If you haven’t heard of CL yet, now would be a good time to get to know her name. The K-Pop star and lead rapper in the supergroup 2NE1 dropped a new English-language single on Friday, debuting as a serious solo artist with a song and music video intended to make a splash in mainstream U.S. markets.
While 2NE1 is perhaps the most successful Korean musical act after the viral fame of singer PSY (remember “Gangnam Style?”), their music hasn’t fully crossed over to the Western market yet. But CL tapped super-manager Scooter Braun—who reps names like Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jepsen—to make her move into solo stardom. Her upcoming EP, meanwhile, can credit other of-the-moment music industry hitmakers like Diplo, will.i.am, Asher Roth, and Skrillex. This song even samples Wu-Tang Clan’s “Method Man,” giving her some proper rap cred—and the man himself makes an appearance in the video.
The clip takes us to a super-hip block party in the Bronx, where a well-accessorized CL and her crew of impressive dancers get down on a sunny summer day. Some of her faster rhymes evoke Nicki Minaj, but like Ke$ha before her, most of her lyrics are crafted as catchy sing-alongs over a minimalist reggae-infused beat. As the sun sets over the New York skyline, you can find CL literally lifted up on her own cloud—just where she wants to be, if Western listeners are here for it.
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