BAP, a six member South Korean boy group consisting of Youngjae,Daehyun,Yongguk,Zelo,Jongup, and Himchan made their first idol group debut on January 27, 2012 under the company TS entertainment. In South Korea there are three major entertainment companies better known as “the big three.” These three companies are SM, JYP, and YG entertainment. As you can see TS entertainment is not on the list of the major companies making all the groups under that label underdogs. Typically groups under the big three tend to be more successful rather than the ones not in those groups. BAP broke that stereotype.
During their debut era they were at their highest. The same year as their debut they beat EXO for the rookie of the year award, which is a huge deal considering EXO comes from SM entertainment also known as one of the big three. BAP broke the stereotype of only the groups under the big three are to become successful. They however didn’t get their first music show win until February 2014. In South Korea winning one of these is equal to winning a VMA here in the states. Everything was going well for them they were at their peak, that was until the most shocking lawsuit was revealed that nearly destroyed their entire career.
As a group the total they have brought in throughout that three year time frame was over 9 million dollars, yet they each only received $17,500. Basically meaning the ratio they received from the profits was 1:9. BAP only receiving 10% while their company received 90% of their earnings. Also when a contract is signed it’s mean’t for it to start at that point on right? Well not in this case. TS didn’t officially start counting BAPS contract until the release of their first mini album, which was 10 months after debut. The contract they signed read 7 years but looking at it all it leads to being 8 years. In South Korea it is mandatory for the men to serve at least two years of military services between the ages of 18-30, this contract doesn’t even excuse that. The two years they are gone to serve their time they have to repay the time lost in the contract, once again extending it even further.
On October 24th 2014, Daehyun (main vocalist) of the group was taken to the emergency room for exhaustion and stress. While he was getting his IVs in a representative of their company literally pulled him out of the hospital bed in order to perform. There is an actual performance video for this on youtube and it’s so heartbreaking to watch Daehyun and the other members look so exhausted. While Daehyun is singing his parts you can hear the strain in his voice, the bandages from where the IVs were previously and his eyes look bloodshot. It’s as if he wasn’t there mentally but only physically. On another occasion they had to do a performance in China and all the members begged for it to be cancelled because they have been overworked and more than half of them were ill at the time, but their company said if the music show they were supposed to sing at decided to sue for no performance it would all be on BAPS shoulders. As I previously stated at this time BAP literally had no money to their name so being sued wasn’t something they planned on doing. So they did the performance. This was their last straw.
In early 2014 every single member of BAP decided to sue their company because of their “slave contract.” Ever since their debut they have been overworked to the point of needing to be hospitalized. In those three years that they were an active group they were only paid once. Each member only receiving $17,500 total for the three years that they had been releasing music, doing music shows, and working day and night every day with no breaks. It’s heartbreaking to know that their company wouldn’t even pay for their hospital bills when they needed it. They had to ask their parents to loan them the money because they were literally broke. You could tell that the bond between these guys ran deeper than just workmates. They all love each other like brothers. Throughout this tough time in their life they all stayed together, sticking through it all together. None of them left throughout the whole lawsuit, and that is extremely rare for idol groups to do. During their hiatus of nearly two years a bunch of new groups debuted which made BAP get pushed to the side.
The thing that really grinds my gears is when these fans of the newer groups want to try and act bold calling BAP flops just because they have to start from scratch, when their favorite groups haven’t even achieved 1/4 of what BAP has. There is a level of respect they should have for BAP considering they are a senior group and all their favs are rookie groups or debued 2-3 years ago. BAP are still currently under the same label but they said everything has been resolved between them, and we as fans can only trust what they’re saying and continue to support and root for them as group. The track they came back with from their nearly two year hiatus “Young, Wild, and Free, was basically them saying they’re free and will continue to make the music they love.
BAP deserve all the love and respect with all the obstacles they were forced to face. I truly believe that they wouldn’t have comeback as a whole if it wasn’t for their leader Bang Yongukk. He’s the eldest and honestly loves all the members so much. He puts them all before himself and wants them all to stay healthy. Although they have to start from the beginning again they’ll be back at the top spot where they belong soon and knock down these rookies so their fans can humble themselves and realize who the kings really are.