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KPOP 101: Meet the members of B.A.P and their Matoki partners

Interviews - TV via koreaboo.com
KPOP 101: Meet the members of B.A.P and their Matoki partners

It has been over half a year since Koreaboo’s last “KPOP 101” editorial, which last featured idol female group Secret. But fear not, the 3rd edition of KPOP 101 has returned with “Rice,” as I like to affectionately call them, or “Warrior” B.A.P as the next featured group.

"KPOP 101" articles:U-Kiss | Secret

B.A.P debuted with a unique concept when they released “Warrior” – all the members had their hair color dyed to blonde – and while it was interesting, it made it difficult to attach a name to a face. And so, KPOP 101 is here to help you do just that!

Made up of group members Bang Yongguk, Himchan, Zelo, Daehyun, Youngjae, and Jongup, B.A.P began pre-debut group promotions in 2011 with leader Bang Yongguk featuring in Secret member Song Jieun’s solo single, “Going Crazy.” This was followed by the release of Bang Yongguk’s solo single, “I Remember” featuring BEAST’s Yang Yoseob.

Himchan was the 2nd member to be revealed, and while not doing pre-debut group promotions through music, he became an official MC for MTV’s then-new music show, “The Show,” alongside f(x)’s Luna and Secret's Hyosung. At the end of the year the third member, Zelo, was revealed and TS Entertainment announced that Bang Yongguk and Zelo would be promoting as a duo with the single, “Never Give Up,” under BangZelo.

In January, the remaining three members – Daehyun, Youngjae, and Jongup – were revealed along with the group’s name, B.A.P, which stands for “Best, Absolute, Perfect.” Prior to the release of their debut single, “Warrior,” on January 26th, B.A.P featured in their own reality show titled “Ta-Dah! It’s B.A.P” on SBS-MTV. In only two days, their single “Warrior” sold over 10,000 copies, charting on Billboard’s World Album Chart in 10th place.

Since their debut, B.A.P has released a second single titled “Power” and just released their first mini album, “No Mercy.”

Not only has B.A.P differentiated themselves from other male K-Pop groups with their tough and powerful charismatic concept, but they are also armed with their own mascot partners called Matoki, a group of – what I think are adorable – “mask wearing rabbits.”

**NOTE: Slightly older photos were used because some of the group member’s faces can’t clearly be seen, which is needed for this article.

Siblings:older twin brother (Yongnam), older sister

Position: Leader, Rapper

Associated Acts: Soul Connection, BangZelo

Associated Agencies: TS Entertainment (2011-present)

Social Networks: Cyworld, @BAP_Bangyongguk

Bang Yongguk was the first member B.A.P to be revealed to the public, and received a lot of attention for his fierceness on stage when he was featured on Secret Jieun’s single, “Going Crazy.” Prior to his debut, he was part of an underground hip-hop crew called Soul Connection, with whom he released various songs and did various concerts. At the time he was known under the persona of “Jepp Blackman.” Close to B.A.P's debut, Bang Yongguk has revealed that he didn't leave Soul Connection and is still part of them.

He had the chance to become a mainstream artist, entering TS Entertainment as a trainee following fellow label artist Untouchable’s introduction to the agency.

Bang Yongguk has also proven to be a talented singer-songwriter, having participated in composing in the majority of B.A.P’s songs since “Warrior.” He has also been involved in the rap lyrics, writing them himself.

Prior to his debut, Bang Yongguk can be seen making cameo appearances in Secret’s “Shy Boy” and “Starlight, Moonlight” (ticket seller) music videos, as well as 4minute's "Who's Next" music video and live performance.

Some nicknames he has acquired from fans include Killer Younguk and Inversion Rapper.

His hobbies have been listed as: playing alone, exercising, writing lyrics and composing. Bang Yongguk has also listed 1TYM’s Teddy as his role model – Teddy is known for composing and writing many hit tracks for YG Entertainment artists.

His favorite motto is, “Do what you like and love what you do,” which is also a line he raps in “Warrior" and a tattoo he has on his back.

Position: Vocal, Rap, Visual

Associated Agencies:TS Entertainment (2011-present)

Social Networks: @Himchanchan

Himchan majors in Gukak, which is Korean Traditional music, and is also learning Western music. He is proficient in playing a variety of instruments. Prior to his debut, he was known as an ulzzang, winning that title alongside MBLAQ’s Lee Joon, Block B’s Jaehyo, CNBLUE’s Yonghwa and Jonghyun at “BESTNINE.”

He was also seen in Jung Seulgi’s “Back In Place Again” and Secret Song Jieun’s “Going Crazy” music videos. Himchan also made a cameo appearance in Secret’s “Shy Boy” and “Starlight, Moonlight” and BangZelo’s “Never Give Up” music videos.

