May started out to be almost quiet when it came to kpop drama buzz- but the end of the month punched us in the gut with so many groups disbanding. From all of us veteran KPop fans: you will be missed. [Kell’s interjection: Whhhyyyyyy??? #UglySobbing]
Events in May:
1st – Online voting for BBMAs begins.
3rd – StanTwitter explodes when the Mike Mahan of Dick Clark Productions agreed to invite BTS to the 2017 BBMAs.
4th – SM Station announced they are accepting applications for anyone who wants to become an SM Trainee. Open Station is accepting via Email and mobile app through July.
4th – CJ E&M announce Zion.T & NCT 127 as final additions to KCON NY lineup.
9th – South Korean Elections
10th – Moon Jae In wins elections and will replace former President Park Geun Hye.
11th – Billboard announced BTS will attend BBMAs.
11th – American network ABC greenlit the pilot for their own remake of KDrama hit The Good Doctor. It is slated to air early fall 2017.
12th & 13th – TkC17 (Toronto KPop Con 2017). KARD, BTOB. (KpG NOTE: EXID was scheduled but canceled the day before. They will have a fanmeet later this summer.)
16th – YG Ent announced Gummy will be releasing a new full studio album; her first in 9 years!
17th – TkC17 (Toronto KPop Con) date moved
19th – SM announced SMTOWN’s 6th World Tour will begin in July.
19th, 20th, 21st – KCON Japan. Lineup includes: A-JAX, Apeace, Apink, ASTRO, Block B, Boys24 Unit Black, Boys Republic, BTOB, CHANMINA, CLC, Day6, GFriend, GOT7, Hanhae, Heize, H.U.B, Idiotape, INX, Juhho, K.Will, MONSTA X, NAUGHTYBOYS, Noh Ji Hoon, Pentagon, PRISTIN, Pungdeng-E, Seventeen, STELLAR, TRITOPS, TopSecret, UNIONE.
21st – Billboard Music Awards (BBMAs)
23rd – SM Ent. and Mystic Ent. announced they are collaborating on a new music program that will include Mystic’s Park Jae Jung and… you guessed it… SM’s Mark from NCT. [Do they ever let that boy sleep???]
KpG NOTE for those keeping track: SM bought controlling stake in Mystic Ent. at the end of March 2017.
23rd – Sooyoung (SNSD) named honorary ambassador for rare diseases on Rare Disease Day by Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention. [For those who don’t know, her father suffers from a rare degenerative eye disease, and she has been actively helping raise awareness for years.]
6th – The final episode for the YouTube Red exclusive, Run BIGBANG Scout, BIGBANG’s 10 year celebration (first of 6 episodes launched on April 24th). It’s the first YouTube Red Original Series for KPop.
7th – Trainee, Ha Min Ho, leaves P101 S2 and is fired from his agency (THEVIBE LABEL) due to surfacing accusations of bullying and sexual harassment.
8th – P101 S2 accused Kang Daniel and Kim Dong Bin of attempting to indicate to the public their song preferences. [Noooooooo! Not Daniel. *tiny sob*] Mnet said they (and any others found) will be penalized and not allowed to perform those songs.
10th – Despite Mnet’s frisk and search policy, cameras are still finding their way into P101 shows. Although this should not come as a surprise, the story made news because fans complained illegal photos were too pricey (as much $100 US) since sellers are charging “labor fees” for having to bypass security. [I… I just… I have no words.]
20th – Mnet is once again accused of sketchy editing. [Why is anyone surprised by this point?!] This time it was P101 S2 contestant Ahn Hyung Seob. Yuehua Entertainment’s young trainee was shown by Mnet having a bad attitude when his rank lowered, but his apology for complaining was not included in the broadcast. This caused his rank to drop from 6th to 20th. [Honest question: can anyone name one music survival show that Mnet hasn’t played the creative filtering game to manipulate the rankings? Because I can’t think of any.]
24th – KBS declares Gummy (A Knowing), Yezi (Anck Su Namum), & VIXX (Black Out) all unfit for broadcast. Yezi said she will revise her song Anck Su Namum. [*pouts*] Gummy and VIXX refuse to revise their songs. [Good for them!]
28th – EXO’s album release has been moved… again. This time to “summer”.
An open letter to whomever is in charge of promoting at SM:
Frequently moving the release date does not help generate good buzz (we’re attempting to give you the benefit of doubt and assume this is what you’re doing rather than just complete and utter mismanagement).
It devalues the announcement to everyone but ultra dedicated fans (think: The Boy Who Cried Wolf [Awoo!]). It lowers the group’s brand reputation because they (rather than you) are seen as tentative and unreliable (think: The Boy Who Cried Wolf [Naega Ulf! Naega Ulf!]). It means hungry competition will have a better chance to gobble headlines because media outlets want fresh, juicy stories and yours has been said too often (think: The Boy Who Cried Wolf).
