2009 is considered by many to be the best year for modern Korean music which is often generalized altogether as K-pop. There are many events that year that contribute to it being the best year, and one of them was the debut of Beast. Also known as B2ST, Beast was the premier K-pop boy band debuting under Cube Entertainment which at the time was considered brand new. Beast, along with their “female counterpart” girl group 4Minute, made such an impact that many fans at the time thought “United Cube” would become a top contender alongside the “Big Three,” SM Entertainment, YG Entertainment, and JYP Entertainment.
Since then, Beast has become one of the most popular boy bands in K-pop. Starting with their debut extended play (EP) or mini-album titled Beast is B2ST, they truly made their breakout with Mastermind featuring title track song “Breath.” They followed up with numerous other EPs or mini-albums and even released three full-length studio albums including the popular Fact and Fiction.
However, in 2016, the contract Beast had with Cube Entertainment would expire, and unfortunately for the entertainment agency and label, the boy band would choose not to renew their contracts, instead opting to create their own independent label, Around Us Entertainment.
Now, after three months, Beast is planning to make their comeback, though it is technically a re-debut, under Around Us Entertainment and with a new name: Highlight. Later this month, Highlight will release their debut EP or mini-album Can You Feel It?
News of Highlight first came about late last month after the K-pop community wondered if Beast and Cube Entertainment would have issues on the copyright of the K-pop boy band’s name. According to Soompi, the five remaining members of Beast — Doojoon, Junhyung, Yoseob, Gikwang, and Dongwoon — would be promoting themselves as Highlight which happens to be the name of their last full-length studio album featuring the title track song “Ribbon.”
Eventually, Highlight would make it known they will make their comeback (once again, more like a re-debut) with Can’t You Feel It, as reported by AllKpop. Around Us Entertainment would release an official announcement on the upcoming release.
“Hello, this is Around US Ent. Highlight’s 1st mini album ‘Can You Feel It?’ will be released on March 20. Information on Highlight’s first mini album will be uploaded through the Around US Ent. official homepage and official SNS, so please look forward to it.”
Pre-release promotions just started to roll out on March 6 KST and apparently Highlight is doing things a little bit differently. Usually, K-pop acts would release teaser images to start their promotions, but Highlight released a preview of the two versions of their album.
— Around US Ent. (@ent_aroundus) March 7, 2017
The “Sense” and “Sensibility” versions of Can’t You Feel It? will have different artwork for the book cover, booklet, and lyrics paper. Both versions of the album also look like they’ll come with one of 18 photo cards and one of three posters.
Ultimately, Highlight is doing their best to cause waves in the K-pop community as technically Beast did not disband. Because Cube Entertainment owns the rights to the name, they can do what they see fit with it. It is believed that Hyunseung, the member of Beast who left in 2016, will actually form the new Beast with two unnamed members.
Highlight will make their re-debut with Can’t You Feel It? on Monday, March 20, at midnight KST. With two more weeks left, we can expect more pre-release teasers including images, a track list, and video and audio snippets.
[Featured Image by Around Us Entertainment]