To close out Miami’s Ultra Music Festival, Skrillex brought out a slew of special guests including Justin Bieber, Diplo, Diddy, Kiesza along with newcomers Kai and K-pop singer/rapper CL. While it was undoubtedly a huge stage for all the artists involved, a remarkable musical moment happened during the 2NE1 member’s six-minute appearance that no one would have likely imagined happening even at the height of “Gangnam Style” mania.
CL first hit the stage to perform her verse from “Dirty Vibe,” the Skrillex/Diplo collaboration that features fellow K-pop superstar G-Dragon, off the dubstep prince’s 2014 Recess album — an expected choice. But after the “Dirty Vibe” snippet, fans heard the unmistakable Puff Daddy beat from 1997 hit “It’s All About the Benjamins.” But what came next wasn’t Diddy rapping, but CL rapping…in Korean:
The 24-year-old whipped out the verses to her solo K-pop banger “MTBD” — an cut off from 2NE1’s record-breaking Crush album — over the ’90s beat, rapping completely in Korean for the massive Miami crowd. All while Skrillex, Diplo and even Sir Diddy himself watched and supported from the booth.
It was a breakthrough moment for Korean music thanks to an artist who is massive in Asia (2NE1 boasts to have sold more than 30 million singles, appeared on the Forbes Korea Celebrity 40 list and staged multiple tours across the continent), but is relatively unknown stateside, but worked to hard to collaborate and prove herself among some of music’s biggest talents. Last fall, news broke that CL had teamed with Scooter Braun, who would manage a full-fledged solo debut in America with Diplo, Skrillex, Blood Diamonds and more all on board. If this performance is any indication, we won’t be getting any type of “Westernized” CL, but one that retains her individual state of badass-ery and can fit comfortably inside the U.S. scene whether she’s singing in English or Korean. Key word being: comfortably.
When PSY’s “Gangnam Style” broke through in America, the general public wondered if K-pop was on the verge of making a western crossover. Meanwhile, longtime K-pop fans wondered if the sun glass-clad superstar had done a disservice to the scene so that it wouldn’t ever be taken seriously by a non-Asian audience. If PSY popped up as a special Ultra guest, it would have undoubtedly been a chance for the tens of thousands of crowdgoers to do the horsey dance together — fun, but probably not any type of legitimate musical co-sign that indicates Korean music making a place at a future U.S. fest. But CL performing Korean music in the final hour of a major U.S. festival? That’s cool and game changing.
2NE1 is not present at the Grammy Awards, but perhaps hearing their music will suffice this year.
Billboard Magazine is no stranger to the power of 2NE1, and the K-pop girl group proved it again during this year’s Girl Group Week. On Friday, Bill Magazine revealed the results of their annual polls which include categories such as Favorite Girl Group Album, Favorite Girl Group Single and Most Promising New Girl Group. For the second year in a row, 2NE1 won Favorite Girl Group Album with their 2014 release, “Crush.”
In addition to garnering more votes than little Mix and Fifth Harmony for the title, 2NE1 was also named the Most Promising New Girl Group over the other two girl groups.
Last year, “Crush” became the highest-charting and best one-week sales K-pop album on the Billboard 200. This record remains unbeaten one year later. “It felt so great,” said CL regarding the record. “To be honest, we prepared for this album for so long so it felt like a surprise gift and we think it was a perfect way to start off [our promotion]. Thank you.”
Lead rapper CL is also planning to release her solo debut album in American this spring. “I feel like it’s all about good music at the end of the day,” said CL to Complex magazine.
“It’s not like I’m a rookie. I have been doing this for a long time in Asia. It’s just a new market. I have to have good music, so I’m just focusing on that. There are so many Korean people here, and Chinese and Japanese, but they don’t have one pop artist that they can look up to. That’s kind of sad. I wish I could be that person for them to be proud of.”
But unlike earlier rumors, CL clarified that 2NE1 was not disbanded, but on hiatus.
“That’s not true,” said CL regarding the rumors. “We just finished our tour and everybody gets to take a break now. It’s just I don’t get a break.”
Break up rumors are just that, says 2NE1’s leader.
CL, the leader of Korean girl group 2NE1, put down the breakup rumors in a recent interview with Complex. She also discussed her upcoming debut into the American music market, and how she hopes to become an icon for Asian-Americans.
Not only did CL deny the breakup rumors, Complex reports that she found the idea humorous. “Everybody is speculating that your U.S. debut means that 2NE1 will break up,” said Complex’s interviewer, Donnie Kwak.
“That’s not true!” replied CL. “We just finished our tour and everybody gets to take a break now. It’s just I don’t get a break. [Laughs.]” The 2NE1 member’s long-awaited English release is in the works, but as she works on her album, there have been reports of the YG Entertainment idol group disbanding. Even though YG Entertainment denied the rumors last October, the rumors have not subsided due to 2NE1’s members solo activities.
In regards to breaking into the international music market, CL explained that she is motivated by the fact that there are so few internationally renowned Asian pop icons. “There are so many Korean people here-and Chinese and Japanese-but they don’t have one pop artist that they can look up to,” said the singer. “That’s kind of sad. I wish I could be that person for them to be proud of.”
