G-Dragon, born Kwon Ji-Yong, is a rapper from Seoul, South Korea who also writes and produces. At the age of 11, he signed to YG Entertainment and, a few years later, joined his label's popular group Big Bang, for which he wrote and produced a significant amount of material. November 2008's Remember topped Korea's Gaon chart, while most of the group's releases in Japan were certified gold. In August 2009, Kwon released his first solo album, Heartbreaker; a major success, it also topped the Gaon chart. He and fellow Big Bang member TOP then collaborated on December 2010's GD & TOP, a set that was more R&B and rap-oriented than their group's dance-pop-leaning releases. Kwon then issued his first solo EP, One of a Kind, which topped the Billboard World Albums chart. The September 2012 release was led by another chart-topping single, an acoustic ballad titled "That XX," as well as the hit "Crayon."
In 2013, Kwon released his sophomore set, Coup d'Etat, which featured appearances by Diplo, Baauer, Missy Elliot, Boys Noize, Sky Ferreira, and Jennie Kim from BlackPink. Once again topping the Gaon and the Billboard World Albums charts, Coup also won World's Best Album at the 2014 World Music Awards. Forays into fashion and art followed, as Kwon featured on a number of high-profile collaborations, including "Good Boy" with Taeyang (2014); "Dirty Vibe" with Skrillex, Diplo, and CL (2014); and "Temple" with Baauer and M.I.A. (2016). Kwon's second EP, the self-titled Kwon Ji-Yong, arrived in the summer of 2017. The five-song set -- released only as a USB -- topped the Billboard World Albums chart and Japan's Oricon digital chart, making G-Dragon the first Korean artist to do so. ~ Andy Kellman & Neil Z. Yeung