REAL Bad Boys of Korean Entertainment
There are KPOP idols who act tough and talk rough for their image but have not an ounce of guts to do what they really want. Then there are these 6 men who live and breath badassery.
Korea is still a conservative society. The public expects perfection from its celebrities. One wrong move and celebrities could be damned to eternity.
However, once in a while, some badass surfaces who doesn’t give a crap about what the public would say about them. They do whatever they want to do and say whatever they want to say without regard for any public backlash.
Most of them do get ostracized but there are a few who survive. Actually, they do more than survive, they head stomp everyone into submission and here are 6 of them. These six did some pretty badass stuff that did earn or should have earned them eternal punishment. Instead, each of them came out swaggin’ their way to the bank.
Jang Geun Suk
Jang Geun Shiek is probably the most loved and hated male celebrity in Korea all because he has two big pairs that allow him to say everything that’s on his mind regardless of what fans might say or think. He has this innate ability to walk the fine line between being a total jack$%@ and downright gutsy. Take for example his interview in the Kneedrop Guru where he cleared out controversy on whether or not he had his nose done. When Kang Ho Dong asked him why he had surgery (take note that Kang Ho Dong asked why not whether it is true or not). Instead of answering, he contorted his nose with unbelievable goofiness that wouldn’t have been possible if he had surgery.
He has always been open about being wary of being identified as a flower boy or an idol even though he is good looking, acts and sings. However, he did a TV drama centered on love, Love Rain. The show was a hit but it didn’t stop him from saying he was hounded by the memory of show. He said he was “burned” by the experience and implied he regretted doing it.
Netizens called him arrogant and ungrateful and he didn’t care and still doesn’t care. He never apologized for everything he said and continues to say whatever comes to his mind, public opinion be damned.
Nowadays, he chooses to do music in other Asian countries because he is fully aware that he will get a lot of negative press if he pursues a singing career in Korea.
Jung Yong Hwa
Most idols are trained to act and talk a certain way. They are developed to become products for the masses. The control that management companies exercise over them is worse than a trainer to its dogs. At least trainers adjust to dogs.
Who do you think is the most badass in this list?
Management companies of KPOP idols are beyond Zeus. They control everything that is remotely connected to their artists. They tell the celebrities where to go and when and what to wear. They are given songs to sing and image to practice. KPOP idols are also known for being tied to long-term contracts that essentially bind them worse than a slave.
That doesn’t sit well with Jung Yong Hwa, lead singer of the band CNBlue. However, they did underground gigs before they were put to mainstram. However, they forgot to tell the label that they have absolutely no plans to follow their direction.
When they were given songs to sings, CNBlue put their foot down and said they won’t sing it even if the meant the label cancelling their contract. It might sound “bleh” to some people but in Korea, management companies are gods. They sit in their throne like Zeus and point their lighting bolt to anyone who displeases them. It seems, CNBlue has some shield that repels the thunder because they won and they get to sing whatever they want.
ERRATUM: The article initially claimed that CNBlue was already a band when their management company picked them up. CNBlue was formed by their management company.
Tiger JK was never known to be someone who follows conventions. He always did things in his own terms. He has earned the ire of thousands, if not million but he never gave a rat’s #$% about it. For one, he has devoted his entire career to a badass cause, show those who discriminate against Koreans that racism and discrimination suck, big time.
However, it’s not just his fight against racism that makes him badass. He does have a penchant for completely disregarding image and popular opinion in favor of the truth and, occasionally, his personal amusement.
He often gets drunk and he often tweets when he is drunk. Although it is an unspoken rule that drunk tweets must be forgiven at all times, the case is a little different when you tweet thrash against idols. Tiger JK did just that, he called a certain girl group ugly.
His badassery is not limited to thrash tweeting, there’s also his stance against racism. When he was invited to the Creator’s Project last year, a group of white men kept on asking him to do the horsie dance instead of sing his songs. Tiger JK wouldn’t have any of it. He stopped singing and called out the men for stereotyping Koreans and making Asians an object of humiliation. He called them f%&$ and b$%#@^$. He apologized for disrespecting the organizers but didn’t apologize for what he said.
