I’ve been so confused by Project: Launch CL In The U.S. The were a number of stories in late 2014 breathlessly announcing that 2015 would be the year CL was gonna do what no other Kpop star had done before and successfully crossover into the American market—- take that Rain, Wonder Girls and BoA! Well, there are only a few weeks left in this here 2015 and aside from that buzz track(?) she did with Diplo and uh… Riff Raff, all has been quiet musically on the CL front. Her Korean label YG Entertainment broke that relative silence last week when it used some of its marquee artists to announce that CL was indeed releasing new music… just not the English album everyone was expecting.
As a fan of her output with 2NE1 and her 2013 solo effort “The Baddest Female”, I had high hopes for whatever Team CL was planning to unleash on the masses so I was a bit let down when I initially heard “Hello B*tches”. After so much fanfare, it took a minute to be OK with C’s first official release of the year essentially being a continuation of the “gizibe” persona she cemented before with a 2.0 version of “Baddest…”
What turned me around, though, was the second and third viewing of the video which was directed and choreographed by It Choreographer Parris Goebel. Much like the dance video she choreographed for Taeyang a few years back, Parris surrounds CL with rapid fire choreo and also manages to squeeze in quite a few clever moments as well (the cell phone bit, the cups dance, the transitions between scenes) all while keeping the focus on the star. Shot in a loft/warehouse for probably a fraction of what is normally spent on an A-list artist, the video works because it forgoes the ultra-produced, über polished look of a typical K-Pop video and thus, the visual matches the rawness of the trap-influenced hip hop track it’s supporting.
While it’s still unclear if “Hello B*tches” is for the K-Pop market and/or part of the effort to introduce her to U.S. audiences, it definitely gets a “yes” from me cuz 1) The video continues the trend of placing the visual focus almost exclusively on the artist/dancers/choreographer and 2) It puts Rihanna on notice; this new album betta be hot, Ri!
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