[Opinion/Discussion] An Essay: Dealing with Change

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  1. Artists grow and change – it’s a necessary part of the creative process and part of an ever evolving process of becoming.  As a natural consequence, fans also come and go as their tastes also change and fit differently with every phase of the artists’ career.  But even to fans who resolutely journey along with an artist, especially a young one, there are times when significant transformations can be unsettling.
  2. I guess we all know by now that we are dealing with a “new” Taeyang. As someone who has been a fan for nearly 5 years (which is eons in kpop-land) this is both unsurprising and yet, disquieting.  On one hand, I don’t expect him to remain the same forever – the only constant is change, after all.  But I guess I’m still not used to it and am trying to understand my own reactions. Fanmom that I am, it’s a bit like seeing your child suddenly hit the teenage years while having all the baby memories still lying around.  Where did that other kid go? And what do I do when my kid wants to borrow the car?
  3. It’s not as different perhaps for those who remember the Taeyang who just debuted – while still shy, you could see glimpses of his sense of humor back then in all its rough and tumble, knock-knock joke glory.  By 2007 though, he was already noticeably quieter and come 2008 had adopted a much more thoughtful and serious mien. His 2009 depression, 2010’s Solar promotion and Big Bang’s troubles in 2011 proved a turning point to transform his thinking to be more positive and spontaneous.  It’s as if he needed to unburden himself from all those years of worries with a radical change. No more black swan – he wants to be free! Something like a system reboot, for the more technically inclined among us.
  4. And so here we are with a Taeyang with some significant differences from the one we’re comfortable with. The boy next door style is exchanged for one a lot trendier and flashier (though still comfortable.) He’s joking around more on camera and in interviews instead of sticking to his spokesperson role like he’s done in the past.  (Who would have thought he could be so snarky?) And he’s noticeably changed his performance style to one more heavy on improvisation and enthusiasm instead of the controlled, meticulous style from previous promo runs.  Even his expressions for photo sessions have changed a lot. It’s a LOT of changes all at once. Deliberate changes to his image, that if you haven’t been following him really closely for a few years, can be quite shocking. Why such a drastic transformation?
  5. It occurred to me that these changes we have been seeing in Taeyang over the last year or so could be some sort of rebellion : his singing his own personal remix during BB songs instead of his expected “parts”, his change in fashion (and most recently his hair), his swearing and snarking. It’s never totally out of bounds to be actually called a scandal but it does seem like he’s revamping himself one point at a time.  Is it a reaction against his image? Against his being in an idol group? Against the straightlaced kpop industry with its nitpicking netizens? Each change by itself could be explained away any number of ways but put together (and with his new personal philosophy of “freedom”) it does seem that he is trying to make a point of doing something completely against what is expected (or even wanted) from him.   I’m sure he knows that it’s causing some ruckus among fans so it really begs the question: what is going on? What is he trying to achieve?  Much has been made about how BB has survived the 5 year idol group curse, but perhaps there are more subtle effects on the individuals?
  6. Oddly enough, Taeyang also seems to be reacting to advice from different people. Some YG friends said they wanted him to show his mischievous side. He did (and how.)  It’s been pointed out that his previous performances were “burdensome” and difficult to enjoy along with him – so he loosens up.  People said his fashion style was too unchanging and he was too stubborn about it – so he changed it.  He said himself that he felt too many worries in the past, so it seems he tried to let go of things and stopped brooding and developed a que-sera-sera attitude about, well, everything. I can imagine that his new friends have also been influences to this change. And so we have come to this. Does the shoe fit? 
  7. I don’t know. It seems a bit like he wants to make most of the changes from outside going in.  Like if he wants to be happy, he has to act happy. (Like making daily affirmations in the mirror.)  So he’s doing a lot of things that approximate what he wants to be and is testing them if they will make him feel better. Or a bit like he is trying on someone else’s personality to see how it makes him feel.
  8. What strikes me about the new Taeyang is that he seems to have discovered the courage to be imperfect. Does that make for a better performance? Not necessarily.  But what it also does is make him open to risk and change and both are needed for him to progress creatively as an artist. To try new things without the safety net.  The most difficult thing about being an idol musician is that dichotomy between being a role model and being an artist: one implies strict adherence to rules and norms, while creativity demands that you challenge them. And breaking expectation is something I can get behind as a fan even as I sometimes wince at the results.  But that’s the price of experimentation – you win some and you lose some.
  9. I know too that the business of being a kpop star make certain demands on how he deals with his image and that there is a certain amount of image manipulation going on.  How much of anything is real is always going to be a mystery.  Perhaps he could also just be telling the fans that he doesn’t want us to assume we know what to expect? That he can change and is changing so we should be prepared as he goes through a phase of self-discovery?
  10. I do know as a fan, I have mixed reactions.  Obviously, I’m just happy that he seems happier now, and is in a good place in his head.  And to be sure, in many ways he is still very much the same – thoughtful, sweet, with a childlike glee in being on stage and in life and general. I still have a lot of personal enjoyment in seeing him do what he does. But the changes also seem uncomfortable in other ways and sometimes I worry he may be pushing things too far in the other direction.  I know it’s going to take some time for him to get the balance he’s striving for in both life and on the stage  and he’s gone the route of aiming for the other extreme and working his way to the middle. (Which is a valid approach if he wants people to see him differently instead of a gradual change.)  But I don’t want him to get stuck in the other rut either of just letting it all go every which way depending on how he feels at the time.  He used to set high standards for himself so obviously he’s changed the criteria to something else – whatever that may be.  In the meantime, he’s still learning to edit himself and will hopefully be closer to where he should be come solo time after he’s had a bit of a break.
  11. And so here I am wishing he can do both: be both thoughtful and lighthearted, disciplined and yet natural and open to invention, be dignified and yet have fun. Above all, I don’t want him to lose focus on the music and letting all these extra intentions distract from what he does best – letting his heart sincerely speak through his music and performance and building an emotional bridge with the audience. We’ll only know what, if any, effect Taeyang 3.0 is going to have creatively on his music come solo time when he’s had time to figure out what he wants and set the standard he wants to achieve.  But I hope he is successful in taking a giant step to being closer to the artist he wants to be and what I know he can be  – which is more comfortably, naturally, perfectly himself – whoever that may be –  in all its different colors and being able to share that with us.

