Ahh, it’s so unfortunate. Idol boy group B.A.P. – the monster rookies who filed a lawsuit against their agency TS Entertainment a few years ago – recently held their last possible concert together “BAP 2018 Live Limited.” There, each of the members thanked the fans and gave a speech to express their gratitude and appreciation for all the love and support they received the last 6 years since their debut back in January of 2012.
The members got emotional at the concert with some claiming and speculating that this will be the boy group’s last time performing at a concert together. Though the boy group’s future is uncertain and iffy, the members themselves remained hopeful and concluded that a last group concert doesn’t necessarily mean that the group will disband.
However, as positive and optimistic as fans and the members are, I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if the boys went their own ways sadly. They started off with such power, intensity, and recognition; they were known as the monster rookies along with EXO and NU’EST. At one point they were even recognized as EXO’s rivals. Everybody knew who B.A.P. was and Zelo was such a stand-out maknae. Fast forward many comebacks and great songs and MV’s later and the boy group filed a lawsuit against their company TS Entertainment for their mistreatment of the boy group, including missed payments and exploitation. It was during this hiatus where people began to forget about the boy group and moved on to other groups like BTS and EXO. Once there was news of BAP again, we learned that they returned to TS and that was that. Details on their contracts and reasons why they returned weren’t so explicit so you were just left kind of speculating why B.A.P. would return to the very same company who was overworking and exploiting them in the first place. Although their choice was questionable, I also didn’t blame the boys considering their situation and the little other options they had at the time.
The boy group’s long-awaited comeback just never really clicked and they struggled to accelerate again ever since their return. Even the members themselves seemed to have changed and lost the passion and excitement that they once had before the lawsuit.
I personally was a fan of B.A.P.’s when they debuted and I loved all of their songs and albums. Their reputation pre-lawsuit was so positive and good and they impressed every time. Their first full length album “First Sensibility” was and still is one of my most absolute favorite albums from them and in all of K-Pop. I followed them religiously and kept up to date on them whenever I could. Constant promotions was good because the boy group was on a roll and their career was ascending, but it was also the one thing that ultimately changed things and lead to their downfall. The boys were being given comebacks right after the other and were being worked so much they barely had any time to relax and take a break. They weren’t getting paid for anything either so they eventually risked everything to protest against TS. The lawsuit came as a surprise to me at first because I thought they were doing fine, but after hearing their reasons for the lawsuit I wasn’t as surprised anymore. I just didn’t want the boys to return to TS.
So when the boys did return to TS, I was upset and sad and mad, but I was also hopeful. Maybe TS changed and would treat their major moneymaker better this time around. However, things only got worse. The boy group had comebacks after comebacks again and when they weren’t promoting in Korea for the few short weeks that they were, they were being shipped abroad for tours. Things weren’t really the same ever since their lawsuit including the boy group’s careers. They hadn’t hit their peak yet, but they were already slowly descending.
I haven’t enjoyed much of their music post-lawsuit as I did pre-lawsuit honestly. Before the lawsuit, I was in love with almost every single song of theirs. But no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t get into their music post-lawsuit unfortunately (exceptions would be “honeymoon”, “skydive”, and “moondance”). Therefore, my love and support and interest in the boys died down and I poured more of my love to BTS and Highlight.
It’s so unfortunate and tragic how badly and mismanaged B.A.P. was. They were so different and powerful and had so much potential to hit it big. Everyone knew their names and who they were and their debut shook everyone up. They were known as that boy group who all had blonde hair or for their songs about society or for their intense choreographies and cinematic music videos. There were so many great things about the boy group and it hurt seeing them never really return to the way things used to be for them. Post-lawsuit, they’ve managed to maintain a small but loyal fanbase but that was about as far as they could go.
I love and will always love B.A.P. for being so different and powerful and for attempting things that were rarely seen in K-Pop (seriously listen to their discography, especially the earlier stuff they released. They have top notch songs! Feel free to ask me for recommendations for my personal favorites and for ones that stand out). They’ve gone through SO much, but I can also tell that they’re exhausted of the idol life (some members more than others). They never really got to utilize all of their potential before running into the ground and hitting a dead-end. It’s unfortunate that the members never even received something as basic and required as payment for their own hard work and efforts. The members are so thankful still despite everything and they always thank for their fans which I find so endearing and sweet. As much as I would hate for this to happen, disbandment is always an option and since Yong Guk and Himchan are reaching military service age, we probably won’t see B.A.P. active as six until a while or really ever again. I would love for them to pull a Highlight and to form their own company to keep promoting as six with the music and concepts that they want, but I also know the process takes time, money, and resources which B.A.P. might be short on.
Whatever their future is and whatever option they choose for the group, I know they did it with their fans on their minds, with self-respect and love for themselves, with consideration for one another, and with what they thought would be the best option possible. It’s just so sad that an amazing and talented boy group like B.A.P. and their career would be cut so soon and with so much hidden potential. I can’t say this for most idol groups, but B.A.P. will always have a special and soft spot in my heart (I can barely listen to their songs without wanting to cry). I’m so thankful for the boys and I’ll trust their decisions. Maybe now they can finally take the break they so well-deserved and so desperately wanted.