Two years ago it was made known that CL would be moving to the US market…well…shit things haven’t gone anywhere. After a flop buzz single that really only made waves in the K Pop community (not the goal) but did get some play in a commercial (I forget which one)…we finally get Lifted.
Now the entirety of CL is something embedded in problems. YG loves to play with aspects of rap and hip hop culture for the sake of being deemed as cool and edgy, and the company as a whole has been labeled pretty much as culture vultures. CL is no exception (even getting in her own trouble with the Islamic Community). My main issue has always been that (besides terrible music) CL would pretty much cosplay niggas for the sake of musical relevancy. Many non black poc do it especially when aligning themselves with black majority genres (R&B and Rap music). Zayn caught heavy flack for some of the imagery of his album. CL has a unique position of trying to make it as an Korean woman in a market that doesn’t actually have a respectable Asian representation (by respectable I mean the lack of numbers or prestige). Chaerin is navigating this as best as she can with a fuckery called YG and Scooter Braun funding this.
That being said…Lifted is actually good. Musically, the song narrowly avoids the trap movement, and makes itself a fun pop light hip hop influenced track with West Indian teas (because that’s the wave right now). I’m really into the groove, and anytime we get a little island influence I am with it. CL sounds great on the track and I can’t really be mad at her. I actually will say Lifted is a good fit for her. It’s nonthreatening and could get people that love smoking weed to support her (hey festival circuit). It’s really chill and comes off like the same music that Asher Roth and Mac Miller make (Asher actually is a writer on this so).
I like Lifted…the song.
The music video is where problems lie. Stop using black people as props. Stop using lower class (ghetto, projects) black people as props. I think the video takes a lot of imagery that CL would never in her privileged life associate with. She ain’t some nigga from the hood. She a Korean pop singer who has led a mostly privileged life. This does not negate her experiences and trauma. But she is not from the Bronx or Harlem or Brooklyn. I think the video could have taken a different direction in some parts. The party scenes should have been more diverse. It’s very telling that they wanted her aligned with the people in the video.
That being said, Method Man is fine as hell so there’s that. And CL has that air about her that works. She looks a fool, but she a cute fool.
Anyway Lifted is the beginning of a long narrative and discussion. At this point, CL really needs to take herself and this seriously (and YG/Scooter need to invest in this properly). I don’t really foresee her doing much career wise. Had she released this near the beginning of the summer, she would have likely been able to promote it at the VMA’s (a big pop culture event). I hope she can do something, and this open up opportunities for other idols to make way into the US. But as it is, Lifted is a fun summer track released too late into the actual summer.