Thanks to Psy and his viral takeover, the world now understands that K-pop isn’t all “Gee” and “Bubble Pop.” Universally hilarious and appealing, Psy put another hole in the walls that separate the music cultures of the world. Heck, a good chunk of those 200 plus million views on YouTube were viewers who had no idea what he was saying, but they ‘liked’ it anyway. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it is K-pop’s time to really take root in the international music consciousness. And who better to plant the next row of seeds than singer, writer, composer and producer G-Dragon?
With Psy’s success in mind, imagine how huge Big Bang‘s leader will be when he hits the radar outside of South Korea… Not only will he be requested to hit talk shows like the Today Show or Ellen, various music publications will be fighting tooth and nail for interviews with this artistic genius. G-Dragon is hot right now, and it’s only a matter of time before he takes off like a rocket. He’s going to be the next global star out of Asia, and here’s eight reasons why:
08. His Sphere of Influence is Extensive
From labelmates Epik High and PSY to indie and underground acts like Nell, Dok2 and Jaurim, GD sits at the center of a huge web of talented artists. And it’s probably no big deal that he hobnobs with international music sensations like Boys Noize, Diplo, Pixie Lott, etc.
Remember when G-Dragon was accused of plagiarizing Flo-Rida’s “Right Round” in his debut solo single “Heartbreaker” back in 2009? Well, not only did G-Dragon get the American rapper to clear his name, the two cut a remix of the two songs and performed them onstage together. Dude, G-dragon is a connection-making madman.
07. VIP’s are Serious Business
As Big Bang’s leader, it’s a given that G-Dragon’s formidable fan base will follow him wherever he goes. This is the same fan club that 1) causes Big Bang shows to sell out in mere minutes; 2) call out fan chants in deafening unison, and 3) holy crap— did they all band together to win Big Bang the ‘Best World Act’ award at the 2011 MTV EMA’s? VIP’s don’t mess around. We feel pity for the online server that will inevitably host a poll about nominating G-Dragon for some international award. It will be over-capacity in seconds.
06. He’s a Fashion Icon and an Image Chameleon
He’s done the clean-cut boyband look, artsy-strange, hard-edge rapper and just about every other look. While there are times we give GD the side-eye for his style choices, no one can deny that he works whatever he’s wearing, be it avant-garde or streetwear. But can you say obsessed? There are more than a few websites dedicated to identifying every piece of clothing worn by idols, and G-Dragon’s name always seems to come up.
05. He Writes, Composes and Produces Universal Tracks
While other South Korean producers manage to create sounds that are easily pinpointed to K-pop, GD’s works are universal in sound. Always managing to stay one step ahead of global music trends, G-Dragon’s music could be literally playing anywhere. Take for instance, Big Bang’s “Bad Boy,” which was written and composed by G-Dragon and Choice37. The track could feasibly get airtime in say, London, as much as it would in Seoul.
04. There’s No Voice Like G-Dragon’s
GD’s voice gets your attention. It’s raw and fresh, and there’s just something about it that makes all of his songs instantly recognizable. And boy does he know how to use it. Not many recording artists can switch from breathy falsetto to abrasive rapping faster than a speeding bullet, while hitting notes with accuracy. How does he do it?
No, he didn’t have a guest artist sing the chorus of “A Boy.” And as wild as it may seem to those new to his sound, both voices are his. G-Dragon can twist his vocals around in crazy ways, making every song very different, yet uniquely his own at its apple core.
03. He Says What He Wants
As the main writer of his own music since Big Bang’s “Lies” back in 2007, it’s very rare for anyone else’s words to come out of G-Dragon’s mouth. Like many rappers— Korean or otherwise— he gets deep (“That XX”), he goofs off (“What Do You Want?”), he shows off his swag (“The Leaders”) — every song is him talking. He is the epitome of authenticity.
“This little boy comes out and owns the stage
Can’t seem to like him, keep seeing him
Turn your eyes to avoid me but everywhere you go it’s his music
My pictures are everywhere, even when he’s acting crazy
There’s not enough copies to sell…”
–”One of a Kind”
02. The Stage is His Element
Some people are born to be performers. But it’s one thing to sing on stage with perfect pitch and razor-sharp choreo; It’s another thing to own it. G-Dragon’s charisma takes the live music experience to the next level. When the lights come up, all eyes are on him, every time.
Can you picture anyone else pulling off even the thought of that mustard yellow wig as swag? Go ahead, think about it….
01. G-Dragon is Ever-Evolving
G-Dragon is like a virus of awesome, constantly adapting and changing in time with the fast-paced world that is Korean pop music. This skill translates directly to a world stage as well—new things and novel ideas are what hook attention and keep it.
Even with his latest release, One of a Kind, G-Dragon expertly fits six well-developed concepts into a single package. Bold and brassy in “One of a Kind.” Introspective and bitter in “That XX.” Batscrew crazy in “Crayon,” and so on. The way we see it, it’s only a matter of time before he crosses over internationally. More and more fans are bound to catch on to G-Dragon’s potential, and pretty soon, we’ll all be waiting with baited breath for his next comeback. Is it too much to ask for another collaboration with Psy?
Which G-Dragon tracks would appeal the most to an international (non-K-pop) audience?