Seven Seasons, which represents Block B, announced in a statement on Friday that Zico and the agency had agreed not to renew.
“We thank Zico for (all the efforts he put in) as the leader and producer of Block B,” Seven Seasons said in its statement. “We wish Zico luck on his new beginning. We will always support him.”
The remaining six band members have extended their contracts, Seven Seasons said. “However, due to (their approaching deadlines for) Army enlistment, and the slight differences in the timing of their enlistment, Block B’s activities will mostly be (solo or subunit performances) for the time being,” the agency added.
Most able-bodied men in South Korea have to enlist in the military before 30 and serve a mandatory term of about two years.
None of Block B’s members -- Zico, Taeil, Jaehyo, B-Bomb, P.O, Park Kyung or U-Kwon -- has done so yet.
B-Bomb, Jaehyo and Taeil will be the first to go as they all turn 30 in 2020.
Park Kyung and U-Kwon’s deadline is in 2022 and P.O’s is in 2023.
Block B debuted in 2011 with the single album “Do U Wanna B?” and launched its last album with all seven members, “Re:MONTAGE,” in January.
There is no news yet on whether a new agency deal is on the horizon for Zico.
Zico made headlines in September for traveling to Pyongyang as part of the presidential troupe alongside a select group of South Korean celebrities who accompanied President Moon Jae-in on the occasion of his historic summit with the leader of North Korea. Zico staged a hip-hop performance in front of Kim Jong-un and other North Korean officials.
By Lim Jeong-yeo (firstname.lastname@example.org)