Arriving at the beginning of 2012, B.A.P assured audiences they were the “Best Absolute Perfect” Korean boy band out there. Five years and more than 20 singles later, things may not have turned out quite as planned — a mid-career lawsuit against music agency TS Entertainment put them on hiatus for almost a year — but the K-pop idol group still retains a place in the industry’s history for their influence on the genre.
Beginning with their first single “Warrior” on Jan. 26, 2012, the sextet was one of the first young K-pop boy bands to utilize a more aggressive image than what was previously seen in the industry. While powerful songs with intense lyrical messages and dramatic music videos are the norm for K-pop in 2017, B.A.P is considered a forerunner of the shift. Over the years, they’ve explored different concepts in their music videos, balancing more artistic, romantic videos with intense mini action flicks, all while maintaining their specific style.
5. “Skydive” (2016)
Their latest, and longest, music video “Skydive” was a 10-minute noir film that took the boy band into the underworld, an update of their 2013 “One Shot” music video (see below). The members portrayed gangsters and were involved in kidnappings, arson, and Tarantino-style gunfights that took the recurring violence seen in other B.A.P music videos to a new level. Watch until the end: a surprise betrayal at the close of the clip may have cost one B.A.P member some fans.
4. “Stop It” (2012)
The seventh single the group released in their first year, “Stop It”, was the first time B.A.P’s members went with a cute concept for one of their music video. As college students, and one ghost, who fall for a professor, the six men brought a sense of whimsy to the colorful clip. But, despite it’s overall humorous tone, “Stop It” kept to B.A.P’s more typical style and threw in a characteristic surprise ending.
3. “1004 (Angel)” (2014)
The crisp visuals and chiaroscuro lighting helped to relay the anguish of losing a loved one, making “1004 (Angel)” one of B.A.P’s most visually appealing videos. (A dance break featuring two members makes “1004 (Angel)” particularly iconic.) Taking the song’s title and lyrics literally, the six men search for an angel from their past and reminisce on old memories. In classic K-pop fashion, all of the members are in love with and depressed over losing the same woman. The video ends melodramatically, with one member pulling the trigger on his reflection in a bid to join his departed lover.
2. “Warrior” (2012)
With “Warrior,” the six literally set fire to the K-pop world. Their very first music video, B.A.P appeared with war paint, heavy leather, and, almost comically, matching bleached blond locks. “Warrior” provided a boisterous soundtrack as the members attacked the stomping choreography, with added grunts and throwing punches for theatrical effect. It featured the first of what would become a recurring motif in B.A.P’s videos: a member getting shot. Combined with the song’s blustery sound, the music video for “Warrior” garnered B.A.P so much attention that the group’s debut single album appeared at No. 10 on the World Album chart.
1. “One Shot” (2013)
Stylized b-boying and acrobatics provided a backdrop for the dramatic plot of “One Shot,” which featured the sextet in its most daring iteration yet. After a quick jaunt on a yacht looking a lot like 007, the members transitioned to a grimmer setting that featured members getting beaten up and kidnapped. The plot was filled with violence and crimes, and culminated in a deadly shootout on a subway platform. The finale of “One Shot” featured extremely violence and had characters using both small firearms and assault rifles, a direct snub to South Korea’s strict censors that typically keep weapons off of television by blurring out images of guns or blades. Death visits the boy band, but just as “One Shot” is set to end its dark tale, the video rewinds and offers an alternate, undercover ending to the film.
With its intense storytelling and surprise ending, the cinematic“One Shot” remains the group’s most creative, and best, music video video.