Prior to the full release of BIGBANG leader G-Dragon’s second solo album, “COUP D’ETAT” (slated for digital release on Sept. 5), YG Entertainment has unleashed five of its 14 tracks, which feature meetings of superstars of the West and East: “COUP D’ETAT,” with Diplo and Baauer, “Niliria” featuring Missy Elliot, “R.O.D.” featuring K-pop producer Lydia Paek, “Black” with Sky Ferreira and “Who You?,” all on the EP, “COUP D’ETAT, Pt. 1.”
For the first single, “COUP D’ETAT,” G-Dragon teamed up with American DJs Diplo and Baauer to deliver braggadocio about starting, “a new revolution.” Unlike playful past hits such as “Crayon” and “GO,” this East meets West collabo is dark and subtly aggressive. He’s present throughout the slow-tempo track with a nasal, monotonous voice over a heavy trap-inflected beat, squelching synths and a hint of high-hat fill. The lyrics, penned by GD himself, are a confident manifesto as he raps and sings in Korean: “I’m the best at self-admiration and being cocky / I’m shameless / I’m so fresh so clean / I compete with the laundry house.”
The accompanying music video, directed by Suh Hyun Seung (who G-Dragon worked with for BIGBANG’s “Fantastic Baby,” and solo singles “GO” and “One of a Kind”), eerily showcases GD in a variety of bizarre surroundings. The singer’s goofy side (as seen in the “GO” music video) is nowhere to be found. GD appears in the beginning of the video as a zombie-like creature waking up from death. As the video progresses, his gaze pierces through the camera in dense eye makeup and two-toned hair in dramatic settings: a prison pit under a time pendulum, a room full of boiling pots spewing out money, a box office and a torn-down dressing room. Toward the end, a white 3-D mold of his face appears bleeding black tears. (A similar mold was used as an album cover to his debut LP, “Heartbreaker.”) At the finale, he peels out of his zombie skin and the new GD is born. The video has racked up over 750,000 views since its release yesterday.
The “COUP D’ETAT” and “Crooked,” videos were shown during the finale concert of his “2013 G-DRAGON WORLD TOUR: ONE OF A KIND” tour on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 in Seoul. During the show, he shared his thoughts on the new album.
“My second studio album will be released soon,” he told the audience at Seoul’s Olympic Gymnastics Hall. “I wanted to hold a concert after the release of the album, but the release date was bumped because I kept editing the album. I’m now somewhat satisfied with it. It feels like I’m getting my homework graded from a teacher, but please just enjoy the new album without criticizing it. I feel brand new. I’m going to keep releasing new music without notice as the title of the album, ‘COUP D’ETAT,’ indicates. I’m anxious for the songs to come out so we can enjoy them together.”
G-Dragon’s “GO,” along with “Niliria,” which he performed with Missy Elliot at KCON 2013, as well as two bonus tracks, “Window” and “Black” featuring Sky Ferreira, will all be included in the full album release on Sept. 13. The record also features music stars like Boys Noize, Korean singer Zion T and current K-pop trainee Jennie Kim.