The Rise And Fall Of K-Pop’s Most Controversial Girl Group

From “sausage suits” and plastic surgery to “Japanese porn,” this group found a unique path to notoriety.

Even as K-Pop gains global popularity, groups seem to have a harder and harder time trying to break into the industry. Although success for a K-Pop group can be defined in different ways (awards, charting, virality, profits, fanbase, etc.), as entertainment companies continue to debut new groups, it only becomes more challenging for artists to stay relevant and achieve success.

K-Pop girl group Six Bomb | @sixbomb/Twitter

One K-Pop group that hoped to impress the world with their talents was Six Bomb (also known as DJ Bomb and Red Bomb). Even before debut, the group gained recognition for Soa‘s resemblance to Wonder GirlsSohee and Subin‘s alleged friendship with Girls’ Generation‘s YoonA.

Six Bomb hoped to wow fans with their immense skill rather than profit from these associations. Unfortunately, their talent wasn’t enough, and the group’s alternative marketing strategies would eventually lead to their downfall.

Six Bomb’s initial line-up

Before their official debut in January 2012, the group had already suffered their first hurdle as, while the group had been planned with six members, Subin injured her leg and could not debut. The group quickly changed their line distribution and formations so they could still release their first mini album, Six Bomb First Mini Album, as planned.

Unfortunately, Jang Entertainment‘s rush to make up for the unexpected change led to immense criticism from netizens who felt that the debut was cheap and the choreography looked off.

Six Bomb performing “Chicky Chicky Bomb” | KMusicTVHD/YouTube 

Due to the negative reviews of their debut, it seemed like Six Bomb was going to disband, with all of the members but Soa leaving the group by 2013 and Jang Entertainment going bankrupt.

Unexpectedly, Six Bomb re-debuted under Pace Maker Entertainment in 2015, having gained three new members in Dain, U-Chung, and Hanbit. But, like their initial debut, the new version of their song “Step To Me” was met with criticism. Not only was the music once again critiqued for being poorly made, but this time Six Bomb went viral for their outfits, mainly consisting of brightly colored leggings, which viewers deemed ugly and cheap.

| @sixbomb/Twitter

| @sixbomb/Twitter

| @sixbomb/Twitter

One pair of green leggings went viral for an especially negative reason, as you could see the members’ black underwear.

But while “Step To Me” received far more criticism than praise, the controversial outfits attracted netizens to Six Bomb, inevitably increasing views, streams, and interest in the group.

Six Bomb performing “Step To Me” | MBC every1/YouTube

Seemingly inspired by this controversial marketing, Six Bomb fully embraced the idea of ugly outfits, making it the “concept” of their next comeback, “Wait 10 Years Baby.” As the members wore “sausage-like” pink bodysuits, the group once again went viral, with the music video receiving over four million views within days.

Six Bomb’s “10 Years Waiting Baby” | YOU Entertainment/YouTube 

With broadcast stations deeming the outfits unsuitable for broadcast, the group only got more news coverage, going even more viral among netizens who immediately rushed to criticize the outfits.

 

Still, despite the criticism, their virality did gain the group fans, who even tried to support Six Bomb by making their own sausage light stick inspired by the now-infamous outfit.

Six Bomb with the fanmade light stick | Ploopy678/YouTube

“Wait 10 Years Baby” became so viral in China that the group toured there for around two months and became models for a Chinese mobile game.

| Ploopy678/YouTube

Unrelated to their music, netizens realized that member Hanbit had actually taken part in an adult film before her career as an idol, embroiling the group in yet another controversy.

Poster for the film Hanbit appeared in | Ploopy678/YouTube

Thus, in 2017 the group’s line-up changed again, with Hanbit and U-Chung leaving the group and new members Gabin and Seulbi joining. With the new members, Six Bomb once again had a comeback with “Getting Pretty Before.”

Still embracing the idea of promoting through controversy, Six Bomb seemingly upped the ante, this time embracing a plastic surgery comeback. In the music video for their pre-release, all of the members were shown getting facials before heading to a plastic surgery clinic.

Six Bomb’s “Getting Pretty Before” | k/YouTube 

Six Bomb’s “Getting Pretty Before” | k/YouTube 

Teaser pictures, album images, and even a dance practice showcased the members’ faces wrapped in bandages, leading to speculation that all of the members had received plastic surgery.

Six Bomb’s “Getting Pretty After” | k/YouTube 

Pace Maker Entertainment confirmed these rumors, sharing that the total cost was ₩100 million KRW (about $80,700 USD), which left netizens shocked and eager to see the members’ transformations.

However, while the release of “Getting Pretty After” went viral, netizens actually were seemingly disappointed, feeling like the members didn’t look significantly different despite the cost of the surgeries.

 

Eventually, the group’s line-up would change once again, with Seulbi leaving the group and talented vocalist I Sol joining. Gabin also eventually left the group after being diagnosed with a rare bone disease that made it too difficult to dance.

 

Having gained so much notoriety for their controversial concepts, Six Bomb seemingly returned to their initial goal of capturing attention through their talents, releasing various ballad-style songs to showcase their vocal skill.

But, unfortunately, these releases received little traction, and Six Bomb eventually returned to what had gained them attention in the past. This time, the group’s concept was a parody of Japanese porn videos.

Complete with a content warning, a Japanese magazine-inspired shoot, and clips with men’s faces blurred out, “Hiccup Hiccup” was deemed unqualified for broadcast due to suggestive lyrics.

While the group once again received attention for their controversial concept, making more headlines and sparking more criticism from netizens, ultimately, the attention Six Bomb received for “Hiccup Hiccup” was less than that of their previous two controversial releases.

Six Bomb’s “Hiccup Hiccup” | DanalEntertainment/YouTube 

The group then released another ballad showing off their immense talent. Unfortunately, this release gained minimal attention, making it Six Bomb’s last song.

In 2019 Six Bomb turned away from K-Pop, signing under a new agency World Event Agency as a DJ group, initially under the name Red Bomb. When I Sol eventually left the group, the duo of Soa and Dain promoted under the name DJ Bomb.

At the end of their contract, Six Bomb announced their disbandment on May 22, 2021.

Soa has since shared with fans that she could no longer DJ due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as clubs were temporarily shut down, so she turned to work at a grocery store. Still, she hopes to one day reunite with her members and continue their activities.

You can read more here.

The K-Pop Girl Group That Spent $80,000 On Plastic Surgery

Source: Six Bomb Fandom Wiki and Ploopy678