J Balvin copies company mate BTS' lightstick, fans joke 'HYBE suing HYBE'

Fans find it more audacious that J Balvin's lightstick was similar to BTS' after realizing they are under the same company HYBE


                            J Balvin copies company mate BTS' lightstick, fans joke 'HYBE suing HYBE'
J Balvin's lightstick looks similar to BTS' 'ARMY Bomb' (BTS/Weverse, @JBALVIN/Twitter, shop.jbalvinmerch.com)
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With the K-pop industry inventing and popularizing the concept of lightsticks, it looks like the rest of the world wants to jump on it too. Created by BIGBANG’s G-Dragon, lightsticks have become an important part of a K-pop act as it is part of their identity. Fans use it as a proud element to mark themselves as that particular K-pop act’s fan. It is also used as a substitute for rave lights in concerts as the atmosphere is hyped up with fans waving lightsticks of the fandom color to create an ‘ocean’. And it looks like J Balvin wanted that too.

On March 19, to celebrate his ‘Jose Tour 2022’, J Balvin dropped concert merch which included an item described as ‘Light White Handle’. But all K-pop fans immediately recognized it and claimed that it was copied from BTS’ lightstick, the 'ARMY Bomb'. Not only was Balvin’s lightstick similar, but even the packaging was also copied from the 'ARMY Bomb’s according to fans. Balvin's lightstick was the same shape and color as the 'ARMY Bomb'. The only difference was the handle and which was white and Balvin's lightstick had two smiley faces.

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BTS and J Balvin's lightstick look similar (weverseshop.com, shop.jbalvinmerch.com)

BTS and J Balvin under the same company

It should be noted that in April 2021, BTS’ parent company HYBE acquired Scooter Braun’s company Ithaca Holdings which was home to artists like Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, and you guessed it, J Balvin. With this new partnership in mind, J Balvin’s fans defended his lightstick design while those who could see the similarities shared that he must have gotten permission from HYBE themselves. But some fans also found out that the company that created the design was not HYBE or Ithaca but Vibras Lab.

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However, after several ARMY (BTS' fans) camped under J Balvin’s social media posts accusing him of plagiarism and copying BTS, his team immediately took down the product. This further strengthened ARMY’s argument that the lightstick was indeed plagiarized and had not been given approval by HYBE. Before HYBE became the multinational conglomerate it is now, it was a small K-pop label called BigHit that teamed up with other big K-pop labels like JYPE to manage some groups like 2AM. BTS was their first big K-pop group that helped them grow into HYBE and so fans think the company owes it to BTS to protect them even if it means from their other artists.

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‘The audacity’

ARMY made hilarious memes and tweets like, “J balvin about to get a hefty lawsuit from HYBE.” Another fan posted, “J Balvin saw HYBE and Bighit getting tagged for the lightstick plagiarism and deleted before they could file a lawsuit LMFAOOOOO.” One shared, “The audacity, i’m calling hybe.” Another made a reaction meme, “Hybe suing hybe.” One ARMY addressed the ones defending J Balvin, “Nahh because it’s gone and half of y’all was saying that HYBE let him use it-.. are you not embarrassed.”

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Another fan called out, “Hey @scooterbraun, just because HYBE acquired you & your artists, doesn’t mean you can plagiarize their artists. Hey @JBALVIN WTF is this? Hello, @HYBEOFFICIALtwt! Did you guys miss this?” One ARMY thought, “HAD ME THINKING THEY CAME OUT W ANOTHER LIGHTSTICK.” Another said, “Yes. They removed J BALVINS plagiarized "light toy" from his site. It was suppose to be released this Friday  at noon. I even took a video when it appeared on the shot and when it got taken down. Yes I got receipts.”

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This article contains remarks made on the Internet by individual people and organizations. MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and does not support claims or opinions being made online.

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