Despite lackluster results, K-pop continues collaborations

Despite lackluster results, K-pop continues collaborations
Psy (left) and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler (Psy’s official Twitter account)

KOREA - With news earlier in the year of Psy's collaboration with American rock legend Steven Tyler of Aerosmith as well as local rap star G-Dragon's announcement that he had indeed recorded a track with international pop superstar Justin Bieber, it appears as though K-pop artists are looking to expand their presence in the international music realm and continue to snatch any collaborative opportunities that come their way.

In August, Big Bang leader G-Dragon released his second solo album, "Coup d'etat," featuring a number of collaborative tracks with international artists. This is only one of the few examples of high-profile international partnerships. The album included the song "Niliria," featuring US hip-hop star Missy Elliott, and "Coup d'etat," featuring Diplo and Baauer. Compared to many K-pop collaborative projects that have been released in the past few years, this is one of the few that has made a dent in the international scene, however slight.

Although the singles with guest artists did not do as well locally as the album's hit single "Crooked," "Niliria" still managed to grab the attention of American men's fashion and entertainment magazine Complex, which named G-Dragon's electro pop track one of the year's top 50 songs, giving it the No. 32 spot.

"Korean pop superstar G-Dragon has the power to do whatever he wants, so it was nice to see him bring Missy Elliott out of unofficial retirement this past summer when they debuted this culture-clashing collaboration to thousands of screaming fans at an L.A. sports arena," Brendan Frederick wrote for Complex.

The two artists ― in their flashy, energetic hip-hop styles ― meshed well together, appearing to take K-pop collaborations a small step in the right direction. Through the single, G-Dragon practically lifted Missy Elliott out of retirement and back onto the stage, giving her a new status in Korea while still managing to draw attention from K-pop lovers in the US

"Maybe Missy should consider signing with YG Entertainment for that comeback album," said Frederick.

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