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Side B: Getting Your CrayOn with G-Dragon If theres one artist every K-pop fan has heard of, it is G-Dragon. Making his debut in the music world as the leader of Big Bang in 2006, he was fundamental in making the group a household name, with him at the helm of several of their first nationwide hits. “Lies” and “Haru Haru” have won numerous accoladesfrom Song of the Year (“Lies”) to being the song that gave Big Bang their first Artist of the Year award (“Haru Haru”)and both were composed, written and produced by G-Dragon himself.
The illustrious leader of Big Bang recently made a comeback with his second full-length album, Coup D’etat, and with that, this timely Side B presents a look back at his discography and the hidden gems amongst them.
In 2009, G-Dragon dropped his first album, Heartbreaker, which spawned the same-title lead track that became a hit. Its release was riddled with controversy, as he was accused of plagiarizing Flo Rida’s “Right Round.” While there were warning letters from Sony to YG Entertainment, no case was actually filed. And as if to put these worries to rest, Flo Rida featured in a new version of Heartbreaker as a bonus track for G-Dragon’s live album, Shine a Light.
Nevertheless, Heartbreaker has been unjustly defined by this debacle. The album gave birth to several other hits along with a handful of MVs. It also presented “Hello,” which featured 2NE1’s Dara, lifting the anchor from the famous Daragon ship; as well as “The Leaders” which featured the three leaders of YG (G-Dragon, CL and Teddy) in a rap track.
When promotions ended in early 2010, fans got curious about Big Bangs and G-Dragons next steps. Later that year, it was announced that he would be part of a sub-unit with T.O.P. Named GDT.O.P, the sub-unit’s mini album was released on Christmas Eve and this revealed three hits“High High”, “”Oh Yeah,” featuring 2NE1’s Park Bom, and “Knock Out.” This wave also brought on the MVs for Dont Go Home and Baby Good Night.
After that, it was back to the waiting game for the long-anticipated second solo effort. Big Bang made a comeback with Tonight. In addition to the MV for title song “Tonight,” they also released videos for “Love Song” and “Stupid Liar.” But everything was put to a stop when G-Dragon was accused of handling marijuana. His activities were momentarily halted, but he was not charged; G-Dragon came back into view when he made his ‘comeback’ appearance with the rest of Big Bang at the 2011 MTV EMA Awards.
In 2012, after spending the first half of the year promoting Alive and its three lead tracks (“Fantastic Baby,” “Blue,” and “Bad Boy”), it was announced that he would be making his long-awaited solo return. This came into fruition with One of a Kind, where three lead tracks were delivered (“One of a Kind,” “That XX” and “Crayon”). It led him to becoming the Best Male Solo Artist in that years Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA), and they also garnered him Record of the Year recognition at the Seoul Music Awards.
Going by previous plans, fans could only imagine another long wait to elapse before G-Dragons solo work would be seen againMichi-Go doesnt count as it wasnt put through the usual promotional cycle. It then came as a surprise when in early 2013, it was announced that G-Dragon would produce his next solo effort without much of a wait. This efforthis second full-length album, Coup D’etat rounds out the mini bio. So, lets take a look at those gems now, shall we?
Gossip Man (feat. Kim Gun-mo); Heartbreaker
What track do you choose from an album thats given us four MVsfor “Heartbreaker,” “Breathe,” “Butterfly” and “A Boy” and a number of hits? Between all the featurings in the album, this may just have been one of the tracks that has gone unnoticed by those attracted to the big names offered by Dara, Taeyang, CL, Teddy and Kush. Kim Gun-mo may be a legend in the Korean music industry, but he is not particularly recognized among the usual K-pop crowd.
Quite under-appreciated, this song features lyrics that deal with the various gossips that go on in the industry. From mentioning how small things get blown out of proportion, to labeling himself as ‘Gossip Man’ in the same vein as Superman, G-Dragon sings his way through. Why does he do this? Because the press finds his life so entertaining that they ‘love’ him so much; for that, he signs it off with an X.O, as Gossip Man. The lyrics are pure genius when you consider how truthful they are.
She’s Gone (feat. Kush); Heartbreaker
Is this an MV? No, it’s the video used for his Shine a Light concert and it is a pity this was not also released officially as an MV and single. The song plays well with the lyrics that are not just borderline obsessive but haunting as well. We see G-Dragon not being young and wildinstead we see him chasing after his girl in a manner that is not at all chasinghes walking, almost like a model strutting his stuff. The addition of Kush throughout the song adds an extra push in the track.
