G Dragon: Moment of Truth

Act III: M.O.T.T.E ‘Moment Of Truth The End’ World Tour 2017. The loneliness and anguish hidden behind a glamorous lifestyle.

South Korea’s own singer, songwriter, fashion icon and artist, G Dragon, is arguably the biggest Asian star to emerge from the continent in the past decade. Having spent 6 years training under the guidance of the well-embedded YG Entertainment, G Dragon – real name Kwon Ji Yong, has risen to fame and stardom, selling millions of records, countless awards and even being named by Forbes as the Most Influential Person Under 30 in Asia’s Entertainment and Sport.

 

Now, the Korean phenomenon is drawing his second global tour, ‘Act III: M.O.T.T.E ‘Moment Of Truth The End’ World Tour, to a close, ending with performances in London and Birmingham (for the first time), Amsterdam, Paris and Berlin. Whilst the tour itself has seen the rapper and singer travel across several different continents performing to his biggest audiences to date, including a record attendance at Hong Kong’s Asia Expo, it brought about an unexpected intimacy and insight into his personal life, under the creative direction of WIllo Perron, a well-established figure in the industry, having previously worked with US-based superstars Rihanna, Drake and Kanye West to name a few.

Show Time

Split into three parts – Act I: G Dragon, Act II: G Dragon vs Kwon Ji Yong and Act III: Kwon Ji Yong, the performance followed a chronological order of the superstars musical catalogue, all the while, narrating the story of his internal conflicts and transformation to Kwon Ji Yong, the self-entitled latest project to be released by himself, which hit the US Billboard 200 Charts after just one day of recorded sales/streams. Opening up with Heartbreker, from his debut album, G Dragon sported a red-themed stage, with lights, jackets and more, as the gradually simplistic outfit changes were symbolic of the revealing of his true self towards the end of the show.

 

Whilst running through a few album cuts, during which the stage filled with smoke as the spotlighted rapper took the mic, surrounded by floating limbs of his backing dancers, the crowd were still excitable for each track from But I Love You, to R.O.D, to Black. As a result, super hits including MichiGO and Crayon were met from the first beat by a deafening wave of screams, to say the least. Such anticipation to see the star, however, is far from futile, as G Dragon is reportedly bidding farewell as he returns to South Korea for a 2-year hiatus, which may see the star completing mandatory military service for the country. Perhaps contributing to his internal conflict that was made apparent throughout his performance, not to mention the near 10-minute long dialogue projected onto stage screens before his third and final entry to the stage…

 

Enter Kwon Ji Yong.

A video montage of interviews from his closest and dearest, from his fellow Korean artists, to the editor of Vogue, to his manager, YG employees and family, painted a vivid picture of the star and his personality, before he himself took the screen, sharing his confusion, duality, but above all, desire to be himself. This final stage of the show saw G Dragon drop tracks from his latest project, Kwon Ji Yong, from the self-explanatory Super Star, to a drop to rival that of a UK Grime stars in Bullshit (개소리). The crowd was then treated to an encore consisting of arguably his biggest hit to date, 무제(無題) Untitled, 2014. before he moved to his next city towards the end of Act III.

Act III M.O.T.T.E has been considered as the largest solo male tour by any Korean artist, and in reality, tells the story of an artist who has spent the majority of his life in the limelight, covering the “loneliness and anguish hidden behind the glamorous lifestyle”. Whilst his music has surpassed geographical and cultural boundaries, so too has the tour, mirroring the large-scale, dramatized content of his art.

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