I think it goes without saying that no K-pop fan was expecting two amazing rappers to comeback at the same time with a hot track boasting the same name!
Admittedly, one idol can not be compared to the other, as their style and experiences are on another level, but both of these legendary female rappers have earned their place in the rap scene in Korea! Whether or not you are a fan of the comparison, it cannot be denied that both CL of 2ne1 and NADA (previous member of WASSUP) both dropped a “Spicy” bop that cannot be forgotten easily. With addicting melodies and badass choreo, we got to “taste the sauce” and see just which song is truly more “Spicy” in the end!
After giving both the songs a listen, I cannot easily chose one over the other but one of these songs really stand on top with a sound and style that resognated with both my musical interests and personal taste. First, let’s break down the review of each song and their respective MVs and discuss just what makes each one so outstanding. If you can’t wait and simply want to know who I chose as the spicest of all spices, scroll down to the very end!
Now, let us start with NADA’s “Spicy” as she did come out with this MV a few weeks before CL. The title alone is already a magical play on words as in Korean NADA’s song “Spicy” is titled 신 (Sin) which means both “Sour/Spicy” and also “God.” NADA often repeats the word “Spicy” as she reminds listeners shes a deliciously tempting twerk Goddess oozing in spice. See just what I mean down below.
The MV is wreckless, loud, in your face, and totally lavish. Slay Queen? Ohh, yes she did, honey! The MV opens with NADA dressed in an all red gown, swaying red smoke in the air – signaling all the bad girls of K-Pop to taste her spicy flavor and come her way! This visual combined with her deep and wicked rapping after her energetic opening highlight immediately gave me Cardi B “Bodak Yellow” vibes.
The song jumps straight to the chorus and keeps things wild as it flashes between clips of NADA with her crew in the endless desert and in a dark industrialized club with luxurious centered throne she sits pretty in. “Spicy” has a very exotic beat that captures listeners as NADA’s sexy voice bounces alongside the synthetic rhythm with every “Rum pum pum” and cooing to the blaring horns.
The MV is surprisingly pretty high-quality and offers a unique array of visuals and outfits that complement NADA’s stunning figure and emphasize her well-known sassy attitude. She is doing it right in so many ways.
The fashion was absolutely designed with NADA in mind as it not only suits her boss-female attitude but also creates an attraction to her physique and highlights her tan skin and curvy, twerking-Goddess body. While a majority of the outfits are, without a doubt, well-executed, my personal favorite is her take on a Korean male soldier’s traditional Hanbok as she wears a modernized sleevless Jeogori (jacket or vest) adorned with gold detailing and a traditional Gat (Hat) that makes her exude a “I’m the one in charge here” vibe alongside a “can’t touch this” lavish status. We all know who is calling the shots when she glides her hand across the brim and gazes hypnotically into our souls. Her gaze is even more mystifying on stage.
Another wonderful thing to commend about NADA’s performane is the representation. The background dancers are of all different shapes and sizes and they aren’t afraid to show off their bodies and shake their “bad booty” when NADA tells them to – something that would be shocking in Korea’s conservative society. Many international fans feel this is again another step forward in the right direction as K-Pop grows beyond Korea’s boundaries and standards.
Some may feel the choreo is underwhelming for NADA when compared to her dynamic dances showcased many times during her idol days with WASSUP, but I feel this routine is just right. Budget for this song, MV and overall performance were distributed in all the right places. The choreo isn’t much but still has strength and is sensational, liken to many artists nowadays such as Doja Cat or Dua Lipa.
The moves harmonize to the beat, keeping up the rhythm that progresses the song’s maintained hype. The choreography is sexy and eye-catching without being outlandish and causing complications for NADA while rapping/singing. This comeback is excellently balanced since both choreography and song delivery are kept in mind.
Now that I let NADA hog the spotlight, it is time for our queen CL to step into the ring. Without a doubt, although she has been away from the music scene for years after seperating from 2NE1, CL can still deliver a bomb-ass track with a hot verse and chorus to match.
CL continues to highlight and represent the bad females of Korea (and perhaps all Asians) as her song “Spicy” is all about the “sauce” that people crave – which works as a metaphor about everyone’s current (for some continued) interest in Korea and its music. Check out the delicacy below.
The song absolutely starts off weird as a golden statue of an old man questions for a sauce made in Korea (gochujang in reality), but what artist isn’t unique in expressing their message? I love that CL refers to her power, energy, and chemistry as a sauce that drips into our souls, unifies us with a deep connection, and leaves us feeling a surge of strength we can’t resist and undeniably desire.
Being a pre-release to her album ‘ALPHA,’ which consists of a variety of CL’s independent work, I believe it served its purpose in building up hype in announcing her return. The song is crafted in many ways as the beat has a very underground feel that rattles the mind and manifests a sense of urgency and adrenaline through minimal modern intrustmentals.
CL’s visuals remain iconic as she boasts her signature dark eye-liner and is dressed for the gods in designer fashion. Again, CL never strays away from pursuing exotic forms and pieces in her fashion. The drapped head peace and all black outfits really symbolize her over-whelming aura that baptismally drips over us time and time again.
The MV itself has some visually pleasing settings but it feels to be on-par with NADA’s MV, and NADA is not a veteran rapper. So, let that quality do the talking. There were some moments where the MV wasn’t very cinched or clean in it’s editing but it isn’t enough to distract the viewer. Did CL deliver an absolutely killer choreography again? Yes, she did. Were her dancers on point in offering a colorful display of uniformity. Yes, they were. The MV is wonderful to see but the dancing alone keeps it lively and entertaining more than anything else.
The beat is unquestionably the hard hitter in this sauce and the lyrics for the first bridge definitely speak volumes about CL’s long-standing image, attitude and overall rap prowess. Lyrics like “My mood is perfect, Attitude is cold, Heart is hot spring, CL – this the ALPHA” sends chills as it reminds me of how consitent CL is in her top-notch rap game.
Compliments aside, I felt this song is merely a calling card reestablishing her presence and reminding the world the power of Korea. While it is a great message to appluad, the song isn’t as powerful as her previous solo releases like “Hello Bitches” for example. Although CL had the right flavor, something was still missing. Something doesn’t make this track spicy enough for me. We know CL’s Brand- MAKE it work!
In the end, if you’re wondering who I would choose, it is clear that NADA does it for me as her sauce is just right. This was not a landslide victory for NADA, on the contraire, CL absolute made waves with her splendid return (it was long overdue and we needed that energy!). Still, there is new energy conjuring in K-Pop and CL will be a recognized icon remembered for generations to come but she may be put on the back burner as newer groups continue to arise.
It is very much a Rihanna situation, if ya know what I mean. Fans are tired of waiting and new talent keeps brewing and bubbling to the surface. Don’t remind me of who you were, keep producing and doing what you do.
Both songs are excellent show-stoppers that have both artists stomping their foot and leaving their proud mark in the pavement. The individuality expressed in their lyrics and the strength that reveberate across the beat make both songs true contenders and wonderful additions to Korean rap. In the end, I absolutely recommend NADA as our new “Spicy” queen – but who knows, maybe another flavor will tantilize you and pique your interest next?
Which song did you enjoy most? I hope everyone can stan and support both rap queens while remaining honest and cordial in their opinion of which one they liked the most. Share your thoughts in the comments below and don’t forget to check out more music reviews here!