MADTOWN: What has happened?
Madtown members are taking separate ways
Back in 2014 a fresh k-pop boy group debuted with a hip-hop style. Their title track was “YOLO” , standing for “You Only Live Once”. A song with a message that tells you to have fun without restrictions, “Who can decide my life for me?” would sing Heojun.
The lawsuit against GNI
It was expected for Madtown to win this lawsuit due to the events of the last year:
Back in December 2016, the news about Madtown changing companies began. Reasons were not specified at the time, we guessed J Tune had financial troubles and MBLAQ (Sunbae group) members also let us know about it later on. What was later exposed was the fact that J Tune sold Madtown to GNI Ent for just 300 million won (265,000 USD with the current exchange rate). This way, Madtown’s management rights belonged to GNI Entertainment.
Around January, news that Madtown was in GNI Ent reached the international kpop news web pages.The first months of the year looked promising. There was activity in the fan cafe, on V Live… they appeared on Heyo tv and attended ISAC and several fashion events.
Everyone celebrated happily Jota’s birthday on V live around mid February, then Daewon started to mention a comeback on V Live videos, saying to please wait and look forward to it. But days later disturbing news appeared: GNI Group’s CEO Seong Cheol-ho was charged with fraud charges and was being investigated (GNI Group is the head company and has a subsidiary called GNI Entertainment).The CEO had promised investors high returns and funneled funds from the company to juggle the amount of promises and stakes for personal gain. Seong Cheol-ho was facing a total of 32 counts of criminal charges.
Madtown’s future was unclear they said, but then Lee Geon reassured Madpeople through the fan cafe and their videos and activities continued. They made a clothing advertisement, Jota attended several shows… In Daewon’s birthday in March he mentioned the “comeback” once again even! In April, Buffy uploaded a song on his SoundCloud with Lee Geon and Moos.
Lee Geon’s birthday V Live was done in a Karaoke, at the time fans did not think much of it, since he loves singing maybe that was the reason. However there were not any live videos for Buffy and HO’s birthdays… that was surely strange.
Throughout the year, 5 of the Madtown members opened an Instagram account and kept sharing pictures and live videos with Madpeople. This was the only source of information for months.In late July, HO posted several pictures of a baby crying, some thought something was wrong maybe, but there was no way to know.
However, everything started to make sense when news said that Madtown is suing GNI Ent. In fact, the charges on the CEO were legit so he was arrested in March. There’s 800 people he owned 800 billion won since they were scammed. These creditors got as much as they could from the company. The Madtown boys had to leave the dorm cuz it was being sold for this purpose too. Employees scattered, all communication lines wth GNI ended up closing down.We have come to learn that Jota had to rent a car and drive himself picking up staff members on the way to recording “I’m an actor”. Even when all the members received no pay since March…
Easily this week, confirmation about the win on court made it to the headlines. But the lawyer said that members might want to take separate ways. Some members are disilusioned with the k-pop industry or might enlist.
The Unit: Lee Geon and Daewon
Madpeople gained hope seeing these two members on the idol rebooting show. Their audition was aired last week and they opened up about their current situation. Daewon is living in friend’s place without electricity. Also, they had to ask for a favor in order to have a place to practice.
Lee Geon even surprised mentors with his voice, “a main vocal” had arrived. From the information that is out about the show we know that: Lee Geon is in the first center group and Daewon led another team.
Summing up, they are gaining the viewers’ attention.
He uploaded on Instagram a hand-written letter announcing on the 20th of November he is going to be enlisting. He will join the navy being 22 years old only. This has proven the words of the lawyer, the members are indeed taking different paths.
Hello. This is Buffy.
It feels like I’m speaking to you for the first time in a very long while. I am writing because I have news to tell you.
I will be enlisting in the Republic of Korea Marine Corps on November 20.
You may be surprised by this sudden news, but I’ve worried a lot about my future for a very long time, and after having a lot of discussions about it with the members as well, I’ve decided to leave the group and voluntarily enlist.
I sincerely thank you for always believing in, supporting, and loving MADTOWN’s Buffy ever since my debut in 2014.
Our time promoting together, which may seem either short or long, will be a huge support for me as I go forward in the future.
As I am a citizen of the Republic of Korea before I am a singer, I will earnestly fulfil my military duty and return as a more mature Kim Joo Hyeon.
I once again sincerely thank my fans, and I’m sorry to have to tell you this news. I promise that I’ll definitely repay fans for all their love with good music when I’m discharged.
I have come all this way with the members since I was young, and I support their roads ahead more than anyone else.
Thank you for loving MADTOWN’s Buffy during all that time.
From Kim Joo Hyeon.
As a Madpi myself, I’m heartbroken but will support them all in whichever path they decide on taking. Jota and Heojun are said to focus on acting, but Moos and H.O. have yet to announce their intentions. Fighting MADTOWN!