You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Why B.I leaving K-Pop group iKON after drug controversy is such a big deal

Mirror logo Mirror 14/6/2019 James Brinsford
GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Koo Jun-Hoe of boy band iKON performs onstage during the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games 1st Anniversary Festival In Gangneung on February 09, 2019 in Gangneung, South Korea. (Photo by Han Myung-Gu/WireImage) © WireImage GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Koo Jun-Hoe of boy band iKON performs onstage during the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games 1st Anniversary Festival In Gangneung on February 09, 2019 in Gangneung, South Korea. (Photo by Han Myung-Gu/WireImage)

K-pop sensations iKON have been rocked by B.I quitting the group following a drug controversy.

B.I, whose real name is Kim Hanbin, was the leader and songwriter for the seven-piece boy band but has had to leave the group after allegedly attempting to to purchase marijuana and LSD in 2016.

Initially there was a denial by B.I’s label, YG Entertainment, who said: "YG strictly manages its artists for drug use. B.I has nothing to do with the alleged 2016 drug case.

"Every two months, YG purchases a drug diagnostic kit from the US and performs drug tests on all artists.

"All members of iKON including B.I submitted to the urine test ahead all of their activities. Not one member tested positive for drug use."

a man wearing a suit and tie: B.I of iKON has quit the group © WireImage B.I of iKON has quit the group

This was blown out of the water by B.I himself though, who shocked the group's fans, known as iKONICs, by announcing on Instagram that he was leaving the group with immediate effect.

He told fans that he would "fully look back and reflect on my actions," but insisted that he was"too scared and fearful to try so I did not go through with it."

Korean TV entertainment have already enforced a blackout on B.I's forthcoming appearances and have stated that he will be edited out of any episodes.

a group of people posing for the camera: B.I was caught up in a drugs controversy © WireImage B.I was caught up in a drugs controversy

While drugs is not uncommon in rock and pop culture, it is a shocking turn of events for the Korean group, and this is why there has been such a furore.

Why is just thinking about buying drugs is enough to quit a band?

K-pop history may have had a few drug scandals in the past but Korean culture and the strict drug laws mean that being involved with illegal substances is deeply frowned upon.

So, just the thought of buying drugs can be deemed a scandal in itself.

Koo Jun-hoe et al. standing next to a man in a suit and tie: K-Pop idols iKON © WireImage K-Pop idols iKON

Why did B.I leave iKON?

It has been a murky story that has swayed from B.I smoking marijuana with another K-pop idol, thought to be Han Seo Hee, to not doing any of the above.

It has now been alleged that B.I just 'thought' about buying the drugs but didn't actually go through with it.

Even so, this act was scandalous enough for B.I's conscience to determine that he should quit the band.

a boy wearing a suit and tie: B.I 'thought' about buying drugs © WireImage B.I 'thought' about buying drugs

Why are drugs such a big deal?

South Korea's laws surrounding recreational drugs are severe, which is the same across many Asian countries.

The use of marijuana can bring a jail sentence of up to five years or a fine of up to 50 million won (around £33,000).

The use of drugs by Korean nationals when they are abroad is also prohibited, especially as they can usually be less expensive when buying in another country.

a group of people posing for a photo: iKON © Multibits Editorial iKON

As such, K-pop idols are tested routinely, like athletes, to ensure that they are always clean and projecting the right image for their legions of fans.

What happens next for B.I?

YG Entertainment have already confirmed that iKON will continue without B.I and it is thought that he will come away from social media for a while, until the dust settles.

Previously, drug scandals in K-Pop can come out in little titbits, so there may be more revelations to come involving B.I.

Fortunately for him, the police have currently deemed his 'offences' not worthy of investigation. 

More from The Mirror

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon