Congratulations to G-Dragon for winning first place with “Untitled, 2014” on SBS’s “Inkigayo”! Second place was PSY’s “New Face,” while he also came in third place with “I LUV IT.”
This week’s performers include NCT 127, T-ara, B.A.P’s Jongup, PENTAGON, DAY6, Ma Eun Jin, FTISLAND, iKON, Cosmic Girls, Kriesha Chu, Kim Chungha, SEVENTEEN, ASTRO, and more.
[엑스포츠뉴스=김미지 기자] G-DRAGON will be holding more concerts during his solo world tour.
On June 17, YG Entertainment announced that G-DRAGON will be holding more “ACT III, M.O.T.T.E” concerts in Asian cities.
The additional cities will be held in Hong Kong, Manila, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, and a city in Taiwan. For his solo tour, G-DRAGON will be holding concerts in a total of 24 cities, including 14 Asian cities, eight North American cities, four Oceanian cities, and three Japanese cities. He already held a solo concert in Seoul on June 10.
The concerts will be about the third stage of G-DRAGON’s life, and fans will be able to see the loneliness behind the glamor and fame of his life as a celebrity.
It will be a chance to check G-DRAGON’s popularity, who has grown to become a global artist that exerts influence around Asia, the US, and Europe.
Meanwhile, G-DRAGON is to hold his “COTAI ARENA, THE VENETIAN MACAO” concerts in Macao on June 17 and 18.
2017. 6. 17.
BIGBANG’s G-Dragon is set to visit more cities than originally planned for his world tour!
On June 17, YG Entertainment announced that G-Dragon would be adding more cities to the Asia leg of his “ACT III, M.O.T.T.E” solo tour.
The new venues are Hong Kong, Manila, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, and Taiwan. This means that G-Dragon will be visiting a total of 24 stops in his new world tour, taking him to nine cities in Asia [excluding Japan], eight cities in North America, four cities in Oceania, and three cities in Japan.
G-Dragon’s latest tour will be a reflection of what he sees as the third act of his life story, and will take fans on an emotional and personal journey. He has already held the Seoul leg of his tour, along with a special guest appearance by IU, and is performing in Macao this weekend on June 17 and June 18.
If you could add more cities to G-Dragon’s world tour, what would they be? Share your suggestions with us!
Watch: G-Dragon Grabs 1st Win With “Untitled, 2014” On “Music Core”; Performances By NCT 127, DAY6, And More!
The June 17 episode of MBC’s “Music Core” featured performances by T-ara, FTISLAND, Jung Jinwoon, B.A.P’s Jongup, NCT 127, Cosmic Girls, SEVENTEEN, PENTAGON, DAY6, APRIL, Chungha, ASTRO, Lee Si Eun, TopSecret, and S.E.T.
The top three contenders for this week were SISTAR’s “Lonely,” TWICE’s “SIGNAL,” and G-Dragon’s “Untitled, 2014.” In the end, G-Dragon’s “Untitled, 2014” came out on top in first place. Congratulations to G-Dragon!
Check out the latest performances below!
♬ Comeback ♡ Stage ♬
T-aRA –『Reload』, 『What’s my name』
NCT 127 –『0 Mile』, 『Cherry Bomb』
B.A.P’s Jongup –『Try My Luck』
PENTAGON –『Critical Beauty』
♬ Hidden Song ◉ Stage ♬
Jeong Jinwoon –『Love is true』
♬ Hot ♥ Stage ♬
Cosmic Girls –『HAPPY』
SEVENTEEN –『Don’t Wanna Cry』
♬ Sound-Holic ♧ Stage ♬
DAY6 –『I Smile』
Chungha –『Why Don’t You Know』
♬ New-song Stage ♬
Lee Si Eun –『Like The Wind』
TopSecret –『MIND CONTROL』
As expected, the legendary G-Dragon reigns supreme on the Gaon Chart this week with his Kwon Ji-Yong comeback album. Lead single “Untitled, 2014” soars straight to No. 1, followed by “Super Star” at No. 4 and “Bulls**t” at No. 6.
Unfortunately, due to G-Dragon’s album being in the form of a USB stick, it’s ineligible to rank on the album chart.
Climbing to No. 2 this week is Produce 101’s project single “Never.” Meanwhile, another song from the show, “Oh Little Girl,” jumps up to No. 7, while “Knock” moves to No. 10. The success of the various tracks from the show only prove just how popular the franchise has become.
Speaking of Produce 101, season 1 star Kim Chungha makes a splash with her solo debut, “Why Don’t You Know.” The dance-pop track arrives at No. 23, which is higher than all of the Produce 101 girl groups with their respective singles.
Another solo songstress doing well is balladeer Gummy. The former YG Entertainment artist makes her big return this week as “II YO” debuts at No. 34.
