Best Male Rookie Groups Of 2011

It’s the beginning of 2012 everyone! 2011 was the first full year I was able to observe kpop. For the first time I watched groups debut, disappear, break-up, reassemble, or succeed. A few even worked their way into my heart and became groups that I will cherish forever. Who was your favorite group of 2011? Below I’ve listed some of the better known groups of 2011, if yours isn’t on there let me know who they are in the comments. If they are, vote in the poll below! In case you don’t know a group, I’ve included their debut performance and music videos as well as some member info.


-Groups are in alphabetical order with members in order of age-


Group: AA (Double A) 더블에이


Company: Wellmade STAR M

Members: 5

Fanclub: ?

Aoora (Park Geunee) January 10, 1986

Joowon (Hwang Joowon) March 15, 1988

Woosang (Woo Sangsoo) May 1, 1990 LEADER

Kimchi (Yoo Yehyanggi) June, 11, 1993 MAKNAE

Hoik (Jung Hoik) August 1, 1993 (true maknae)

Debut Song: Because I’m Crazy 미쳐서 그래

Music Videos:

Because I’m Crazy 미쳐서 그래

Call (Special MV)



Group: B1A4 비원에이포


Company: WM Ent.

Members: 5

Fanclub: BANA

CNU (Shin Dongwoo) June 16, 1991

Jinyoung (Jung Jinyoung) November 18, 1991 LEADER

Baro (Cha Sunwoo) September 5, 1992

Sandeul (Lee Junghwan) September 6, 1992

Gongchan (Gong Chanshik) August 14, 1993 MAKNAE

Debut Song: Ok

Music Videos:


Only Learned Bad Things 못된 것만 배워서

Beautiful Target



Group: Block B 블락비

Block B

Company: Brand New Stardom

Members: 7

Fanclub: BBC (Block B Club)

Taeil (Lee Taeil) September 24, 1990

B-Bomb (Lee Minhyuk) December 14, 1990

Jaehyo (Ahn Jaehyo) December 23, 1990

U-Kwon (Kim Yukwon) April 9, 1992

Kyung (Park Kyung) July 8, 1992

Zico (Woo Ji Ho) September 14, 1992 LEADER

PO (Pyo Ji Hoon) February 2, 1993 MAKNAE

Debut Song: Freeze 그대로 멈춰라!

Music Videos:

Freeze 그대로 멈춰라!

Tell Them 가서 전해

Nanrina 난리나



Group: Boyfriend 보이프렌드


Company: Starship Ent.

Members: 6

Fanclub: Best Friend

Donghyun (Kim Dong Hyun) February 12, 1989 LEADER

Hyunseung (Shim Hyunseung) June 9, 1993

Jeongmin (Lee Jeongmin) January 2, 1994

Youngmin (Jo Youngmin) April 24, 1995

Kwangmin (Jo Kwangmin) April 24, 1995

Minwoo (No Minwoo) July 31, 1995 MAKNAE

Debut Song: Boyfriend 보이프렌드

Music Videos:

Boyfriend 보이프렌드

Don’t Touch My Girl

I’ll Be There 내가 갈게



Group: M.I.B (Most Incredible Busters) 엠아이비

M.I.B (Most Incredible Busters)

Company: Jungle Ent.

Members: 4

Fanclub: Busterz

Kangnam (Namekawa Yasuo) March 23, 1987

5Zic (Kim Hangil) July 26, 1988 LEADER

Cream (Kim Giseok) February 14, 1990

SIMS (Sim Jongsu) February 27, 1991 MAKNAE

Debut Song: G.D.M (Girls, Drinks Dreams, Money)

Music Videos:

Beautiful Day

Do U Like Me

Hands Up

Say My Name

G.D.M (Girls, Drinks Dreams, Money)



Group: MYNAME 마이네임


Company: H2 Media

Members: 5


Insoo (Kang Insoo) March 10, 1988

Gunwoo (Lee Gunwoo) January 30, 1989 LEADER

Seyong (Kim Seyong) November 20, 1991

Jun.Q (Kang Joonkyu) August 9, 1993

Chaejin (Chae Jinseok) December 26, 1995 MAKNAE

Debut Song: Message

Music Videos:




Group: X-5 엑스파이브


Company: Open World Ent.

Member: 5

Fanclub: ?

Ghun (Son Hyunseok) November 30, 1989 LEADER

Taefung (Lee Donghyun) April 28, 1991

Haewon (Jung Haewon) June 20, 1991

Zin (Jin Hyunjin) July 20, 1993

Sulhu (Kim Jinwan) September 7, 1995 MAKNAE

Debut Song: The Show Is Over 쇼 하지마

Music Videos:

The Show Is Over 쇼 하지마




Block B 2012 Summary of Growth

I’ve been absent from this blog for a while because I just don’t have the time to do the kind of blogging I’d like. From now on, however, if something really impresses me I’ll post something about it.