Kang Gary is an 8th Dan in Tae Kwon Do and both Gary and Gil are former boxers. However, LeeSsang is more famous for their gentle and well-mannered behaviour. Unlike other rappers, they don’t talk thrash of other celebrities and they don’t get involved with fights or word wars. They pretty much keep to their own and come out only to perform and do their shows.
However, it seems they have simply bottled up all their badassery and poured it in their music. They are famous for releasing songs with explicit contents. It’s not just sexual content but radical ideas and with out of the box reasoning. There are others who do it but they are the only group in the mainstream industry that does it in a badass level.
They released a song titled Turn Off The TV. It is about a guy who was trying to convince her girlfriend to have sex with him but she doesn’t want to. For one, sex is an iffy subject when it comes to mainstream music especially if the story being told is not mutual. The song goes on about how much the guy wants to *bleep* his girl’s *bleep* and just *bleep* her *bleep* and *bleep*. The song was banned on TV and radio but apparently, they have a talent for not following directions. They continue to perform it on TV. Not only that, they also perform their other songs with even more explicit and radical lyrics live on TV.
Even they get surprised at how they are able to pull off things like this. Gary once tweeted that he was surprised to hear people sing Turn Off the TV in a churches. He wondered if they really know what the song is about.
Jay Park was a member of the popular boy band, 2PM. He was kicked out because someone uncovered his MySpace account where he apparently ranted about Korean entertainment being “gay”. He was the most popular member but Netizens went after him like a pack of hungry wolves. He was subsequently fired from the group and dropped by the management company.
You think that’s his badassery? That’s just an appetizer.
What is actually badass about the whole issue is that he actually was able to come back and the manner by which he did it. He left Korea with the intention of coming back after things cool down. When it was proven that his MySpace account was severely misinterpreted, his return was looking more likely… until his management company fired him.
That's messed up, right?
He had no contract and no way to go back to Korea. What he had, though, is talent. He decided to show the world what he is about. He went YouTube singing his own version of B.o.B.’s Nothin’ On You. He used his own rap. It went viral faster than Ebola. Two million freakin’ views. He released his mini solo album and it went to number 1 in Korea... he was in the U.S.
He went back to Korea and signed with Sidus HQ as a solo artist. He went on to win awards, take a photo of himself doing an eff you sign, record a song for a Hollywood movie, profess his undying love for a girl group member who doesn’t like him and buy his parents a house in Seattle.
He doesn't need 6 other guys with him. He proved he can do it on his own. They scream at his whim, they jump at his beats, they buy his records and tickets and they giggle at his smile. And this the same country that kicked him to the curb. Ha!
DBSK’s breakup is probably one of the most high profile breakups in the history of Korean entertainment. Three of its members sued SM entertainment claiming they are not being treated like artists and are not getting paid enough.
Regardless of who is in the right or wrong, everyone has to acknowledge that these three guys have some giant pairs to go against a big management company like SM. That's like battling Zues.They didn't just risk their careers, they risked their lives... literally. Management companies in Korea can make a career and they can break them too. They have repeatedly demonstrated that in the past. If Idol trainees as much as say the wrong word, it is the end of their future and these three guys went balls out fighting the giant.
They eventually signed with CJes Entertainment. They accused SM from interfering with their career as all major TV networks and radio stations would neither have them on their shows nor play their music.
They resorted to alternative promotion channels such as cable channels and guesting on dramas instead of singing and performing. However, it turned out they didn't the darn TV power because they could simply tweet or post something on their websites and their fans come rushing in.
Just this year, they won when the court directed SM to not interfere with SM and to invalidate the three artists’ contract with SM.
By all accounts, the three members have a solid career in all of Asia and that's how they rub it on SM's face.