The wait is finally over: now, three out of the four members of Blackpink finally have their own set of solo songs, with Lisa being the latest to launch her own set of solo songs. Unveiled months after fellow member Rose launched her own set of solo songs (of which she wrote the lyrics for both On the Ground and Gone), Lisa’s set of solo songs, namely Lalisa and Money, aim to showcase her finesse as one of the best rappers and dancers of this current KPop generation.
After listening to both songs, we give our review on both Lalisa and Money and see if Lisa pulled off her debut solo effort with flying colors.
Lisa Lalisa single review
Lisa is best known in Blackpink as the badass girl who excels not just in dancing, but also in rapping (though Jennie fans may contend this). It does not come as a surprise that Lalisa aims to showcase Lisa’s rap and singing style.
Unlike both of Rose’s solo songs, Lalisa is similar to Jennie’s Solo as it makes use of both Korean and English, making Lalisa more of a KPop song than any of Rose’s solos–which is still up for debate, as the fine line between pop and KPop are very blurry at this point.
Going through the lyrics, Lalisa has that typical Blackpink formula about girl power–with the addition of Lisa flexing her charms. That being said, unlike with On the Ground where Rose did have inputs to the lyrics, the lyrics of Lalisa are written by Teddy and Bekuh Boom–both being very familiar figures throughout almost the entire Blackpink discography.
The music video production
Unlike with the music videos for Jennie’s Solo and Rose’s Gone, the visuals for Lalisa is distinctly Blackpink material, with the intro reminiscent of Lisa’s opening salvo for How You Like That.
With Lisa being the spotlight of the video, the Lalisa music video showcased several of Lisa’s looks through almost all of the music videos Blackpink has made since Boombayah. There are some new elements in the video: these include a scene with Lisa riding a motorcycle, Lisa in a pantsuit, the pole dance scene, and a fresh summer scene that reminds me of that time when Lisa appeared in a Ragnarok commercial.
Throughout the whole video, the best part for me has to be the scene where Lisa dons an interpretation of a traditional Thai costume, which is a nod to her nationality. Being among the non-Korean KPop idols that have made it big in the industry, this particular scene is a defining moment for Lisa and is solid proof that KPop is global.
If there’s something lacking in the music video, it is the lack of actual dance breaks to showcase Lisa’s dancing prowess and why she is arguably one of the best dancers in KPop.
The B-Side: Money
Moving on to the b-side, Money is an all-English song where Lisa goes all-in with rapping. Beyond the very obvious theme of the song, Money talks about Lisa’s rise to fame in Blackpink–not just as (arguably) the most popular member, but also one of the richest non-Koren KPop idols of this generation.
Like with the case of Lalisa, my biggest con here is that there’s no input from Lisa when it comes to writing the lyrics. Instead, Bekuh Boom and Vince–the latter being part of The Black Label, a YG-associate company founded by Teddy.
How does it stack up against other Blackpink Solos?
Now, this is where things go a bit tricky. Even if Lisa is my bias in Blackpink, I would say that her solo debut is not the best among the three–I’d still give it to Rose, as it is the only Blackpink solo debut that broke away with the familiar Blackpink Blinks come to know and love.
While Lisa’s solo did a good job in showcasing her stellar rap skills, the overall vibe of her solo falls behind Rose’s effort because it barely brought anything new. While YouTube views and Spotify/Apple Music streams say otherwise, I still think Rose’s solo effort ranks higher because it brought new things to the table–not just to Rose, but to Blackpink as a whole.
In all honesty, YG could have chosen to not thread waters carefully and do a similar approach with Rose’s solo efforts, one where the singer has an input in the lyrics, along with a concept that veers away from the typical Blackpink concepts. That could have been a risky move on YG’s part, but given Lisa’s talent, they should have not held back in producing Lisa’s solo debut.
Lalisa Single Review Verdict
Just like the other two Blackpink solo efforts from Jennie and Rose, Lalisa and Money perfectly showcased Lisa’s talent and skill with rapping, which cements her reputation as one of the best rappers in KPop in this generation. However, I felt that the Lalisa music video felt lacking in terms of showcasing Lisa’s dance skills–a talent for which she is better known than rapping.
While I would rank Lalisa and Money as a few notches below Gone and On the Ground by Rose, I still conclude in this review that YG did a relatively good job in giving Lisa a proper solo debut.
Had YG not played it safe and stuck through a formulaic approach, Lisa’s solo debut could have been better than its already-popular status it is gaining moments after both songs have dropped.