Block B

As I stated in my last post Block B just came back!

Since their debut last year they’ve grown A LOT. I mean, A LOT! I’m gonna go through each member and kinda break down where I think they’ve improved or failed to improve. This is all my opinion and I’m not a professional anything so take everything I say with a grain of salt.


Zico: Our leader, songwriter, composer, lead rapper, and all around handsome boy. This album shows marked growth for Zico in almost every area. If one compares “Freeze (Just Stop!) 그대로 멈춰라!”  (Block B’s debut song) to “Nanrina (Make A Commotion) 난리나” the difference is apparent. In fact, all the songs on “Welcome to the Block” are good and I like the diversity encompassed in this album. My main concern last year with Zico was that his background is in rap. He raps, he writes raps, and he’s been doing it like that for a while. Block B is a seven member group and not everyone in it is a rapper. In the first album I feel like the vocals didn’t get enough attention. I’m pleased that in this album we get to hear our boys lovely vocals more. Zico did well blending each members individual colors together and painting something worth looking at. Zico has always had very good stage presence stemming from his previous experience, but I feel like he’s continuing to mature in this area and he’s learning to relax and enjoy the stage more and more with each performance.


Kyung: Cucumber?….psh this is an extremely handsome boy with some great rap skills. There’s something really special about Park Kyung and I think he’s yet to reveal it to us so we’ll just have to wait a little longer. (I’m not just saying that! I said the same thing about MBLAQ’s Mir then BAM, all of a sudden he became charisma personified. Watch this kid.) As far as growth, I feel like Kyung has become more mature over the year and is showing us a more professional image on stage. I remember during their debut stage he caught my eye because he never stopped smiling. He seemed like a little kid just excited to debut. This time around he’s matured and is showing us more charisma. I’d like to see Kyung play with his voice a little more and give us more variety. Also, for some reason I’m curious about his singing voice….


PO: I have to put this out here before I start on PO. Before Block B debuted  there was someone named Mino who was supposed to be in the group. He’s got this nice deep voice and he’s really versatile with it. He’s a really talented kid. When they debuted I was displeased that he wasn’t with them. He ended up in a ballad group (B.O.M.), which in my opinion doesn’t properly showcase his skills. I guess I saw PO as his “replacement” so he was off to a bad start with me already. However, with this come-back PO really solidified his place in Block B. He’s improved his rap skills and showed more variety, even “singing” in a few of the tracks. (He sounds really nice on “Synchronization 100%”) He started as just a deep voiced kid with some skill and has blossomed into a multidimensional rapper. One thing I’d like to see him improve on is his stage presence. He doesn’t just let himself get into the song, he always looks like he’s thinking about something else or he’s making cute faces at the fans. I’d like to see him transform into a real charisma rapper in the future.


Taeil: Our power vocal who is humble, respectful, and shy. His vocals have become stronger and more confident. He still needs to believe in his ability more though. He really has great talent, but he’s unsure of himself. Being in a group of crazy, in your face boys makes him stick out, and not in a good way. My complaint with Taeil is that he’s too nervous and self conscious. Previously, he’s stated how he doesn’t like his face, particularly his eyes. This bothers me because I think Taeil is quite handsome and his eyes are really a work of art. He needs to let go and stop holding back because he’s scared. I could be way out of line since I don’t know him personally, but this is the impression I get. His vocals are really something and I’d like him to be more confident with his presentation of himself. One more thing; he needs a new hair style.



U-Kwon & B-Bomb: I’m going to do our handsome lead dancers together because it’s getting late and they’ve both shown similar improvements. First, they are both more comfortable on stage and their vocals became better and stronger. Secondly, as Block B’s choreography has improved, they’ve been given the chance to show their skill. I’m not sure what their role is in the choreography, but I’d like to see them take a leadership role in creating the choreography for the group. I think Block B is a group that can be self-sustaining. I love how much freedom Cho PD gives them, and I’d love to see them put even more of themselves into the music and performances.


Jaehyo: He’s an ulzzang and a derp, what more could you want? He also has a really charming, relaxing voice. This time around his voice is stronger and he’s more confident and relaxed on stage. I think he could work on his range and really just work on growing his voice. If there’s one thing I want out of Block B’s next release it’s a Jaehyo&Taeil duet song.

In all Block B has grown significantly. The groups that make it the farthest are the ones that continue to improve with every release, regardless of how amazing they are. Block B, in my opinion, possesses the talents and potential to improve infinitely. They’ve been given more freedom than many groups in the industry and I’m glad that they are taking advantage of that freedom. I hope they don’t get discouraged with their songs getting banned, it’s just politics really. If I continue this post will become entirely unintelligible since it’s so late at night, so I’ll end it here.

Block in 2012

One of my favorite groups: Block B recently came back. I can’t say how excited I am and how pleased I am with their improvement since their debut not quite a year ago.

