Netizen debate on whether aespa deserves a Daesang: Is ‘Next Level’ enough to be considered a mega-hit?

‘Next Level’ is undeniably doing very well this year, but many netizens think it’s not good enough to be ‘Song of the Year’.

The end-of-year music festival season in Korea is getting closer than ever, with a series of major award ceremonies ranging from “MAMA” to “MMA” announcing nominations and kicking off the first voting rounds. Many predictions have been spreaded on the Internet as netizens try to identify the most deserving candidates for prestigious awards. In which many predictions have turned into endless debate, particularly when the online community has widely divergent views on the Daesang awards.

aespa Next Level
aespa Next Level

From the beginning of the year until now, many good K-pop songs have been released, achieving great success on the music charts.  It’s deniable that aespa’s “Next Level” is one of the best song by a Kpop girl group this year. “Next Level” and its choreography went viral and many other idols, actors,… also took up aespa’s dance challenge.

Witnessing the intense coverage of “Next Level”, some Korean netizens recently even believed that aespa‘s song completely deserves a Daesang for “Song of the Year”.  One netizen gave an argument to explain this statement: “Honestly, aren’t ‘Next Level’ and ‘Rollin'” the mega hits of this year? I think “Next Level” can definitely get a Daesang.”

aespa Next Level

Although the above statement is merely a netizen’s personal opinion, it has elicited numerous objections from other netizens after being widely shared. Many people claim that, despite having a very good digital record, “Next Level” is only known to young people or Kpop fans, with older people having little or no knowledge of the song. Furthermore, netizens stated that, even when only considering digital achievements, Brave Girls‘ “Rollin‘” is the song that truly deserves a Daesang.

However, it is possible that both “Next Level” and “Rollin” will be difficult to get this year’s Daesang awards because from the beginning, the majority of the audience predicted that “Song of the Year” was just a battle between BTS and IU.  In terms of actual achievements, IU is still taking the overwhelming lead in terms of streaming and download data on the largest digital music platforms in Korea.  Meanwhile, BTS has no opponents in the voting races.  Therefore, even with different criteria for each award ceremony, the online community still believes that BTS and IU will receive all the Daesang awards this year.

  • “They will most likely (95% sure) get a nomination, but they have a low chance of actually getting the daesang win at MMA, MAMA, GDA, SMA and Gaon Chart. Though it is doing very well, they don’t have enough digital points to overcome the Celebrity/Lilac wall. Since that was released in January and has been gaining digitals since then and it’s freaking IU, the digital daesangs are going to her. And as far as I am aware, Next Level hasn’t even exceeded Butter digital points either, so the next shoo-in currently is BTS, but like I said IU is taking it anyways.”
  • “Isn’t it because everyone here is in their 10s to early 20s that the popularity of ‘Next Level’ is huge? It’s true that this song has a big influence on the 10-20s, but the audience of other ages don’t really care. Also, everyone can see this year’s digital Daesang, if it’s not BTS, it can’t slip out of IU’s hands… All current data shows that IU is overwhelmingly leading.  “Next Level” has absolutely no chance.”
  • “Sorry, but even ‘Bar Bar Bar’ never received a daesang so how’s about ‘Next Level’ ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ”
  • “If only among young people, it is true that ‘Next Level’ is really hot, but middle-aged audiences don’t know this song.  So among female idols, it’s clear that “Rollin'” is the real mega hit.”
  • “If choosing Daesang based on digital achievements, isn’t Brave Girls more deserving than aespa? ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ”
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