Big Bang is definitely worthy of the title “King of Kpop”!
Not only having achievements in the music field, but Big Bang is also the originator of many familiar concepts for Kpop fans such as lightsticks, airport fashion, etc.
Kpop’s first lightstick
Big Bang is praised by the Korean and international media as the “King of Kpop” for its dedication and achievements in music. Not only having a great position in the K-pop industry, but Big Bang also makes many people remember because they have initiated many new concepts for the Korean entertainment industry, one of which is the lightstick, the type of glowing light stick for fans that show the characteristic of the music groups. Before the YG released Bangbong (the name of Big Bang‘s lightstick), other K-pop groups often chose a specific color to represent themselves, and their fans would buy small glow sticks in that exact color. Artists will recognize their fan group’s position in the dark thanks to the colors from the glow sticks. In 2007, G-Dragon designed his own lightstick for VIP (Big Bang fandom name), with the main yellow color and the shape of a crown, called Bangbong. The birth of Bangbong changed the fan culture in Kpop. From then on, the groups in turn released meticulously designed lightsticks, bearing their own characteristics, instead of just distinguishing them by color as before. Nowadays, every idol group in Korea has its own designed lightstick with an interesting name. These include Shinee’s Shabat, Mamamoo’s MooBong, BTS’s Army Bombs, etc.
Working solo while still participate in the group’s projects
G-Dragon was the one who started the concept of releasing solo work while still working in an idol group. Meanwhile, the fans believed that only groups that have disbanded or on the verge of disbanding allowed their members to release solo albums. However, the fact that G-Dragon had a successful personal career and never left Big Bang has inspired many idols of K-pop groups. Not only G-Dragon but also Taeyang, Dae Sung and two former members, T.O.P and Seungri, have all released individual albums, achieving remarkable success in the Asian market. Many groups began to follow Big Bang’s step as they let their members release solo albums as a way to promote their reputation and increase their recognition with the mass audience. For example, Gain (Brown Eyed Girls) released her solo work in 2010, HyunA (former 4minutes member) released her first independent product in 2010, Kim Sung Gyu (INFINITE’s leader) had a solo debut in 2012, etc.
First appearing in the K-pop industry, the concept of mini-albums has gradually gained global popularity. This is the type of disc that is favored by many groups, especially when they release their comeback albums. The one who started the mini-album concept is also Big Bang, with the mini-album called Always (August 2007). The title track of the album is Lies, one of the group’s biggest hits that brought them the first Daesang at the 2007 MKMA (today’s MAMA). Before Always, K-pop artists often released full albums (with 10 or more songs) or LPs (long-plays). Sometimes there are artists who choose to release singles which are products containing only 1-2 songs. However, singles were not very popular in Korea, especially in the period when people were not used to purchasing digital music. Meanwhile, full albums or LPs need more than 10 quality songs to put on discs, which takes artists a lot of time to come back to the showbiz. Therefore, the type of mini-album with 5-7 songs is considered suitable for Korean artists who are required to work continuously during the year.
Not only respected in the music field, G-Dragon’s fashion sense also made its own mark, starting the trend of Korean artists dressing up at the airport. The male singer is considered a fashion king who regularly attends international fashion weeks and collaborates with many luxury brands. Every time G-Dragon appears at the airport, his outfit receives great attention from the media, causing many paparazzi to wait at the airport to take pictures of the fashionable Big Bang’s leader. From the above effect, other Korean stars began to focus more on outfits heading to the airport, instead of just wearing loose, comfortable clothes for easy long-distance travel. More than 10 years have passed, the concept of airport fashion has become familiar to both artists and fans, leading to the appearance of many stars in the airport fashion segment such as Jessica Jung (former SNSD member), Krystal, Mino (Winner), Seul Gi (Red Velvet), BlackPink group, etc.