I've known BIGBANG since their days cheesily covering American pop songs, and it's really crazy to think that I've sort of grown up with them always existing somewhere in my musical atmosphere. I was not always a BIGBANG fan, so looking back on it it's amazing to think they way they've won their way into my heart, as well as how they have managed to stay relevant and grow as worldwide artists within the ever-evolving K-pop scene.

"A song with a strong message is strong enough to move the entire world."

As someone who has always very casually followed K-pop, I've more or less been familiar with BIGBANG's releases since their debut. However, it actually wasn't until their ALIVE era that I truly became captivated by the five of them. I feel like this is actually fairly recent in comparison to most VIPs, but in all honesty I always found the group's image to be a bit cringy, haha. The super contrived, "bad boy" R&B idol that seems to exist in Kpop has always sat kind of weirdly with me. BIGBANG spent so many years with that image that I think I just didn't pay it any mind. Since their debut the group has always been a bit theatrical in their releases, but something about the ALIVE album felt like they had finally struck a perfect chord: much more genuine and quintessentially "BIGBANG". Over the top anthems like Fantastic Baby, emotional and softer ballads like Blue, with the darker side of Monster: the album and visuals just seemed to encapsulate everything that BIGBANG had represented in the Korean music scene—to this day it's still one of my favorite BIGBANG eras.

During the height of my fandom I had the good fortune of getting to attend their ALIVE TOUR with a pair of my best friends and to this day it's one of my most favorite concert experiences. (Partially because of BIGBANG, but probably primarily because of the company. ♡) I think they are truly a group that needs to be experienced in person—all five of them have an incredible stage presence that will immediately make you understand why they've captured the hearts of so many worldwide. TRUST ME, I never thought I would scream like those idiots on television that pass out awkwardly in front of boy bands. On our phones there is humiliating footage of all of us screaming blood-curdling "happy birthday"s to TOP during the second night of their tour stop. We all swore in blood that we would not share this footage with anyone but who was at the concert that night.

All this aside, I love every single member of BIGBANG no matter how many times I've made Taeyang the butt of every joke. I'm TOP & Daesung biased (their relationship is just so cute), because their silly personalities shine the most on variety shows. However, I do my best to follow and support all their solo projects: which means, yes, I even begrudgingly listen to GD & Taeyang's "GOOD BOY", it's one of my guilty pleasures. T_T I think that as they've gotten older, VIPs have had to accept that they'll be shipped off to the army pretty soon and BIGBANG as a group may not be something that we see for a very long time. It's times like these I am thankful that they are so individually gifted, because I can't imagine a world that doesn't have BIGBANG to look forward to in one fashion or another!

I'd check out their ALIVE album as a whole: they are almost annoyingly well known for Fantastic Baby, but I especially love BAD BOY off of that album. I think that their most recent album, MADE, speaks to their more unique/artistic side (BAEBAE), but also softens it up with some really cute love songs (Let's Not Fall in Love). And of course... what kind of BIGBANG fan would I be to not recommend the absolute treasure that is Dirty Cash?