This time we are holding the magnifying glass over one of South Korea’s most extravagant fashionistos – G-Dragon! Most would be likely to agree, his latest release ‘Crayon’is certainly an interesting thing to behold!
YG Entertainmentis an agency well known for their crazy and off-the-wall music videos. They seem to be a company that likes to invest a lot of money in whatever they create in order to give the fans a great visual feast. You can really see that no expense was spared for GD’s latest piece, as fans were probably expecting from the rapper that is often dubbed the ‘Golden Boy of YG’.
To get one’s “Crayon” basically means to go completely wild and have fun. The word “Cray” is a piece of Black Vernacular English that has recently squeezed its way in the social mainstream, probably partly thanks to a recently successful single by American rappers Jay-Z and Kanye West. The word is a slight adaptation of the word “Crazy”, so GD is essentially telling us to “Get our crazy on!” but has also acknowledged the fact that the word “Crayon” is a colourful wax pen often used by children to colour in pictures.
I think this was used as an excuse to make the colour scheme of the entire MV as bright as humanly possible. All the sets and costumes have an undeniably cartoon-ish feel, which all adds to the fun and mental nature of the video.
The MV illustrates G-Dragon’s craziness (or Cray-iness?) in many ways. He is shown from the very start being examined by and mad-looking scientist (also played by himself) who seemingly can’t offer him any help. The camera then zooms into the patient’s head to show that his is brain is being controlled by a smaller version of himself – tapping many buttons and flicking switches rapidly.
There are also scenes involving G-Dragon riding around on a fake field in a tiny car, proceeding to pop a wheelie only to then fall on his back. This is all without even mentioning the fact that GD is also dressed as a woman, dances with ballerinas, holds a unique aerobics class and mimics the style of Pinocchio in following scenes!
UK Potential 5/5: I really love this video; there is nothing I can pick out that I dislike. The cartoon style is so fun. I also really like that GD kept the comic book theme consistent (the Wonder Woman robe, the Batman earring and obviously the line taken from the Batmanvillain The Joker – “Why so serious?”) I think anyone from any background would love the sense of fun GD exudes in this concept, even though some may be a little taken-aback by some of his fashion choices!
G-Dragon has never been known for his mind-blowing choreography and there isn’t really much to work with here. I suppose dancing round doesn’t really coalesce with the whole rapper persona, so the only choreographed steps shown are during the weird aerobics class with a lot of pretty women.
As the song promotes the idea of going wild and crazy, I think particular dance steps might have taken weight away from that message. There are scenes of a party that takes place in the living room where GD resides and everyone seems to be simply jumping around freely, which is obviously what you might expect from a house party.
There are some great B-boy-style moves executed by some of GD’s ‘housemates’ in the video, but these outbursts are never given enough camera time for viewers to focus on them properly.
UK Potential 4/5: Western music videos are often not very well known for their show of amazing choreography. Most of the time, artists are seen dancing freely as the people are here. However, choreography is a HUGE part of the K-pop genre as a whole and I think crazy dance moves played a big part in the success of PSY’s ‘Gangnam Style’ in the UK– so it is a great selling point that is missing here.
Having said this, the choreography in the live performances of the single is a little more complicated and – as aforementioned – the song really wouldn’t suit anything more complex than that.
When I first heard the song, I recalled the style of American female rapper Nicki Minaj in its structure. The layering of fast rap verses in between sporadic electronica beats really reminds me of some of the singles that she has released in the past. There is also the stereotypically Hip Hop kind of arrogance in GD’s talk of his “infinitely” useable credit card and the fact that he is a “Gold and Diamonds boy” that had me grimacing in distaste initially.
The hook-lines “Get your crayon” and “Why so serious?” are awfully American in their nature and all the points I have mentioned are something that I dislike about the song personally. I really don’t like the idea of Korean artists making their music really americanised, because one of the reasons for my love of K-Pop is that it offers me something different to what I get when I watch the UKTOP40 on my television.
Despite all this, the song is upbeat and ridiculously catchy. It is one of those songs that you can’t help but bounce along to and smile at – and the MV has only helped it in this respect. It’s great to see artists having fun in what they do and GD shows this so well with this song, so I think a lot of people will enjoy it.
UK Potential 4/5: Songs about going crazy and partying are a common feature in what is successful here and I think G-Dragon unique flavour and style of rap would be welcomed by most UK listeners.
In the music video, shortly after GD and his friends realise that the attractive female they are watching on the TV is actually GD himself cross-dressing; the male viewers are all very shocked. However, if you focus your attention to the left of the screen here, you can see one of the men leaving the bathroom with his trousers still around his ankles!
I also adore the part of the song when G-Dragon increases the speed of his rap after saying “Slow it down” – it’s seriously my favourite part of the entire song! So fast!
OVERALL – 13/15
I really think this song would do well if placed in front of a British audience. I don’t think I am alone in loving a fun and upbeat club banger and I think the coolness GD exudes in everything he does would only add to his level of success. G-Dragon is an artist that is never afraid to jump in head first with regards to his creations and he is seemingly never fearful to embrace all that is weird and wonderful in the process. There may be some people that may feel a little uncomfortable with some of his ways and I do acknowledge that this song, as well as GD as an artist are quite like Marmite (you either love it or you hate it, right?!) BUT he does have awful lot of talent to back up his insane character. I feel that is what has led to his continuous success in South Korea over the years and will perhaps allow him the jump geographical borders in the future.
[Images Source: Google Images].