Is Big Bang just a kpop idol?
What do you think "kpop idol" is? Have you ever tried to define the meaning of the word? Well, here are some requirements for kpop idol.
1. has trained for many years by kpop agencies
2. is incredibly young
3. is good-looking
4. is worshiped by teenagers
So, which is your favorite kpop idol? Some of you may say it's Big Bang, one of the most popular boy groups in Korea. But, I want to ask you if you think Big Bang is an "idol." Yeah, this may sound like a stupid question. Big Bang has trained for many years by YG Entertainment, was incredibly young when it debuted, is good-looking, and is worshiped by teenagers. Big Bang meets all the requirements for kpop idol.
By the way, it has been almost 10 years since the group debuted, and it seems that Big Bang is evolving out of an idol. Here are some evidence that shows Big Bang is not just an idol but an artist.
1. High Quality Own Songs
Have you listened to Big Bang's new songs, 'Loser' and 'BAE BAE'? Well, the songs are really awesome. The songs have refined melodies and sophisticated lyrics, while G-Dragon, Taeyang, and TOP took part in writing 'Loser' and G-Dragon and TOP took part in writing 'BAE BAE'.(I'm sorry I can't convey the whole detailed feelings of the emotional lyrics to foreign fans, but the Korean lyrics are really great. And the great lyrics are the main reason why I consider GD as the best idol rapper even though some disagree as you can see in this article)
Some of kpop idols write their own songs like Big Bang, but most of them don't. So, people criticize idol singers for just singing and dancing to famous composer's music like robots. Nobody regards such idols as "musicians" or "artists." And as idols are kind of merchandises produced by kpop agencies, they usually jerk around like a puppet on a string.
However, the big bang members do their own music independently. Even Yang Hyun Suk can't boss them around.
2. Loved by People in their 20s and 30s
Without doubt, EXO is now considered as the most popular kpop idol group. However, there is a crucial difference between EXO and Big Bang. EXO has teenage fans' full support, while Big Bang is widely loved by people in their 20s and 30s too. And unlike EXO who is strongly loved by female fans, Big Bang has many male fans too.
It is very rare case that kpop boy group has as many fans in their 20s and 30s and male fans as Big Bang, which means Big Bang is loved by people not just as an idol but as a musician or artist.
You can see how much Big Bang is loved by male fans and fans in their 20s and 30s through the picture below. It's Melon's statistical data which shows who listened to Big Bang's 'Loser', while 44.6% of the listeners are males and people in 20s have the largest portion of the listeners.
3. Outstanding Artistic Sense
What do kpop idols do for a living? They sing and dance on stage, and some of them appear on dramas and movies. But it's very notable that the Big Bang members are distinguishing themselves in the art world.
GD, who is regarded as a representative fashionista, was invited to numerous fashion shows held at home and abroad, while he also held his own exhibition 'G-DRAGON SPACE 8' in 2013. And he's planning for a special exhibition to be held at the Seoul Museum of Art in June 2015. It is the first time for Korean art museum to collaborate with kpop star, while GD will take part in directing the exhibition. He certainly has established himself as a cultural icon.
TOP also has displayed his talent in the art world. He took part in Singapore's Prudential Eye Zone exhibition as a curator and selected Korean and Japanese works to be on display. He has his own viewpoint on art and has a deep knowledge of it.
There's no other kpop idols who have as strong influence as Big Bang on the whole art world.