[CL'S 'LIFTED': CULTURAL AMNESIA AND THE PURSUIT OF GLOBAL FAME] part 1

Don't get me wrong, I agree with the majority in that CL's latest single 'Lifted' is a rather unique direction for the 2NE1 member's career, and it is indeed a catchy track. But that's where the goodness of it ends.

CL has ultimately diverged from her roots, completely forgetting her cultural upbringing and heritage, white-washing her career through YG's endorsement in an attempt to make a name for herself on the global scale. She does little in relating to her Korean heritage and roots, instead suiting herself with the tokenization of urban New York street culture, referring frequently to "redbull and coke" and "forties and shorties", even hinting at smoking blunts, and gettin 'lifted'. I mean...really? This is almost as bad as Iggy.

I find it interesting how once again Korean media chaebols aren't interested in creating a Korean identity within the global pop culture realm, instead taking up values of cultural amnesia in an attempt to garner a larger audience (i.e. "we are money grubbing execs who don't really give a shit about the Korean connection"). How can there ever be truly successful "KOREAN" artists, if everything that makes these artists Korean is pushed to the side in favor of a replicated Western style - from production, to lyricism (i.e. Asher Roth writing a large part of this track), to music videos. I am in aw that CL actually put this track out as her global solo debut - nothing about this crossover says "CL is a Korean musician". She has no musical identity that makes her unique, besides the massive fandom that has remained with her since her days with 2NE1.

If no one ever challenges the global hegemony, the global hegemony will never change. There will never be a global Korean musical identity outside of K-Pop if this type of music is continuously produced. Ultimately, little (if anything) will be said 10-15 years from now about how CL managed to 'change the landscape' for Korean musicians. It only proves that if you have a large, corporate backed budget, you can make a debut anywhere, making little indentation on how the global scene operates, ultimately white-washing ones background and heritage in an attempt to 'make the global crossover'.

Just because someone is 'cool and powerful', does not make it ethical, and ultimately, CL and YG here are doing nothing to promote the "Korean" in Korean music and art.

Written by Torsten.

 

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Written on August 26, 2016