Sounds Like: Bad-bitch anthems for listening to atop a queenly throne
For Fans of: Miley Cyrus, Sasha Go Hard, Rihanna
Why You Should Pay Attention: The self-proclaimed “Baddest Female” is one of the buzziest female rappers in Korea, and she’s poised for a major breakthrough in the U.S. come fall with a debut EP out on Mad Decent. One fourth of the wildly famous K-pop group 2NE1, CL is now taking her career solo stateside under the helm of Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande manager Scooter Braun. Still, she’s hesitant to label herself too quickly. “I don’t actually like calling myself a rapper,” CL says. “I’m more a performer. I don’t like to box myself into anything, because I also sing and I love to dance; I do everything.” And while the raspy-voiced singer’s debut EP is still shrouded in tight-lipped mystery, for now CL has collaborations with Skrillex, will.i.am and Diplo under her belt, plus a spot on the latter’s Mad Decent Block Party tour.
She Says: “I don’t want to take too much responsibility, where I’m like, ‘Oh, I’m representing Asia,'” CL says of whether her imminent breakthrough into Western pop will serve as a gateway for K-pop stars. “I’d want to, of course, because I am Korean, and after Psy, there were no Asian artists out here doing music. I would love to represent Asian girls and be an example or an idol for girls [in the U.S.] That is my dream, but I don’t want that to be my main goal. I just want to do something I love, and music comes first for me.”
Hear for Yourself: CL’s catchy trap track “Doctor Pepper” —written while the MC was annoyed with Diplo after he canceled a recording session — brims with icy sass. By Hazel Cills
— CL (@chaelinCL) August 17, 2015