Drama of The Week: Music Rigging

Chart rigging is something that has been rumored for years, but is it actually something happening, and how much has been affected?


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     The Kpop world for the last 6 months has been doing circles around themselves every day trying to “fix” themselves. From the Produce drama(don’t even get me started on that, it should be known with most “reality shows” that your choice usually doesn’t matter. Let them live!) to the recent members leaving( or getting framed if you ask some fandoms) their is a lot going on. One of the recent scandals currently happening, however, is a claim from Park Kyung (Block B) that certain artists were rigging the charts specifically Melon in an effort to either look better or in turn, sell more items. 

     Most of these artists were from smaller agencies and were either known for ballads, duets, or even bands. The one exception was Vibe. Vibe is a very popular band so to speak in Korea, and once these claims were let out they announced they were filing a lawsuit(they still officially haven’t so don’t know when that will happen). Park Kyung really didn’t apologize and even went on to say he wasn’t backing down from these claims. I took that and decided to do some research to see if Kyung was telling the truth, or maybe Vibe has a right to sue. Debuting in 2002, this RnB group is made of members Yoon Min-soo, and Ryu Jae-hyun. They didn’t quite chart with their first couple of singles, however, as time went on they began to chart. From numbers alone though they tend to get a little fishy. On some songs, they get to the top 5 or top 10, but on songs of the same album, they fall to the 40s. (Come Back To Me Charting Peak of #2: http://www.gaonchart.co.kr/main/section/chart/online.gaon?nationGbn=T&serviceGbn=ALL&targetTime=22&hitYear=2010&termGbn=week , and Lonely Christmas Peak of #47: http://www.gaonchart.co.kr/main/section/chart/online.gaon?nationGbn=T&serviceGbn=ALL&targetTime=52&hitYear=2014&termGbn=week)   Since 2014, they never got back up to the top 10, and the numbers ranged from the 20s to the 40s. All of a sudden in 2018 and 2019 two of their songs for the first time in 4 to 5 years all made it to the top 5. ( Fall In Fall Peak of #3: http://www.gaonchart.co.kr/main/section/chart/online.gaon?serviceGbn=ALL&termGbn=week&hitYear=2018&targetTime=43&nationGbn=T) Even if Kyung isn’t right and there is no chart manipulation then that either means that their fanbase disappeared for several years, or something else is going on

     Now as of now we don’t know if Kyung has any evidence for the manipulation, however, the numbers do seem kind of suspicious if not inconsistent. The claims of chart rigging, however, has been around forever from the beginning of Kpop. People don’t like a certain group and want to hurt them so they claim they bought their own albums. Claims like that were held against SNSD, andBTS (https://geminoticalliance.wordpress.com/2015/05/03/big-hit-accused-of-buying-their-own-albums-after-results-show-bts-outselling-bigbang/ ) Most of these claims are false, but the real question that needs to be answered is. Are these claims true?

     The answer to that question is we don’t know, and we probably wont.Melon and all of these other charts are very secretive and if any artists rigged their way up. We would never know because these charts want to save their reputation. Even if these artists were found to be guilty we would see a domino effect that would take down half of Kpop. The question of what counts as chart rigging would then be brought forth, and more people could be taken down. The big 3 would be questioned, and it would lead to chaos. I’m not saying that if someone is playing the system that they should be allowed to get away with it for the betterment of everyone else, but I am saying that Kyung and others should tread carefully. 

     I wanted to test out this format because this is something that I think I want to start doing every week. Essentially explaining drama that happened on the tl that people weren’t there for, and were confused. I also like to deep dive into drama, so this allows me to do that. Comment down below if you would like to see more. Bye 


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