BLACKPINK’s Lisa embraces her ‘Rockstar’ status on bombastic new single

The K-pop star takes a step in the right direction with her first solo release since 2021

A lot has changed for BLACKPINK’s Lisa since her solo debut in 2021. From venturing away from long-time home YG Entertainment, to a role in one of TV’s biggest shows, to establishing her own management company, the K-pop star has made major moves to take her career into her own hands. And in that time, the Thai rapper has become something of a celebrity among celebrities, with her Crazy Horse Paris show drawing names such as actor Austin Butler, Latin pop icon Rosalía and fashion designer Christian Louboutin.

All this has culminated in Lisa’s aptly titled new single ‘Rockstar’, where she boasts about being able to “make your favourite singer wanna rap”. The bombastic song isn’t too far off from the material she put out three years ago, the single album ‘Lalisa’, but this time around she has infused the track with her unique magnetism, elevating it beyond any of her solo work thus far.

On ‘Rockstar’, Lisa has wholly internalised and embraced her superstar status. The song’s braggadocious lyrics can be delightfully camp at moments, especially the hook “‘Lisa, can you teach me Japanese?’ I said, ‘Hai, hai’”, which she raps throughout the song. There’s just something charmingly tongue-in-cheek about that line coming from a K-pop star from Thailand who does speak some Japanese – and also comes off as a jab at those who think Asia is a racial monolith.


Not all lines on ‘Rockstar’ work as well as that one, though. The references to gold teeth, luxury brands and diamonds are as played out as can be at this point, even if Lisa’s attitude and delivery save them from cringe territory. Not that there is much room for Lisa to really dive deep with the lyrics: in its “extended” form, the song comes in at a mere 2 minutes and 44 seconds (another example of the TikTokification of music?).

But it’s not difficult to look beyond these failings when the package ‘Rockstar’ is presented in is so good. The intriguing Ryan Tedder co-produced instrumental, which samples Tame Impala’s sublime ‘New Person, Same Old Mistakes’, demands attention from the off. Pair that with the larger-than-life music video – which Lisa shut down one of the busiest streets in Bangkok to film – and everything about the song starts to click.

The elevated production of ‘Rockstar’ is a step in the right musical direction for the BLACKPINK star, who has already shown that she’s more than capable of commanding a stage on her own. While it doesn’t reach the heights of her melodic feature on DJ Snake’s ‘SG’ or her standout verse from ‘Shoong!’ with Big Bang’s Taeyang, the song does its job: getting us (and everyone else) excited for the moves Lisa will make next.

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