Scan and Gifs from YBMania on Tumblr.

28 thoughts on “[Opinion/Discussion] An Essay: Dealing with Change”

  1. I’ve had this post written out for a while now and was on the fence about publishing it till TY himself gave some hints with his last tweet. (“인생은 비우고 채우기를 반복 모든 문제의 종착점은 결국 “나” #justsaying.) A friend (thanks HJ!) translates as “Life is like repeating to empty and fill out. The destination for the whole problems is ‘myself’.” (Which I understand has to do with losing something and change or “giving up” and “trying again” or even “organizing” and “starting again.”) The way I see it is that TY has recently made a pretty big decision – whether professionally or personally – and it’s going to mean some big changes. It’s anybody’s guess what it’s going to mean for us fans but I certainly hope he’s worked out some things that have been bothering him and that it settles him a bit.

  2. I soooooo knew a discussion post on this was going to be featured on ATY. I was actually wondering why it wasn’t done earlier. Hahaha

    No complete thoughts right now. It’s too early in the morning and I need time to think of just exactly what I want to say.

    You know me and my essays. This one will definitely be a long read.

  3. I feel the same as you bluemaid. On the one hand I love YB’s change in attitude – that he’s more ‘free’; confident in himself. On the other hand, I feel sometimes he pushes to the extreme and I don’t know how I want to think about it.

    As much as I love the fact that he now seems comfortable in trying on new fashion, I feel like it’s not as real as say, when I see him singing and dancing in casual tee and jeans.

    The Solar concert to me – was real – it was emotional, touching, and intimate – I so wished I could have been there, because to me that was YB showing himself, being himself with his fans.

