This probably just looks like a weird-shaped building to the untrained eye, but even most kpop n00bs would know that this is the headquarters of YG Entertainment, the agency that has brought the world 2NE1, Psy, Blackpink, Ikon, Winner, and the ultimate kpop kings, BIGBANG. Even though you can’t go inside, visiting this kpop castle was at the top of my list because I just needed to look it all over, up and down, side to side, back to front, with my own two eyeballs.
So after eating the 8734082705 dollar breakfast buffet at our hotel (not worth it!), we set off early Sunday morning (a/k/a Our Last Full Day in Korea) for the iconic YG homestead.
Surprisingly, this was the easiest thing we found during the whole entire trip, I think! It was meant to be!
YG Entertainment is considered to be one of the Big Three Kpop agencies (SM and JYP being the other two). I know that BTS is taking over America right now, but BIGBANG was wooing the rest of the world way before that and everything they touch turns to gold. G-Dragon is Korea’s National Treasure! Just standing there and looking up at this structure, with so much talent within its walls, felt so surreal! I have seen it so many times in pictures and in videos, and now here it was right in front of me! I COULD HAVE PROBABLY BEEN STANDING IN THE SAME SPOT THAT G-DRAGON MIGHT HAVE MAYBE STOOD ONCE AT SOME POINT, I CAN’T EVEN HANDLE IT!
Right across the street is a GS25 (a large and amazing convenience store chain that we stopped in everyday) and I pictured G-Dragon strolling in there on any random afternoon to grab some ramyun or banana uyuu and can you imagine WORKING THERE?! I would never take a day off! Let me stand behind my register all fucking and night and wait to catch a glimpse of Seungri or Mino or Jenny.
I’m not going to try and act like I wasn’t shook. I was pretty giddy.
I loved that there were so many messages of love and appreciation scrawled on the walls behind the convenience store. It was early enough on a Sunday morning that we were the only ones there but I can imagine the crowds this area must draw, especially before 4 out of 5 BIGBANG members enlisted in the military. If I was a kid in Seoul, I feel like I would be loafing (lol, that word will forever make me think of my dad) in that area all the time after school.
“What did you think about going to YG?” I asked Henry just now.
“What do you mean?” he asked because he’s remedial and needs questions illustrated for him, translated into Caveman grunts, played out it in an interpretive dance.
“Like, did you think it was cool? Were you like ‘Oh cool, the YG building!’?” I coached.
“No, I thought it was just another building,” and then he mumbled other things that I couldn’t hear because he was walking away, and I think it’s funny that now that he knows he’s being interviewed, he’s trying to act like he doesn’t care about kpop because over the weekend I was like “WE DON’T HAVE ANYTHING IN COMMON!”and he quietly said, “Yes, we do. I like kpop” and I was like, “OH SHIT BOY I’LL NEVER LET YOU FORGET THAT YOU SAID THIS!”
But really, here are some signs that Henry is a Kpop dad:
“Jimin looks like he lost weight.”
“Is this SHINee’s comeback stage?”
“Pfft, probably” – after hearing the headline Did Hyuna Take Sexy Too Far.
“They got V’s name wrong! That said Jung Kook!”
YG will always be the most prestigious kpop agency in my eyes and I’m so excited that I got to see it. I WONDER WHO WAS IN THERE THAT DAY?!!?!? Blackpink has been preparing for a comeback, so maybe they were there?! OMG I would have died if I saw them. (Henry would have too — he loves him some Blackpink. He listens to them A LOT on his own time.)
I will leave you with two of my favorite non-BIGBANG YG videos, because it’s nice to give some other groups the spotlight sometimes.
I like to shout the 널 좋아해 parts real loud to the cats when I listen to this alone in the house. It means “I like you.” That’s your daily lesson from me to you.
One of my favorite kpop cardio workouts uses this song! Anyway, the first time we went to Hongdae, Ikon was there giving out free hugs apparently and I think I may have seen one of them but he was across the street and Chooch was like, “WE ARE GOING THIS WAY BECAUSE I’M IN CHARGE HERE” so I didn’t get to see what was going on. Thanks, Chooch.
LOL OK FINE TWIST MY ARM here is a BIGBANG video too. I just asked Chooch which BIGBANG he would share and he said, with little hesitation, “Fantastic Baby.” So here’s a three-song compilation from one of the award shows they performed on because it also includes Bang Bang Bang and that song is a, well, banger. Also I loved G-Dragon’s hair so much in this! HOW DOES HE MAKE A MULLET LOOK SO FUCKING HOT.
Kings. BIGBANG is the group that got me 100% obsessed with kpop and Korea in general, so YG will always be the best in my opinion. I can’t believe I got to stand before it, like it was a legit religious shrine and I just got off the church bus with a bunch of nuns.