Happy birthday G-DRAGON !
On this 18th of August 2021, the singer of BIGBANG, G-DRAGON celebrates his 33nd birthday. On this occasion, we propose you a retrospective of his long career.
Name : Kwon Ji yong – 권지용
Stage name : G-Dragon
Birth Date : August 18, 1988
Place of Birth : Seoul
Height : 177 cm
Blood type : A
Astrological signs : Dragon/ Leo
Talents : rap, singing, dancing, beatbox, composer/producer.
KWON JIYONG developed an interest in the world of entertainment at a very young age, as his singing career began in 1996. At the age of 8, he joined the children’s group LITTLE ROORA.
After the end of the contract by their record company, JIYONG does not give up his dream of lights. While participating in a dance contest during a family ski trip. SM Entertainment noticed his potential. The agency decides to integrate him in its young recruits and to specialize him in dance. But the young boy already knew what he wanted, and he wanted to sing. So he left SM Entertainment after five years of training.
At 12 years old, the future G-DRAGON, will discover a group which will then build the artist that we know. This group is WU-TANG CLAN, a rap group. It is surprising, to say the least, since rap, in Korea, at that time, is not a very popular style. But no matter, JIYONG is interested in this new kind of music, learns it and starts to write it.
The following year YG Entertainment will then spot him and KWON JIYONG joins the agency. He will do, only the household, during the first year, but it will take more to discourage him. He met another young trainee, a certain DONG YOUNGBAE who will become TAEYANG. The two young men became friends, trained together and formed the GDYB duo. It is at the time of the formation of this duet that JIYONG will take the name of scene G-DRAGON and that the two young boys will become real trainees of the YG Entertainment.
During his training, he surprises, by his innate talent for rap and writing but also by his presence on stage. Yang Hyun Suk, former CEO of YG Entertainment, was full of praise for his new recruit. G-DRAGON began to perform alongside the agency’s older rappers and to appear in their videos.
After six years, the agency thinks big for him and Youngbae. They decided to abandon the idea of a duo, and to form a group of five members. Although G-DRAGON was not very happy with the idea, he agreed and participated in the DOCUMENTARY, a survival to define the final members of the future group BIGBANG.
G-DRAGON made his debut in 2006 as the leader of the new group BIGBANG. He is joined by his friend Youngbae aka TAEYANG, TOP, DAESUNG and SEUNGRI.
The group made its first appearance on August 19, 2006 at the 10th concert of the YG Family.
Their first album, Bigbang Vol. was a success with the titles BigBang, BigBang is V.I.P or BigBang 03.
The group received a very good reception during its first performances but its popularity exploded with the release of the EP “ALWAYS” in 2007. Especially thanks to the song Lies, it was supposed to be a solo of G-DRAGON but Yang Hyun Suk saw its potential and decided to make the whole group sing. He was right, because Lies became a huge hit in Korea. The young man is no stranger to this success since he composed and wrote the song himself. Something rather rare for a Kpop idol. The young man once again imposes his style and succeeds thanks to his talent to propel the group at the top of the Korean charts.
– Career –
After a remarkable entry in the Korean music industry, the group continues its momentum with Last farewell which will know a similar success to Lies.
In 2008, G-DRAGON composed Haru haru, once again it became a must-have song in the Korean music scene. BIGBANG is, once again, at the top of the charts.
During this same year, G-DRAGON composed a lot for other artists like LEXY or W-INDS a Japanese group, but also for other members of his group. He notably helps TAEYANG in the production of his first solo mini-album, by composing the song Only look at me but also DAESUNG in the composition of his trot song Look at me gwisoon.
In 2009, G-DRAGON decided to focus on his solo career. He makes his comeback with Heartbreaker, the album makes South Korea go crazy and breaks all sales records for a solo artist. This is rare since the country prefers more boys band.
Although several titles of the album are pointed out for plagiarism by Sony, the accusations are quickly swept away because recognized unfounded. One thing is certain, this album will allow G-DRAGON to impose his musical universe to his country but also to influence the Koreans in many fields. He obtained, from Arena magazine, the titles of style icon and most influential man of 2008. The blond hair color of the singer, in his video, will become fashionable among young Koreans as well as the triangular scarves that will be called “Bigbang scarves”. G-DRAGON became at that time the main cultural icon of the country.
This year marks the creation of the duo GD&TOP, as its name indicates it, G-DRAGON associates with one of the members of his group TOP. The album is immediately placed at the top of the charts.
The year 2011 is in half-tone for the singer, at the beginning of the year he made several collaborations including with PARK MYUNGSOO. A song I’m having an affair born from this duet featuring PARK BOM (2NE1).
At the end of the year, G-DRAGON is in the middle of a scandal, accused of having smoked cannabis during one of his visits in Japan. The consumption is strongly prohibited in South Korea causing the first big scandal of the young man. The singer assumes his act by answering “one evening, I went to a nightclub in Japan and I smoked a cigarette that a Japanese whose name I do not know gave me. The smell was different from a normal cigarette and I suspected that it was cannabis, but it is true that I smoked some”. For a while he was forced to suspend his activities but was not prosecuted because the amount of drugs found during the analysis was very small and it was his first offence.
G-DRAGON finally made a comeback at the YG Family concert and participated in the MTV EMA Awards in Europe.
The year marks the comeback of the group BIGBANG. They came back with the album ALIVE, supported by the title Fantastic baby composed with TEDDY PARK. The album is once again a huge success in South Korea but not only because for the first time a Korean album reaches the “Billboard Top 200”.
