Korean Rapper G-Dragon Talks K-Pop Hype, New EP and Past Scandals
The videos for “One of a Kind,” and “Crayon” made a lot of noise on the viral sphere. Who is director Suh Hyun-seung? And how much creative input did you have in those videos?
G-Dragon: Suh Hyun-seung is really, just crazy. He’s a real outsider. Kind of an otaku. He’s not social. Doesn’t meet a lot of people. He’s not driven by money. If he’s shooting a video, he’ll listen to the song, and if he likes it, he’ll work on it. He needs to have a vision. He needs to have a creative connection with the artist. I feel like a lot of other artists, even though they want to work with him, they can’t. [Suh] is the type that if he listens to your music, and doesn’t like it, he won’t answer you. Luckily, he likes the music put out by my company, and during the creation process, we met on a daily basis. He has his own editing room at the YG headquarters. And when you think of it as work, I feel like it doesn’t really come out the way you want. That pertains to anything. Whether it’s music, song, fashion, or video. You just got to chill, look at funny videos, talk about what could be a good idea. I care a lot about the aesthetics of my videos. And I try my best to be as detail oriented as possible. For instance, if people only think of direct translations of the lyrics, we want to illustrate that with a twist to give it a deeper meaning. So when people see it, they’ll say, “Oh, that’s interesting how that could mean something different.” Instead of making a video that’s worth a glimpse, we try to make something that has replay values.
How are the music videos for your solo projects different from group efforts?
G-Dragon: When we’re working on videos for Big Bang, since the group’s more mainstream, we tend to concentrate on catering to a broader audience. When I’m working on my solo projects, I just do what I want to do. I can be funny, funky. My image itself isn’t all that clean cut, so for this project, I tried to have more fun with it. All the singles from the project are very different. So the director and I tried our best to highlight those elements.
“That XX,” felt very personal. Was it based on real-life events?
G-Dragon: All the songs I write, I mean, of course, some level of fiction is in the mix, but I try to write my own stories for the most part. I wouldn’t say I completely went through that same experience, but when I felt those types of emotions, I remembered it well, and I just jotted it down.
G-Dragon: Man, I could be a sucker. [Laughs.]
G-Dragon: Now? Maybe not. But when I was younger, just because you like someone doesn’t mean she’ll be with you. I’ve had many experiences when the feelings weren’t mutual. [Laughs.] When I’m on the rap tip, I could rap about sluts, I could do all of that, but when I’m singing a love song, it needs that mournful, loser’s emotions in a way. I think that works better. It’s kind of that Korean ballad sentiment.
NEXT! GD SPEAKS ON PLAGIARISM SCANDAL AND THE K-POP BUBBLE!