MV of the Month: Big Bang’s ‘Bang Bang Bang’

BIGBANG - "Bang Bang Bang"

It was inevitable, really. With BIGBANG releasing music videos at the astounding rate of two per month, they just had to make our list at some point. But make no mistake: this isn’t a numbers game. With “Bang Bang Bang,” BIGBANG has proven that you don’t have to choose between quality and quantity. Let’s review why their third release from the MADE project is our Music Video of the Month for June of 2015!


'L' referred to “Bang Bang Bang” as a “visual onslaught” in episode 3 of the Critical Kpop Podcast. And the video starts out by immediately disorienting the viewer. As we zoom down a traffic tunnel the camera spins on axis. What was right-side up is now upside down. Visual onslaught seems to be the intention throughout the video. Forget what you think you know. You’re in BIGBANG’s world now!

BIGBANG - "Bang Bang Bang"

And where else could a cowboy yell at a spaceman? T.O.P’s part in the MV involves some gloriously fun cosplay. In his first scene, he dresses as both a southern NASCAR fan and an astronaut. But this is more than just for kicks; this is all part of T.O.P’s oeuvre, a developing body of work where he references meaningful films. Here, we see an homage to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, an homage which first began with the apes in “DOOM DADA.” It’s artistic references like this that make T.O.P more than just one of the best recognized rappers in Kpop; he’s also a connoisseur of culture. How many people do you know who can wear a steampunk leather trenchcoat with a bearskin cap? Not many.

BIGBANG - "Bang Bang Bang"

Just after T.O.P’s rap battle with himself, we’re treated to a gritty scene of Seungri rising from the dead, bringing with him a legion of zombies. But Seungri also brings the controversy when he sports a Native American headdress while tooling around on his motorcycle. Accusations of cultural insensitivity were once again on the lips of viewers, and this time, there isn’t any excuse. We thought Kpop had learned its lesson with T-ara’s “Yayaya,” but no such luck. And maybe there’s a simple explanation here. Maybe Seungri was jealous: T.O.P has his bearskin cap, Taeyang and G-Dragon have their red and pink hair, and even Daesung has a churlish new mop affixed to his skull. Maybe Seungri was feeling overshadowed. Maybe this was his way of acting out, of seeking attention like a petulant child. Well, it worked.

BIGBANG - "Bang Bang Bang"

And then there was Daesung. Beautiful, never-insulting Daesung. How can we forget about Daesung? Oh, maybe it has something to do with the fact that he is apparently now trying to hide his face entirely. There’s a great moment on Yoo Hee Yeul’s Sketchbook where Daesung admits that until covering his face, he’s never before been called handsome so many times! It’s this self-deprecating humor that makes us love him! On the other hand, if there’s one forgettable scene in this music video, it’s the scene with Daesung. Is he supposed to be a pimp? We’re not sure, but there’s so much else going on in this video that it’s hardly worth thinking about.

BIGBANG - "Bang Bang Bang"

Like G-Dragon putting women on a leash! Seriously, this was a major controversy for BIGBANG, as everyone’s favorite boundary-pusher was at it again. Critics cited the incident as a terrible model for gender equality, and pointed out that the woman was also black, a group with an even worse history of representation in Kpop (see: blackface). While gender inequality and cultural insensitivity are real issues, and ones we would like to see addressed, it is difficult to fault G-Dragon when the black woman on the leash was the choreographer herself. That’s right, choreographer Parris Goebel was the creator of this stunt. Although we’re not going to raise the alarm over this, we can’t really support it either. BIGBANG is an immensely popular group, and any way you want to justify it, they now have a music video in which black women are put on a leash.

BIGBANG - "Bang Bang Bang"

But enough of the controversy! Let’s get back to the good stuff, the juicy stuff, the...sexy stuff. Because even in BIGBANG’s world, one thing remains the same - sex still sells! And Taeyang peddles it like few others. Not only does he ride a badass armored personnel carrier (or APC) like it’s his broken stallion, flamethrowers spurting fire behind him, but he also has the guts to dance in front of no less than eight men with no less than forty-eight chocolate abs between them. Ignoring the insane amount of eye-candy here for a moment (we know, it’s hard), this takes a lot of confidence. It’s not like Taeyang is in danger of being overshadowed, but few male idols have such courage!

BIGBANG - "Bang Bang Bang"

And all of that was just our description of the solo parts of the music video! When the five guys get together, they dance with a bevy of beautiful women, bounce on low-riders with hydraulics, ride motorcycles into the sunset, and shoot pistols and grenade launchers and flamethrowers! BIGBANG’s “Bang Bang Bang” is June’s Music Video of the Month because it is the quintessential Kpop MV. It’s visually stunning, bombastic, full of controversy, and, most importantly, loads of fun.

2 comments:

  1. In some defense G-Dragon was also attached to the leash.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Parris Goebel is NOT black! She is half white and half Polinesian/Native Newzealander >_<''

    ReplyDelete

Share This Page

Listen to the Podcast