When reigning K-Pop sex symbol Hyuna announced that she was dating label-mate E-Dawn of Pentagon,it should have not been a huge surprise as the two were often shipped by fans and were subject to a lot of fan-fiction stories. With rumors swirling around that the 2/3 of Triple H were currently engulfed in a romantic liaison, Cube came out vehemently denying any relationship, only to be surprised by Hyuna and E-Dawn publicly accepting their relationship. What was even more surprising to the fans (and maybe the agency too) was that they had been dating since E-Dawn was a trainee preparing to debut in Pentagon i.e., two years. In addition, dating news of fellow Triple H and Pentagon leader Hui with rookie label-mate Soojin of G-IDLE broke out along with speculations of Pentagon member Yuto dating CLC rapper Yeeun. While Cube tried to douse the backlash (and frequent jokes of being a love agency) with news that Hui and Soojin had already called it quits and Yuto and Yeeun were just “close friends”, the damage was already done. What followed was a huge mess of unorganised drama and addition to the couple getting hateful comments from their fans, Cube pulled them out of their ongoing Triple H promotions. The absence of E-Dawn from Pentagon’s fan-meetings and other promotions raised alarms among the fans which were further confirmed by Cube’s sudden announcement that Hyuna and E-Dawn had been kicked out of the agency. Later, they backtracked and released a statement about the ongoing talks about the future of Hyuna and E-Dawn with Cube. Finally, Hyuna announced she had terminated her contract with Cube and the drama ended with E-Dawn pulling out from Pentagon and cancelling his exclusive contract.
The entire situation was an ugly affair while the blame was tossed around and both sides had openly declared their mistrust for each other. Most of the fans were extremely supportive about the relationship, the other half were not happy about the couple dating secretly for so long and soon many E-Dawn fansites closed down. There was a long interval between the outbreak of the “scandal” and the announcement of termination of contracts. In between, Pentagon made their comeback as 8 with “Naughty Boy” (Yanan had to sit out of the promotions due to health concerns) , Hyuna and Edawn flipped the world with their couple posts on Instagram a.k.a their very own Lovestagram!
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The question that arises out of this entire controversy is – Were the right decisions made at the right time? A dating scandal is not a strange phenomenon in the K-Pop scenario, so why did Cube take such extreme measures? Did Hyuna and E-Dawn really not discuss with the company and just publicly announced their relationship? However, above this, the one question on every single person’s mind was – What would happen to Pentagon and E-Dawn? There is not much concern for Hyuna’s career. She is a well established artist and is expected to do well in any agency that she signs with (AOMG, where you at?). On the other hand, it will not be a lie to say that Pentagon have still not made their mark in the K-Pop scene as much as they should have. With tough competition in current times, talent and hard work may also fall a little short and that is exactly what happened to Pentagon. While they found success with their sixth EP title track “Shine” for its quirky concept, there is no question that Hui and E-Dawn are the most popular members and the face of the group. The duo is also known for their teamwork and songwriting skills (Hui often calls E-Dawn his “right hand man”). Shine was also a product of the duo and their chemistry could be felt in the song. E-Dawn also has a very unique rap tone which plays beautifully with the other low tone rappers of the group, Wooseok and Yuto creating a song which utterly fails to sound anything but boring.
The departure of E-Dawn could be alarmingly felt in the new album and their title track “Naughty Boy”. While the song was also co-produced by E-Dawn, his vocals were not present in it and that could be felt in a huge way. The song was a quirky number just like its predecessor “Shine”, however, it failed to live up to the expectations mainly because we were presented with the main hook having no contrast in vocal tones which led to the song falling a bit bland and with no X-Factor. Somehow, that chirpy high tone rap, E-Dawn’s magnetism paired with his blushing tired eyes was greatly missed and that might have to do with how Naughty Boy failed to do as compared to Shine. The other members gave their best to fill E-Dawn and Yanan’s place but it was obvious that those were big shoes to fill. This was also evident when the 8-membered Pentagon performed Shine at DMC Festival. We couldn’t help but miss E-Dawn playing the toy keyboard or punching randomly on the ground. It was then confirmed that Shine will never remain the same.Being a Universe, if I am asked how much do I think E-Dawn’s removal will affect Pentagon, then I would say “It will. ..Big Time”. Now, the group has been left to again redefine their sound since one of their vital songwriters is gone. With Hui as the main producer, it will be entirely up to him on which direction Pentagon will take. Hui has lost a teammate who matched his musical taste and now will have to pick up the pieces to push his group forward. While Kino and Jinho are also acclaimed songwriters, it can be seen that their musical styles are very different than Hui or E-Dawn. This can eventually lead to just Hui bearing all of the responsibility for the group’s musical identity. Not just Pentagon, but even E-Dawn will have to gather himself and prepare for his journey ahead. While a good number of fans are still loyally standing beside him, most of them are international so he needs to build up his fandom with his new music. With his musical calibre, a good company may scout him but his future can go in any direction. With no members to support him, E-Dawn has to carry on alone and with his new identity as a solo artist or songwriter.
In conclusion, I personally feel this entire situation could have been handled better by both sides, but Cube and Hyuna-Edawn had, till some point, set their priorities right. Judging by E-Dawn and Hyuna’s latest Instagram posts’, their love for each other is pretty much evident (How can you not support them?). Pentagon has also resumed their activities as a 9 member group with Yanan back after his break and are rumored to soon make their comeback. The storm seems to have passed but the aftermath of it is what needs to be checked now. The next step is crucial for both parties and this will determine where their careers will lead them to. A positive factor about this entire mess is that E-Dawn, Pentagon and Hyuna have got much publicity and coverage that people are keeping an eye on their future endeavors. Till then, I am just going to wait for Hyuna to join AOMG (please make this happen!), Pentagon to step up their game by moving positively forward and stalk E-dawn on Instagram for the couple pictures with Hyuna and squeal like a high school girl over the fact that he tags her right on his heart. Pure Couple Goals!