Lisa stampedes back into the spotlight with the dominant “Rockstar” and its fiery video

Well, well, well. Is anyone surprised this happened?

It’s quite a time to for BLACKPINK fans. Having spent years – and years – frustrated with a label that succeeded in creating arguably the most popular K-pop girl group of all time, only to seemingly make that very success more difficult at every turn, stringing audiences along with a paltry number of songs, adopting a “make them wait” and “less is more” strategy into an industry typically dependent on a frequent salvo of mini-albums between larger projects, the members were, finally – in a sense – free.

Indeed, with surely a lot of money on the table, they re-signed with YG for group activities, but it still felt like the end of a tiring era. The key development was for their solo careers: they began to establish their own labels.

How huge this has the potential to be shouldn’t be ignored: now some of the most globally recognized K-pop stars on the planet, Jennie, Jisoo, LISA, and Rosé have the opportunity to release their own music on their own terms.

Today, LISA gets the ball rolling, charging out the gate first with “ROCKSTAR”, released via her own label, LLOUD.

There isn’t much that needs to be said that the bombastic, perfectly curated and choreographed video won’t tell you, but the single is a sonic punch to the face, with LISA cavorting through with trademark confidence (“every city that I go is my city”). The title may feel a bit obvious, but it feels like both a flex and a proper assertion of her position here.

Indeed, she returned to her native Thailand for its video, paying local vendors to shut down a landmark shopping street for pivotal scenes. The beat, meanwhile, revolves between Trap, shades of Miami bass, and the sort of music Kanye might make with Ty Dolla $ign were he a bit less lost in his own repugnance. It feels like just the sort of statement YG were too frightened to let her make. Now imagine an album full of this sort of self-reliance and poise. We can only hope.