There’s an ongoing debate going on in South Korea over G-Dragon’s new album, Kwon Ji-Yong, and it’s not over the music.

While some artistes have their albums reported to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism over the use of expletives or plagiarism, G-Dragon’s album became the topic of discussion due to the physical nature of the release.

The Big Bang leader had released his latest album in a USB drive, which contains a link for fans to download the songs digitally. And it’s because of this digital link that makes Gaon Music Chart indecisive about whether Kwon Ji-Yong should be recognised as an album.

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Gaon Music Chart only takes into account physical album and single sales, excluding digital downloads when they compile sales figures. The fact that Kwon Jiyong is available physically as a USB drive, but needs to be downloaded digitally seems to be mind-boggling for them.

A representative of Gaon said that they have not decided if the USB will be recognised as an album. The rep said, “We have reported it to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism as a new type of album and are waiting for an answer.”

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Some netizens pointed out that given the technology today, Gaon should have exercised some flexibility, while others said it wouldn’t have been a problem if he had pre-loaded the song into the USB drive instead of providing a download link.

G-Dragon responded to the debate through an Instagram post. He wrote, “What’s the problem? There are people whom I don’t know who are judging my work [and saying] it’s an album/not an album. … The most important thing is not the packaging or design, but the music it contains and the songs that my voice recorded.”

G-Dragon’s agency, YG Entertainment, also responded to the controversy and explained their decision to use a USB – it was because of the capacity. Kwon Ji-Yong includes 20 songs, images and music videos, which a CD, of 700MB, doesn’t have the capacity to store.

Image: TPG/Click Photos