Empress Ki Recap
Epik High Concert The allkpop staff was lucky enough to attend Epik High"s New York City concert! The trio definitely threw some awesome performances of songs from their latest album Shoebox as well as fan favorites like "Fly," "Umbrella," and "Happen Ending." We even got to see glimpses of their awesome personalities and hidden agendas here and there, from Tablo"s comments on everything to Mithra"s wish to "spread the Korean language in America." Plus, it turns out that the trio really, really loves Shake Shack!
The "JYJ Law," proposed by Choi Min Hee as a measure to protect artists, failed to pass. While this law aimed to help artists by banning broadcast companies" actions of unjustifiably prohibiting the appearance of artists, the bill was instead put on hold on continuous evaluation as it was said to need further revisions. Let"s hope a law like this one can get passed soon to protect our favorite K-pop idols.
American wrestler Xavier Woods revealed his status as a Shawol. Tweeting a screenshot of Shinee"s "Alive," he gushed, "On repeat all day & is now my Gym Jam - about to learn these romanized lyrics SHINee I think I"m a Shawol." Welcome to the club Mr. Woods!
Weekly Recap: Fandom Wars, Breakup Rumors, And An "epik" Flash Mob
A flurry of dating rumors and contradictory statements surrounding After School"s Jung Ah and basketball player Jung Chang Young suggest that there"s some sort of relationship between the two! While representatives and After School"s management at Pledis Entertainment continue to insist that the two are not in an exclusive relationship and are merely good friends, Ilgan Sports claimed that the two are actually in a relationship. Fans themselves have noticed mysterious hashtags and tweets from their SNS accounts that suggest the initials of both Jung Ah and Jung Chang Young. Honestly speaking, if those hashtags don"t stand for initials, I don"t know what else they could even stand for.
Meanwhile, breakup rumors surrounding Brown Eyed Girl"s Ga In and actor Joo Ji Hoon were proven to be false! The two are reported to be "happily still together," with Joo Ji Hoon himself saying, "We are meeting well." I"m definitely glad to hear that!
The feud between VIPs and EXO-Ls continues to rage at out-of-control proportions. As both Big Bang and EXO continue to promote their most recent releases, fandoms are declaring an all-out war against each other with the situation only getting worse with a voting fiasco on "M! Countdown." What was originally attributed to be a small voting glitch for "M! Countdown" turned out to have been the result of some underhanded means that allowed fans to continue voting well past the 9 o"clock deadline, skewing the results.
When "I Love Dance," an NYC-based K-pop and hip-hop dance class and crew, announced their Epik High appreciation flash mob, the allkpop team knew that we just had to be there. I thought that we would be the earliest arrivals at the Best Buy Theater in Times Square, but to our amazement, there was already a huge crowd lined up on the sidewalk by the time we arrived. Fans were eagerly waiting for the flash mob to begin, unable to hide their joy for such an awesome event. Between cheering fans, bustling personnel, and the allkpop team, it was definitely a lively and exciting scene that just buzzed with so much energy. (We"re also so glad that we got to meet so many of you, our readers, and we hope you enjoyed the merch!)
Because of the huge turnout of supporters and fans, the sidewalk turned out to be way too small for the crowd and dance team to stay in front of the theater. For the sake of everyone"s comfort and safety, the dance crew thoughtfully decided to move to a larger pedestrian area, where everyone gathered around to watch, cameras and smartphones at the ready. Then, the music began, and the dancers began to show us their moves to a spirited medley of Epik High"s very own songs!
Despite some glitches and problems with the music, the dancers remained smilingly composed during the awkward pauses in the music. I couldn"t help but admire the way they would pick their routine right back up the moment the music started again, acting as if nothing had happened. The dancers made sure the performance sailed smoothly, pumping up the crowd with energy as everyone cheered their support.
Were you able to see Epik High at Times Square in New York City yesterday? It was so much fun! Tons of fans got to be up close and personal with this talented trio and even win free merch from allkpop which was there to capture the moment.
Which also means there is no need to fret about missing out on the awesome flash mob because allkpop has covered everything! We"ll be releasing a recap later on today with tons of fun details and photos on the event, so stay tuned.
