Am I the only one upset with YNWA comeback? It's been barely 4 months since WINGS came out, and they've been busy with concert preparations and now comeback preparations... Sigh, and this rate, I wouldn't be surprised if they were to part ways with Big Hit in future :-/
I’m sorry that this turned into an extremely long answer, but I felt the need to do this.
Hm, I don’t know, I can’t say I agree with you. I mean, I wouldn’t say that they aren’t overworked or anything, but how come no one has ever considered that maybe it’s the members who want this, and it isn’t the company that is forcing it unto them?
I’ve mentioned this before, but BTS was formed for their musicality in the first place, they have a different purpose in comparison to other idols. Most if not all the members focus a lot on the music part of their career, so I find that it’s only normal that they would want to constantly come out with new music, which explains all the active comebacks they have despite the short breaks between comebacks. Same goes for concerts/tours that they do; if you’re someone who wants to make music, you want to connect with people through music, naturally you’d want to be able to perform and showcase this music, no?
And regarding BigHit, I think people don’t give them enough credit, honestly. Yeah, they lack in certain areas, but which entertainment company out there can you call perfect? If anything, BigHit has done swell when it comes to the management of the boys.
Before I talk about the good in BigHit, I am aware about their problems as a company. They constantly come up with new content to sell to the fans for extra profit, and they never really give fans much time to prepare themselves for a new comeback/release of new content. When it comes to the members themselves, I’m sure they have their own complains towards the company. Take Suga, the one who has been the most vocal about his complaints, as an example. At the start of BTS’ career, he talked about how he was conned into learning how to dance and becoming an idol, when all along he thought and was promised that all he needed to do was write music and rap. He was expecting to become a group like 1TYM, not a group known for their knife-like choreography. Watch the evidence here, it starts at 19:00. But over the years, I think Yoongi doesn’t feel against it anymore, because BTS is recognized for their dance and has been rewarded a ton of awards for best dance. Then fast forward after countless of comebacks with multiple hair colours, Yoongi has seriously damaged scalp and over bleached hair. He said he was going to sue BigHit for hair loss, and even though most took it as a joke, he didn’t only talk about it once, he said it twice. If anything, Yoongi isn’t really someone to say things he doesn’t mean. He’s a straightforward type guy, and he probably really feels dissatisfied towards the company for constantly bleaching his hair. The first time he talked about it was here (5:19 mark), and the second time, here (2:22 mark). He also talked about how people who dye their hair constantly suffer at the Gaon Charts Yinyuetai interview earlier this year. The era where they were most overworked was probably during their RUN days, and Yoongi talked about this too. It’s in this video, at the 5:09 mark as well as the 10:59 mark onwards. They haven’t slept more than 3 hours, they have back to back schedules, etc.
Now, with all that aside, I am aware of the vices of BigHit, but back to my point - BigHit has done swell when it comes to the management of the boys.
There are a few aspects when it comes to this. We can talk about the efforts BigHit makes in ensuring that they are able to keep their artistes satisfied. One classic example would be Yoongi. I just talked about how he’s complained throughout the RUN era about his hair and scalp, and what did BigHit do for the Blood, Sweat and Tears era?
The fact that BigHit gave Jin and V the opportunity to sing bangtan’s first ever OST instead of the other members would be another classic example. BigHit could’ve given the duet to Jungkook and Jimin easily, considering they are the main and lead vocals respectively, but they gave it to Seokjin and Taehyung instead. Okay, you can argue and say it’s natural that Taehyung got it since he’s the one acting in the show, but how about Jin? Watch this, from the 28:00 mark. You can tell Seokjin really wanted a chance to sing an OST, and BigHit indeed gave him one, which he’s so grateful for.
Back to Yoongi again (he seems to be surfacing a lot today), as well as Rap Monster this time, and in due time, J-Hope. The former two have always been extremely passionate in their music, and there’s a lot of areas they cannot explore as rappers/musicians when it comes to working as a team, because they have to ensure that the song fits 7 members, that the song is something worth putting on an album, etc. It limits them a lot, so what did BigHit do? BigHit opened a SoundCloud account for them where they can freely post up their own tracks and random raps and even song covers when it comes to vocal line, and they’ve never limited what bangtan do/post on the SoundCloud account. In fact, BigHit even fully funded Yoongi and Namjoon’s mixtapes despite not being able to make any profit from doing so. They provided a set, cameras, make up and stylists, everything necessary to produce an MV, just so that they are able to come up with their own mixtapes for them to showcase the stories that they were unable to tell through BTS.
