Block B

Hip-hop-influenced K-pop septet Block B were formed in 2011 by Cho PD (Stardom Entertainment). The boy group's seven members include Taeil Lee, B-Bomb (Lee Min-hyuk), Jaehyo Ahn, U-Kwon (Kim Yu-Kwon), Park Kyung, Zico (Woo Ji-ho), and P.O (Pyo Ji-hoon). Created by Cho as an Eminem-inspired rap/pop group, they issued their first singles, "Freeze!" and "Wanna B," before the arrival of their debut EP, New Kids on the Block, in June 2011. The release was promoted by MTV's Match Up! series. The next year, their second extended-player, Welcome to the Block, added more dance elements to their rap-centric delivery. Before year's end, Block B released their debut LP, Blockbuster. The album peaked at number ten on the Billboard World Albums chart. For much of 2013, the group was involved in legal struggles with their label, Stardom, which resulted in a severance of their relationship. Block B then moved to Seven Seasons management, releasing their first single for the label, "Be the Light," soon thereafter. The Very Good EP arrived months later, topping the Korean chart and rising to number six on Billboard's World Albums chart. In 2014, in addition to starting a reality show called Five Minutes Before Chaos, they released the "Jackpot" single and toured Asia and the U.S. The H.E.R. EP was issued that summer. In 2015, they broke into the Japanese market with a re-recording of "Very Good." They also toured Japan as well as Europe and North America. That year, Taeil and Park Kyung released solo singles, while P.O, U-Kwon, and B-Bomb formed a subunit called Bastarz, releasing the Conduct Zero EP. Block B returned in 2016 with their fifth EP, Blooming Period, which topped the Korean charts and climbed to number four on Billboard, making it their highest-charting release in America to date. Their debut Japanese album, My Zone, also arrived that year, featuring re-recordings and a new single. The Bastarz trio also issued their sophomore set, Welcome 2 Bastarz. ~ Neil Z. Yeung

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