Leader, soloist, musician, artist, G-Dragon has proven himself to go beyond the label of ‘idol’. Recognised by Forbes in 2016 as the most influential person under 30s in Asia’s entertainment industry, and with over 22 number one songs under his name, here are ten songs mapping GD’s music history from his first solo venture until now in celebration of his Act III: M.O.T.T.E World Tour landing on UK and Europe this September!
Marking GD’s solo venture, ‘Heartbreaker’ is the lead single from the Big Bang leader’s fist solo album of the same name. Upon release in 2009, it topped charts and sold over 3 million digital downloads and the solo album sold the most albums in Korea during the same year.
A Boy (2009)
From the ‘Heartbreaker’ album, ‘A Boy’ tells the story of GD’s early days as a young trainee, his worries, fears and dreams, his motivation as a songwriter and his subsequent rise as a musician.
‘At the age of 13 I came without time to spare
the confidence of not knowing style to me was my weapon
if there’s an uphill, there’s a downhill
it’s too late to go back
I can’t let go’
She’s Gone (2009)
Another track from ‘Heartbreaker’, ‘She’s Gone’ takes a darker turn from ‘A Boy’, with lyrics and music video that speaks of an obsessive love.
One of a Kind (2012)
Released on 2012, ‘One of a Kind’ is the lead single of the EP of the same name, an album written solely by GD himself along with long-time collaborator Choice37. Well received by critics, ‘One of a King’ was considered one of GD’s best work and one of the most influential Korean hip hop tracks peaking at number one on the Gaon Music Chart. With cool synths and layered tones, the accompanying music video is a feast for the ears and eyes.
That XX (2012)
It’s one thing for GD to produce signature hip-hop YG tracks, but with this beautiful acoustic track, the leader shows his flexibility. With GD’s smooth singing voice against melodic guitars and a soothing rap, this indie-esque track is the kind you’d hear while sitting in a café on a rainy day.
A mix between hip-hop and electronic music, the title is a neologism on the phrase ‘Crazy On’ and the sound definitely show GD’s experimental and varying style. With a repetitive beat and catchy chorus, the music video adds another layer of crazy to this track.
Coup d’Etat (2013)
A French term that means ‘blow of the state’ and used to describe the overthrowing of government, GD tackles the topic of revolution in this comeback. In this case, GD’s coup d’etat is his music that gives him power and influence in the music industry – like a usurper’s power within a government. Accompanied by a music video filled with references and symbolism, sparking ideas of the cut-throat music industry, the sacrifices artists make, the effects of these on the artists themselves and GD’s determination for rebirth despite all these setbacks.
Another song that displays GD’s diversity of sound, ‘Crooked’ promises something completely different to GD and YG’s usual K-pop hip-hop electro and techno inspired music. The beginning of this track almost sound serene, slightly playful and more punk rock. This one is particularly hard to pin down in terms of genre, there’s dance pop elements, hints of punk rock and of course, hip-hop.
Who You (2013)
With an American pop feel, and a playful piano and drum beat, ‘Who You’ is another song that offer GD’s discography some variety. With a music video composed of individual fan cams, this track is a feel-good song for the fans.
Untitled, 2014 (2017)
Known for his avant-garde music, art and fashion, GD tones it down, gets up close and personal with his album ‘Kwon Ji Yong’, his first solo album in four years. Nostalgic, sad piano, no trace of hip-hop or electronic techno beats, GD offers part of his soul and is at his most vulnerable in pure, raw piano and his smooth singing voice. Even the music video is simple, with GD singing against a changing background. This album reflects upon his career, his music, his successes and regrets. We get a glimpse not of the stage persona G-Dragon, but Kwon Ji Yong, the private and intimate side of the 28 year old superstar who’s been under the spotlight at a young age.
And that’s ten songs tracking G-Dragon’s music until now! Will you be going to one of his concerts in the UK and Europe? Which ones are you most excited to hear live?
Will you be going to any of GD’s shows? If you still haven’t bought your tickets yet, there are still some available here!