Bang Yongguk got back on stage for the 1st time as a solo artist. It all happened in Paris, on March, 22nd, during a concert organized by K-Events.
Bang Yongguk, who used to be B.A.P’s leader, released his first solo album on March, 16th. The album, called BANGYONGGUK, includes 15 tracks- all underground hip-hop sounds that are in continuity with his career.
Instead of holding concerts in Seoul or appearing on TV shows, he decided to embark on a Europe tour one week after the release, making Paris his first solo concert since leaving his previous agency.
Yongguk appeared on stage wearing a sweatshirt that was a perfect fit for the special occasion. It had “Paris” written on his sleeves, “Bonjour” on the front and an Eiffel Tower drawing. French fans surely appreciated the sweet thought.
Deep and hoarse voice, a strong charisma softened by one of the most heart-warming smiles of the industry… On stage, the rapper doesn’t deliver lines. He delivers his story. This is not a concert, it is a Diary.
Diary, precisely, is the title of one of his new songs. In this song, he states that “The music so make, it’s all like me”. And that’s what fans were expecting to hear. A music that is just like Bang Yongguk.
His lyrics talk about his freedom as an artist, about getting out of one’s comfort zone, about loneliness and pain and the need to talk and be heard. Lyrics in line with the artist’s hardships but that marks a contrast with his gummy smile.
Bang Yongguk seemed especially happy about the fans’ reactions towards his solo album. He launched the concert talking about how nervous he was since it was his first solo concert. He looked unsure of the answer he’ll get after asking fans if they’ve heard the new album… But fans definitely did. They even managed to do fanchants on songs like Xie Xie or See You Later.
When one goes from a band to a solo artist, there are two major risks. The first one is losing all of the fans. The second one is, on the contrary, keeping fans of the bands who aren’t interested in solo songs.
It seems Bang Yongguk avoided both. The BABYz (BAP fans) who attended were definitely here to hear his new songs, and to show support towards his new path. Probably because even during his days as a member of B.A.P., his solo releases and his whole personality never strayed very far from his hip-hop roots.
In his 4.44 track released 4 years ago, he proclaimed :
“The lyrics I put my heart into isn’t worth reading to them
Everyone wants to chase after money and fame”
If the start of his Europe tour is anything to go by, fans are more than happy to be able to hear and read his heartfelt lyrics.