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Preview from my upcoming Animated project / Graduation Project /Different/
Haha, yes in Korea we are definitely the “lazy” fans! It is because when you are an idol fan there is an image, an expectation. The expectation is that you will follow the idol around, you will vote again and again for awards put on by Melon or music shows or some other idol thing, you will put on events for the fans to keep them in the fanclub. We don’t do any of that! Part of it is because we are smaller than some other idol fanclubs. Not many VIP are actually part of the official VIP organizations. BIGBANG depends a lot on the public. Because we are smaller, we cannot spend time or money on useless things. Many of us are also older so we prefer to do things that help BIGBANG and leads to money rather than making big shows of our love to them. But most importantly, YG has forced us to be this way. Because he never does anything for BIGBANG members’ solo albums. So we have to save our money to pay for our members’ album promotions. It is expensive to pay for all of the things that have to come with a solo album: the banners, the buses, the trains, the murals, the shop advertisements, the free fan goods, the giveaways. Other fans don’t have to do that, just VIP T.T And because BIGBANG members make an example of donations, we the fanclubs save our money to donate as a gift to them. So we have no time or money to do other things! When other idol fans are running around being busy organizing events and online voting, we are thinking about the next time we will need to promote albums and make donations. That is why we are “lazy.” ^^
Hi, no problem! I will explain to the best of my knowledge. I have been with BIGBANG since Jiyong and Youngbae were trainees so I have a very long and clear view of them. You may know that when BIGBANG debuted they were not successful at first; only we who had been YG fans before were happy to see them. They did not have much public attention because they were not handsome and they were singing songs that not many people liked. Even I did not like the first album though I bought it^^ In 2007 their title song Lie from first mini-album ascended to the top of the music scene because of two reasons: 1 the song was good, 2 people were shocked because they had never thought that idols could write amazing songs instead of just singing what they were given. People started regarding BIGBANG as exceptional, and it was because Jiyong was the composer of Lie and of their whole album. No one had thought idols could do this. All of a sudden Jiyong was the center of talk, the prodigy who had written this music. Ever since that time Jiyong has been the absolute core of the group, no one can argue with that. No matter how many groups came after BIGBANG with the same concept or catchy songs or handsome faces, BIGBANG would always be different, be above them, because Jiyong writes their songs and that makes him, makes BIGBANG, more talented than the rest. That is the public perception. Because we have many boy groups, and many of them are better dancers, more handsome-looking, sing better than BIGBANG. I think we can all admit this. But when people who are not VIP think BIGBANG they think this group is different because of G-Dragon, the genius, the fashion icon, the Seo Tai Ji of our generation. Although many idols now help to write songs they will never match up to the status Jiyong has in the public imagination. This may surprise you but many many people in Korea know G-Dragon but not BIGBANG. This is why even though Jiyong had his big scandals in 2009 and 2011 YG never dared to pull him from endorsements because the companies wanted Jiyong.
Of course every member of BIGBANG attracts public attention to the group in his own way. But their solo activities are more “solo” than Jiyong’s. I will try to explain this because it doesn’t make sense at first. The public looks at BIGBANG as the group that they can respect because they are so talented in music, not because they have actors, comedians, and musicians. When TOP acts, he is actor Choi Seunghyun and tries to break away from his image in BIGBANG. If you have noticed he doesn’t talk a lot about BIGBANG when doing the movie, he gets farther away from music to concentrate on acting. Daesung had a lot of public recognition when he was a part of Family Has Arrived (really, he was sooo popular and we saw him everywhere!!) but lately he has not been on any big shows. Seungri actually has a very big fanbase in Korea! But it is mainly restricted to VIP because he does not have a special place as a musician in the public’s mind. These three members’ solo activities are not critical to BIGBANG’s image as a group talented in music. Youngbae and Jiyong’s solo activities are all music. If you notice every time Jiyong does promotions he talks a lot about his fellow members and about BIGBANG, he keeps mentioning them. This is not unintended but deliberate. He is doing this to promote the group and the other members, to promote YG’s artists. Because if you have been following them long, you will notice that Jiyong’s solos are a prediction of BIGBANG’s albums. When Jiyong’s Heartbreaker came out BIGBANG became sooooo popular! Even more popular than they were in 2008. And when Jiyong’s accident happened in 2011 everyone thought BIGBANG was over. His popularity has a direct effect on BIGBANG’s popularity, more so than the other members. As long as Jiyong is still well, BIGBANG will never be “out.” And that is why he always feels the pressure from YG, from his members, to do well. It does not have the same impact on BIGBANG if Seungri’s solo isn’t a big hit, or Daesung’s solo, or TOP’s movie. Youngbae’s popularity is more of a sign. But if Jiyong’s solo is not received well it is a very very bad sign for BIGBANG. This is why Korean VIPs know we must unconditionally support Jiyong if we want BIGBANG to continue.
But Jiyong is not all loved by the public! He has an enormous number of anti-fans, maybe more than any other member of BIGBANG. But whether people like or hate him, he is the most famous one and you cannot get away from him. Everybody, not just VIP or idol fans, know Jiyong. Everybody gets compared to him. He is the idol that we think is beyond the word idol. He has climbed to the top of the public’s respect on pure talent, and the public will not forget that. For a non-Korean it might be difficult to understand how important he is. BIGBANG’s popularity with the public, BIGBANG’s image with the public, it all depends on Jiyong. If the public stops thinking of Jiyong as the genius composer, there is nothing to make them interested in BIGBANG’s music. They may watch Choi Seunghyun’s movies, they may laugh at Kang Daesung’s jokes. But they will no longer care about BIGBANG. This is very long but I hope this helps with understanding. It is not that Jiyong is more loved by the public, but he is the reason why the public who are not VIP will listen to BIGBANG’s music. This is why we are uneasy when international fans say bad things about Jiyong. Because a lot of international fans do not understand just how much Jiyong means to BIGBANG, how much he has done for BIGBANG. Jiyong is the difference between BIGBANG and boy groups that the public cannot respect. I can say confidently that if Jiyong falls, BIGBANG falls, YG falls. I hope international fans can see that.