Former B.A.P member Bang Yongguk published a book — a photo essay to be exact — titled “The Best is Yet to Come” in June 2019, which discussed his personal obstacles and his growth over the years he was involved in the K-Pop industry. While the book itself did receive a lot of attention for sharing Bang Yongguk’s innermost thoughts, it has now resurfaced in light of all the controversial buzz around B.A.P’s former agency, TS Entertainment.
In the book, there is a small part in which Bang Yongguk talks about his time at, his contract ending with, and his lawsuit against TS Entertainment. He wrote, “The day after my contract ended, I opened my eyes. I didn’t think the world had changed greatly. But I knew I did.”
Throughout the book, Bang Yongguk mentions — while not specifically, but as readers can assume — his ties with the agency. He sounds like he lost a lot of hope and faith, yet he became a stronger person in the end.
Now that my 8 years of promoting as an idol is over, I realize I have nothing left. But I also don’t hate anyone from it. People ask what I don’t have anything left. But I didn’t want to bring anything with me. An empty wallet is better. I may have found some people despicable, but I don’t ever have to see them again. I know for a fact now that the right to not see people I hate and not swallow the things I don’t want is far more important than money.
— Bang Yongguk
Bang Yongguk dished that during his time with TS Entertainment, and during his legal battle against them, he was completely broke — like a lot of TS Entertainment artists have revealed themselves to be in the past. Bang Yongguk shared, at one point, he was so broke from not getting any settlements from the agency that he had to work part-time as a newspaper delivery boy.
I never complained about not having enough money. But the lawsuit did cost a lot. Because I wasn’t ever paid by the agency, I sold my collection of sneakers and paid off the fees. I stayed with my parents for the time being. I went back to the newspaper distribution office where I worked in my high school days. The owner knew I’d debuted as a celebrity. He asked me why I’m trying to deliver newspapers again. I laughed it off and told him it was to get some exercise because I wasn’t promoting anything at the time. I couldn’t tell the truth. Like that, I was delivering newspapers again.
— Bang Yongguk
From B.A.P to former SECRET‘s Jun Hyoseong — and now with girl group SONAMOO and rapper Sleepy having issues with the agency, TS Entertainment has repeatedly found itself amidst scandals and lawsuits against their very own managing artists. K-Pop fans are re-reading these parts from Bang Yongguk’s book and connecting the dots to accuse TS Entertainment for mistreating most, if not all, of their artists.
TS Entertainment has denied all allegations of skipping out on payments and mistreating their artists in their official statements. The public, however, remains skeptical and continues to support the artists battling against the agency.