Debut year is extremely important for a group. However, I feel like in some ways 2011 was a wasted year for Block B. They started out great with their debut single then mini album. They did many other activities as well such as MTV Match Up, which was fantastic. The second half of the year we saw nothing new from Block B and this was a huge mistake. I’m not an expert on how the group spends their time but I feel like they spent way too much time over seas. A group should establish themselves in their home country first. Block B knows this, but for some reason they had a lot of overseas schedules. Maybe this wasn’t the cause, but I feel like Zico didn’t have as much time as he needed and so we got no new music. They gave up the chance to receive awards that can only be received once as well as the chance to establish themselves well in Korea from the get go. This year I’d like to see better marketing, more music, and more domestic appearances.

I’m not an expert but this is how I’d like this year to go. New year – comeback with mini album (done). spring – follow up single. Summer – mini album. Fall – Taeil solo ballad or a Taeil and Jaehyo duet. Early winter – full album with title and follow up tracks to finish off the year. It would be hard but I think it can be done and needs to be done in order to bring them back to where they need to be among their peers. I would also like to see Zico try some songs that are vocals based with Taeil and Jaehyo doing the main parts. I love what he makes, but Block B has 7 members and I’d like to see their talents utilized. A ukwon/bbomb unit would also be interesting. Maybe some dance/electro stuff? Block B is a group that has tons of potential and I don’t want one drop to be wasted. I hope they continue to mature and step outside their comfort zones. On a more selfish note: a Block B & BAP collab would make my life. You know you want one too!

Block B – Nanrina MR Removed

2011 New Boy Groups

I’m a person who is really into boy groups, that’s why I wanted to write about the boy groups debuting this year. I attempted to compile all the information I could find on each group, but for some there really isn’t that much information yet. I hope that this helps clear up confusion and not cause more.


When I first published this article there wasn’t very much information, but now (about a month later) there’s tons. For that reason I’ve now given each group their own article and will update that article with current information for one month after the group’s debut. You can access the articles by clicking the links below.

After School Boys – not debuted

A-Peace (Previously Double B 21) – no official debut date

Block B – April 15th, 2011

Boyfriend – May 26th, 2011

B1A4 – April 23rd, 2011

M-1 – not debuted

N-Train – not debuted

-When I originally posted this article somehow I made an epic fail and hadn’t heard of N-Train. I’m still gathering information on them and hopefully I’ll have their article up soon.

X-5 – April 22nd, 2011

Unknown Group from TS Ent. with Bang Yong Guk – not debuted

Unknown Group from TN Ent group produced by Tony Ahn – not debuted


Group Name: Boyfriend

Company: Starship Entertainment

Number of Members: 6

This group was first revealed on the variety show Quiz The Changes The World as backup dancers for K.Will. Except that they weren’t really “revealed” as they had masks on the whole time. [1]

Here’s the clip of four members of Boyfriend as K.Will’s backup dancers with English subtitles. The subs are wrong at one point. “…the hosts aren’t saying that they look like SHINee, but they said they look like “shin-in” (신인), which means ROOKIES.” Youtube User: xCaramelSweets

Boyfriend has an average member age of 18 and the member’s names are: Dong Hyun, Jo Young Min, Jo Kwang Min, Noh Minwoo, Seon Ho, and Lee Jung Min. [2]

Members Young Min and Kwang Min are identical twin brothers.

In 2002 the twins appeared in the drama “Saxaphones and Mochi” [3]

Member Noh Minwoo was in K.Will’s music video for “I Can’t Find The Words”. [4]

Minwoo appears at 0:07 – 0:24 – 0:39 – 0:55 – 1:03 – 1:10 – 1:25 – 1:31 – 1:38

On April 16, 2011 Starship’s youtube channel uploaded a video of Minwoo dancing. It even includes the scorpion move, made popular by INFINITE.

Members Young Min, Kwang Min, and Jung Min participated in a photo shoot for CECI magazine.

Kwangmin (Left) Youngmin (Right)

During the interview they were asked to come up with explanations for eight phrases. [5]

“Jung Min’s:

In Common‘: All of the members share in common a tendency to get competitive. They’re always striving to improve themselves in order to not lose.

Opportunity Cost‘: Although they can’t be out and about with their friends, the members revealed that they instead earned singing and dancing skills, which they believe to be the cost of losing a social life.

Rule’: The boys made a promise to always remember to sit at the table and eat breakfast together no matter what.

Partner‘: Jung Min’s favorite senior? Powerful vocalist Insooni. To be able to stand on the same stage as her is his dream.

Role Model‘: He also looks up to none other than Big Bang’s leader, G-Dragon. Thanks to his talented ability of soaring on stage and his musical ideas, Jung Min chose him as someone he looks up to.