    It’s not like that part of him is gone from their Alive promotions or anything – in fact he might have shown a lot more of his humourous side that GD talked about years before. And he’s still got the serious and emotional, sweet side of him when he gets good interviews… I just feel he’s showing that side a lot less.

    Maybe it’s to shed the serious image, maybe it’s to worry less and just be himself – I don’t know, and we’ll probably never know…

    I suppose I want to see him just more sure of himself. He did show this in his INAG days… But during ALIVE promotions I feel half of it isn’t as real as then… Sometimes I feel it’s just to prove something to people.. But what? For me, he’s doing a wonderful job being himself and enjoying what he does. Maybe during INAG I felt was more real because it was a small change after his depression period so I was happy that he was enjoying himself and his work. The changes he is doing now is still great, though at times I have to consider why he still needs to go to such an extent….

  4. And……I’m back! Kudos to anyone that actually reads what I wrote because I swear, it’s almost like a novel.

    I think anyone that’s followed YB constantly has noticed that he no longer seems to be the Dong YoungBae we originally knew and fell in love with.

    I remember when I first took an interest in YB. To a casual observer, YB might have gone unnoticed. He didn’t necessarily do anything to spotlight himself. He was just a member of the male idol group Big Bang. Just the typical male idol singer, what was so special about him? But to me, he made Big Bang shine. His passion for singing and dancing, the incomparable effort he put onstage, the joy and pride that exuded from him each time he performed, it all drew me in like a moth to a flame. Who was this “Taeyang” that could just reel me in so completely?

    In my efforts to learn everything there is to know about YB, I discovered that there is no one word that accurately describes him. As soon as you thought you had him pegged, he threw you for a loop, making you wonder what in the world was going on with this man.

    First there was the typical teenaged male YB. Working hard to make his dream of becoming a singer come true. Juggling school and the hard life of a trainee, all of his energy was focused on debuting. And upon his debut, he still somehow managed to retain the qualities that made him so refreshing. Keeping up the hard work that made his debut possible, it was a wonder that he didn’t get overwhelmed. He was still a teenager after all. Outgoing, friendly (unless you were a female, haha), and just being happy that he succeeded. He debuted as a singer alongside his best friend. In a sense, you could still sense the young, naive, innocent boy that was just enjoying life.

    Then the next year came and he was a rookie no more. The pressure and non-stop work was finally taking a toll on him. You could see him slowly becoming more and more introvert, withdrawing into himself. With a newfound veteran mentality, I think he realized that he was now a role model to thousands of kids. No longer could he be the same carefree boy he once was.

    Enter 2008 and the birth of Taeyang, the solo artist. Looked up to by critics and the general public alike. Gone was the boy from two years past. In his footsteps was the man that would take over for the next few years. Now considered an “artist”, a serious musician instead of an “idol”, the changes wrought here were readily evident. The new YB was mature beyond his years, serious in everything, especially towards his passion for singing and dancing. But never fear because hints of the old YoungBae were still evident. Pranking his fellow members, dorky and witty quips that could only come from the mind of YB, the playfulness both onstage and off, the thoughtful and insightful interviews, YB had still managed to retain the innocent and ideals that made him successful.

    The next couple of years would be followed by a bout of depression, more solo productions, and group scandals that would rock his world, testing him in ways he never imagined. It would cause him to take a step back and just re-evaluate his position. His world had changed and I think he realized that he could no longer live his life in the same vein.

    Along with this came the introduction to TeyDaddy. And oh did he come with a bang. His newfound personality had everyone scratching their heads in confusion. Where was the stoic man whose sole passion was for his music? In his place, we found someone we would have thought were GD if we didn’t know any better. The bewildering antics, sometimes questionable fashion, the swearing, the exuberance and craziness on stage. Who was this man and what had he done with YB?

    And yet, as baffling as everything seems, he’s still the same person inside. Still loves music and performing on stage. Greatest desire is to make music that touches the hearts of his listeners. Remains the forever loyal friend. The same caring, friendly and thoughtful idol.

