Whether you’ve been a fan of G-Dragon for a decade or relatively new listener, his reputation of producing hits and breaking records precedes him. Though, behind every successful person regardless of their field of expertise, is the people who helped them along the inclining slope that aided the person to conquer the journey over the mountain. Or, for another use of a related analogy, when the small tip of the iceberg that showcases success but the struggles, challenges lie hidden beneath the water.

Kwon Ji Yong had disregarded the odds when they were against him at a young age and because of trying one more time to get his foot into the door of the Korean music industry, this allowed him to build a formidable career on the back of a decision that made him ponder ‘what if I didn’t take this chance?’. One of which that he may have never imagined being able to possess when he was just a child with a big dream that fuelled his passion to make music.

Due to the craftsmanship and hard work, it has allowed him to be able to work with many artists spanning not only in Korea but also with popular Western artists. These collaborations could certainly be seen as catalysts that supported in his growth, which enabled him to learn from others and always to improve his own self to help deliver his effortless performances that climb high on YouTube views – as he always puts on a show that people love to watch over and over again.

For this special SOTW, we’re looking at 5 G-Dragon songs along with the live performances of each track to get you ready for the concerts this weekend! Let us know what your favourite live performance of GD is!

Heartbreaker Era – ‘THE LEADERS’ feat. Teddy and CL (2009)

For the first track featuring on this list, we’re looking at one from G-Dragon’s debut album, what served to be an introduction to the artist that was released on August 18 in 2009. ‘The Leaders‘ was a collaborative number where the leaders in YGE came together to create a song to let everyone know who were ‘real’ leaders were, both past and present in YG hailing from BIGBANG, 1TYM and 2NE1. The song featured Teddy, who was also responsible for producing this along with many other hits and CL, who freshly debuted a few months prior and later made history along with the other members in her group.

GD opens up the hip-hop orientated song, his lyrics flows naturally with the music which is later followed up with Teddy and lastly CL. They all have their own distinct rap style and with such strong characters, it’s no wonder why they were chosen to be leaders of their respective groups! It would be interesting if these three were to come together in the future for a second song!

GD&TOP – ‘Oh Yeah’ feat. Park Bom (2010)

Next up, we have the first subunit from BIGBANG, who smoothly arrived on the scene in 2010.  The duo comprised of the rapper line in their group, G-Dragon and T.O.P, their album ‘GD&TOP‘ peaked at #1 on the Korean local charts. After five years, they later reunited in 2015 with a song in their ‘MADE’ album ‘Zutter’. In each performance from the pair, with minimal effort in the choreography, they have the ability to command the stage and captivate their audiences and thus, pull off a confidence execution of their songs.

The track ‘Oh Yeah’ is in a league of it’s own, taking a step away from the general concept of the album. It’s a fun and funky song and is still remains as refreshing to listen to like it was 7 years ago. Former 2NE1 member Park Bom featured in the song, her unique vocals suited the song and fitted well with the chorus of the song.

With the performance on M Countdown, the pair are dressed to the nines and already look like seasoned artists after 4 years being active in the industry. They look natural and were full of smiles and energy in the video below!

Coup d’Etat Era – ‘NILIRIA’ (FT. MISSY ELLIOTT) (2013)

In 2013, G-Dragon was one of the headliner acts for K-Con in LA. And to make the occasion even more special, he had a guest performing with him. And that was renowned rapper Missy Elliot. This may quite possibly have been one of the biggest collaborations back a few years ago that people who attended the event to rave about the high energy performance and being able to work with a reputable artist such as Missy Elliot just spoke volumes.

Whilst G-Dragon may not have initially planned the song to have a featuring artist, it must have been a dream come true for him, being a fan of Missy Elliott, to have her agree to collaborate on a song. The BIGBANG member had said how ‘it was such an honor’ and said that ‘he learned a lot’. The song ‘Niliria‘ was cited to be an infusion of a Korean folk song and hip hop with a modern twist.

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One of a Kind – K-Con Performance (2014) 

One of a Kind‘ is quite the title given to GD’s first EP that was released in 2012. Though, it is a fitting term to use for him, known for his reputation as being Korea’s best selling soloist and also unfiltered in his fashion statements over the extent of his career. The unique thing about G-Dragon is that with every solo release, it’s evident that every aspect of the album is carefully thought out and constructed. He consistently evolves with every comeback into the artist that we’ve come to know.

Throughout his solo career, ‘One of a Kind‘ is the defining track for him. It captures the full essence of the high profile artist and has allowed him to have this persona which allows him the space to showcase his confidence in himself. He flaunts his status and wealth in the music video and expresses his pride in his skill in making hits to creating trends whenever he goes.

GD X Taeyang – ‘GOOD BOY’ (2014)

Following the success of the first song ‘Niliria‘ that derived from YG Entertainment hip hop project, ‘Good Boy‘ featuring the new subunit GD and Taeyang faced even better results on the local Korean charts. The digital single went on to sell over 1 million copies! In addition, the song proved to be a international sensation as it topped the Billboard World Digital song chart. For the 2015 YouTube Music Awards, the duo were even announced as being one the selected winners amongst major Western names in the music industry.

With a late release in November, it turned out to be a fitting way to finish off the year especially at the MAMA 2014 award show. GD’s strong deliverance of his raps was complimented by the honey glazed vocals from Taeyang. The collaboration between the two BIGBANG members worked extremely well which raises the question whether they’ll release another subunit song in the future?

BONUS: ‘Crooked’ MAMA Performance with BIGBANG (2013)

And of course for the last video we can’t forget G-Dragon’s roots, the members he had shared the stage with for over a decade. Without BIGBANG, we may not have had G-Dragon and vice versa. The 2013 MAMA performance serves up the compilation of stages by BIGBANG sans Daesang, however they all had the ability own the stage to hold the audience’s attention during their individual compelling segments all over the arena before reuniting for their dance song anthem ‘Fantastic Baby’. This MAMA video, just surpassing 24 million views, is their second most watched live performance following their 2015 MAMA stage.

The track ‘Crooked‘ has been referred as being one of his most successful singles. It’s a standalone song in the ‘Coup d’Etat’, in the sense of the chosen genre of this particular number. In contrast to the mixture of trap, R&B and club sounds of his album, this is quite a refreshing pop-punk song to listen to. Though, from the music, you might think it held a somewhat positive message, when it reality the unruly and frustrated tone of the lyrics painted the picture of someone who becomes disinterested in trying to chase happiness. And instead, he makes the decision to let go of his inhibitions and to just show off a vulnerable, angry side to him.

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!

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UnitedKpop Writer since 2015, partial to listening to 2NE1 and BLACKPINK.