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Universal Records is the NUMBER ONE independent record label in the Philippines. Bringing you quality music for the past 30 years, we are home to artists like: Jose Mari Chan, Gary Valenciano, Ogie Alcasid, Regine Velasquez, Lani Misalucha, Jed Madela, Christian Bautista, Jay R, Billy Crawford, Kris Aquino, Edu Manzano, Marian Rivera, Mark Herras, Nina, Ronnie Liang, Gail Blanco, Sam Concepcion. Our band roster includes: Parokya Ni Edgar, Kamikazee, Sponge Cola, Imago, Silent Sanctuary, Kenyo, Paraluman. We are equally committed to bring you exciting international releases covering various genres like pop, jazz, new age, classical, alternative, indie pop, rock, electronica, dance, r&b, and hip-hop. Name it, we definitely have it!

February 8, 2011

Kpoplive | GD&TOP want to change the prejudice toward hip hop

G-Dragon and TOP are trying to change the minds of those who criticized them as rappers and the results have become successful so far.

The Big Bang rapping duo of G-Dragon and TOP released the album GD&TOP selling over 150,000 copies. Oh Yeah, High High, Knock Out, and Don’t Go Home have become hits almost instantly once they were released. The duo stated they had made music using only their heads but with this album they had used their hearts instead. The reviews for their talents and hard work were nothing but positive with their final product that continues to grow in popularity as of today.

They didn’t just stick to the basic hip hop genre within the album but added electronic, disco, and rock along with some underground sounds. Thus they began to change the minds of those who had once believed they were not real rappers but mere products of a Kpop boy group. Even the underground rappers who had once looked down on them have begun to praise them. They’ve been able to create a beautiful masterpiece that reveals the confidence they have in their abilities.

The duo stated the following:
“The great thing is that we could be acknowledged by people who had criticized us by saying that we were not real rappers. Underground rappers also changed their thoughts about us. We think that we could change the prejudice towards hip hop, which has not been mainstream music, thanks to our consistent trials for hip hop even though we were idol group members.”

They combined their own separate thoughts and ideas into this album, which they believe made it into such a success. Unlike other Kpop artists they are the ones who produced the music and wrote it. They even were able to create their own trends with their styles that they presented on stage and in the music videos. They incorporated their free way of thinking into every step they took.

G-Dragon stated the following about his creative process:
“As soon as I wake up in the morning, I go to my studio. I have breakfast in there and make music when something comes up into my head. If nothing comes up with, I just play video games and dance. I usually stand up all night in the studio, but the actual time for creating music might be less than one hour.”
While TOP had a completely opposite way of coming up with his ideas:
“I do not think that I am working. I write down the lyrics while we are having conversations. I record songs when I want to. We add our own styles to the music whenever we work at the studio, and this is why our music sounds so free.”

The two stated they had approached their album in a whole new light. Instead of feeling like they were forced to write music to come up with something great, they felt this excitement in becoming writers. They felt as if they were improv actors for a theater of some sort and they needed to act out fun stories for the audience to love. They were able to even reveal that as soon as they got on stage with their various performances and dramatic outfits they wore. Especially since they changed each aspect for each show to make sure it remained unique.

“These days, singers cannot be successful only with their good appearance or good music. Successful singers have to present things to watch and things to talk for attracting the public. For people who always want something new, we change our performance every time, and we present various styles of fashion like a ‘show book’ in a fashion show. We always want to be looked upon as fresh and new.”

The two wanted to create music that was vastly different than what the world expected of them. Everyone held this prejudice they would only come out with hip hop based songs, but instead they broke their stereotype in half. They revealed they could take on different genres that they molded their voices around all too well. They even purposefully created music that may need to be censored to broadcast on television because they didn’t want to limit their creativity.

In regards to one of their songs, Knock Out, G-Dragon shared the following:
“I thought that presenting a satisfactory song to our music fans was much more meaningful than passing the censors in the broadcasting companies. Actually, the broadcasting companies could have had preconceptions about me as I am not a type of model student (laugh). I made the lyric “Knock Out” by drawing inspiration from the script of the drama ‘My Name is Kim Sam Soon,’ and I wonder why the same word is acceptable in the drama, but unacceptable in the song.”

Amongst all the criticism they still created music they knew the fans would appreciate and music that would separate them from what they had been labeled as. For example, the two have solo’s within their album where they rap to either a soft rock melody or a more rock ‘n roll sort of sound. They made sure that no one could say they only produced raps no one could understand or relate to, but music that everyone could appreciate and see that there was no reason for the prejudice against rap or hip hop itself.

Soon they will be finishing up their promotions for their own album and working on promoting the new Big Bang album after the 2011 Big Show. They have stated they have added in a new sound to Big Bang as a whole to change the way fans listen to them. They want to be able to give fans something more enjoyable to listen to after all the incidents that have occurred over the past year.

“Big Bang’s new album has almost been completed. Big Bang’s music has been very cheerful and lyrical so far, but this time we added rock. These days, people seem to find something interesting that can make them laugh and it might come from many accidents and incidents that happened last year, so we are going to present warm and cheerful music for those people rather than heavy and electronic music. The performances made by Big Bang will be very exciting. Actually we do not know what is inside us. When some people say someone is very suitable for the stage, it means that they show off everything hidden inside on the stage. We think that we become completely different people on the stage and become a kind of fool outside the stage (laugh). We want to promote ourselves in Japan in earnest, so we will live there for three months. After coming back to Korea, we will hold performances in Korea until the end of this year. Many world-class music composers have participated in producing our new album, so I think that it will become a turning point for Big Bang.”

They are happy that their dreams of being great Kpop idols have come true. They are wanting to regain their image and make sure that those who view them know who they truly are inside and out. Their music will help them to better express that this time around.

Written by: nikkiepop@Kpoplive.com

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