Korean Rapper G-Dragon Talks K-Pop Hype, New EP and Past Scandals
So you wanted to be a rapper. Then how did you react when you found out that you’re debuting as a member of a boy band?
G-Dragon: At first, I had no idea what was going on. I couldn’t understand it. Taeyang and myself were trainees at YG for a long time. So we figured we would debut as a hip-hop duo. A group of sort. Then they decided to pick three more members, and was planning on having us debut as an idol group. I wasn’t too fond of it. I actually hated it. I knew T.O.P as a kid, so we were friends. But I didn’t know the other two members. We didn’t know what we were supposed to do, so we would just practice choreography everyday. I really didn’t know what was going on. But YG, the label itself puts out boy bands, but they don’t strictly deal with bubblegum pop music. Since its foundational core is based around hip-hop, I trusted the label’s directions. It went well, so I’m satisfied now.
How would you say Big Bang is different from other K-pop groups?
G-Dragon: These days, the musicality of idol groups have improved—I mean, there’s still a very few who actually produce or write their own music. But as a K-pop idol group, at the time of our debut, we were the only ones who produced and wrote our own music. I think we were the first as K-pop idols. So if I would pinpoint a difference, is the fact the members write their own songs. Since we make our own songs, we have a better understanding and appreciation when we perform on stage. We know what we’re good at. It’s not like somebody’s giving us a song. We’re doing what we like to do. So it helped us build a tighter world of our own, musically. Music needs to be associable. Since we’re writing our own music, we’re better at expressing our own thoughts and feelings, instead of someone else translating those feelings for you.
I heard from Choice37 (YG’s in-house producer) that you tweak and reconstruct tracks to fit your own vision. Explain your songwriting and production process.
G-Dragon: Ever since I was a kid, one of the assignments I received from YG Entertainment was writing songs. When I was in middle school, they would tell me to write one song per week. By that I mean, coming up with your melodies and lyrics by using an American instrumental. I did that for about a year. And then, the time duration shortened. I was told to write a new song every three days, and then it became two days, and one day. Since I was trained to do it for so long, writing a song a day became really easy for me. It kind of became a hobby. On top of that, I have a good support system. Whether it’s Teddy, or now it’s Choice, they produce a lot of tracks and laid the groundwork for me. I would say they do most of the work, and I kind of oversee the direction.
FIND OUT HOW MUSIC VIDEOS FOR “ONE OF A KIND” AND “CRAYON” WERE MADE!