'I don’t want to be a robot maker': BIGBANG T.O.P calls out rigid K-pop trainee system

In an extremely candid interview with Prestige Magazine, BIGBANG’s T.O.P talks about many sensitive issues including the rigid trainee system in K-pop


                            'I don’t want to be a robot maker': BIGBANG T.O.P calls out rigid K-pop trainee system
BIGBANG's T.O.P highlights his future aspirations to change the rigid trainee system in K-pop saying, 'I do not want to be a robot maker' (Prestige Magazine)
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While newer K-pop idols and groups make their debuts ever-so-often in the industry, there are very few changes that fans are able to see in the approach with which idols are formed. BIGBANG made its debut in the early days of K-pop and while ‘cancel culture’ was not a thing back then, idols went through extreme training in order to seem appealing to the masses.

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T.O.P got very candid in his interview with Prestige Magazine that was released on March 9 and it was evident from the topics he chose to touch upon. T.O.P aka Choi Seung-hyun, the oldest member of YG Entertainment’s BIGBANG, parted ways with the label in February 2022 after it was announced that the four-member boy group was going to make a comeback.

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BIGBANG T.O.P talks about mental health problems in K-pop

Finally free from his label, T.O.P revealed his inner turmoil in the interview and discussed his mental health, his attempted suicide due to the marijuana controversy as well as the rigid K-pop training system. He revealed that the system is flawed at its core because its goal is to create ‘idols’ and not artists. The singer found himself grateful to have trained only for a year ahead of his debut with BIGBANG in 2006, pointing out how some trainees are grilled by the ‘harsh system’ for years at end.

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T.O.P said, “They’re told what to do and trained just like robots with the hope that they might get popular, they might get bigger.” He added that this rigid training lures aspiring artists in with hopes of being famous which hinders them from seeing how they start feeling isolated and lonely on the inside. It has been rumored that T.O.P wishes to launch his own K-pop label where he will try to do something that no other label has done before.

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The singer stated that “I don’t want to be a robot maker, I want to make a real artist and help real artists. I’m positive about making a group that’s completely different from BIGBANG in the future.” Given that the rapper has been in the industry for the last 16 years, he understands the struggles artists go through on a personal level. By trying to change the rigid ways of the past, he plans on drawing more attention towards the mental health issues faced by younger people who look up to the idols.

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'They are not robots, they are humans'

Many fans were taken aback by T.O.P's words, with some saying they understood the responsibility he was put through at a young age and the repercussions it had on his mental health. One fan said, "I'm really crying right now as I read T.O.P interview in the magazine. Kpop industry is really harsh right now and how idols are getting younger and younger where they will face a very harsh world in Kpop just to reach their dreams. Remind ya'll they are not robots but human." Another fan said, "This is CHOI SEUNGHYUN not T.O.P BIGBANG. From very beginning,that's why he don't wanna be a part of survival show,also meaning of DOOM DADA lyrics..the way he love the creativity and improvement of young artist to improve themself,to not being a company robot.he is so sexy tho."

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Another fan tweeted, "T.O.P's swag isn't YG swag, T.O.P's swag is his own. he did good enough as an underground rapper before he even became a trainee. and he never sang praises to YGE or the k-pop system in all these years so idk what delusion you're inventing to support your argument." Another said, "Top doesn't want any trainees to go through cruel things when he was a trainee...when you know he has bad intentions, it's like heartbreaking. Please be kind." One fan chimed in, "I love that T.O.P sees that mental health is really important to idols and trainees because many idols commit suicide because they just want to meet someones expectation. I just want to remind all the fans that our idols are also human."

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