It all ends with him committing cold-hearted murder, while having a daunting smirk on his face. This really makes one think, is the song really about wanting to let go of a lover or is it about something deeper, like the obsession of the media with him? In this alternate explanation, this may have foreshadowed “Crooked.”
One Year Station; Heartbreaker
The last track of his first solo endeavor, One Year Station gave us a chance to rest our ears at the close of the album. The song demonstrates a tone thats matched up with contrasting, soft-versus-tough melodies. The backing tune is quite simple, as are his singing and rapping. But what really carries this song is the haunting effect from the mesh of its tune and lyricsit almost feels like the end product of everything.
The words tell of a typical love story, where he is waiting for a girl in an empty station. Once again, is this a metaphor? G-Dragon has often hid messages in between the lines. While this may come off as a sad story, it may just be an excellently and heavily veiled study of what fame has done for him on a personal levelleaving him alone in a place in his life, waiting for someone to stand with him.
Today (feat. Kim Jong-wan of Nell); One of a Kind
This was one of three songs not promoted or afforded an MV during the One of a Kind promotions. When the tracklist was released, this was one of the tracks I was most excited for. It’s not everyday you get Kim Jong-wan of Nell collaborating with an artist not just outside of Woollim. This was especially momentous since Nell and G-Dragon would not have easily been seen working the same material; theyre drastically different.
The song opens with a clear allusion to Nells soundmusical simplicity at its finest. But before we can get used to it and further submerge our ears in its minimalism, G-Dragon comes in and reminds us that this is his mini-album. While others may have the opinion that Kim Jong-wan has outshone G-Dragon, this collaboration still works. The lyrics may depict pity all around, but two voices are clearly decipherable, making the song a pleasant contrast from fellow track That XX.
Light it Up (feat. Tablo and Dok2); One of a Kind
The last track of One of a Kind, Light It Up features Epik High’s Tablo and solo hip-hop artist, Dok2. These names alone should be enough reason for its inclusion. With the three rappers bouncing verses back and forth between them, what comes of it is a smooth hip-hop trackthis song shouldve checked off a few dream collaboration lists. The catchy chorus, and extremely danceable beat, make the track a great one to jam to.
This rundown is just a skim-through of G-Dragons impressive discography, but I hope this little roller coaster introduction will lead new listeners to explore his work. Hallyu junkies: these songs might also be the ones that qualify him as one of the top 50 reasons why Seoul is the worlds greatest cities.
I hope youve enjoyed this weeks Side B. Let us know if weve missed out any of your favorites, and drop us a comment if theres an artist youd like to read about!
(YG Entertainment; YouTube ; CNN)
G-Dragon recently nominated for “Song of the Year” award on the popular US music website “Pop Dust” with his latest track Crayon.
In this tournament-style award, fans can vote for their favorite songs and artists in 4 categories: Pop, Hip Hop/RB, Rock/Country, and Dance.
The “Song of the Year” award is only based on fans’ online voting, so G-Dragon is receiving a lot of support from all the K-pop fans. In round 2, G-Dragon beat out Psy’s “Gangnam Style” and is now battling with British boy band Wanted to advance to the next round. Other artists including Nicki Minaj, Fun., and Frank Ocean are also still in the running for the “Song of the Year” award.
G-Dragon's "Crayon" was nominated for song of the year.
This is based on a popular US music site Popdust on December 17th, which is holding a competition between a slew of big artists for the best song of the year.
The winner will be chosen based on the fans' votes, in four categories: Pop, hip hop/RB, rock/country, and dance. The Korean rapper G-Dragon has made it into the final 8 round, against other big names in the dance category. Surprisingly enough, his song "Crayon" beat out his labelmate PSY's international hit, "Gangnam Style". His fellow contenders are the British pop band Wanted, US star Nicki Minaj and Frank Ocean.
Also recently, G-Dragon's "Crayon" was selected as the best k-pop song of the year by the US music magazine SPIN.
According to Spin magazine’s David Bevan, G-Dragon’s Crayon is the best K-Pop single of 2012.
The author wrote an article titled, ‘K-Pop Fizz Fizz: Life After Psy’ on December 12 (local time).
The article examined the astounding success of Psy and Gangnam Style in the world and what it meant for the post K-Pop acts to find success in the global pop market.
A ranking of David Bevan’s top 20 K-Pop singles of 2012 then was presented which showed G-Dragon’s Crayon taking top honors in the author’s opinion.