So even you if this is some off kilter strategy for EXO: The Boy Who Cried Naega Wolf 2.0… please desist. It’s not fair to the children you suckered into inordinately long slave contracts (read: EXO). And it’s beginning to look; to those of us with industry knowledge, as if you’re sabotaging their brand on purpose.
a KPopper who really doesn’t want this to be an “I Told You So”.
29th – The Return of Superman has a new dad for the upcoming season… and he’s not Korean.
29th – KBS announces a new second chance at fame reality show The Final 99 Match for idols who have already debuted but not yet reached the spotlight.
30th – P101 S2 asks internet for suggestions for the band name [because apparently they have learned nothing from Boaty McBoatface. So far, I’m voting for nu’NU’EST].
31st – P101 Drama time: Pledis claims “we know nothing” in relation to the reissuing of NU’EST Japanese album Bridge To The World which violates the P101 contract.
Records broken & created this month:
19th – Knock Knock from TWICE enters the 100 million view club, bringing them into a 3 way tie for 3rd place with BTS and EXO (all having 4 MVs over 100m).
21st – Billboard Music Awards (BBMAs). BTS wins Billboard Top Social Artist. BTS is the first Korean group to be nominated and first group to win a Billboard award. Congrats BTS! [Woot!]
25th – TWICE’s MV TT reaches 200 million views. They are the 1st girl group to do so. Congrats, and good work Once! [Crazy amazing dedication…]
30th – BIGBANG’s MV Let’s Not Fall in Love hits the 100 million view mark, This pulls them into a 1st place tie with SNSD to have 5 MVs with over 100 million views. G-Dragon also has a solo MV over 100 million, and Taeyang and GD’s collaboration also has 100 million views. The MVs are:
- SNSD MVs: I Got A Boy, Gee, The Boys, Mr. Taxi, Oh
- BIGBANG MVs : Fantastic Baby, Bang Bang Bang, Loser, Bad Boy, Let’s Not Fall In Love
- G-DRAGON solo MV: Crooked
- GD x Taeyang MV: Good Boy
KpG NOTE: Although there is a Soompi article claiming this makes 7 MVs for BIGBANG; Gaon, Hanteo, and Korean Award ranking counts solo MVs and duet collab/subunit MVs separate from overall group MVs. (This allows the artists to place in more than one category for end of the year awards). We here at KpG use Gaon and Hanteo as our baseline- so we will also be using their rules.
10th – FNC introduces their new 4 member boy band HONEYST (a smash up of the words “honey” and “artist” [I don’t see it. But, sure. We’ll roll with it.]). They competed against what is now SF9 on FNC’s survival show Dance or Band. They will debut on 17 May.
10th – RBW Inc. and DWM Ent. released their teaser photos on the recently opened twitter account for new girl group, P.O.P (pronounced pea-oh-pea). P.O.P will likely debut July 2017. The group was first announced in June 2016. Not much else is known about the group other than it is rumored to have 6 members.
12th – Hunus Entertainment introduces all 5 members of their new girl group, ELRIS. They are set to debut in the beginning of June.
15th – Woolim Ent. announces “Golden Child” as the new name for their upcoming boy group.
17th – Stellar adds a new member: Soyoung.
26th – WM Ent announces a “younger brother group” to B1A4 will debut this summer with 7 members.
6th – T-ARA announced they will be moving forward as a 4 member unit. Boram and Soyeon will be leaving when their contracts expire on May 15th.
13th – The Legend disbands. But on a better note- they won their lawsuit against SS Entertainment. We wish them the best in whatever future they choose.
For those who don’t remember: The Legend filed on 7 July 2016 requesting release from their contract with SS Entertainment due to lack of provided training, transport, management, or even proper dorms (their dorm had no electricity).
I personally think they could have done really well if SS Entertainment had given them proper promo and management. Their vocals are so much more stable than several other more well known groups. [coughshadowcoughnailcough]
14th – History officially disbands. [Why doesn’t anyone appreciate men groups? (Preach, Oh Wise One!) We’re gonna run into a serious lack of sufficiently muscled men that dance well and aren’t afraid to show their assets. Seriously, I might just die (Bless you! You’re welcome).]
17th – Hyeongeun leaves Bulldok.
KpG NOTE: although many netizens were quick to assume this was a reaction related to her disrespect to seniors, we want to point out it was likely used as a convenient excuse for KCONIC Entertainment who was already planning to remove her. Here’s the breakdown:
We here at KpG loathe using AllKpop as a source- but this link is strictly to show the news of Hyeongeun’s mistake and rumors of her leaving surfaced at the same time rather than her leaving being a result.
