Aespa became the first 4th generation group and the 4th girl group after Brave Girls, Black Pink, and Oh My Girl to reach No.2 on Melon chart.
At 8 pm on June 16 (local time), Aespa’s song “Next Level” surpassed Heize’s “Happen” to climb to 2nd place on Melon 24 Hits chart. With this achievement, Aespa has become the first 4th generation group, and the 4th girl group after Black Pink, Brave Girls and Oh My Girl to reach Melon’s No.2 ranking (since this system removed the real time chart and reformed the 24H chart in June 2020). Next Level became the idol group’s third song after “Butter” (BTS) and “Dun Dun Dance” to hold the No.2 position on Melon. This is also the highest position achieved by an SM group.
Fans have a positive reaction to Aespa’s impressive achievement. “Next Level” is also expected to take the No.1 position of BTS because the gap between ULs (paid unique listeners) is only about 24,000. If the ULs steadily increase, Aespa can take over the throne of BTS.
Aespa was praised as a “dinosaur rookie” for outstanding digital music achievements. In the 4th generation, no group has risen to such a high position in Melon as Aespa. ITZY had a hit song “Dalla Dalla” in 2019, but since Melon’s reform, the highest ranking that the JYP girl group has achieved is No.8 with “Mafia in the Morning”. The No.2 ranking is very hard to achieve based on fandom alone, due to Melon’s criteria for accumulating listeners. In addition, “Next Level” is also the fastest girl group song to reach 100,000 likes on Melon (23 days) in 2021. This proves that “Next Level” is a summer hit in Korea.
Previously, during the debut with “Black Mamba”, Aespa was mocked for bad digital scores. However, the group has proven its potential and is progressing “slowly but surely”, promising to lead Kpop in the future.