CL, Diplo, RiFF RAFF, and OG Maco unite on “Doctor Pepper,” a new collaborative single that’s also a taste of what’s to come from CL, the K-Pop star who’s unleashing the freak as she prepares to launch an English language album. CL sounds immaculate here, and the song seems to mean almost nothing at all. “Diplo canceled a session on me, and I was so mad at him. I was drinking a can of Dr. Pepper and wrote the song so I could go home as soon as possible,” CL told The FADER, explaining the song’s glorious nonsense refrain. “Diplo ended up loving it!”
As a world of its own, “Doctor Pepper” is hard to imagine without Diplo. In April, the producer told Rick Rubin he was “trying to actually retire” solo Diplo material so he could devote more time to collaborative projects, like Major Lazer and Jack Ü. I think he’s right to feel proud of something like “Doctor Pepper,” an otherwise unimaginable grouping of savants. Whether with Hollertronix, Major Lazer, or at the helm of Mad Decent (block party, radio, label), he’s always been best as part of a team.
Diplo has been brushing up against K-Pop for years. “CL and I go back a long way, from the first time YG contacted me about six years ago,” he told The FADER. “I ended up being in the video for Chris Brown's 'Look At Me Now' and I met GD and Top [of BIGBANG]. I worked with them before I knew what K-pop was, to be honest.”
After making songs with YG artists PSY and G-Dragon, Diplo got CL to do vocals for “Dirty Vibe,” a cut from Skrillex’s 2014 album. “I’ve been active in CL’s first full-length album,” he said, “mostly trying to find a right balance between glossy K-pop attitude and keeping CL positioned where she belongs—as the baddest coolest female out right now. ‘Doctor Pepper’ is something that might not register that well with actual K-pop, seeing as it’s a straight Atlanta-style rap record, but the net around K-pop is so wide that it can be anything with confidence and style. Thats what CL brings to it.” Here, he let's her thrive.