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G-Dragon “Crooked” – Kpop Music Mondays

September 24, 2013

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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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And then let us know in the comments to our talk on Crooked what was your favourite scene from GD’s MV? If you want to leave your answer here, because you can write more in the comments here than you an on YouTube, make sure you leave your YouTube username so we can see if you’re subscribed!

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Back to business: vote for the winner of this week’s showdown:

[gravityform id=”23″ name=”KMM 06 – G-Dragon Crooked” title=”false” description=”false” ajax=”true”]

Lastly, if you feel like some more lola, here are this week’s Bloopers!

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G-Dragon “Crooked” – Kpop Music Mondays

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  1. Dang, here I was hoping G Dragon was a Black Flag fan only to find out it was just some brand who took their logo. I am disappoint.

    6 years ago
  2. My favorite scene of the Crooked video is at 2.22<3 It's my favorite because it shows GD's small and cute butt really well, it's just so… ADORABLE! I love it! Though the scenes that affect me the most are after 3:10 when he really starts breaking down. It's just so overwhelming seeing him like that. We don't usually get to see him like that, so it really gets to me. I Love everything about Crooked! – Yessica Aguilar or maybe xxxqkerayziiexxx on youtube.

    6 years ago
  3. Oh, it’s you again. I recall replying to your first comment.

    Look: you’re entitled to have your own opinion – whether or not you want to express it; but it’s a bit sad that both of your comments on this site are just dissing people. I suggest you balance it out by complimenting some artists that you DO like, so that we know you’re just a person with different tastes, as opposed to a troll. Ok?

    Otherwise your comments will serve no purpose than to upset others, which isn’t what we want here.

    6 years ago
  4. The whole video totally reminded me of the British series Skins. I wonder if you watch that, Simon and Martina? :)

    6 years ago
  5. i know this is off topic but you know g dragon song ” who you?” well he’s asking fans to pick idea for the mv. so his mv will be the fans idea. so simon and martina you guy may be able to review this video. do you have any ideas?

    6 years ago
  6. I already posted it on YT, but… My favorite part is the one where GD is sobbing in toilet, looking all miserable and sad. It really makes you think about the whole song and the video. I also love all the scenes in the club, where he is gradually breaking down, and falling. Oh, and the one where he is putting his leather jacket on… Sooo hot *-*

    6 years ago
  7. My favorite scene was the crying scene. Normally, GD is like, “I’m a gold n’ diamonds boy! Yep! One of a kind!” Just conceited and stuck up and a braggart! But, this really showed his vulnerability which I’ve never scene in his other music. Yes he has written about sad break ups but this was the first song about him and his weaknesses. It really made him seem like a normal guy and I really loved the contrast from his other music.

    6 years ago
  8. Dear Martina, did you use a folk song to parody Crooked?
    It sounded familiar but I really can’t place it…

    6 years ago
  9. My favorite part was when GD was dragging the humongous fur coat around 1:08 in the video.. I mean, if I have a coat that big, i’d probably drag it along also….

    and the crying part was semi-believable as well.

    6 years ago
  10. Hey guise.

    I don’t know if I should be happy that a k-pop artist is discussed. Especially since it’s Gd. He’s already famous. And the review doesn’t do him a lot of justice. Even if a Korean artist gets acknowledged by a big reviewing website, the people are the ones that decide to believe or not (cause in the end, everybody believes what they want to believe and hear what they want to hear you know?). I actually thought they would do an actual review of Coup D’Etat… but they just talked about the album mostly and how good the song is – for them – (in terms of rapping). One thing I agree with them “G-Dragon is getting more press for his swag than his sound”.

    “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? ” – Well… I think Block B started a while ago going in that direction… and I became sure after hearing their new realease “빛이 되어 줘” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNtuOrw6mfc&list=PLF4E2QsZOPOI0Hava3qnK6_3RQ2tJZUm_&index=2 and also 방탄소년단 (BTS). These guise are so passionate about their music and their fans.

