G-Dragon: An Appreciation of His Legacy
By all accounts, G-Dragon’s performance last Thursday at the Barclays Center was his last one in New York for a while. Once his world tour, Act III: M.O.T.T.E. (which sounds like the Korean word for womb and is also an acronym for Moment of Truth the End), finishes in the fall he’s due for Korean boy-band heaven, a.k.a. mandatory military service, a roughly two-year requirement that not even millions of screaming fans can get you out of. The two-year conscription has effectively killed many music careers (RIP Rain), because the Korean music machine crunches onward without you, and there’s always someone younger, shinier, and better coordinated waiting in the wings. So for almost two hours, G-Dragon rapped, caterwauled, and crooned his way through his past three solo albums, including his latest, Kwon Ji Yong — his given name — to give his New York audience a farewell. It was both an opportunity to say good-bye and a chance to stake out his legacy beyond the one that made him famous: his debut with the boy band Big Bang back in 2006.