If you want a chance to win some random Block B stuff, get on over to the giveaway post and put your comment in ASAP!
This article (via zicogram) is pretty darned interesting–apparently Hack Zico has a total of more than 10 million views (for all episodes, on all platforms). The article says that this is especially remarkable given that it’s an Internet-only show that was never aired on television.
If you’ve been paying attention, partnering with online platforms has been an explicit strategy of KQ Entertainment, and they’ve definitely been experimenting a lot with that. One major advantage would presumably be that you’re not expected to engage in the payola and ass-kissing that is standard operating procedure with Korean music shows.
So, it’s really gratifying for me to see that strategy working so well for them. I’ve been in an industry where you’re treated like a peon–it’s no fun, and watching those sorts of bullshit industry practices wither away (as those who had engaged in them screamed in agony over the horrible new order) was one of the great delights of going indie.
* * *
Of course this is going to piss off Those Who Get Pissed Off about things like Block B not appearing on music shows. (So important…if you’re arguing with some Exo fan about which group sucks.) At the moment, though, Those Who Get Pissed Off are busy being pissed off because Park Kyung is working with a company that isn’t Seven Seasons/KQ.
Except they don’t know that’s what they’re angry about. These are the same people who apparently thought Block B Japan was run by magical fairies. They don’t realize that Park Kyung is working with a company that isn’t Seven Seasons/KQ. They think his video isn’t on the Seven Seasons YouTube channel (and the company hasn’t changed its all-important social-media headers! OMFG!!!) because the company is lazy and cheap and loves only Zico. I guess they think that’s why there hasn’t really been any coverage of the upcoming song in the Korean media, either. (I don’t know why they think it’s on a different distributor’s channel. Do they even know what a distributor is?)
I mean, the explanation was translated into English, but…no. Can’t understand it. Must be Seven Seasons/KQ’s fault somehow.
For the record: The song is a special project for another company that is not Seven Seasons/KQ. This is like when the members do soundtrack songs for dramas, or cover songs for variety shows, or songs for Show Me the Money, or songs for Block B Japan. There’s another company in charge, and whether or not there’s a video, or marketing, or international distribution is not Seven Seasons/KQ’s decision. (Why agree to sing a song for another company that may or may not do a good job promoting and distributing the song? Usually because said company offers an up-front payment.)
So, the people who hope the members would go to another company? They already have! They’ve done it many times! Park Kyung is doing it right now! Seven Seasons/KQ actually seems pretty relaxed about that kind of thing.
…that separates the artistic dancer from the run-of-the-mill hoofer.
In other words–look at that silly face!
Netizen Buzz translated a piece about U-Kwon writing rude things at fansigns, and then of course other craptacular English-language media outlets decided to treat this as though it were actual news, which it really, really is not.
Like the vast majority of Block B fans, I believe that the people “upset” about this issue are super-obviously full of shit. But it occurred to me that there might be people who legitimately don’t understand 1. why Block B would act this way, and 2. why Block B fans would react so negatively to criticism of what, on the surface, certainly looks like very rude behavior.
Hm, I thought, Maybe I should do a serious educational post about Block B’s fansign culture for non-fans.
Then I thought, Why am I letting the killjoys set the agenda?! I should write a fun post about Block B’s fansigns for the fans, who would enjoy it!
Then I realized: I could do both!
So, in this post:
If the text is blue, it is aimed at people unfamiliar with Block B.
If the text is maroon, it is aimed at Block B fans.
If it’s black, it’s for everyone.
Here we go!
If you don’t know much about Block B, a very important concept to understand is that the group is, in many ways, a parody of a normal K-Pop idol group. They take music seriously, but they often do the more fan-servicey elements “wrong” in order to be funny.
This extends to fansigns, where the members often do things “wrong” in order to amuse fans. One of the “wrong” things they do is reply quite rudely to fans–something that is actually much beloved by fans.
This has been true since the group’s debut, and fans who ask questions like “What do you think I look like?” or “Will we be together some day?” know full well the kind of answer that they’re going to get.
Remember these, guys? Ah, I’m dying!!!
Have some pervy B-Bomb!
The “abuse” Block B gives fans is such a tradition that fans used to routinely ask the members of Block B to curse at them.
Remember how they used to cuss at the fans?
In this classic video, Zico awesomely says shibal (a VERY VERY bad word in Korean) to a fan who asked him to curse at her–witness Jaehyo’s hilarious reaction.
That video is from the year Block B debuted. This is from three days ago.
Look at Zico drag everyone!