    Everything he’s experienced, all of the personas he’s presented to us, they’re all combined and created the man that stands before us today. The man whose antics make us go insane because we’re not used to it. But then we get those strangely profound interviews and mysterious tweets that show us that the old YB is still there, that he hasn’t completely disappeared.

    In light of the comments YB had areas received? Why is he so boring? He’s so serious? Loosen up! Can’t he change his stupid old hairstyle? Why does he never do anything different? I can only embrace the changes YB has undergone in his search for freedom, no matter how much I can’t understand.

    As he is trying to figure out who he is, I just hope that he doesn’t forget exactly just what made his fans fall in love with him and stay in love.

    This all makes me wish for his solo promotions even more than I already do, something that I didnt think was possible. The never-fail times that I feel YB is being real and truthful with himself is with his music. It’s the one case where he cannot lie. He either feels the passion and emotion or he doesn’t. It makes me anxious for his next album because I especially want to see how everything has affected him.

    Innocent YB, stoic YB, crazy YB, I don’t care. As long as his ideals have not changed, which it doesn’t seem to have, he’ll forever remain the same man I fell in love with and can’t help but admire and respect. He will still be the same Dong YoungBae that just wants to sing and perform in front of people, to have his music touch something in them and that’s something that will never change.

    Whew!!! Glad I got all of that off my chest. And seriously, if you read this, you’re freaking amazing. 😀

    1. I love it. You should just always have a disclaimer before posting, BM: Therapy Post Alert.
      Wow. What an awesome comment. Really made me reminisce about YB, his music, and even me. Girl, you should get first dibs on writing YB’s biography. LOL

    2. hi ygtaeyangbb!

      I fell in love with youngbae back in 2008 or 2009 when Lollipop and Wedding Dress was released. Ever since, he was the only member from Big Bang that I religiously stalked and tried to get to know through whatever information I could get ahold of online. I’d watch all his eng subbed interviews even the ones with the group just to try to get to more of this soulful and intoxicating man. Even if I never met him, I felt like I knew him through all the interviews I’ve watched and read. When I entered college a year ago, my obsession somehow subsided because I became busy with school activities. I kept myself updated with news about him though and I was shocked when he changed his hair, got a ridiculously huge tattoo but I disregarded these nonetheless. I recently saw him perform for the first time last month here in Manila during the BB Galaxy tour and I really noticed a change in his aura through the way he performed. He was so energetic and so caught up with his performance and most of the time he was looking at the ground. He barely connected with the audience and I found myself connecting even more with Seungri and Daesung. I was located in the moshpit so I was able to notice these things. I felt stupid telling my friends that Taeyang changed and stuff because I really did not know him personally. It’s 3am here and I have class at 7:30 but I suddenly wanted to investigate regarding his “change” and wanted to know if there are other people who feel the same way like me. I love him so much and I’m glad that he’s happier now. but I agree with you guys regarding the fact that he might be pushing himself too hard. 😦

      “I just hope that he doesn’t forget exactly just what made his fans fall in love with him and stay in love.” ==> THIS. HIT. ME. ON. RIGHT. ON. THE. SPOT. </3

      sigh. im glad to have found people who feel the same way as me cuz I couldn't explain his change to my friends because they don't know him the way we do. hahaha.

      ok. phew.now im off to bed!

  5. I was waiting for this post 🙂 I had asked you about his change a few weeks ago on twitter. 🙂
    I feel like maibe he’s going through a late adolescence.. He wants to go all out, and go wild.. And I’m glad that he’s being more free about himself.. but sometimes I feel like he is still forcing himself to look more free… As you say I hope that he can find the balance between freedom on the stage and being profesional about it… Taking into account what the others are doing and the mood of the performance… at the end of the day I want him to be confortable on and off the stage with every part of himself…And I really think he’s getting there, just taking the last performances of BB we can see a change (From crazy exagerated YB in A-Nation, to a bit more collected YB at the TGC concert)… It was a really nice reading 😉

