“Say LALISA love me” is taking over


Graphic courtesy of Pranjali Pabbu

M. H. Noman, Contributing Writer

It’s the moment that all BLACKPINK fans (BLINKS) have been waiting for: BLACKPINK Lisa dropped her first independent single, “LALISA”, on Sept. 10 under YG Entertainment. The single consists of two tracks, the title track “LALISA” and a B-side track, “MONEY”. Both written and produced by Korea’s top songwriters and producers Teddy, Bekuh Boom, and Vince.

In one day, her solo music video, “LALISA”, reached 95 million views; however, the album’s message wasn’t as powerful as the singer. 

Lisa was the third member of BLACKPINK to make a solo debut. Earlier this year, BLACKPINK’s main vocalist, Rosè, released her first solo album, “R”, and in 2018 BLACKPINK’s main rapper, Jennie, released her first solo single, “SOLO”. However, the amount of creativity and individualism in Lisa’s music video makes her debut more personalized and different than the other members. “LALISA” is a self-referential track where Lisa comes out to the world not only as a BLACKPINK’s second rapper, main dancer, and maknae (youngest member of the group) but also as a powerful woman and soloist singer. 

When asked about her decision of naming the album after herself in a VLIVE countdown prior to the album’s release, Lisa says, “I wanted to show my true self in the album. That’s why the album includes Thai instruments, outfits and props on the sets.”

Compared to the title track, “MONEY” is a disappointment. This bad girl persona that Lisa presents about herself in this song doesn’t match her real life characteristics, one of them being a humble kpop idol. This song is nowhere close to Lisa’s potential and exuberance that she showed BLINKS in the past five years. Since BLACKPINK’s debut, Lisa has been showing BLINKS her cute eccentric personality and with her stylist help, Lisa looked like an innocent member of the group. But with this song, Lisa shows an arrogant personality, one that BLINKS aren’t used to. She, no doubt, worked very hard on the song, and the beat was addictive; however, the lyrics were disappointing. It’s true that the whole idea of the album is veering towards self love; however, with lyrics like “Dolla bills Dolla bills/ Keep on fallin for me I love the way it feels/ I came here to Drop some money/ Dropping all my money” BLINKS can feel haughtiness, not self love.  It would have been better if she just stuck with one song for her debut instead of two.

If we compare “LALISA” and “MONEY”, “LALISA” is more exciting, meaningful, and represents the true Lalisa Manobal. That being said, Lisa is from Thailand, not Korea, so it was very hard for her to be accepted in the K-pop world for a while due to her Thai features. Throughout her five year journey with BLACKPINK, Lisa’s Korean improved and she became more accepted in the kpop industry. By releasing “LALISA”, she’s basically showing the world what she’s capable of.

Overall, unlike “MONEY”, “LALISA”gained a lot of popularity and success. This is only the beginning for Lisa, and BLINKS can confidently support her throughout this journey.