    – I don’t know if Gd could become a voice. First he has to put his thoughts and emotions in order (or better said “get out of his mind” alive).
    – I used to like “The only thing I can do to support the artist is buy their music. It’s their problem. Let them deal with it” but thanks to you guise (EYK) I realised that, that wasn’t the right mentality. I know a lot of fans from all of the kpop artists out there, watch a lot of the shows they appear in. The artists are almost 24 hours on TV. They might have family issues (but nobody thinks about that… they “must” appear happy for the viewers to see); concerts, interviews, reading fanletters, checking feedback… oh yeah…and dealing with hating comments…. they’re not machines. I think it’s not about relating, it’s just simply thinking for a moment of putting yourself in their shoes. But that’s not comfortable; it’s easier to stay in your own bubble. “Yeah man, that’s tough” saying those words without actually putting feeling into them…. 너무 지겨워요.

    I actually wished to hear your opinion on the video(although I’m not a Gd fan). The review was perfect for your audience. I don’t know why I was expecting a more serious review, moreover since I know your style.

    Sorry for the rant there…

    Great work!

    <3<3<3<3<3<3

    6 years ago
  11. GUISE….I had turned on the english annotations/captions for another video when I re-watched this one and I have to say W.T.F.???? I went back to Junsu’s last KMM and it was fine but seriously, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at the ones in this week’s KMM (I’m crying from laughing so hard actually), was that on purpose?

    6 years ago
  12. Can you guys at least do a blog post about Coup D’etat? I really want to know how you saw it

    6 years ago
  13. Ok, can someone direct me to where I can buy Simon’s hat??? It is not in the store.. Thanks

    6 years ago
  14. Is that The Cure I see on the laptop??? BIZZYTIGREYOONMIRAE

    6 years ago
  15. In response to your blog question of who speaks for S. Korea’s (or N. Korea’s for that matter) current generation, I think that the answer is probably no one. I admit that I don’t have a wide and deep grasp of all things Korean musical but between the kpop and k-indie I’ve seen over the last 2 years there only seems to be two extremes: banale and angsty. Sometimes angsty banale…. It feels like the generation has been muzzled. Heck, look at the content of kpop songs, even when it tries to be meaningful, the message never gets past love relationships. Even k-indie which you would think could have a wider/deeper range of message totally just skims the surface – it either goes into obscure symbology or is very indirect. We all know that’s because you will not get any air time if you don’t play by the rules and what point is there in a message that no else gets to hear but come on. With the internet today, there’s gotta be a way to get our your message if you really want to. I feel that being Korean today is a very sad thing where people are really depressed about their situations but are not supposed to express anything and few seem to even have the opportunity to even speak up that this is why the suicide rate is so high. Is it the economy? Korean culture/government? I don’t really know, because it’s hidden from me, I just know that I, personally, would go stark raving mad at the restrictions of living the life of a typical Korean woman. Maybe that’s why I can identify a little with kpop these last 2 years because I am trapped in a situation myself and I can totally emphathize with the tiny thin line of pain that leaks out into kpop once in a while. I am luckily soon to escape my entrapment though (finally moving!) so maybe that is why I am trending more towards k-indie these days. ^_^

    I’m going to add here at the end that the only exception that I find to this lack of voice is MFBTY/Drunken Tiger (who I saw on the laptop in the background for this KMM) – I think that they have a strong voice but they are still a little too subtle in their message. I really super appreciate that their music is helpful, and I greatly enjoy it (as well as their r-awesome videos). Especially since they are positive and empowering rather than wallowing like a lot of others, but to truly be a voice, I think that they have to kick it up to the next level and be more overt with their messages, a little bit more in your face about it. Perhaps less subtle, less metaphorical, so that it’s obvious even to a kid what you are trying to say. For example, I think that Pascal Obispo (in particular, his “Captain Samurai Flower” album – see “Idealiste” and “Le Drapeau” for m/vs – you’ll get it even if you don’t understand french) is a least one level higher in putting out a message, though his message is a different one. Not that I’m kicking MFBTY……….I wouldn’t dare! ;)

    6 years ago
    • Thanks for the reply, I certainly enjoyed/appreciated BTS’s “NO” better once I watched it all the way through and had eng. subs on. I think that this is a good start, I like the message, it is fairly overt and it’s empowering but other than one mention about having fun instead, it’s kind of just a cry for help or a rallying cry without a direction or a motivation. It has to go further. I picked out MFBTY in particular because they seem to understand that without presenting solutions, pointing out a problem is not much more than complaining. If BTS continues down this road, they have to go about 5 levels further to make an actual difference. They need to sing about HOW and WHAT to do to break out, how to handle the backlash to your rebellion, what to do with your new free time, other than just saying “no”. Okay, I said “no”, now what? You can’t just break the shackles, you have to lead the people out and to a better life.

