I’ve wanted to write about this but decided not to when the issue was still hot and I know a lot would hate me and would not understand. But I guess, now, I’m brave enough to voice out what I feel.
I’ve followed Kidoh since 2012 because I learned he was a trainee at Stardom along with other trainees I was already following. He was also friends with Supreme Boi, who I was already crushing on at that time. It was already late when I realized that they both trained with BTS before.
When he debuted with Topp Dogg, I was so overjoyed. I waited for those boys for so long. I have never been a fan of Stardom Entertainment. I know a lot of KHOP fans would know why. Their issues have stretched long even before I became a fan of the scene. However, you just cannot the deny the talents their artists have. If they could only manage their label well, they could’ve been a big agency by now.
But as time went by, I started to see some things I wish I wasn’t aware of.
The KPOP fandom and KHOP followers are so different. KPOP fans see pictures of their idols with some people and they think they’re just acquaintances or are working on collaborations. But when KHOP fans see photos of people together, we see relationships rooted from deep and long friendships. And so starts my story.
Kidoh is a member of the crew DaeNamHyup. And just last year, he also became a member of the culture crew ROCKBOTTOM, along with other DNH members, i11evn, Supreme Boi, DJ Snatch and Iron. Most of the other members of Rockbottom have also been his friends even before. His activities with his crews made me think of three things. One, he really loves his friends that he can’t just keep himself away from them. Second, isn’t it amazing how he manages to juggle his time between Topp Dogg and his crew activities? He looked so cool for me. He was an idol but still continues to do the music he originally loved. Third, why does he even do it? Then some realizations flashed through my head.
If you watched that Show Kpop video where they featured Topp Dogg during their debut, Kidoh wasn’t seen inside their dorm. At first, I thought maybe he was still at Stardom doing something. Busy. PGoon wasn’t there, too, so maybe that’s it. But do you remember that picture Kidoh shared where he was wearing a face mask and Supreme Boi was already sleeping behind him. No one wears a face mask unless they’re about to sleep soon. So, Kidoh was about to sleep. How come Supreme Boi was there? Do they live together? Does Supreme Boi live with Topp Dogg? Impossible. But what if Kidoh really doesn’t share dorms with Topp Dogg? So, Kidoh doesn’t live with them? Explains why he wasn’t in that dorm video.
Another thing has been bothering me since. Kidoh looks really friendly. But I believe he’s the type of person who will always be loyal to his BEST friends. I have never seen Kidoh in any Topp Dogg video where he shares very intimate or close relationships with any of the other members. Of course, there are some that look like he’s having fun with the other boys. But think of it this way. Why does his Twitter and Instagram account only have his face on it? SNS accounts are considered personal spaces, right? There’s 1 to 4 photos of him with Xero and BJoo. But how about the others? Why do I only see Rockbottom on his Instagram? The answer was then pretty obvious. Because his crew members hold a larger chunk in his heart.
And it wasn’t just me who’s seen these signs. There were some Topp Klass that were telling him to lose his “crazy” friends because it’s causing his downfall. But there were already a bigger number of fans who greatly accepted the fact that he’s stuck with them.
I’ve felt ever since then that Kidoh has been living a caged life inside Stardom. I don’t want to think that Kidoh joined Stardom for instant fame. If what some Korean ToppKlass said were right, they say Kidoh was promised a chance to release an album if he joined Stardom. Well, that pretty much happened, but with poor promotional strategies. He only had one stage and nothing more. The song he wanted to be the title song of his album wasn’t even approved by his label.
I was hurt every time I saw Kidoh with Topp Dogg and thought that he was only faking his smile. It hurt. Kidoh is a good rapper and producer. And yet, people use him, cage him in, make him do things he wasn’t happy with.
If you ask those people who believe in reading someone’s character based on their zodiac signs (I believe in things like that, actually), Kidoh would be the kind of person who would just hold everything in until they explode. I guess it took him 3 years of disappointment and pain to finally be able to voice it out and do something about it.
It was when a story in a webzine stated that Kidoh and Gohn have sent Stardom a complaint and planned to sue the company. Starom, of course, denied this issue and the two artists never released an official statement about it. It was deja vu. And yet, after this issue, Kidoh and Gohn were still part of Topp Dogg’s Europe Tour.
But then news about Stardom having to officially pass on the label rights to Hunus Entertainment arose. Wasn’t it amazing how at that time, their artists have one by one revealed some issues and news? Cavan, who was a trainee, left the label and shared through his Instagram the reason. I’m happy he left. Then days after EvoL’s anniversary, it was announced that the group has disbanded and three members already left the label. Just the other month, Andy (who was also a trainee and rapper) announced that he’s left Stardom and started his own hiphop label. If you check his SNS, he’s pretty proud to tell everyone that there’s “NO MORE STARDOM”. Proud of him. Pretty much tells you how messed up the label is.
Then just last week, in light of Stardom/Hunus releasing Topp Dogg’s teaser for their comeback album “Emotion”, fans were surprised to only see 10 members in its video. The next day, the official Topp Dogg page released an official announcement. Gohn has left the group to prepare for his military enlistment. Kidoh left to pursue music on his own. This was the most heartbreaking story that day since it was announced recently that the SGC Fashion Show going to be held here in Manila has Topp Dogg as one of the artists lined up. I cried. I cried for Kidoh, the fourth artist I cried for with all of my heart.
I don’t know what is true behind everything. I don’t even want to know anymore. I’m sad because the group I’ve learned to love is going through one of the issues a fan never wants to hear or experience. However, I can say that I am truly happy for Kidoh that he’s finally out of Stardom. We don’t know what he’s going to do next. We may not be able to see him do music any soon. But I’m happy. Because for once, we will be able to see him smile more sincerely than ever. He’s going to be back to his family. He’s going to have more moments with his friends. He’s going to have more time concentrating on his own music. The Kidoh I learned to love from 2012 will be back, the Kidoh that smiled with sincere happiness. How does any activity of an artist matter to their fans if we know they’re not happy with it?
With Kidoh, I am truly proud. There are a number of KHOP artists out there who have ventured out into the mainstream scene. Others have dropped from the undergound scene completely. Some have also somewhat abandoned the people they used to work back then. There are others that have to struggle between their mainstream and underground work. We’re not against it. We’re certainly happy that they still haven’t forgotten where they started. But Kidoh, as far as we all know, is the first idol to totally drop his “idol status” and choose the underground scene. That’s called dedication and being real to me. He has gained my full respect.
I am sorry to Topp Dogg and Topp Klass if I say that I will no longer support the group. Even before their debut, I only really loved Kidoh, Jenissi and Yano. I know. I’m sorry. I supported them because I knew how much they love music. But just like Kidoh, I can also see in Jenissi and Yano’s eyes, even if it’s only through a screen, that they want to do other things, that they aren’t at all sincerely happy where they are right now. But I guess this is only an initial reaction because I’m hurt. Maybe if their new song drops, I’ll would be there cheering them on.
I hope we all still continue to support Kidoh. I know some fans are noticing that DNH and Rockbotttom are on a hiatus (and somewhat becoming rocky), but let us still wait and continue to support all of them. Maybe now that Kidoh’s all well, they’ll continue to focus on what makes them happy. I don’t care what other people say. I’m just happy and proud that I have supported someone who have been real to us.