[Review] HINAPIA have the novelty & concept down, though “Drip” just a solid debut

Second chances are rare in K-pop, but for four of PRISTIN‘s ex-members (Eunwoo, Minkyeung, Gyeongwan, and Yaebin), a new opportunity has emerged in the form of girl group HINAPIA. However, this debut comes from a much smaller entertainment company in RSB Entertainment. Judging from the low-budget music video, resources are limited. Nevertheless, “Drip” arrives with its fair share of post-PRISTIN hype.

When it comes to the actual song, I think I like the idea of it better than the final product. Girl group concepts have been fairly polarized this year, often leaning toward a quirky-cute sound or heavy, BLACKPINK-esque banger. There’s so much to explore between those two extremes, and that middle ground tends to produce my favorite girl group material. “Drip” slots within this gray area, though it doesn’t do a particularly convincing job of it.

To be fair, the song’s gunshot samples and lyrics about being a “gangster” veer closer to BLACKPINK territory, but the delivery of “Drip” is refreshingly direct. Even though its concept demands a certain level of badassery, there are plenty of melodic bits to soften what could have been an overly harsh aesthetic.

I like the track’s percolating beat, which bolsters the entire instrumental without ever steering off course. However, “Drip” is frustratingly short on hooks. The titular chorus is catchy, but too one-note to leave much of an impression. The verses engage well with the production, but feel more like a support than a driving force. It all comes together to forge a decent debut, held aloft by the novelty of seeing these long-lost performers back in action.


IATFB says: Well, I like the concept in terms of direction going forward. Though for something that really doesn’t feel like a debut as much as a re-branding, I did expect better out of the gate.

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