The K-pop world is ever-expanding and has introduced the public to countless great singers. IKon, a group created under YG Entertainment, soon became one of the most highly streamed K-pop bands after they made their debut.
An important part of this stunning group was Kim Han-bin, better known as B.I. by fans. B.I. used to be a rapper for the group, with him occasionally also taking control of the band’s production and songwriting.
Born in Cheonan, South Korea, Han-Bin first made an appearance on TV through promotions that took place for MC Mong’s songs. While he’s mostly seen making music, B.I. has also been a part of many variety shows and other similar TV programs.
Despite the crucial role Kim Han-bin played in making IKon a hit K-pop band, the singer had to depart from the band. This didn’t stop B.I. from creating new music, with him coming out with many hit albums after his exit from IKon.
Why Did Hanbin Leave IKon?
YG Entertainment and IKon had to drop Han-bin despite his significance in their success because there were allegations against him of purchasing illegal drugs a few years after starting his career at YG Entertainment.
A K-pop singer being caught with drugs doesn’t usually play out well, and in Han-bin’s case, he had allegedly purchased marijuana and LSD from a female drug dealer. This drug dealer happened to be the same person who supplied the singer T.O.P. with drugs in 2017. T.O.P. was dropped by his label and was sentenced to 4 years of probation.
B.I. never really denied the drug purchase allegations and instead was honest about the whole situation. Right after the news came out, Han-bin revealed through his social media account that he was going through a hard time in his life (he was 19 at that time) and wanted something that would help him feel better for a while.
YG Entertainment and IKon posted the news, too, confirming the news to the heartbroken fans. Shows like Law of The Jungle and Stage K had asked Han-bin to be a part of their episodes, but after his drug use allegations, they edited out every scene that had the rapper in it.
During the lockdowns, the police sent Han-bin’s hair samples for testing and found no trace of drugs in his body anymore. Kim Han-bin admitted to all charges against him, which consisted of three purchases of marijuana and a single purchase of LSD.
B.I. was sentenced to 4 years of probation, community service, and some education courses that aimed to resolve drug issues, along with a fine that totaled 1.5 million won.
Kim Han-bin: Where Is The Rapper Now?
After Kim Han-Bin left IKon, he finally made an appearance again in 2021, with the rapper being featured on one of Epik High’s albums. Han-bin came out with a charity album later on and created his label called “131 Label”.
B.I. continued releasing multiple songs through this label, most of which topped the charts in South Korea. Han-bin was IKon’s main songwriter and producer for a reason, and through his solo songs, it was obvious that he was quite skilled.
One of Han-bin’s music videos gathered almost 12 million views in just 24 hours. B.I. participated in Grammy Global Spin and later released a global album called Love or Loved.
Later in October, Han-bin decided to leave his role as a label director as he wanted to focus on creating music and not handling IOK Company. The label’s name changed from 131 Label to just 131.
Han-bin had his first-ever concert in Europe in July of this year, which ended up attracting a lot of attention as it toured in countries that were usually ignored by other K-pop artists. Recently, B.I. unveiled his new track at Lollapalooza Berlin.
In November, B.I. and his old group, IKon, happened to be on the same stage in Thailand, creating a chaotic and emotional moment for his longtime fans. Despite not being a part of IKon anymore, Han-bin continues to work on new music for his hit solo albums.