Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wopping Wednesday: G-Dragon

Yay, now I can explain why this is called "Wopping Wednesday"! (Um...I'm not sure why I am excited about that...)

I find this picture amusing, if only because
it snowed in the town where I live...
But just imagine - if it hadn't been for my friend, Jang Yi, talking about Big Bang, and my curiosity getting the better of me, none of this would have been possible. This guy and the group he leads wouldn't have grown on me, and I never would have started all of this K-pop and Kdrama obsessing.

Granted, IU (and a tiiiiiiiny bit of T-ara and f(x)) helped, but this post is about G-Dragon, the leader of Big Bang, so it's time to talk about G-Dragon. (Despite him basically being my friend's bias, I think, I probably will never show her this post :P)

On August 18, 1988, the icon was born. He has a lot of experience in music, dating all the way back to being a member of the short-lived group called Lula Lula as a five-year-old (probably six in Korea-age terms...). When he was eight (nine...), he was scouted by SM Entertainment - I know, it's hard to believe - and he trained there for five years in dance. During that time, he was introduced to Wu-Tang Clan, an American rap group that debuted in 1992, and he became interested in rap as a result.

Thank goodness for that!

Kwon Ji Yong rapped in the album Daehanmingook Hip-Hop Flex  in 2001, becoming the youngest Korean rapper to debut. After becoming a trainee at YG Entertainment, and having to be sort of like a stereotypical company intern, he and Dong Young Bae (a.k.a. Taeyang) were intended to debut as the rap duo GDYB.

By the way, for those who don't know, his stage name is G-Dragon because "G" sounds like "Ji," the first syllable of his name, and "Yong" means "Dragon."

I wonder who the person was who came up with that name. I really do.

Anyway, instead of the two debuting as a duo, they were kept around until they debuted with the rest of the Big Bang family in 2006. The group grew increasingly successful, especially with some of the songs G-Dragon took part in the writing processes for. (He can write some catchy songs, that man.) 

In 2009, he released his first solo album, Heartbreaker. It features some good songs, but it also spawned the song that creeps me out the most amongst all of his solo songs: "Breathe". I like the song, don't get me wrong; but... *shudders* I never should have watched that music video. His cheesy smile scarred me. The album also faced controversies over plagiarism involving the singles "Heartbreaker" and "Butterfly," but those were resolved. And then, even more controversy --

Okay, this guy is a very controversial figure, by K-pop standards... Let's just agree on that. (I'm not going to bring up the marijuana thing, because I'm sure that topic was exhausted the first time around. The same goes for the concert-obscenity allegations for his Shine a Light concert.)

Then, he and fellow Big Bang bandmate T.O.P released GD & T.O.P together in 2010, before Big Bang's comeback in 2011.

G-Dragon returned to the solo music scene with another popular album, One of a Kind, in 2012, and then with Coup D'etat just a little over two months ago.

That's a very rough overview, because I could also ramble on about his fashion and his incessant need to dye his hair more than is necessary - and healthy. 

Honestly, this man's going to go bald early on in life. 

But I've bored the few people who've clicked on this post enough already. Let's just get on with the music, shall we?

Let's start off with his first single as a soloist (not counting his solo songs from the group albums...) with "Heartbreaker" from...Heartbreaker. Whether or not this song annoys me really depends on what I'm okay with hearing at the time. This is a catchy song - duh, it's G-Dragon - I'll admit that much. The really depends on your taste. I enjoy listening to it, but for me, it's one of those "it sounds so bad that it just sounds absolutely amazing" choruses. The way he says "heartbreaker" slightly annoyed me the first few times I heard the song, but I just fool myself into thinking of the chorus as amusing. 

Plus, whenever I listen to the beginning, I just want to say it along with him, because the man has a way of saying words in a way I'd never think of saying them.

For the more visually-artistic people out there, the video for "Butterfly" is pretty interesting to watch. Even if you're not one of those people (ha ha ha, I'm not an artist.), this is a nice video. The song is also nice and calm. It's sweet...

Oh, he's so pretty... *currently watching "Butterfly"*

This song is also calm. The lyrics are sad, and so is the overall tone of the song. When I listen to the other audio, which has Sky Ferreira singing in English instead of Jennie Kim, I like the female part a tad less. Ferreira doesn't necessarily do badly, but the way she puts emotion into the song just makes her voice sound a little less appealing to me. (I think it's because of how...clenched up *shrug* her voice sounds, but she still doesn't sound that bad, I guess.) Even so, I really like the soft, subtle melancholy of "Black".

I love this song, and I really don't know why. :P (Oh, hello there again, Jennie Kim. Long time, no see.) 

...I just honestly love this song. "That XX" is one of my favorite songs from One of a Kind, even from his whole career, maybe.

Aish, I just realized that there are so many songs I want to put into this post, but I try to limit the number of songs down to about 4-6, so...yeah.

This sad, sad so fun to sing. Dude, this song is just really catchy. It took me by surprise when I first listened to it, but "Crooked" has quickly broke its way down into my heart.

Anyway, I can't include every G-Dragon song, so I might as well make the last song the explanation song for why these posts are called "Wopping Wednesdays"...

But let me say this: Missy Elliot's lyrics are interesting to listen to. At first, I didn't really care for hearing her, but now I'm okay with her.

"Wop, wop, wop, wop, wop, wop, drop it like"

And there's my explanation. It's quite a letdown, isn't it?

You know, it's very strange for me to say that I'm a G-Dragon fan. Within the realm of K-pop, I never imagined that I would come to dislike rap so much less. Granted, I still hate it with a passion in Western music, as I often couldn't stand the music my brother sometimes played in his car when I rode with him to our school last year. My opinion of rap has been that it's mostly about sex, or if you're someone like Eminem, painful life experiences and some motivational stuff. Not that I'm ever going to put any effort into becoming an Eminem fan. 

Korean rap is sometimes about love, fun, pain, among other things. But the lyrics are rarely as...dirty as Westerners'. Oh, I'm aware that there's some dirty K-pop out there right now. However, the infrequency of overly sex-ified songs and music videos, plus charisma that rappers such as G-Dragon and T.O.P bring to the spoken word, makes me not as...abhorrent as I was before. Not that I'm every going to put any effort into liking Western rap. That ship sailed years ago.


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