Turn the Table’: “We promise to show an amazing stage presence! We hope to become a fresh stimulation to the Korean music industry.”

Kwang Min & Young Min’s:

Motive‘: Twins born on the same day, at the same time. The two grew up as child actors in the 2001 sitcom, “They’re Twins“, and later earned headlines for being Kim Hyun Joong lookalikes on “Truth Game.” Youngmin used to play the younger role of Jang Dong Gun, and later began dreaming of becoming a singer after he caught the attention of the older sister of their casting manager.

Spec‘: “Our fresh youthfulness, which fits so well with Boyfriend’s image, is #1.”

Opportunity Cost‘: Kwangmin revealed that they didn’t have much time to spend with their family because of their rehearsals, but knew that it was a sacrifice that must be made in order to achieve their dreams. Youngmin cutely blurted out, “But I’m your family member too!”

Partner‘: Youngmin revealed, “I think it’d be dream-like to be able to perform a duet with seniorNaul. How wonderful would it be to have vocal talent like him?”

The Ultimate Goal‘: ”We want to become artists that have their skills acknowledged, as well as get our name ‘Boyfriend’ more familiar with the public.””

This video is a teaser for M!Pick and it shows each member and their name.

On May 19, Boyfriend released a teaser for their music video “Water Floor” [6]

On May 22, Boyfriend revealed some album jacket photos! Lucky for us they have the members’ names next to them. [7]

On May 25th Boyfriend released their debut mini-album titled “Boyfriend”. [8]

The album consists of three tracks:

Let’s Get It Started

You & I

and Boyfriend for which there’s a MV.

Boyfriend  will officially debut on May 26, 2011.

**Last updated May 25, 2011**

Block B (Info)

Group Name: Block B

Company: Brand New Stardom Entertainment

Number of Members: 7

Fan Club: BBC (Block B Club)

Block B is a hip-hop group created by Cho PD that officially debuted April 14, 2011. I talk about them in another one of my posts. [1] Cho PD stated that he wanted to create a group of artists that would have as much musical and social influence as Eminem. Their main point is rap, and the group has been learning from underground rappers and been trained for choreography. [2] During their training period Block B wrote and composed about 100 songs, as training to become singer-songwriters. [3] Cho PD, unlike most producers and agency CEOs, decided to give the group full musical freedom. This means that Block B decides their musical direction, not Cho PD. Cho PD stated, “Agency CEOs and producers working for only their own profit are not only selfish, but deprive the artists of the opportunities they need. If they really have a message or lyrics that they want to deliver, they should aid the members to find it and write it themselves. There are prevalent instances where people will add their names to the co-producers credits, and extort copyright when all they did was add the sound of one cymbal. But to me, that’s outdated and undemocratic, and I’m sure that such a system won’t last long.” [4] All songs are produced by leader Zico and Kyung. [5]

Most of the members have have been eliminated from something. From MBC’s “Birth Of A Great Star” [6] to the group itself. The ones that were eliminated from the group, of course, came back or else we wouldn’t have Block B. [7] The members are:







ZICO (Leader)

This is a video profile of the group, I’ve already stated most of what’s in it, but there’s a few additional things. (More photos & groups members almost debuted with)

On February 27, 2011 a rehearsal video of the group was uploaded to youtube. [8]

Loen Ent. uploaded a teaser for Block B’s song “Wanna B” on April 4, 2011.

A full music video for “Freeze” was uploaded April 13, 2011. (I don’t know when the full MV for Wanna B will go up)

Their mini-album is called “Do You Wanna B?” It includes three tracks.

1. Wanna B

2. Freeze 그대로 멈춰라!

3. Is It Just Me? 나만 이런거야? 

They debuted on Music Bank on the 15th of April with “Freeze”.

Here’s the MR removed version.

Zico has proved himself to be an impressive rapper, and he even freestyles well. [9]

Here’s another example of Zico’s amazing rap skills:

On April 20th, Block B’s company, Brand New Stardom released a video of B-Bomb and U-Kwon practicing choreography. They are the dancers of the group and they’re both pretty good. [10]

(B-Bomb is on the left, U-Kwon is on the right)

Block B guested on MBC’s Starry Night radio program. On the show they revealed that their name “It’s actually derived from the term ‘blockbuster’, which is typically used to describe movies of larger, impressive scales. We hope to have the same blockbuster effect on the Korean music industry.”  It was also revealed that Taeil has a hobby of raising exotic fish and even had 50 at one point, he has 10 now. Other fun facts are: Jaehyo has ninja typing abilities; he can type 600 keys per minute, and U-Kwon’s favorite movie is “The Hangover”. [11]

Below are subbed videos of their visit on Starry Night radio.