He was followed by, in order, Psy’s Gangnam Style, miss A’s I Don’t Need a Man, SHINee’s Sherlock and Kim Junsu’s Tarantallegra for the rest of the top five spots.
Other acts that made the cut in the top twenty included f(x), Big Bang, SISTAR, 2NE1, Hyuna, SNSD and more.
Jay Park and BoA were given honorable mentions.
Read the full list and article here.
Photo Credit: Spin Magazine
G-Dragon brings his performances of “Missing You”, “One of A Kind”, “Crayon” & “Heartbreaker” to Yoo Hee Yeol’s ‘Sketchbook’
Big Bang leader G-Dragon made a special guest appearance on the latest broadcast of KBS 2TV‘s ‘Yoo Hee Yeol’s Sketchbook‘.
YG Entertainment and KBS have had tense relationship in the past so this appearance of G-Dragon was so meaningful as it was the first time in 3 years for a YG artist to feature in a KBS show.
After G-Dragon’s appearance on Sketchbook confirmed, a huge number of fans tried to get tickets to attend the filming.
During the show, 2NE1‘s Minzy joined G-Dragon on the stage to perform “Missing You“, a song originally featuring Jaurim‘s Kim Yoona. The collaboration of Minzys unique voice and G-Dragons incredible rap skill met with explosive reactions from viewers.
G-Dragon also performed another version of “CRAYON“, with a band sound, in addition to special stages for “One of a Kind” and the unforgettable hit, “This Love“.
Watch G-Dragons performances below!
“One of A Kind” ft. Monster WooBucky
The famous magazine Rolling Stone recently brought up a review for G-Dragon’s newest single “Crayon”. The song received 3 out of 5 stars rating (photo above).
The review was released on October 10th, stating, “A smashing synthesis of pidgin rap, EDM head rush and YOLO ‘tude: The token “pretty boy” rapper from K-pop crossover comers Big Bang drops a Joker laugh line (“Why so serious?”) and a Kanye contraction (“cray”) over a zooming Seoul nightclub beat, for a Korean-English mishmash that scans like an international student’s peak-hour Facebook feed.”
However, on the “Community” ratings, G-Dragon received a perfect 5 stars, proving his worldwide attraction with his latest single.
After seeing this, netizens responded, “Finally, G-Dragon gets recognized by Western media,” “He needs to make his U.S. debut as soon as possible,” and “Why so serious man?” and more.
This week for Music Monday, Simon and Martina reviewed G-Dragons Crayon.
This was their favorite G-Dragon song so far this year. The video was fantastic and hard to poke fun at since it was already pretty crazy.
Watch their full review!
Check out the full music video for Crayon
Be sure to check out their site at http://www.eatyourkimchi.com for more reviews and their awesome adventures in Korea. Due to traveling to the Mexico and the US , their next music Monday will be in a few weeks.
G-Dragon continues promotions of his new album this week and performed his title track Crayon on Inkigayo today.
Last week, he had a special performance of That XX featuring popular guitarist Sungha Jung.
Despite not performing on the show, G-Dragon was able to take the win on M!Countdown this week.
In a recent interview, G-Dragon mentioned that he acts different when he is on and off the stage.
On the September 19 episode of KBS 2FM‘s ‘Yoo In Na’s Raise the Volume’, G-Dragon clarifies that the woman in his ‘Crayon’ music video was not him.
G-Dragon recently drew a lot of attention for his womanly curves in his “CRAYON” music video. However, during the radio show, he revealed that they had to use a real woman’s body during the scene where he was turning his back. He confessed, “I actually didn’t look that great when I dressed up as a woman. The back view in the music video isn’t me… It’s my face when I turn around but my body doesn’t look like that.”
After hearing this, netizens immediately responded, Surprising!, “It’s good to see G-Dragon on radio shows“, “G-Dragon’s radio appearance. Who was his female body double?“, and “I liked G-Dragon’s radio appearance because it was visible radio.” and more.
G-Dragon‘s “CRAYON” music video ranks #10 on iTunes‘ MV chart!
It was reported that his “One of a Kind” MV reached #72 on the same chart as well, and is currently standing at 91st place. Especially, YG Entertainment labelmate Psy is holding 1st and 2nd place on the MV chart with “Gangnam Style” and HyunA‘s version, respectively. Also, “Gangnam Style” still tops on iTunes’ songs chart.
Congratulate to G-Dragon!