Kwon Ji Yong (Korean: 권지용; Hanja: 權志龍) is the second extended play (EP) by South Korean singer-songwriter and rapper G-Dragon, released digitally on June 8, 2017, by YG Entertainment. The EP was his first release in four years, following his second studio album Coup d'Etat (2013). The physical release was made on a USB flash drive in lieu of a traditional compact disc. The EP was generally well-received by critics who praised G-Dragon's honesty and vulnerability on the EP. This was G-Dragon's final release before his military enlistment on February 27, 2018.
The EP debuted atop the Billboard World Albums and Heatseekers Albums, and also topped the Billboard Hot Albums in Japan. The EP was a commercial success in mainland China, where it sold one million digital copies in less than a week, and was the best-selling digital album of 2017 by a Korean artist. To promote the record, G-Dragon embarked on his Act III: M.O.T.T.E World Tour just two days after its release.
II. Critical Reception
Tamar Herman from Billboard felt that Kwon Ji Yong was G-Dragon's most personal work, as he reflects "on his career, successes, and regrets". Herman complimented how the rapper puts his "inner thoughts out in the public through a variety of sounds but remains cohesive through its lyrics as if requesting listeners to forget the singer's celeb stature and momentarily hear the thoughts of a man struggling with the present he's achieved through his past efforts." Fuse's Jeff Benjamin wrote that the album highlights "some of G-Dragon's biggest strengths as a forward-thinking hip-hop maestro", while also "counteracting those harder tracks" to spotlight his "less-seen tender side."
Chester Chin of The Star described Kwon Ji Yong as a "record made of emotional catharsis" with the tracks filled with "vulnerable disposition". In a rave review, Seoul Beats wrote that the EP is "the most cohesive effort G-Dragon put in to define himself, and who he really is" and stated that "the album is lyrically denser than anything they've heard so far this year", as it tells G-Dragon story: "it's filled with references to his previous works, rife with references to his personal life, his art he displays on his Instagram, and it's the first time I can say I'm positively blown away after a close listen. His personal struggle with himself, with who he is, G-Dragon or Kwon Ji-yong, and how his idol persona has changed him, clearly comes through on these tracks".
Affinity Magazine named the record the fourth-best K-pop album of the year, feeling that it is "probably his most honest work to date" and that "although short, is just enough to make people feel the lyrics he wrote." The magazine also complimented how the "rawness and honesty of the lyrics make the audience feel instant empathy while dancing to the rhythm."
The album was chosen as the best Korean album released in 2017 by the music streaming service KKBOX, who called the record a "champion of the year", with all songs from the EP making KKBOX's list of the top 20 songs of the year. The album was chosen as one of the most-talked-about music releases in June 2017 by Douban.
III. Track Listing
|1||Middle Fingers-Up (Intro. 권지용)||G Dragon||G Dragon, 24, Kush||24||3:42|
|2||Bullshit (Act I. 개소리)||G Dragon, Teddy||G Dragon, Teddy, Cawlr, Future Bounce, Choice37||Cawlr, Future Bounce, Choice37, 24
|3||Superstar (Act II)||G Dragon, Teddy, Joe Rhee
||G Dragon, Teddy, Joe Rhee, 24, Choice37, Future Bounce, Seo Won Jin
||24, Teddy, Joe Rhee, Choice37, Future Bounce, Seo Won Jin||3.45|
|4||Untitled, 2014 (Act III. 무제(無題)||G Dragon||G Dragon, Choice37||Choice 37, Seonwoo Jeonga||3:42|
|5||Divina Commedia (Outro. 신곡(神曲)||G Dragon, 8!, Brian Lee, Safe, Frank Dukes
||G Dragon, 8!, Brian Lee, Frank Dukes, Safe. Thomas Bangalter, Guy Manuel Homem Christo
||Frank Dukes, Murda Beatz, Brian Lee||3:44|