On April 22, 2011 Brand New Stardom put a set of profile photos on Block B’s official fancafe. They certainly are handsome boys. I had to laugh a little, P.O is such a maknae. [12]






ZICO (Leader)

AllKpop reviewed Block B’s album on April 24, 2011, I’ve included snippets of the review, but you can read the full review here: [13]

“Block B consists of Zico, Kyung, Taeil, P.O., Jae Hyo, U-Kwon, and B-Bomb. The group’s main niche is rap/hip-hop – there are a total of three rappers, all of which have had experience spitting lines in the Korean hip-hop scene.  The rest of the posse are vocalists, with Taeil leading the pack as main vocals.


Block B are currently promoting their lead single, “Freeze“,  and just by the sound of it, it’s clear they’ve dolled the song up with glitz and glamor to give it that commercial feel.  Truthfully, it’s rather generic for a debut single, but I realized it was going to sound like that going in. Why? Because Block B are new and are trying to bridge the gap between hip-hop and pop music.  That, and the fact that they have to cooperate as a unit of rappers and singers now.


“Freeze” follows the books and does a fine job of transitioning between the verses and pre-chorus just like a good pop song should. The melodies, though, are where things fall right into place – they’re simple, catchy, and work well with Block B’s voices.


“Wanna B” is way more on point with the hip-hop style Block B is going for.  This song is chock-full of rap lines and you can really tell who’s rhyming what because each rapper has a distinguishing color to their voice.  One is super throaty (P.O.), the other is higher in pitch (Kyung), and then you have one who stands somewhere in between (Zico).  There’s diversity there and it stretches to the vocalists, who insert the necessary releases of tension built up by the rappers.


“Is It Just Me” alone, which doesn’t hit as hard as the previous two songs, does a good job of sanding K-pop songs down to fairy dust with its contemporary-R&B style. Now where Block B will have trouble convincing audiences in their current evolution is on stage.  In the recording studio, they are on top of their game, but they lose all the steam during their live performances (as expected from a rookie group).  Basically, Block B lack the endurance and the stamina to deliver a vocally cohesive and consistent live stage, and it has shown in their recent performances.


Regardless, as a whole package, as long as Block B continue experimenting with their style, working on their vocals, and getting a little more creative without losing that strong hip-hop punch they possess, they’ll really start seeing people take notice of their hard work.”

Overall Rating: 4.3/5

Brand New Stardom just released more profile shots of Block B; this time instead of casual shots, they follow the “Freeze” concept. [14]




P.O. (Maknae)



ZICO (Leader)

Jaehyo and U-Kwon appeared on “100 Points Out Of 100” this week, but unfortunately U-Kwon was receiving hospital treatment due to sever fatigue. [15]

Block B MNET Wide StarCam

Block B on MTV’s Let Me Show (with English Subtitles)

On May 25th Block B had an interview with News Vision E. (Translation from

Q. Your name, Block B, is very unique.

Block B: It’s a shortened form of the term ‘blockbuster.’  It’s an expression of our desires to become a big impact on the Korean music industry.

Q. Could you please introduce your debut track, “Freeze!“  Can you elaborate on what kind of song it is?

Block B: It’s an electronic track with a hip hop base.  The lyrics are about telling someone you love that keeps drifting, getting further apart from you to freeze for a moment, so that you can deliver your true feelings.  It’s got a hip hop feel with an added effect of electronic sounds so it’s modern in that aspect.  We all love the song and feel that it’s something that’s easy to enjoy.

Q. It’s been a long time since there’s been an emergence of hip hop idols.  After the 90’s, hip hop has basically evaporated from idols and has since turned into a professional genre thanks to the efforts of Cho PD and other hip hop musicians.  There’s a strong fanbase of ‘hip hop manias’ for the genre now, so does that pressure you?

Zico: Honestly, I don’t think hip hop fans want idols to pursue the genre.  We did hear concerns of us following the tastes of the public and I think that people stereotype us as idols that are just pursuing hip hop with no real skills or talents.

We’re young and stand as an idol group so I think it’s inevitable that we’re stereotyped in such a way.  We want to break that with our efforts and talents since we still have so much more to show.  Please don’t look over us with a premeditated / certain view in mind, because over time, we will show something that is uniquely us.

Q. Have you always loved hip hop?

Zico: All of the members love hip hop,  I was a rapper underground and it’s been about six to seven months since I’ve taken up producing.  Park Kyung’s hobby is also rapping and he has always pursued hip hop music.  The passion of the other members don’t fall behind as well.

Q. You received a lot of attention for being trained by Cho PD, who’s regarded as one of the godfathers of Korean hip hop.  What kind of mentor is he to you?

Park Kyung: Off stage, he has a charisma to him that makes you think it’d be both scary and difficult to approach him, but he’s like a hyung to us that always tries to hear our opinions out.  He’s strict when he has to be but overall, he’s really caring.  Most of all, he tells us what what we’re doing wrong right on the spot and always asks us questions in a way that makes us think and come up with an answer our selves.  We really respect that side of him.