In September of the same year, the solo album “ONE OF A KIND” was released and achieved unprecedented success as it also reached the “Billboard World Album” and the “Billboard Top 200”. It became the best-selling album for a Korean solo artist, breaking the record of his previous album “HEARTBREAKER“. The songs that make up the album, One of a Kind, Crayon and That XX, became a cult for Kpop fans around the world. G-DRAGON redefines again the codes of Korean music mixing skillfully pop, electro and R’n’B.
G-DRAGON presents his third solo album, “Coup d’Etat”. The album is again an immediate success. It went straight to the top 3 of the “Billboard World Album”. The song Coup d’Etat is even chosen as one of the 50 EDM songs by Billboard. The other song on the album that stands out is Crooked, the video reaches 100 million views on YouTube quickly. Which at the time was an almost unthinkable feat for a Korean artist. G-DRAGON once again established himself as a pioneer in his field with a song from this album, featuring MISSY ELLIOTT, Niliria. Based on a traditional Korean song, together they rearranged it and made it a trap song, bringing this musical genre to the forefront.
At the end of the year, G-DRAGON composes one of TAEYANG‘s biggest hits, Ringa linga. He will make an appearance in the video clip.
In 2014, both of them form a duo called GD&Taeyang. The track Good boy, born from this collaboration, composed by G-DRAGON, quickly becomes a huge hit and reaches 6 million views in a few days.
In December, G-DRAGON participates in the MAMA an award ceremony. He performs with TAEYANG the titles Good boy and Fantastic baby but it is the beginning of the performance that will be the most noticed. Indeed, the rapper appears then alone on the stage and begins a rap which seems to be sarcastic towards the ceremony in itself. A performance that will become cult, and that shows the certain character of the young man.
The year 2015 marks the return of the entire group with the album “MADE”. The album is carried by tracks such as Loser or even Bae bae. This album is perhaps the most successful of the group. It quickly reaches the top of the charts, and its titles quickly become cult in the field.
After the album “MADE” and the international tour that preceded it. G-DRAGON, needs to step back. He moves away from the front of the scene by making only some discrete collaboration. We can only understand his need for a break after this intense career.
In 2017, he laid himself bare in his album, soberly called “KWON JIYONG”. In this album, he delivers his most intimate questionings with a certain melancholy addressing the themes of loneliness, pressure, fame. The album is perhaps the most sincere of the artist who truly confides in each song. The flagship track of the album Untitled, 2014 shows the sensitivity and talent of the artist who once again renews his musical register. Always a pioneer in his field, he proposes a new format of his physical album, since it takes the form of a USB key and not a disc. This creates a controversy since Gaon Chart refuses to recognize it as an album. This being settled, it will rise to the top of the Itunes chart in 46 countries.
The band members, who will soon be taking a break from military service, and the group, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary, is offering its fans a mini-series on YouTube featuring them as scouts.
After the single Flower road, a goodbye to their fans, the members of BIGBANG take the road to the army. G-DRAGON enlists on February 27, 2018 for his mandatory military service.
During his service, in 2018, the “Burning Sun” affair shook the VIPs, SEUNGRI’s alleged involvement in this affair forced him to leave the YGEntertainement as well as the entertainment world in general. The fans do not know then if the group will return on the front of the scene after this hard blow.
However the young man is demobilized on October 26, 2019 and announces “Now I will do my best in my main business.” reassuring his fans about a potential comeback.
Return that will be announced in January 2020, the group BIGBANG is announced to the programming of the festival Coachella however because of the health crisis due to COVID 19, the event was postponed. Although rumors about their comeback are circulating and G-DRAGON confirmed during a live show for his collaboration with Nike that he was working on a new album. Nothing is officially announced yet.
- – A complete artist –
G-DRAGON is an accomplished rapper, singer, songwriter and his career proves it. However, this is not his only talent. He has an attraction for everything related to art. He regularly shows his fans his creations inspired by great artists such as BASQUIAT or HARING. He also bears the mark, since two of his tattoos are tributes to these pop geniuses.
KWON JIYONG, has put some of his works for sale, including one that was inspired by his vision on stage during concerts.
He is also a art collector, the photos of his apartment that he posted on his instagram prove it with paintings of masters such as, FRANCIS BACON or GERHARD RICHTER. He was also recognized by the American magazine ARTnewsan American visual-arts.
Another artistic field, where G-DRAGON flourishes and excels, fashion. His taste and his avant-garde vision in this field have allowed him to establish links with the creative directors of Balmain, Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Thom Browne and Karl Lagerfeld. A regular at the Chanel fashion shows, where he is the muse, he has become an international fashion icon and his influence is recognized by the greatest in this field.
G-DRAGON always pays attention to the way he dresses, constantly reinventing himself in completely opposite styles. We can mention the furry hats he has worn so often, his dark and mysterious, military, colorful, glittery styles, everything seems to suit him.
This heteroclism of clothing, allowed him to become a true icon. It also allowed him to make many covers of VOGUE. One in particular attracted all eyes, since it pushes the boundaries of genres.
In order to combine his passion for art and fashion, he created his own brand, PEACEMINUSONE, where he expresses his creativity through the creation of clothing, jewelry, decorative objects.
He recently made two collaborations with Nike, revisiting the mythical Air Force One signed PEACEMINUSONE and sporting a daisy symbol of its brand and peace for the singer.
During its exhibition in Paris at the Frank Elbaz gallery, G-DRAGON brought a breath of fresh air to Fashion Week. Presenting artworks and a streetwear collection supported by Bella Hadid, rapper Keith Ape, designer Haider Ackermann and especially Suzy Menkes, one of the most influential women in the fashion world.
We hope that this retrospective will have allowed you to discover or better know this multi-faceted artist that is KWON JIYONG.
Journalist : Mmmrci et ipadje
Translator : Mmmrci
Sources : SNS BIGBANG, GDRAGON