2NE1 might be my favorite K-pop girl group, and the group’s breakout star has always been CL, a spitfire of a rapstress with more attitude in her pinkie finger than her stateside contemporaries have in their whole bodies.
Accordingly, her debut solo single “The Baddest Female” (great title, no?), appropriates a type of trappy, spare sound that’s become de rigeur in American rap, then swaths it in a zany, futuristic sound that’s distinctly K-pop — cheerleader shouting, a chorus that will indeed make you want to dougie, a monster dubstep break and tiny self-contained hooks that stick with you even if you don’t speak the language. (There’s only one English-language callout in the song — “Where all my bad girls at?” on the chorus — but that’s totally enough.) It’s Gwen Stefani‘s “Hollaback Girl” plus Nicki Minaj‘s “Beez in the Trap,” and it’s awesome.
Unsurprisingly, the visual accompaniment is equally great — lots of neon-hued Jeremy Scott swag and sickeningly cool choreography. It’s a shame that there’s a language barrier most Americans just can’t seem to get over (unless it’s a goofy novelty hit like “Gangnam Style”), because “The Baddest Female” looks and sounds, well, perfectly global.
Watch up top.