YG Entertainment’s CEO Yang Hyun Suk used to be part of Seo Taiji and Boys, a group that enjoyed vast popularity in the 1990s under the leadership of all-rounded genius Seo Taiji, who was lyricist, composer and producer all at once. Yang Hyun Suk later moved behind the scenes to become a producer and cultivated the talent of massive idol group BIGBANG, and especially charismatic and flamboyant leader G-Dragon, who does producing, writes lyrics and composes.
So how do Seo Taiji and G-Dragon match up? Yang Hyun Suk says, “Both are musically gifted, but they’re totally different types of geniuses.”
He met with the press following BIGBANG’s concert in Seoul on January 26. Reflecting on his time with Seo Taiji, he said, “Seo Taiji thought only about the music. He had no interest in fashion, and didn’t really have much interest in dancing. He thought only about his music. He would shut himself up for a few months at time working on albums and was wholly immersed in his music.”
According to Yang Hyun Suk, G-Dragon has the completely opposite disposition from Seo Taiji. “G-Dragon often amazes and surprises me. He does music well but he also has an excellent fashion sense and is an international fashionista. He also has a lot of interest in different fields, such as dancing. He has a totally different style of making music compared to Seo Taiji. He gets flashes of inspiration while playing, and is able to make music quickly.”
It is well-known that Yang Hyun Suk put G-Dragon through harsh training since he was young. Having been discovered by YG when he was young, G-Dragon was ordered to present a self-composed song every month to Yang Hyun Suk. G-Dragon is the only YG artist to date who has ever received this sort of special cultivation.
Yang Hyun Suk said, “I wasn’t satisfied with the songs that G-Dragon submitted to me. I only recognized his song-writing abilities after he made BIGBANG’s ‘Lies.’ G-Dragon made his name known amongst hip hop fans since he was very young. I never thought about making a group. G-Dragon was born gifted, and I merely helped to ensure he grew up well.”
After Seo Taiji and Boys announced their retirement in 1996, Yang Hyun Suk had asked Seo Taiji, “Do you think another group such as Seo Taiji and Boys will emerge in future?” He found himself asking the same question when watching BIGBANG in concert. “Will another group such as BIGBANG come out in future?” It’s a question that he has asked more than a few times.
“Seo Taiji and Boys” were active for less than 4 years. When I created BIGBANG, I wanted them to go beyond the commonly accepted 4-5 year lifespan that a boy group typically had. BIGBANG has gone beyond that and is now in their 9th year as a group. I would like it if they could be active for more than 20 years.”
G-Dragon had revealed to fans at their January 26 concert about BIGBANG’s plans to comeback this summer with their third studio album. The group is aiming for a July-August release, and that will make it their first full album since 2012. Meanwhile, BIGBANG’s members will each work on their solo activities while preparing for the album. Taeyang will be releasing a solo album, T.O.P has filming for “Tazza 2,” and G-Dragon is expected to put his full energy into the album starting from March.
Seo Taiji announced last December via his official homepage that a 9th album is in the works, with plans for release in the middle or later part of the year. Seo Taiji’s last music release was his 8th album in July 2009, so it’ll be four years since he’s had any new music activities. While Seo Taiji and BIGBANG’s promotions are unlike to overlap, news of their comebacks has certainly raised expectations of their fans.