Big Bang’s G-Dragon recently kicked off his solo comeback with the release of “One of a Kind” MV, where in about 2 weeks, racked up around 12 million views on Youtube. While traveling on the internet, I read mixed feelings about the song, where some fans preferred the soothing “That XX” to “One of a Kind”. Some people also found the MV very random and confusing, while the lyrics scream over confidence. However, there is so much symbolism in this MV. It’s amazing. It’s highly personal to GD’s life as an idol and it’s perfectly crafted in a way that seems random, but after some thought, becomes a fascinating piece of art.
Still reading? Here is my interpretation of the symbolism in GD’s “One of A Kind” MV. (Sit back, it’s going to be long.) Hopefully some of you will gain a better understanding of this well crafted MV.
If you haven’t, take a look at the MV with English subs here.
This MV opens with the scene where GD hangs out with his “gang”, all dressed in One-of-a-kind attire, with those words graffiti’ed into the background. His “gang”, however, aren’t actors. They are, and represent, all the people that have supported GD behind the scenes. Featured are Lydia Paek (with her amazing dancing) and Choice 37.
“I’m a talented bear, no, I’m more of a fox than a bear.”
Bears are seen in Korea as animals that obey and perform tricks for their masters. What GD is trying to say, is that he’s a talented idol that indeed performs onstage. However, he quickly changes his mind into saying that he’s a fox instead. Foxes are clever animals, and will not be easily taken advantage of. GD is talented and will perform, but he isn’t mindless. He is in control of himself, not his company, and he enjoys what he’s doing.
So why, you say, is there not a fox on set, but a tiger? Because it’s a different metaphor altogether! You see that GD has a tiger on a leash, while he himself is dressed head to toe in tiger print. Tigers are seen as powerful animals, but GD is powerful enough to even put a tiger, on a leash. GD himself is a tiger, he is an idol, he is a part of the music industry. Though, he is the most powerful of them all. He is able to lead other artists and lead the industry altogether, through his music, his image, and his influence in the KPOP universe.
The Children and The Cups
Here GD has a “cup” telephone conversation with two children, childish much? Yet he calls them “hyung” and “noona”, and asks them what’s wrong, concluding with “I’m sorry that I’m such hot stuff”. Hyung and noona are people older than GD, whom he should respect, however, they are portrayed by children here. What can this symbolize? The Korean media and public. GD was under fire previously for his scandal involving marijuana, with a negative backlash from the media. With this scene here, maybe GD is expressing how much the media overreact about such matters, like children. Some older Korean folks also have a hard time accepting GD’s outstanding image, and often criticize him. However, GD knows that he’s “hot stuff”, that he’s successful, and he’s holding his head high.
What’s this? Take note of the musical clef symbol on the wall. Is this a prison for musicians? Relating back to the previous point, the perceptions of GD in the Korean media are sometimes negative. It seems that here, GD is grouped into “KPOP Jail” with other people who have been attacked by the media and he is the most outstandingly dressed of them all, similar to his persona as a celebrity. In the lyrics, however, GD continues to hold his head by talking about his talent.
The scene with the barbie is similar, where barbie represents the public who do not accept him, and slaps him for the sexual content in the lyrics. Doesn’t it remind you of the ridiculous banning of music videos over “suggestive” (read:not sexual at all) content?
Here GD talks in third person, basically speaking the thoughts of people who attack his image. “This guy tries to stir things up”, “his pictures and music are everywhere”, and “I don’t like it”, these are all negative opinions of GD. But, GD ends it cleanly with “you can’t live because of me?” as in, “why are you spending so much time attacking me? What good does it do for you?”.
It then shows GD boxing with a hand that stretches out from the corner of the screen-it creates a feeling that the viewer is fighting with GD. Is the older public watching this MV and not accepting it? Are you watching this MV and judging GD?
Bad Boy GD vs Good GD
Here you see GD dining, and violently stabbing a bloody heart.
This GD is pretty terrifying, and doesn’t it remind you of his “Heartbreaker” concept? The room is bloody and blue, and GD sits there like an evil villain.
However, it’s soon revealed that the viewer is wearing blue tinted sunglasses. If removed, you see a proper and nice GD, sitting in a clean white room with sparkling silverware, eating his steak. (By the way, does anyone else find it amusing that he cuts the steak but poses with a tomato?) If the viewer chooses to view GD in an evil way, he will be evil no matter what. But if you’re willing to take off your sunglasses, GD may not be as bad as some portray him to be. He asks for people to love him, not curse him, and accept him.
Here GD is dressed as a fashionable tennis player, sporting a Chanel headband and even playing with a Chanel ball. He smashes many glass cases, which happen to house his old outfits, from the times when he promoted “Heartbreaker”. GD is smashing and destroying his old concepts, as he tells you to follow him as he recreates himself and renews his image. GD is ever changing, not willing to settle with any one version of himself.
Lastly, Taeyang makes a surprise appearance in this scene with the “G” on the floor, and some people skateboard over it as GD sings. To me, since the G is on the floor and people are skateboarding on it, it signifies how relatable GD can be, if you just give him the chance and accept him as a human being, who, like everyone else, is flawed and makes mistakes.
So, if you made it this far into the article, hopefully you enjoyed it! This is just my interpretation of the symbolism in this MV, and any one of you can have a different interpretation of the meaning. I just hope people understand how great of an MV this is, and the underlying message it’s trying to reveal. With the lyrics alone, this seems like an overconfident, arrogant song. But along with the MV, a whole new message is presented through context. Maybe that’s why only the music video is available through iTunes?
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