Kpop Music Video: Day 9
Fantastic Baby by BIGBANG under YG Entertainment
BIGBANG (stylized like that to avoid confusion with the science theory) is a 5 member boy band that consider rap, hip hop and R&B to be their roots, though lately they have been making pop and electronic dance hits. The band debuted together in 2005, but several members were active in the music and entertainment industry well before that (meaning that several of them started before they were teenagers). They have studio albums in Japan in addition to their Korean ones, and in 2012 they embarked on a world tour through 13 countries for a total of 48 concerts. In addition to many Asian countries, 4 concerts were held in the US, 2 were held in England and 1 was held in Peru.
In the spirit of videos that are focused on how artists are treated in Kpop, this video, like Abracadabra, is a message to Korean Media. In addition to being banned from TV due to sex and sexuality, Korean artists will be pulled off the air due to controversy. This happens in the US as well; after Rihanna’s face was posted on social media, Chris Brown was pulled from public light and media outlets refused to play his music. However in Korea, “scandals” seem to happen much more often. BIGBANG specifically went through two issues that pulled their members off the air. The first was a car accident that Daesung was involved in. Although it was not his fault, a person died in the accident and Daesung did not perform for quite some time, even after his injuries had healed. This inactivity also may have been the reason for postponing his own solo album, which was announced for release in 2010 and will be released this upcoming spring. The second scandal was in 2011, where G-Dragon tested positively (but very weakly) for marijuana. In Korea, doing drugs is a huge deal, although smoking cigarettes is quite normal. He said that he was given a cigarette that was laced and when he found out that it wasn’t a regular cigarette, he got rid of it. He wasn’t charged, and as a result he did not lose any sponsorships from any companies, but he was forced to stop promoting publicly for a little less than 2 months.
This video is a direct response to the stifling that the tabloids inflict on artists when a mistake comes up. The media is represented by the “Stop Music” force, and the members are trapped. At the beginning G-Dragon is dirty and has long hair that has not been cut in a while, signifying being neglected. TOP is stuck inside art pieces, forced to pose for the media. Taeyang has to be unfrozen, and Daesung is chained to a wall. The hardest imagery to figure out is Seungri, who is being scratched at by cat women. I choose to look at the cat women as the media trying to claw at Seugri, but I feel that this is the weakest point of an otherwise solid metaphor.
In good news, Fantastic Baby was very popular on Youtube and in Korea, especially in dance clubs. While scandals will go on, BIGBANG got to let out some frustration that they had with the media, while making a great track to spread their message around with.