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Who is Lee Mu Jin, and why are fans of BLACKPINK's Lisa mad at him?

Lee Mu Jin's 'Traffic Light' beat BLACKPINK Rapper Lisa's debut solo 'Lalisa' to win first place. (Images via Instagram/ @lalalalisa_m, @leemujinhk)
Lee Mu Jin's 'Traffic Light' beat BLACKPINK Rapper Lisa's debut solo 'Lalisa' to win first place. (Images via Instagram/ @lalalalisa_m, @leemujinhk)
Tuba Waqar
ANALYST

Lee Mu Jin's victory at the recent Inkigayo has resulted in the singer receiving backlash from international fans of BLACKPINK's Lisa. Lee Mu Jin's Traffic Light won first place, defeating Lisa's debut solo Lalisa and Aespa's Next Level.

SBS's Inkigayo is a music program record chart, which awards the week's best perfoming single. The latest episode aired on September 19. During the show, singer Lee Mu Jin was declared the winner as Traffic Light scored 5,636 points, while Lisa's Lalisa scored 4,973 points.

πŸ₯‡ 210919 [Inkigayo] WinnerCongratulations to #LeeMujin for winning 1st place with #TrafficLight and his first Double Crown on Inkigayo today πŸ₯³ 🎊 πŸ‘#TrafficLight3rdWin πŸš₯ #LeeMujin3rdWin πŸ† https://t.co/1nCY6kkVpr

Who is Lee Mu Jin?

Lee Mu Jin is a South Korean singer whose first claim to fame was the music audition show Sing Again in 2020, where he placed third. His single, Traffic Light, which was released in early May, made history when it topped South Korea's biggest streaming platform, Melon, beating BTS' Permission to Dance.

Lee Mu Jin also lent his voice to the recently concluded Hospital Playlist Season 2, having sung the hit song Rain and You. This song also ranked in the top 20 on all Melon charts.

The singer's Inkigayo victory was the third first place win for the jazzy folk number Traffic Light, but this time, Lee Mu Jin faced backlash from fans of BLACKPINK's Lisa.


Fans of Lisa, who call themselves LILIES, took to YouTube to lash out at Lee Mu Jin. The singer's music video for Traffic Light was bombarded with comments from LILIES all over the world, most of them negative.

Most fans were disappointed at Lisa's unexpected loss, given that Lalisa dominated the international charts. The fact that Traffic Light was not even a recent release seemed unfair to fans. Some people also claimed that racism was why the BLACKPINK rapper had lost out (Lisa is originally from Thailand).

Some international BLACKPINK fans also commented on the fact that Lee Mu Jin is not internationally well known.

"Here because this guy just beat lisa on inkigayo and i never heard of him before."

Meanwhile, some BLACKPINK fans and LILIES were on Lee Mu Jin's side, advising fellow fans not to give in to hate and to appreciate good music from both artists. Some admitted that, after listening to Traffic Lights, Lee Mu Jin seemed the deserving winner.

@Koreaboo I really Hope Allkpop knew this. We dont have a grudge to the Singer Lee mu jin . We're Frustated about YGs Lack of Promotion to Lisa. and Yesterday is our only Hope because it's only the show that lisa will Attend.That's makes us more Emotional.Its Our Last Straw. but we failed. https://t.co/zN0W6x5yHH

One internet user said,

"I didn’t know this song or was even aware of Lee Mu Jin’s existence before. But because of those fans of Lisa, I got to hear this amazing song. So I guess thanks to Lisa’s fans for attracting the attention of international fans to listen to the song. What a good song. Gotta play this on repeat and check out his other songs.”

Some BLACKPINK fans denied the accusations of racism, saying that most Koreans don't even know Lisa is Thai, and not Korean.

@Shcrowsiee They are talking about the negative comments in Lee mu jin MC after Inkigayo. Koreans saw it and post it in pann which became trending so I guess allkpop wrote article base on that. Koreans and LMJ fans keep spamming comments in the MV to bury those negative comments.

In spite of the loss, BLACKPINK's Lisa gave an incredible performance for Lalisa. Along with her, ATEEZ returned with Deja Vu, Wonho returned with Blue, NCT 127 came back with Sticker and Hong Ju Hyun came back with Flower.


Which side of the debate are you on? Comment down below!

Edited by Sabine Algur
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