  6. Ahhh I have yet to respond to this post. Here goes. Please excuse the rambling. It might get ugly.

    These changes have been obvious and stark especially to Youngbae-stans, and I use that word to it’s fullest meaning. From his fashion to his stage mannerisms, everything about YB has gotten louder, more in your face than ever before. As a fan, who fell in love with him as the quiet, stoic, always-serious, but oh-so-adorable YB, it’s hard to take in. Like bluemaid said so eloquently in her post, it’s like finally seeing your son go off to college and then see him come back a different, hopefully wiser, person. He’s found his voice and maybe has come closer to finding his place in the world. It’s nostalgic and maybe a little painful to witness. As a fan of him and his music, my biggest fear is that his change be physical or personality wise, will affect his music in a way that may be well, a little surprising.

    Though I’ve expressed my “concern” and distaste for YB’s behavior/antics, but I actually don’t find it entirely too problematic. Yes, he has changed, grown, but in a way that fits with his character. I’ve gathered from what GD, Ji Hye, and Dara have said over the years is that YB is a funny, mischievous person, a jokester even. He has always been friendly to everyone and his fans, even expressing how he wants to interact with them more. So his openness on stage and on social media is not surprising to me. On top of that, I’m sure he has matured, more confident in himself and his image such that he’s not strictly regulating himself as he did in the past. From what I’ve seen, he’s having fun, hasn’t committed any crimes (except for that hair) or kpop celebrity faux-pas, and quite frankly seems to be really exploring and experimenting with music.

    It may be a rebellion as you said….in response to expectations fans have of him, or GD/DS’s scandals. I don’t see it as a “efff the world. I do what I want” kind of rebellion. Like I said its very much in character of the YB we knew. Because I’m so close to him in age, I’ve had a lot major “life” realizations at the same time as YB. I think he’s at a point in his life where he’s realized that he needs to live his life the way he wants to. I’m sure, because he’s been training since the age of 13, YB must have felt confined in box of expectations, feels like there’s already a path for him that he cannot control. But suddenly he’s realized that he is free to chose his own path, be his own person. I really think he’s letting life take him wherever it takes him both professionally and creatively. He’s just enjoying the journey and the company he has.

    And finally, despite all these changes, I can say that that he’s still the genuine, honest, and unassuming person he’s always been. He’s been strange and “wild”, but at least he’s sincere. 🙂

    1. I agree. I feel like he’s finally broken the strings and ties that everyone has imposed in him in hopes of creating a person they want him to become.

      He’s finally living for himself. In this type of industry, I feel like he’s missed out on a lot of typical experiences and feelings and now it’s catching up to him. He reveling in this sort of freedom, and just experimenting with things. Rebelling and breaking free from this image people had of him.
      But it hasn’t gone so far that it’s actually affected who he is as a person, which is the most important thing,

  7. Thank you for writing an OP/Discussion about this, BM. I feel like there’s been comments made by YB fans here and there on twitter, and yt comments, but it’s good to sit down and actually discuss what’s going on, and how it happened/is happening. I guess I’ll talk about my own personal issues with YB.

    I wish I had seen this before YB had posted that CB cover, because now I feel like I was unfair, and accusatory towards him. However I feel like my relationship with YB has always been slightly tumultuous.

    First and foremost, the one and only reason I fell in love with YB, after watching the A Fool’s Only Tears mv, is his voice. I didn’t know anything about his personality or his personal style (nor did I really care back then). I was becoming more and more invested in YB when he released his song LOAM, and started solo promos. I began watching his performances, interviews, reading anything and everything about YB. Not only did I love his voice, I was starting to fall in love with his dance, stage presence, style and his shy, humble demeanor as well.

    But then I started to notice just how reserved he was. He wasn’t getting as much attention as the other boys in interviews and variety shows. This bothered me for some reason. I guess I wanted the world to know how awesome YB was (I was a silly fangirl). I wanted YB to be louder, I wanted him to get the attention (I thought) he deserved. I wanted him to let loose. Even in his stage presence. I wanted him to not be afraid to divert from the choreography. I didn’t want him to stress over the little things.

