Whenever Zico does a solo, you get this whole crowd coming out of the woodwork yammering on about how he doesn’t support Block B and how he’s going to leave and then the other members will all starve and die and yadda yadda yadda.
Which wouldn’t matter to me if I didn’t then get a bunch of traffic to this post as well as a gaggle of queries like “Is Zico leaving Block B?” or “Zico doesn’t like Block B?” There’s definitely a significant population out there who sees this Zico-leaving-Block-B bullshit and assumes that there’s actually something to it–indeed, that mentality is so prevalent that someone’s dumb prank got taken really seriously by people who then left a bunch of abuse on Zico’s social media.
Obviously I’m not psychic, and hey, one day Zico might indeed leave Block B! I don’t think it’s very likely for a lot of reasons, but I can’t say it’s absolutely outside the realm of possibility–he’s not a slave, for fuck’s sake.
I can, however, say that Zico has been putting out solo material since November 2014, those solos have been awfully successful, he also does very well with endorsements–and he has yet to leave the group. Nonetheless, every time he does a solo release, agitation begins anew over the possibility that he might leave Block B. In fact, even if Zico hasn’t done a solo release, what can best be described as scares crop up periodically–some other K-Pop group loses a member for whatever reason, so of course that means that Zico is about to leave Block B.
It’s especially interesting because at this point, other Block B members have also done solo work–Park Kyung most notably, but Taeil and U-Kwon have both put out commercial solo releases. A lot of the music Bastarz has put out has been written by P.O, with B-Bomb contributing the delightfully obscene “Tightly”; when the sub-unit’s members aren’t busy doing live theater, Bastarz gets booked on a regular basis, has performed abroad quite a bit, and even holds its own fan meetings. P.O founded a theater group, and so far he’s helped write two plays that have done quite well.
And yet I have never seen a scare over the possibility that, say, Park Kyung will leave the group to go solo, or Taeil will leave the group to sing angelic love songs to fish, or P.O will leave to focus on theater, or U-Kwon will leave to do musicals, or Bastarz will spin off forever and ever, amen.
So, what’s going on here? With the people who like the group but don’t know it well, and who are just kind of nervous that Zico might leave, I think they think of Block B as being like a more-conventional K-Pop group. The business model with those often is just to see which member the public will latch on to, and then to ditch everyone else ASAP. Likewise if the business model is to trot out a new group (and retire the old one) every few years, the label’s not going to care about keeping the members happy, which understandably makes them more likely to leave. Those aren’t KQ/Seven Seasons’ business models (KQ’s too small, for one thing), but I can see why someone who is used to mainstream K-Pop would worry about a group leaking members–or just disbanding for no particular reason, like Sistar did (surprise!).
The other, not-minor contributing factor, though, is that Zico has a lot of haters who just love to start this shit. Most of the people who express such concern over what Zico’s oh-so-imminent departure is going to do to the rest of the group don’t actually give a fuck about the other members of Block B. After all, if they cared enough to know what the other members were actually up to these days, they’d know not to worry–the group is far less reliant on Zico than it used to be, and I don’t see that trend reversing.
But that doesn’t matter to them, because what they really want is to tear Zico down, and convincing others that Zico is about to leave the rest of the group in a basket on the steps of a church (or maybe in a cardboard box in the middle of the interstate) is simply part of the selfish bastard! narrative that they’re trying to sell.
I’ve seen Zico stans flip anti, and it’s about what you’d expect–he
won’t marry them disappoints them in some way, and all of a sudden he’s the most horrible baby-eater on the whole entire planet, and the rest of Block B are his pitiful victims (just like the former stan was, OMG). The mentality seems to be that if you put some effort into a celebrity, and then you decide that you don’t want to stan any more–well, that can’t be because stanning is simply not really that gratifying an activity to begin with, or because maybe your tastes changed, it has to be because the person you were stanning is worthless scum. (Splitting!)
You throw in the people who hate Zico because he dated their imaginary wife, and the people who are just trolling or want to upset anyone who likes Block B, and lo and behold you have this bottomless well of Zico is going to leave Block B! If that worries you, just keep in mind that it’s completely disconnected from any kind of objective reality–the people who are out there planting those seeds don’t know what’s actually going on with the group, nor do they particularly care.