In a surprising turn of events, the rookie K-Pop group FIFTY FIFTY has found itself in the midst of a storm following the release of their new compilation album, "The Beginning." The album, which was unveiled on music streaming platforms and in physical music stores, has been met with significant backlash from the group's dedicated fanbase, known affectionately as HUNNIES.
"The Beginning" boasts a total of 11 tracks, featuring five versions of the song "Cupid" and other titles like "Lovin' Me," "Tell Me," and "Higher." The album was distributed under the Warner Music Korea banner, with FIFTY FIFTY's label, Attrakt, listed as the management. Ahn Sung Gil was credited as the chief composer/producer.
The release has raised eyebrows, especially given the ongoing legal battle between FIFTY FIFTY and their label, Attrakt. Attrakt's CEO, Jun Hong-joon, clarified the situation in a statement to local media. He explained that "The Beginning" is a "repackaged" version of the original album, "The FIFTY," which was released in November 2022. He stated, "This version is a repackaged version for U.S. release. The planning for this version took place in May, and a contract was signed with Warner Music Korea in early July. At the beginning of August, I shipped about 156,000 copies to the U.S. for distribution, and that's the album [that] has been revealed on domestic music streaming platforms today."
However, fans are far from placated. A mass petition has been initiated to "boycott" all paid products associated with Attrakt. The primary reason for this boycott stems from the alleged mistreatment of FIFTY FIFTY members Aran, Sio, Keena, and Saena. Fans have expressed their discontent over how the label has portrayed the members in a negative light, influencing public and industry opinion.
The boycott includes refraining from purchasing albums, singles (both physical and digital), merchandise, tickets for paid events, and streaming content. Fans are also encouraged to unfollow official social media accounts managed by Attrakt.
Adding fuel to the fire, some fans have criticized the quality of the album itself. A Twitter thread highlighted the perceived subpar quality of the album's physical components, emphasizing that the critique was directed at Attrakt and Warner Music, not the group members.
Within a day of the boycott's initiation, FIFTY FIFTY's official social media accounts witnessed a decline in followers, with 2,400 followers departing from their Twitter and 2,000 from their Instagram.