CLC Serves Ladies' Code Junior Realness With Flawless 'Pepe' Debut
Ridiculously Catchy Ladies' Code Jnr.Fresh ConceptTalent-dols
Unmemorable MembersHaunted By Ladies' Code?
4.5Overall Score
Reader Rating 10 Votes

I’m a big fan of Cube artists like Phominnit, G-String, Rainonmyface, and G2kwang, but I felt no excitement for the launch of the label’s new girl group, CLC (short for Crystal Clear).

I think it was because Cube’s pre-debut promotional strategy was to have CLC busking around Seoul pretending to be a band, kind of like what AOA used to before they realized that shaking their ass to generically catchy Brave Brothers’ productions was the true path to superstardom in the K-pop world.

With my expectations so low, I was doubly blown away when CLC launched last week with one of the strongest female debuts in years.

It’s usually a given in K-pop that most retro songs are going to be great, but CLC’s first single, the Duble Sidekick-produced “Pepe,” is REALLLLLY great. I can’t get it out of my head and I literally can’t sit still when it’s on. I’m sitting in front of my laptop with headphones jammed in my ears bopping around and doing stupid aegyo moves while I’m trying to type this shit up.

I have no idea what the fuck “Pepe” means outside of it being the name of Madonna’s slave in the iconic Swept Away, but the chorus of “Hubiruae pepe pepe ooh cha!” is the kind of universally catchy hook that anybody anywhere can sing along to, like Kylie’s “La la la” or T-ara’s “Lovey dovey dovey, oh oh oh!” Maybe if they played it on the West Bank the Israelis and Palestinians could sing it together and become friends. #WorldPeace #MusicHeals

CLC’s live performances have been so on point (I refuse to say on fleek), with perfect choreography and lots of live vocals to show that the group can really sing. (Without question, CLC’s live stages trump both Lovelyz and Red Velvet.) The entire thing really reminds me of when Ladies’ Code debuted and blew everybody away with the impeccable performances of their flawless first single “Bad Girl.”

It’s like Ladies’ Code spawned a little sister group. Girls’ Code? There’s so many similarities between the two groups, from their sassy retro sound to their talent and number of members.

So yeah, CLC are great, but what isn’t lately? I’m loving all the rookies these days, from G-Spot and 1Punch to Lovelyz and Red Velvet. The only group I thought was trash was SONAMOO, but even they ended up growing on me.

Yay for K-pop!

  • KingBeaArthur

    10/10 from top to bottom! Strongest debut in ages imo.


    I’m thoroughly impressed with all the rookie girl group debuts this year but CLC is by far my favorite. I CAN’T STOP PLAYING THIS SONG! They are so sassy and cute, I think they’re the perfect addition to the Cube family.

    Initially I teared up watching the mv for Pepe because of the similarities to Slaydies Code, but they killed it. The choreo, styling, and live perfs are all ON FLEEK. Lol. The main vocalist is my bias cuz she looks like a white girl, the rapper REALLY impressed me, and the Thai girl is super cute.

    The mini album was kinda meh but I love the last song, I think it’s called Open Window or something. I’m not really a ballad person but this one had some real emotion to it and I like the ghostlike backing vocals. Anyway, I’m excited to see what they do next!

  • Marshmellow

    Sweet Jeesus, that rap is so addictive with just the right balance of sassy and cute. Sorn is so beautiful and unique compared to all other idols. Only thing i didnt like was the fact they changed the dance for the music shows cus Rain choreographed a new dance that is actually waayyy shittier. He even incorparated the stinky Sistar Diaper dance!!! WHY.

  • Vivienne Greatly Disapproves

    Lmao I can’t with Seungyeon, she’s looks atrocious

  • oneclearnight

    rookie girl groups are slaying rn. boy bands need to step up.

    everything about this debut is amazing!!! the song is so good. plus they seem really strong vocally. impressive.

    • i was gonna comment that, asking if it was so or just because i don’t care about boy bands and am not paying attention.

    • I’m kinda glad that girl groups are coming to the forefront again, for a while it was only boy groups and 2nd wave girl groups that had any impact.

  • show music core’s camera men were DRUNKER than usual, it’s impossible to see a performance that way.

  • Db

    I wasn’t that impressed with this debut to be honest. The song sounds too much like 4minute What’s Your Name and What Are You Doing Today.

    The group certainly shows some promise so I hope they will get better songs in the future.

  • I went in this expecting not to like them, and ended up getting their mini before the video finished the first time I watched it.

  • Nana’s Disco Stick

    apart from the song being f*ckin’ catchy, the fact that PEPE actually means PUSSY in Tagalog (the Philippines’native language) takes the girls’ debut to a whole new level

  • roelm

    I like the song. It has that ’60s drumbeat and a piece of ’70s sound effects (the Star Wars laser beam sound-alike). I agree that they give off something of a Ladies’ Code vibe and a bit of the Wonder Girls too. Their main vocalist reminds me of Rainbow’s Jaekyung though, appearance-wise.

  • yosafbridge

    Their main vocal and leader Seung Hee reminds me of EXID’s Hani with her bangs and Western/mixed look.

  • Suzy Sooyoung

    this song is so cute I love it!