Jaehyo: I have a funny episode to share. Before our official debut, we performed at Lotte World.  Right before we were set to get up on the stage, Cho PD hyung pulled us together and told us with a serious expression, “Don’t think for a second that it’s a good thing that you got your name known ahead of everything like this.  If you don’t live up to expectations, you can receive double the criticisms.  It’s like a double-sided saber.”

But sabers are always double-sided, I think what he meant was a double-edged sword.  We were all about to burst out in laughter, but we couldn’t laugh out loud in that situation when he was giving us such serious advice.  We bit our lips and held it inside.  To this day, he doesn’t know that he made such a mistake.  “Hyung, I mean CEO!  It’s not double-sided saber, it’s double-edged sword!”

Q. Let’s move on to your personal stories.  I’m curious as to how each of you debuted.

Park Kyung: I was studying abroad in New Zealand but returned to Korea to debut.  I’ve been friends with Zico since we were in elementary school.  Zico had gone overseas to study in Japan and he told me one day that he had passed Cho PD’s audition and was now an official trainee.  Through that connection, an opportunity for me to audition for Cho PD opened up as well.

Before then, I wasn’t sure as to whether I should pursue music or not, but after talking it over with Zico and meeting Cho PD, I became determined.  The more I think about it, the more thankful I am.

U-Kwon: I first came tried music when I joined a band in junior high school.  I played the guitar and was the sub-vocalist for the band for a while, until one day I fell in love with all of the dancing at the concerts we performed at.  I wanted to pursue both singing and dancing, so I was determined to become a singer that could do both.

Honestly, two years ago, I was under a different agency and was training to become a member of a different group.  I was deeply wounded when that group couldn’t debut, but someone had been watching over me at the time and suggested that I audition for Block B, which is how I received the opportunity.

Zico: I was an art student while studying in Japan.  I had always loved listening and making music so recording and composing had always been something I had learned as a hobby.  Every time I came back to Korea while studying abroad, I’d perform at Hongdae clubs with a few close crews and met a lot of musicians like that.  Two years ago, I received the opportunity to meet Cho PD hyung.  He thought well of me then and let me come in as a trainee right away.

Jaehyo: I lived in Busan and went to see a dance competition with a friend for fun with my friend during my first year of high school.  I was street cast there and really worked hard because I was so glad to have been chosen, but I think I overdid.  I strained and injured my knee and reached a point where I had to nearly give up my dreams.  Right when I was about to give up, MBLAQ’s Lee Joon hyung gave me one last word of support: “Don’t end everything.”  Back in Busan, I went through surgery and recovered, and someone later introduced me to Cho PD.

P.O: In junior high school, my dream was to become an actor, or more specifically, a play actor.  After getting into Hanlim Arts High School, I worked hard to achieve my dream while keeping rap as my specialty.  One of my teachers had watched over me and introduced me to an agency for an audition.  After seeing the hyungs rap and make music there, I was just captivated with their charm.  Ever since, I changed my dream into becoming a singer.

B-Bomb: By chance, I had an opportunity to see Rain’s performance up close.  I really received a shock then and began learning how to dance and sing ever since.  After going through a few auditions, I did have the chance of debuting elsewhere, but I think fate tied me to Block B.  I learned a lot here and was finally able to debut with them.

Taeil: My story’s pretty unique in that I was preparing to enlist in the army before my debut.  I can’t call myself a professional singer, but I had promoted as a singer in a few places.  After seeing an advertisement for MBC’s “Birth of a Great Star“, I auditioned for the program and luckily made it to the camp episode.  Unfortunately, I was eliminated when they were cutting down to 30 members.

I prepared to enlist in the army until I received a call from our agency right after the show aired.  He said he liked what he saw, and soon after, I had joined Block B.  I feel like it’s a dream.

Q. Your debut stories are definitely something worth sharing.  Now let’s talk about the people next to us.  If you had to introduce the person next to you, what would you say?

Park Kyung: U-Kwon is so innocent that it doesn’t work to his advantage.  He’s like a child sometimes, but I think the fact that he’s so uncorrupted is his merit.  But it can also be his weakness because it makes the people around him kind of tired (laughter).

U-Kwon: Zico is someone that hides his prodigal qualities.  He has so much to show, and I don’t think he’s shown all of it yet, which I think is amazing.  I feel this when he writes songs because he’s able to come up with two songs that are of completely different colors.  It surprises me.

Zico: Jaehyo is a hyung that has a handsome face, but a pure sensibility.  He’s like a child, but he’s also the hyung so he’s kind of greedy in that he won’t ever let go of his three favorite things: food, girl groups, and rest.  (Jaehyo tried to retort but failed).  His preference in food is fast food, and girl groups.. Mmm, kind of dangerous to reveal, but he likes a newly debuted group associated with the color pink.  And he also loves resting in his second floor bed no matter what.

