Well, hello there. I’m sorta new here and also sorta not. A few of you may recognize me, but most probably won’t. My name is Dongsaeng and it’s been a while since my days back at The Crazy Ahjummas. I’m grateful to Kmuse and the other Fangirls for giving me a chance to crash their KPop party though here on Dramas with a Side of Kimchi and fangirl over my favorite group.
So, let’s get real here for a minute. I’m going to level with you right from the start. All of the Fangirls have had these awesome, well-though out, deep posts with all kinds of meaning and significance to them. Not me! I’m pretty much here to momentarily dumb this conversation back down to caveman level. *grunt* *point* “ugh. Hot. Me like” *grunt* It’s kind of what I do. I’m very basic in my fangirling, so you’ll have to forgive me. I’m also a woman of “advanced” years who wears a flashing crown headband to a GDragon concert without shame, so whatcha going to do? I’m a helpless case. Just pat me on the head, call me a cute little Dongsaeng, and go back to your intelligent adult conversations after we finish here. Save yourselves and your advanced-human brain function.
When the call was put out and we were asked to pick a group/idol to feature, I quickly licked Big Bang and claimed them as my own (how’s that for a disturbing mental image?). I knew that I just had to gush talk about them. Quite simply, while I appreciate so many groups and artists out there, Big Bang is my ultimate bias group. My one true love. My end-all, be-all. If you were to ask me what group I would want with me on a deserted island, you’d better make sure that the boat getting there could hold 6, because you better believe that it’s Big Bang I’d be bringing with me. I suppose a 5-seater would be okay too – I’ll just sit on GD’s lap, no biggie.
First, the basics. Big Bang debuted back on August 19, 2006, meaning that they just recently celebrated their 11th anniversary. Wow! 11 years of genius. It’s a beautiful thing. The group consists of leader, G-Dragon, aka GD, aka Kwon Ji Yong, aka God (okay, maybe not that last one, at least not officially, but c’mon, you know it as well as I do…) and like 4 other group members. Ha! Just kidding! I love all the other ones too. TOP, Taeyang, Daesung, and Seungri, you all are awesome in my book as well. I’m just *slightly* biased in one direction, but seeing as how he’s my ultimate bias out of all K-dom, I’m hoping you can forgive my tiny little GD slant.
It can easily be argued that Big Bang is the most influential KPop group of their time. They have long reigned in the charts. Other groups admit to altering their album releases so as to not have to go up against the music giants. Younger idols frequently cite Big Bang as their inspiration or role models. They simply dominate and have for many years. They are called the Kings for a reason, and that’s not just my obvious bias talking. There are cold, hard numbers to back that up. So, the question becomes then, why? Why does a group that has been around for 11 years (and has only released 3 full-length albums in those 11 years) have such a commanding presence in a heavily saturated field? I’m no expert or anything, but I certainly have my own opinions as a fan on the matter. Simply put, if I could narrow it down to just one word, it would be “UNIQUENESS”. They are a group with a very distinct sound and feel. While they dabble in multiple genres like pretty much any other respectable KPop group out there, they still manage to maintain their own unique flavor. You hear a Big Bang song and you instantly know it is them. There are some groups out there that try to be as homogenous as possible with matching outfits and choreography and vocals. Big Bang is not one of those groups. They are five individuals with 5 distinct sounds and looks that somehow manage to pull it all together for one cohesive end product. Their music pushes boundaries. They themselves push boundaries. They are a group not without their fair share of scandals and troubled history. They’re pretty much the “bad boys” of mainstream KPop. And who doesn’t love a good bad boy?
Much of the modern KPop world trends can be traced back to these guys. They were pioneers of the Second Generation of KPop. They write and produce their own music (along with YG producers like Teddy). GDragon is a perfectionist when it comes to their/his music. A perfectionist and yes, a total genius. Not biased, just speaking truth. 😉 It seems that whatever they touch turns to gold. Not only has the group seen great success together, but they are all tremendously successful in their solo and sub-unit careers as well. What’s not to admire about these boys? They are a force to be reckoned with and the standard to look towards in the industry. As things shift and begin to change over the next years with them all beginning their mandatory military service, we wait with baited fangirl/boy breathes to see what the future of Big Bang will look like. Of course I hope to see another full group project come out years down the road, but until then, I’ll happily support them in their individual activities. I am VIP for life, come what may.
Okay, so let’s chat tunes here for a sec. While it is IMPOSSIBLE for me to choose just one favorite Big Bang song, I do have a few stand-outs that I want to familiarize you with (if you aren’t already familiar with them which would be hard for me to believe but I guess it’s always a possibility). An oldie but one that you simply MUST watch the video of would be Love Song. I mention this one first because I’m afraid it’s one that can be buried by some of the flashier songs/videos out there. It isn’t a song that you can so much dance to, but it’s one that will speak to your cynical soul. Love Song is the anti-love song love song and I adore it. As much of a sappy romantic as I am who loves love, this song makes me smile for all its cynicism. It’s called Love Song and its main repeating line is “I hate this love song”. What’s not to love about that?!? It’s hauntingly beautiful and simple. The video is pure perfection and art in all its black and white destructive glory.
Other stand-outs? Well, pretty much you can’t go wrong. Search up every Big Bang video out there and you’re sure to hit on one amazing song after another. But don’t stop with just the videos. Much of their best work doesn’t have a video. I have yet to meet a Big Bang song I didn’t love. You can’t go wrong. I’ll just randomly put on a few that come to mind, though again, these are in no way ranked or a complete list. Surely I’ll miss someone’s favorite, so let us know which ones are a must listen/must watch for you!
Aren’t they just precious?? What’s not to love, right? Oh, Big Bang, I am so happy to have you in my world. Squeeing over you brings me the greatest joy in my life. It is worth the deafness I developed from attending your concerts over the years. You will forever reign as the Kings of my heart. <3
Side Note: I suppose I should touch quickly on the whole TOP thing, though I hesitate to do so because this piece isn’t meant to create or feed controversy, but as it is a recent news story, some may be wondering what my stand is on the whole thing. If you don’t follow Big Bang or the KPop news, earlier this year, TOP, who is currently serving his military service, was accused of marijuana usage back in October. Looooong story short, it’s been a rough road for him due to this. My heart broke watching the aftermath unfold. Whatever your personal beliefs regarding marijuana usage (and all the mess surrounding his particular case), the fact remains that in South Korea, marijuana usage is illegal. He admitted his usage, had his day in court, and is now paying his dues. Personally I found the sentence to be fair, basically a 2 year probation with jail time only if he slips up again. I’m glad that he’s been reassigned military duty and can continue on with that, chipping away at what remains of his 24 months there. I want him happy and healthy. I’m in his corner while not excusing his mistake. I’m sure I speak for many of us fans when I say that I hope we can all move forward from here and get back to business without further heartache for us or him. We are none of us infallible and I will continue to stand by him at this time and cheer him on from the sidelines. TOP, I wish you the very best from the bottom of my heart. Be happy and healthy.