But as you wait, get ready for our giveaway. When the recap comes out later on, make sure you re-tweet it in order to win two - yes, two! - tickets to Epik High"s concert Friday night.
Weekly Recap: Bae Finds A Bae, The Best Revenge Is Living Well, And Brewing Legal Battles
EXO was another boy group contender to sway your hearts and sweep the charts this week. The group returned--a mere two months after the release "Call Me Baby"--with a brand new repackage album titled "Love Me Right" containing four extra songs! The album"s title song which is eponymous to the album, is a bouncy dance number with hints of jazz. Much like the earlier release of Big Bang"s songs, "Love Me Right" slayed real time charts by placing number one on a total of nine different music charts. Let"s not forget the MV which gained over 2 million hits in a matter of 12 hours, to the joy of EXO-Ls. What"s even more impressive is that the repackage album sold nearly 400,000 copies upon its initial release, which, combined with the ~750,000 figure of "Exodus" sales, make EXO the first group to reach 1 million album sales in over a decade. Congrats to the boys!
It seems the past EXO members are doing quite well for themselves, now that they aren"t under the aegis of SM. In fact, Kris and Tao were discovered to be busily furthering their careers over in China, what with Kris"s recent Vogue China photo shoot with Kendall Jenner, and Tao promoting a new mobile game as not an EXO member, but simply a "popular Asian idol."
The legal battle between SM and Kris and Luhan is progressing as well, with the courts forcing both sides to reach an agreement through compulsory arbitration. The two parties couldn"t reconcile within the two weeks time courts allowed them, and SM even raised an objection to the arbitration, meaning attempts to reach an agreement has failed. Now both sides are preparing to move on with their respective suits.
Weekly Recap: Relationships End, Families Begin, And Welcome Back Soldier!
"Smiling eyes" Girls" Generation member Tiffany and "beast" idol 2PM"s Nichkhun made headlines when their relationship was first announced to the public. Now, a year and five months after making their relationship public, they are making headlines yet again for a reason that may come as a disappointment for some and a boon for others. The two starlets decided to go their separate ways and have parted amicably. Both SM Entertainment and JYP Entertainment have confirmed the validity of the breakup, after checking with their respective artists. The main reasons for the split were the typical "busy schedule," and "no adequate time to spend with one another," which comes as no surprise as many idols are worked through and through, to the point of exhaustion. Though this is disheartening news as the idols made such a cute couple, they are still good friends and it won"t be the last time they see one another.
Dear EXO fans, no need to hold your horses any longer; let them loose and run free. What do I mean? Feel free to let your inner fangirl/fanboy explode with uncontrollable excitement and glee and let the "feels" take over! Your favorite boys in the entire world--no, scratch that--the entire universe have announced the release date for their repackage album of "EXODUS," which will be titled "Love Me Right." The repackage album is said to contain four new tracks, with the title track being the same as the album title. The group also heightened anticipation with various teaser images which I"m sure you either joyously cried or drooled over. In the group teaser photos the members are decked out in football gear, giving some hint as to what the theme for their new song will be. Be sure to also tune in for all four of EXO"s comeback stages, the first of which will air on "M! Countdown" on June 4.
EXO wasn"t the only group that had fans stirring with excitement. VIPs can hardly contain their emotions what with the announcement of Big Bang"s second portion of the "MADE" project. The first part "M," was already revealed earlier this month with the release of two tracks, "Loser," and "Bae Bae." "A" is the second part in the series, and the boys have already teased us with promotional images for the new songs which are titled "Bang Bang Bang" and "We Like 2 Party." The new tracks are expected to drop online on June 1 at midnight so you better be on the lookout!