Less successful are Starship Entertainment’s Cosmic Girls, who come in at No. 77 with their latest single “Happy.” It’s a drop from their last two hits, “Secret” and “I Wish,” which both peaked at No. 49. Although the song is selling poorly digitally, the group’s physical sales are up as their first studio album, Happy Moment, debuts at No. 3 – their highest position yet.
Taking top spot on the album chart is SEVENTEEN’s Al1, which returns to No. 1 again. On their tail is FT Island’s 10th anniversary album Over 10 Years at No. 2, while DAY6’s compilation album Sunrise debuts at No. 4.
Next week, look out for new entries from T-ara and NCT 127.
Source: SBS Australia
The first trial for the trainee involved in BIGBANG member T.O.P’s marijuana case has taken place.
Han Seo Hee, who was previously revealed to be the trainee, has been sentenced to four years of probation with the possibility of a three-year prison sentence if she commits a repeat offense during her probation period. The Seoul Central District Court also ordered 120 hours of drug rehab and a fee of 870,000 won (approximately $770).
The bench stated, “She purchased psychotropic drugs LSD and marijuana many times and used/smoked them. She even purchased marijuana again while she was being investigated. She has admitted to her crimes and is remorseful. The fact that she does not have a prior criminal record was taken into consideration.”
Han Seo Hee was previously indicted for smoking marijuana with T.O.P twice in October 2016. They have also been accused of smoking liquid marijuana through an electronic cigarette twice. Reports stated that she brought the marijuana she purchased to T.O.P’s home to smoke together. She also was accused of purchasing LSD on two separate occasions.
Meanwhile, T.O.P’s first trial will take place on June 29.
In response to fan complaints about the red coloring coming off of G-Dragon’s “Kwon Ji Yong” album USB, YG has stated that it is an intentional move in line with the album concept: G-Dragon’s DNA and birth.
YG Entertainment, prior to the selling of the album, announced that the USB may get scratched or that the color would rub off.
Photos were revealed of the production process, which show workers literally coloring the USBs:
Rather than mass printing the red on the USBs, YG had to simply have the USBs hand-colored in red ink to get the red smear and vintage scratched look that G-Dragon wanted for the “birth” concept, which is furthered by the print on the USB, which says “Kwon Ji Yong, Blood type A, 1988, August 18”; the print was handwritten by G-Dragon’s mother when he was born.
The USB has been making other headlines, as well, due to debate over whether the USB should be counted as a physical album when it doesn’t technically come with music on the device. YG responded explaining how the USB can be used for more than just music, and G-Dragon also spoke out, saying that it’s the music that matters, nothing else.
YG Entertainment shared its reasoning behind releasing G-Dragon’s solo album in a USB format as well as the argument regarding whether it should be considered a physical album.
Earlier, the Korean Music Content Industry Association announced that they will not be counting the USB format as a physical album because the USB only contains a link for buyers to download music from as opposed to the actual music files.
YG Entertainment explained that the reason for using the USB was simply because they wanted to share more content than what typical CDs are able to store. They explained that CDs usually have a capacity of only 700 megabytes, while the USB that was used for G-Dragon’s album has four gigabytes of storage space.
They said, “Once you connect the USB into a computer, you can access a certain service site. On the site, you have access not only to the music, but also to various pictures and music videos. [The additional content] will be hosted by YG Entertainment until the end of this year. You can download this content and put it on the USB.” They emphasized that the additional content is only available on the specific website in question, which can only be accessed after the purchase of the USB.
The reasoning behind this change, they explained, is that “the consumer can’t add or erase music on what is typically sold as music CDs. However, G-Dragon’s USB album isn’t for one-time use, but a revolutionary way to allow for long-term content service. It allows consumers to add and erase content on it as they choose. There aren’t many people in the world who use CD players to listen to music anymore. However, music shows still consider physical sale scores in large part. Now, ‘physical albums’ are not really a way for people to listen to music from, but more like fan service products for fans.”
As for the decision by the Korean Music Content Industry Association not to count it as a physical album, YG said, “Actually, we don’t have a huge disagreement or issue with how the Gaon Charts chooses to count sales. We are more interested in new music and new worlds. However, we think the issue is with their old way of thinking that can’t keep up with the changes of the [current] generation.” They added, “We can’t understand why they would try to limit offline music sales to just CDs.”
What are your thoughts on this debate?
[스포츠 동아=김원겸 기자] There is a heated debate about G-DRAGON’s recently released USB album. The “KWON JI YONG” EP will be sold offline from June 19 only in USBs. The Korea Music Content Association (KMCA) announced its preliminary judgement that it is difficult to accept G-DRAGON’s USB album as a proper album, and now, this has become a hot potato in the music industry.
