Thank-you single to fans “Lip & Hip” is on the weirder side for HyunA, but it doesn’t feel like the hip-hop soloist is stepping outside of her comfort zone. Instead, “Lip & Hip” gives the sense that HyunA is solidifying her identity. This comeback has a flippant, absurdist feel reminiscent of 2014’s iconic “Red,” but if anything, “Lip & Hip” is even more in-your-face with its overt sexy concept. HyunA is past the point of erotic or seductive—she’s gone full satirical in “Lip & Hip,” and it couldn’t fit her better.
The song itself is enjoyable, for sure. Even so, it’s not HyunA’s best by any means. Some parts feel slightly disconnected—for example, the vocal prechorus has nothing of HyunA’s usual high-toned delivery, and because of this it sounds out of place. In comparison, the vocals in the verse sound much more HyunA: filtered through a pouty tone that implies a kind of irony or sarcasm. The melody in the chorus is also a little strange. The long, stretched-out phrasing of “lip and lip” and “hip and hip” especially has a bit of a slowing effect, which isn’t what this song needs. Still, it’s catchy song. HyunA rapping is as usual the highlight, and the production is clean and creative from start to finish.
However, I think it’s more important to talk about concept than the music itself in regards to this comeback. HyunA is doing huge things for women in the idol industry, who are often faced with double standards, especially among netizens. The “Lip & Hip” music video is literally three and a half minutes of HyunA saying, “Guess what? I have a woman’s body! Does that shock you?” In an industry where male idols have been filming overtly sexual music videos shirtless for years and female idols are still getting attacked for showing too much skin or dancing provocatively, HyunA is telling us that she’s going to do whatever the hell she wants, and that other women should feel free to do so as well. Nothing but respect for this woman.
LIP & HIP: KAYBOP OR KAYFLOP? Bopping.
Take a look at HyunA’s “Lip & Hip” MV below: