BLACKPINK’s LISA Has Scored a Rare Cross-Genre Hit by a K-Pop Star With “MONEY”
It’s been more than three months since Blackpink member Lisa officially broke out from the band that made her a global superstar and began her solo career. The singer and rapper debuted with a single album (a popular format in South Korea, where she’s based) that featured two songs, “Lalisa” and “Money.” While the focus was first on the former cut, which served as the lead single and title track from the project, its time in the spotlight came and went and Lisa began promoting the B-side as well.
Since Lisa began putting her full promotional might behind “Money,” the song has become not just a hit, but one that seems to defy genres. It’s not too common that tracks can appear on several different genre-specific Billboard lists, and the fact that a foreign artist, one who is primarily known for performing in a language other than English, scored such a win so early into her time as a solo star, is incredible.
When “Money” was first released in mid-September, it quickly broke into the top 10 on the Digital Song Sales chart, coming in just a few spots behind “Lalisa.” At the time, the tune also landed at No. 2 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Digital Song Sales ranking and it worked its way to No. 1 on the Rap Digital Song Sales list, making history on all of them. Its success on those purchase-only rosters wasn’t entirely surprising, as the tune performed so well on the all-style Digital Song Sales chart, but it did point to which label Billboard classified it under.
Since its debut, “Money” has gone on to prove itself to be a steady hit, one which appeals to a wide audience. The song eventually reached the Hot 100, Billboard’s most competitive songs ranking, and though it only lifted to No. 90, it managed two turns on the tally—twice as long as its predecessor.
As it rose onto that tally, “Money” also managed to appear on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, which ranks the most-consumed tracks that can be classified as hip-hop, R&B or rap. Lisa’s tune climbed to No. 36, becoming the first top 40 smash among K-pop stars. It also lived on the tally for about a month, meaning it wasn’t just a momentary success due to sales, but that sustained listening kept it going strong, as the list is compiled using purchases, streaming and radio play data.
Just last week, “Money” broke onto the Pop Airplay chart, which lists the tunes that reach the largest audience at pop radio stations in America. It’s a notoriously difficult tally to appear on, especially for newcomers, and Lisa’s debut at No. 40 (in last place) was huge. It showed that while the title ranked as the bestselling rap song in the U.S. for a time, it also appeals to top 40 pop lovers. There isn’t often a lot of crossover between the two charts, and when it does occur, it’s a feat typically reserved for only the most successful and reliable hitmakers.
Even if “Money” vanishes from all Billboard charts, Lisa has shown that she can deliver a single that has the relatively uncommon ability to reach those who enjoy rap as well as pop, and likely many others in between who simply love her. “Money” might not have been her first single, but it goes down as her biggest in many regards, and it might dictate the sound and style of her upcoming solo releases.