Among the thousands of New Year’s parties held recently, it’s a sure bet that Taeyang and G-Dragon‘s pulsating “Good Boy” was one of the songs getting people onto dance floors around the world.
Despite mixed reactions from VIPs, the song marks an important milestone for the pair, who have stylized themselves as GD X TAEYANG. This is the song that has begun their breakthrough into the global music scene, and is beginning to break some of the negative assumptions about K-pop.
Both G-Dragon and Taeyang have individually made solid advancements globally, increasingly gaining recognition through their solo ventures. In particular, G-Dragon’s presence at fashion festivals around the world never fails to dazzle onlookers,and he has rapidly became known for his eccentric look both on and off-camera.
Similarly, Taeyang also ingrained his name in the minds of music-lovers around the world, even among those who knew nothing about K-pop but simply enjoyed a good tune to dance to. I remember being pleasantly surprised on my first day of university hearing the school’s DJ blast “Ringa Linga” across the campus grounds, interspersed between local indie songs. And what’s more, no one seemed phased to hear an unfamiliar language blasting across the grounds, as everyone simply enjoyed the song for what it was.
Things have continued to go on an upwards trajectory for the pair, branding themselves as GD X TAEYANG and now embarking upon a quest for world domination. 2014 was an amazing year for GD X TAEYANG, having exploded onto the international scene thanks mainly to the dizzying “Good Boy.”
Some of those who have been by Taeyang and G-Dragon’s side for years were underwhelmed by the collaboration, since they were hoping for a BIGBANG comeback instead. Those unaffiliated with K-pop, however, had no preconceptions or context to influence their opinion of the song, and the international reaction seems to be hugely favourable to the pair. DJs around the world love playing this song for packed audiences, as it clearly has mass appeal.
The range of accolades and impressive titles bestowed upon Taeyang and G-Dragon, both individually and as GD X TAEYANG, is extremely interesting to reflect on. They seem to be spearheading a new Hallyu wave, showing the world another side of K-pop contrary to the gimmicky “Gangnam Style.” Idols like GD X TAEYANG are helping K-pop craft a new and serious identity around the world in the mainstream spotlight.
The strength of the seemingly unstoppable GD X TAEYANG juggernaut is seen through all the recognition that they have received in non-K-pop related Western magazines and websites. Their music, image and videos help them stand apart, as they are the perfect mix of familiarity and eccentricity for those who are as yet uninitiated into the world of K-pop.
“Good Boy” shook up dance floors around the world, with Fuse, a respected music website, describing it as “one of the 2014’s most epic club tracks.” Importantly, the writer stresses that “…even if your friends are K-pop skeptics, play them this song. You’ll thank us later.” The foreign world of K-pop is being introduced to music-lovers all over the world thanks to GD X TAEYANG’s universally digestible sound. K-pop is no longer something to laugh at, but instead something to share to all music fans.
The internationally acclaimed Billboard Magazine notes that G-Dragon and Taeyang are the only male K-pop soloists to have charted in the Billboard 200. However, their collaboration “Good Boy” shot them even further into the musical stratosphere, with the journalist raving about the “hard-hitting verses” and writing that “the duo (is) at the top of their dancing game too.”
The visual feast of the accompanying MV has also left a mark on people who are not K-pop fans, with Styleite naming it the most stylish MV of the year, in any genre across the world. YouTube’s Music Awards has also given a shout out to the pair, featuring both the MV for “Good Boy” and its behind the scenes video on its channel to promote international music.
As we all know, the stylish MVs are tied in with stunning fashion, and GD X TAEYANG are rapidly cementing their global fashionista image. G-Dragon has regularly been invited to fashion shows all around the world, never disappointing the style-watchers who come to photograph him. Recently, Taeyang has been joining him at events too, with the pair being dazzling to look at side by side. The legendary NY Mag’s ‘The Cut’ ranked GD X TAEYANG as 42nd on the list of ’45 Best Dressed People of 2014,’ praising their gender-bending looks and colourful hair, setting the stage for more K-pop idols to dazzle the world with their fashion.
The strength of the GD X TAEYANG juggernaut is also evident through all the collaborations they have been working on. G-Dragon is constantly receiving treats from legendary brands like Rolex and Chanel, with his unique look being something that designers like Karl Lagerfeld are drawn to. G-Dragon in particular has also been collaborating with people around the world, such as Diplo and Skrillex, getting involved in the international club music scene.
Additionally, choreographers have long been fascinated by the precision and speed of K-pop dance routines, and a relatively clean and simple routine like that of “Good Boy” helps the general population get accustomed to K-pop dances.
The powerhouse that is GD X TAEYANG has absolutely exploded this year, leaving a strong impression of K-pop in the minds of those who have never seen beyond “Gangnam Style.” Their striking fashion and addictive beats have helped to catapult them onto a new level, and only time will tell what 2015 holds for these two K-pop legends.