Waifu Wednesday: CL

CL-2015

Lee Chae-rin (better known as CL) is a South Korean idol singer, rapper and dancer. She is best known for being the leader and main rapper of K-Pop giant 2NE1 and the probable hybrid fever dream of Jeremy Scott and Skrillex.

I’m not sure if it’s possible to have a conversation about the future of K-Pop’s western success without talking about CL. The woman stands at a unique cross-section of being the leader of one of K-Pop’s most recognizable groups while also having enough crossover appeal to attract the likes of Diplo and Skrillex (having the ability to speak Korean, French, Japanese and English surely doesn’t hurt CL’s worldwide appeal either). She has been able to cultivate a brand and image -partially thanks to 2NE1’s bombastic concepts and mostly thanks to how much she owns the group’s swagger – that has allowed her to be much more daring in her pursuits than the average K-Pop soloist. It’s not always smooth and sometimes it’s ugly (I will never defend “Dr.Pepper”) but there is an in-your-face quality that CL brings to everything that she does that is undeniably captivating. She is practically the physical embodiment of fashionista “fierce.”

And, much to my surprise and chagrin, CL hasn’t been featured in this weekly segment yet so now, with the recent release of the enjoyable banger “Hello Bitches”, seems as a good a time as any to celebrate K-Pop’s self-professed Baddest Female.

Her:

CL is so flawless that she is wrecking heaven’s grading curve.

cl instyle

Royalty.

CL’s hotness could sunburn Superman.

cl hello bitches

This may be my favorite photo, ever.

CL’s star power can be seen by the naked eye from space.

cl 343245345

Leader and visionary.

CL spits hotter fire than Daenerys’ three dragons.

cl 34454365675456

The gawdess makes pink overalls seem fierce.

CL is so amazing that she parts oceans, not seas.

cl gif

On the throne of life.

Me:

Lawd baby

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6 comments

  1. There are only two other female K-pop artists I could ever see crossing over to success in the West. Ailee is obvious as she is American to begin with and clearly has the voice. Hyorin has the singing chops, rap ability, dancing skills, and some of CL’s moxie. Hyorin lacks the conversational English skills of the other two, but could likely learn quickly if a label was ever serious about her debuting over here. She already sings very well in English, so that isn’t a problem for her, it would be a matter of learning to actually speak the language well enough to be interviewed without being dependent on a translator. All three of these women could make it with the right American label backing and the right songs.

    It’s likely good that CL’s US debut isn’t being rushed. She will get one good shot and it needs to be a good one.

    1. I agree with you on Hyorin (and if she went with that spelling instead of Hyolin). She has a lot of potential over here in the US, especially if she started featuring on major rappers songs like R&B singers did back in the late 90s/00s.

  2. “It’s likely good that CL’s US debut isn’t being rushed. She will get one good shot and it needs to be a good one.”

    While I love CL, that train has already left town. She had her shot, and for whatever reason, nothing.

    1. Perhaps it has left the station. I’d be curious what went south if that was the case as she has as much talent as many of the other stars in pop music in the US and had the backing of someone who wasn’t a complete no name without a track record of making money of the labels. One wonders if the bias that still exists in the recording industry in the US against Asians played a part, whether poor decisions were made on people for her to work with, whether something as bad as Dr. Pepper should have ever seen the light of day for an artist that needed to be taken seriously, or whether YG interfered, or CL wasn’t really ready for what a US debut would entail.

      Hopefully she still has a shot, but as time passes, it does look less and less certain.

  3. apirela89 · · Reply

    Hi there – I was wondering if you planned on doing a review of Hello Bitches? Most reviews I find either swing in the simple “this song is great, CL is gonna take over, she’s the new pop God!!!” direction, or the dismissive “this song sucks sweaty hairy monkey balls” direction, and I would really like a fuller breakdown of what works in the song, what doesn’t work, and whether or not it’s a good lead in for her debut. I really like the way you review, so I thought I would ask :). Thanks!

    1. I will probably try to do that one tomorrow if time permits.

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