B.A.P., which stands for Best Absolute Perfect, is an all-male group formed by the now defunct TS Entertainment, in 2012.
The group consists of six members – Yongguk, Himchan, Daehyun, Youngjae, Jongup, and Zelo.
They made their official debut with the single “Warrior” on January 26, 2012, followed by the release of ther debut extended play (EP) of the same name in February 2012.
Leader Yongguk was the first member to be introduced by TS Entertainment in 2011 when he was featured on Song Jieun’s “Going Crazy”. Before debuting with the group, he also made a solo debut on August 11, 2011 with the single “I Remember” featuring B2ST’s (now HIGHLIGHT) Yang Yoseob.
Himchan was the second member to be introduced to the public when he became an MC for MTV Korea’s music program, The Show.
He was followed by Zelo, who was introduced as the third member of B.A.P through a collaboration with Yongguk as the group Bang&Zelo. The duo released the single “Never Give Up”.
2012: Official debut, Billboard entry
The members of B.A.P starred in the reality program Ta-Dah, It’s B.A.P, which aired on SBS MTV in January 2012. The show focused on the six members playing the role of aliens from a different planet who worked together to debut as B.A.P and invade the Earth to help save their dying planet, Planet Mato.
They released their debut single “Warrior” on January 25, which caught the attention of various news agencies and platforms. MTV Korea described the song as “powerful and charismatic,” while Nancy Lee of Enews World said the group differentiates themselves from the “pretty boy” archetype of male idols in the K-pop industry.
On February 3, their Warrior EP entered Bilbboard’s World Albums chart at number 10. Within two days after its release, the EP sold more than 10,000 copies in South Korea.
The following month, B.A.P released their follow-up single, “Secret Love,” and made a comeback in April with the single “Power” from the EP of the same name. Upon its release, Power sold out its initial batch of 30,000 copies and entered the Billboard World Albums Charts at number 10.
Their third EP, No Mercy, was digitally released on July 19 and physically release on July 24, while the repackaged version of the Ep, Crash, was released on August 30.
No Mercy features a total of five tracks, including the lead single of the same name. Crash, on the other hand, consists of the same five tracks from No Mercy and two additional songs – the title track “Crash” and “I Remember”.
B.A.P made their first live broadcast appearance for No Mercy on Mnet’s M! Countdown, followed by performances on Music Bank, Show! Music Core, and Inkigayo.
On October 23, the group released their third single album, Stop It, all of which included lyrics written by leader Yongguk. Upon the release of the single, B.A.P became the top search term on Korean sites Naver, Daum, and more.
The album peaked at number 3 on the Gaon Albums Chart, while the single peaked at number 28 on the Gaon Single Chart and at number 30 on the Billboard K-pop Hot 100 chart.
2013: One Shot and Japanese debut
In February 2013, B.A.P began releasing material from their upcoming fifth EP, One Shot, which was officially released on February 12. The album features a total of five tracks, including the single “Rain Sound” and the title track of the same name.
Nine days after its release, the EP took the number 1 spot on the Billboard World Albums Chart and topped the iTunes hip-hop download charts in the U.S., Canada, and New Zealand, while also ranking in the top ten in other countries.
In May 2013, King Records, the Japanese record label known for signing Korean superstar Rain, signed B.A.P. On September 13, the group released their first Japanese music video for the song “Warrior” on YouTube. This was followed by the official release of their album and single on October 9, marking the group’s official debut in the Japanese music industry.
In between Japan promotions, TS Entertainment announced on July 28, 2013 that B.A.P will be releasing their sixth EP, Badman, on August 6, which will include the promotional singles “Coffee Shop,” “Hurricane,” and “Badman.”
2014: First studio album and world tour, B.A.P Unplugged 2014, and lawsuit vs TS Entertainment
B.A.P released their first full-length studio album, First Sensibility, on February 3, 2014. The album contains a total of thirteen tracks, including the title track “1004 (Angel)”.
Upon its release, the album topped the Billboard World Albums Chart, proving the group’s international popularity. Domestically, First Sensibility topped the Hanteo and Gaon monthly charts for February.
The group promoted the title track “1004 (Angel)” on various music shows, taking their very first music shows win on Show Champion, and two more wins on Music Bank and Inkigayo.
On April 3, they released their third Japanese single, “No Mercy,” which ranked at number 2 on Oricon’s daily and weekly singles charts.
Following their Korean promotions of “1004 (Angel)”, the group embarked on their “B.A.P Live on Earth 2014 Continent Tour,” beginning with a two-day concert in Seoul attended by 20,000 fans. B.A.P went on to hold a total of 23 concerts in various cities throughout the United States, Asia, Australia, and Europe. Through the tour, they released the EP B.A.P Unplugged 2014.
On August 11, B.A.P released their fourth Japanese single, “Excuse Me,” which peaked at number 2 on Oricon’s singles chart and number 3 on the Billboard Japan Hot 100 chart.
On October 27, TS Entertainment announced the cancellation of the South American leg of B.A.P’s concert tour in order to “give the group members time to rest.”
On November 27, it was revealed that B.A.P filed a lawsuit against their label for the nullification of their contract, citing unfair working conditions and profit distribution as the main reasons.
The lawsuit included statements claiming that of the $9 million USD they had earned over the last three years, each member was only paid a total of $18,000 USD.
The following day, TS Entertainment issued a press release refuting the claims made by B.A.P, stating that there were “neither such maltreatment to the artists nor unfair clauses in the contract.”
TS Entertainment’s statements were challenged when B.A.P released another statement claiming lack of accountability and saying that they were considering filing for defamation of character.
On November 18, B.A.P released the music video for their 6th Japanese single, Fly High, on YouTube, while the physical releases followed on December 7, including the song “Fire Flame” and the Japanese version of the song “With You” from their first Korean studio album, First Sensibility.
2017: Rose, Blue, and Ego
B.A.P released their sixth single album, Rose, on March 7, featuring the title track “Wake Me Up.” This also marked the return of leader Yongguk after a four-month hiatus due to health reasons. Shortly after its release, “Wake Me Up” was recognized by Billboard’s Jeff Benjamin as the group’s “most personal and accomplished single yet”.
The EP was known for tackling social issues with the music video for “Wake Me Up” addressing mental health issues, while the other track, “Dystopia,” attacked the idea of living in so-called utopias and disregarding them as just illusions.
On June 28, the group released their second Japanese studio album, UNLIMITED, followed by the release of their seventh Korean single album, Blue, on September 5. Blue features the title track “Honeymoon”.
On December 13, B.A.P released their eighth single album, Ego, with the title track “Hands Up”.
2018: Disbandment rumors
On March 18, B.A.P released their third Japanese studio album, MASSIVE, which was followed by their Japanese tour called “B.A.P 3rd Japan Tour Massive.”
On July 22, the group held their “B.A.P Live Limited in Seoul 2018” concert, their first Korean concert in approximately nine months. The show caught the attention of the media when the members said it could be their final concert as a group of six, crying in front of their fans in mention of their contract and future activities.
When contacted for comments, TS Entertainment released a statement the following day, saying nothing has been confirmed and that the agency and the B.A.P members are still in discussion.