I’m just wild and young
Just doin’ it for fun
It’s been three years coming but G-Dragon is coming back with a new solo album. On the 24th, G-Dragon dropped the MV for his new single, “One of A Kind” prior to the solo album’s release, and I definitely have a lot of mixed feelings about it. With the scandals postponing the album’s release, I’m sure V.I.Ps and lovers of G-Dragon’s work are thankful that he’s finally coming out with a solo comeback, but I belong to the (small) camp that had felt indifferent towards G-Dragon’s impending solo album.
I’ll always have a special place in my heart for Big Bang and G-Dragon, being my first idol group and all, but I’m not a fan of the route they and G-Dragon has taken with their music. I’m entirely fond of the predominance of electro-pop in their music currently and so far Alive and Tonight have been the only albums that I’ve been disappointed with because of this. “Bad Boy” was a step in the right direction, but still overshadowed by the great R&B and hip hop works they’ve done with their earlier albums. But I’m still always hopeful that Big Bang and G-Dragon will prove me wrong in believing that their golden days have passed, and hopefully G-Dragon’s solo album can match my expectations for him.
Let me get this straight: I have never liked hip hop appropriation Big Bang. Their early days in terms of clothing and concepts were a dark time for them, which I thought they had abandoned until that stage for “Bad Boy” arrived, bringing up cringeworthy memories the world over. Fellow writer Salima did a wonderful article on K-pop’s disconnect with hip hop culture with its gross misappropriation of it, and to see it crop up again with Big Bang, and G-Dragon, is disappointing, especially when they’re the only idol group, along with Block B and B.A.P, that have managed to translate hip hop and rap well into K-pop, at least from a musical standpoint.
But what I noticed during the MV is that appropriation is not the sole aspect of the MV, that G-Dragon has managed to include other aspects of himself, like the eccentric G-Dragon and the self-absorbed G-Dragon into the MV, other than hip hop appropriation G-Dragon. Seeing as this MV and song is called “One of A Kind,” it would make sense that this MV would delve into the various things that make G-Dragon one of a kind, or what he thinks makes him who is as a person and as an artist.
At face value, the MV seems like yet another MV that presents all the extravagance and over-confidence that plague a certain part of hip hop and rap music and culture, but if the lyrics are taken into consideration, a sense that G-Dragon is presenting himself as most of the people that dislike him and his persona. I get a sense of sarcasm when he uses the lines
Hey hyung, hey noona (what’s wrong with you)
Ah I’m just bored
Hey hyung, hey noona (What’s wrong with you)
Sorry I’m so popular
Those lyrics were used in the scene where G-Dragon was having a cup-telephone conversation between two adorable children, and seeing as the most of the people that disapproved of him during his scandal, were most likely adults, seeing the use of “hyung” and “noona,” I think G-Dragon is implying that they acted like petty children, only judging him on face value, or acting how children are led to believe to act.
Most of the song sounds like he’s talking directly to a single person or a group of people, and uses some of the words that have been used against him, like “an annoying snob” or “get out” as in get out of the music industry, against them. He explicitly uses the term “one of a kind” to say that everything, good and bad, he does is who he is a person, so if you don’t like that, just “get out.” But at the same time, he does wanted to be accepted by the people that dislike him, using the lyrics
la la la la, look at me with loving eyes, don’t curse me
la la la la, please accept me, please love me
And those lyrics are used during my favourite part of the MV, where G-Dragon switches between being an evil monster, feasting on the innocent heart
s of fangirls, which is the perceptions of those that disapprove of him, versus the reality of G-Dragon, which is that he isn’t the same person that people demonized him during his scandal. However, this MV can also be interpreted as it being G-Dragon versus himself, rather than him versus people who rained hate upon him during his scandal. That interpretation was brought up to my attention when G-Dragon refers to himself in the third person, as the little boy who comes out on stage, and as two people when he says
My pics are everywhere, even when he’s acting crazy
So he, almost like every other idol, has two separate personas, G-Dragon and Kwon Jiyong, who is on stage and who is in real life. I think that he uses both personas in the MV, with wild G-Dragon and his gaudy clothes, and sophiscated and subdued Jiyong. Therefore, this song and MV combines the two of them together as being “one of a kind,” thus accepting his mistakes as G-Dragon/Kwon Jiyong, and all the good and bad that comes with being who is. Would be a stretch to say “wild and young” is a play on words, and are actually his names for his two personas, as in wild is “G-Dragon” and young is really “yong,” as in “Jiyong?”
In that case, it further implies that it is an MV of the two of them coming together and that he accepts that he’s both his personas, wild and ‘yong, regardless if G-Dragon gets him into trouble. In the beginning, the MV does seem like a struggle between the two personas, with the boxing battle between extravagant G-Dragon and what looks like normal Jiyong, G-Dragon shooting himself, and using the barbie doll to slap himself when he’s being obnoxious.
But by the end of it, G-Dragon/Jiyong set aside their differences and become one after the scene where G-Dragon is smashing the glass encasing of some outfits. If you look carefully, the ones that are focused upon while being smashed are outfits he wore during each of the solo efforts, the military jacket from “This Love,” and the outfits for his “Heartbreaker” promotions, like he’s releasing them out, all the sides of him, while chanting “just follow me,” so they can all come together.
This double persona concept also comes into play when G-Dragon uses the bear and fox mythology. In Korean folklore, a bear is usually exploited by humans into doing tricks and a fox outwits a bear. G-Dragon combines the two creatures with the line
I’m a bear doing a lot of tricks–no more like a fox
Saying that he or his persona, G-Dragon, does a lot of tricks and he or Jiyong, reaps the benefits. Most people, like myself, are guilty of accusing idols of being simply puppets for their entertainment companies, but G-Dragon breaks that stereotype by saying that he does tricks, entertain, for his fans and his company but he’s still the one in control, and gets the most out of it. This explains the use of the bear in the MV, but I’m confused that they used a tiger instead of a fox, maybe there weren’t any foxes left from where they borrowed the bear, so they had to make due with the tiger?
Upon first glance, this MV might seem like a typical show-offy MV, but I think that taking both the lyrics and looking at the MV from a deeper perspective, it becomes a lot more meaningful and less of a cringeworthy experience. It’s understandable to think that G-Dragon didn’t have to use hip hop appropriation to show both of his personas, granted if my interpretations of the MV is the correct one, but I let G-Dragon pass with this one because I view it as what G-Dragon, Jiyong’s on-stage persona, portrays himself, and is usually bashed for doing, and it isn’t the only thing G-Dragon uses during the MV, furthering my belief that this is an MV about all of his personas and them coming together in harmony.
So with that, I give this MV a 3.9/5, because my interpretations of the MV are constantly changing, which always makes an MV worthwhile and highly enjoyable to watch and analyze for certain details, and the lyrics, but I’ll admit that I wasn’t a fan of the aesthethics in the MV. Bad clothing is still bad clothing, regardless of its purpose, but G-Dragon really does pull it off, in my opinion. The song, in my opinion, was a little lacking, but it’s a grower and the hook can slowly creep into your head, having you humming the bass line all day. But G-Dragon is the best part of the MV, with his smolders and goofiness, as he flips between each of his personas. All of his personas are very charismatic and enthralling, and just lke the MV implies, I accept all of them with open arms.
So how did you interpret G-Dragon’s “One of A Kind?” Leave your interpretations in the comments below!
(YG Entertainment, BIGBANG)