Did YG really reconcile with KBS?


BIGBANG appeared on KBS’ “Happy Together” aired on May 21 2015, while it was the group's first ever appearance on KBS' entertainment show since 2008. Before the broadcast, YG's Yang Hyun Suk and KBS' senior officials had a meeting, and many people were surprised at it because it seemed that YG and KBS have been experiencing discord for years.


Let’s see what happened with YG’s relationship with KBS first. It all started in 2010. In the year, YG didn't accept KBS' invitation to appear on the broadcasting company's end-of-year music awards “Gayo Grand Festival,” insisting that KBS' method of selecting the most popular song of the year award was unacceptable. Actually, Girls’ Generation, who was considered 2NE1’s main rival, won the award, and what YG really wanted to say was 2NE should be the winner of the award. Well, some of you might say YG was very narrow-minded. But I cannot just simply say YG was wrong because a lot happened in 2010.

Just before “Gayo Grand Festival” was held, 2NE1 won artist of the year, album of the year, and girl group of the year awards at 2010 MAMA (Mnet Asian Music Awards) held in Macao. Well, 2NE1 was one of the most popular k-pop girl groups, and the girl group deserved the prizes. But the problem was that Girls’ Generation has also achieved so many things in the year, while the girl group didn’t even attend 2010 MAMA and that’s why the popular k-pop girl group was excluded from the list of awardees.

So, can you get what was going on at that time? There was a power struggle among the two biggest k-pop agencies and the two major broadcasting companies, and about “Gayo Grand Festival,” YG should express dissatisfaction in some way when it heard that Girls’ Generation was very likely to win the most popular song of the year award because the agency didn’t want to lose a power struggle with SM. You know, SM did the same thing by not allowing Girls’ Generation to attend 2010 MAMA. Anyway, after the incident, YG’s artists have never appeared on KBS’ entertainment shows, and that’s why many people in the k-pop world were surprised when they heard that Yang Hyun Suk and KBS' senior officials had a meeting and BIGBANG decided to appear on “Happy Together.”


By the way, I don't agree that YG artists didn't appear on KBS' programs just because of YG’s feud with the broadcasting company. Actually, YG's artists didn't appear on KBS' programs not only because they were in strained relations with the broadcasting company but also because they didn't need to. When I met Yang Hyun Suk after watching BIGBANG’s concert held in Seoul on April 26 2015, he said, "I hoped our artists could show great performance on the best stage. That’s why our artists usually appeared on only one music chart show a week."

Well, KBS’ “Music Bank” is notorious for its lack of production ability, while Mnet's “M Countdown” and SBS' “Inkigayo” are better than the program. That’s why YG’s artists always appear on “M Countdown” or “Inkigayo.” In addition, the only reason why so many unknown k-pop singers want to appear on music chart shows is it can help them promote themselves, but YG's big stars such as BIGBANG and 2NE1 don't need to appear on the shows because they’re already famous. Appearance fee for music chart shows is pitifully low and the singers have to bear monetary damages because it takes much money to manage their stage settings, costumes, and dancers.


Then, why do you think YG suddenly reached out to KBS? Actually, YG found it necessary to reach out to KBS because it was a very important time of growth and change for the agency. In 2010, YG’s rookie idol groups such as iKON, WINNER and BLACKPINK were preparing for their debut, and YG needed to promote them through KBS’ TV shows. Well, Yang Hyun Suk is a shrewd businessman, and he did what he had to.