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Is B.A.P. disbanding? Yongguk and Zelo’s departure raises questions if boy band will continue

B.A.P.
K-pop fans are questioning if B.A.P. is disbanding after both Yongguk and Zelo left. Image Credit: TS Entertainment

Best Absolute Perfect — better known by their acronym B.A.P. — are one of the most popular boy bands to ever hit the K-pop scene. Utilizing the same pre-debut tactic that made BTS very popular, the members — Yongguk, Himchan, Daehyun, Youngjae, Jongup, and Zelo — formed a strong fan following even before they officially debuted.

Since then, B.A.P. had a career spanning almost seven years with many highs and many lows. At one point, they were so popular that they had the most number one albums on the Billboard World Albums chart twice. At this point, it is probably safe to say that they would have been where BTS is now if it weren’t for their label and agency, TS Entertainment.

And that is where the McGuffin comes in. The past four months have been very emotional for both B.A.P. and their fans as both Yongguk and Zelo have decided not to renew their contracts with TS Entertainment. With only four members left and their contracts also in negotiation, is it probable B.A.P. is disbanding?

Two points to consider if B.A.P. is disbanding or not

To generally analyze if B.A.P. is disbanding, we have to consider two points. The first point is the departures of Yongguk and Zelo. The former was announced to have left both B.A.P. and TS Entertainment on August 23, 2018, which is about two years after he went on hiatus for his mental health.

Four months later, Zelo chose not to renew his contract with TS Entertainment. As a result, he too would officially withdraw from B.A.P. TS Entertainment provided the following press release to the public on the matter.

“Hello. This is TS Entertainment. We wanted to inform you that TS Entertainment and B.A.P’s Zelo’s contract has ended. Zelo, who signed with TS Entertainment on December 2, 2011 ended his contract on December 2, 2018, officially withdrawing from B.A.P. We want to thank Zelo who tried his best until the very end, and we will continue to cheer Zelo on in the future. Thank you to everyone who loved B.A.P and Zelo until now.”

The second point is B.A.P.’s overall relationship with TS Entertainment. At this point in their careers, it is probable that B.A.P. has a somewhat okay relationship with TS Entertainment. However, that was not the case back in 2014.

Back on November 27, 2014, B.A.P. filed a lawsuit to nullify their contract with TS Entertainment. They claimed unfair working conditions and profit distribution, including statements claiming that of the $9 million USD they earned over the past three years, each member was only paid a total of $18,000. When TS Entertainment refuted the claims, B.A.P. countered with another statement claiming lack of accountability and possibly filing for defamation of character.

Almost one year from when the lawsuit was first filed, B.A.P. and TS Entertainment reached a settlement and the fomer returned to promotions. However, the damage was done. The fame and reach they originally had both domestically and internationally was heavily damaged from their almost year-long hiatus.

The fate of B.A.P. might rest on Daehyun, Youngjae, and Jongup

With the two points detailed above, the fate of B.A.P. might rest on three members: Daehyun, Youngjae, and Jongup. It should be noted that Himchan was not mentioned with the three and there is a reason why. If member contracts coincide with their introductions back in 2012, Himchan was the second member to sign on with TS Entertainment. Yongguk was the first and Zelo was the third. Taking those details in, we might have already passed Himchan’s expiration date for his contract. The fact he is still performing points to the possibility he re-signed with TS Entertainment.

Himchan
B.A.P. member Himchan was accused of sexual harassment earlier this year. Image Credit: TS Entertainment

Such news would be fuel to support B.A.P. not disbanding despite Yongguk and Zelo leaving. Unfortunately, Himchan might have re-signed as a form of survivalism. Earlier this year, he was accused of sexually harassing a woman in her 20s. That is an accusation nobody wants hanging over their head and Himchan probably thought his chances of re-signing with another label at this moment are low. As a result and as mentioned earlier, it could be he re-signed with TS Entertainment as a form of survivalism.

This brings us back to Daehyun, Youngjae, and Jongup. Them re-signing with TS Entertainment depends on many factors, but mostly if their working relationship is truly a-okay. At most, all B.A.P. needs is two members to work. It is the same situation that happened to TVXQ and they actually became far more popular after the fact.

On the other hand, the remaining three B.A.P. members could leave and rejoin with Yongguk and Zelo under their own label with a new name. Beast did it when they left Cube Entertainment, formed their own independent label and rebranded themselves as Highlight.

B.A.P. leaves behind a legacy

Whatever happens, B.A.P. leaves behind a legacy that fans will truly admire. Maybe sometime in the future when the members are no longer K-pop idols, one might spill the beans on what happened behind the scenes, similar to Gayoung revealing what it was like being in Stellar. Unlike Stellar members though, B.A.P.’s members now have production and writing credits to their name and can move on after their boy band days are over.

If what they make is anything like Skydive, the hit song that led the way in B.A.P. reclaiming the most number one albums on the Billboard World Albums chart, then K-pop fans can’t wait to see what B.A.P., or what B.A.P. might be in the future, has in store for them.

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War Omega is an entertainment news writer and painter that specializes in Asian entertainment. On Monsters & Critics, he writes about K-pop, K-dramas, and Chinese... read more
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