G-Dragon “Coup D’etat” Album Synopsis/Review [Part 1]


The YG storm of August has rushed into September, bringing the first part of Big Bang leader G-Dragon’s second album, titled “Coup D’etat.

G-Dragon "Coup D'etat"

The album starts off with “Coup D’etat” featuring Diplo and Bauuer. The track has a heavy, slow beat and seems to be the mature counterpart to his earlier songs “Crayon” and “MichiGo.” There are also synths, including some that sound like violins, in the background; they are slightly masked by the bass, which gives it an intense feeling. When I first listened to it, it reminded me of some of the gangster rap from 90s and early 2000s. I took a liking to the track as soon as I heard it, as it is not only catchy, but puts a new spin on G-Dragon’s style of music.

Next comes “Niliria” featuring Missy Elliot. It begins with a very classical Asian sound which continues throughout the song even as Missy Elliot enters with her rap. Then G-Dragon begins to rap. This was a kind of rap I haven’t heard from him in his recent singles; it is very tough and manly while going at a medium speed. The chorus/hook occurs once towards the end of the song, and is very catchy. G-Dragon then combines singing with rapping, something I love coming from him. The song ends with the classical Asian singing from the beginning.

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“R.O.D.” featuring Lydia Paek is third. Lydia is known as an awesome choreographer, so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that she was being featured. It opens with a very short introduction quickly followed by the downbeat dropping in and G-Dragon’s rap. There is a guitar lick that spans almost the entire song. Lydia then comes in with the chorus, and it was a good decision by G-Dragon to include her, as her voice provides a nice contrast from the rap and beat. The bridge consists of dubstep and an electric guitar solo, both of which are very different from the more reggae style it had before.

After that is “Black” featuring Jenny Kim of YG New Artist, a mellow track. It begins with piano chords, after which G-Dragon enters, combining rap and singing. The bass is again slightly heavy, but the background music is minimal, which makes it easy on the ear. Jenny sings the chorus, and her voice is not too mature, an aspect of the song I quite enjoy. It is a very fresh sound, something I have not heard often in K-pop. After Jenny sings the bridge, the song ends with G-Dragon’s singing. This is one of my favorite songs on the album, and I recommend that you take a listen to it.

“Who You?” is fifth. It has G-Dragon singing in a slightly desperate tone, as the lyrics detail a breakup. The song is upbeat, and its mood reminds me of Seungri “GG Be.” It does not have as much rap as the other tracks, and really brightens up the album. This is also something that I have not heard too often from G-Dragon, as it is quite a cute song.

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Next is “Shake the World,” a mixture of roughness and autotune. It begins with an introduction in which G-Dragon sings. The beat drops, and then he raps. This song is heavily auto-tuned. The bass line is bouncy, and as far as I’ve heard, is a more American sound new to G-Dragon. Despite this, it still has that upbeat, party-esque feeling from previous songs like “Crayon” and “MichiGo.”

Last comes “MichiGo,” a song we’ve all probably heard and watched the video for. I really like this song, as it is upbeat and really has me jamming to it. Although I feel that the verses are slightly disconnected, it all ties together during the chorus. It has an electric, dubstep-y sound that is really quite fresh and pleasing in its bounciness, and is by far, my favorite song on the album.

I give this album a 9.9/10. It was so close! I love G-Dragon, and I especially love the fact that he really an artist, in the sense that he composed the entire album. However, there was only one song that didn’t quite reach my standards, “Shake the World.” Although it may be in your liking, it wasn’t really something I particularly enjoyed, mostly because of the autotune. Overall, this album was absolutely bombastic, and I am on the edge of my seat waiting for the next part, as I’m sure many of you are.

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Check out the MVs for G-Dragon’s “Coup D’etat” and “MichiGo” below!

“Coup D’etat”