In addition, he was also a backup dancer for TS Entertainment artists, Untouchable and Secret. Following the TS Entertainment announcement as the 2nd member of B.A.P revealed, Himchan became active as one of MC for MTV “The Show” alongside Secret’s Hyosung, as well as f(x)'s Luna among others.

To BABYs, Himchan is known for his fanservice and is always trying to imitate members (though it results in failure sometimes). Fans have given him the nickname of Bunnychan due to his front teeth.

Full Name: Choi Joonhong

Siblings:Older brother

Position: Rapper, Dancer, Maknae

Birthday: October 15, 1996

Associated Acts: BangZelo

Associated Agencies: TS Entertainment (2011-present)

Social Networks: @ZELO96

When he was little, Zelo dreamed of becoming a soccer player, however, his interest in music soon made that dream a past. According to Zelo, he began his interest in music by imitating dance moves and raps from tutorials online in elementary school.

Zelo was rejected from several agencies due to his young age, but was finally accepted into TS Entertainment as a trainee. He is the only member in B.A.P to not use his real name, preferring to go by Zelo on stage. Zelo is taken from the Greek Mythology, the god of rivalry.

His rap in “Warrior” gained him attention as he drops a rap of an amazing 16-syllables per second. Zelo has also voiced out an interest in writing and producing music.

The maknae’s hobbies include listening to music, writing lyrics, skateboarding and beatboxing. Among his fans, he is known for his frequent eye blinking.

BABYs have given him the nickname of Zelbaby, and prior to his debut, "Pocket Boy."

Siblings: Older Brother

Position: Main Vocalist

Associated Agencies: TS Entertainment (2012-present)

Social Networks: @BAP_Daehyun

Daehyun was the last member to join B.A.P with only 6 months passing between his entrance as a TS Entertainment trainee and his official debut in January 2012 with B.A.P.

Hailing from Busan, fans have also given him the nickname of “Busan Wonbin,” describing his good-looking appearance.

According to B.A.P’s debut show on SBS-MTV, “Ta-dah! It’s B.A.P,” when Daehyun doesn’t feel like answering someone, he replied with a “no comment” and walks away. He is also known as the “secret/ninja/spy/observer” of the group.

Some of his hobbies has been listed as watching movies and singing, and has a frequent habit of licking his lips. His moto is, “If you will, I will.”

Matoki: Jokomato (Yellow)

Birthday: January 24, 1994

Associated Agencies: JYP Entertainment (trainee), TS Entertainment (2012-present)

Social Networks: @BAP_Youngjae

Youngjae joins the list of the many idols who were known to have been a JYP Entertainment trainee previously. In 2008, he placed first in one of JYP’s audition, become a trainee, however a year later, Youngjae left the agency and was accepted into TS Entertainment.

Similar to other B.A.P members, Youngjae also appeared in Secret’s “Starlight, Moonlight” music video.

Youngjae is known for his love of electronic shops, and loves finding things to explaining to the B.A.P members. B.A.P has also given him the title as “The Brain.”

He lists his hobbies as listening to music and sleeping, and loves meat. He writes his motto as, “Starting is half the battle.”

[PIC] Full Name: Moon Jongup

Known As: Jongup, Moontos

Siblings:Two older brothers

Position: Dance, Vocalist

Birthday: February 6, 1995

Associated Agencies: TS Entertainment (2012-present)

Social Networks: @BAP_Jongup

Yet another B.A.P member to make cameo appearances in Secret’s music videos “Shy Boy” and “Starlight, Moonlight,” dance machine Jongup is the random passerby and the guy with the newspaper in the respectively. In addition, he appeared in BangZelo’s “Never Give Up” music video as the DJ in the booth.

Jongup began his dancing career in his first year of middle school, and gained the nickname of “Dance Shindong” from fans. Among B.A.P, he is known as the awkward member due to his shy personality.

He created the saying, “We’re faster than a treadmill, heavier than a dumbbell,” which describes B.A.P.

He lists as his hobbies and skills as listening to music and dancing, and has a frequent habit of “hearing the sound of [his] knuckles cracking.” Jongup also loves raw meat and frequently visits the convenience store – whereas the other members listed the agency or practice room when asked by “TheSTAR.”

Jongup writes his motto as, “Always do what you like, and do what you want to do, and try your best to be happy.”

Which group’s members are you interested in learning about in the next "KPOP 101" edition? Drop Uni a tweet at @cosmicsorrow and let her know!

Source: Music Naver, fuckyeahbangyongguk, BennieLoe , OFFICIALB.A.P, baperfection, @ tsbabyz and fyeahblockbap.tumblr.com

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