Oh, there’s also one more characteristic about him.  He’s got a lot of upper body strength, but his legs are quite weak!

Jaehyo: P.O. isn’t like the maknae, but he’s still the adorable maknae.  I think he wants to become an adult fast because he doesn’t act like a maknae sometimes.  To us, that’s still adorable and he’ll forever be our maknae no matter what.  Oh, and another thing is that I never thought he’d become so handsome when I first met him, but he really did become very cool.  His cuteness turned into a charm which is pretty surprising.  Both his heart and his physical look… have become prettier.  I think he’s always improving.

P.O: Main vocalist Taeil hyung is someone that really loves singing and is very good at it.  Even though he’s so talented, he practices as if his life depends on it.  He’s always living inside of the training room, and I learn a lot from watching him.  He’s one of the oldest hyungs, but he’s really innocent and cute.  He loves reading comic books and raising fishes.  I think he’s a really cute main vocal.

Taeil: B-Bomb is a friend I’m really thankful for.  We’re the same age, and he’s also the first person ever that taught me how to dance.  Unlike his cold impression, I have a lot of memories with him where he’ll help me up when I’m tired from dancing.  I’m thankful for him.

B-Bomb: Park Kyung is like Block B’s endorphin.  He’s always energizing the team and lifting everyone’s moods.. although that does tire us out sometimes (laughter).  I’m joking.  Even though he’s my dongseng, he listens to everything regarding the team very maturely.  I’m proud of him.  If you exclude the bad manners he commits in the car, he’s a really great person.  Because of Kyung, we think very important of the ventilation in the car. (Park Kyung tried to retort this statement as if his life depended on it but was ignored by the other members).

Q. What kind of music will Block B show in the future?

Block B: One thing we’re definitely sure about is that we’re going to be showing music different from the standard idols.  With hip hop as our base, we’re going to try bringing in a variety of different genres as actively as possible.  We want to be remembered as a group that’s both unique and different.

Q. To you guys, what kind of group is Block B?

Block B: We’re a very free group.  We’re not forced into a frame like other idol groups, nor are we pretty.  We may be rough, but we have a definite meaning to our identity and feel that we deliver it directly.  We’re a group that has a color of our own, and it’s always going to be like that into the future.

Q. One concluding statement of determination?

Block B: We’ll be releasing our mini-album in June and beginning our activities then.  It’ll consist of everything we couldn’t show through our debut single, so please watch over us and give us your support. [16]

**Last updated May 25, 2011**

**Note: This article will not but updated any further, as it has been over a month since Block B’s debut.


Group Name: B1A4

Company: WM Entertainment

Number of Members: 5

Intro Video: (with subs)

B1A4 refers to the fact that within the members one is blood type B and the other four are blood type A. It also stands for “Be The One, All For One”. [1]

B1A4 was introduced through a webtoon.

B1A4’s agency said, “There are a lot of interesting pieces of information about B1A4 in their webtoon,” [2]


Jinyoung is the leader of B1A4, is blood type A, and was born in 1993.

B1A4’s agency said, ‘“Our agency is receiving a flood of calls asking for more information. Jin Young is the team’s leader and has been trained in composing, singing, and acting for a while now. He’s exceptional in musical talent, and their upcoming album will feature a song composed and written by him.”’ [3] The song he wrote and composed is “Bling Girl”.

Here’s a video of Jinyoung’s profile photoshoot.


Baro is the rapper, is blood type B, and was born in 1993.

“A representative of WM Entertainment, the agency of B1A4, stated, “Unlike his cute looks, Baro actually has a charismatic rap tone. He took over the entire rap making for their debut album, and has exceptional skill talent in that area.’” [4]


Gongchan is the maknae, is blood type A, and was born in 1994.

“A representative of WM Entertainment stated, “Gongchan is the maknae and the main vocal of the team. He not only has vocal talent, but impressive acting skills as well, so he will be able to promote in a variety of different areas.’” [5]


Sandeul is the main vocalist, is blood type A, and was born in 1993.

“A representative of WM Entertainment stated, “Sandeul is always smiling, so he makes people feel happy. He’s serious when he sings, though, which is why he’s the member that we all feel deserves to be the main vocalist.”’ [6]

Sandeul has a really good voice; here’s a video of him singing at a music festival.

He even won a Daesang. (A Daesang is the Golden Disk Awards’ most prestigious award.)


CNU both raps and sings, is blood type A, and was born in 1992, making him the oldest.

I can’t figure out how CNU’s name is supposed to be pronounced. If you pronounce it like a word it ends up sounding really weird because there’s no vowel between the C and the N. If you say it like C.N.U it’s better, so maybe that’s what it is. If you said if fast if sounds like “seein’ you”.

