Singer and rapper CL is one-fourth of the acclaimed K-Pop girl group 2NE1 and renowned for her stage presence, wardrobe and indomitable leadership. Respected Korean rapper Tasha gives her props, Rihanna follows her on Instagram, she's been hanging out with A$AP. Close friends with Jeremy Scott, who designed their stage clothes for their wildly successful 2012 New Evolution tour, she was seen front-row at his NY AW13 catwalk, she's become his design muse.
2NE1, despite Girls' Generation and Wonder Girls putting effort into cracking the non-Asia market, are arguably the most recognisable of the female idol groups beyond K-Pop's usual stamping grounds; they've held several successful American concerts, worked with Will.I.am, and starred in a US Adidas campaign as well as critically lauded by MTV, BBC, Forbes, CNN, Elle, and Rolling Stone.
Their sound - bass heavy electro pop with nods to hip-hop - is big, bold and brash and the accompanying visuals scorn the aegyo, the cutesy cheek puffing and big anime eyes, that so many girl groups employ. Instead, CL and her band members Minzy, Dara and Bom have adopted the styles associated with their male contemporaries (including their YG label-mates BigBang) of fast cars, studs, spikes and aggressive choreography.
Last year saw only one release from 2NE1, the languid change of pace of 'I Love You' as well as stylistic change of pace but that's only to be expected from the quartet who, since their 2009 debut, continually run circles around even the style conscious K-Pop scene to become style icons in their own right.
Often outspoken and upfront, CL has become a role model to both her fans and other rappers and singers within K-Pop groups such as GLAM and EXO-K while the 2NE1 influence, visual or otherwise, can be seen in groups like Evol, D-Unit and B.A.P.
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