The KMCA operates Gaon Chart, which is sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST). According to the KMCA, the current law stipulates that an album is musical sounds fixed in a concrete object. G-DRAGON’s USB album contains the link to a website where the purchaser of the album can download music files, and therefore, cannot be regarded as an album. If the USB had music files in them, then it could be seen as an album, but the problem with G-DRAGON’s USB album is that you have to download music files using the USB to listen to the songs. The KMCA is currently consulting with the MCST about G-DRAGON’s USB album.
This all started when Sports Donga published an article on June 15 titled “G-DRAGON’s USB. It is an album or not? That is the question.” The music industry and the public started taking an interest in the change that G-DRAGON’s USB album might bring. Already, many people see his USB album as the beginning of the fourth revolution of albums: the transition from LPs to cassette tapes, CDs, and now USBs. G-DRAGON and BIGBANG have received spotlight for combining diverse areas of art, such as fashion and visual arts, with music.
Indeed, G-DRAGON kick started a revolution in the album industry, and his agency set out to explain the background, meaning, and value of G-DRAGON’s USB album in a Q & A format.
- Why did G-DRAGON release an USB album?
“Simply put, the aim is to provide more diverse contents in addition to music. A regular CD is about 700 megabytes, and that is barely enough space for 20 songs. We can’t even have a single high definition music video in the CD. G-DRAGON’s USB album is four gigabytes. The USB is big enough to hold dozens of songs and high definition music videos. And it is the most portable device out of all other music storage devices.”
- What is in G-DRAGON’s USB album?
“When you put the USB in a computer, you can follow the link and gain access to a website. The website provides not only music but also G-DRAGON’s pictures and music videos, which can be downloaded to the USB until the end of this year. The website provides the official music video of “UNTITLED”, a different version of the music video with G-DRAGON wearing a different outfit, and the making video. These are only provided to those who buy G-DRAGON’s USB album.
- Why a USB album?
“With CDs, consumers can’t add or delete music. But, G-DRAGON’s USB album is not a consumer good that needs to be dispose of after one use. Consumers can actually pick and choose what they want in the album and delete what they do not want too. It is a revolutionary method of providing musical contents. No one listens to music with a CD player these days. But, album sales are still a big factor when calculating chart scores in music shows. Now, an album is not a means to listen to music but more like “goods” for the fans.”
- What is YG’s position on the controversy about whether this can be considered as an album?
“YG doesn’t have complaints about the way Gaon compile data for its chart rankings. YG is more interested in new music and the new world. We think that the whole issue is a structural problem, those holding on to the old way of thinking and not being able to accept the changes that are happening right now. G-DRAGON chose to release an USB album to give more to his fans such as videos and pictures. So, it very difficult to understand why some people would want to confine music storage devices to only CDS. Even those in their seventies and eighties don’t listen to music from CD players, and it’s hard to find places to buy them. Most people use USBs or hard disk drives, and not CDs, to store data. Why does music have to be stored only in CDs? This doesn’t make sense.”
On June 15, G-DRAGON put up a post on his Instagram page titled “What‘s The Problem?” to express his views on the matter.
“Who gets to make the final decision on whether the product of an artist is an album or not? Cassette tapes, CDs, and downloadable files. They all have their merits and demerits. Devices change, but the most important thing is the melody and the lyrics that can stand the test of time and stay in people’s ears, mouths, and minds as something precious and comforting.”
2017. 6. 15.
— Seoulbeats (@seoulbeats) June 15, 2017
The only problem with this is, unlike urine testing, this test is said to detect drug use going back anywhere from 90 days ago to three years ago by some estimates. What’s more, South Korean law forbids the use of Cannabis anywhere regardless of its legality in other countries. This means a Korean who has ingested Cannabis quite legally in a different country can still be tested and prosecuted for its usage in South Korea.
What we know so far is that Han Seo-hee, an alleged former Jellyfish Entertainment trainee some years ago, was caught by police and investigated for smoking Cannabis. At some point in the investigation, she revealed to police that she had smoked Cannabis with T.O.P at his home in October, prior to the commencement of his military service. This began the investigation into him, and his hair tested positive for Cannabis use.
T.O.P originally denied these charges, saying in a statement somewhat reminiscent of GD (and equally as unbelievable), that he thought it was just an e-cigarette. His statement later changed to admitting to some of the charges– to smoking three times in his home with Han Seo-hee. He then, through YG Entertainment, released a handwritten letter of apology to fans, and was swiftly dismissed from his military service, which he will have to begin again from scratch in the future.
Until this point, fan reactions were varied, with many fans offering a range of support, scepticism of his story (in particular the change from denial to admittance), distaste, scepticism, and apathy on the presence of Han Seo-hee, and fears for T.O.P’s future career. Many Korean citizens have not been as forgiving.
