9 Of Rapper BIGBANG’s Most Memorable Songs TOP
Choi Seung Hyun, better known as Korean music idol TOP, is set to return to music (and more) after five years out of the spotlight. Naturally, now is a great time to take a look at some of TOP’s most memorable songs.
But first, a little on TOP
TOP has been a major contributor to the huge success of Korean boy group, BIGBANG. Considered one of the greatest Korean bands of all time, the group has been delivering charts since their debut album. Big Bang Vol.1 (2006). The rapper’s phenomenal stage presence and powerful rapping style endeared TOP to fans of all age groups. After enrolling in Korea’s compulsory military service in 2017, he stayed away from the public eye.
In February 2022, YG Entertainment announced that the group would be making a comeback after a four-year hiatus with a new song this spring. But the agency also revealed that TOP’s 16-year exclusive contract with YG Entertainment has come to an end and he will be leaving the label to pursue other projects.
TOP fans received good news in early March when the rapper and Prestige Hong Kong announced his return with the hashtag #TOPISBACK on Instagram. In the meantime, the artist is already busy with a first solo album.
TOP’s most memorable songs
Fantastic Baby (2012)
The rapper delivers a powerful catchphrase in this electro dance-pop number. “Fantastic Baby” is considered by many to be one of the most successful K-pop tracks of all time. The dance floor comes alive to the rhythm of the song. The song was BIGBANG’s first international hit, and TOP was credited as one of the main reasons for its success.
Forever With You (2006)
TOP joined bandmate G-Dragon to rap on this piano-laden R&B track, with lead vocals provided by Park Bom. The song is from the band’s early days, but remains one of their most memorable hits – a perfect track to listen to at night.
Along with bandmate G-Dragon, TOP created a gem of a song. The frenetic hip-hop and electronic track – with scratchy beats and synth whines – depicts the rappers’ high-flying lifestyle. The use of slang in the lyrics became the reason for the song’s ban on all three Korean public broadcast networks – KBS, MBC and SBS. Either way, it was a big hit from the album. GD&TOP, the eponymous disc that the two rappers released in 2010.
“Zutter” was a follow-up to “Knockout” and also created by G-Dragon and TOP The song was part of BIGBANG’s album Made (2016). The title of the song means “dope” in Korean. Like “Knockout”, “Zutter”, too, was banned from KBS.
G-Dragon and TOP collaborated again here to write the lyrics for this hit. Mixing rap and song, the two artists brilliantly alternate between the two styles throughout the fast-paced song.
Last Dance (2016)
The title is a nod to TOP’s final performance with BIGBANG before his enlistment for mandatory military service. “Last Dance” is an emotional pop-rock ballad backed by an orchestra. The heartbreaking part was understandable, as it felt like TOP parted ways with their fans. That’s why the lyrics contain words like “It won’t be long.” Five years later, it’s almost time.
Again, prior to his enlistment, TOP joined Korean artist Uhm Jung-Hwa for an aired performance to the latter’s updated version of his 2008 hit song “DISCO.” The performance was electrifying and fans watching live were seen going into a frenzy as the two icons took turns energizing the crowd.
TOP performed with Taeyang and G-Dragon on this song, which was part of the soundtrack of the Korean drama IRIS (2009). The song is notable for its English lyrics. TOP’s percussive rapping style goes well with the show’s theme of spies and assassins. This track is also memorable because TOP was one of the main characters in the series (he played an assassin).
Turn Up the Sound (2010)
“Turn It Up” is one of TOP’s most memorable songs. His first solo single is all rap. In this track, his precise and bold lyricism is on display, an underlying characteristic of all TOP tracks and performances.
(Main and featured images: Screenshot/YG ENTERTAINMENT/YouTube)