Weekly Recap: A Flurry Of Comebacks, A Not-So-Gay Comedian, And Please Forgive Me
As we all know by now, Yoo Seung Joon--or Steve Yoo--is under fire from the Korean public for an incident that occurred over decade ago. Yoo, who was due for military service 13 years back, abruptly left Korea for the States and obtained U.S. citizenship, conveniently relieving him of the compulsory military service required of Korean men between the age of 18-35. During an interview on AfreecaTV, Yoo prostrates himself, and offers a tearful apology to the viewers for his past wrongdoing. Unfortunately for the singer, the Korean people don"t seem to be ready to accept his apology. In a recent poll, 500 Korean citizens were asked whether they think Yoo should be accepted back into Korea. Not surprisingly, 66% of the people surveyed revealed their sentiment that the singer should not be allowed back into his home country. Now the singer has requested a meeting with the Korean Immigration Office under the Justice Department, and seems to be biding his time on deciding what move will soften the hearts of the unforgiving public. AKP also provides two opposing stances on whether Yoo"s apology should be accepted so make sure to read more about it.
Yet another scandal is in the works, this one revolving around former EXO members Kris and Luhan and their past label, SM Entertainment. It has been a year since Kris filed a suit against the company for a breach of his rights, and half a year since fellow member Luhan took similar action against the label, but unlike Kris, Luhan cited discrimination as the primary reason for wanting to nullify his contract. Now the two artists are promoting themselves ever so enthusiastically in China, and SM can"t help but be little indignant since the label was the one that initially helped the boys rise to stardom. Now SM is bringing suit against the Chinese companies that are endorsing Kris and Luhan, seeking what they believe are rightful damages.
Former comedian Baek Jae Hyun causes uproar with his sexual molestation charges
Weekly Recap: Armys Head To The Battlefield, Bye Bye Kim Hyun Joong, And Who"s Marrying Who?
The drama is never-ending for SM Entertainment as the agency is getting sued, once again, for its infamous "slave contract." But things are interesting this time because the artist in question is not even under the agency anymore; however, it seems the stress from his SM days followed him this far, this long and he"s had enough! Noh Min Woo is suing his past agency on the basis of being treated unfairly through a harsh contract in the past and blacklisted from programs since leaving. He thanked his fans for their support on Instagram while his mother cried on "One Night of TV Entertainment" when thinking back to her son"s hardships. Aw, right in the heart. Although there are still many things that need to be explained here for sure.
The Queen of K-Pop, BoA, is back with the MV for her title track, "Kiss My Lips"! Her nasally singing style is known to be a hit or miss and it"s personally a miss for me, but there"s no denying her incredible talent--especially considering the personal work she"s put into her album. She penned, composed, and produced the whole thing! Her dancing is topnotch, too, so you must check it out!
MONSTA X finally made their monster debut after going through the ordeal of a survival program from Starship Entertainment. The result? Some decent music with a sick instrumental and way exciting choreography and charisma. Lots of potential here.
Weekly Recap: Military Enlistments, Racism Alert, And Fanboy V Gets Into Hot Water
Kim Hyung Joong has had enough and he is leaving all the mess aside for his upcoming enlistment which was confirmed to be set on May 12. According to the reps, Kim Hyun Joong is no longer allowed to postpone the date, but what"s also crazy is that it was just reported that his ex-girlfriend was suing Kim Hyun Joong for 1.6 billion KRW (1.5 million USD) in compensation for psychological and emotional stress and suffering due to malicious comments. Talk about impeccable timing for Kim Hyun Joong to be leaving NOW.
Though the issue is real and severe, it"s difficult not to feel sympathetic for the soon-to-be born baby who later has to deal with the aftermath of what his/her parents created.
In other news, Super Junior"s Donghae will be enlisting soon and was reported to have passed the test to be a conscripted policeman.
No major explosive dating news came out this week to shock everybody, but there were a few things here and there that can"t be forgotten! "Angry Mom" co-stars Baro and Kim Yoo Jung were spotted on a "soccer date" and while no one seemed to be contemplating too seriously a romantic relationship due to not only the age difference but also Kim Yoo Jung"s generally young age, there were still some speculations. The two sides denied it, explaining that they had gone with other people, as well.
In addition, G-Dragon and Kiko Mizuhara were spotted once again at the same event with reports that they separated later in the night, but Kiko ultimately took G-Dragon"s car home. At this point, is anyone surprised? Nope. Fans are just like, "Ah, leave "em alone already."