Random Thoughts

Will G-Dragon Kpop-borate with America?

G-Dragon is constantly in the media’s spotlight. I mean, he is G-Dragon after all. With his never ending talent, awesomely unique fashion, and wonderfully enjoyable music videos, his popularity in Asia is more than cemented.

But things are starting to change. Is G-Dragon getting too big for Korea? For Asia?

Over the past few months, G-Dragon has frequently been brought into America’s media spotlight. His album landed an official New York Times review and Buzzfeed has written multiple posts featuring him (The Coolest Korean Singer You’ve Never Heard Of & Missy Elliott and G-Dragon). But what does this mean? Is a Kpop-boration in the works? For better or for worse, I think the American market will soon be exposed to G-Dragon in a big way. With each step, I see the signs of YG Entertainment calculating G-Dragon’s entry into mainstream America.

The evidence is piling up.

1. Missy Elliott has already Kpop-borated with G-Dragon

Clearly GD is interested in foreign artists, particularly the big names in rap and hip hop. His song Niliria with Missy is a great mixture of GD’s style alongside Missy’s own expertise. What I find more interesting is that GD wrote the song first and then approached Missy to see if she was interested in featuring in it. It shows that GD’s ideas are still his own. I’m very encouraged by this type of collaboration.

2. Justin Bieber is a GD Fan

Psy, Justin, GD

Not only is he a fan, GD also just performed at Justin Bieber’s concert in Korea. If that doesn’t scream future Kpop-boration, I don’t know what does.

On a side note, the reviews sound like the crowd may have been more enthusiastic for GD than Bieber. Oops…

Bieber even tweeted: “Korea, that was amazing. Thank you for the love. Shout out to @ibgdrgn for coming out on stage tonight. They went crazy. #honored”

3. Scooter Braun has GD on his radar

G and Scooter Braun

Scooter is Justin Beiber’s manager and he also manages a number of top industry talent such as Psy, Carly Rae Jepsen, and The Wanted.

The Bio on Scooter’s website says the following: “Scooter’s gifts for recognizing talent, working tirelessly to help his clients achieve worldwide success, and brokering extraordinary deals with strategic partners and brands are quickly becoming the entertainment industry’s worst-kept secrets.”

Scooter is plenty famous for his success and if GD is high on his radar, some big things are likely in the works. Scooter is a very powerful friend to have.

So, will G-Dragon infiltrate America?

There is a key difference in GD’s approach in comparison to past K-pop acts such as the Wonder Girls. YG has G-Dragon on a very flexible timeline. I think knowing that YG has Psy’s fame in its back pocket helps this tremendously.


Look at Hyuna. By being in Psy’s video, she instantly had access to American exposure. While most people don’t really know who she is beyond “that sexy girl in Psy’s video”, people do at least know who she is.

So what would happen if G-Dragon was marketed alongside Psy? This doesn’t seem likely but it really depends on what YG wants for GD. It would sure mean instant attention.

On the flip side, I think G-Dragon wants to make it on his own. Fame-wise, he’s doing more than fine. Look at Asia.  G-Dragon and his bandmates Big Bang are arguably the most successful Korean act in that part of the world. And without even directly marketing to the America, GD is already making waves. Thank you, YouTube.

ZB. GD Crayon

But are Kpop-borations good?

Yes and No. Collaborations certainly give artists more exposure to international media. At the same time, I can see where problems could develop. The K-pop artists shouldn’t have to change their style or jeopardize their integrity to fit in the international market. K-pop as a whole isn’t really something that could be accepted by mainstream America and I don’t think that should be K-pop’s goal. I think that if K-pop stars becomes famous for something, it should be for their own talent and music, rather than who they have worked with.

If anyone from the K-pop world is going to “make it” in America, my money is on G-Dragon.

While super cool, GD is also super humble. In a recent interview with Fuse, GD kept his aspirations down-to-earth, hoping to meeting many more fans around the world. I hope this means he’ll be touring more in the States!

What do you think about Kpop-boration? I am still very reserved about it, but if done correctly I think it could be successful. I just don’t want G-Dragon to turn into a one-time viral star like Psy. He is so much more than that!


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