Choi Seung Hyun, better known as K-pop idol T.O.P, is getting ready to return to music and limelight after a five-year gap. Therefore it is the perfect time to take a quick look at some of T.O.P’s most memorable songs.
But first, a little about T.O.P.
The rage of T.O.P
T.O.P has been a major contributor to the tremendous success of all-boy K-pop group BIGBANG. Considered one of the greatest K-pop acts ever, the band has been delivering chartbusters since their debut album Bigbang Vol.1 (2006).
A rapper with a phenomenal stage presence and powerful rapping style has endeared T.O.P to fans across all age groups. He had enrolled for the mandatory military service in 2017 and has since then remained away from the public eye.
In February 2022, YG Entertainment, which manages BIGBANG, announced that the band will make a comeback after a four-year hiatus with a new song in spring. But the agency also revealed that T.O.P’s 16-year exclusive contract with YG Entertainment has come to an end, effectively meaning that he is no longer a part of BIGBANG.
T.O.P. fans received good news in early March when the rapper and Prestige Hong Kong announced his return with the hashtag #TOPISBACK on Instagram. Meanwhile, the K-pop idol is already busy with a debut solo album.
Most memorable songs by T.O.P. to listen to right now
Fantastic Baby (2012)
The rapper delivers a power-packed tagline in this electro dance-pop number. “Fantastic Baby” is considered by many as one of the most successful K-pop tracks of all time. The dance floor comes alive with the beats of the song. The song was BIGBANG’s first international hit and T.O.P has been credited as a major reason behind its success.
Forever With U (2006)
T.O.P joined his bandmate G-Dragon, rapping for this piano-laden R&B track, whose main vocal was delivered by Park Bom. The song is from the early days of the band and as such is one of their most memorable hits. Its music is perfect to listen to at night.
Together with G-Dragon, T.O.P created a gem of a song. It’s basically an electronic hip hop set to frenzied music which depicts the rappers’ high-flying lifestyle. Woven into the groovy music are scratching beats and synth wails. The lyrics are certainly over-the-top. The use of slang in the lyrics became the reason for the ban on the song from all three Korean public broadcasting networks — KBS, MBC and SBS. But it was nevertheless a major hit and is noteworthy for being a part of GD & TOP. The self-titled album of the two rappers was released in 2010.
“Zutter” was a follow-up to “Knockout” and was created by G-Dragon and T.O.P. The song was a 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 T.O.P collaborated once again for this smashing hit. The lyrics of the song are by the duo. The unique feature of the song is that it mixes rapping with singing. Both G-Dragon and T.O.P brilliantly switch between the two styles in the high-tempo song.
Last Dance (2016)
The title is a nod to T.O.P’s final performance with BIGBANG before he enlisted for the mandatory military service. “Last Dance” is an emotional orchestra-backed, pop-rock ballad. The poignant bit was understandable since it was like T.O.P parting from his fans. That is why the lyrics contain words such as “It won’t be long”.
Again, before his enlistment, T.O.P joined Korean artist Uhm Jung-Hwa for a broadcast performance on the updated version of the latter’s 2008 hit song “D.I.S.C.O”. The performance was electrifying and fans watching live were seen going into a frenzy as the two icons took turns to enthral the crowd. “D.I.S.C.O” is an electro-pop dance number. T.O.P added his catchy rapid rapping style to the song.
T.O.P performed with Taeyang and G-Dragon on this song, which was part of the soundtrack of Korean drama IRIS (2009). The song is notable for its English lyrics. T.O.P performs the song in a forceful style, which goes well with the theme of the show which is about spies and assassins. This song is also memorable because T.O.P was one of the main actors in the series, playing an assassin.
Turn It Up (2010)
“Turn It Up” is one of T.O.P’s most memorable songs as it is his first solo single. The song is noteworthy for being purely a rap. This means that there is no singing involved even by the K-pop idol himself. The lyrics are precisely bold, something that has since been an underlying feature of all of T.O.P’s tracks and performances. “Turn It Up” showcases the confidence of the rapper in himself and therefore has a bragging tone.
Hero and Featured images: Screenshot/YG ENTERTAINMENT/YouTube