B.A.P (Korean: 비에이피; an acronym for Best Absolute Perfect) is a South Korean boy group formed in 2012 under TS Entertainment. The group’s current four members are Himchan, Daehyun, Youngjae, Jongup.
B.A.P made their musical debut with the single “Warrior” on January 26, 2012, followed by the release of their debut EP Warrior in February 2012.
Group leader The duo released the single “Never Give Up”.
In January 2012, the group starred in the reality program Ta-Dah, It’s B.A.P, which aired on SBS MTV. On January 25, the group’s debut single “Warrior” was released, with MTV Korea describing it as “powerful and charismatic”. Nancy Lee of Enews World noted that the group had set out to differentiate themselves from the “pretty-boy” male idol archetype prevalent in the K-pop music industry with their “tough, bad boy image”. On February 3, 2012, the corresponding EP Warrior entered Billboard’s World Albums Chart at #10. In South Korea, Warrior sold over 10,000 copies within just two days of release.
In March, the group released a follow-up single, “Secret Love”, and in April they made a comeback with the single “Power” and EP of the same name. Upon its release, Power sold out its initial batch of 30,000 copies and entered at #10 on the Billboard World Albums Charts.
B.A.P’s third EP, No Mercy, was released digitally on July 19 and physically on July 24. On August 30 the repackaged version of the EP, renamed Crash, was released.
On October 23, B.A.P released their fourth single and EP, titled “Stop It”.
In February 2013, the group began releasing material from their fifth EP, One Shot. On February 21, 2013, the EP ranked No.1 on Billboard’s World Albums chart.
In May, King Records, the Japanese record label that once signed Rain, signed B.A.P. They released their first Japanese music video for “Warrior” on YouTube on September 13, 2013, and their album and single were officially released on October 9, 2013.
On July 28, 2013, TS Entertainment announced that the group will be releasing their sixth EP Badman on August 6, 2013, with the promotional singles “Coffee Shop”, “Hurricane” and “Badman”.
On February 3, 2014, B.A.P released their first full-length studio album First Sensibility, containing a total of thirteen tracks including the title track “1004 (Angel)”. Upon its release, the album topped the Billboard World Albums Chart, proving the group’s international popularity. In Korea, First Sensibility also topped the Hanteo and Gaon monthly charts for February. The group took their first music show win on Show Champion with “1004 (Angel)” and went on to take two more wins with the single.
On April 3, B.A.P released their third Japanese single, “No Mercy”, and ranked at #2 on Oricon’s daily and weekly singles charts.
Following promotions of “1004 (Angel)”, the group commenced the B.A.P Live On Earth 2014 Continent Tour with a two-day concert in Seoul, with an estimated audience of 20,000 attendees. This was their second solo concert in Korea. The group went on to hold a total of 23 concerts in cities throughout the United States, Asia, Australia, and Europe during the tour. Through the tour, they released the EP B.A.P Unplugged 2014.
On August 11, they released their fourth Japanese single, “Excuse Me”. On October 27, TS Entertainment announced that they had cancelled the South American portion of the concert tour, in order to give the group members time to rest.
On November 27, it was reported that the group had filed a lawsuit against their label to nullify their contract, claiming unfair working conditions and profit distribution, including statements claiming that of the US$9 million the group had earned over the three years, each member had been paid a total of US$18,000. However, the following day, TS Entertainment issued a press release refuting the claims made, stating that there were “neither such maltreatment to the artists nor unfair clauses in the contract.” Their statements were challenged when B.A.P released another statement claiming lack of accountability and saying that they were considering filing for defamation of character.
On August 1, 2015, B.A.P. returned to TS Entertainment after both parties reached a settlement. They made their comeback with their eighth EP, Matrix, and the title track “Young, Wild & Free”. The free showcase “BAP 151115” was held on November 15 at Dongdaemun Design Plaza and the music video for “Young, Wild & Free” was released the following day. On November 27, 2015, exactly one year after the lawsuit they received a music show win for the single on Music Bank.
In February, they released their fifth extended play, Carnival, containing six songs. In March, they released their first Japanese studio album, Best. Absolute. Perfect. The album contained thirteen songs. Three of them (“New World”, “Kingdom”, and “Back in Time”) were original Japanese songs. Between April–July, B.A.P performed on their Live On Earth 2016 tour, including dates in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Italy, Finland, Germany, Poland, Australia, New Zealand, the U.K., and Russia.
In August, they released the fifth single “Put ‘Em Up”. On October 25, 2016, TS Entertainment revealed that Yongguk will not be participating in the promotions for B.A.P’s upcoming full-length album, Noir, due to anxiety disorders.
In November, B.A.P returned with their second studio album, Noir along with the music video for title song “Skydive”. With Noir, B.A.P reclaimed their title as the K-Pop act with the most No.1 Albums on Billboard’s World Album chart. Noir included standout track “Confession”, a duet by rappers Bang Yongguk and Zelo set to a symphonic chorus that directly addressed their feelings during the lawsuit and subsequent hiatus.
On November 18, the music video for their 6th Japanese single, Fly High was published on YouTube, while a physical release on December 7 included the song “Fire Flame” and a Japanese version of “With You”.
In March 2017, B.A.P released their sixth single album, Rose. Bang Yong-guk, the leader, returned from his four-month hiatus to join the rest of the group for the single’s promotion. “Wake Me Up” was recognized by Billboard’s Jeff Benjamin as “Kpop’s Act Most Personal & Accomplished Single Yet” shortly after its release. The EP focused on social issues, with the “Wake Me Up” music video addressing mental health issues whilst first track “Dystopia” directly attacked the idea of living in any so-called utopias, disregarding them all as illusions.
On June 28, 2017, B.A.P released their second Japanese studio album, UNLIMITED.
On September 5, 2017, B.A.P released their seventh single album, Blue, with “Honeymoon” serving as the title track.
On December 13, 2017, B.A.P released their eighth single album, Ego, with “Hands Up” serving as the title track.
On March 28, 2018, B.A.P released their third Japanese studio album, MASSIVE.
Following the expiration of Yongguk’s contract on August 19 with TS Entertainment, he decided to leave the company; B.A.P would continue as 5 members.
Following the expiration of Zelo’s contract on December 2 with TS Entertainment, he decided to leave the company.
During the group’s debut, all of the members dyed their hair blonde. The group’s members have played a role in their image and musical direction, and commentators have noted a distinction between their “tough, bad-boy” image and other K-pop boy groups.
The group’s leader Yongguk has previously made comments on the influence that African American musicians have had on him, citing 50 Cent, P. Diddy, Pharrell and other rappers as musical influences. He played a role in the production of all the tracks on B.A.P’s debut EP Warrior. In addition, group member Himchan is a multi-instrumentalist influenced by Korean traditional music. He plays a number of traditional instruments including daegeum, janggu, kkwaenggwari and jing in addition to more traditional instruments including guitar, piano, and violin. All of the group’s members are influenced by R&B musicians; Jongup has cited hip hop and dance music as influences and said that Chris Brown is one of his idols, while Zelo has said he looks up to will.i.am and Kanye West. Daehyun cites Shin Yong-jae among his musical influences while Youngjae cites neo soul musicians as well as Musiq Soulchild and Jay Park.
B.A.P has been named a “versatile group” by MTV Korea, with Yun Seong-yeol of Star News Korea lauding their charisma and on-stage performances, as well as Yongguk and Zelo’s rapping and Daehyun and Youngjae’s vocal abilities.