“WM Entertainment stated, “CNU is a health enthusiast. He’s an impressive member with talent in both singing and rapping. CNU’s masculine and a bit on the quiet side, but has a charming smile that captures the hearts of women.”’ [7]

In 2009 CNU performed at a youth song festival. He’s the one in blue.

On April 21, 2011 they released their mini-album “Let’s Fly”. [8]

01. O.K

02. Remember

03. 못된 것만 배워서 (Only Learned Bad Things)

04. Bling Girl

05. Only One

06. O.K (Inst.)

On the 25th they released the full music video for their title track “OK”. [9]

0:32, 1:23 – Sandeul (I think he’s the one singing chorus, he wears yellow shirt)

0:36, 0:43 – Gongchan (the one who sings love me baby and tell me now repeatedly, he wears white)

0:45, 1:49 – Jinyoung (he wears a vest and red shirt)

0:57, 1:04 – CNU (the one with eye glasses and long hair, the one wearing grey shirt)

1:09, 1:35 – Baro (rapper, he wears blue and a hat)

Youtube User: Acinat05

Music Video Bloopers:

B1A4 debuted on Music Core with “OK” on April 23, 2011. [10]

Here’s the MR removed version:

B1A4 also debuted on M! Countdown, Inkigayo, Music Bank, and Music Core.

This is a video profile of them. Most of it I’ve already covered, but feel free to watch it anyway.

On May 1, 2011 reviewed B1A4’s mini-album “Let’s Fly”. I’ve picked the parts I found most relevant, but you can read the entire article here. [11]

“For rookies, B1A4 have two things going for them: solid vocals and a great stage presence. Those two aspects of music are key to succeed, not to mention vital in the world of mainstream music.

B1A4, as most pop groups, has one main vocalist, led by Sandeul, and he’s making quite the impression.

“O.K.” is glowing with the signature elements of a Korean pop song; it has a very average – or – okay arrangement, familiar instrumentation, and the same cheerful texture in the vocals that we’ve heard before, but the pace is very much there and it correlates well with this time of year.

The feel-good vibes of “O.K.” is matched on stage with high energy movements and choreography.  During their live performances, B1A4 are literally jumping, running, and laying it all out like it’s nobody’s business. Even more impressive is that Sandeul (main vocalist) is carrying most of the vocals on his shoulders while he’s kicking and flying around with the rest of the gang, and surprisingly, he maintains a balance and control over his voice through the duration of the song. It only caught my attention because he’s singing the majority of the song.


“Let’s Fly” as a mini album is solid, but it lacks that extra push to make it memorable.

Both “Remember” and “못된 것만 배워서” are well sung and well produced, but aren’t as innovative as they could be, especially now when these kinds of songs have been released by previous groups of this same caliber.


The one track that stands out is “Only One.” It’s the slow tempo song on the album, and what is note-worthy about this song is how classic it sounds. There are traces of early 2000s in there and it reminds me of something that Western boy bands of that time would have sung to a crowd of roaring fan girls. It’s a very understated track for the most part, and only showcases a couple power vocals at the climax, yet it soars like a good pop ballad should.


It’s hard to tell where B1A4 will go from here, but what they’ve delivered so far is a well rounded first dose of solid vocals, solid songwriting, and an understood style that is woven through each and every song.

Overall Rating: 3.9/5″

B1A4 had an interview with Osen on May 25th. (Translation from

“The group’s rapper, Baro, stated, “It’s been about a month since our debut and there are already fans who recognize us. More people came to our fan signing than we expected, so we were all surprised. We promise to work hard so that we can show the public more of who we are.”

Leader Jinyoung added, “Thanks to our unique group name, fans have given us unique nicknames like ‘paper idols’ and ‘blood idols.’ Apparently, ‘paper idols’ comes from the fact that our name reminds them of A4 papers, and ‘blood idols’ comes from our blood types. We’re satisfied with the nicknames and glad that people are taking an interest in us.”

CNU continued, “Each of us has a different charm. Baro is good at voice imitations and beatboxing, while Sandeul and Jinyoung are good at cooking. Gongchan may seem cool, but he has a lot of aegyo. Baro and I have taken an interest in writing and composing lately, so we’re practicing very hard.”

Overall, the group endured two years of training, which helped foster their relationship as a team.

Main vocalist Sandeul revealed, “At our dorm, we play speed games or bingo together. These days, we’re busy rehearsing when we have free time, but playing games with the other members is one of my biggest joys in life these days outside of training.”

Now that they’ve made a successful debut, what do they hope for in the future?

Maknae Gongchan replied, “I want everyone in our nation to be able to recognize us. I promise to work hard to make that goal come true.”

Jinyoung concluded, “We consider g.o.d. as our mentors. Their music was great and they’re loved for such a long time still. We’re determined to work hard with everything we’re given.”” [12]

**Last updated May 25, 2011**

**Note: This article will not but updated any further, as it has been over a month since B1A4’s debut.