A tale of two fandoms: what happened between Blackpink and TwoSet Violin?

Examining the toxicity behind K-pop stan culture


Grace Huang

The recent clash between the Blackpink and TwoSet Violin fandoms reflects the growing aggressive toxicity behind K-pop stans.

As K-pop continues to grow in popularity, fandoms are increasing in size on a global scale . However, there are a number of overly obsessive fans, or stans, who attack any critics who shine a negative light on their favorite artists. 

In recent news within the K-pop community, there have been heated arguments between the fandoms of two different artists: K-pop girl group Blackpink and YouTubers TwoSet Violin. The latter has recently received a plethora of hate comments from Blackpink fans after creating “Sell Out,” a musical parody of Blackpink’s song “Shut Down.”

TwoSet Violin is a duo of Australian violinists, Brett Yang and Eddy Chen, who make a variety of videos centered around classical music. Fengyi Ruan (‘24), an avid subscriber of the channel, explains their purpose in their parody. Before releasing “Sell Out”, the duo released a comedic video of the original composer’s reaction to Blackpink’s song, with the parody as the second part of their reaction.

“TwoSet Violin is about educating people about classical music, so this was a way to do it in a very creative and unique fashion. ‘Sell Out’ is essentially the continuation of their video ‘Paganini Reacts to Shut Down by BlackPink’,” said Ruan.

It’s not uncommon for YouTubers to make parodies of a song, especially songs of an artist as big as Blackpink. 

“I think the song was mostly for entertainment and making jabs at Blackpink or just the K-pop industry in general. But with the entire video being satire, it feels more like it had no other intention other than being silly and TwoSet exploring pop music,” said Casiphia Chou (‘24), another TwoSet Violin fan. 

Blackpink’s song “Shut Down” samples a few bars from the piece “La Campanella” written by musician and composer Paganini in the 1800s. TwoSet Violin saw this as an opportunity to educate an audience about the history of the piece Blackpink had sampled, as well as address their thoughts on the K-pop industry. However, many Blackpink fans, known as Blinks, believed the duo insulted, even bullied, the group through their music parody. 

“There were a lot of vitriolic hate comments toward Brett & Eddy, but they’re people completely ignorant of TwoSet’s channel, their purpose, the premise behind the song, what La Campanella is, and who Paganini is,” said Ruan.

For me, I draw my line at harassing people. I understand being protective and wanting to defend your favorite artists. I sometimes even support it. However, going out of your way to harass others, even if the other side is being hateful towards the artist, is just hypocritical.

— Shirley Fukuda

TwoSet Violin has been the target of hate since the release of the video, with people sending death threats to the duo and even spamming the Singapore Symphony Orchestra to cancel TwoSet’s concert. Even some Blackpink fans have expressed uneasiness about how it has gone overboard.

“Even as a Blackpink fan, I really think the hate they got was unreasonable. (The parody) was clearly done as a joke and, even if it wasn’t, what people said in the comments was beyond cruel and even ridiculous as some believed that Paganini is still a living person,” said Shirley Fukuda (‘25), a frequent listener of Blackpink’s songs. 

It’s easy for overly loyal fans to misinterpret constructive criticism for bullying when shade is thrown onto their favorite artists. Even some TwoSet Violin fans have gone too far. 

“If the Blackpink fan just saw someone quoting a lyric from the diss track that was insulting the people they idolize and was angry, that makes sense. But then I guess none of them watched the video or even googled Paganini,” said Ruan. “I do think that some TwoSet fans were rather conceited when replying or insulting ‘Shut Down’ since the purpose of it is to be a catchy hype song that a broad mainstream audience will like, and (Blackpink) accomplished their goal perfectly.”

The biggest problem lies with fans who refuse to see their favorite artists put down in any way. Ultimately, there are lines that shouldn’t be crossed as a fan. 

“For me, I draw my line at harassing people. I understand being protective and wanting to defend your favorite artists. I sometimes even support it. However, going out of your way to harass others, even if the other side is being hateful towards the artist, is just hypocritical,” said Fukuda.

Andrea Yang (‘23), a Blink who previously attended a Blackpink concert, believes that there are many different genres of music, and everyone is entitled to their own unique tastes in music. 

“It’s like freedom of speech and your freedom to express your own taste of music,” said Yang. “Fans shouldn’t disrespect others’ tastes in music because there should be mutual respect.”

The relationship between the artist and fan is an important part of the music industry, but it should never be one that harms others. 

“It’s a toxic situation and another representation where fans of music artists get out of hand. It strays away from the ultimate reason that we are fans, which is to enjoy music and support other artists in the music industry,” said Yang.