Han Seo-hee copped criticism from almost every angle; she committed the actual crime of smoking Cannabis and the perceived crime of being close to T.O.P. Not only did she commit these two “crimes”, she then was accused of informing police about T.O.P, leading to him being charged. Many fans said she shouldn’t have released details to the police, choosing not to consider how she would have been affected if found to have given a false report to police. There are also accusations that this is not her first drug related offence, that she is a wealthy, spoilt woman and that she has previously written rude comments on her social media accounts. The veracity of these statements is difficult to ascertain.
There was another ugly undertone, subtle but still present, about what Han Seo-hee could possibly have been doing at T.O.P’s house. Comments ranged from accusations against the two sleeping together, to those who shrugged and said things like “He’s so popular, of course he’s sleeping around”. However, these moderate reactions seemed to apply to T.O.P more than Soe-hee- she tended to get more negative remarks. Some fans also commented that it was interesting that the police named names in this case, identifying Soe-hee, whereas criminals charged with perceived “worse” crimes (such as CEOs with “sponsor” girls) did not have their names publically released in such a way.
Things were not going well for either Han Soe-hee or T.O.P, but they were about to get even worse. Upon his discharge from the police unit, T.O.P was accused of “smiling” in photos. His expression is odd and it looks like it could be smiling, however people can react in many different ways in times of extreme stress–whether it was a real smile, and what the smile would even be in reaction to is something we will likely never know. The internet exploded with rage at his perceived cavalier attitude, and comparisons of previous incidents with his label mates did not help. Many thought T.O.P would get a slap on the wrist similar to GD, whose career was barely hindered by his Cannabis scandal.
Park Bom of course, is another unfavourable comparison within YG, though where GD’s career weathered his scandal, Park Bom’s eventually ended hers, and likely contributed in some part to the demise of 2NE1 as a group. Furthermore, people are additionally making links to former YG stylist Yang Seung-ho, who was investigated for drug use. There are rumours that another Big Bang member was tested for drugs, though no traces were found, and speculation on who that member may have been; some suggest Seungri.
Public opinion has been rather unforgiving of YG Entertainment, with some of the public advocating what amounts to a police raid and forceful drug testing of the whole company. Other idols like Kidoh, DMTN’s Daniel, E-Sens and Iron, being charged for drug-related offences just compounds the perception that idols flout the law around drug use.
T.O.P’s issues have culminated in a suspected overdose after being found unconscious on the morning of June 6th. YG released a statement that suggested he used anti-anxiety medication to help him sleep, and took too much of it. Regardless of what this was– an accident, a call for help or a suicide attempt, it seems clear that T.O.P is having a very difficult time.
This has been compounded by contradictory rumours, allegedly coming from the police, including that T.O.P did not lose consciousness, that his drug test results were reportedly not abnormal and an insinuation that T.O.P was in the ICU simply to avoid reporters. T.O.P’s mother responded to these comments in distress, saying he did not regain consciousness, was still in a critical condition and she couldn’t understand why this misinformation was being spread.
Doctors at Ewha Woman’s University Mokdong Hospital announced earlier that it was possible T.O.P would recover in a week, and that they didn’t expect he would suffer from brain damage or respiratory arrest. At that time, the police appeared to back away from their original statement, saying later that his condition was difficult to speak about. If this about-face was authentic, it is highly suspicious. Thankfully, T.O.P has awoken and has been moved to another, more private hospital to continue appropriate treatment. His only direct comment to the media was “I’m sorry”.
It’s unclear what we can expect to see in the future–hopefully T.O.P’s continued recovery now that he has awoken. Presumably at some point T.O.P will go to court and be sentenced. Outside of that, he’ll need to redo his military service. There was some doubt about whether the scandal would impact GD’s newest release and world tour; he had no promotions before the release of his latest track “Untitled, 2014“. Regardless of the scandal, “Untitled, 2014” went on to receive an all-kill.
It seems clear that with all the rumours floating around, it’s difficult to know what is the truth. That said, we should be careful of making assumptions, and Western fans surprised at the harsh laws should remember that South Korea is a sovereign state with the right to make its own laws.
In light of an unforgiving public, an online backlash and a culture of high expectations which can lead to severe bullying, the situation has the potential to get worse before it gets better. Regardless of what happens, I hope that YG Entertainment delivers significant support to T.O.P and the other members of Big Bang, and that Han Soe-hee has a support network of her own. Hopefully other agencies not only follow suit, but are proactive in looking out for the wellbeing of their idols, too. We do not have to agree with T.O.P’s actions to have some empathy for this situation.
(Naver          , Seoul News, MK News, Dispatch, Joins  , Merry Jane, TV Report, Yonhap News. Images via: Random House Korea, MBN, YG Entertainment, Dispatch, Instagram) – by Seoulbeats