged from the military. The news follows their April 30 and May 1 concerts in Seoul which marked their first full group concert in two years.

BTS’ NEW ALBUM IS ON THE WAY

BTS has been very much active over the past couple of years. Single drops, record-breaking concerts, and award show performances have kept the supergroup top of mind for many. But we’re sorely missing the chance to listen to a new BTS album and enjoy a full body of work. Their last album, BE, was released all the way back in November 2020. But there is light at the end of the tunnel as BTS revealed that a their highly-anticipated new album is coming soon.

Their upcoming album will be called Proof and it won’t be just any regular release. It will be an anthology album that “embodies the history of BTS.” The LP will consist of three CDs that spans the group’s discography by featuring a variety of tracks that “reflect the thoughts and ideas of the members on the past, present, and future of BTS.”. There will also be three new songs on the album. Pre-orders are open now.

BIGBANG IS BACK BABY

Few groups have helped spread the reach of K-pop around the world as much as BIGBANG has. The boy group was undoubtedly one of the leaders of the 2nd gen of K-pop. They helped lay the groundwork for the genre to be the force that it is now. And aside from that, their music was straight fire. But it’s been awhile since they released any new music, four years to be exact. But that streak ended when BIGBANG dropped their highly anticipated new song Still Life in early April.

Taking a more stripped back approach, the track has the members take a more introspective look at themselves as they use the metaphor of time to share how things and they themselves have changed over the years. Whether or not it is the beginning of the end of BIGBANG or a start of a new chapter is up to them. But we’re just happy that they’re back and potentially got the closer we needed.

2NE1 AND THAT LEGENDARY COACHELLA REUNION

2NE1’s disbandment in 2016 was, is, and will continue to be seen as one of the biggest injustices in modern K-pop. It was an unceremonious move to a girl group that helped pave the way for their successors. But despite all these years, many still have love for the group and many more have been clamoring for a reunion. Considering that all the members are now out of YGE and are pursuing their own solo careers, many Blackjacks hoped that they would finally come together as a group again.

And many wishes were granted when CL brought out the rest of the members for a surprise performance of I Am The Best during her Coachella set. The surprise reunion shook the K-pop world and reminded everyone that 2NE1 is still that girl group. Now, the only thing we need now is for SNSD to have that comeback and our 2nd gen rebirth dreams will be complete.  

LET’S BRING IT BACK TO 1:40

Speaking of SNSD, the K-pop gods and those above (AKA SM Entertainment) must have heard our wishes as the legendary girl group is actually making their long awaited comeback this 2022. SM Ent revealed that Girls’ Generation will drop a new album in August, which actually marks their 15th anniversary since their debut in 2007. To make it even better, the album will be called Forever 1 will drop on August 8. The 8th month on the 8th day with all eight members part with eight also symbolizing infinity, it just feels so correct. Keep in mind that their last release, Holiday Night, was all the way back in August 2017. So, this will be their first comeback in five years and one that will hold a strong meaning as the group celebrates their 15th anniversary. 2nd gen is truly alive and well this 2022 and we’re here for it.

GOT7 IS OUR NAME

When every member of GOT7 left JYPE in January 2021, it opened a new chapter for the group. Every member has gone on to have successful solo careers that span the worlds of music and acting. And this is on top of the fact that GOT7 still remains, and is technically still active. But after the release of Encore on February 2021, it has been relatively radio silent from the group in terms of new music. But that changed this 2022.

Hints dropped by the members, most notably BamBam, have suggested that the group will have a comeback as a whole later this year. And if reports are to be believed, that comeback is coming sooner rather than later, specifically this May. To add fuel to the fire, GOT7 recently launched a brand new logo and caption, as well as new TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram account. The group was also recently included to Warner Music Korea’s artists lineup. At this point, Ahgases are just waiting for that comeback date.

EXO COMEBACK SOON

EXO "OBSESSION" [Scan] #exoobsession EXO OBSESSION [Scan] | Exo news, Exo,  Bts and exo

Enlisting for military service and solo activities have meant that EXO hasn’t promoted much as a group for a while. But 2022 looks to be a special year for many EXO-Ls. 2022 marks the 10 year anniversary of EXO and Suho has said that the group is preparing for a group comeback. And as more members returning from their military service, Chen is the latest as of this writing, we’re one step closer to seeing OT 9 again. Despite all that has happened, the nine-member boy group is still a dominant force in the K-pop scene and we can’t wait for new music from them. In the meantime, you can check out the content they recently filmed for SM C&C Studio.  

HYOLYN IS GETTING THE FLOWERS SHE DESERVES

When it comes the 2nd gen K-pop girl groups, the conversation isn’t complete without including SISTAR. The girl group was a strong presence in the scene during the early to mid 2010s with hits like Touch My Body and SHAKE IT. But ever since their disbandment in 2017, the group has faded into the background somewhat. This is why it was much welcome news when Hyolyn was set to compete in Queendom season two. After all, they don’t call Hyolyn the Beyoncé of Korea for nothing.

In case you didn’t know, Hyolyn is an A-tier performer and singer who can keep up with the best of them. With Queendom season two currently on going, many new and younger K-pop fans are seeing and appreciating the excellence that Hyolyn serves regularly. And there’s also the fact that SISTAR had a reunion recently that was all forms of correct.

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