Hello everyone, your Teen Top mod here
This is a buffet of talk. Some ranting, some feels, and some bittersweet tears.
First off I want to add a disclaimer that anything I say is all my opinion and is not meant to harm anyone in anyway. You do not have to read this and continue about your way if you want, however... I have some feels I need to get out. I also feel like maybe I need to explain a few things. I don't know if it will help anything but I want to. Just a warning this is a lengthy card.
Where do I even begin.... honestly, I'm so lost in this bittersweet emotion that I don't know what to do.
However I do want to say this. I have been following Teen Top for years. During college I didn't follow them as much as I had and as much as I do now but I kept up with all of their latest releases and news. Teen Top may not be my #1 group anymore, but they are my #2. Teen Top is one of the reasons why I love kpop so much. The first time I heard their music in 2010, it captivated me. I enjoyed the energy, their silly outfits, their boyish personalities and everything about them. Teen Top is such a loveable group that I know that even years from now I will always listen to songs like Clap Man, Perfume, Angel and so much more from their early years. No matter what happenes, I will always be a Teen Top fan.
We recently got news of L.Joe leaving Teen Top. When I first heard of it a few friends actually sent me an article from allkpop. I wasn't surprised but I couldn't help my broken heart. I don't trust allkpop articles at all so I start to research on Korean news sites.
(I don't trust allkpop because I believe they report too soon without having full facts. This isn't always the case but allkpop tends to report on emotion and rumor rather than facts. again, opinion.)
(also link to my original card of the news
The first article I found was of Teen Top renewing their contracts until Jan 2018. Top Media and the group were in the works on their contracts to help build them for success. When L.Joe was working on his personal contract with Top Media he was leaning more towards a solo career in acting. It wasn't that L.Joe didn't like Teen Top anymore, that's not it at all. It was because he enoyed acting, was good at it and wanted to spread his wings further. Top Media agreed on the terms with L.Joe and so we had a contract ready to be set in place.
Well as life likes to do, it didn't go according to plan... Which lead me to the other articles of L.Joe leaving Teen Top. I was really hoping that allkpops article was just another baseless rumor but to see it be true hurt so much. To know that L.Joe had finally found a lawyer to help him told me that something must have really happened and my heart hurt for him.
Despite the number of offers L.Joe was receiving Top Media was doing a terrible job of managing L.Joe's work. Top Media would request too much money for L.Joe, not approve of L.Joe going to casting calls for certain things and much more. Top Media had more or less clipped the wings of our L.Joe.
Now Top Media isn't a terrible company. I honestly like Top Media in the respect that they don't over work the idols to death like some companies. And even with the events with L.Joe I don't hate Top Media. I still believe they are a respectible company who is just a bit... lost. But there are things that I have noticed over the years that I'm not a fan of. (Again these are opinions.)
I don't like how Top Media restricts the work available for their idols/actors. They do a terrible job marketing their idols and unless it is on a broadcast for their new single or album you most likely won't see them again. An example would be 100%.
In about October of Last year 100% (who I also love) released the song Better Day. (This song is absolutely amazing btw and if you haven't listened to it you need to. I'll add a link later) Other than the promotions for their song, 100% hasn't been around. Even with Teen Top. Even though I have known them for so many years, let's be honest... Teen Top is not a big name group.
This is common for Top Media. And I am going to give you my opinion as to why.
I don't believe Top Media knows how to properly market or manage their idols. Top Media has done with with Niel but I believe that is because he is a solo artist rather than a group. I also believe they don't do so well because they can be money hungry. This is what I believe happened with L.Joe.
Anytime L.Joe would try to do something as a solo artist Top Media would say no because it was too little money or request more money than is actually suitable. Top Media reminds me of a chihuahua. They are a small company that seems to think they are a big company. They seem to be so concerned about looking big and powerful that they forget about the thing they need to protect (their employees) and by the time they realize what has happened. The damage is already done.
Top Media damanged the relationship with L.Joe so badly that there was no way it could be repaired. Even Top Media knows they made a huge mistake and are honestly hoping L.Joe changes his mind. However I feel as if this isn't the first time this has happened. I don't think Top Media knows how to manage an actor and also L.Joe is a very quiet person. He doesn't speak out about a lot of things. That is why this news about him leaving is so heart breaking.
And for those who don't understand what solo L.Joe was looking for it was acting. L.Joe, as much as he loves singing and rapping and being an idol, he wants to be an actor. That is where his true passion lies. All of the actors that Top Media manages are Idols or primarily idols. L.Joe wanted to primarily be an actor.
This is why L.Joe wanted to null the contract. Because Top Media simply could not provide to him. Top Media was holding L.Joe back and they didn't even understand they were. It breaks my heart in so many ways to see this happen to him because I know it isn't easy for him. I know L.Joe has wanted to focus primarily in his acting since his first drama "Entertainer".
L.Joe has a long road ahead of him with getting the contract nulled so he can move on. The steps he will have to take are not easy and sadly we probably won't be hearing from him much. His personal social medias have already been turned to private and I'm not sure for how long they will remain that way. I know the members of Teen Top see him regularly because they take pictures of L.Joe's two dogs that are his children and he can't be without. I at least know L.Joe is healthy and that makes me happy.
Even with all of the sad news, I am excited for L.Joe's new horizon. Yes, I cried my eyes out and I let my heart be broken. But that doesn't mean we have to be that way forever. As I look to L.Joe I know I can still support him because while my heart may be broken right now, so is his. The best thing I can do is show my love for him and pray he achieves his dreams. I pray he stands firm in how he feels and is able to focus on the task at hand. I am so beyond proud of L.Joe and I'm excited to see what the future holds for him.
Top Media is hoping that with the original contract in place (expires in June 2017) L.Joe will reconsider leaving Teen Top right away and will participate in the comeback this March. I honestly don't know how I feel about this... Yes, I want to see Teen Top whole again and remember the beauty that Teen Top is... but at the same time I don't want to put L.Joe through so much stress. I want him to move on. And moving on doesn't mean forgetting. He just needs to take his next step in his career. If L.Joe decides to participate in the March Teen Top comeback I will celebrate to no end and treasure every moment Teen Top gives. But if he decides to leave, I will also understand and I will celebrate all of his successes as an actor and possible solo artist.
I only want the best for him. And I know for a fact that the other members of Teen Top are supporting him fully and they always will.
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