      Also, consider that if there was a youthful rebellion in S. Korea and they succeeded in breaking out of their automaton scholastic existence, there are no services, no ideas, no locations, no method or help to help them help themselves into a new life/leisure?/purpose. And think of all the adults/parents that will then have no purpose of living through their kids and no structure to their lives that has supported them all this way, they don’t know what to do now, their lives seem even emptier than before. This is how revolutions fall apart – you free the slaves but after a week or so they realize that they’ve been so institutionalized that they don’t know what to do now and all their familiar supports, cues, and social mores, are gone so they all freak out and clamour for servitude again since it is a known vs. the unknown of freedom and the corrupt elite just jump into the power vacuum and it’s back to business as usual.

      This discussion really reminds me of why I don’t like the work of most female American comicbook artists. Almost all of them feel the need to tell me their sad story as a sort of catharsis for themselves but to me it’s a big exercise in attention whoring since none of them tell me how to survive their ordeals to go on to better things, how to move on and build a new life, or even how to keep from becoming as broken as they are or worse. This is how I came to like manga since their stories were more upbeat and uplifting. Sure, a lot of manga is trite and completely cliche, but there is just as many pleasant stories and awesome josei that gives one hope that we can find a direction and follow our dreams without falling into every single trap. I’m currently working on some titles by Makimura Satoru, her work is awesome – it’s not revolutionary, but it’s pretty realistic. Sorry for the seguay…it’s just that for me – manga->anime->jpop->kpop->Eyk so as long as I’m here, I think of this sometimes.

      6 years ago
      • Thank you for your nice reply. As far as BTS goes, yes, perhaps what I said is going a little too far. Not everyone has to be a revolutionary and certainly every little bit helps. Look how long it’s taken for environmentalism to even get headlines and it’s still miles away from making big changes, but I think it’s slowly gaining momentum. However, I am going to respectfully disagree with your post on a couple of points.

        1) pointing out the problem: Everyone knows it’s there, it’s the elephant in the room, but yes, drawing attention to it is good. Here is the problem though, the kids hate being forced to study non-stop and I am sure that the parents don’t want to force this on them but (unlike in the “N.O.” song) the hard life doesn’t get easier when you grow up, it just gets harder…..and even extra hard if you haven’t put in the ridiculous schooling ahead of time, the parents (in their way) are just trying to prepare their children to face the harshness of the real world in Korean society. So why aren’t kids breaking out now? Because they know that they’re going to pay for it later in life, they see how their parents live…..there’s not really any where for them to “break out” to either. Don’t study, whachagonnado? Even if you go play soccer with a bunch of friends after school and then to a coffee shop, eventually you’ll get picked on for truancy or causing trouble because it’s not the status quo, you stand out, which is a bit of a no-no in Korean society. And welp, it’s back to cram school and no life again AND you have something on your “record” as a strike against you when applying to universities of getting work. I’m not going to go as far as calling it irresponsible to encourage youth to break the cycle without giving them a place to go, but I don’t see if as leading to anything useful or even more happiness. You really need it to be “en mass” to make it worthwhile for those doing it, and you need to make the powers that be and parents loosen up the reins a little for that to succeed……So, you have to make life as an adult better first, before you can hope to improve that of kids (in principle). So yeah, good at pointing it out, as long as it’s not just to get fans, or to be rebellious. Seriously, just like they adopt certain fashions to gain attention, some idols adopt certain attitudes to get attention, they change them like I change my underwear: twice daily! I would hope that they would also put some of their idol time to making alternate after school programs for these kids……even if it’s learning “what you want” programs.
        2) idols have a better life: This is both true and false. Is it better than the average Korean student? Yes and no. Being an idol gets you some perks for sure but it also gets you much more work AND a much MUCH more restrictive lifestyle. At least students live at their home with their parents (in theory), idols live in dorms and unless they are super top stars, rarely get free time at all in their schedules. And what about all the wannabe idols, or all the ones that tried and didn’t stay popular? Can all idols really keep going in to their 40s? Do they want to? What do you do when you don’t make it or are done being an idol? You haven’t finished school, so you can’t get a regular job. You’re not popular so you can’t get air time. Your family is ashamed of your failure and you may not have been allowed time to see them for years. You can try to get in behind the scenes but you’ll have to know someone to help network you in (maybe not too hard). You’ve given up even more than the average student for even less in the end. Kpop idols, when allowed to speak freely, will tell you that it’s a hard hard life. Korea likes to hold up idols as an ideal, something to strive for, but the reality isn’t the promise. A lot of idols are forced into surgery and dentistry for their looks. Made to take classes to increase their sex appeal all the while being forced to live a monk’s aesthetic. They work ridiculous hours and get little sleep with little personal contact outside of their management entourage. I think that things may be SLOWLY getting better for idols as more foreign-born idols of Korean heritage get into the mix and rock the boat but this is the only crack in Korean society that I have seen. So, did they “achieve their dreams”? Being famous is the only thing that matters in Korea and you have to work hard to maintain that, even if you’re born into it -doesn’t this seem sad? It’s part of the problem in my opinion and feeding into the idea that being an idol = freedom only perpetuates the problem.

