Any fan will tell you that K-pop videos typically skew more entertaining and wholesome rather than titillating and provocative. Even last year’s sexiest K-pop videos were mostly labeled as such for the choreography and outfits rather than a star actually showcasing his or herself in a sexual manner.
But BIGBANG member Taeyang is changing things up with his new video for “1AM,” featuring a sexually-charged “bed scene”—as it’s been called in Korean reports—rarely seen in K-pop.
In the melancholy clip, the BIGBANG singer/rapper croons his way throughout a cityscape, singing about longing for a lost love—a similar theme heard in his new single “Eyes, Nose, Lips.”
Taeyang and his love interest (played by South Korean actress/singer Min Hyorin) are an attractive, embattled couple who are drinking in a stylish club one moment and fighting in a convertible the next. Their climax comes in a scene catching the pair in bed, locked in a passionate, heated kiss with Hyorin suggestively spread over Taeyang as he strokes the small of her back.
The scene is quick, but effective and doesn’t get too raunchy or suggestive. Taeyang joins K-pop bad boys Jay Park and B.A.P’s Yongguk who, in their “Star” and “I Remember” videos respectively, got their on-camera kiss—though, not in a dark, bedroom setting. But like Taeyang, both did so with videos that had intricate plotlines rather than incorporating sex for the sake of selling sex. While Taeyang’s video may get banned on conservative-skewing South Korean TV, it would be hard to criticize it from an artistic standpoint.
“1AM” is the latest visual to promote Taeyang’s second full-length solo effort, “Rise.” Over the weekend, Taeyang performed “Eyes, Nose, Lips” and album track “Stay With Me” on K-pop music chart program “Inkigayo.” His BIGBANG bandmember G-Dragon was on hand to lay down his verses for the “Stay With Me” performance. Watch below.
Check back to Billboard.com on Thursday morning to see where “Rise” and Taeyang’s singles land on the Billboard charts.