Zico recently did an interview about being an idol who also composes. There are two slightly different English translations floating around (Korean original here; plug it into Google Translate if you dare).
Zico wanted to be “high technician” as a rapper. He didn’t even dream of being a composer. However, because his past company didn’t have a producer available, he decided that he would have to take charge.
“Back then I couldn’t handle MIDI programs and I got tracks from other people. I went to classes with my own money and learned programs like Logic and Cubase. I realized that I had to learn it in order to talk to composers who were making the tracks for me. And then I got greedy and then make the track for Block B’s first album, “Nilriri Mambo”.
Zico: As a rapper, I wanted to become a high technician. I didn’t even dream of being a composer. But the company didn’t have a deserving producer, so I decided to do it myself. At that time, I didn’t even have the MIDI programme and I was using tracks made by others. I attended a hagwon* (*academy/cram school/ educational institute) with my own money and with the help of LOGIC and CUBASE, I learnt how to use the arranging programmes. I found out I knew the direction of music beforehand when giving the composers a track to work on. But I became greedy and starting with BLOCK B’s first album Nillili Mambo, I started to make the title tracks too.
(ETA: There’s a third translation here.)
Stardumb didn’t have a producer for Blockbuster!?! Need I point out to you that the only group that label had that was making any money at that point was Block B? Do you think that any album has made it the money Blockbuster has?
I mean, stuff like this infuriated me already.
That’s Zico before the lawsuit talking about how, although he worked himself to exhaustion producing Blockbuster, it’s OK, because he really loves making music. He doesn’t quite say, “I’d do it for free!” as the word SUCKER materializes on his forehead, but it’s pretty close.
That was bad enough, but now–oh, he paid out of his own pocket to learn music production. So, yeah, he did it for less than free.