G-Dragon Connects With Paris During World Tour
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[by Nawael Khelil] Remember back in the days. There was a boy filled with dreams. And sometimes, dreams come true. For the better, and for the worse.
Kwon Ji Yong, aka G-Dragon, leader of tremendous group Big Bang, went through a thoughtful musical introspection on September 28 at the Accor Hotels Arena in Paris.
The rapper and musician thrives: be it domestically or internationally. His music touches millions and his aura is appreciated by close industries such as fashion and art. Whoever might look at his resume on paper would think that this man of 29 is the happiest person in the world. But his last EP, most simply entitled Kwon Ji Yong, says otherwise.
In a desire of coming out to his public about his struggles, GD (as called by K-music enthusiasts and insiders) is currently on tour with G-DRAGON 2017 WORLD TOUR <ACT III, M.O.T.T.E> IN EUROPE, stopping in as many as cities as he can to tell his story and connect with those who support him - the old and the new, regardless of mother tongues and cultures. And Paris had an impressive response. It was not the first time that Kwon had set foot in the French capital - he is a well-known guests at Paris fashion week - but it was the first time that he stood in front of his public, mic in hand, rhymes in mouth and energy in body. His public, most of which had probably never seen him perform before, was hot. Excitement was palpable in the Bercy-located venue. I personally had the chance to see him live in Seoul, at a Big Bang concert that I by chance attended a couple of years ago. I knew for sure, days before the concert, that I was not going to leave this room disappointed. And boy, who was?
The joyful and loving chants of the fans, scream of hope and support when he started to talk about a recently-acquired bittersweet sensibility towards celebrity. His English proficiency broke all the barriers that could have been standing between his fans and him, and a dialogue about loneliness and life was established: that of mutual understanding and support. Indeed, his last EP is a powerful manifesto that rationalize his personal take on celebrity in the very celebrity-oriented society that is Korea today. But this could be hard to feel and truly understand when one does not speak Korean. And a quick Internet translation isn’t always the best right-hand man when it comes to perceiving feelings and statements hidden in idioms and metaphors. But the French got it. They attended with a banner that read ‘’You’re not alone’’ and they responded to his confession with warm, kind words and chants: singing love, support, and most importantly, his real name.
Because G-Dragon has come to a point where he wants to separate G-Dragon and Kwon Ji Yong. ‘’I lived as G-Dragon until now, but now, I would like to continue as Kwon Ji Yong’’, he shyly said in a video that aired on the huge screens of the Accor Hotels Arena. The three last songs were all about that. He actually faked ending twice: the first time announcing the last song as being Outro (Divina Commedia), leaving the stage and coming back for his infamous single Crooked. The second time, by getting off the stage before the instrumental of Untitled, the title track of his last EP, started to resonate. This was a beautiful moment of connection: fans chanted along on the chorus, showing him unconditional love as he was marching towards the crowd, interacting with the few lucky ones who were the closest to the stage, giving bouquets and holding back a few tears. And for that to be on such a beautiful and sad song, left everyone emotional as he finally disappeared through the back door.
(special thanks to Live Nation, photos by YG Entertainment)