    Then I started to see him change. He was adlibbing in the BB stages. He was free styling, getting closer towards the audience. I was happy he was starting to let loose. Then he kept on that path of change, and here we are today. I judged him for being too loud. I judged him for saying and doing things that were unexpected. I judged him for his randomness. Now I’m irritated about him being too much of what I wanted him to be in 2008. What a weird cycle.

    But there has always been this one constant, which will not change. His voice. Yes, it has changed as he has grown older, but what hasn’t changed is his ability to convey emotions through his voice. Whether it be happy or sad, love or heartbreak, I am always drawn to his voice.

    I think this is also how I have progressed into a fanmom (fangirl to fanmom in a span of almost 6 yrs). I’ve become mature (I hope), and understand that YB is his own person. Do I still cringe and show my disapproval when he talks in weird American slang? Yes. Do I care? No. Not anymore. I don’t care if everyone loves YB, nor do I care if everyone hates him. I don’t need him to be the centre of attention anymore, I don’t want him to outshine everyone else anymore.

    As long as he is doing what he loves. And as long as I love his voice and songs, I will support him 100%.

    1. I was the same fangirl you were. Four years ago I joined this blog, ATY, and began writing with Kay was because I was bothered that YB never got the attention he deserved. I wanted to promote him and bring him closer to international fandom. In the process, I learned a lot about him – his ambitions and perspective on music and life. Being in college during this time, I felt like I grew with him. At this point, I’m satisfied with whatever he produces and whatever success he achieves as long as it’s a honest and sincere attempt. I’m confident that he’ll put a lot of effort and thought into his music. My ambitions for his international success is pretty much gone though I would be happy if he ever achieved it. At this point, as long as he puts forth quality music and performances, I’ll be satisfied. It’s not like I’ve lost my faith in him, it’s more like I’ve found what is more important to me.

  8. It’s been such a long time since I posted here but there are a few things I have to get off my chest. Having discovered Taeyang much later in his career than most of you (November 2009) my feelings towards him and his music is much different. I noticed him at a time when I was going through a major transition in my life. As an older fan, I’m 33 Taeyang’s music was the push I needed to make all my dreams come true. In his story I was able to find my way when it seemed like there was no where to turn. I have nothing but the utmost love and respect for everything that he does and am blown away by his drive and strength of character. But in saying all this I also see the downside of his fame. Fans can be the most vicious and critical bunch when they want to be and I’ve seen it first hand through various tweets on Twitter.

    Taeyang has been active for 6 years now, we as fans can’t expect him to be the same guy he was when he was 18. Change is inevitable and as a 24 year old he is going to express himself in ways that some as long time fans don’t understand. Having gone through my own struggles as I slowly came of age and became an adult it’s only natural for Taeyang to go through his own growing pains as he matures and becomes the man & artist he ultimately wants to be.

  9. Yes, we can all agree that Taeyang has changed. That shy boy who is now the fun, wild and free man. I know he’s still trying to find himself and trying to find his girl. By exploring and opening the other side of him, others are going to say he has changed a lot. I’m glad he’s happier now, being able to stop worrying so much, just have fun and breath for a bit. Because he’s changing, of course it’s going to change how people look at him. I have to admit, I wasn’t used to this TeyDaddy or Youngbeezy. Haha, but then again.. he’s still Youngbae, the person I fell in love with. He’s still the same, maybe not acting the same but that same person is inside him still. If he wants to have fun, then I’ll watch him have his fun. I think he has more confidence than ever and he can do whatever he wants as long as he’s happy. If he’s happy, then I’ll be happy. I rather have him happy than depress. 🙂 Lol.

