Ah, finally my first Kpop post (yes, I realize I’ve only had 3 prior postings). After being away from the solo music scene for a whopping 3 years, Big Bang leader and YG poster child G-Dragon has released his first ever mini album.
While many praised his full album “Heartbreaker” as the best thing to ever exist, I found it very hit and miss. Yet, that was three years ago. It’s time to see what he’s up to today.
The album begins with a song of the same name. A bouncing hip-hop beat welcomes us into GD’s world where he claims through synth that he is both “wild and young” and “one of a kind.”
I would agree with both of these statements. His rap flow is practiced, signature, and works well with the song. It’s the type of booty-popping track that is impossible not to get down to, and that is what GD excels at, making catchy unique songs.
The video is classic YG with animals, wacky outfits, and blond dreadlocks.
For a song called “One of A Kind”, it works perfectly.
Following this we are presented with the title track “Crayon.” While this song is fun, I’m not completely convinced it was the best choice for the title track. It is very current and trendy with the LMFAO beat, but is it original enough to be worth three years of waiting?
No. What can be said of the track is that it is fun to jump up and dance to (especially while intoxicated). But I think GD is better than a drunk party song, at least for his lead single. Personally, I would have preferred “One of A Kind” (or one for the later album cuts) to be the title, and this to come out as a buzz single . Although I will admit the bridge is pretty fun.
The video starts and instantly I want that Wonder Woman robe he is wearing (ebay here I come!). The rest of the video finds GD as a woman, a crazy person, a little drummer, and a party host. I’m a sucker for neon so I’m sold. The video does what a music video should, change my opinion from not feeling the song to liking it (though it’s still not love).
Following this we have “Ultimately”, which features a member from YG’s upcoming girl group. The song is one of my favorites, the new girl sounds amazing, as does GD. If I had to complain about something I would say that I wish there was less synth used. It just doesn’t seem to add anything that wasn’t there already. But still, a small complaint for a truly beautiful and unique song. The highlight is definitely the new girl group member’s big note which gives me chills. Great track.
After this we have the second buzz single released, “That XX.” The explicit track is a complete 360 for the album and presents a much more serious, devoted GD. The song shows off both his vocals and rap, which are pure perfection. It really surprises me that YG has been coming out with most of my favorite ballads this year when usually I look to them for the upbeat stuff.
The video features a different member from the new girl group (her name is Jennie Kim). The video isn’t something I would replay over and over, but it is a great pairing for the song. Jennie is beautiful and only increases my excitement for the new group.
The fifth track is “Missing You” and features Yoona from rock group Jaurim. Catchy goodness is the only way I can describe this song. G-Dragon has said he was trying to harken back to the Korean pop of a few decades ago, and he completely succeeds. Yoona was the perfect choice for a featuring, with her fresh pure voice. The song is a clear standout.
Finishing out the EP (minus the bonus track) is “Today” featuring Jong-wan of the band Nell. First off, another great collaboration as Jong-wan kills it. GD is clearly putting himself in great company. The song is a fun upbeat way to end the album, talking about “rocking your life away” and not caring. The shifts between GD and Nell are nice and unexpected.
Overall, the album is an improvement for an artist with a ton of past success and a ton of future potential. GDragon brings a unique perspective to everything he does and this album is no exception. The only thing I am disappointed in is the selection of the title track. “Crayon” is a fun party anthem, but it would have been a more interesting statement to choose something like “That XX”, “Ultimately”, or “One of A Kind” as the title track. More songs also would have been nice after a 3 year hiatus from solo work, just saying.