Almost exactly a year ago, the fate of B.A.P was unclear as the K-pop boy band filed a lawsuit against their record label TS Entertainment for unfair profit distribution and treatment. K-pop history would predict that this types of lawsuit wouldn’t end peacefully, but the sextet wound up settling with the company in August and are now making their first comeback since the drama.
Their return is led by the single “Young, Wild & Free” and accompanying EP Matrix, which was produced by the group’s leader Yongguk. The single is a dark hip-hop track with rock influences, which falls right in line with B.A.P’s intense rap-oriented discography.
Most notably on the chorus, the B.A.P boys shout “We’re better together!” a message that would have been clear as they sued TS Entertainment as a unit, but it’s certainly a reassuring line for fans.
The “Young, Wild & Free” video sees the band doing just that, but with a hint more maturity and dark rebellion as the guys dance around expensive sports cars and youngest member Zelo flashes his abs for the camera. There are also scenes of them leading a group of rebels, which recalls their 2013 video for “Badman.” But instead of the group wearing dark face paint and fighting amongst car explosions, B.A.P are hugging one another and laughing amongst the chaos which shows that perhaps the band is going a little lighter with their image. It ultimately makes them more relatable than ever which is a good look for the band who spoke up for themselves when they felt they were being mistreated.
To date, B.A.P holds the record for K-pop acts on Billboard’s World Albums chart with three No. 1s. If their Matrix EP hits No. 1, it will push them even further above the competition. Fans will be able to see if B.A.P earned their fourth chart-topper when all Billboard charts are refreshed on Tuesday, Nov. 23.
You can listen to Matrix via Apple Music now.