Even when it comes to schedules, BigHit never makes the members do things they don’t want to. Remember in Yoongi’s track, ‘The Last’?
Show me the money, it’s not that I couldn’t but I didn’t shit
Also, realize that Yoongi is the only member that has never tried emceeing yet? Yoongi is the only member who has yet to have his own solo appearance in any one variety show/schedule, and if you ask me, I really think it’s because Yoongi never intended to live the idol life in the first place. He just wants to make music, not go on shows for more exposure or anything. But BigHit never once forced him to doing any, doesn’t that say a lot?
Enough with keeping their artistes satisfied, let’s move on to the care factor the company has. In any other company, their idols are all overworked to the point of fainting/working despite injuries or health issues, etc. But what has BigHit done every time any one member is injured? Here’s a compact list of the more prominent occurrences.
- 28th Dec 2013 - Yoongi was diagnosed with appendicitis, BigHit withdrew him from year end schedules.
- 27th Dec 2015 - BigHit cancelled 2 concerts in Japan for the sake of Yoongi and Taehyung.
- 30th Dec 2015 - Namjoon was withdrawn from year end schedules because of his leg injury.
- 24th July 2016 - BigHit chose to let Namjoon rest despite the hospital giving him the green light to resume schedules because there was nothing seriously wrong with his health.
- 30th Sept 2016 - BigHit withdrew Namjoon from
the 2016 K-Pop World Festival
performance as well as
the Busan One Asia Festival
performance so that his leg will not result in injury. It was a preventive measure on their end.
- 22nd Dec 2016 - BigHit withdrew Yoongi from all further activities so that he can rest, when it was a ear injury which technically isn’t a very big deal.
BigHit could’ve easily made the members continue to promote and perform, because in most cases, it wasn’t really anything serious, but yet, they chose to make them rest instead. Other companies wouldn’t have done that unless the member has a leg injury or is bed ridden.
BigHit has also been very protective of their artistes. It’s very important that a company addresses issues early in order to protect their artistes, and it’s even more important that the company is willing to come to the rescue of their artistes when the need arises. There’s this, and there’s this too. There was also this too.
Another thing would be how BigHit doesn’t limit the boys in any way at all. Even as trainees, the boys were given handphones and allowed to communicate with the outside world through logs and Twitter, unlike every other idol trainee out there who practically lives in a dungeon. There was never dating bans in their contracts (evidence here) and they were never told to behave a certain way nor were they put under extremely strict diets. When they dieted, it was mostly out of their own will rather than their company wanting them to be slim or whatever.
In lyrics, they were never told to not talk about a certain topic, and in fact, they are now known for always attacking real world topics and issues. They aren’t the first group to do so, but it still definitely sets them apart from boring old romance lyrics in present day kpop.
And the most important thing of all…
And then there was Jin who talked about missing the managers,
I mean, if you don’t enjoy the time you spend with the company I don’t think you’d talk about missing them. You can tell they are grateful to these people who care for them no matter what. Remember how they all hugged their managers (not one, all) when they won the daesang?
Look at the managers looking so happy for them. The one in green striped shirt was hugging Jungkook and there’s Namjoon hugging the other manager on the right.
I don’t know about you, and although I wouldn’t say that they have a family bond with the staff, but you can tell they all really love each other and there’s definitely some form of a bond between them. Not just with the managers, but even with the producers who have worked hard behind the scenes for the boys. Look at this video, Mr Son and the staff who were with him were literally so elated for BTS’ first win. And then there was this, where Slow Rabbit (Big Hit producer) cried when bangtan got Artist of the Year at MAMA. Then there’s Pdogg (Big Hit producer, aka the man behind BTS’ title tracks) who was constantly supportive of the boys in his tweets here and here.
I can understand the heart of those ARMYs who are constantly upset with BigHit because they are worried about the members’ health in general, but sometimes we have to look at things from different perspectives. In my opinion, bangtan is happy under their management, and when they have complaints, Bang PD is willing to talk it out with them. I mean, he’s clearly close to the boys, to the point where he’s alright with joking around with them all the time. If he wasn’t we wouldn’t be blessed with things like this:
Even when renewal of contracts becomes an issue, I feel like he’d try to meet the needs of the members and he’d want to continue housing all 7 of them. BTS is the first group he’s ever produced. GLAM and 8Eight were collaborations with Source Music, HOMME, 2AM, and everyone else were transferred under him, so BTS would mean more to him than anything else. He single-handedly made them, so I don’t know. I don’t feel you on this.