September 24, 2013
AYO FINALLY! G-Dragon released “Coup d’Etat” and “Crooked” while we were out of the country, and they held up onto the KpopCharts for so long, so now we’re going to talk about “Crooked,” our favourite of the two GD tracks. Check it out here if you haven’t seen it already.
It also seems to be a lot of other people’s favourites, as it has more views that Coup d’Etat. I mean, Coup d’Etat is a pretty video and all, but the song is kinda…meh. We find Crooked a lot more accessible.
Speaking of accessibility, something that really excited us is Pitchfork’s review of Coup d’Etat. If you’re not familiar with Pitchfork media, it’s pretty much a music website powerhouse that defines the musical tastes for a vast amount of people of this generation. We personally use Pitchfork a lot as well. While we don’t agree with all of its reviews, some of which we TREMENDOUSLY disagree with, Pitchfork has definitely introduced us to LOADS of music that we wouldn’t have been aware of otherwise.
The fact that they didn’t give Coup d’Etat a glowing review doesn’t bother us. We have GD’s album. We listened to it a few times. It’s…alright, but it’s not groundbreaking stuff. In the context of all the music that gets produced around the world, a 6.1 out of 10 seems about right. It’s not great, but it’s not terrible.
So why are we excited about it? Because Kpop is rarely talked about seriously. Most of the conversations we have about Kpop with music buffs result in Kpop being pooh-poohed away. It’s not music made with heart and soul, it’s not artistically innovative. It’s very well packaged and exceptionally marketed to its audience, but it’s not music for music’s sake, you know? A vast majority of it is fluff. It’s fun fluff, though! And just because you like serious music doesn’t mean you can’t like fluff, and vice versa. We’re just happy that GD’s album isn’t spoken about as fluff. It’s being discussed seriously, by serious art snob Pitchfork, you know? That’s a conversation that we rarely see happening. Sure, it happens in the Kpop community, but it’s not a conversation that happens from people not steeped in Kpop culture. For all of Gangnam Style’s success around the world, it was only taken as a joke and a novelty. For GD’s album to be seriously discussed fascinates us tremendously. You know what I mean?
Still, though, thinking about GD and his music, I’m wondering what the next step will be. I remember having a discussion with someone high up in the music industry, and he said that the thing that bothers him about Korean Music is that there isn’t a voice for a generation. Who is the voice of Korea? Who sings about their lives? GD could be that person, I think, but from what I’m seeing most of his music is really ultra-personal, more about him and his life. And, let’s face it, majority of us aren’t ultra successful ultra rich pop stars, so it’s not really something a lot of people can relate to, you know? Who are the Lady Gagas of Kpop advocating diversity? Does Korea have a Nirvana speaking to its generation? A Kanye West? Sure, those examples might evince an “ewe, that person’s gross and has ____ amount of flaws,” which I’m not arguing against. I just want to know if Korea has popular artists that speak for the plights that their generations are going through. Who is the conscience of Korea’s music industry? More than just idol-worshipping, I hope.
Part of me wants to see GD pull a Bon Iver: lock yourself up in your cabin for 6 months without any outside contact and emerge with a beautiful album that wows the world. Would that be good for his market and audience? Would that be good for the Korean music industry as a whole? I don’t know. All I can say is that if had to put my money down on someone being able to speak for its generation, I think GD could do it.
Yeah man. That was, umm, deep. We’re happy for GD and what he’s doing, so we’re giving out a few GD CDs as well. If you’re interested in winning one, here’s what you gotta do!
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Lastly, if you feel like some more lola, here are this week’s Bloopers!