South Korean entertainment company TS Entertainment announced today (Aug. 23) that B.A.P’s rapper-songwriter Bang Yongguk has left the group and agency.
Soompi reports that TS released a statement to confirm that Bang’s exclusive contract with the company came to an end on Aug. 19 and the rapper opted to not renew. B.A.P will reportedly continue as a five-member act.
Bang’s departure from TS comes two years after he went on hiatus from the group in 2016, which TS explained at the time was due to his mental health. He since returned to the group and promoted actively, and after his return the single “Wake Me Up” was released featuring a music video that heavily focused on psychological stressors.
B.A.P debuted in January 2012 with the single “Warrior,” and is one of the best-charting K-pop acts on the World Albums chart, with four No. 1 albums to date. Bang has simultaneously pursued a solo career and released multiple songs, including May’s “Drunkenness.”
The group’s career was bisected in 2014 after the six members filed a contract nullification lawsuit against TS that November. The two sides reached a settlement in 2015, and B.A.P returned to release the single “Young, Wild & Free” on Nov. 16 of that year.
Bang shared a cryptic picture of a painted-white face on Instagram ahead of the news, and fans have flooded the comment section with messages of support.