Isn't it wonderful when your idol does not only create good music but also produce a work of art that speaks straight to you?
Hallyu stars Big Bang has done it again. The group's latest MV "Fantastic Baby" is a beautifully shot video with a slew of symbolic images that communicates straight to the heart of their fans--the VIPs. It is a well-known fact that Big Bang, one of the top (if not the top) K-Pop acts, suffered a number of publicity blows in the past year including the car accident involving member Daesung and the drug-related incident involving leader G. Dragon. Throughout all of the negative publicity and discouragement, the VIPs gave the group unending support and the "Fantastic Baby" video is obviously a tribute to them. Let us reflect and dissect some of the major symbolic highlights of the video.
The VIPs: Big Bang's Soldiers
In "Fantastic Baby," the story starts with a clear revolution aimed at stopping music symbolized by the simplified version of the Big Bang skull logo with a slash. The black masked persons refer to Big Bang's haters who capitalized on the past controversies and tried to discourage, discredit and ultimately disband the group. The white masked persons refer to the VIPs who continued to defend and protect the Big Bang boys from these attacks. Big Bang was quoted to have said that it was their fans who kept them together and this is a clear acknowledgment of that. During the 2011 MTV Europe Awards where Big Bang took home the "Best Worldwide Act", they expressed that: "This is only because of our fans. Through the ups and downs. Thank you for standing by us."
Big Bang: The Musical Revolutionaries
These three frames of T.O.P. wearing a variety of outfits reminiscent of historical world revolutionaries such as George Washington and Napoleon Bonaparte represent Big Bang as K-Pop's musical revolutionaries. As I had mentioned in my article "Why is Big Bang so Big?," this group lead by the musical genius G-Dragon started the electronica trend that is still very much alive in K-Pop. Their unique and innovative musical style which is much copied but never equaled is evidence that G-Dragon, Taeyang, T.O.P., Daesung, and Seungri are considered as musical revolutionaries not just in K-Pop but in world music as well.
The VIPs: Daesung's Saviors
The image of Daesung in chains is a clear representation of the emotional and psychological torture he experienced last year during the aftermath of his car accident. Daesung, a known Christian, recognized this major crossroad in his life, which as he admitted in the show "Healing Camp," threatened his very will to live. The beautiful image of a falling Daesung gently caught by a sea of white masked VIPs communicates that the support of his fans aided in his healing process.
Big Bang: Silenced and Scarred yet still Unstoppable
The images of a frozen Taeyang, a scarred Seungri, and a seemingly silenced G-Dragon portrays the publicity nightmare the boys faced in the past year. On close-up, G-Dragon's interesting lip art seems to show black leaves representative of his marijuana-related case. It seems to show a subtle artistic image of his admission to the deed. The bloody scratches on Seungri's chest reveal the painful consequences of past trials while the frozen Taeyang who later sits in a meditative pose shows the silent struggle of the members. Despite these somber images, however, Big Bang stayed together and remains strong. The lyrics of "Fantastic Baby" specifically the lines "I'm forever a celebrity," "Feel who I am," and "Can't stop this" ensures fans that the boys are back and they know their place in the industry.
Big Bang: K-Pop Royalty
I have time and time again referred to Big Bang as K-Pop royalty and this image is indeed fitting. I cannot imagine any other K-Pop (except for Shinhwa) group who can have a photo like this taken and not look silly. With their talent, style, influence and longevity, there isn't any doubt that Big Bang is K-Pop royalty and this video is, just like its memorable lyric, "WOW, FANTASTIC BABY!"
Big Bang 'Fantastic Baby' Music Video
Catherine Deen blogs for Yahoo! Philippines OMG! She lives, eats and breathes Korean music, cuisine, telenovelas, and pop culture. Follow her on Twitter @cathsdeen.