After hearing American hip hop group Wu-Tang Clan and looking for a place to practice freestyle rap, G-Dragon started to befriend the hyungs at People Crew, the new place he discovered.
"This little kid was learning how to rap amongst all these older hyungs, so they all found it fascinating and cute. I appeared on their cable TV program and fooled around, and I also got to participate in the '2001 Korea Hip Hop Flex' album which was a good opportunity."
Being a 13-year-old young rapper on the album, which gathered people who did Korean hip-hop, was a huge help to GD.
"For that album, I wrote all the lyrics myself and recorded it and the hyungs said 'it's good.' But I hadn't ever been abroad so my English skills were poor, so the content was pretty typical. 'I'm young but I'm the greatest', you know, lyrics like that. (laugh)"
G-Dragon participated in the title track and wrote his own solo song...this album was really the kid's opportunity to let himself be known to the world. Young artists started to debut; in America Lil' Bow Wow became popular, and in Korea Ryang Hyun Ryang Ha and BoA came out. YG Entertainment's head Yang Hyun Suk didn't just ignore this kid rapper.
"Jinusean's Sean apparently saw me and told Yang Hyun Suk manager about me. Main producer Perry also took a liking to me, and said he would try producing for me. When I first went to see Yang Hyun Suk I was nervous, thinking 'Finally, I am meeting him.' Back in the Seotaiji days, he had been my favorite. He had good fashion sense with his short-sleeve t-shirts and gloves, and he danced the best. But the first time I met him my impression of him completely shattered. He came walking from afar, dragging his slippers and saying in his peculiar accent, 'You're here?' He didn't seem like the Seotaiji Yang Hyun Suk, more like a neighborhood uncle."
Yang Hyun Suk eloquently explained his vision for G-Dragon to his mother. When his mom got up for a while, Yang Hyun Suk indirectly threatened GD, "When your mom comes back demand that you want to come here [to YG]."
"When I went home I cried and begged and eventually signed with YG Entertainment. When I was 13, Jinusean, 1TYM, and Lexy were promoting in YG. The first time I went into the office, Dong-wook hyung (Se7en) had cool hip-hop clothes on and was playing around with the staff noonas. At that time, he was the most beautiful person I'd ever seen."
G-Dragon started with cleaning the practice rooms. He mopped the floors, cleaned the mirrors with newspaper, and ran errands for all of the sunbaes.
"I watched my sunbaes practice and got them water, and when food got delivered I would unwrap it for them and wrap it back up after they finished. For a whole year, all I did was clean. When I arrived my repeated routine would be an hour of cleaning, two hours of practice, and another hour of cleaning."
Before his 14th birthday, he participated in Perry's solo album title track and got to perform in music programs, and he got to stand on stage with his hyungs for their concert. Meanwhile, G-Dragon met the actor who played young Jinu in a Jinusean video, otherwise known as Big Bang's Taeyang, for the first time.
Korean source article: asiae.co.kr
Translation: filmsession @ omona_prection
ETA: GD's solo song @ Hip Hop Flex:
Video source: bakapi04
Perry - 'Storm' feat. G-Dragon:
Video source: YGEntertainment