    It’s just funny when I think about it, how I wish he would change his style a bit, be more out there and when he does I get blown away and I suddenly miss the old him.. haha, so I can’t complain much because I asked for it. >< But my love will always be the same even if I'm not used to it. Evntually, I will be 🙂

  10. First of all, thank you for this post because this “YB change” issues had been going on quite sometime. This is going to be another lengthy post so you should probably grab some snacks 🙂

    I had always been bias to guys with fauxhawk and clean cut and probably the reason I fell in love with YB 3 years ago. And you must know the fact that I actually knew YB before Big Bang and YB “introduced” me to Big Bang. YB might not be the best looking idol/artist/performer out there in the Kpop industry, but true enough I actually fall for him for he is THE kinda guy I would fall for. His Wedding Dress MV was the first Kpop song I heard and till today, I still had it on replay all the time (same song for 3 years straight!!). Being a dancer (back when I was younger) I totally went crazy bout YB because (in my opinion) he is the best dancer in BB and the kpop industry. When I listened to all his solo(s), to me he is an amazing person, all well rounded.

    This can be nasty but among the reason I can’t stop this growing feelings for him, is his love towards his religion. Part of it is because I am a Christian myself. Being such a strong believer and going to church every Sunday, is really an inspiration to me. I used to be quite lazy to go to the Church because I hate waking up early. But him, as an idol, super busy idol, even make time for God, why can’t I?? Working through his dream, he has taught me so much and guided me through life that I can’t possible thank him enough.

    I guess it all started during Alive promotions and performance? I started to notice YB having duo personality? As in on stage and off stage he’s different persons. Initially it felt kinda weird, because even how sexy he is or how provocative he was during HOT & Solar stages, he was showing a different side of him during Alive. Despite not getting used to that, due to my strong feelings for him, I accepted it quite well. I love his changes because he became more noticeable, though still awkward but less during variety shows, am glad he is handling them much better now.

    However for so so so many times, on Twitter (yes am very active here) people just comment on everything about him. His hair, his clothes, his body, his dances, his vocals etc…and I got quite emo for a while and it’s so difficult telling them to shut up because I see that on YB myself and I can’t say it’s true/untrue. They are free to gives opinions. Initially I was feeling all weird about my feelings for YB, I think about him so much I think I was going nuts. I kept myself away from Twitter sometimes, to avoid those nasty or even non nasty comments because I wanted to stay away from YB to stop hurting myself. I think I’m kinda “pabo” =.= because I can’t live a day without knowing about him T___T

    After his hair was braided (remembered I said I love fauxhawk??), surprising I love it. It can’t be the hair cause I still love fauxhawk, but it’s YB. Because he is still YB so no matter how he looks, I still love him. And that curly hair and unshaved selca, like any avid SOLmates, I love him even if he looks like that >.<

    Initially think he probably got influenced by his surroundings, too much hiphop etc. But to think about it, he's a grown up man and he should be able to choose whether he wants to be influenced or not, whether he wants to accept the influences or not. If he accepted the influence, then we should accept him right? 🙂 And about him being crazy on stage, I guess it's time when he gets to express himself. We all know that young YB is still somewhere inside him through his interviews (those awkward and cute answers!!) and his Twitter posts, but he needs to let go from being just Taeyang of Big Bang, every artists need change, and to them it's to grow.

    I am very sure YB knows what are going on, well artists need to keep up with news on themselves right.. That was probably why he posted such tweets yesterday, about life and changes. And finally a video of him covering "don't judge me". "So please don't judge me
    And I won't judge you"~ Knowing that YB is doing all these for his own good, and I am kinda excited to know what more surprises he can give us. I am accepting who he is now, and rather that leaving the fandom, I think I am loving him a little bit more than I already have, cause he loves us and he's doing this for us ^^

    I have so much more to say but I wonder how many will actually read all of my ramblings (though I did read all those above mine) XD Anyways, being admin of Taeyang Malaysia doesn't mean that I am representing the whole Malaysia SOLmates, we all have our own opinions on this "change". (or maybe I'm blinded by my love for YB :D) Cheers and love ya'll!!

  11. In my eyes, I feel that Taeyang is beginning a trip of self discovery.

    I don’t know if it’s just me, but I kind of got the impression that YB was kind of a lost little soul before. There were things about him that he knew to be true: his love for music, his love for dance, his love for God, and his love for Big Bang, YG, his family, friends, and fans. Yet even though he could identify those particular parts of himself, it seems like he still wasn’t comfortable with who he was.

