CL Hwa 5 Star Alpha

CL Announces Her Long-Awaited Debut & Performs on ‘The Late Late Show’

After years of famine, the GZBz are finally being fed – stuffed, in fact.

CL is well and truly back once and for all, and she’s such a damn (5) star.

After providing a small taste of what was to come with “Post Up” in September, the 29-year-old 2NE1 superstar and forever The Baddest Female™ is really, truly, honestly making a comeback – this time with not one, but two new singles, a performance on The Late Late Show With James Corden, performance videos…and yes, a debut studio album.

Hello, bitches: the Mugunghwa flower has bloomed.

After months (nay, years) of delays and setbacks stalling her long-deserved solo shine, CL is finally ready to fuck shit up with her debut studio album, the appropriately titled Alpha, due to drop on November 30.

Ahead of the album’s release, she just dropped two singles: “HWA” and “5 Star,” then marked the occasion with a reunion with James Corden, with whom she made history as the first-ever K-Pop artist to perform on his show four years ago with “Lifted.”

Not only did she look expensive and sleek during their brief exchange, but she (unsurprisingly) tore it up with a very special, socially distanced performance oozing with charisma – and one very cool, colorful jacket – at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul, South Korea. It was a major performance, providing all the power and confidence of an industry vet that she is. The dramatic cape throw, strut and declaration of “I’M BAAAAACK!” at the very beginning of the performance alone – a pearl-clutching moment.

The song’s also a banger, with a too-cool chorus that almost provides a hint of Uffie circa “ADD SUV.” Anyone else get that vibe?

The lyrics are, reliably, the stuff of a true Queen who isn’t afraid to brag a bit: “Haters gon hate I never change my attitude / Envy and jealousy are the shadow of success / C to the L, the mother of Korean culture,” she declares. Bow down.

And if you’re looking to memorize the choreography, she’s also supplied a fire (literally) dance performance video. Go on: you’re not doing anything else locked up at home. And that’s not all: an official music video is coming over the weekend, too.

CL shows off her softer, sexier side on “5 STAR,” a trap-tinged midtempo that provides a nice balance to the “Hello Bitches” vibe of her cocky lead banger: “I can’t stop thinkin’ about you / 5 stars every time that you come through / Oh my god, I must be crazy / Oh my god, can’t get enough,” she swoons and croons on the lovesick tune.

All of this comes at the same time as CL announces the launch of what is essentially her very own agency, Very Cherry.

“Established in 2020, ‘Very Cherry’ marks the beginning of a new era for CL: fun, creatively-free and the start of something brand new. An all-compassing brand in itself, ‘Very Cherry’ was born with the idea of creating a core team that has been ‘cherry-picked’ for CL and by CL. Borrowing from Korea’s traditional all-in-one company system and the United States system of specialization, the new venture fosters collaboration without limitations, across various ventures, from fashion to video and beyond. As it grows, ‘Very Cherry’ seeks to become a positive influence on art and freedom of expression,” the official website declares.

There’s also new merch, including a CL face mask (need) and a dad hat (also need).

After years of famine, the GZBz are finally being fed – stuffed, in fact. It’s more than about time, and I’m so proud of CL for breaking down boundaries and pushing through to get to this moment. It’s been a long time coming, but she’s here now, and she’s about to set the roof on…well, you already know.

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Photo credit: @ChaelinCL

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