This is why no Block B fan actually believes it when someone says, “I used to be a fan but they were just too rude at that fansign!” That’s a bit like someone saying that they used to be a fan of Block B but then they figured out that the lead vocalist was short–maybe they’re telling the truth, but they obviously weren’t much of a fan, because they didn’t know the first thing about the group.
The other issue is that U-Kwon gets targeted by haters because he has a girlfriend–the idea that he is “mean” to fans stems from the fact that he’s open about being in a serious relationship. In truth, as you can see, he’s no “meaner” than anyone else in the group; 99% of the time this criticism is coming from people who are trying to make an example out of U-Kwon so that their favorite idol doesn’t get any ideas about dating.
There are certain things U-Kwon won’t do as fan service, though, because he feels they’re disrespectful to his girlfriend. One of these things is drawing hearts. This, of course, has become its own joke.
This woman cracks me up (she’s not a crazy person, don’t worry).
Lately, it seems like every time I turn around people are offering up warmed-over Block B-themed slop from years before. The release of Television triggered the umpeenth “Zico is leaving Block B/doesn’t love Block B any more” panic, as well as another comeback attempt from the “Lies = JUSTICE!” Problematic Crew. Show Me the Money is having another meaningless controversy (not-so-secretly encouraged by MNet) that will only make the show even more popular. Crazy people are once again angry that U-Kwon
still won’t marry them treats fans with such! disrespect! by insisting on having a girlfriend who isn’t them. Even dumb old Svensprink tried to re-upload “That Song that Sounds a Whole Lot Like ‘Toy’” onto YouTube (you’ll be astounded to hear that it didn’t work out for him).
Since I never tire of being tied to a tired trend, I figured I’d hop on this bandwagon and do my first giveaway in well over a year! I don’t have a lot to give away, and none of it is especially new, but a lack of anything worthwhile to offer isn’t stopping anyone else, so why should I let it stop me!
ITEM #1: Zico’s Gallery CD
Since I bought the Zico Special Edition CD, I don’t really need Gallery.
Contains “VENI VIDI VICI,” “Eureka,” “Pride and Prejudice,” “Boys and Girls,” “Predator,” and “Say Yes or No.” It has been opened and the CD’s been played a number of times (because it’s awesome), but it’s not damaged. Comes with a mini-poster of a drawing of Zico (see the toes?), about a million photocards, the little thingy you can stick to the back to turn the case into a picture frame, and of course the case itself.
ITEM #2: A silver “B” necklace
It’s not really silver–just pot metal. The little star is gold. I don’t know much else about it because I haven’t taken it out of its package, but it looks cute. I bought this from YesAsia when I got the Q-Chan DVD in order to qualify for free shipping. According to them, the chain length is “39.5 cm + 5.5 cm” long, which translates to 15.5 inches + 2 inches. It’s smaller than it looks in the picture–I did a close-up shot for detail.
ITEM #3: The Japanese version of “Toy,” B-Bomb edition
Contains the Japanese versions of “Toy” and “A Few Years Later.” Contains the CD (played only once, in order to rip the songs) and a B-Bomb photo book (which contains quite a number of the reflection-in-the-window shots that made me decide to buy this particular edition in the first place–photo books aren’t really my thing, but this is definitely a nice one).
In addition, the retailer decided to throw in a bonus photo card of U-Kwon wearing a shirt that says, “YES SIR.” Yup–someone’s a shipper.
These, of course, are also the same as before…and before….
Leave a (non-anonymous) comment that says which
pretty pictures[ED NOTE: CHANGE TO “ITEM”] you would like to win. You can name more than one item: You will win only one item, but I will try to make sure that all the winners get something they actually want.
Winners will be selected via A RANDOM NUMBER GENERATOR, which chooses winners RANDOMLY.
International entries are OK, and don’t worry if your comment doesn’t show up right away–I have to approve comments from new people. [ED NOTE: ADD] Of course, if you’re just commenting to comment and don’t want to win anything, please make that clear in your comment.
Let’s have this close August 1st! Good luck!
“Dude, I hit your car–let me drag you massively for it!”
And “Hack Zico” is turning out to be much funnier than I expected. In this episode Zico is visiting Korean friends in Japan, and one of them has some complete strangers wanting to take his picture because they think he’s good-looking. They ignore Zico completely, and the friend is so confused while Zico is cracking up–it’s awesome.
(Asian tourists to the United States don’t do this nearly so much nowadays, but in the 1980s that kind of thing happened all the time, especially if you looked or were dressed in a way that was considered somehow representative of the local people. My sister once wore a cowboy hat to Yosemite National Park, and it was like Princess Diana meeting the paparazzi.)