    He’s just like every other person out there trying to figure out who he is, a kid growing up and going through many changes along the way, and rediscovering his old self as well.

    Like, the YB we mostly knew was quiet, shy, reserved, intense, and passionate. But he wasn’t always like that. Like GD said before, YB used to be the energetic guy who told jokes, was more daring, and carried himself with confidence. Then they had a personality swap and YB became the quiet one and GD the outgoing, crazy one. The old YB hasn’t gone anywhere, though. You can see it when he goes on stage, his hyperactive, energetic, explosive self leaking out of reserved shell more and more through out the years. Now, the self that he usually lets loose only on stage is out of hiding.

    I feel like YB took a little hint from GD. Like, GD has this “I don’t care what people think about me, I’m gonna wear these clothes, have this type of hairstyle, write this kind of music, do this and that and I could care less about what you think about it” and YB just kind of took the cue and decided “I’ll be whatever I want to be”

    I do miss the old Taeyang (especially the forever hairstyle that I always complain about but now miss very much, lol) but YB’s still YB and if he’s happy, I’m happy.

  12. He did say at the end of his Solar concert that it would be a while before he released another album and that he had to discover himself more. In my opinion an album to him is not just for money, sales, marketing etc. Its more meaningful, like a part of him. So until he discovered himself more there was no music to produce. I mean sure he could just put down a beat and melody…but for me his music is an expression of himself. So what would be the point of just laying down any old crap

    In terms of the changes…I’m not a fan of the new hairstyle I must say. However I trust him and what he does. And by the time his album comes, I know him and Teddy wont let us fan downs. Its been 4 years and there isn’t a single song which T squared have done together which I have not liked. So yeah sure hes experimenting now and respect to him for that. But I have faith and without a doubt in my mind, Taeyang 3.0 with the new album is gonna be the best yet. And I hope to be flying to Korea for the concert most definitely 🙂

    1. Experimenting. That’s one way to look at it, I think. Put in that way, it sounds like he’s trying on new styles to find another one he can stick to indefinitely. Following YG’s path, they try to set new trends in Korea .

  13. Everyone makes really good points.
    What irks/worries me about this transformation are external factors that influenced it. I probably won’t articulate this properly but…. He references and to some extent idolizes Chris Brown a lot which makes me have this horrible feeling he’s going to go the Chris Brown route: not to the extent of abuse but in terms of how turning from this sweet boy who only thought about music and getting a girlfriend into a braggadocious guy that talks about ‘swag’ all day. I also think that like many Korean artists; both K-Pop and Underground, he’s taking wrong/incomplete cues from Americans around him and trends in American pop/hip-hop; in Taeyang’s specific case Choice, Lydia and the Big Bang Band. When I look at things through that lens his behavior seems a bit forced and on par with a larger swagger-jacking trend of current hip-hop culture that is so prevalent in k-pop…but I’ll just stop here cuz otherwise I’ll just end up delving into all my issues with k-pop in general. For now I’m skeptical about the direction of this change but despite all that I’m just going to wait and see what character developments his solo activities bring.

    1. Oh I totally get this, haha -it occurred to me that he may be hanging around people who like YMCM too much for my liking and it’s influencing his taste (which would be tragic as far as I’m concerned.) In the end though, I’ve always admired his taste in music so hopefully that will temper any tendencies in that direction. I’d feel happier if he didn’t pick up the language and fashion cues either but hopefully he grows out of that quickly.

    2. Good point. I’ve always liked kpop style rnb and hip hop rather than american. So I hope not just Taeyang but YG in general don’t just follow the ‘swag’ trend. That’s all everyone in hip hop is talking about these days -____-

  14. what a great post.thank you,BM.i read all the comments.interesting opinions from ATYers.
    i actually welcome this sudden change.youngbae is an intellegent person.whatever he wanted to do with his life,i have faith him.

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