Hello, bitches: CL is back. Maybe. Hopefully.

The 29-year-old Baddest Female™ and forever 2NE1 leader sent Blackjacks and GZBz alike spiraling this week with the announcement of, well…something…fun.

“GZBz! I got something fun for you guyz starting tomorrow 🍒,” CL announced on Tuesday (September 1), along with a photo of herself posing with a KAWS holiday space figure, a reference to the artist’s MTV Moonman Trophy, which was used for the 2013 MTV VMAs.

And then, one day later on Wednesday (September 2), came a video announcement on her YouTube channel: “CL +INTRO VIDEO 1+,” complete with an oh-so familiar statement: “I go by the name of, you already know.” (Very Legendtina “Your Body” of her.)

That’s also a REFERENCE: for those unaware, CL kicks off 2NE1’s debut “Fire” with the line: “I go by the name of CL of 2NE1 / It’s been a long time coming, but we’re here now…

“+WHERE ALL MA REAL ONES AT🍒+” she added on Instagram hours later, along with a stunning new photo of herself that’s now her profile photo.

It is no secret that the stalled solo success of CL has been hugely frustrating, especially for international fans awaiting her long overdue crossover breakthrough: well over five years ago, she inked a deal with Scooter Braun to be her manager, and started making waves with a series of releases, including “Doctor Pepper” with Diplo, “Hello Bitches,” and “Lifted” – only, nothing ever quite took flight. She starred in a Mark Wahlberg action movie called Mile 22, performed in an explosive moment at the 2018 Winter Olympics closing ceremony, and announced she was leaving YG Entertainment a year later, releasing a solo debut of unreleased bits and pieces called In The Name of Love.

There’s no denying that CL utterly oozes star power, stage presence, and a fashion-forward ferocity – she simply is that superstar, and a shining example of Korean pop excellence. Her 2015 MAMA performance alone, complete with a genuinely hair-raising 2NE1 reunion, is still one of the most thrilling performances to come out of Korea in the past decade, easily. (I still watch it to get hyped up for workouts regularly.)

With any luck, this is the music comeback we’ve all been waiting for, and her biggest moment as a solo star is still to come.


Photo credit: @chaelincl / Cho Gi Seok