The only thing more infuriating than an endlessly delayed pop release? Watching a preview of something that will quite possibly never see the light of day.
CL, The Baddest Female and 2NE1 member-turned-solo superstar, hasn’t exactly exploded in America as planned. While she did say “Hello Bitches” and briefly got us “Lifted,” we’ve not seen or heard anything else.
It might appear that the 26-year-old pop goddess has all but become a full-time Instagram model and socialite since her first few dips into the Western pool. But now, we know there’s actually been plenty happening with her music career behind-the-scenes – which is even more frustrating.
“I remember this time last year, I promised myself I would put new music out in 2017. I know you’ve all been waiting and I wanted to end the year with a gift to you guys,” she wrote on her Instagram on Sunday night (December 31).
“This video is something I shot over a year ago and it may or may not ever come out but I always loved it and was sad that it never got a chance to make it to you guys. Showing this little bit that I am able to may get me in trouble but it’s worth the risk to give you something and keep my promise. I’m all in.”
The accompanying video teaser isn’t just some handheld home movie situation: it looks like a fully polished, sleek pop production that could just as well be a Nicki Minaj or Ariana Grande music video. She’s serving fierce looks and attitude like Rihanna, and the song – an on-trend trop-pop banger – sounds like an obvious fit for Top 40 radio. Plus, a little bit of choreography alongside millennial pink fencers. What more could we ask for?
It’s frustrating to read that CL could potentially get in trouble by trying to get this music out. I’ve no idea what Scooter Braun‘s plan is for her: this recent clip (below) of the two strategizing seems sort of tense, as he weirdly blames her 2NE1 promotions for their delay – despite the fact that the group disbanded with one final song back in January of last year. CL looks, sounds and acts the part of a proper pop superstar poised to take over the globe. So, what gives?
This was never going to be easy, given the history of Asian pop stars in the West – or lack thereof. But with the success of BTS and record-breaking chart feats achieved by several other troupes in the past year, I’m feeling optimistic that attitudes are shifting as audiences get exposed to music that isn’t just homegrown. Slowly.