K-Pop: Recent News

Promotional image of Kim Taehyung (V), Min Yoongi (Suga), Kim Seokjin (Jin), Jeon Jungkook, Kim Namjoon (RM), Park Jimin, and Jung Hoseok (J-Hope). Copyright goes to BTS and the Hybe Corporation.

Hey! Hallie here!

It feels like we’ve received tons of K-Pop news in just the last couple of days. Some are really positive. Others are a bit disappointing. But overall, with every group involved, I think there’s a lot for fans to be proud of. Here I will also be covering some news we got a little bit earlier in the week as well. By that I’m talking about the (G)I-dle situation, which is still being heavily debated in the K-Pop community. There’s a lot of big news to talk about so I’m going to jump right in.

‘Map of the Soul: 7’ Concert Cancellation:

A lot of people saw this coming, but it was still sad to see the possibility of a live concert for this album put to rest. The concert had been in hiatus hell since April of 2020. In the meantime, a major topic of conversation amongst the members was how much they couldn’t wait to get back to the stage. After every performance they did for the songs on the album, especially “On” and its crazy stage, they seemed to be disappointed they couldn’t show them to ARMY in a live setting. But months and months passed. Finally, in October of 2020, BTS held an online concert to show off all the performances they’d been planning. The concert was amazing, but many ARMYs couldn’t help but feel it might signify that BTS was going to move on and do something different for their post-pandemic concert. Meaning, the concert would be cancelled. Still, BTS didn’t want to disappoint ARMY and held on to the hope that they could do the concert as they’d originally intended. Mentions of the ‘Map of the Soul: 7’ concert did begin to deteriorate though, and now we have an official cancellation. I feel for the ARMYs who had tickets. Getting tickets for BTS was hard enough as it was back when the ‘Map of the Soul: 7’ tickets were on sale, and the BTS fandom has only grown since the pandemic. This huge group of new fans to please could have been another contributing factor to cancelling their concert. Whether or not that’s the case, please don’t attack newer ARMYs because of this. It might be sad, but no one is really at fault here. BTS was one of the last to cancel their pandemic-affected concerts, and there were various reasons why this cancellation was inevitable. In any case, we all know that BTS has huge plans for their next concert, so at least that’s worth getting excited about!

ATEEZ and Pentatonix:

ATEEZ has been doing A LOT to market themselves during the pandemic. While it definitely feels like their company is overworking them, which is sadly common in the K-Pop industry, their amazing skills and work ethic are starting to get them the attention they deserve. Their new collaboration with the popular US acapella group, Pentatonix, is an excellent example of this. Pentatonix decided to collaborate with ATEEZ for the new song “A Little Space”. The collaboration is only with members Yunho, Jongho, and San. There’s not really a public reason for this, but the three do an excellent job. The song is really fun! I can’t say it shows off the skills of the ATEEZ members all too well, but it’s hard to see what they would have been able to do in that capacity while still balancing Pentatonix’s acapella roots. Either way, watch it and support them!

Bobby Personal News:

Bobby, a member of the group iKON, made the decision to announce that he’s both getting married and expecting a baby! I don’t know much about iKON, but I’m so happy for him. Having the bravery to announce personal news like this is impressive. It’s scary enough to release personal information to the public as someone who’s in the public eye, but as a K-Pop Idol the task is even more difficult. Idols are encouraged by their companies either not to date or, if they’re successful enough not to be fired, to at least hide any romantic relationships. After all, one of the ways Idols are marketed is based on their perceived datability, which isn’t really possible to do when the members are public about their relationships. But these rules can be extremely harmful. They easily create toxic fans by implying that dating the members of a group might be a possibility, even when it’s extremely unlikely. That leads to both jealous fans and fans who feel they should have a say in the personal lives of their favorite idols. The fact that Bobby decided to make this personal information public, directly fights back against these types of fans. It’s a rude awakening, revealing that he’s a person with his own life and that he doesn’t purely exist for the entertainment of his fan base. Most importantly, he’s happy. The majority of fans have congratulated him for all this amazing news. Some though, have declared the announcement sad. I understand that a comfortable fantasy, such as being able to date Bobby, might be hard to let go of. But these fans have to understand that they’re the reason for Bobby’s countless apologies at the bottom of his announcement. He shouldn’t have to apologize for his happiness. And he shouldn’t have to apologize to fans because of their unrealistic fantasies.

Soojin Leaving (G)I-DLE:

Once again, (G)I-DLE isn’t one of the major groups I follow. Still, this news could be very influential for the entire K-Pop community. Soojin was one of the Idols that was accused of bullying back when a large amount of bullying allegations hit various Idols at once. Soojin denied the bullying allegations in depth, but there were a few things against her in this situation. One was that there were multiple allegations, not simply one. Another was that one of those allegations came from an actress, Seo Shin Ae. As a result, she was permanently removed from the group. I understand that school bullying is a major issue and I think that it’s admirable that South Korea takes the issue very seriously. However, I also think such harsh repercussions given to Idols for their actions as children and young teens is a bit ridiculous. A lot of people don’t really like or agree with who they were at that age. And the majority of people grow past that. It isn’t that they shouldn’t face consequences. But ruining their career? That’s extreme. Especially when none of these allegations are provable. I feel bad for Soojin and for all the (G)I-DLE fans going through this right now. It’s frightening to consider that this might set a precedent for members of other groups who were hit with a similar amount of allegations. (Note that I don’t extend these sympathies to Idols who receive allegations over illegal and monstrous actions. Looking at you, Kris Wu.)

That’s it! I hope some of the good news offset some of the bad. I also hope that you take away from this that all of these groups, in all of these situations, are working hard to make their fans proud. K-Pop Idols are some of the hardest working people in the music industry. There’s a lot that’s expected of them. The fact that they’re moving forward, through both happy and disappointing news, demonstrates how strong they can be. So stay positive and be proud of your ults!

Don’t do anything fun until I get back!

Hallie

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