The anticipation for the return of one of K-pop’s biggest solo stars is felt on the Billboard 200 this week.
G-Dragon‘s new Kwon Ji Yong EP debuts at No. 192 on the Billboard 200 with a little more than 4,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending June 8, mostly driven by traditional album sales (4,000 copies sold), according to Nielsen Music. Remarkably, Kwon Ji Yong lands on the chart with just one day of activity after the album was released on the June 8, the final day of Nielsen’s tracking week for the chart.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new June 24-dated chart (where Halsey debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200) will be posted in full to Billboard‘s websites on Tuesday, June 13.
With 4,000 copies sold, Kwon Ji Yong marks the singer-rapper’s best sales week for a project in America yet. Overall, this is G-Dragon’s third entry on the Billboard 200 followed by 2012’s One of a Kind (which peaked at No. 161 for his best ranking to date) and 2013’s Coup D’etat, Pt. 1 (which bowed at No. 182). In terms of K-pop acts, he’s only behind BTS who boast four entries. G-Dragon has also bowed twice on the Billboard 200 as a part of his group BIGBANG, the first time in early 2012 with their Alive album (No. 150) and last year’s Made (No. 172).
As well, G-Dragon owns the No. 1 spot on World Albums (giving him his third chart-topper on the ranking, only bested by B.A.P and GOT7 with four apiece among K-pop acts) and Heatseekers Albums, his first time leading that tally.
While the nearly four-year wait for new GD material undoubtedly fired up fans, the material of the eponymous EP is just as inspiring.
The five tracks spotlight different facets of the singer’s personality to give insight into G-Dragon’s human side. While the first two showcase a star who’s more than comfortable with his place in the international pop scene with the self-explanatory “Middle Fingers-Up” and “Bullsh*t,” while the final three tracks strip away layers to reveal the star’s deeper complexities. The single “Untitled, 2014” is a stark-and-stunning ballad lamenting a lost relationship with just G-Dragon singing and a piano that’s stylistically similar to Adele‘s “Someone Like You.” Elsewhere, “Super Star,” brings a fizzy hip-hop beat to disguise the superstar’s apparent loneliness (He croons, “I need somebody/ I ain’t got nobody/ There’s nobody” on the chorus), while the closing track “Divina Commedia” is a sonic photograph of a star mulling over spending nearly his whole life chasing his musical dreams.
No doubt the chart accomplishment indicates an excellent lead up to the star’s current world tour that will see him play a slew of arenas across the U.S. and Canada for his ACT III: M.O.T.T.E. trek. The tour kicked off in Seoul on June 10 at Seoul World Cup Stadium with 40,000 reported in attendance. The first date of the North American leg is July 11 at Seattle’s Key Arena.