When you’ve been listening to Asian pop music for years like I have, the novelty of U.S. crossover attempts eventually wears off. You get pumped for the first few big ones –Utada, Se7en, BoA– but after endless failures you get over it and just learn to enjoy the local success of the genre instead of always praying that it’ll take over the world.

However, CL is different.

The 2NE1 frontwoman is the closest thing K-pop’s ever had to a truly successful crossover star, and thanks to the failure of artists like BoA and Wonder Girls, there’s now a clear list of what not to do when debuting an Asian artist in the States.

While her official first single has yet to drop, CL’s given us a teaser of sorts with a Diplo-produced buzz single, “Doctor Pepper.”

It’s a synthesized ATL rap track that’s equal parts hip-hop weirdness and low rent trash. CL told The Fader, who exclusively premiered the song, that she wrote it in an angry rush to get out of the studio as fast as possible after Diplo abruptly cancelled a session.

RiFF RAFF is one of the guest features, which almost immediately tells you everything you need to know about what kind of record this is. I think I mean that as a compliment since RiFF RAFF is a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine, although “Doctor Pepper” still isn’t as fun as his only real hit, “Tip Toe Wing In My Jawwdinz.”

Personally, I prefer my odd Atlanta hip-hop either on an A-list OutKast level or bizarre, cheap, and emo like old ILoveMakonnen mixtapes. “Doctor Pepper” falls somewhere in the middle so it probably won’t get a tonne of play from me, but it works for what it is: a skeezy, silly, bloggable, danceable bit of buzz to test the waters, earn exposure, and set the scene for CL’s real chart-topping debut.

  • KingBeaArthur

    I actually kind of like CL’s parts (not really the type of music I listen to, but it’s good for what it is). Where the song fails imo is Riff Raff & OG Maco. Neither delivered for me – especially OG Maco’s weak section.

    I hope this helps CL, b/c if it tanks her career, Se7en’s “Girls” will remain my fave crossover attempt.

  • UncleFan

    I only listened to about half of it before I got bored. So… yeah.

    Having said that, I still have great hopes for CL. But when is she going to drop a REAL single?

  • jizabel

    When’s she going on Live! With Kelly and Michael? Assuming, of course, that the dog that can juggle drops from its spot and she can take its place.

  • Riley Biers

    Does GG’s random The Boys US invasion count? To this day, I have no idea WTF that was all about..

    • hani oppa

      i think they only promoted in the US because they had a concert there anyway so they did a few tv appearances because why not

  • Vivienne Greatly Disapproves

    If CL wants to make it in the US she’ll need to alienate herself from kpop as much as possible because there’s simply no demand for it. I have faith that one day kpop will achieve global domination but it will be a gradual shift and attempting to rush it will result in failure

    • I read this in Vivienne’s voice…

  • Sunny

    i stan this so much!! weird how i start to like her for a song that has a bad reception among the kpop fans (from what i’ve read). CL debut album is now on my “to buy” list.


    The only thing that didn’t work for me was Riff Raff’s bits, everything else kind of slayed. This was a nice little mini teaser, I’m going to look at this as the pre-release to the pre-release. I just need her to believe that what she releases can stand on its own, CL doesn’t need Diplo’s stamp of approval. YOU GOT WHAT IT TAKES GIRL!

  • pfff she sounds like rihanna on the singin’ parts. i pass. song boring as fuck. continue passing.

  • Nicole Naeun

    Is this an arcadey blog post or a pann blackjack post I can’t tell…

    *wash my ears with holy water*