Kpop Music Monday #11: BigBang, “Fantastic Baby”

It was recently announced that powerhouse K-pop group BigBang will be playing a couple of dates at this year’s Coachella, and to that, I only have three words to say:

Wow. Fantastic Baby.

I previously highlighted BigBang on my Music Monday #6, with their collaboration with girl group 2NE1. I’ve listened to BigBang for ten years and while I might prefer some of their older material like “Lies” and “Haru Haru“, “Fantastic Baby” will always be a song that I use to introduce people to K-pop.

BigBang has been a 4-member group since the departure of member Seungri in 2019. Seungri was the focal point of one of the largest scandals to rock South Korea, known as the Burning Sun scandal. Burning Sun is the name of a nightclub in Gangnam, closely associated with Seungri, and after the assault of a male club-goer, the nightclub came under investigation for prostitution, drug trafficking, and corruption. The investigation brought several Korean celebrities into the spotlight, most disturbingly for allegedly filming themselves having sex with women and then posting the videos to chatrooms.

Both G-Dragon and TOP have been embroiled in drug (marijuana) scandals, and Daesung was involved in a tragic car accident back in 2011 that left a motorcyclist dead. The only member that seems to have escaped any major scandal is Taeyang, who is also the only married member of BigBang, mentioned here because that was somehow not considered much of a scandal at the time it was released.

Hollywood has a dark side, and Hallyu (or “the Korean Wave”) does as well.

Kpop Music Monday #6: BigBang & 2NE1, “Lollipop”

One term you start to notice the more you listen to kpop is “CF” which stands for “commercial film.” This is beyond a mere commercial–sometimes it includes songs (and choreography!) written specifically to market a brand or new release. And the greatest CF in kpop is now ten years old–BigBang and 2NE1’s “Lollipop.”

To unveil the release of a new cellphone (or something–it doesn’t appear in the music video), LG tapped into boy group BigBang and as-of-then undebuted girl group 2NE1, both artists under YG’s label. They put them in eye-catching outfits and ridiculous hair styles, and then viciously puked rainbows all over their film set.

I really can’t underestimate the power this song had over me. I’m sure my friend and then-roommate Timmy can tell you just how sick of the song he got.

I’m just going to let this one speak for itself.