iKON’s eventful career: Debuting with high expectations, making big hit with “LOVE SCENARIO” but struggling with scandals from two core members

On December 30th, 2023, YG announced the news of all iKON members not renewing their contracts and leaving the agency. The fact that iKON couldn’t show their full potential due to YG’s poor management and scandals despite having the mega-hit song “LOVE SCENARIO” drew regrets from netizens. 

Impressing the public through YG’s survival shows and expected to continue the Big Bang’s success

iKON debuted in 2015 as a group of 7 members, including B.I, Kim Jin Hwan (JAY), BOBBY, Song Yun Hyeong (SONG), Goo Jun Hoe (JUNE), Kim Dong Hyuk (DK) and Jung Chan Woo (CHAN). Apart from Chan Woo, the other 6 members were previously known as Team B, one of the two groups competing in YG’s survival show “WIN: Who Is Next” in 2013. 

The trainees all have to have their own talents and charming sides

Despite presenting amazing performances and receiving compliments from both the audiences and judges, Team B lost their debut chance to Team A, which is currently known as Winner. 

In 2014, 6 boys joined another survival program called “Mix & Match” then debuted as iKON together with the additional member Chan Woo.

The trainees all have to have their own talents and charming sides

Unlike Winner, iKON pulled off the signature hip-hop style of YG. Attracting fans ever since predebut days with their unique music, creative performances, young energy and impressive stage presence, iKON debuted amid the public’s high expectations for them to become “the second Big Bang”.

Especially, the two members B.I and BOBBY contributed greatly to the success of iKON. Throughout the whole discography of iKON, B.I and BOBBY participated in both producing and writing lyrics for most of the songs since their debut. While BOBBY owns amazing rap skills that were recognized by professional rappers after he became the winner of “Show Me The Money 3”, B.I amazed the public with his composing talent. With their extraordinary chemistry, B.I and BOBBY were often compared to G.D and T.O.P of Big Bang.


In September 2015, iKON caused a sensation after introducing the Warm-up single “My Type”. This song rose to the top of major music charts in Korea right after its release, proving iKON’s potential.

Breaking prejudices for hip-hop music, and imprinting the group’s name with a mega-hit song

Following “My Type”, iKON’s debut song “Rhythm Ta” and other tracks from their debut promotions were all well-received by music listeners. However, ever since they released the hip-hop song “Bling Bling”, their digital performances decreased significantly. Despite that, iKON continued to carry out tours thanks to the huge support of fandom.

Everything changed in 2018 when iKON was widely known in Korea with the hit song “LOVE SCENARIO”. In particular, this song achieved Perfect All Kill (PAK) more than 200 times, which was an unimaginable record at that time. “LOVE SCENARIO” continued its influence throughout the year and helped iKON beat prominent nominees to win Daesang Song of The Year at MMA 2018. In fact, iKON is the only 3rd-generation boy group of YG to win a Daesang. 

B.I’s scandal & BOBBY’s announcement of marriage and his wife’s pregnancy 

B.I was one of the most popular members ever since Team B days until after iKON debuted. He shone in different areas as a singer, rapper, dancer, composer, lyricist and also a leader. It was B.I who set the concept and style for iKON and led the team to success with various hit songs he made.

Apart from iKON’s songs, B.I also participated in making BLACKPINK’s “Whistle”, Winner’s “Empty”, Psy’s “Bomb”, etc.

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Thought iKON would rise to become a top boy group after the grand success of “LOVE SCENARIO”, B.I was suddenly embroiled in a drug scandal in 2019. The leader decided to leave iKON and end his contract with YG because he didn’t want to affect the group.

Due to the departure of their leader B.I, iKON lost their “spirit” as well as heat from “LOVE SCENARIO” and went on a long hiatus. Since B.I was the person who created the music color and the unique vibe for iKON songs, iKON’s releases after his leaving were unfamiliar and couldn’t impress music listeners. 

Aside from B.I, BOBBY was also one of the members with the highest recognition. Therefore, his sudden announcement of marriage and having a child at the age of 26 disappointed many fans. While iKON’s fandom has not recovered from the shock of B.I’s leaving, BOBBY’s marriage continued to cause iKON to lose fans. 

Various issues broke out and made many people leave, but iKON still secures a solid fandom based on their trust and sincerity towards each other after going through hardships since predebut era.

iKON’s future after leaving YG?

After suffering big scandals of the two core members, iKON decided to not continue their journey with YG. Despite having good direction, iKON was unlucky due to unexpected controversies. In addition, the members were not properly promoted and couldn’t release songs regularly. 

YG Artists

After leaving YG, 6 members of iKON signed with the new agency 143 Entertainment together and continue group activities. The fact that iKON can leave YG without a contract dispute is also a good signal for their future move. The members also thanked YG for allowing them to use have all the rights to own their group name, logo and songs. 

iKON is preparing for their comeback in April under the new company. Fans are looking forward to seeing the members’ new appearances in their new beginning without YG’s support.

Source: k14

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