        Okay, these were some gigantic generalizations and frankly, I’m not there on the ground in S. Korea to really get a feel of this. But I have seen far too many “behind the scenes” and documentaries on Korea to think that I am way out in left field. I’m not sure why I felt the need to get all wordy on the subject, perhaps I have a White Knight complex……it just hit me at the right moment and out poured my opinion. It was not necessarily aimed at anyone, I enjoy a good discussion and well, from watching so much EYK these last 2 years, I guess that I feel a little closer to the problem. Other than discussing here though, I’m not sure what else I could do to help…..

        6 years ago
  16. Do you know why this song is called CROOKED and he keeps on running through out the whole video it is because he stole the CROWN jewels and every British person keeps chasing him to get them back HA HA LOL :) and it is like someone said RUN GD RUN like Forest Gump but in all awesome song love GD,EYK #OhGDSoNasty from and Ohio Nasty!!!!!!!

    6 years ago
  17. My favorite scene
    At the beginning, when GD is walking around by himself. In the rest of the music video, he’s either pretending to have a good time with his friends or crying alone, but in the beginning part he doesn’t seem upset or happy, he’s kinda just wandering aimlessly. When he’s running, it’s not totally clear where he’s going- if he’s going to hang out with his friends or be by himself. I’d say it’s a good way to start the mv since he doesn’t want to be with his friends or cry alone, and so he’s kinda aimless in what he wants to do.

    Youtube: lostisland88

    6 years ago
  18. “He’s got the ruuuuuns. He’s got the ruuuuuuunnnnss” holy crap it’s stuck in my head haha it’s up there with the TaeMan song *thumbs up*

    6 years ago
  19. I don’t care for heavy symbolism in my pop music; that’s not why I listen to pop music. I think it’s cool that G-Dragon is exercising his mind when he’s coming up with these concepts, but just like IGAB’s wackiness, he’s being different just for the sake of being different. And just like the ratty and greasy weave that adorned his misguided head, it just wasn’t cutting it. The video looked cool and high budget (maybe that’s where the budget for 2NE1’s Do You Love Me video went XD), but I had no want to really analyze. I’m sorry to any VIPs who think I’m dissing G-Dragon, because I’m not; I just *cannot* with this faux high art pretense that seems to have infected pop music in the last few years.

    6 years ago
  20. only on eatyourkimchi, will u see a runs video when talking about GD! HAHAHAHAH Died of laughter!

    6 years ago
  21. Pretty interesting comments! I still love ‘dem runs’ on this music Monday making me sound like a crazy person lolling in my room ^U^

    6 years ago
  22. My favorite scene is at 3.35 when GD spreads his arms, it’s like he’s saying “this is me, take it or leave it.” In the context of the music video, which I also interpret as him pretending to have a good time while he’s actually miserable, that kind of an action seems so honest. And since that scene comes right before he’s shown (still) crying in the bathroom, it makes me feel that he’s really afraid to show who he really is, but he’s just too tired of pretending to keep it up anymore. It’s a really short scene, but it struck me as special.

    But really, I loved this entire MV. Like seriously all the scenes.

    Youtube username: ochixiru

    6 years ago