The official announcement of her departure was less than 48 hours from the news breaking. This is abnormally quick- which makes it seem paperwork had already been prepared prior.
Note this statement from KCONIC posted in the Naver article:
Hyeong Eun has withdrawn from Bulldok since February 20th, and she had already stopped all activities with Bulldok since the end of March due to health problems.
It appears KCONIC was already preparing for her dismissal, and they just expedited the process. Possibly this was a form of damage control so that her actions not to negatively impact Bulldok and the remaining members.
One last note: some “news” outlets (read: rumormills) were quick to say ARMY was angry and calling for her to be fired- KNetz shows people from all fandoms were more upset at her lack of respect for a senior and kARMY remained rather chill.
22nd – SISTAR announces disbandment [And KPoppers worldwide cry over the loss of Summer. There will never be summer again #MoreUglySobbing]
25th – Kyuhyun (Super Junior) leaves for enlistment.
31st- June 31 was the saddest day ever in the history of Kpop for girl group stans.
- SISTAR releases their goodbye MV Lonely [#UgliestSobbing]
- Soyul left Crayon Pop
- Uee announced she is “graduating” from After School; leaving both the group and Pledis as her contract ends.
- Female R&B group As One is disbanding. (They’ve been together for 18 years. Their last single will be on June 5th.)
- NineMusesA will just be Nine Muses, and it appears Sungah might be taking a hiatus. It wasn’t outright stated she will be leaving, but it was implied as Star Empire asks fans to support her in her new persuits as she moves on as a DJ and a student. (Nine Muses is slated for a new CB starting June 19th. )
29th – Beenzino enlists for active duty.
1st – Triple H – 199X (Mini Album. Cube Entertainment)
4th – Topping – Shadow Play (Single. *independent release*, Distributor: CJ E&M)
13th – SOOM – To Be Honest (Single. Luce Entertainment)
17th – HONEYST – Like You (Single album. FNC Entertainment)
Duetto – Yearnings (Mini album. Starship Entertainment)
19th – Sohee – Spotlight (Single. Hynus Entertainment)
MONT – Sorry (Single. FM Entertainment)
23rd – Kim Lip (LOONA) – Eclipse (Single. Blackberry Creative)
A.C.E – Cactus (Single. Beat Interactive)
24th – Marmello – Puppet (Single. Rolling Culterone)
25th – Girls’ Alert – Dreamgirls (Single album. Alpha Music)
26th – South Club (Nam TaeHyun) – Hug Me (Single. *independent release*, distributor: Bugs)
Wet Boyz – sSsSs (Feat. Swings) (Single. Wet Boyz Entertainment)
30th – Ki Peurm Kim – Out Of My Way (Single. Music&NEW)
31st – Noda – 25 (Single. OGAM Entertainment)
Kell’s Top 5 Tracks for May
- Seventeen – Don’t Wanna Cry [Such a great comeback.]
- VIXX – Shangri-La [Dancing with fans, Ravi in purple hair, saturated colors]
- Day6 – Dance Dance [They haven’t disappointed me yet this year.]
- Yong Jun Hyung – Wonder If (featuring Heize) [I love the flow of this song and Heize just adds that little something.]
- Dash – Up Down [I have no regrets on this pick. Everyone needs sexy times and a smooth RnB voice crooning in the background.]
- 2CHAIN (Kihyun & Jooheon of Monsta X) – You and I [I don’t care if covers don’t count. Probably not the last time a cover will show up on one of my lists.]
- Dean – Love (featuring Syd) [Because if covers don’t technically count, I obviously needed a “real” honorable mention. Speaking of smooth RnB voices, Dean fits the bill every time. I would love to give the original MV but UMG blocked it.]
Seoul’s Top 5 Underrated Tracks for May
- N.Flying – Awesome [We missed you!]
- Marmello – Puppet. Because KPop needs more girls on drums and decent guitar riffs. And this was their debut?! Oh Yes. KpG expects to hear much more.
- Microdot & KangNam – Welcome to the The Jungle
- Yezi – Anck Su Namum
- Jazzyfact – 하루종일 (Beenzino’s last before leaving for mandatory)
- MBA and Don Malik– MBA (Most Badass Asian) and Don Malik both dropped MVs speaking out against the racism and injustice encountered at the hands of American Custom Agents who detained them even though they were invited performers for the 2017 SXSW.
For those unfamiliar with the story; Customs Agents detained them, laughed while calling them “chinks”, and told them to dance.
Check out their official releases (KpG Note: the lyrics aren’t exactly… um… PG):
MBA – Officer
Don Malik – Yellow