Along with discussing rumors and her hopes, CL explained that she definitely won’t be changing her concept to fit into the American music scene.
“Well, you know my image when I was in 2NE1,” CL began. “And I’m not going to change that. I’m not against being beautiful or sexy or anything, but it’s just I have this-I don’t know how to say it-but I have this “cool” image that I want to keep.”
It is unknown when CL’s US album will be released, but she is working on it with musicians like Sean Garrett and The Black Eyed Peas.
According to Korea Tourism Organization, 2NE1’s Sandara Park (Park Bom) participated in its exhibition from February 13 to 15 in the Philippines.
As part of the program, Sandara Park carried out a fan meeting session on February 15 at the central stage of Travel Tour Expo 2015, SMX Convention Center, Pasay City. The fan meeting and special talk show took place from 4 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. and was opened to everyone who attended the exhibition.
Along with Sandara’s fan meet event, the Korea Pavilion in the Travel Tour Expo 2015 also offered skin care consultation, medical travel planning, performances, giveaways and many more.
The idol first gained popularity on ABS-CBN’s Star Circle Quest, a reality-based talent competition which premiered on March 2004 during her stay in the Philippines. She then headed to South Korea in 2009 to debut as a member of girl group 2NE1 under the management of YG Entertainment.
Fashion magazine WILD unveils the exclusive behind-the-scenes clip from 2NE1’s CL’s pictorial.
Representing Moschino for the RADIANT issue of the magazine, CL proved that she is the much-awaited artist to look out for this year as she display her badass attitude through a series of ensembles.
The clip, which was released on February 2nd, highlighted the key pieces during the shoot, notably showing CL’s professional and fun take on the concept.
Meanwhile, CL is currently in the United States to continue working on her upcoming solo album under Scooter Braun’s agency, SB Projects. It was also recently received that she will be participating with will.i.am and Taboo for the 20th anniversary album of The Black Eyed Peas.
2NE1‘s CL continues to surprise us with the artists she’s been collaborating with for her upcoming English-language album.
After hitting the studio with Florence + the Machine, CL has now hooked up with Swedish pop star Erik Hassle and indie artist Jake Troth.
Hassle is best known for his European hits «Hurtful» and «Don’t Bring Flowers», while Troth has been making his mark as a pop producer since last year, having produced Jennifer Lopez‘s «Worry No More» and Kelly Rowland‘s Pepsi promotional single «The Game».
The K-pop superstar has worked with a tonne of different producers for her solo album, including Diplo, Blood Diamonds, hip-hop songwriter Bobby Brackins, and Sean Garrett.
2NE1’s youngest member Minzy (Gong Min-ji) has been spotted dancing with an American dance crew.
On January 29, Minzy shared a link to a YouTube video on her official Twitter account. The video was posted by the choreographer Antoine Troupe, and featured Minzy dancing alongside other performers. The group danced to Janet Jackson’s “Feedback.”
The video, titled “Feedback Choreo Ft. 12 Yr Old Dancer Kyndall Harris and 2NE1’s Minzy | @Antoine Troupe” features a variety of dancers. Minzy is seen dancing during a group portion of the choreography, in what appears to be an LA dance class.
Along with Minzy’s dance class in the United States, other 2NE1 members are also spending time in the United States. Most notably, 2NE1’s CL is reportedly planning to release music in the United States, and working with producer Scooter Braun. There are also reports that CL will be working with the Black Eyed Peas and Florence and the Machine.
Minzy also shared pictures on her Instagram with members of the American production duo Poket Media.
2NE1 last made a comeback in February 2014 with the album “Crush.” The group primarily pursued solo activities throughout the year after member Park Bom was involved in a drug scandal.YG Entertainment has yet to announce a 2015 comeback date for 2NE1.
It is unknown whether Minzy is in Los Angeles on vacation or for work.
2NE1’s Dara has bagged her first lead role via a web drama that will air in South Korea and China.
Titled “Dr. Mo Clinic,” the drama centers on two individuals dumped by their lovers minus a proper breakup.
Co-starring with Dara is model-actor Kim Young Kwang. YG Entertainment describes Dara’s character as an “eccentric office worker who hides her face with a puppet mask and her long hair when embarrassed.”
Dara is hoping that the drama will provide her the chance to meet new fans all over the world. “I thought this drama is a very good opportunity for me as I can meet fans around the world on-line through this new genre of web-drama,” she said. She added that her character Lee So Dam is “very interesting as she is so similar to me.”
“Of course, I feel somewhat nervous and burdened, but I will concentrate and work hard,” Dara added.
In 2007, Dara played a supporting role in the Korean drama “The Return of Iljimae,” which starred actor Jung Il-woo. Before joining 2NE1, Dara appeared in dramas and films in the Philippines including “Can This Be Love,” “Super Noypi,” “Krystala” and “Crazy for You.”
“Dr. Mo Clinic” will start airing this March on Naver TV Cast in South Korea and Youku in China. It is directed by Kwon Hyuk Cha (“A Gentleman’s Dignity” and “Master’s Sun”).