As with all things in life, the success of a K-pop song is subject to chaos and luck. While many globally popular tracks do deserve their success, for every successful track there are dozens of others that are just as good—or better—but flew under the public radar for whatever reasons. In other words, there are so many tracks out there that are criminally underrated.
What’s our criteria for “underrated”? Well, the term itself is subjective and I’m sure some readers will point out that this song or that song isn’t really underrated. For me, I think any song that’s top-tier material but falls way short of top-tier popularity (think “Love Scenario” by iKON or “Ddu-Du Ddu-Du” by Blackpink) is properly underrated. And to measure popularity, I’ll use the most globally recognized media platform: YouTube.
Generally, 100 million views seems to be the most commonly used milestone for measuring a K-pop song’s success on YouTube, so I’ll be using 30 million views as the cut-off for underratedness. For a baseline comparison, iKon’s “Love Scenario” has 332 million views and Blackpink’s “Ddu-Du Ddu-Du” has 935 million views.