2016 has so far proven to be a sad year for K-pop, as numerous groups are either breaking up or losing members. It all started earlier this year when Gyuri, Seungyeon, and Hara departed DSP Media, causing Kara to disband. Later on, YG Entertainment confirmed that Minzy did not renew her contract with them, resulting in her departing not only the company but 2NE1. And as for the latest departure, JYP Entertainment confirmed that Jia did not renew her contract with them, resulting in her departing the company as well as miss A.
Now, the sad trend occurring this year continues, as another established K-pop girl group is experiencing departures. Rania, the K-pop group often recognized as the spiritual third generation of Baby V.O.X., has lost three of its members. Di, T-ae, and Xia have all departed not only the K-pop group but DR Music to join a new K-pop girl group under the new label ENTER HAMA.
The news broke that Di, T-ae, and Xia left Rania late last month. According to AllKpop, the three members are joining an agency known as ENTER HAMA to debut under a new girl group named Ela8te this coming June 15. Not much is known about the new agency or the girl group, but ENTER HAMA did provide some teasers into what they will bring through individual promotional videos for the three members on their new YouTube channel (all three attached below). It seems they will be going by their full names this time around. For those who don’t know, Kim Da Rae is Di, Lee Tae Eun is T-ae, and Jang Jin Young is Xia.
The departures, to an extent, come as a surprise because it seemed Rania was receiving far more attention than ever, especially after their previous comeback, an EP titled Demonstrate. What was unique about it was the inclusion of the first Alex (pictured second from the left in the attachment below), a member promoted as the first African American to be signed to a K-pop group. Unfortunately, the “race card” was played among the K-pop community, which resulted in the comeback’s title song “Demonstrate” not even charting on both the Korean Gaon and Korean Billboard Charts.
The fact “Demonstrate” didn’t do as well as expected may have been the catalyst for Di, T-ae, and Xia’s departure from DR Music. That is pure speculation at the moment, but it would not be surprising if that is one of the reasons for their decision to leave. As for the remaining members of Rania, DR Music made it known that their comeback will be pushed to August so they can adjust to the new changes. For starters, the new direction Rania might go might be more hip-hop or rap influenced as Seulji is the only vocalist. Hyeme and Alex are rappers.
Alex has been the most vocal on the situation, trying to show comfort towards Rania fans. She communicates numerous times via social media, understanding that the constant delay of Rania’s comeback has caused many to think the group was disbanding. She even tried to provide some sort of comfort by “giving teasers” of the upcoming comeback within the shadow of half of Rania no longer being with them. And if there is a testament that the remaining members of Rania are moving forward, it is simply through living such as Alex taking Seulji, who she calls her roommate and best friend, to the basketball store in a more recent update on Instagram.
Ultimately, Di, T-ae, and Xia leaving Rania is kind of like a true “changing of the guard” or a “passing of the torch.” They were the last members of the original eight when Rania was first formed back in 2011 alongside Yijo, Joy, Saem, Jooyi, and Riko. Now that they are gone, Rania no longer has any original members.
[Image via DR Music/Rania Promotions for Demonstrate]