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.
After including 2NE1’s “I Am The Best” on their previous playlist, Fuse TV includes CL on their “10 Breakout Artists for 2015” list.
On January 8th, Fuse TV broke out their fearless forecast for 2015 as they feature the up and coming artists for 2015 and mentioned CL alongside ZHU, Bea Miller and more.
The article also covered CL’s work with Diplo, Skrillex, Snoop Dogg and more, further introducing her upcoming expansion in the United States this year. A video for her track “MTBD” was also included in the post.
Meanwhile, CL is preparing for her solo debut in the United States under the management of Scooter Braun this Spring.
Check out the full article here.
2NE1’s CL had a special in-depth interview with The Wild magazine to celebrate her high-fashion pictorial in the December issue.
The magazine wrote an extensive editorial about the idol on its official website. The piece examines CL’s accomplishments, childhood in France and Japan, fashionista status and first steps into the world of Western pop. CL was asked about a variety of topics, from what inspired her to become a musician to what draws her to hip hop music specifically.
When asked if she felt any pressure representing contemporary music from Asia in the U.S., CL revealed, “I don’t feel pressured, and I don’t want to be. The thing is I have no example. There’s no one in front of me who has done this before. Maybe there were people who have tried, but I can’t really name anyone who was successful enough to be my mentor as an Asian woman. I definitely have a long way to go, but I’m just trying to do what I do and not make it too complicated. And I feel like I have the right people around me, a good team. YG has known me for a long time and they know my color, while Scooter Braun has very good taste.”
CL also talked about making female empowerment the main message of her music. She said, “I feel like Asian women are especially represented in a certain way all over the world. The image is very timid and obedient, and I’m the complete opposite of that. I want people to know we’re not always like that. When you look at the artists in J-pop or K-pop, there is a standard: 7 girls wearing the same clothes, very cute and shy. I just want to say there are stronger women like me. I like those groups too, but I want to let the world know that that’s not everything. Sending that message through music is what I do best. I want to lead by example.”
For her pictorial, CL donned Moschino from head to toe. She wore a sexy bandage dress, jean jacket with black straps, pink overalls, print sweatshirt, bright orange halter top and chunky gold jewelry. Her hair was styled in edgy, uneven layers and for her beauty look she relied on strong, dark cat-eye.
CL was recently featured in Skrillex’s “Dirty Vibe” music video with label-make G-Dragon.